1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Are you expected to be a genius?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Wireless, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Wireless

    Wireless Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    Karma:
    +299
    I'm sorry for the poor wording of the title and of my post. I hope you'll understand what I mean.

    Obviously, there are many of you who are highly intelligent people.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that there is an unfair amount of pressure for Aspies to be someone exceptional like Einstein or someone who will achieve many things with their lives. EDIT: I forgot to add that other times it seems to go other way, where people don't think you'll achieve anything. Also unfair.

    How do you cope with that if you consider yourselves to be of average intelligence or have little ambition?

    Btw, I hope my questions don't upset/offend anyone.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  2. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Karma:
    +2,385
    The only person other than my doctor, therapist and psychiatrist who know that I have been diagnosed as an Aspie is my partner, an NT woman. While she doesn't explicitly expect me to be "genius", she does hold up very high functioning Aspies as examples of what she thinks is possible for me, if I'd put my mind to it. It has mostly been people who have written books about how they function with Asperger's, such as LeeAnn Halloway and David Finch. One has a Phd, the other, I don't know, he's able to write a best seller, be interviewed on national programs.

    So I should be able to do things like that, right? Nope. Not that I wouldn't like to, not that I haven't tried to be all I can be in many different areas. I understand what my functional limitations are, or most of them, and I also know my areas of strength, so I might be able to reach a little higher, but the effects of years of struggle and being stymied by mysterious obstacles have worn my ambitiousness down to where, at least for now, I'd like to grab for the low hanging fruit.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Slithytoves

    Slithytoves Oblique Strategist

    Messages:
    695
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Karma:
    +2,301
    I don't see anything offensive in what you wrote.

    We live in such a weird catch-22. Like you said, those who don't expect us to be incapable seem to expect us to be extraordinary. The truth of most of us, as with everything, is somewhere in the gray middle. It's funny how NTs as a group actually take pride in being "average", but in our case they don't even seem to see a Bell Curve -- just a steep, straight gradient on which we're either at the bottom or the top.

    How do you cope? I'm not sure. Maybe by accepting that their POV is uneducated, and learning not to internalize it. Maybe by explaining the error of their thinking, though your mileage will vary on that. There are outliers in the NT community, too, so why aren't your friends and loved ones all either geniuses or incompetents? (You can pick the popular examples of these that will resonate best.)

    Inappropriate expectations from our loved ones, whether too high or too low, can be very demotivating. All you can do is set your own, realistic goals and work on achieving those at a comfortable pace. I am lucky to have been born with certain intellectual gifts, but they aren't universal to every area of my life. I've heard the mantra "You're so smart about this, why not that?" many times, and I struggled with that question playing over and over in my head for years. I eventually decided I don't need to meet anyone else's standards. I'm human, not a machine. Humans aren't consistent across the board.

    Only you have to be satisfied with your life. Everyone else should mind their own. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. Epicurean Pariah

    Epicurean Pariah Immaculate perception

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,090
    Wireless,
    First and foremost, you are safe to express yourself the best you can. Aspers are focused and clever and can read between the lines. Your voice is important to us.
    Now to answer; I suspect for most of my life that family and others have perceived me as an aloof, difficult, inflexible and rude idiot savant, with no useful or interesting things to contribute to society. A living, breathing waste of protoplasm. The savant part was never nurtured or cultivated to flourish. That rejection was often reinforced by many others. So as a youth I accepted that reasoning of my " betters", family, teachers and preachers. At some point, even I thought that I was a social idiot. I built a bunker with tiny peep holes to see the world. 36 years ago I closed the peep holes and culture moved on and I stayed in the dark, airtight box, and kept my mind active and shared nothing with no one.

    Only recently did I start to play with others. Not only play, but to play, influence and win once in a while.
    I give all credit to the AC forum and to those that put up with my verbosity and blather.
     
  5. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Karma:
    +2,385
    I was diagnosed only two years ago, in my late 40's, so no one knew that I wasn't an NT, but I still got a lot of the mantra "Your'e so smart and talented, why haven't you....can't you.....didn't you.... from when I was in grade school on. So I guess the expectations are there whether diagnosed or not. If you seem bright, talented, it is taken as a given that you will capitalize on that and be successful. If not, what's wrong with you? I might say that my experience, along with many diagnosed late in life, should have been a sign that something was wrong, but I was mainly labeled unmotivated, and eventually dumb for "wasting my intelligence" because I just didn't seem to care.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,967
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Karma:
    +4,557
    You are not offending at all!

    I have a hard enough time people taking my word that I have aspergers, mind are you a genus lol

    It has been said of ones: they are a genus for putting their foot in it or a genus for always finding errors in something! So really it is relative to what concept one wants to put it in ( does that make sense)?

    I am told I have a very long memory and some tease me and say that they must remember to not do me an injury for I will remember. As usual at the time, I look with horror and do not see that they are teasing me!

    I have been told that I blow people away with how I understand people. So I am brilliant with psychology.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Epicurean Pariah

    Epicurean Pariah Immaculate perception

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,090
    On the Inside , teachers are told to teach what to think, not to teach how to think, do you remember ever having a critical, inductive or deductive thinking class? Me either. Were your grades on what you know or how often you conformed to expectations. There is nothing at all wrong with any of us. We are each perfect for us.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Major

    Major Think-a-Holic

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Karma:
    +98
    My head is filled with all sorts of information but to most people I might as well be below average intelligence.. I cant keep my thoughts straight to explain anything in my head most of the time. Only person I can talk about my interests or knowledge with is my husband. For some reason he is the only person I have no trouble explaining my opinions and thoughts to. I can't even talk to children. It sucks to be smart and come across as below average intelligence when you talk to people. I don't think there is an expectation to be smart though.. I think rather when people talk about Einstein etc having Asperger its saying just the fact that one has it.. doesn't mean your not intelligent and cant accomplish great things.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Karma:
    +2,385
    You are fortunate to have found him.

    Being unable to reliably and coherently convey what I think about, my ideas, my knowledge has been my biggest problem. I have a great deal of difficulty speaking clearly with people, unless I take it slow. Most people don't have the patience for that, so either I come across as a quiet dullard, a babbling fool, or slow witted. Unless I'm talking about something that I know a great deal about, but even then, if I'm uncomfortable with someone, the speech issues come out.

    Important to find some method, be it art, writing, music, or just one or two people with which you are able to share your thoughts with and express yourself. May not be masterworks, but it is your own expression.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. metalminx24

    metalminx24 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,095
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,148
    Hmmm, not any more. Definitely when I was at school, they even advanced me a year (which obviously reeeeely helped my social situation!!) and I did ok in my exams (other than spoken, which I failed spectacularly - unhelpful given that I took 2 languages for A- level!!) I got a place to do a Masters at university but burnt out before I got there, and I think that's when my family realised I was never going to achieve much! They're ok with it now, my mum is pretty proud of the rate at which I devour cryptic crosswords!! And there's always my utterly perfect sister to pin the family hopes on!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. RidingDutchman

    RidingDutchman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    255
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Karma:
    +299
    Nobody ever pushed me to be smart, but ever since I was young I used to be cognitively and IQ wise smarter as 90% of my peers.

    Issue that arose with this is that I started thinking my brain was the only thing that mattered about me and that everything else I was worse on. I started thinking my smarts were my only positive trait so to speak.

    So I turned out to push myself into wanting to be the smartest in the room a lot of times to prove I was worth anything.

    Right now due to learning problems, I am still way smarter as most of my peers but run into issues with learning and getting kicked out of school, so my personal main trait started to look like a weakness, I expected way more from myself and because of that I got quite depressed.

    So, long story short. I never got pushed to be smart but I pushed myself into becoming really insecure about not being smart enough
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Epicurean Pariah

    Epicurean Pariah Immaculate perception

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,090
    Major, I understand. Me too, since I started on this forum 6/2/15 and started writing a lot, my mental acuity has improved, my ability to slow thoughts down and converse more clearly has improved, my ability to remember names has improved and my confidence has improved.
    Your clarity when, "you" write is fine. Write and post often I think you will also improve if you want. I could be wrong, I am me and you are you.
    AC has been my lifeline!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Epicurean Pariah

    Epicurean Pariah Immaculate perception

    Messages:
    681
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,090
    RidingDutchman, genius is not demonstrated how well you fit in the box that the governments, churches and educational systems promote.
    All institutions are artificial pretense.
    Genius is displayed in the way we think our way out of the box, and with the courage and the way we share our insights with others.
    Living up to the standards of others is one source of our misery.
    To think that being average is a lofty goal is self destruction of the soul.
    Strive for perfection, and might you attain excellence, right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
    • Like Like x 2
  14. umbrellabeach

    umbrellabeach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,632
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Karma:
    +1,645
    I think it's the opposite for me. People often treat me like an idiot, even though most people don't know I'm an Aspie. I think it might be because I'm so quiet (and also a young-looking, braided-haired female). They think they can do or say anything to me and I won't fight back.
    Recently, though, I've started fighting back. And most people are very surprised when I do. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  15. ancusmitis

    ancusmitis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,623
    Yes, I definitely had that expectation of me. I finally managed to short-circuit it by growing out my hair and my beard and becoming an addict. I still taught myself Latin, and I now have an official document with the school which notes that I am an autodidact, and I think I can be reasonably proud of that :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Karma:
    +2,634
    Few know I am an Aspie but, more know my IQ and, that alone is enough to convince them that I am a genius. technically, that's true but, I'm not one for using an extravagant vocabulary needlessly. I don't care to flaunt my intelligence and, I think being world wise is of more value that book learning. Of course book learning has it's place and, benefits anyone willing to learn but, being world wise will carry you farther in life than anything a book can teach you.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    2,967
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Karma:
    +4,557
    Yes, that is so me! I can see when I meet a new person that they are regarding me as low intelligence and it so annoys me. Like you, I have a mind filled with information but the one person I can talk openly to and does not scorn me is my good friend and online too; we "met" online, and speak every day on facebook.

    And yes, I agree with that, mentioning Einstein is to prove we are not stupid!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Nisk

    Nisk The Spoiler King

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Karma:
    +538
    Well I'm a grade 10 drop out with what they say is above average IQ, but I'm far from school smart I can barely understand half the posts on this forum from people that use big shiny words. My brain work differently. I cannot not learn a single thing if someone is trying to teach me, I have to read it myself. I can also teach my self almost anything I choose to given the books and time. Where my brain really shines is in building things I can build almost anything from computers, motors, bridge and buildings all I need is a blueprint and maybe Google. I've reached a place in my career where I'm expected to be a genius at what I do (steel erection). Outside of work I can sound stupid to people that don't know me but anyone that does expects me to be smart.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Nisk

    Nisk The Spoiler King

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Karma:
    +538
    Oh and punctuation and math I suck at those. I wish one of the moderators would be my grammar and punctuation fairy like on the last forum I was active on.
     
  20. Progster

    Progster Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,773
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Karma:
    +2,853
    People think that I'm intelligent because I know many languages and learn new ones easily, but I don't think that anyone expects me to be a genius. If they do, they will be sadly disappointed.

    I have no idea what my IQ is.