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mel
My godson has been diagnosed as being somewhere on the Autism spectrum. Some have said Asperger's, but he is not a textbook case, if so. He loves to be hugged and kissed, does like unknown people (though it gets him a little off balance and moody later to have had a new experience). J gets especially upset if he sees someone argue--even Ernie and Bert. He is 4, will be 5 in September and is very large for his age, but not fully potty trained, which is hard on everyone. But he is in OT, speech therapy and school for three hrs. a day with great teachers. The connection between his symptoms and gastrointestinal problems, food reactions, etc. is clear. After vomiting from a stomach flu, he spent several hours completely lucid, answering questions without prodding, and making random comments in full sentences. With this clue, his parents started working on the GI/food allergy angle and have seen results. Most recently they have given him natural oils and supplements to keep his bowels moving and it is doing wonders. Just wanted to give this info in case it is of any use, though I know every child/person is different.

As an aside--I am trained as an art teacher and have never, in 15 yrs. teaching, seen a child this young with drawing skills this developed, nor reading, writing, math, and foreign language acquisition like he has. It's photographic memory at work, we think, but it really is amazing. I love him like my own child and am glad to hear from an adult who is functioning, articulate, going to school. I'm sorry to hear that it has been so hard in the past, but if it helps at all, the experiences of adults with this syndrome are not in vain because they have given caregivers knowledge to help the kids that are being diagnosed with it now.
sixelacat
*bump*
mouse
hi mel,

it's really interesting that you should mention this skill in drawing. have you ever read any oliver sacks? he's a neurobiologist who specializes in unusual cases and in his book "the man who mistook his wife for a hat" he mentions several occurences of children with autism or asperger's having extraordinary talent for art--for example, being able to look at a building for two seconds, then go inside and draw the entire thing accurately.

also, my mother is a teacher at a progressive school for children with mental disabilities, and has had many autistic students with very good drawing skills--though not as extraordinary as the ones sacks documents.

anyway, i'd highly recommend the man who mistook his wife for a hat; sacks also recommends a case study of a young autistic girl with remarkable artistic ability, i know the title is "nadia" but i can't remember the author--he does say who it is in his book though.

ETA: just noticed how old this is--dunno if you're still around, mel, but regardless it's interesting for whoever wanted this thread bumped smile.gif
pherber
Um.. me, actually.
I asked in the community forum, if it still exists.
Sixelacat was so nice and bumped it for me! smile.gif

I've been in the old forum, so in this new one I'm still trying to find my way round. unsure.gif

mouse, I hope I'm not interrupting too much, I don't know what the previous conversation was about in detail.*

I've been diagnosed a few months ago, and I still need time to get used to it.
Plus I don't know how to deal with it, since most (actually everyone mad.gif )people don't even know what it is.
So I have a hard time, trying to explain.

For example: In my job, people jump at me and scream in my ears... stuff like that.
If I tell them I'm autistic, they think I'm taking the piss... dry.gif
Same in the supermarket:
People give me this utterly exasperated look, like I'm Mariah Carey demanding pink toilet paper rolleyes.gif when all I want is a little consideration.

(I come from a country where people are rude by nature, and yes I have a strange job...)
laugh.gif




I hope this post wasn't too self absorbed, and if anyone can relate to it, has any experience to share.
mellow.gif


ETA:* I tried to find earlier posts, but they were talking about lunapads.. so I might've jumped in the wrong thread...
mouse
oh, i don't know either pherber! i was just responding to the previous post by mel, cos i saw the thread and got excited.

kudos to you for dealing with all that! i think that first of all, not enough people are even aware of the condition, and secondly, those who are don't realize that people who have it can be very high functioning and seem like anyone else, someone who doesn't have it.

a girl who went to my best friends' college had aspergers and was there majoring in psychology. i think that's incredibly brave.
pherber
Hi mouse!
I was already thinking noone would answer at all...
So how did you get to deal with AS? Do you have it, or friends? I mean apart from the girl in college.
(Darn, I wish I could read some of the previous conversation..)
I can't even blame most people for their ignorance, early this year, I didn't know what AS is myself.



I just came from a shop, where I was treated like a retarded nutcase...
I'm so upset, I think I have to come back later.
anna k
I was diagnosed as having mild autism as a kid. I didn't talk much, I hated loud noises or big images, and was a shy and introspective kid. The traits of Asperger's mirror what I had, and I got through it through therapy, Paxil, and growing up. Now I hardly think about it, but it still creeps me like a bad reminder.
pherber
I'm not sure if I understand that.
You only had autistic traits? I mean autism is a lifelong condition, how can you overcome that, with pills, therapy and growing up? Maybe you just had social phobia?
Sorry, maybe I just got it wrong...I don't mean to criticise either.
anna k
It's ok. I didn't even know I had a learning disability, since I read from an early age and was mentally competent.

These are the Asperger's traits that I had as a kid, which could've been called "mild autism," since Asperger's wasn't discovered until 1994, when I was in sixth grade and had been through the wringer of special-help teachers, repeating fourth grade, and social inadequacies:

Sensory Sensitivity (I was afraid of large posters of people or animals, like a poster of a gorilla or of Kurt Cobain. I got scared in movie theaters because of the sound and not knowing what image would come on the screen next)
Difficulty with Social Relationships (I hated people to hug or kiss me, to pick me up, and always shyed away from touch. I wasn't affectionate and could only be picked up when I was too tired to fight it)
Difficulty with Communication (I couldn't socialize well, and would end up saying something weird that I thought was funny but would turn people off of me before I knew it.)

I have similar traits, and was thought of as mildly autistic, but was otherwise normal.
butterfly
Hi pherber, mouse, annak... and everyone else!
Pherber, I hope you're feeling a little better. I wasn't in the old conversation either.

I know an adult living with asbergers, and a young child who is within the autistic spectrum. The adult is pretty high functioning professionally, and pretty much not high functioning in 'ordinary' life. Married with kids though, and basically happy. Well, I put it like that because I can't speak for someone else's happiness, and because I've had some philosophical conversations with them(I'm being gender neutral as opposed to plural), and they don't see happiness as an aspiration.
The child was due to be one of my most favourite people ever whilst still in the womb. And has exceeded my expections. The parents are good good friends, and seeing them adapt to this is a priviledge. Seeing some other people's reactions has not been so much fun.
So those are my autistic credentials I guess.

Oh, and my book recommendation is: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. It's a novel, and I enjoyed it.
little_idiot
I work with people with disabilities (group homes and such) and I've had several clients with autism and one with Asperger's. These have been my favorite clients, the most interesting and pleasant to work with (most of the time). Granted, some of the autistic clients I've had have physically harmed me, but they were mostly pretty severe cases (like they probably wouldn't ever be able to have jobs or anything like that). The client with Asperger's is very intelligent, graduated at the top of the class from hs after being in all mainstream classes, but this client also has CP and some OCD stuff going on, and independent living or a regular job are not really options. However, I know there are many people with autism or Asperger's who lead full, meaningful lives (and I bet if you asked my clients, most of them would say their lives are full and meaningful too). Have you read about/heard about Temple Grandin? She has autism and has pioneered some great advances in the animal slaughter business (I know that sounds bad but it's really a very good thing).
mouse
yeah, temple grandin is awesome. sacks writes about her too (sorry, i swear i'm not his agent or anything, i just find his books very interesting), and she's written some things herself. check it out pherber smile.gif

my mother works at a school for kids with mental disabilities and has had many autistic/aspergers students whom i've gotten to know through her, though its a school for kids who are not really that high-functioning which is kind of a different subject. i myself have also worked in a few day programs, but again, not as high-functioning.
hellotampon
My mother has always thought I was slightly autistic. I learned to speak, read, and draw well at very early ages and I had a huge, sophisticated vocabulary as a toddler but I've always been painfully shy, obsessive, socially inept, and I have this weird way of zoning out.

I really don't know much about it though. I guess it doesn't matter if I am or not- doesn't change anything.
pherber
ohmy.gif
Wow!
So many replies...

Yeah, Temple Grandin is awesome.
I'm not so sure what to make of that career thing, people like to see it as some indication, how you're coping in life.

But there's the typical aspie problems:

Brilliant, high IQ, but not being able to do such simple things like the laundry... of course it's really easy to do things like the laundry, but aspies seem to have some kind of phobia doing such chores, and since nobody really likes doing the laundry, we get accused of just being lazy.

Highly accomplished, perfectionist, obsessive and having an eye for detail... that's good, but for success in most fields, you need to communicate your ideas, communication, another phobia. You need to "sell" (not sell out) but sell yourself and your work, so it gets recognized.

You need to organize your finances, taxes, schedules and try some regular sleeping pattern! I've yet to meet an aspie, who's good at that.

You should have an interrests, that a majority of people can relate to:

Icelandic literature, mayan deities, the interior design of MGM movies of the 30s, collecting rare 7" singles by 60s psychedelic bands with names like "Strawberry Alarm Clock", the indegenous people of Japan, conspiracy theories surrounding Kaspar Hauser, vintage medical instruments, Ossie Clarke, political satire of the 60s, Jean Harlow, the comics of Julie Doucet.... my interrests bore most people to death... LOL

So being an aspie basically means being a brilliant loser.

I'm sorry, this was a long, rambling monologue... another typical aspie problem!
mouse
kaspar hauser!!!! strawberry alarm clock!!

ETA: VINTAGE MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS!

pherber, your interests sound pretty damn interesting, frankly.
pherber
smile.gif
Oh, thanks!
It's nothing to base a career upon, though..

I was wondering, if my ramblings made sense at all, I was in pretty agitated state yesterday.
laugh.gif
laurenann
i'm a special ed aide in a 4th grade class, and there is a kid with asperger's in the class. he isn't one of my cases, but i'd like to know what i should do to work with him best, since i am expected to work with all of the kids when my inclusion kids don't need me as much.

this kid is a little odd because i guess his parents didn't even tell the school that he has asperger's until this year. my boss told me that he keeps himself together REALLY well at school and then breaks down at home. i know how to work with people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum from this kid, and i am not sure if the same strategies are appropriate.

the other kids either don't notice that he is "weird" or just like him anyway. he seems popular and well adjusted.

is it common for kids with asperger's to regulate themselves at school really well, and sort of hide their issues? that must be really stressful. are there any ways that i can help him express himself? or is that not even how it works? i have also noticed that he has a hard time restating something when someone else doesn't understand - probably from not being able to take another person's perspective. is there anything i can do to help him rephrase his thoughts so he can share his ideas better? finally, as someone who is socially awkward and slightly obsessive, can i related to asperger's at all, or is it totally different?

not to hijack the thread or anything, but any insight would be awesome smile.gif otherwise carry on...

pherber
Oh, you're not hijacking this thread at all! smile.gif

I'm not sure, if I can speak for other aspergergians, because everyone is so different.
But from my experience, I can make a few guesses.
For example, whenever I go out, even if it's just for a walk, I'm really exhausted from the sensory overload, so I can imagine it's like that for the kid, whenever he's in class.

Your question about breaking down in public:
Well just because we don't understand social rules instinctively, doesn't mean we don't understand them at all. We learn things intellectually, that sets us apart from the Kanner Autistics (I guess that's what you meant by "other end of the spectrum") That means he knows, that breaking down in school will just give him a goofy reputation, so he waits until he's home.

Your question about helping him express himself:
He'll probably be better at writing and drawing, than speaking.
Also trying to make him a team worker is just gonna stress him out. We need to let people be themselves, or let them do things the way the're comfortable with, but that's just my opinion.

When I was a kid, I was annoyed when others weren't such quick thinkers, but wether that's the arrogance of the gifted, or lack of empathy, I don't know.
I went to school in the seventies and eighties, and some of the support kids get these days, I could only dream of.

Finally: If you're socially awkward and slightly obsessive, you might actually be one of us. Have you tried some online tests?
I noticed, that a lot of people who work with autistics have at least some autistic traits themselves.
I was fascinated with autism for many years, without knowing I was on the spectrum myself.
Maybe we're instinctively drawn to it?

I hope this wasn't too snappy, but I tried to consider all your questions. Please let me know if the answers made any sense to you, or if you wanna know more.
smile.gif



little_idiot
It's interesting that you say that (that many people who work with autistic people have autistic traits themselves)... Like I said before, the clients I've enjoyed working with the most have been autistic, and I often feel like I can relate to them better than most of their other staff can. And sometimes I feel a little autistic myself, especially in social situations. I've always been kind of different I guess... But I looked up some traits and I certainly have a few of them, like preferring to be alone, seeming aloof, problems making or keeping eye contact (it's very uncomfortable for me), difficulty mixing with others. These aren't huge issues, but it's interesting to think about.

This summer I was working at a day camp for disabled teenagers, and one of my very favorite clients was there, (she has autism) and she really latched onto me. Every time we went on a field trip, she insisted I sit by her on the bus, and I was so proud of her on those field trips because she usually has a really hard time with transitions and going places, but she did so well, and this sounds weird but I felt like I was more like her than the other counselors there... Does that make sense? I mean, I got along really well with my co-workers, and I liked them just fine, but I felt like I had more in common with my autistic seat-mate on those field trips than I did with my actual peers. I just don't feel like I see the world the same as most people do. It's not a bad thing at all--actually I kind of feel like it's to my advantage. I guess Pherber's comment hit home with me.
butterfly
Hi, mind if I join you? Hope not!

I just googled Kanner, because I hadn't heard that name before, but that's a pretty accurate description of the little kid I mentioned.
I think there's a thing, maybe in the States, about handing people cards out that say "My child has autism, and therefore...."(so you don't have to keep explaining), but I don't think the parents like the concept behind that. I don't know for sure, although I know they don't do that.
I keep thinking back to around the time of the diagnosis, and of course their fears and anxieties all seemed normal and natural. It was a really difficult time for them- partly because there's just so much unknown in it all.

But it did seem from where I was standing that nothing had changed, I mean "same kid, different day." I don't mean that in as flippant a way as it probably sounds.

One of our other friends was saying to me how awful it was that this had happened to the parents. I guess I just don't see it that way. At all.
Then there was the "but '*' will never have any friends"- um, I'm '*'s friend. And maybe '*' doesn't want me, or anyone else to be a friend in the conventional way.
I guess it just threw up all these thoughts about how we view the world from our own stand point, and that there are other ways to live. Other ways to judge success.
I wonder sometimes if I'm right, and it certainly doesn't mean that I don't worry about what the future might hold for '*'.
And definately I am not knocking the parents- because they're awesome.

The AS adult that I mentioned has some problems socially, and isn't always the easiest person to be around- but like I said, seems ok with it all. It's not a subject we really talk about directly. To my knowledge it isn't discussed with anyone, really. It's just kind of the way they are, and accepted as such.

I quite often wonder about the spectrum of it all.... how many people are on it and don't know, whether we're all on it somewhere, what difference it makes to know.

Sorry this is long and rambling- I keep editing to shorten it, and then sort of losing my thoughts.
I'm not even sure what my point is. Like I said, it's mainly just stuff I think about on the subject, and then when '*' came along, it all got brought so much closer to home.... I'd like to hear what anyone else thinks, especially since you all seem to have wider experience of the issue.

Oh, and Pherber, Mr&Mrs Clarke and Percy is one of my favorite pictures, I enjoy political satire from the 1960's, I have a few books on Mayan culture, and my friends take the piss out of some of my old vinyls.


anna k
My mom lent me Dawn Prince-Hughes' book about her work with gorillas, and how working among gorillas made her feel more peaceful within herself. Dawn had run away from home as a teenager, lived on the street, and worked as a stripper, though she described herself as dancing in a primal way and not as sexy as the other girls. She got to working with gorillas at a zoo (I forget how) and had a real kinship. When her favorite died, she took the remains to Africa to bury her there.
pherber
Hi Butterfly!
smile.gif
Well I wrote "Kanner" autistic, because I'm not quite sure how you say it in english, and "low functioning" just sounds so awful. I also have a little problem with the "so and so has autism" because it makes it sound like a horrible disease, or curse. I always say I'm autistic. This is no critisism, though. I don't want to split hair.. laugh.gif

I seriously consider making these cards you mentioned, and handing them to people, because I get so tired of explaining. My card would say: "yes, I am autistic and yes, I can speak, but it's hard work for me so stop bothering me!"

I actually like that "same kid, different day" attitude, I wish more people would realize that nothing much changes. For some reason people expect me to just *learn* and so I get criticised for the same things over and over. It's like expecting blind people to just try harder, so they'll see the light. (Sorry for the pun! biggrin.gif)

And to quote you:
"I quite often wonder about the spectrum of it all.... how many people are on it and don't know, whether we're all on it somewhere, what difference it makes to know."
They estimate, that about 1 in 200 children is born on the spectrum, but they included AD(H)S. AS has a 1 in 2000 rate, I think.
It's definetely not the case, that everyone is on it somewhere. Even people with *autistic traits* aren't considered autistic, because one of the definitions for AS is having severe problems in everyday life.
Undiagnosed autistics often suffer from depression or social phobias, some even become suicidal. So it is important to learn *why* someone's different, and most of all, that it is not their fault!



Oh, little idiot, I read somewhere (wikipedia probably), that Hans Asperger had the very syndrome named after him. That's my favourite weird fact on that subject. I try to find a link and post it later.

ETA: Here it is: Hans Asperger
smile.gif

Anna, that book by Dawn Prince-Hughes, was recommended, for me to read, by my caretaker, but I didn't find it yet. I might have to order it online.
butterfly
Thanks Pherber!

The has autism/is autistic difference isn't splitting hairs, it's really interesting. The father and I talked about it, and how the way you define something, or present it is really important. I also think it was really hard for him to come to terms with what was going on in the beginning, and that maybe he wanted to say " my child has autism, doesn't want it, and is more than willing to give it away" on the cards. He now says "... is autistic"

And thank you for explaining more about the spectrum. I hope you don't think I was diminishing the effect of AS or the experiences people have. Or that you believe I think it doesn't matter, or make a difference to someone's life. I don't think you do think that, but I wanted to make sure! smile.gif

I am really interested in what you all have to say- I want to support my friends as best I can, and also I'm really nosy!! laugh.gif
little_idiot
On the "is autistic" vs. "has autism" issue--when I started my current job, my supervisors said we need to go with "has autism." They said that saying a person "is autistic" indicates that having autism defines them--and the person should always come before the disease/disability. So, "Jane has autism" instead of "Jane is autistic." Same thing with any other disability. I don't know what I think about it. I guess I don't think it matters all that much, but if it was me that was autistic or had autism, probably it would matter. The company I work for is very PC and stringent about rules and protocol which annoys me. But they're just covering their own asses I guess.
butterfly
Hi little, that's pretty much the conversation that we had- about defining people. Whether you have green eyes, or are green eyed. Is talented, has talent. I don't know, but I do think it's interesting.
Do the clients have opinions on it that you know of?

I just realised that I'm off topic talking about my friend's kid so much. I don't know why I didn't think about that before. I'm really sorry, I know that there's a difference between AS and what's happening with them, and I feel a little stupid now.
little_idiot
Don't feel stupid, I don't think anyone here is getting their panties twisted about it.
I don't know about how any of my clients feel about it--I honestly don't think any of them would give a rat's ass. They probably wouldn't even know the difference. I don't think they're listening to me most of the time anyway!
pherber
Butterfly,
I didn't think you were diminishing anything. If anyone does that, it's my artist friends, who say "Oh, I'm autistic, too!" they think it's just a feeling of alienation.



little, (can I call you little, too?)
The thing is, we define as autistics!
I'm also female, and wouldn't say I have the female gender.
I might have a bad hair day, or have the flu.
Friends of mine have AIDS, and other friends had cancer, so I don't understand how it can be PC to say, I have autism. If someone does that for lack of knowing better, then I don't wanna split hairs, but professionals?
Could you show this to your boss? (That's probably a stupid suggestion.)


Did you read this thing about Hans Asperger?
little_idiot
Haha, I would love to show this to my anal retentive bosses, but they would probably fire me for talking about clients, even in a forum such as this, without names or even genders attached! But was it turns out, I'm putting in my 2-week notice today. I got another job offer that pays more and has better hours and doesn't require taking care of people, because let's face it, this job wears on you. I've been doing it for five years and now I feel caught between "I can't/don't want to do this anymore" and "But can I do anything else??" The only thing that makes my stomach drop at the thought of quitting is the 2 clients that I will truly miss--one who's autistic and the Asperger's/CP/OCD one. I really love these two and it will be hard to say goodbye to them.

BUT! that's neither here nor there, so carry on girls! smile.gif
pherber
I always thuoght it's o.k. to speak about clients or patients, as long as you don't mention any names.


Good you got a better job! smile.gif
If it's hard to say goodbye to two clients, it just means you've done a good job. I've seen way too many people without any compassion working in medical fields *shudders* but they probably don't get worn out. It's a bit of a no win situation.
mouse
last night's episode of "house" suggested that house himself has aspergers. ha! i guess that's a good thing for you though now, pherber, with pop culture taking notice of it, maybe you won't have to explain yourself as much in the future.
butterfly
Thanks for the reassurance- I just suddenly realised in the middle of that post that I hadn't made it clear!

About your friends Pherber, I was going to say before that, in my off-line life I'm pretty far from socially awkward or alienated! On line, however, I feel pretty much all of those things. I feel pretty lost without my usual back-ups of smiling, making eye contact (or more usually eyebrow contact), making my tone softer etc.

Good luck with the job Little!
pherber
mouse,
I just had to google "house", imagine the many results! laugh.gif
I finally found what you meant in wikipedia. They're even broadcasting that show in my country, but I don't have a TV... well, you probably already guessed that... laugh.gif
They even mentioned AS on their official website, but only where they researched it.


ETA: I found a thread on "house" at Aspies For Freedom




butterfly,
that's funny. With me it's the other way round. I'm pretty good, when I don't have to guess people's bodylanguage. In our aspie self-help group, we call it the "secret language of the earthlings" laugh.gif

Here's an interesting test people can make online: The EQ/SQ Tests.
anna k
I am doing a journalism assignment on Asperger's and how it has entered the public sphere. I did a couple of interviews with experts and will attend meetings, but I am lost as to how to start my paper. I can't click on long links and keep going down a goose chase of the same information. It's due in early November, and I'm nervous about writing this well.
pherber
It took me ages, to find more information, than just the usual blah blah...
I can recommend a few Aspie forums, where you can get an overload of (crazy) information and opinions.

Unusual fact I learned today: most aspie women have longer ring finger than digit finger (like most men) huh.gif
It's to do with testosterone in the womb, or sth. like that...

NTs are always welcome in those forums, as long as they're not hostile, saying stuff like: "Why don't you stop complaining about AS and get over it!" rolleyes.gif
mouse
from boingboing.net, which then links to cbc's "quirks and quarks":

"A noted cognitive nueroscientist and one of his patients (who has autism) team up to advance the hypothesis that autism isn't a disorder, but simply a different kind of person. They say that arguing that autism makes you "good at numbers" but "bad at socializing" is like taking a dog and saying that it's a special kind of cat that's "bad at climbing" but "good at fetching slippers." Autism makes you a different kind of person, most usefully compared to other people with autism.
The two researchers make an unlikely team. One is Dr. Laurent Mottron, a psychiatrist and cognitive neuroscientist at the Riviere-des-Prairies Hospital. He has been studying autism for 25 years. The other is Michelle Dawson, who is autistic. Ms. Dawson has never been to university, but is working at the level of someone with a PhD. For the last couple of years, these two have been collaborating on research into autism. They argue that autism should be recognized as a different way of being human, rather than as a disease or series of defects to be eradicated."

anna k
I've only been able to interview one person for my paper. Another person hasn't responded to me, and the autism meetup I was going to go to tonight was cancelled. Does anyone want to be interviewed for my paper? It's a short paper about how Asperger's has been more publically acknowledged and more acceptable as a social disorder. You can be credited or be anonymous, and can speak candidly about your experiences. This is only a school paper, and won't be published anywhere.
knorl05
mouse: i love it. i've been exploring/contemplating this concept for a while now. i love that it's being studied among neuroscientists. take an individual brain... without another brain to reference, there is no way to tell whether or not it functions "properly". you know, like what is proper? the manifestion of the ability to socialize, the ability to hold a job, the ability to live a healthy life, the ability to sit still, the ability to memorize words in a book? i think it's just difficult and time consuming to work with people with special needs rise up to their potential, because their brains do function so differently. and this way that society doesnt want to be bothered with people with special needs, makes them less of a priority. i think it's unfortunate that persons with unique brains are looked at as defective, less than, or otherwise broken. i think it's this view of these persons that further holds them back in life.
pherber
This was also discussed at length in the Aspies For Freedom forum.

If Aspies were the majority of the population, then the Neurotypicals would be handicapped, because we would set the standards on how a "normal" brain works, which means a lot of NTs would need the help of an Aspie caretaker, to cope in an autistic world.
The Aspie caretaker would have to teach an NT, on how to deeply concentrate for a very long time. Maybe 12 to 16 hours a day.
The NT would also have to learn, to cope without small talk and much socializing.
We would probably call most of them "low-functioning NTs", because Aspies have a higher IQ on average. Only the very few NTs who fall into the gifted range would be called "high-functioning NTs" (Because they can keep up intellectually, but would still have those debilitating socializing traits... etc.)

Aspie scientists would be intrigued, by the neurological deficits of the NTs, for example:
-One in 20 000 NTs has perfect pitch, among autistics it's one in 20.
-Many aspies can dream lucid, which means we are aware of the fact, that we are dreaming and can actively decide what to dream, and when to wake up. Most NTs have to passively endure their dreams, no matter how terrible they are.
(In my case, I have an internal alarm clock, which means, I can decide how long I want to sleep, without being torn out of a dream by a real alarm clock, which means, I get up like an androit that's switched on, without being drowsy in the morning.)
-A lot of aspies are synesthetes, can write backwards, are ambidextrous, and so on.
In an world full of autistics, these things would be as normal, or common, like right-handedness.
(and I haven't even included the savants, and their bizarre talents, because they only make up 10% of the autistics.)

Of course, autistics will admire the NTs rare neurological gift to empathize, it's just of no use, if only one in ca. 200 people share that talent.

Some of the more understanding autistic therapists, would refrain from trying to cure NTs, but would provide "noise rooms" for NTs, where they are allowed to be themselves for one hour a day. This would be called "sensory accumulation" therapy. A lot of Aspies would be annoyed by the high costs to treat NTs, so they might consider eugenics, to get rid of that illness altogether.

In an autistic world, NTs would probably face severe punishments, even jail sentences, for the following crimes:
1.) making torturous noises, like whistling, speaking in high pitched voices, shouting, etc.
2.) wearing strong perfume/after shave.
3.) touching/tapping someones arm or shoulder, and trying to maintain eye contact.
4.) engaging someone in a superficial conversation
5.) trying to grab an autistic persons attention, intruding their world, while they're "zoning out" or distracting them, when they are preoccupied with their special interest.
6.) installing bright lights would be illegal.
These things contribute to sensory overload, and it results in frequent melt-downs, which causes us stress and pain, so all these things would fall under the neurological injury act.

Autistics would also ridicule NTs, for their desire, to maintain a balanced diet, owning clothes in many different colours, styles and textures, and painting the walls in their homes white.
Those things wouldn't be illegal, but if they annoy the neighbours with that kind of eccentricity, NTs could face getting an ASBO.
Confusing autistics with ambiguity would be a minor offence, too.

NTs would also have severe difficulties forming relationships, because their need for attention, care and empathy is rarely met by the much more self-sufficient autistics.

NTs would hardly be able to change anything about their situation, since a tiny minority, has no political lobby, and what accomodates the majorities needs, is what's considered right.


Sounds like hell, doesn't it? mellow.gif

The thing is, this is not ironic, it would probably really be like that! blink.gif



I hope noone took that personal, it wasn't meant to be an attack on NTs, just a satirical way of explaining. smile.gif


I'm not sure how well known that fact is: Aspies For Freedom aim is, to get the United Nations, to accept us as a minority group, to be protected from discrimination. Here's the declaration, if anyone is interested.


anna, do you want to interview autism experts or aspies? Would you do that online, or in person? If you're looking for more aspies, IM me. smile.gif


Sorry for this Tolstoi novel gargantuan post.
anna k
I would do either experts or Aspies. I'll IM you later.
mouse
pherber, that's brilliant! and very true.

it's interesting, though, the huuuuuuuge range of capabilities in the autistic population. you, on one end, happily communicating with all of us NT's tongue.gif, and then certain kids my mother has taught who will never be able to talk.

correct me if i'm wrong--aspergers is autism, but autism isn't necessarily aspergers, yes?

i hope you don't mind, i'm going to copy your last post in an email to my mom--i think she'd think it was great.
pherber
Thanks, mouse! smile.gif
I don't mind at all, if you e-mail this to your mum!

When I wrote the last post, I was really drained from a melt-down, so I sloppily used the words "aspie" and "autistic" too interchangably, it's no surprise that it caused confusion.

Well, it's basically one big autistic spectrum, called ASD- autism spectrum disorder which includes:

-Fragile X Syndrome
not all people with fragile x are considered autistic, though.

-Rett Syndrome
some consider it part of the spectrum, others say it's only similar to autism...

-the classic autism
most people know about, as portraited in "Rainman" they're often (not always) non-verbal. Some say they're mentally retarded, which is controversial, since they often cannot be tested, due to communication difficulties. They're often called "low-functioning" autistics, which refers to the severity of their handicap.
There's a poet with severe autism, called Birger Sellin, who was considered retarded, before he began to write.

-high-functioning autism -HFA
is diagnosed, when a child has delayed speech development, but is otherwise like someone with AS.

-Asperger Syndrome -AS
people with AS are considered "high functioning" because it's often considered to be a mild form of classic autism. There's dispute, whether AS and HFA is the same thing, or just very similar.

-Attention Deficits (Hyperactivity) Disorder -AD(H)D
is often considered to be part of the spectrum, because it may be due to sensory integration problems.
There are different causes for AD(H)S, though, that's why this remains controversial.
Some poeple with AS also have AD(H)S, to confuse matters even more.
The "H" is often put in brackets, because not all people with attention deficits are hyperactive.

It's very confusing, even to doctors and when they can't make up their mind, they'll diagnose PPD-NOS laugh.gif
Confused German doctors prefer to call it "atypical autism". huh.gif
Of course there are controversies about functioning labels in the autism spectrum!

I wish there was a less confusing explanation.
wacko.gif wacko.gif wacko.gif wacko.gif wacko.gif
I can't believe those bonkers autism researchers have the nerve to call us nuts!


Sorry for being such a wikipediholic!

laugh.gif
pherber
Risking to turn this thread into a personal blog:

I've tried to find other forums, too, not because I hate it here (I luuurve the lounge! biggrin.gif ) but I thought a forum for aspies would be a good idea, to meet other people with AS.
The problem is, that much more guys than girls are on the autism spectrum (so far!) and that really shows most negatively in those forums.
I stirred some major feminist shit up in the wrong planet forum, because of their childish "OMG WTF look at that double lezbo dildo! LOL!" threads, not to mention their tasteless "dead baby jokes" thread, and other such bollocks. Of course, I got accused of having no sense of humour. How lame! mad.gif
In the AFF forum the common consensus is, that ab***ion is a crime, (even after rape!) and they treat me like a troll, for suggesting women have reproductive rights!IPB Image


Now I'm not only mad as hell, I'm also dissapointed, I mean, I can't be that exotic?! huh.gif



/rant.
knorl05
i think socrates said it best, "..to know thyself is divine."
pherber
huh.gif



I didn't get that, sorry. Was that sarcasm? If so, aimed at sth, or someone in particular?

unsure.gif
knorl05
absolutely not. it's simply what i've learned.. in order to be empowered as an individual living within any minority, we must know who we are and what we have to contribute as an individual. this way of exploring asperger's syndrome (or any other difference one lives with) is a way of knowing oneself. i was more or less giving support to all those willing to step outside of the box and embrace their own differences as something Great.
pherber
cool.gif So you're have AS, too?



I just can't read back in the thread... sad.gif everything after 3 pages is sucked into the lounges' black hole, so I have to ask these dumb questions.
mouse
hey pherber,
thanks for the explanation. that's awful about the forums' stance on feminism....but keep doing what you're doing. honestly i think the biggest problem feminist issues face is simple lack of knowledge. keep teaching 'em!

so, i did email your alternate-universe thing to my mom and not only did she think it was great, it's inspired her to talk about that in an upcoming seminar lecture she's giving (the school she works at also has an accredited seminar program for the coworkers (everyone who helps out there who isn't a teacher) and she does a lot of that). i hope that's okay--she only knows you as "a girl i talked to on a message board". but i think it's cool smile.gif
pherber
Yes! It's so cool, she's using that on a lecture! ohmy.gif Your mom seems so great!


I know, it's a bit childish and silly, to complain in a forum about other forums, but they've bullied and ridiculed me so much, that I've been crying all night. So there's no way I'm going back to them. I can't believe the level of hostility and nastiness on some forums... and they have moderators! dry.gif

I also joined German language Wikipedia, after having been an English language wikipedian for quite a while, and fell out with a guy, who wrote "so and so suffers from asperger's syndrome" and "despite the phenomenon of autism...he managed to graduate!" he flipped out, because I dared to edit his offensive shite, saying it doesn't matter, that I have AS, while he thinks it's o.k. to make all people with AS look like idiots.... grrrr... mad.gif



Sorry, I'm still in such a pissy mood. rolleyes.gif



PS:
anna k, I'm answering your questionaire, I just need a little time, only a few hours. wink.gif
anna k
It's cool. smile.gif
knorl05
AS? i have tendencies. diagnosed? no. at one time, i've been considered borderline personality disorder. severely depressed. suffered from eating disorder. victim of body dysmorphic disorder. knowing these things about myself, but not allowing them to define me, has allowed me to live my own life. it's like, ok, this is what "NT's" use to describe me so that they can better understand me. but that doesnt mean that i am this broken individual. i am simply more unusual than most people. it's not their responsibility to tell me who i am, or what i'm about, that is on me to figure out my own mind (sure, those who have studied these disorders can provide valuable insight, but essentially it comes down to your understanding of your own mind). there is a place for every person on this earth simply because they are here on earth. it takes hard work to figure out where to apply ourselves, but it is so worth it. it's so much better than going around looking for the next best thing to "fix" us or make us who we think others think we are supposed to be. when you know yourself, you believe in yourself, you value yourself, and then what others think of you doesnt matter.
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