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Aspergers and rules when learning something

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by harrietjansson, May 7, 2021.

  1. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    1. too much focus on details. Many aspies get stuck when they have to begin by focusing on the details. The details are confusing unless you see the a bigger picture (I can do this in my aspie way). I don't really do this the "neurotypical way".

    2. Aspies might get stuch when they have to focus on what went wrong, ie the mistakes. Somehow many of us are people who need more focus on what went well. We sometimes refrain from doing something as we are told that we well do a mistake. I don't really understand this at all but we don't see the full picture but focus too much in the mistakes or the fact that we will screw up.

    3. Many of us need to be told the mistakes as we fail to see them but also be told what to do as and why certain things work. People can miss the mistakes but people can also miss to see what was correct. I sometimes sing and do it ok but only really think to myself how I probably just did a lot of misstakes.

    Here is a website that give us rules by first giving the "no" rules: The Rules of Harmony
    This is just an example. We are not discussing part-harmony.

    What do you think about this topic?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  2. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is very helpful. I like the analogy of this. Thank you.
     
  3. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    When I am teaching,...and learning something,...I tend to use "first principles" method. Basically, break things down to their simplest components, understand the truths of those components, then expand upon it. So, for example, when I am learning a particular mathematical technique,...the instructor will often present a complex problem and solve it in front of me,...makes it look pretty easy. But often, when I go back to repeat the process with another example, I get stuck,...because I didn't understand the basic components. I would then go back to the professor and say something like, "When you are looking at a problem like this,...how do you know to use this particular technique to solve it?" It is then when the professor, if he/she really knows the mathematics, will be able to break it down for you,...so next time,...you can recognize when to use technique "A" and not technique "B".

    I think anyone can get muddled in the details when they don't fully grasp the basic building blocks. This is not a form of "dumbing down", but rather understanding the truths of what makes things work. A good little article explaining Elon Musk's first principles thinking....it may do a better job than what I did here: Elon Musk’s "3-step" First Principles Thinking: How to Think and Solve Difficult Problems Like a Genius (mayooshin.com)
     
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  4. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    I have heard from polyglots that you must have some sort of knowledge and skill of a language before you you into the details (also called grammar). Otherwise you will not understand the details.
    I recall an episode of the simpsons in which Bart was taught outside of the classroom. Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts - Wikipedia
    This was way better than focusing on theory sitting in a classroom for him (how it would have worked in real life I don't know). In the Simpsons they say that Bart has ADHD. As a person with only asperger's I can say that I also rather learn that way (either in a small group or with a private tutor). Do people with asperger's and ADHD often learn better without too much theory focus at first?
    Some say that school has been a lot about rote learning but I have a difficult time remembering facts without understanding the subject. Rote learning is said to work well for aspies but asperger's made me disslike it a lot. I want real hands-on understanding of the subjects without too much focus on group learning.
    Group learning is often not that much about meeting the student where he is. The teacher has no time for you in a group setting so group learning is a lot about learning without a teacher.
    What do you say?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  5. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    are you saying that one should learn to speak a little Latin before becoming obsessed with the grammar?


    I actually read a little bit aboutthe first priciples and found this First Principles: The Building Blocks of True Knowledge
    It meantions socratic questioning.
    "1. Clarifying your thinking and explaining the origins of your ideas (Why do I think this? What exactly do I think?)
    2. Challenging assumptions (How do I know this is true? What if I thought the opposite?)"

    Wouldn't this mean that we must no theory as we cannot understand why something is without theory or can we use something else like our own experiences to explain why we think something is. I have heard about jazz pianists who know very little theory but can explain why they think their way of playing works very well. So we don't need formal theory for this?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  6. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    1. Regardless of Asperger's or ADHD, at least initially, most simply want to learn how to do something. The basic building blocks, in this case. Then, beyond that, each person will either take some interest in it, or not, and further their knowledge with more study on the theory and details. Ever hear the saying "it's not that you are doing it, but rather how you do it"? Some people for example, can learn how to play a musical instrument and read music,...but they will never achieve the level of an expert musician. They went as far in their learning to "do", but not so far as learning expertise in the "how". I learned how to play the clarinet in school when I was a kid,...sure, I could sit and play while reading sheet music. But,...an expert will be able to simply pick up their instrument, hear a song once, jump right in and play without having any sheet music in front of them at all. They can change keys at any time they wish, they can create music from their imagination, they can jump on stage in the middle of a song and blend right in,...it's a whole different level of expertise. The same thing with mathematics, poetry, driving a car, working in a machine shop,...anything. Some people I work with can do a task like a little drone,...just enough knowledge to do the work,...but regardless of how much time they do that task, have zero interest in furthering their knowledge,...a form of intellectual laziness,...10 years from now, they will be at the same level they are today.. Now, if a person had the focus and interest on a particular subject, topic, or task to learn the finer details,...as often folks with Asperger's do, then expertise can be achieved. So, at some level, it has to be up to the individual,...something in their brain has to be always asking questions "how" and "why". One of the stereotypical traits of an Aspie is this thing called "special interests",...some children learn about dinosaurs,...an Aspie child will know all the creatures, separating them into their respective historical periods, the Latin names, the family trees, etc. This child kept focus and kept asking questions until expertise has been achieved. Personally, I have had many special interests over the years,...as I am sure many of you reading this have.

    As far as group learning,...in my experience,...very little group learning occurs unless the entirety of the group is highly focused and interested. Most of the time, it becomes a "social experience", or there is one person in the group doing all the work and the rest are there to share in the experience and credit. Generally speaking, I am not a proponent of this type of learning. This is not to say that groups cannot collaborate as a team to accomplish a goal,...this is a different dynamic.
     
  7. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    In the mentioned article, it gives the example of the molecule, which is made up of atoms, which is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, which is made up of quarks, which is made up of....so on and so forth. The idea being that in order to understand the behavior of protons, neutrons, and electrons,...you must understand the truths of their building blocks (physics). As you build up from that, to atoms and molecules, you should have a better understanding of how molecules interact with each other (chemistry).

    Can you use your own experiences to explain why we think something is? Yes and no. One, we all have our own unique experiences. We have to step back for a moment and understand this concept before committing to saying or doing something. One of the reasons for the political divide is unique experiences,...a person living in the city is going to have a different experience than someone living in the suburbs, and is going to be different than living in a rural area. Now, if we are open to the idea of different experiences, then we can have a civil discussion,...if not, and we dig our heels in, your or my experience is always correct, then we are going to have an argument. What you can say is that your truth is correct with your experience, and mine is true within the context of my experience,...but neither are true if the conditions were swapped. In other words, within the context of one situation, there are truths,...within the context of another situation, there are other truths. Once we understand this concept, then we can understand each other and not argue. This is also the basic concept of the scientific method. A good example is the topic of cholesterol and heart disease. Years ago, it might be said that "high cholesterol is a risk for heart disease and death",...and some people with low cholesterol died of heart disease and death,...hmmmm. More research followed,..."low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol is associated with heart disease and death",...and some people with low LDL cholesterol died of heart disease and death,....hmmmm. More research followed,..."people with high VLDL cholesterol (small particle size lipids) is associated with heart disease and death",...getting closer to reality. Further research followed,..."people with high VLDL cholesterol and chronic inflammation are at the highest risk of heart disease and death"...much better information. In this case, the scientific method here, is working backwards to the first principles method,...working backwards towards the basic building blocks and truths. What we know now is that it is not a high cholesterol, per se, but rather a high very low density lipid (VLDL) and chronic inflammation that presents the highest risk for heart disease and death. Some people can have a very high cholesterol level and not have any signs of heart disease,...as long as they are not producing high levels of VLDL and are not in a state of chronic inflammation. Again, more accurate information.

    As far as your jazz pianist example,...I don't know what to say about that. I know very little about jazz as some of it just sounds very disorganized and chaotic,...and wouldn't consider it music,...but rather noise.:D
     
  8. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    How is this disorganized?
    This is the first thing I think about when I hear the word clarinett.
    Also, not every expert can play clarinett without first needing sheet music. It really depens in how you were trained. Most people who played jazz would probably be good at playing by ear.
    I mentioned music as an example. What you write seems to be telling us that one must study formal theory in order to really know something. I cannot imagine a carpenter needing many years at KTH in order to learn how carpentry works. Many at KTH could probably talk a lot abou the theory of carpentry but are they really good at it? Do they have the skills?
    This is why I rather have hands-on experience than focusing too much on formal theory. I as a person with aspergers want to learn the "what" and "how" by actually doing something. But you want formal theory first?

    One could argue that first principles thinking can make you too detail focused and perfectionist. Eg do I really know how to depress the pinao keys in the best way possible? One could focus on this to sucha degree that one cannot even play a tune since one is too occupied with the dperessing of keys.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  9. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    I said SOME jazz sounds disorganized and chaotic....with a smile suggesting some humor. Don't look too much into that statement.:)

    Your example of the carpenter,...actually, they do need many years of study in order to be good at it,...granted the majority of it is "hands on". There are very specific techniques and repetition required to do good carpentry,...otherwise, it just looks sloppy, at best. Likely the same for any of the physical arts, surgery,...anything else that requires knowledge and dexterity to perform well.

    I think from our discussion here, that to a certain degree, we must learn a bit of both at the same time,...albeit with some bias towards one or the other depending upon what one is trying to learn. Some things that require fine motor movements will need intense repetition in order to develop the neuro-motor pathways. Some things are more intellectual, like mathematics and physics, may need the first principles method. However, research into something like medicine, will take an observation, association, or correlation,...and then have to work backwards through multiple experiments and conditions to extract the truth,...eventually discovering first principles.

    As to your concern that Aspies learn differently and that there must be some considerations for that when learning anything,...there is some truth to this,...but in my experience personally as a 54 year old Aspie, and as an instructor myself, I think it is nothing more than an awareness, and perhaps an understanding of some biases in learning technique. I do not think, at this point, that Aspies, in general, need to be taught differently, per se, but rather with some understanding that there can be, at times, a distracting focus upon some of the details. As I am writing this, and responding towards your great questions,...I am seeing this very trait in your personality,...and in my own, for taking the time to respond to them.:)
     
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  10. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    I don't read emojis that well. I don't even use them at all. I go for the written stuff. But of course I thought that you were reffering to certain jazz that I cannot stand myself but you never know.
     
  11. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    But they don't need the theory that one could learn at KTH.
     
  12. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    Agree. This is a "skilled trade" type of profession, often requiring an apprenticeship. Plenty of theory though,...just not the type of information learned at KTH.