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Deinonychus
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04 May 2008, 8:54 am

I do believe that levels of intelligence are in part inheritant, but I also think it's important to remember that Aspie children tend to focus intently on certain areas, and if they are lacking in social/emotional intelligence and are shying away from social interaction and non-verbal activities/learning experiences that NTs are taking on board all the time, their narrower focus may enable them to take in more in the areas in which they are NOT hindered.

In other words, the obsessions and interests that AS kids have, at the detriment of social experiences, may be part of what lends to many of them having what would qualify as high intelligence, at least in certain areas.

Myself, I have a verbal IQ of 140+ but a non-verbal IQ of around 80. These sort of discrepancies are in fact known to be very common in Aspies and makes a global IQ score meaningless.


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Zonder
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04 May 2008, 8:56 am

Danielismyname wrote:
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Someone knowledgeable about giftedness could see these differences more readily than those who are not familiar. What I frequently see in practice is that when gifted youth are given the opportunity to interact with true "intellectual peers" in a particular area, their interactions are not only unimpaired, but also are often typical. In a child with Asperger's Disorder, one is not likely to see reciprocal interaction or discussion about a topic even if both children have an interest in the same topic. This is in marked contrast to gifted youngsters who will engage in extremely intense and also reciprocal conversations if both of them share the interest in, say, Pokemon or Harry Potter.


Misdiagnosis of Asperger's Disorder in gifted youth


I could probably have been labeled as gifted had they been doing that where I went to school. At some point I scored in the 98th percentile for social sciences and received college credit for psychology - having never had a psychology class. My IQ scores have been between 121 and 135, but I didn't think I was smart because the scores were not reflected in my school grades or most standardized test scores. But I've also had ASD traits from infancy such as indifference to making friends when I was young and intense and narrow interests and focus.

In my view, those trying to differentiate between "gifted" and "Aspergers" are perhaps doing so for political and personal reasons, and aren't taking into account the overlap in Autusm Spectrum Disorders. The term Autism has such a negative connotation with many and is associated with severe disability, that some would go to great lengths to avoid the term, and to find a much more positive term like "gifted." Also, some educational and mental health professionals continually try to further categorize and label groups of people. It is job security for them to do so. The author of the above quote seems to be a narrow definer, and if you read the entire article, doesn't seem to take into account the range of abilities (and disabilities) of those on the Autism Spectrum.

The category labels that have been developed such a AS, NLD, Gifted, and ADHD come from different perspectives and are all valid in defining patterns of uniqueness and disability in groups of people. The difficulty however is in seeing the overall “gestalt” of neurological development - the shared root causes of many disorders and syndromes. Dr. David Dinklage gives an important caveat in his article “Asperger’s Disorder and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: How are These Two Disorders Related to Each Other:”

“As humans, we naturally want to categorize. [But] the complex relationship between Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and Asperger’s Disorder may be an example of how categorizing too rigidly can confuse, rather than clarify, our thinking.” (David Dinklage, PhD, “Asperger’s Disorder and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: How are These Two Disorders Related to Each Other,” AANE (Asperger’s Association of New England) Newsletter, Spring, 2001. Dr. Dinklage is Director of Neuropsychology and Co-Director of Training in Child Psychology at Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts.)

I work in a quasi-academic setting and have noted a number of conversations that go like this: "My son is the smartest person I know. But he is also clueless and naive. Why is it that when someone is a genius they have such great difficulty relating to other people?"

I have my own theory, and I call it Neurological Transfer Dysfunction (that there are brain-based disconnects that cause the clusters of ASD characteristics).

Neurological Transfer Dysfunction can lead to hyper-focusing to be able to learn / understand what others understand intuitively, trial and error learning, observation learning, learning through intellect and not feelings. Although seemingly counterintuitive, from infancy having to work harder for what others learn easily through intuition can lead to tremendous memory, overachieving, perfectionism, drive, excelling in area of interest – a precocious and often subconscious trajectory to success. Some genius may very well be the direct result of a dysfunction of brain neurology.

I've not shared this with anyone - does it seem on target, or just another splitting of the hairs?

Z

Edit: Added the word some before genius.



Last edited by Zonder on 04 May 2008, 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

ciounoi
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04 May 2008, 9:11 am

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Neurological Transfer Dysfunction can lead to hyper-focusing to be able to learn / understand what others understand intuitively, trial and error learning, observation learning, learning through intellect and not feelings. Although seemingly counterintuitive, from infancy having to work harder for what others learn easily through intuition can lead to tremendous memory, overachieving, perfectionism, drive, excelling in area of interest – a precocious and often subconscious trajectory to success. Genius may very well be the direct result of a dysfunction of brain neurology.



This actually sounds like a version of what I've been reading about giftedness, called asynchronous development. Essentially, you are advanced in intellectual areas but other areas lag behind. For instance, I can do writing/history (my area of awesomeness :lol: ) about par with many of my professors. But physically I'm only 22 and emotionally I still feel like I'm in my teens (and get a kick out of the same stuff- like playing Mario on the GBA!).

My BF is also this way- brainy/gifted but emotionally a bit stunted. I definitely connect with him because not only can we philosophize about world poverty together, but we can also empathize about how confusing it is to truly act your age... it just doesn't come naturally to us.



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04 May 2008, 9:19 am

ciounoi wrote:
This actually sounds like a version of what I've been reading about giftedness, called asynchronous development. Essentially, you are advanced in intellectual areas but other areas lag behind. For instance, I can do writing/history (my area of awesomeness :lol: ) about par with many of my professors. But physically I'm only 22 and emotionally I still feel like I'm in my teens (and get a kick out of the same stuff- like playing Mario on the GBA!).

My BF is also this way- brainy/gifted but emotionally a bit stunted. I definitely connect with him because not only can we philosophize about world poverty together, but we can also empathize about how confusing it is to truly act your age... it just doesn't come naturally to us.


Its great that you have a sig. other that you can relate to, ciounoi! And what you describe sounds a lot like some form of ASD or AS. You know, even if I had found other "brains" to relate to when I was younger, I would still have the social problems and narrow interests that I still have.

Z

P.S. I completely understand and agree with the concept of asynchronous development, but I don't think that its only a trait of the gifted.



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04 May 2008, 9:30 am

Really cool topic... I just read something specifically about this...

It used to be that to qualify for Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) in schools you not only had to show that your IQ was above 130, but that you also had no social or emotional adjustment problems (that's why some schools still try to exclude people with these issues from their gifted programs)

Nowadays, they have come to realise that you don't have to be emotionally/socially well balanced in order to have a high IQ. So the only factor that is followed for most gifted programs is the 130 IQ part.

To the poster whose neighbour said that gifted people have sensory problems. Not necessarily true, and I would like to see where she got that information. I think she is simply in denial. But hey Gifted got me through school with no diagnosis and good grades. So if it helps her son, then it helps.

I would say a good amount of people that now qualify for gifted are also Aspergian. Simply because childhood IQ tests are done (for the most part) visually and manually and those are things we excel at. There are things like placing things in patterns (heh. what aspie can't figure out what comes next in a pattern?)

Zonder wrote:

Neurological Transfer Dysfunction can lead to hyper-focusing to be able to learn / understand what others understand intuitively, trial and error learning, observation learning, learning through intellect and not feelings. Although seemingly counterintuitive, from infancy having to work harder for what others learn easily through intuition can lead to tremendous memory, overachieving, perfectionism, drive, excelling in area of interest – a precocious and often subconscious trajectory to success. Genius may very well be the direct result of a dysfunction of brain neurology.

I've not shared this with anyone - does it seem on target, or just another splitting of the hairs?

Z


I've actually come to the conclusion that my brain works like this.... long before I ever heard of Asperger's.... I always thought of it as a disconnect between the left side of my brain and the right side, but it doesn't have to be that precise... the disconnect could be happening anywhere and be in multiple places....

so yes... i agree with your statement



ciounoi
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04 May 2008, 9:54 am

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Its great that you have a sig. other that you can relate to, ciounoi! And what you describe sounds a lot like some form of ASD or AS. You know, even if I had found other "brains" to relate to when I was younger, I would still have the social problems and narrow interests that I still have.


I am very, very lucky! :lol: So lucky, in fact, I get the feeling that something must be wrong because I've never found anyone else like me before. :wink:



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04 May 2008, 9:57 am

kit000003 wrote:
Really cool topic... I just read something specifically about this...

It used to be that to qualify for Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) in schools you not only had to show that your IQ was above 130, but that you also had no social or emotional adjustment problems (that's why some schools still try to exclude people with these issues from their gifted programs)

Nowadays, they have come to realise that you don't have to be emotionally/socially well balanced in order to have a high IQ. So the only factor that is followed for most gifted programs is the 130 IQ part.

To the poster whose neighbour said that gifted people have sensory problems. Not necessarily true, and I would like to see where she got that information. I think she is simply in denial. But hey Gifted got me through school with no diagnosis and good grades. So if it helps her son, then it helps.

I would say a good amount of people that now qualify for gifted are also Aspergian. Simply because childhood IQ tests are done (for the most part) visually and manually and those are things we excel at. There are things like placing things in patterns (heh. what aspie can't figure out what comes next in a pattern?)

Zonder wrote:

Neurological Transfer Dysfunction can lead to hyper-focusing to be able to learn / understand what others understand intuitively, trial and error learning, observation learning, learning through intellect and not feelings. Although seemingly counterintuitive, from infancy having to work harder for what others learn easily through intuition can lead to tremendous memory, overachieving, perfectionism, drive, excelling in area of interest – a precocious and often subconscious trajectory to success. Genius may very well be the direct result of a dysfunction of brain neurology.

I've not shared this with anyone - does it seem on target, or just another splitting of the hairs?

Z


I've actually come to the conclusion that my brain works like this.... long before I ever heard of Asperger's.... I always thought of it as a disconnect between the left side of my brain and the right side, but it doesn't have to be that precise... the disconnect could be happening anywhere and be in multiple places....

so yes... i agree with your statement


WOW! Left and right side of the brain not working together - I realized this was my problem when I took several tests over the course of a couple of days. If the test started out with "left side" questions (logic) I did poorly on the "right side" questions. And the same was true if I the test started out with "right side" stuff. I couldn't shift focus between my brain hemispheres and then did poorly on at least half of the test. That experience led to a whole lot of thinking as to what "mechanically" wasn't working in my brain.

Z

Edit: Grammar.



Last edited by Zonder on 04 May 2008, 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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04 May 2008, 10:01 am

ciounoi wrote:
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Its great that you have a sig. other that you can relate to, ciounoi! And what you describe sounds a lot like some form of ASD or AS. You know, even if I had found other "brains" to relate to when I was younger, I would still have the social problems and narrow interests that I still have.


I am very, very lucky! :lol: So lucky, in fact, I get the feeling that something must be wrong because I've never found anyone else like me before. :wink:


Nothing is wrong - you just had the great fortune to find someone you understand and are comfortable with. Just because someone might have a the traits of an ASD or Giftedness doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of disconnected misery.

Z



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04 May 2008, 10:13 am

Smelena wrote:
Is giftedness separate to Asperger's, or just undiagnosed Asperger's?


Giftedness and autism are two completely different things. If there's a correlation between Asperger's and giftedness it's because autistic people with higher IQs are higher functioning and so are more likely to get diagnosed as Aspergers rather than Autistic Disorder.

There are people who are both gifted and autistic, but the vast majority of people who are members of online groups for the exceptionally gifted are not autistic.

Both autistic and gifted people have a hard time socially, but for different reasons. If someone is gifted, interventions for autism won't work, and vice versa. (Of course, autism may turn out to be more than one thing, too, meaning different interventions for different subtypes.)

Aspergers isn't a list of traits, it's a syndrome or disorder. The list of traits are just to help people figure out which disorder it is when it's obvious someone has a disorder. Having some of the traits of Aspergers, without significant impairment, is diagnostic of nothing.



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04 May 2008, 10:18 am

kit000003 wrote:
To the poster whose neighbour said that gifted people have sensory problems. Not necessarily true, and I would like to see where she got that information. I think she is simply in denial.


Elaine Aron's book The Highly Sensitive Person (web site) points out that 15-20% of the population regularly has serious problems with sensitivity. Many gifted people (though not all) are highly sensitive, and have some of the same sensory issues autistic people do, though there may be differences. There is also a description of sensory issues in gifted people in the book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults.



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04 May 2008, 10:21 am

Anemone wrote:
Smelena wrote:
Is giftedness separate to Asperger's, or just undiagnosed Asperger's?


Giftedness and autism are two completely different things. If there's a correlation between Asperger's and giftedness it's because autistic people with higher IQs are higher functioning and so are more likely to get diagnosed as Aspergers rather than Autistic Disorder.

There are people who are both gifted and autistic, but the vast majority of people who are members of online groups for the exceptionally gifted are not autistic.

Both autistic and gifted people have a hard time socially, but for different reasons. If someone is gifted, interventions for autism won't work, and vice versa. (Of course, autism may turn out to be more than one thing, too, meaning different interventions for different subtypes.)

Aspergers isn't a list of traits, it's a syndrome or disorder. The list of traits are just to help people figure out which disorder it is when it's obvious someone has a disorder. Having some of the traits of Aspergers, without significant impairment, is diagnostic of nothing.


I respectfully disagree with part of your statements. I believe that it is possible (like Daniel says) to be gifted and have AS, or to have AS and be gifted. The two "syndromes" aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. At the same time, just because you have one doesn't mean you have the other. Also, autism, if you concur with the concept of "Autism Spectrum" encompasses a vast variety of abilities that can change over one's lifetime.

If they are completely different things, how can they co-exist in the same person?

Z



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04 May 2008, 10:41 am

Danielismyname wrote:
Yes -- the stereotypical genius has the same problems as the "gifted" individual.

Adults with Asperger's are known to enjoy talking of their interest to others, it's usually talking to them rather than talking with them; the "gifted" individual will share ideas, share information backwards and forwards in a "normal" manner. The individual with Asperger's will usually have the appearance of lecturing others. If they ask for input, it's usually for reassurance of what they already know, and what they know is usually right [as far as understanding of facts go].

A "gifted" individual without AS won't have problems with the stereotypical reciprocal interaction.

Individuals with AS can have a "gifted" level of intellect, just as they can have an average level of intelligence.


I USUALLY don't make the distinction of speaking with as opposed to to. If I speak TO them, it is usually because they can't understand. ALSO, sometimes my talk may APPEAR to go on a wild tangent, but it usually ISN'T! I have ACTUALLY been told to stop talking and later they claim I made a mistake, and I said "NOPE, YOU DID! You didn't want to hear what I had to say. THIS is what I was talking about!"! :lol:



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04 May 2008, 10:43 am

Of course it's possible to have both. I have both. What I meant is that they're independent variables. Like being tall and having blue eyes. Nothing to do with each other (or very very little, not enough to bother about).

Reread my second paragraph, please.

Of the probably hundreds of members of exceptionally gifted groups (above Mensa level), most of whom have some sort of social adjustment problems (otherwise why join a support group?), I only know of three past/present members who are also autistic (including myself), although there may be a few more I haven't heard of, since I don't know everyone. Of course you can be both, but they don't automatically go together.

Being gifted isn't a syndrome, it's just one end of a continuum.



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04 May 2008, 10:58 am

Zonder wrote:
Anemone wrote:
Smelena wrote:
Is giftedness separate to Asperger's, or just undiagnosed Asperger's?


Giftedness and autism are two completely different things. If there's a correlation between Asperger's and giftedness it's because autistic people with higher IQs are higher functioning and so are more likely to get diagnosed as Aspergers rather than Autistic Disorder.

There are people who are both gifted and autistic, but the vast majority of people who are members of online groups for the exceptionally gifted are not autistic.

Both autistic and gifted people have a hard time socially, but for different reasons. If someone is gifted, interventions for autism won't work, and vice versa. (Of course, autism may turn out to be more than one thing, too, meaning different interventions for different subtypes.)

Aspergers isn't a list of traits, it's a syndrome or disorder. The list of traits are just to help people figure out which disorder it is when it's obvious someone has a disorder. Having some of the traits of Aspergers, without significant impairment, is diagnostic of nothing.


I respectfully disagree with part of your statements. I believe that it is possible (like Daniel says) to be gifted and have AS, or to have AS and be gifted. The two "syndromes" aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. At the same time, just because you have one doesn't mean you have the other. Also, autism, if you concur with the concept of "Autism Spectrum" encompasses a vast variety of abilities that can change over one's lifetime.

If they are completely different things, how can they co-exist in the same person?

Z


WELL SAID! HECK, I used to wonder why I didn't fit the male stereotypes so well, and now I see AS where it explains a lot of that and other things. I am a programmer, and I fit the old programmer stereotype. TODAY, the programmers job is broken into SO many parts, and is considered simpler than it is(for most people), etc.... So there is no way to fix a true stereotype to the average "programmer" today. You can't even say that they all program!

BTW You make a good point about the gifted and AS labels, and gifted people don't simply parrot or talk TO. Heck, our talks aren't that repetitive.



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04 May 2008, 11:04 am

Anemone wrote:
Of course it's possible to have both. I have both. What I meant is that they're independent variables. Like being tall and having blue eyes. Nothing to do with each other (or very very little, not enough to bother about).

Reread my second paragraph, please.

Of the probably hundreds of members of exceptionally gifted groups (above Mensa level), most of whom have some sort of social adjustment problems (otherwise why join a support group?), I only know of three past/present members who are also autistic (including myself), although there may be a few more I haven't heard of, since I don't know everyone. Of course you can be both, but they don't automatically go together.

Being gifted isn't a syndrome, it's just one end of a continuum.


Thanks for the clarification, Anemone. I guess that I still have a question, though. With brain study still in its infancy, who can say that the two aren't related. I'm still amazed to go through the list of the sensitivities, difficulties with interaction, and intense focus of some who are "gifted" and think to myself - "That sure looks a lot like ASDs." Gifted is just a much more positive label. I know that I'm not of the Mensa level, but with the intelligence I do have, I've had tremendous struggles, and those struggles aren't a result of not being understood or being bullied. They are a result of how my brain is wired.

Its kind of ironic, but is Aspergers an individual syndrome, or just one end of a continuum?

I need to correct a bit of what I wrote - I don't mean to imply that all genius is the result of Neurological Transfer Dysfunction, but that the theory seems to explain some genius: why high intelligence and ASD-appearing deficits can exist in the same person.

Z



Last edited by Zonder on 04 May 2008, 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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04 May 2008, 11:15 am

Anemone wrote:
kit000003 wrote:
To the poster whose neighbour said that gifted people have sensory problems. Not necessarily true, and I would like to see where she got that information. I think she is simply in denial.


Elaine Aron's book The Highly Sensitive Person (web site) points out that 15-20% of the population regularly has serious problems with sensitivity. Many gifted people (though not all) are highly sensitive, and have some of the same sensory issues autistic people do, though there may be differences. There is also a description of sensory issues in gifted people in the book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults.


Also, Hoagies' Gifted (a fairly comprehensive online resource for giftedness) has a list of resources about sensory sensitivities in gifted people.

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/sensitivity.htm

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/sensory_integration.htm