According to Simon Baron Cohen, I can´t have AS!

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Morgana
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13 Apr 2009, 3:15 pm

Okay...

For those of you who don´t know me, I am an undiagnosed female. I experience many similarities with AS, and, it seems like some sort of autistic spectrum disorder does much to clarify my life and behavior up until this point...

But, who knows? I just read, in a book about AS and relationships, that Simon Baron Cohen has devised a list of 10 important features of AS. Apparently, ALL 10 of these features need to be present in order to have AS. In looking over the list, I find that I do not have one of these important, required features. That is:

"I did not enjoy imaginative story writing at school"

Well....I did enjoy creative writing assignments; in fact, that was one of my favorite things to do! So, I guess I am exempt...(?)

As this is a "feature" of AS that I haven´t come across yet in my extensive reading, I was just curious what others have to say about it. Are there any diagnosed people out there who enjoyed imaginative story writing in school? Or, if this is an important feature of AS, can someone explain the logic of it? Or is it just another one of those "AS people have no imagination" things again...(?)


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13 Apr 2009, 3:22 pm

That's bull crap.


I did cat stories when I was 10 and 11. I wrote about 101 Dalmatians when I was in 6th grade. I even told a story about me having ten hamsters in my bush in my backyard when I was seven. I once wrote about my 4th grade teacher's imaginary student who was very dumb when I was 10. He told funny stories about him. His name was Ferd Berferd, his favorite food was Kibbles N Bits, his favorite word was "duh" and his favorite state was Idaho because it sounds like it has "duh" in it. His house is crooked, when he was two, his toy balls were blocks, how did he get that way? A bump in the head when he was a baby. He was dumber than a retarded person. He forgot to take off the lens cap when he took pictures when he ended up at Disneyland on accident. When he writes with a pen, the paper is all blank because he forgets to remove the cap. If you use your imagination very well, you start seeing him.



Mage
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13 Apr 2009, 3:28 pm

Simon Baron Cohen is a branch all his own. Don't worry, there are still plenty schools of thought out there that have completely different views of AS diagnostic criteria.



kissmyarrrtichoke
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13 Apr 2009, 3:35 pm

Have you tried his AQ test?


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13 Apr 2009, 3:39 pm

I loved writing stories, and also drawing pictures of imaginary scenes.

I am undiagnosed, but I match all the criteria in the DSM, including the Extended text, so ...

I think he is skewed towards the trad "male presentation of AS" model, especially as his whole slant in research is towards the testosterone theory of AS.

.



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13 Apr 2009, 4:28 pm

I say bs. I've seen plenty people on here doing creative writing. I used to be pretty good at it when I was younger. (Not so much now; my writing is limited to mostly poetry these days.).

Edit: And yeah, I'm diagnosed.


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Sora
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13 Apr 2009, 4:36 pm

Diagnosed and I write. Fiction. Good fiction.
Not saying I did any of it in school though because school was hell.


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13 Apr 2009, 4:45 pm

I'm diagnosed autistic, and I enjoyed creative writing when I was in school.


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semota
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13 Apr 2009, 5:17 pm

Morgana wrote:
Okay...

For those of you who don´t know me, I am an undiagnosed female. I experience many similarities with AS, and, it seems like some sort of autistic spectrum disorder does much to clarify my life and behavior up until this point...

But, who knows? I just read, in a book about AS and relationships, that Simon Baron Cohen has devised a list of 10 important features of AS. Apparently, ALL 10 of these features need to be present in order to have AS. In looking over the list, I find that I do not have one of these important, required features. That is:

"I did not enjoy imaginative story writing at school"

Well....I did enjoy creative writing assignments; in fact, that was one of my favorite things to do! So, I guess I am exempt...(?)

As this is a "feature" of AS that I haven´t come across yet in my extensive reading, I was just curious what others have to say about it. Are there any diagnosed people out there who enjoyed imaginative story writing in school? Or, if this is an important feature of AS, can someone explain the logic of it? Or is it just another one of those "AS people have no imagination" things again...(?)


I also think that it is bullcrap. I'm not diagnosed, but I'm quite definitely an Aspie, and I write and publish poems and fiction. Good poems and fiction. :)
My fiancé is a diagnosed Aspie, and he enjoys to read fiction very much, though SBC also states that Aspies prefer books full of facts and exact data.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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13 Apr 2009, 5:18 pm

I obsess on words. I had a copy of a thesaurus that I used to look up certain words and other words that had similar meanings. I wrote paragraphs, then looked up certain adjectives in my thesaurus and switched them for more flamboyant ones with similar meanings. I convinced myself this gave the paragraph a unique edge that differentiated it from the billions of other paragraphs. I was obsessed with how I could make what I created different from what others wrote.

I approached creative writing from this angle but was told it's not the right way.
I got out of the habit of doing this and lost interest in my thesaurus. It's rare that I bother looking a word up online unless I'm unsure of the correct spelling. Every once in a while I will look up a definition. I use the thesaurus option at Dictionary dot com even less.
I enjoy the writing process. It's always intrigued me.



2ukenkerl
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13 Apr 2009, 6:01 pm

Mage wrote:
Simon Baron Cohen is a branch all his own. Don't worry, there are still plenty schools of thought out there that have completely different views of AS diagnostic criteria.


I am quoting mage, because she is RIGHT! Cohen seems to go very much AGAINST the grain. People with AS SUPPOSEDLY don't like fiction, unless it is SCI-FI. Well, for the most part, that IS true of me, but WHY? Hey, I like sherlock holmes, agatha cristie((sp?) etc....

I ALSO studied words when I was young. As for creative writing, I am probably not likely to write a fiction book. I just don't see enough reason to, and always want to improve it. I DID end up writing a paper about Kenya, of all things, when I was about 8. A little later, I wrote a paper about some insects I had, almost like pets. I wrote a term paper abput the theories behind I.C.s But I wrote them only because they were assignments.

HECK, I was asked in several classes to keep a journal. I wish I DID get into that habit, but I never did.



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13 Apr 2009, 6:09 pm

I think the imagination deficit might be a feature of classic autism but not AS, especially not in females with AS!

I was very creative and imaginative too.. and as child and now as an adult. I also like writing fantasy stories in school and starting writing serious fiction in college. Without knowing it, I made up characters who had AS too, as I put some of my personal traits in my characters. I was inspired by Joyce and Cheever's short stories as well as my own imagination!



kaitlyn_loves_music
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13 Apr 2009, 6:21 pm

yeah i cant relate to that.
i was very imaginative when i was a little kid i would make up random stories playing with barbies and bossing people around to play the parts that i made up haha.



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13 Apr 2009, 6:23 pm

I think AS lends itself well to fiction considering the amount of time you spend locked in your own world. I've written entire stories before I've sat down at the computer.

I think a lot of Baron Cohen's diagnostic methods are full of s**t. The AQ test doesn't account for sensory problems at all and although the extreme male brain theory is interesting... it's far too elegant of a solution as to "what causes autism".



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13 Apr 2009, 6:31 pm

I am a diagnosed AS. I love creative writing. I have always liked it. It is true what others are saying here---Cohen is sort of on a branch all his own. A lot of his stuff is theoretical.

Now---what about H.G. Wells? He is considered by many experts to be AS. He wrote creatively. What about Hans Christian Anderson? He is also considered AS. And he wrote children's fairy tales.

Now here is something interesting I noticed about myself the other day. One of my students is writing a novel. I am also writing a novel. I asked the student what the focus of his novel was, and he said on these certain characters and their conflicts. Many authors have characters at the center of their novels. However, almost everything I have ever written creatively is centered on objects. The novel I am working on is sci-fi/horror and is focused on three mansions and their time portals and a cave. In the past my focuses have been on things like earthworks, roller coasters, etc. in my works. I am very object oriented. That to me is an autistic in me in regards to my writing (my opinion).

In music, I can create my own songs. That is imaginative and creative. But then again, my love for music is out of obsession with particular musical instruments. I become extremely fascinated with an instrument such as on organ or a dulcimer, then I teach myself how to play it in a short amount of time. If I had no fascination for musical instruments, I don't think I would be playing music. I more fascinated with the object (the instrument) than I am the song.

I don't think you can go on what Cohen says as for determining if you have AS or not. And, I don't think you can go on what I say either. You see, there are different types of AS personalities (eight I think???---at least I saw that here once on a video).

And...at my school...one of the most sociable and athletic and likeable and outgoing boys in the junior high has classic autism. But according to what you read about classic autism he sort of defies what you would think he could do. He has even appeared on the school news network doing his own creative and imaginative body drumming to rap music.

This stuff you read that says AS or classic autism people can't do certain things is...well...not true. We are humans too and we have imaginations. So Morgana---I wouldn't think too much about Cohen's theories here.


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