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Featured Do females on the autism spectrum emulate other females?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Mia, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Autistic females are said to emulate other females to learn how to act socially. They have been know to emulate singers, models, peers, television personalities, characters in books. Is this consistent with your own experiences as a female with autism?

    It should also be noted that as @Ylva has suggested, neurotypical females emulate others as well.




    The Experiences of Late-diagnosed Women with Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Investigation of the Female Autism Phenotype
    'I was just so different': The experiences of women diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in adulthood in relation to gender and social relati... - PubMed - NCBI
     
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  2. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think that maybe autistics and NT's emulate in different ways and to different degrees. NT's mimic certain aspects of a person they admire - perhaps hairstyle, dress, maybe certain qualities or values. I think it's a little different than what and why we do it.
    For us it's a matter of just not knowing how to BE or not trusting who we are, whether it's to avoid being bullied or picked on or laughed at and mocked. It's like we do it as a way to protect ourselves from ridicule, so we take on a total personality as our mask. Maybe I should read the articles before commenting. :) But this was my first response to this thread. :)
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Ok, I'm back. Read the articles and now a little sad because of all the comments added by the participants and relating to them and having had the same thoughts.
    But on your specific question - I tended to mimic my brother mostly. It wasn't that I thought about it and made a calculated and purposeful decision to mimic him. But he was funny, which made him fun to be around, so I'd try to be funny. Later on I added the 'cool and aloofness' of some of my favorite actors. I guess that's why I was always just seen as being a loner. The sad part is that I never learned to be myself and let others see who I really was. Sometimes I still can see myself as this sad, scared little girl that has no idea how to be.
     
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  5. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    I can't remember ever wanting to imitate other girls just to appear "normal". I found most things other girls my age were into stupid or boring. As a teen and young adult, and occasionally even now, I tended to relate to and get along better with men, or women older than me.
     
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  6. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Definitely the same here. Think that's why I took on the cool and aloofness - because I knew I couldn't be the girly girl like other girls. And all my friends through school tended to be boys.
     
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  7. TheSaltyStray

    TheSaltyStray Member

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    I tend to do my own thing and be my own person, for better or worse. I've never followed or emulated anyone's behavior or personal appearance/style. I was never really taught how to dress up so I take pride in the opportunities when I do "clean up well." I do enjoy having those occasions but for the most part, I dress comfortably and sensibly for my sensory issues and job demands. There are certain colors I do not wear (yellow, it's "too loud"... pink, "it's too quiet and annoying") but I think most people are like that in personal preference. I used to wear A LOT of black or grey colors.
     
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  8. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I used to emulate other people, not necessarily women. These days I don’t emulate people anymore, I have a clear sense of self and am confident in my behavior.
     
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  9. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember emulating anyone in particular, male or female. I did learn concepts about style and fashion, such as "don't mix plaids and prints" and "black is slimming." But I wasn't patterning myself after anyone.
     
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  10. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    I'm in an extremely fortunate position of being able to observe the development of speech and some survival/social skills in a psychopath, sorry, I meant young baby :)

    I would offer that some imitation is present from a very early age, irrespective of neurotype.

    Didn't get the chance to read/process links before posting.
    Off to do that now :)
     
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  11. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I certainly did when I was a kid. Or tried to, anyway. Kids who don’t fit/blend in become targets for bullying. I sucked at emulating other girls, but I managed to do it well enough to mostly fly under the radar in terms of bullying. As an adult, I don’t try to fit in with women. Quite the contrary.
     
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  12. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    A few months ago I watched a lecture given by Tony Attwood on YouTube, and in it he said that many autistic girls excel at theatre/acting, because they become so expert at imitating others. So I would imagine that autism did help Darryl Hannah become an actor.
     
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  13. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What I remember from that age is taking a while to realize that I was supposed to do the same as others. For a long time I thought they got to do what they wanted – and if developmental psychology with its milestone theories is correct, maybe they were.

    And after I finally got it through my head that I was supposed to be like them, I copied them, and they were already busy copying pop stars and possibly other adults I didn't notice.

    So, you know, copying the copy. Be acceptable to the copy. That's what you're supposed to be like, just ask neurotypical adults. They're experts.

    Except the copy gets offended when you copy it… so at some point I grasped that I should be copying whatever insipid famous copy they were copying, but I could neither keep up with the celeb of the week nor concentrate for long enough to learn much about them. I ended up copying the wrong aspects of them anyway.

    In eighth grade I was starting to give up and in ninth grade I just kind of stopped going to school.

    I don't even know what I do now. Avoid people, I guess. I still have some of my old masks, but putting them on is exhausting. NT women do have masks, but it appears to cost them less energy to wear them. But those are masks, all right. Playing with the idea of creating new masks, but I don't necessarily think they will be less like that armor in Twilight Princess that leaks rupees when you wear it.
     
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  14. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    So is the implication that males do not? Or at least not to the same extent? I've always emulated others, even to the point of copying exact phrases I use as catch-phrases, to make up for the fact that I often can't decide what to say, such as during pleasantries and other repeated interactions.
     
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  15. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes. But male culture, at least in most of our childhoods, was less about being decorative and more about being impressive.
     
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  16. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't recall imitating others, but I did pretend to be characters in my imagination, I was often making up stories about the person I was 'being', and I was always male in those lives. Sometimes I would be a a character in a book, and continue the story. This was in some ways more significant to me than my actual life, in retrospect some of it may have been the effect of the way I felt uncomfortable about binary gender and being labelled as female. I never fitted in at school, but that didn't inspire me to emulate others, I was just puzzled, and felt that I was different.
     
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  17. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No Fino, there is no implication that males do not do the same thing. I'm certain they do. I think the difference is that some boys seem to have role models such as superheroes, athletes, musicians, that they supposedly wish to emulate.

    Females have barbie dolls that they dress up or baby dolls that they feed. But they are not something girls look up to usually as role models. Females appear not to have heroes, in the same way as males. So some tend to emulate the superficial characteristics of pop stars, singers, actors and actresses at certain stages. And their mannerisms and clothing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  18. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I tended toward copying clothing and ways of dressing that I saw popular singers do, when I was a young teen. And movie stars and female athletes. Yet in books that I read, I went on quests and explored new places. The books had more of a long-lasting influence than the singers or actresses.
     
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  19. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    In about my junior year in college I became very much aware that I had not ever dated and could not even ask someone out on a date. However, I did have scholarly friends who were girls; so I wasn't a complete loss.

    It was then that I started emulating guys who were popular with girls. After I changed my appearance, it still took a few years to overcome my shyness.

    As a kid I sort of identified with Spock in Star Trek because my decision making is primarily logic based. Also, Mathematics was very easy for me all through school. Years after graduating from college I was still nerdy, but I made it work in meeting my wife. In our initial meeting we were sitting in a bar drinking, and I was explaining gravity, and making up simple calculus problems on cocktail napkins. And she was not good in math, and was so impressed at me solving simple integration problems. But, hey it worked.

    My point is, don't let fear and anxiety get the best of you. You may strike out many times, but once I'm a while there is a chance you'll win out.
     
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  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Though in my own case, in classic autistic fashion I suppose, my masking had no particular identity based on any person I knew or liked.

    More of a "what and how" than a "who".
     
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