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the aspie identity

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by harrietjansson, May 15, 2021.

  1. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    I have some questions:
    1. Who came up with the term "aspies"?

    I understand that many people use the term in order to have an identity. When I called myself an aspie I looked up a lot of info on asperger's syndrome in order for it to explain nearly every issue (or the strengths) I have. MOst of what I found was a lot of theories (although there were practical tips as well).
    Much of the info was about the fact that one should accepte how one is idiosyncratic. Both people with a diagnosis and other people wrote about it. I found a book in which the author (who had a diagnosis) said that much of the idiosyncratic behaviour can be problematic and should not just be accepted.
    2. Is this acceptance thing always that good? Can you give concrete examples?

    What often happens is that when a diagnosis becomes your identity you meet other people with the diagnosis (or a similar diagnosis). Some people say that aspies should make aspie friends and that this is very good. This advice never worked for me. Sure I have met nice people with asperger's syndrome but we did not always have the same interests or they had difficulties that made the relationships difficult (which is why the got a diagnosis?).
    3. Why do people even give this advice?
    4. Should your common interest be asperger's syndrome?

    When I tried to call myself an aspies I had to look at the world through "aspies vs NTs". It became a lot "we and them". Sometimes I had more common with an "NT" than an "aspie". Much of it is personality and not the asperger issues or other issues that even NTs can have. Even NTs fid social situations difficult at times or they like looking at the details.
    5. Can the "aspies vs NTs" really be helpful at all?
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    My identity is aspie but l don't pull this info out of my hat as my calling card.

    I don't like many NT individuals because l run into ones always pushing their agenda on me which is irritating. I don't go around telling other people what to do.

    Sure, when you step back and look at everyone, lots of people have lots of issues, not just us. Now l understand that everybody operates from some level of deficiency whether they chose to aknowledge it or not. So my identity really isn't anybody's business but my own.
     
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  3. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    This is what I sometimes say about "aspies". I don't even like the "NT" category. People don't really fit into categories.
    I had a discussion with a professional who said that it is easy for "aspies" to use simple descriptions and explanations when trying to understand the social world. This is also true for "NTs".
    I am even extremely different from many aspies.
    NTS are bad and aspies are good?
     
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  4. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Myself, l believe anybody can be good or bad, without any labels. It gets down to how you chose to live your life. Do l feel there are less ethical people on the planet, yes. You always need to look out for yourself irregardless if the person is ND or NT.
     
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  5. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    I don't like labels. I never have. Every time I go down the road of thinking I should probably get one, something interferes with it to remind me that it isn't necessary. This "us and them" mentality is not good for anyone. As has already been said, people can be good or bad whatever kind of label they are wearing. I also sometimes seem to connect better with NT rather than ND, and have had trouble connecting with other Asperger people.

    While it is nice to feel like we belong to a group, I'm not sure what kind of group that would be. We are all so individual. To belong to a group makes me feel like belonging to a religion. This is how we think, this is what we say, this is how we say it, this is the hat we wear.

    And what is a diagnosis anyway? An opinion from somebody we deem qualified who has tested us. But how many have been misdiagnosed? How many weren't officially diagnosed until much later in life? They were still being who they are until then. I'm not saying it can't help to understand and put things into place, but I do not like us and them mentality.
     
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  6. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    Why do you say that it is not good for anyone? please give a concrete example.

    Isn't that because people with an asperger diagnosis can have difficulties with relationships? This is why I don't see why "aspies" should be friends with "aspies".
     
  7. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    yeah that's the bloody issue. I mean, the categories "aspie" and "NT" can make it difficult to see how we are individuals. It can give rise to stereotypes.

    Attwood and Gray says in the aspies criteria and I comment:
    "1. peer relationships characterized by absolute loyalty and impeccable dependability"
    So "apsies" are always loyal? That would be a stereotype! How am I am such a loyal person?

    "2. free of sexist, "age-ist", or culturalist biases; ability to regard others at "face value""
    Any evidence for this?

    "3. speaking one’s mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs"
    Any evidence? Is this true for "aspies" but not for "NTs"?

    "4. ability to pursue personal theory or perspective despite conflicting evidence"
    How is that even positive?

    "5. seeking an audience or friends capable of: enthusiasm for unique interests and topics;"
    Yeah but only focusing on interests can be problematic. Relationships need much more than that.

    "6. consideration of details; spending time discussing a topic that may not be of primary interest"
    I miss details a lot!

    "7. listening without continual judgement or assumption"
    I judge a lot! I thought that was what "aspies" did all the time.

    "8. interested primarily in significant contributions to conversation; preferring to avoid ‘ritualistic small talk’ or socially trivial statements and superficial conversation."
    I kinda like some small talk! Again we are talking about a steretype!

    "9. seeking sincere, positive, genuine friends with an unassuming sense of humour"
    I'm not sure this is even true. If you have difficulties reading people then how do you know that a friend is sincere, positive and genuine? Some "Aspies" can read people enough to seek the right friends but not all. This is nothing that is specific to ASD.

    "1. strong preference for detail over gestalt"
    Weak central coherence theory is not something all experts agree on. It's not that simple.
    Even if the theory was true how would this be only positive?
    Tony Attwood - Author of The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome
     
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  8. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    Us and them, creates feelings of separateness and opposition. I prefer unity and collaboration.
    Taken to the extreme, people think 'my religion is better than your religion'. I love my brothers and sisters because they wear the right hat, but if my brothers and sisters are wearing the wrong hat, I can hate them and eventually kill them.

    My family are Jewish. Many died during the Holocaust. And yet when I was growing up in the 70s, I heard a number of racist remarks pertaining to black people. Even after having gone through such victimisation, they were still creating an us and them mentality, for what as far as I was concerned was no reason. The 70s was quite a racist time in our British history, but still.

    We have to be careful. Just because I may be Asperger's doesn't mean I must want to be around other Asperger's. I just take people as I find them. I'd rather not know their labels. Not at first anyway.
     
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  9. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    Why even believe in a religion if you don't think it is better than other religions?
    What I find is that it is very important to see ourselves as human sinners with human dignity.
    I really like the: "Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes."
     
  10. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    True. And yet regardless of your beliefs, one religion cannot be better than another religion, only different. But that doesn't stop that mentality arising, which has ended up in war countless times.

    It is the tribal mentality. Just watching British football supporters in the 80s and 90s, battling on the streets simply because they follow and support a different set of 11 players kicking a ball into a net, doesn't stop them fighting as if it is serious and a matter of life and death. Same thing.
     
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  11. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    I dissagree!
    One religion must be the true religion.
    You might be relativist which contradicts itself I say but this is a bit off-topic.

    but yeah it is bad to go to war just because you dissagree with someone or become a violent person just because your football team lost. I cannot stand football hooligans.

    This is off-topic but let's say this: communism is famous for its wars.


    and Judaism says: Judaism is the true and best religion.
     
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  12. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    Until the medical community can accumulate enough neuroimaging data (there is plenty), and come to a common consensus as to what are the identifying characteristics of an autistic brain, diagnosis is going to be a bit nebulous for a while,...but we are getting closer each day. Perhaps the next generation of autistics and their families won't have these sort of questions.

    The first time I heard the term "Aspie" was from Dr. Tony Attwood's lecture on YouTube, . According to him, this term was coined by the Asperger's community, and it is a term that they use, often as a term of endearment. I don't know if that is true or not.

    I have a strong sense of self, so I really don't hang onto labels that much, as I will throw around the terms Asperger's Condition, Aspie, Autism, Autistic,...pretty much interchangeably with my postings on this site. However, with others outside the community, I find I have to qualify my statements more clearly because although most have heard the term "autism" and "Asperger's", most people, even within the medical field have a very vague idea of what it is and/or have misinformed ideas as to what these diagnostic labels mean.

    I think everyone wants to be accepted for who they are,...they don't want to have to "mask",...it is deceptive behavior. However, there are "societal norms", as vague as some may be, that must be followed in order to fit in and not be rejected. Naturally, autistics are a group of folks that find it a more difficult undertaking.
     
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  13. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    What does "strong sense of self" refer to?
     
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  14. SimonSays

    SimonSays Becoming aware of what appears to be real V.I.P Member

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    Just because it is said doesn't make it so. As all religions are man-made, ego plays a big part. The Christians believe the only path is through Christ. I'm sure there are similar statements coming from many other faiths. As you say, you would have to think that way otherwise why believe in it at all?

    As a Jewish boy growing up, we were told that we were the chosen people. The implication was that we were better than everyone else. This was not what it meant. It was just the way it had been interpreted. What it actually meant to be 'chosen' in this instance was, to be held to a higher standard, which is very different to being told you are better.
     
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  15. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    What agenda?
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Online sources appear to indicate that two persons formally claim to have coined the term.

    As of 1994, founder of AUTINET Damon Matthew Wise who is autistic. Autistic author Liane Holliday Willey also claimed to coin the phrase in her 1999 book “Pretending to be Normal”.

    Personally I don't think anything of using the term "Aspie" among my own kind. But I never use the term in the presence of NTs. Before I began to explore the possibility of being autistic myself, I don't even recall hearing or knowing about it until around 2011.
     
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  17. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    "And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more" Luke 12:48
     
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  18. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Please don't take my words as intended to delegitimize the conversation, because I think it's a very important one. But we so often deal with the same issue, from various directions. The general question is, what good is it to know that you are autistic? And this is so often couched with great generalizations about autism.

    Whether or not we give him credit, God created humanity as a social animal. Deer have an instinctual ability to understand the behavior of other deer; it is an incredibly important part of their survival, both as individuals and as a species. Likewise horses, sheep, whales, humans, etc.

    Autistic people have a distinctively dim understanding/facility with normal human social behavior. My observation is that autistic people simply do not have the hardwiring to support the normal social functions, but they are-for the most part-still wired as social beings. Just without the common instinct. (He said, grossly generalizing.) This means two things: they don't instinctively understand 'us,' and we do not instinctively understand 'them.' This makes it an unavoidable fact... it's us and them. Just as deer think it's us and them. We are, at the instinctual level, somewhat separated from the main body of humanity by the vast gulf this non-typical neurology creates.

    When one deer flicks its tail, it triggers a specific chemical reaction in its herdmates. How long would an individual deer survive if it just... simply. does. not. care... about what Fred does with his tail? This may seem an unflattering comparison, but I think it's apt.

    However, humans are created far above the deer and we range far beyond simple survival behaviors. Even though it is us and them, it doesn't have to be adversarial; we can adopt an approach of cooperation and mutual respect. This takes a serious effort on our part, and many of us are just too often injured by 'them' to make the effort.

    OK. All that said, I'll now humbly state the problem. We autistics are able to see the problem of our differences. We have a vested interest in recognizing and addressing the problem. Neurotypical people only see 'wrong' behavior on our part and do with it what they do with most human misbehavior. And so-cold and cruel though it may seem to 'us'-'they' feel no onus to engage in diplomacy with a group that they don't even recognize as a group.

    And (for those of you still awake) this is why I am sometimes willing to use labels. It's also why I view the behavior of neurotypicals as instinctive. They are no different than us in that respect. I try to keep in mind that it's very difficult to harness knowledge in such a fashion that it overcomes instinct. Which is why masking is so very damned hard for the autist, and why accepting us is so difficult for the neurotypical.
     
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  19. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    after looking at my posts in this thread I just have to say:
    much of the stereotypes come from people in the asperger's community.
    People who give simplifies description or explanations. I am responsible for this as well.
     
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  20. harrietjansson

    harrietjansson Well-Known Member

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    not always in my opinion.

    many people buy into this: "1. strong preference for detail over gestalt"
    Tony Attwood - Author of The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome
    I say:
    Weak central coherence theory is not something all experts agree on. It's not that simple.
    Even if the theory was true how would this be only positive?
    "aspies" who just love this talk about seeing the details buy into something that i call "simplistic description and explanation".
    But many of us also say that we can be very good at gestal or very bad at seeing the details.