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KenG
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16 Aug 2008, 6:08 am

"No one knows why autistic children are often so beautiful, but it can be a great comfort to their parents":
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ ... eatures102


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MrMark
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16 Aug 2008, 7:01 am

Doesn't exactly paint an accurate picture.

"...nobody would have known he was suffering any illness." (Autism is not an illness.)

"in the majority of cases there is some mental retardation" (People with Asperger's Syndrome usually have normal or above normal IQs.)


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KenG
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16 Aug 2008, 8:03 am

Mind you, the article was published back in 2001 -
The perception of autism changed greatly since then.


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beentheredonethat
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18 Aug 2008, 12:01 am

Hans Asperger was working in 1944 (I was born in 1942). He was working in an extremely restrictive environment (for those of you who remember what was going on in 44 in Europe), and he was using tools that today wouldn't be considered tools. This is not exactly a criticism. This is another century. We still know very little about the brain (this from an neurologist friend of mine). "We can describe its structure, we can sort of see parts of it become active with some of our tools but, you see, we don't understand most of what we're looking at." I asked him "Well, how come you can predict the outcomes of certain types of brain surgery?" and he said, when you're dealing with an illness, a blood clot or a tumor or the like, you pretty much know that if a patient displays certain symptoms, there is a very good likelyhood that they've got a certain disease. Let me tell you about strokes. One of the most simple tests to see if someone has just suffered a stroke is to ask them to stick their tongue straight out. If it curves to one side or another, get medical attention." And I said, "You're joking." To which he replied "Oh, no. the other tests are simple too. it's the treatments that are complicated." and then he added "But with Aspergers or anything else on the Autistic spectrum, you're dealing with complete unknowns. There is nothing to be cured, because it's not pathology. It's more that everyone expects everyone else to be a certain way. And that's not science. It's prejudice. Come back in 10 years, and let's talk. I predict we'll be in exactly in the same place we are today. We know what all of the chemicals in the brain do....that certain chemicals that seem to have no function, in fact, function to make up chemicals that do have a function, but what do we know about how Autism and Asperger's functions at a chemical level? Damned near nothing. We do know, however, that there is some sort of a connection between the chemical balance of the brains of very creative people and the brains of Autistic people, and often those people are actually the same person. So where is the illness? Where is the pathology? That an autistic child will move around a classroom and not stay in one place is an inconvenience for the teacher, but no one ever asks what he or she sees that the so-called normal people do not see. Not until the individual grows up and wins a Nobel Prize. Then they're amazing. Not sick. Well, it doesn't work quite that way."

Taken from a conversation I had with Dr. Robert Rubenstein at Stanford University in 2001.

If I said, "There goes Alissa Kennedy, she's autistic." my listener would more than likely say, "oh, it's too bad they can't do anything about that condition." But then if I added "Oh, by the way, she's a biologist who has made more progress on curing cancer than anyone in the field," I'd probably get some strange looks. There is no person Alissa Kennedy that I know of....I made her up. But I'll bet you there are people walking around out there with this unconventional outlook we call Autism who are that bright, and given half a chance, will make those kinds of contributions. And most of the time, people who do make those significant contributions aren't young or beautiful. They are elderly men and women, who have spent their lives figuring out how something the rest of us do not fathom works.

Beentheredonethat



LabPet
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29 Aug 2008, 4:12 pm

KenG: I am a grad student (1stly a chemist) and have transitioned into the neurosciences. Just speaking objectively, there is real evidence of what you've illuminated - it's not 'just conjecture.' True, there are parameters, as always. But, in general, there is an autistic 'look' and this is noted by researchers. Not too surprising. For ex: Those with Down's Syndrome have a distinctive look. Caveat: Autism is not Down's Syndrome so this may not be the best example but I think you follow the logic.

Those with autism, in general terms (!) often present with big eyes that can be shadowy and what is described as 'cherubic/angelic' features. If one looks at photos, photos, photos, of those with autism there is a trend and it's visible.

I had a really great neurologist previously. He was an older man, very experienced, and well-regarded. When I first saw him (I'm so shy) he told me he 'knew' from my look and mannerisms. I was really surprised. I know many 'modern' neuro/psych professionals would eschew this, but I respect this doctor's expertise, and MANY others, should not be discounted. I do look autistic, especially my eyes. I think this might be apparent in my video, but unsure. Again, in general terms; statistical trend. It's not just subjective either. My eye doctor mentioned this as well. And others.

Plus the pale skin, within the confines of one's ethnicity. I am that and have been asked if I feel ok - I'm ghastly pale. Even for an Alaskan!


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sartresue
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29 Aug 2008, 4:57 pm

One for the gapper topic

I think all my NT children are gorgeous. All little ones are beautiful; this is their appeal, and why parents love them so much, no matter what their differences/challenges are.

There was a thread on infant lifeforms a while back. Someone posted a pic of a baby snake and it was very cute. :D


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pezar
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29 Aug 2008, 8:03 pm

LabPet wrote:
KenG: I am a grad student (1stly a chemist) and have transitioned into the neurosciences. Just speaking objectively, there is real evidence of what you've illuminated - it's not 'just conjecture.' True, there are parameters, as always. But, in general, there is an autistic 'look' and this is noted by researchers. Not too surprising. For ex: Those with Down's Syndrome have a distinctive look. Caveat: Autism is not Down's Syndrome so this may not be the best example but I think you follow the logic.

Those with autism, in general terms (!) often present with big eyes that can be shadowy and what is described as 'cherubic/angelic' features. If one looks at photos, photos, photos, of those with autism there is a trend and it's visible.

I had a really great neurologist previously. He was an older man, very experienced, and well-regarded. When I first saw him (I'm so shy) he told me he 'knew' from my look and mannerisms. I was really surprised. I know many 'modern' neuro/psych professionals would eschew this, but I respect this doctor's expertise, and MANY others, should not be discounted. I do look autistic, especially my eyes. I think this might be apparent in my video, but unsure. Again, in general terms; statistical trend. It's not just subjective either. My eye doctor mentioned this as well. And others.

Plus the pale skin, within the confines of one's ethnicity. I am that and have been asked if I feel ok - I'm ghastly pale. Even for an Alaskan!


I was once told by a Jewish woman that I looked as if I had a neurological impairment-this was long before most people had heard of autism outside of Rain Man. She said that some ethnicities are very good at "reading" people's faces, and that Jews are one of them. Possibly this is why Jews are so good at business-they can negotiate easily due to their ability to read people, and business is all about negotiation and selling. It's a sixth sense, I guess. Donald Trump has talked about businesspeople having a sixth sense.



pezar
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29 Aug 2008, 8:18 pm

beentheredonethat wrote:
Hans Asperger was working in 1944 (I was born in 1942). He was working in an extremely restrictive environment (for those of you who remember what was going on in 44 in Europe), and he was using tools that today wouldn't be considered tools. This is not exactly a criticism. This is another century. We still know very little about the brain (this from an neurologist friend of mine). "We can describe its structure, we can sort of see parts of it become active with some of our tools but, you see, we don't understand most of what we're looking at." I asked him "Well, how come you can predict the outcomes of certain types of brain surgery?" and he said, when you're dealing with an illness, a blood clot or a tumor or the like, you pretty much know that if a patient displays certain symptoms, there is a very good likelyhood that they've got a certain disease. Let me tell you about strokes. One of the most simple tests to see if someone has just suffered a stroke is to ask them to stick their tongue straight out. If it curves to one side or another, get medical attention." And I said, "You're joking." To which he replied "Oh, no. the other tests are simple too. it's the treatments that are complicated." and then he added "But with Aspergers or anything else on the Autistic spectrum, you're dealing with complete unknowns. There is nothing to be cured, because it's not pathology. It's more that everyone expects everyone else to be a certain way. And that's not science. It's prejudice. Come back in 10 years, and let's talk. I predict we'll be in exactly in the same place we are today. We know what all of the chemicals in the brain do....that certain chemicals that seem to have no function, in fact, function to make up chemicals that do have a function, but what do we know about how Autism and Asperger's functions at a chemical level? Damned near nothing. We do know, however, that there is some sort of a connection between the chemical balance of the brains of very creative people and the brains of Autistic people, and often those people are actually the same person. So where is the illness? Where is the pathology? That an autistic child will move around a classroom and not stay in one place is an inconvenience for the teacher, but no one ever asks what he or she sees that the so-called normal people do not see. Not until the individual grows up and wins a Nobel Prize. Then they're amazing. Not sick. Well, it doesn't work quite that way."

Taken from a conversation I had with Dr. Robert Rubenstein at Stanford University in 2001.


I think that our culture is a huge part of the problem. There is still a real tendency to view those who act outside of social norms as possessed by demons, or some psychobabble that means the same thing. Conversely, Orthodox communities in Israel view autistics as "touched by G-d" and having a special connection to Him. Given that these two norms have held fast over centuries, as a look at the Bible or the witch trials in 15th century Europe can attest, I'm convinced that there's a genetic component to it. Also, followers of West African-based religions such as Voudoun in Haiti (aka voodoo) have a tendency to go into trances and act unpredictably, which is viewed as spirit possession, but in their culture spirit possession is viewed as positive, a mark of a faithful follower. Most of the followers of such religions are descended from West African tribes used to supply the slave trade. Genes again. Interestingly, American blacks who are followers of Christianity will see this as possession by demons, possibly because American blacks have more white genes (as a result of widespread rape of slave women by white masters) than Caribbean blacks, who were largely isolated genetically from their masters. In East Asia mental illness is seen as the gods cursing a family, and the curse must be hidden rather than expunged like in Europe. Asians don't have exorcisms; instead they'll lock the kid in a room or abandon him in the jungle.



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29 Aug 2008, 8:25 pm

pezar: That's really neat! I didn't know that. One lady whom I liked (my hairdresser) told me my eyes looked somewhat like the eyes of her friend who was an epileptic. She said she could 'see' this....I am not an epileptic, per se, but I am seizure prone due to my autism. By this I mean I get really deeply focused and stare a lot. I take mild anti-seizure medication since I *might* have petit mal type seizures (staring....).


BTW, I have a lousy, more like non-existent 6th sense!

Note: I think being 'pretty' &/or angelic featured can give one (ie: me) a real air of vulnerability. I look very naive....and I am too. I think for those who bully we really are easy targets. I cry easily and become verbally confused - I would make a positively lousy businessman.


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29 Aug 2008, 10:24 pm

pezar wrote:
LabPet wrote:
KenG: I am a grad student (1stly a chemist) and have transitioned into the neurosciences. Just speaking objectively, there is real evidence of what you've illuminated - it's not 'just conjecture.' True, there are parameters, as always. But, in general, there is an autistic 'look' and this is noted by researchers. Not too surprising. For ex: Those with Down's Syndrome have a distinctive look. Caveat: Autism is not Down's Syndrome so this may not be the best example but I think you follow the logic.

Those with autism, in general terms (!) often present with big eyes that can be shadowy and what is described as 'cherubic/angelic' features. If one looks at photos, photos, photos, of those with autism there is a trend and it's visible.

I had a really great neurologist previously. He was an older man, very experienced, and well-regarded. When I first saw him (I'm so shy) he told me he 'knew' from my look and mannerisms. I was really surprised. I know many 'modern' neuro/psych professionals would eschew this, but I respect this doctor's expertise, and MANY others, should not be discounted. I do look autistic, especially my eyes. I think this might be apparent in my video, but unsure. Again, in general terms; statistical trend. It's not just subjective either. My eye doctor mentioned this as well. And others.

Plus the pale skin, within the confines of one's ethnicity. I am that and have been asked if I feel ok - I'm ghastly pale. Even for an Alaskan!


I was once told by a Jewish woman that I looked as if I had a neurological impairment-this was long before most people had heard of autism outside of Rain Man. She said that some ethnicities are very good at "reading" people's faces, and that Jews are one of them. Possibly this is why Jews are so good at business-they can negotiate easily due to their ability to read people, and business is all about negotiation and selling. It's a sixth sense, I guess. Donald Trump has talked about businesspeople having a sixth sense.



hmmm im jewish and i cant read faces.................................................