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SteveBorg
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21 Dec 2008, 2:24 pm

Thanks for the excellent feedback. There is a great book I want to get, it's called the Gift of Aspergers. Anyone remember the author?


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21 Dec 2008, 2:28 pm

SteveBorg wrote:
Fnord, I can definitely understand your concern, especially if you have been burned in the past. What were some of your experiences of 'being burned'. Have you had NT's lurk around the forum for a while, just to take advantage of people in terms of pushing their products, etc?

No thank you.

I may have placed myself too close to the banhammer for what I've posted already.

Good luck.


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21 Dec 2008, 2:33 pm

Dammit, Fnord, you've managed to do considerably better than a lot of us, so your thoughts are likely to have some value.

What's he gonna learn from me, how to get thrown out of grad school twice and then become a farm laborer?


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21 Dec 2008, 3:02 pm

CanyonWind wrote:
Dammit, Fnord, you've managed to do considerably better than a lot of us, so your thoughts are likely to have some value...

Did someone say the word "value"? :wink:

"Anything worth doing is worth doing well, while anything worth doing well is worth being paid well to do." -- Me.

"Jumped into the Chevy and headed for big lights. Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights..." -- Lyrics from "How Bizzare" by OMC.


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Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature,
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individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


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21 Dec 2008, 3:04 pm

My philosophy on work is: If anything is worth doing, its worth doing badly.


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Callista
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21 Dec 2008, 3:13 pm

How about, "If anything is worth doing, it's worth obsessing over, perfecting your method, speeding up past the other employees, and then getting stressed out and quitting because the fluorescent lights are giving you dizzy spells and you can't think over your achy feet"? Heh.

Sensory problems trump social ones for me. Also cognitive stuff, like on the spot planning--thus the 'perfect your method' step, because doing things without a plan is a recipe for confusion and freeze-ups!

I agree on the "turning 18" thing. Kids who lose services at 18--and this is a fact of life for many--need to be not just taught how to cope on their own, but taught how to learn things that may have been missed. Learning to develop a method for new tasks is rather important if you think anything like me.


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21 Dec 2008, 3:16 pm

Callista wrote:
How about, "If anything is worth doing, it's worth obsessing over, perfecting your method, speeding up past the other employees, and then getting stressed out and quitting because the fluorescent lights are giving you dizzy spells and you can't think over your achy feet"? Heh.

Consider this one officially yoinked!

Who says Aspers can't be creative?


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Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature,
nor any ultimate evaluation of human nature beyond that which we project onto others,
individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


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21 Dec 2008, 4:49 pm

My mom is a counselor (guidance counselor at a public middle school), and not only am I an aspie, but so is my nephew (I'm 30 and my nephew is 8). Oh, and the nephew is formally diagnosed, but before we knew his diagnosis, everyone called it whatever it I have, and I just haven't actively talked to anyone about it because I don't think they could do much help (outside this forum).

I will say first off, this forum is very therapeutic. It's nice to be a part of a conversation that i just don't get in the world around me. Plus, I love the fact that I can be myself without the social limitations, and to see people having the same problems as myself and how they deal with it is just comforting. I keep trying to talk my sister in letting my nephew go to the kids forum on here, but she said he can't do chat or discussions because he always gives out too much personal information (i.e. addresses, phone numbers).

My mom is a firm believer that parents of Aspergers should come out of the nurturing parent more so than their critical parent. My sister is overly critical, and my nephew gets punished all the time for stupid things (in addition to her taking "him talking back" or "getting the last" word into a level it doesn't need to go which usually ends in an aweful temper tantrum followed by a very depressed crying spell for the guilt associated to the temper tantrum). I believe my mom is right because I prefer the nurture parent, but she is only nurturing to kids. As an adult, she talks to me out of her critical parent, and as a mom, she often talks to me also out of her child when we argue. But, when I'm having a problem and get advised from a critical nature, I find myself defending the very flaws I wanted to fix in addition to prolonging the solution (which I get from myself through trial and error and no one else). Also I noticed my explanations go further with my nephew than my sister's discipline, but since I'm AS, I guess I make more sense to my nephew than the NT's. They think they are social butterflies, but if they were, they would know how to communicate to all types of people not just themselves.

I will also say I read a lot on here how people's parents try to make them socialize or expect them to at least try. Some were even complaining about that, but I think it's better than people being so embarrassed of you that they want you to try not to. In my family, it's always been, "let me do all the talking, you sit quietly and not speak," or "you can go if you promise not to say anything." Especially, I often hear, "Let me deal with that, you don't need to tell that person anything." I often feel like I'm also the one everyone hates to have around as well. They put up with me cause they are family, but they have no interest in what I say and seem annoyed by my presence. One day, my mom was speeding in the car, and I mentioned three times that a cop was ahead (Ohio state cop, which is the worst kind to ever get pulled over by). She totally ignored me and continued her speed. I was in the passenger seat. My sister in the back seat politely mentions, mom I think that's a cop up there, and then my mom was like, "Oh" and started to slow down. It's always like that, even when I'm warning them of potential hazards in a short and to the point statement without the monologue. Even my husband does the same thing, which something like that just happened and he's going to have to learn there are consequences to his actions and thereby, I'm taking a break to come to this forum every time he does that to me. When he starts getting jealous of all you guys, maybe he'll change his tune and show me the respect I deserve. I do think this whole concept is rude, and I feel like the only people that ever loved me died (my dad and grandma). My hubby is a different story, and way too personal for here (or tmi type thing), but I often suspect he doesn't love me anymore. That's the vibe NT's set out when they treat people like that and act like their presence is a burden. I guess the balance would be to not ignore the AS, but not to force them into situations they don't want to be in. It's also not that we don't socialize well with NT's, but also that it takes a lot out of us to try.

I also believe it's important to give AS people independence. Some people like my sister assume her AS child is facing the same things in the cognitive growth as everyone else. But it's not exactly the case. With my nephew, he has got academics down. He is well above his grade level in reading, writing, and math, and that's really all you need in order to learn and understand science, history, etc., even without an actual teacher. But he's lacking growth in other things that seem to come natural to other kids such as neurotypical social skills. Aspies communicate well to each other, so our social skills are actually good, it's socializing with neurotypicals that seem to be the problem (i seemed to just have discovered this mentality). In addition to that, I think part of that lack of neurotypical understanding makes it hard for us to take someone's word on things, and thereby, we need to learn the hard way often, and it would be better if the hard way was under supervision (like a parent controlled exercise) rather than learning it in adulthood where nobody is controlling the hazards.

I also think it's important for Aspies to understand what makes them Aspergers, otherwise, they assume they are supposed to be normal. Once you learn what makes you Aspie, then you don't feel like you are supposed to be anything but yourself. I do believe in having pride for being that way because many good things do come out of it (they seem to be varied, but many creative aspies think it's their AS traits that contibute to their creativity, same with those that are good with math or have a high IQ, but not all have the same gifts). I will say that the pride has made it easier to deal with all the bully type behaviors we seem to receive from others. Without the pride, it can turn easily into ego if not coaxed properly at a young age. I figure it is going to come naturally at some point, so why not help someone transition that into something healthier and positive. It's very important for everyone to understand that Aspergers may fall under autism, but it's not a disability or handicap or a dysfunction. It just means (by the very definition of syndrome) we are different. There's nothing wrong with it. What's wrong is when people decide there's something wrong with it because it's different. I should also suggest good reading material on that is "The Giver." I forget who wrote it, but I seem to think back to that story often when thinking on AS. We also seem to find a lot of AS comparisons (me and Ephe--I forget the rest of her name exactly) to the Geico commercials with the cavemen (I think we referred to it in the ProCure thread).

The main thing is focus on AS improving weaknesses, but also focusing on the NT's to accept diversity.



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21 Dec 2008, 5:18 pm

Annoying and Time-Wasting Behaviors Exhibited by my Psychotherapist

1: My psychotherapist appears to belive that many things I say are some sort of double-entendre. I say I am troubled by an irrational feeling, she believes I have said, "I hate myself." Actually, if I say my emotional state is irrational, I mean that it is not in accordance with reason, not that I am bad. I don't hate myself for feeling that way, I just don't understand why I do. In any case, I'm really sick of trying to get my psychotherapist to understand that I am not making creepy puns all the time. I do not do that.

2: My psychotherapist appears to think that if I become angry during a session, I am angry at her. I suffer from a generalized irritation at the world which did not extend to my therapist until I noticed that she was failing to adjust her view of what people are like to accomodate my personal idieosyncracies, in spite of my explaining them to her. Actually I feel sort of protective of her, as she is pretty and young. Which makes the fact that I can't be angry and my suspicion that she is afraid of me additionally counter-productive.

3: My psychotherapist thinks that I should have cathartic emotional displays in her presence. She encourages me to 'let go.' I explain to her that if I do, it will take me hours to pull myself together and I have other stuff to do today, thanks. She continues on this line. Eventually I have an uncontrollable crying jag, otherwise known as a weeping meltdown. My therapist is very upset by this, makes me late so I nearly miss my train, and keeps telephoning to see if I've killed myself yet, or something.

4: My psychotherapist has repeatedly appeared to be criticising me for not getting better as soon as my insurance company thinks I should.



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22 Dec 2008, 12:48 am

Quote:
I should also suggest good reading material on that is "The Giver." I forget who wrote it, but I seem to think back to that story often when thinking on AS. We also seem to find a lot of AS comparisons (me and Ephe--I forget the rest of her name exactly) to the Geico commercials with the cavemen (I think we referred to it in the ProCure thread).
Lois Lowry. I also recommend the two sequels (Gathering Blue and Messenger).

I disagree that AS is "not a disability". Sometimes it is. In any diagnosable case of AS, there are drawbacks even where there are no significant impairments. But "disability" does not mean "bad thing". Having a disability isn't negative nor shameful, and there's nothing that says good things can't come along with the impairments. I know that's not an attitude that's very popular in our culture; and I know a lot of people like to stress that AS isn't a disability for them; but the fact that they're still perceived as disabled tends to put them in the same social category as the rest of us, facing the same prejudice.

Still, I think it's important--especially since there are, by definition, always drawbacks to having diagnosable AS--to make sure that any newly diagnosed Aspie knows three things:

There's nothing wrong with being disabled, whether you are disabled only in peoples' perceptions or in an objective "needs extra assistance" sense.

You don't have to prove your worth by the skills you have.

You aren't worth any less because of your weaknesses.


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22 Dec 2008, 5:46 pm

Callista wrote:
Still, I think it's important--especially since there are, by definition, always drawbacks to having diagnosable AS--to make sure that any newly diagnosed Aspie knows three things:

There's nothing wrong with being disabled, whether you are disabled only in peoples' perceptions or in an objective "needs extra assistance" sense.

You don't have to prove your worth by the skills you have.

You aren't worth any less because of your weaknesses.


As usual, Callista, you write with such clarity and insight. These are the three things that I have never, ever gotten from a therapist. This is not to say that therapists haven't helped me in other ways. They have. But these are the three things that I've needed to hear for a long time, and I'm starting to simply speak them to myself.

Steve, it's such a wide spectrum, and everyone on it is an individual, so it's difficult to come up with words that would work for everyone. As an Aspie, I find that there is a central problem with much of the therapeutic profession: the idea that if you just work hard enough, you can overcome anything. My last therapist kept talking about how after I finished doing EMDR and some more healing work, I was going to "soar" out there in the world. She used that word a lot. It always depressed me, because I wasn't interested in soaring, but I thought I ought to be.

What I'm really interested in is being able to put one foot in front of the other and deal with the practicalities of being an Aspie. In other words, I'd like to feel a little more at home here on planet Earth, and the only way for that to happen is for people to respect that I do not want to "soar" in the world of the typical person. I want to excel at being myself, and in order for a therapist to faciliate that, he or she seriously needs to come into the therapy and really listen. So many therapists I've been to have this weird tape that seems to be playing in the background all the time. They look at you benignly, nod their heads, smile, look concerned, and all the while, I keep hearing this tape, just out of range, that says, "Don't worry; you'll be normal someday."

Make sure that tape isn't playing in your office. In fact, destroy whatever copies you have. The word "normal" should never enter the conversation, because there is no one in this world who is "normal." There are just people who fake it better, that's all.



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23 Dec 2008, 6:38 am

neshamaruach wrote:
So many therapists I've been to have this weird tape that seems to be playing in the background all the time. They look at you benignly, nod their heads, smile, look concerned, and all the while, I keep hearing this tape, just out of range, that says, "Don't worry; you'll be normal someday."


So true. Good description.

neshamaruach wrote:
Make sure that tape isn't playing in your office. In fact, destroy whatever copies you have. The word "normal" should never enter the conversation, because there is no one in this world who is "normal." There are just people who fake it better, that's all.


Good advice.



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23 Dec 2008, 4:50 pm

Wow, is all I can say. I am so grateful for your honest feedback, and I truly will take what you have given me with honor and respect into all my interactions with my current and future clients. You know, I would expect the same out of every therapist, regardless of who the person is and what their 'diagnosis' might be.


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23 Dec 2008, 4:54 pm

neshamaruach wrote:
What I'm really interested in is being able to put one foot in front of the other and deal with the practicalities of being an Aspie. In other words, I'd like to feel a little more at home here on planet Earth, and the only way for that to happen is for people to respect that I do not want to "soar" in the world of the typical person. I want to excel at being myself, and in order for a therapist to faciliate that, he or she seriously needs to come into the therapy and really listen. So many therapists I've been to have this weird tape that seems to be playing in the background all the time. They look at you benignly, nod their heads, smile, look concerned, and all the while, I keep hearing this tape, just out of range, that says, "Don't worry; you'll be normal someday."

Make sure that tape isn't playing in your office. In fact, destroy whatever copies you have. The word "normal" should never enter the conversation, because there is no one in this world who is "normal." There are just people who fake it better, that's all.


Interesting post, this is exactly the problem I have in my life. People thinking I am capable of things NTs can do when in actual fact I cant, and truth be told I would just rather live my own kind of life than waste any more time trying to aspire to something that is so wrong for me, and so out of reach. I want peace, and balance in my life.


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SteveBorg
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31 Dec 2010, 7:07 pm

CanyonWind wrote:
Digressing for a moment to the original topic, you might want to suggest to those kids that not everybody shares their fascination with the architecture of Korean grain silos in the 1700's.

It took me a long time to figure that out on my own.


So I think you're helping me see that I need to help clients realize that they need to consider others' interests, and not overdo their own specific interests when speaking to and interacting with others. Thank you. I'll keep that in mind.

Steve


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31 Dec 2010, 8:41 pm

zen_mistress wrote:
neshamaruach wrote:
What I'm really interested in is being able to put one foot in front of the other and deal with the practicalities of being an Aspie. In other words, I'd like to feel a little more at home here on planet Earth, and the only way for that to happen is for people to respect that I do not want to "soar" in the world of the typical person. I want to excel at being myself, and in order for a therapist to faciliate that, he or she seriously needs to come into the therapy and really listen. So many therapists I've been to have this weird tape that seems to be playing in the background all the time. They look at you benignly, nod their heads, smile, look concerned, and all the while, I keep hearing this tape, just out of range, that says, "Don't worry; you'll be normal someday."

Make sure that tape isn't playing in your office. In fact, destroy whatever copies you have. The word "normal" should never enter the conversation, because there is no one in this world who is "normal." There are just people who fake it better, that's all.


Interesting post, this is exactly the problem I have in my life. People thinking I am capable of things NTs can do when in actual fact I cant, and truth be told I would just rather live my own kind of life than waste any more time trying to aspire to something that is so wrong for me, and so out of reach. I want peace, and balance in my life.

Yes. Thank you to both of you for putting it into such precise words. I spent a year and a half with a therapist who was bent on "reassuring" me that I was fine, and that I should just go out there and do the things I found impossible to do. (I not only have AS but also chronic fatigue, in addition to garden variety depression and anxiety.) This was 15 years ago and so derailed my life (because she encouraged me to let go of what little I had to find greener pastures that never materialized) that I am still suffering its effects today. I look back on what my life was 15 years ago and it was so much more than what I have now. I don't even know how to find peace and balance in my life anymore. I've seen about 14 therapists in the last 20+ years, and none has helped, and every one of them has made me feel angry, desperate, and discouraged.

I would echo the advice that others have given to actually listen to your clients and not assume that they fit into some category. The impression I often got from therapists is that they wanted me to have the problems that they could fix, and whenever I brought up something they didn't know how to deal with, they either just shunted it aside or, worse, tried to change it, by assuming instead that it was some other problem that was familiar to them and that they knew how to handle.