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Featured Low comprehension

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Kalinychta, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    @OrdinaryCitizen posted an excellent YouTube video the other day, a lecture by Sarah Hendrickx about women/girls on the spectrum. At one point she talks about autistic people with average to above average intelligence who also have low comprehension, meaning that we have trouble comprehending everyday occurrences and situations outside of what we're used to. This makes us look very stupid at times. She also discusses how many autistic people have no trouble speaking coherently about something we already know about, whether it's a favorite interest or really just any topic we've had time to thoroughly study beforehand, but when someone unexpectedly asks us a simple question about something we’re unfamiliar with or aren’t expecting, our minds boggle and go completely blank, we can’t sort our thoughts out, and we end up having no clue how to respond.

    What exactly causes this? Executive dysfunction? Deficits in verbal comprehension? Something else?

    I'm curious how often this happens to you guys. It's dreadful because you end up feeling so ridiculous and stupid.

    Here's the full video if anyone wants to watch it. The part about comprehension begins at about six minutes and twenty seconds in.

     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
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  2. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    from what I can understand it’s what makes it A different Neuro type , You don’t have a Neuro typical type what you could probably do is adapt in some way not Mask but adapt Your brain is adapted to logic ,the Neuro typical Brain is adapted to emotion , I try to go through scenarios before I use the telephone! But you are probably calmer then me As you interact 1 to 1 more frequently,You could tell a lie phone isn’t working or tell the truth and say please email me using the telephone is stressful.
     
  3. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think I have a logical brain. I’m not solely a just-the-facts-ma’am type of autistic person. I have a heightened sense of affective empathy and a big imagination as well as a logical mind, so I guess I’m a bit of an autistic “mutt” in that sense. But the problem above is about verbal comprehension and the expectation of immediate, articulate responses (as Sarah says in the lecture) to even casual, simple questions. In the video, Sarah gives this example: she was asked to present her return ticket at an airport a few days prior, but she kept handing over her boarding pass instead, because she couldn’t comprehend what “return ticket” meant.

    Another example: the other day I went to the post office to mail a package. I was expecting to mail it via Priority, but when I arrived at the counter, the clerk told me about two other mail options. She was very clear, and it was a simple question, but I wasn’t expecting it, so my mind blanked and boggled. I couldn’t “hold” in my mind the details of what was being said, so I ended up completely confused. I asked her to repeat herself three times, but eventually I think she just chose for me.

    The autistic people who experience this no doubt know exactly what I mean. It’s so stressful and embarrassing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I have what sounds like this problem when it comes to following directions. Anything which involves you stepping up and being told to do various things, such as a mechanic checking things and telling you what to turn on and off and all that, or anything at all where multiple directions are given, things that happen fairly often but that I can't think of right now. It's hard to explain why but it almost always goes wrong. My mind freezes and it all somehow becomes completely confusing. And it feels like it all happens so fast. I think I'd need to be given a direction and then like thirty seconds to process it before I'm given another direction. Who knows. I'm confused even now!
     
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  5. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    but you are describing anxiety from what I have seen you don’t have to be autistic to react in that way ,if you are not socialised in that way you will be anxious about that,You could also be like that if you are suffering from dementia or if you’ve had a haemorrhagic stroke.
     
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  6. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I don’t always get anxious about it. But you’re definitely right: if I do start to get embarrassed and anxious, it makes it worse.

    I was specifically asked about poor verbal comprehension/communication when I was diagnosed, so it’s definitely a thing a lot of autistic people experience e.g. in the lecture, Sarah says that autistic girls can be very chatty, but the second you ask them a question, their minds freeze, and they can’t talk. Information overload and an inability to comprehend and prioritize/sort thoughts and describe them. I’ve always sucked so bad at verbal communication.

    I’d be interested to hear what @Autistamatic thinks about this. I want to know why it happens.
     
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  7. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Ha! I’m that way, too. I have to write down directions, or I’ll forget them. I probably won’t even remember step two.
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    I froze at the Mexican border: the policey guy dude asked what l had to declare to go back to US. Then my over-active imagination played movies in my head about being thrown in gringo jail forever.

    So l said "nothing to declare". He asked me again: exact same line, l faltered one nano second and said "nothing". It was close to a meltdown. Plus they brought out dogs why we were waiting, like some fool was busting through kilos of something. Those dogs were sniffing cars. And a very suspicious looking car got tagged. Plus l remember he made me open the hatchback door, so l was stressed thinking fear and then some more fear.

    So bosses, border crossing agents, we freeze, and progess foward. But l like to say : "can l get right back to you on that?" (if l am starting to seriously freeze up)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  9. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I wonder about this also.
    So often someone asks something out of the blue and I can't think quick enough how to answer or have
    difficulty putting it into words that make a clear concise answer.
    Yet my inner dialogue runs so fast it's like a computer in my head.

    I can't remember instructions. If they aren't written down so I can keep referring back to them,
    yet I'm supposedly a genius on the test. And I can figure out a lot on my own, but, not when
    someone is speaking out the steps.

    It feels embarassing when trying to put something into words and the person you're telling
    interrupts and puts words in for you when you're speaking or trying to explain something.
    You can tell it's like they are annoyed that you're not speaking it all quickly enough to suit them.
    My houseshare partner can ask something and if I don't answer instantly as I need a second to
    get my words together he'll say "No answer, huh?" Like he thinks I'm deliberately not
    answering. Yet if I'm going on about something that interests me it just flows out on and on.
    Strange.
     
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  10. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    its not always true !that we freeze when asked a question ,its just if its an uncomfortable !subject, it concerns me again that a percentage of autistic women wont get help as we are going to be pigeonholed into what that lecturer said .
     
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  11. Jenisautistic

    Jenisautistic Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My IQ testing don’t exactly show a genius score but

    I can definitely relate to what you’re saying even though my IQ is intellectually disabled he disabled not that it Matters

    their times I just stop and I am Trying to say something and either come out awkward or my conversation comes to a hault silent
    Or forget the whole reason why I wanted to say something in the first place

    I often times at that people whether they understand what I’m saying if they know what I mean

    and often times if someone doesn’t and I’m with somebody else who I’m talking to have to have them clarify for me
     
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  12. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Do you know if you get one (an IQ score )when you were( I don’t know what mine is)diagnosed?
     
  13. Jenisautistic

    Jenisautistic Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I’m not completely sure

    but I think it depends on who you see

    if you can I would recommend seeing a neuropsychologist and ask for a complete evaluation
     
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  14. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for trying
     
  15. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I think getting an IQ test is pretty standard, because it determines low functioning or high functioning. I got one.
     
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  16. Noba Loney

    Noba Loney Active Member

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    Interestingly I find this happens with questions that are on the face of it extremely simple, but actually either indirect or unnecessary. The expected response is a ritualistic social thing and not so much to do with any ostensible information exchange. This isn't a rigorous theory, just an observation based on couple of examples that come to mind.

    There's a particular server in a shop who always asks customers "are you busy today?". The first time they sprang this on me I was like... what? Why are you asking me this? You can see me, and you know what I'm doing right now, why do you need to discuss past or future events when you won't be there? Do you want to see a to do list? What does it matter to you? What counts as "busy"? I'm always doing something, even if it's nothing. Is busy good or bad? What's the polite thing to say? Is this the metric people evaluate their lives by? Etc.

    Really I think the problem is they either don't see they're being a twit asking the pointless question, or they do see it and do it anyway. And my hesitation is in trying to determine what it really means, and not being able to do that looking for a way out of it that isn't obviously rude.

    I guess in this example it's partly related to taking things literally or at face value.
     
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  17. Noba Loney

    Noba Loney Active Member

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    It's weird that people find a slightly delayed, i.e. considered response to an inquiry disturbing or rude but that's often the case. They expect a snap response or get anxious because they feel you're not playing along. Perhaps.

    Especially if I have other things to process, like a noisy or unfamiliar environment, then it takes longer to translate both the question going in and the answer from the internal process. Even more so.when the question is not well formulated or has hidden intent.
     
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  18. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wha??? lol jk.

    But seriously, I'm the same way. My brain is usually like that little circle on a cellphone that spins around while it's loading. If it's something I'm fascinated with, like herbalism, space weather, or wilderness survival, I'm totally understanding it easily. But everything else is a puzzle to me.
     
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  19. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    I'll reply to this tomorrow. Today has been a dark day in the UK - a fearful day for any and everyone with autism, a physical or learning disability and anyone in a minority group. I booked the day off work for my own reasons, but I didn't expect that I'd spend much of it counselling people who are unbelievably distraught and in too many cases considering taking their own lives. Alexithymia has it's advantages. It's allowed me to keep my head and rationalise when others have needed hope. I'm feeling tremendously drained so I'll come back to this after I've had a sleep and got my wits together :)
     
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  20. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Whoa! What happened?!
     
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