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newchum
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25 Dec 2005, 6:52 am

People with HFA (significant language delay for the most part), have had generally a sort of different experience to those with AS.

Let me talk about my experiences of having HFA, I was non verbal until I was 4 and did not learn to speak in complete sentences until I was 6 or 7. I was diagnosed very early at age 2 and there were going to be intervention programs in place for me just before my parents broke up and my mother took me and my sister from Melbourne to Hobart. My mother very neglectful of me and my sister and I went through no intervention programs like ABA.

As a little kid I was regarded as dumb and stupid, I spent age 5-8 in a special school for the mildly intellectually disabled and even when I was older especially with my father, I was treated like I was mentally handicapped, my dad made excuses for my actions a fair bit of the time. To this very day I keep my distance from the intellectually disabled of society, because I resented the fact that a highly intelligent person like myself would be regarded as intellectually disabled.

Because I have a genius level IQ I was able to catch up to my peers academically by the time I was in say Year 7 (I had to repeat the Year 5 although). People who did not know my HFA diagnosis did not suspect I had it and I was only regarded as a little weird or strange, but some people who did know like my stepmother put me down a lot, saying I could not ever hold down a job or be able to cope at university.

Before I heard about Asperger's syndrome and what it was about, I thought all people with Autism were either Low Functioning or High Functioning (had a speech delay like myself) and were pretty rare in society (1 in 1000). Means I keep my diagnosis pretty quiet and nobody really asked if I was Autistic or not. I suspect my dad still has that view of Autism even now.



Cade
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25 Dec 2005, 10:11 am

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Last edited by Cade on 11 Feb 2006, 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Papillon
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25 Dec 2005, 11:45 am

newchum and Cade,

Thank-you for sharing.

What I see here adds reinforcement to one of my own observations about being AS (or HFA). As I've mentioned in another thread and in a letter I once wrote to an NT person who thought I wouldn't "get it", we are slow but not dumb. The gears in our attics may be slower-turning than those of NT's minds but they do turn just as far, if not further; sort of like that fable about the tortoise and the hare.

The mis-diagnosis and misunderstanding we encounter so much are just examples of how so many NT's (including those so well educated in Psychology) underestimate us so drastically.

Oh to be an Aspie! Michaelangelo and Einstein are just two great minds who are believed to have been AS or HFA.

People Are Strange :wink:


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Cade
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25 Dec 2005, 12:12 pm

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Last edited by Cade on 11 Feb 2006, 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scoots5012
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25 Dec 2005, 12:16 pm

Interesting topic.

Having thoroughly investigated my past, I was more or less one who fell through the cracks. My speech was delayed, but not "significantly". As a result, by the age of three when I turned into the "little profressor", no one thought to even suggest autism to my parents despite the fact that I had most of the behaviors common to kids on the spectrum.

The stereotypes were so deeply ingrained into people back in the mid '80's that everyone was more or less at loss of what to do with me. The best my school district could do was label me as being EBD and offer me special education in a self-contained setting which my parents didn't want to me to go through.

With that in mind, school was not fun place for me to be since I never was given the help I could have used. My relationship with my parents was strained enough to begin with, and school didn't help that at all.


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25 Dec 2005, 1:35 pm

I am a slower thinker moreso than many NAs, though I think very well-- sometimes superior to speedier thinkers. It just takes time to get the cognitive juices flowing. I think this also makes me more careful, deliberate, and thorough in my cogitations.

But I'm also a talker and began at the age of ten months and haven't shut up since. :lol:


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Cade
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25 Dec 2005, 3:06 pm

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Last edited by Cade on 11 Feb 2006, 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sophist
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25 Dec 2005, 3:28 pm

Yeah, as for me even though I have language problems (finding the right words, stuttering, etc.), I've always been a talker. I'm almost at the other end of the talk spectrum in that sense to many of you more silent ones. But when I talk it still focuses around interests and myself, etc. I just go on and on and on.

I have an Aspie friend who I talk to on the phone with each week (he lives up in Boston) and he's incredibly quiet and more inclined to listen. I am incredibly not quiet and less inclined to listen (I don't listen well at all), and so we fit great together as per conversations. I do most of the talking, on and on and on, and he's content to mostly listen with comments here and there.

I almost have a pressure of speech, though different than that found in Bipolar. I can always find something I feel I need to say and it bugs me if I can't say it. I always gotta get my 2 cents in. Which is also probably why my post count is so high. I rarely hold anything back, unless I'm just tired.

Though I get almost deadly silent if I'm anxious.


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Cade
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25 Dec 2005, 3:39 pm

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Last edited by Cade on 11 Feb 2006, 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ilikedragons
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25 Dec 2005, 9:57 pm

When I was little I wouldnt talk. I cant remember it.



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25 Dec 2005, 10:24 pm

For me it is hard to say.

I asked my mom about it, and I got the impression that I learned to talk and read very early on.

However, she insisted that I learned to talk, walk, and read&write at normal ages. It's almost as if she convinced herself that I didn't develop until I was at a normal age. Jeez... some parents are so dumb.

I don't remember about writing, that might have happened late. But I'm convinced at this point that I did in fact develop unusually early.

For the record I was tested for IQ back in preschool and despite having a high IQ I was also put in special ed, one reason being that "I didn't make friends." Grr.....



Sophist
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26 Dec 2005, 12:33 pm

Cade wrote:
it's more that if I feel comfortable, I will just gab on. If I'm not comfortable, or if I'm tired, or preoccuped, I am prefectly content to be quiet and thoroughly nonverbal.


Exactly. But maybe I'm more often around people I feel comfortable with, so I gab, hehe.

Cade wrote:
I do have a mild speech problem - I can hear words correctly in my head, and know how they are pronounced, but I often mispronounced certain words. What's more is I often can hear my own mispronouncations. It's one of the reasons why I suspect I have NVLD along with EFD.


It's interesting you mention that. This is one of my new hypotheses that there are symptoms of certain kinds of Aphasia in the Spectrum and these symptoms make up one part of Autism. I think language is one of the greatest differences between Aspies and HFAers. It would make sense that perhaps HFAers are affected more greatly in some of the language centers in the brain.

But for us, some of the Aspies symptoms would be more akin to Wernicke's Aphasia (mild) or conduct Aphasia. My mind boggles at the vast number of Aphasias and many of the similarities.

I also wouldn't doubt that NvLD has Aphasiac symptoms, too, going along with my previous brain damage hypothesis and that the Autty Spectrum is caused by this. I've already heard it mentioned that NvLD is likely due to brain damage.

But I think the language symptoms you're talking about are also seen in AS. But that doesn't also mean you don't have NvLD as well, since about 40% of Aspies have NvLD, too.

Highly interesting. These subjects are some of the things I can just gab away on endlessly, exciting myself and after awhile no doubt boring the other person to death. Ahhhh... I love this stuff. :D


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27 Dec 2005, 12:01 am

Why do you keep talking about non applicables sophist?

I have AS, and I don't even know if its the same as HFA. I'm very high functioning, and was pretty much the same as everyone else, I was smart, clever, did well in regular school with the NTs workwise.

I talked when I was very young, and learnt how to brush my teeth at about 3 or 4 like most people.



danlo
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27 Dec 2005, 11:34 am

Since you've asked for stories, here's mine.

I had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccination when I was very young, I was clinically dead and was deprived of oxygen for several minutes before being revived. As a result, I was not diagnosed with autism until I was 11, because I was just considered brain damaged and treated as such. I received a type of intervention developed for brain damaged children from my mother, who picked up some techniques from Ian Hunter, an Australian expert on helping brain damaged kids.
I don't know when I started to talk, only that it was late, but I remember receiving speech therapy for a while when I was 6-7. I went to normal school until I was 7, then my mother removed me and my 6 siblings from mainstream schooling and homeschooled us until we reached the age of 13, when I went to High School.
High school was a breeze. I was well-liked, had good grades, and had very little bullying except from my friends. The teachers sorta took the role of my parents while I was at school, looking out for me. That was probably because of my mother, since I think most of the teaching staff was aware that I was autistic. I made very little effort to fit in with everyone else, it wasn't something that anyone ever pressured me into.
I left high school and home to go to the city and study at University. I failed pretty miserably. Everything I have tried over the past 4 years I've pretty much failed at, because I've lost any drive to do anything. Since leaving home, I've become a lot better at socializing, yet lost my ability to suppress my autistic behavior at the same time. Things I used to take for granted, have slipped from my control. And that's pretty much my life over the past 21 years.



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27 Dec 2005, 12:56 pm

I will just post on my observations of my youngest son who has Autistic Disorder, or PDD or HFA whichever. His original diagnosis was Autism (Kanner's subtype, High Functioning).

He was late talking. (Around 4), He was 8 before he started some sentences.
He is just now learning reading, still only on sight words.

Quite frequently he has difficulty coming up with the names for objects, although he knows the functions of them. For example, yesterday he came up to me holding a mug of hot cocoa and asked me for the thing that people carry when they go to work. After further thought I realized he wanted a coffee cup with a lid. (he wanted to take his cocoa with us) This was a problem when he was younger and would manifest as behaviors when he said one word and we were supposed to know what he wanted.

When he isn't over-stimulated he is quite adept with mechanical things. Fixing things and figuring out how things work. This ability is almost instinct.

He does have a slow processing time at times; I attribute this to his brains ability to file things differently. (I don't usually have a slower processing time)

Despite his initial speech delay, he can be very talkative when he gets going on a subject.
He is very affectionate with people he knows, and loves little kids.


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