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Featured 'Traits' Or 'Symptoms'...?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Crossbreed, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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  2. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  3. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Base autism is ASD1. It is a form of neuro-diversity and can be thought of as having "traits."

    ASD2 & 3 are ASD1 with more extensive co-morbid conditions. Their additional features are not really part of autism at all, but evidence/"symptoms" of a subsequent brain injury that ASD1s are more susceptible to.
     
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  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I often just use both words. But it depends on what I'm referring to.

    For instance, I have the ability to think in a very abstract way, since as with most on the spectrum my mind just works differently. By my definition, that's a "trait".

    But I also have sensory issues that can result in a shutdown or overload. I tend to think of that more as a "symptom", as it's a problematic thing that manifests under certain conditions, and there's no element of control there. It's simply something going wrong.
     
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  5. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Holy hell, @Crossbreed - I'm going to have to do some googling because you've just presented me with new information! :p I'll try and extend my knowledge of it in the morning.

    @Misery so you feel that where there are negative issues that affect your life, that you tend to think of those as symptoms. While 'differences' that aren't necessarily negatives or difficulties you think of more as traits?
     
  6. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    That theory is formally espoused by a Dr. Martha Herbert, though I came to the same conclusion independently. [​IMG]
     
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  7. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Hm, a bit more to it than that. But I'm not good at explaining this sort of thing.

    "Traits" are more like personality aspects, things like that. They simply "are", and technically can exist without autism to the same degree. Autism may make those things far more likely to be present, but it's not necessary. They can be positive or negative.

    "Symptoms" are direct effects that pretty much define what autism is to most people. Sensory meltdowns, inability to understand social norms, stuff like that. They tend to be "heavy" things. It's sometimes possible to have them without the condition, but in that case it's usually fairly minor (and when it isnt minor, it's probably associated with a different type of condition). For those on the spectrum, it's drastically worse and can really wreck you at times. These are rarely positive.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I just see autism in terms of traits and behaviors.

    With traits being aspects of autism (whether interpreted as symptoms or not) that are not possible to change versus behaviors which may be subject to change, ebbing and flowing throughout our lives.

    Personally I'm not particularly concerned about the semantics of it all, other than to differentiate (and recognize) between that which we might be able to change, versus that which on a purely individual level we can't.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  9. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Traits and behaviours really, because it's not an illness.
     
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  10. NateSean

    NateSean Well-Known Member

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    It could just be a tomato tomahto thing for some people. I would say the only difference is a trait is something that anyone can have. It's not necessarily disruptive or pathological.

    A symptom is something you definitely notice whether you want to or not. It's disruptive and it can be, or is advisable, to treat in some way or another.

    In the beginning, the "therapist" who diagnosed me was not as interested in treating as he was in forcing the diagnosis down my throat. And so few hard facts were actually known about the higher end of the autistic spectrum that I think he basically just had a grab bag to choose from to try and convince me he was right.
     
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  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I was talking to someone about autism not being an illness and they said, "what about when a kid has a habit of randomly just running and running away?"

    Is that only a part of ASD 2 and 3? Is it comorbid? Why do they even do it? I had no information for this person. :eek:
     
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  12. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Okay so it's not a widely accepted/known theory. Because I couldn't find much about it doing a search. I'll still look into it though.
     
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  13. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know what @Misery, if you had trouble explaining I had just as much trouble understanding! :) Thanks for your extra info - it actually makes a lot of sense to be honest. It also fits in with some of the other posts here that asd involves traits and symptoms.
     
  14. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The replies here are really helpful - keep them coming :)

    I'm still really confused as to whether I see it as an illness/disorder of some kind. Note: My views are still developing.

    I have some issues but I also have plenty of 'traits', to do with autism, that are pretty okay or cool even. So I feel it's 'easier' to see autism as a difference in neurology for me, not an illness or disorder. But I still do think of it as a disorder or disability in some ways too because of the difficulties.

    The autistic community is not made up entirely of little me copies though. There is great variety and many of those who have more difficulties and need more care from others to get by can't get on here to type away and tell us about their lives. So I've been thinking, you know, what do they think about symptoms vs traits? What do they think about difference vs illness/disorder/disability?

    (And I have found that there is some 'inclusion' fanaticism in the autistic community, and outside it, too, as people want to support us. Just so I don't end up getting sledged here *fingerscrossed* - I'm not against inclusion. The ideas I'm toying with, I feel, are about being more inclusive and understanding, rather than less so, because I don't feel recognising and discussing difference cancels out similarities, and kinship as a group)
     
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  15. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    They are symptoms until the condition is diagnosed. Symptoms are just clues to a medical mystery. Once you know what you are dealing with, they are traits. Either way, it doesn't lessen their impact on your life.
     
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  16. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    ASD2 = ASD1 + brain injury. Behaviors emanating from the latter are called co-morbids.
    ASD3 = ASD1 + more brain injury.
    ASD1.x = ASD1 + less brain injury.
    Dr. Herbert is a heavy-hitter at the US Autism Association.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  17. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Precisely, and that's why you are likely to get a range of answers to this questions. Each autistic person experiences their autism in a different way.
     
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  18. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    The things that define us as being on the spectrum are traits. No one of them by themselves are evidence that any of the others (or anything else in particular) will be present in the person. A trait is a bit of a person's personality type.

    A symptom is suggestive that something else (usually bad) is present, but the symptom is not the thing itself, rather the symptom 'belongs' to the thing that it suggests. Smoke, heat and crackling sounds are symptoms of fire.

    I'm not at all good at communication through hinting, this lack of skill is one of my traits. I am sometimes misunderstood, this is a symptom of having poor social skills.
     
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  19. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    There are a couple of known genes that cause autism. They've been "proven" to whatever degree of significance you care to push the data to. They run about 2% of the overall autistic population. There are many other gene candidates out there - possibly thousands. That just means a probability - significantly greater than zero - that they cause/contribute to autism. It could easily be that more profound cases of autism could result from those genes "stacking." Also from being combined with other developmental disabilities and the resulting complex blamed entirely on the easily diagnosed autism.

    *****

    There's not a lot of evidence suggesting big impacts by environmental factors. Depending on which study you look at, the genetic contribution runs around 90%. Stuff that is normally heritable, not brand new mutations never seen before.

    The possible environmental factors involve:
    • Advanced parental age at the time of conception
    • Prenatal exposure to air pollution
    • Maternal obesity or diabetes
    • Extreme prematurity and very low birth weight
    • Any birth difficulty leading to periods of prenatal oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain
    • Prenatal exposure to certain pesticides
    • Prenatal exposure to Valproate or Thalidomide
    • Lack of prenatal nutrition
    There's some evidence that exposure to organo-phosphate pesticides in utero and during the first year increases the degree of autism a person already disposed to the condition might experience. It isn't a huge increase in absolute terms of the population but it could be a 50% increase in relative terms among people who lived within 2000 meters of where these chemicals were applied. That is a small population, mostly farmers and agricultural workers. It doesn't seem to be causing a larger over-all autism rate.

    As intriguing as the results were, I don't think they can be expanded to the population in general.
     
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  20. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're absolutely right. I guess the helpfulness, for me, comes in hearing the variety of answers and in hearing why people think the way they do.
     
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