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What is it like being neurotypical or Aspie?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Rayner, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was going to respond to this, but it was all coming out stiff and rehearsed (what my SO often says when I'm trying to be supportive and understanding). Then I read Dogwood's response, which expresses my thoughts much better than I would be able to, at least tonight.
     
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  2. Cosmophylla

    Cosmophylla (coz-MOFF-illa) V.I.P Member

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    DogwoodTree, you really nailed it.

    I can't "just understand... it isn't about right or wrong" as you wrote, LoveDream. And this is my major struggle as a parent. I see something my son is handling badly. I love my son, so I want to help. So I will try talking to him to give him advice about how to handle such a situation next time. I can't stop myself from judging, as you put it. I have tried and tried and tried to offer emotional validation to him, to follow advice and mirror his actions back to him to offer support and allow him to open up, but it just doesn't work for me. For some reason I can do it on rare occasions, when I'm kind of disconnected from my own self, but the rest of the time, most of the time, I'm the grumpy, impatient, negative mum who sees that her son has led himself into a situation that he had been warned about. Now, I think my son is also on the spectrum, so that may also contribute to it, and that just compounds the difficulty. He can't express himself, I can't express myself,a and my way of showing I care for him is to give him the best pep talks I can to correct his behaviour. No amount of parenting advice seems to help me. :( He doesn't respond like the books say, and never has. That was one of the things that led us to finding out he is gifted. He is so unlike other kids.

    Also, I know exactly what you mean when you say you aren't entirely convinced people aren't faking that emotional connection, DogwoodTree... I'm not convinced, either. I can say I have found a deep connection with my husband, but it is unlike what I see many other people doing, and I still haven't worked out the secret code to understanding his mind or what to say and when. ETA: the connection I describe is like a soul connection... Soul mates. It is beyond description, I think. I have another soul mate that I met on AC. But again I can't really describe it... (Though that won't stop me from trying) It's a sense of solidarity based on shared experiences, maybe. Having walked similar paths in life, our minds somehow reflect each other? Not sure. :)
     
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  3. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    Exactly DogwoodTree No one accepts, likes, is happy with another person for no reason. "Accept me no matter what." is a fairy tale fantasy world. Not bathing for a month makes one unacceptable, lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, etc... all make a person unacceptable to the vast majority of other people.

    We each find other things unacceptable that others have, do, say or are. NO ONE IS 100% ACCEPTABLE , no matter what, period.

    Same for understanding, I'm not going to understand every one of your feelings just like you won't understand every one of mine. You wouldn't understand why DJ making the mics feedback on purpose and laughing pissed me off to the point I smashed a speaker over his head just like I don't understand why you would complain about your sister leaving a mess in your car and not buying gas for it - just go to her and make her clean it, or pay to have it cleaned and, make her give you money for the gas she used out of that car. No reason to get upset, just deal with it.

    Sure I could give you "OH, that's horribly inconsiderate of her. I hate inconsiderate people." But what would that accomplish? Nothing unless I needed to make you think you were my superionr and, I thougt you were so much smarter than me that I wouldn't dare suggest a solution to your problem of the moment. It's just big wig pandering and arse kissing is all that crap is. it isn't real or honest.

    Is that really what NTs want and do ALL OF THE TIME? I mean yes it'a public event, meeting the boss, negotiating a big contract, etc... thing but, is that BS what you all want all of the time? No realism? No honesty? No solution to personal problems?
     
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  4. metalminx24

    metalminx24 Well-Known Member

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    I'm fairly certain Lovedream wasn't suggesting we should go around kissing arse and lying, and never solving problems. She was trying to give another perspective, a perspective several have noted as being interesting/helpful. Not everyone can just power through anything life throws without stumbling and in those times it can help to have someone else at least try to show understanding. That's not to say they can't think of their own solutions to whatever problem. And of course no-one is 100% acceptable, it's more a case of 'I may not like x,z,q about this person but despite that I still want to be with them'.
    If real and honest is all that's important- constructive conversation is far different to plain nastiness. Maybe take a minute...
     
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  5. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    To me, constructive conversation IS useful conversation. That means exchanging NEW information and/or solving problems/correcting issues. If it does none of those things, there is no reason to be talking in the first place - it becomes a waste of air. Yes one we all should learn to do because it gets you promotions, jobs, things you need and, have to be in the good graces of others to get but, beyond using it as a tool to help you succeed in life it's a waste of air. Friends should not need to do that, if I have to continually impress you, tell you how great you are and, pretend to agree with you then, you aren't the sort of friend I want.

    I want friends where honesty, constructive critzism and, informed disagreements are the currency of the friendship, not ones where placating, trying to make the other person feel good or, pretending to feel what they feel is the basis of the friendship - that's too much work for a friendship.
     
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  6. LoveDream

    LoveDream LoveDream V.I.P Member

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    :)

    Beverly,
    Please don't reply to me unless you can be respectful. I have taken a lot of your judgmental, negative, disrespectful, rude and stereotypical comments, in silence. But, there is only so much negativity one can take.

    You can share your opinion without being insulting, condescending, disrespectful and rude. I have given you the utmost respect and all I ask is the same in return.

    I have not bashed, put down, attacked or insulted you or anyone here and I don't deserve to be mistreated all because I'm an "NT".
     
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  7. LoveDream

    LoveDream LoveDream V.I.P Member

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    I am so sorry. I understand how experiences in childhood does affect our development (mentally, emotionally, physically).

    I'm glad that you have such a wonderful husband!!! Having someone you can turn to is very comforting.

    What I described doesn't occur with majority of people, often it's a select few that we can really be ourselves with. Ex: "The dumb jock" classic sterotype that jocks can't be smart, that's for nerds. So, Josh "downplays" his intelligence in front of his peers and teammates, yet he's actually very smart. Maybe, just his girlfriend and Coach sees this side of him.

    Do you like art? I'm horrible at it but one of friends, is extremely shy and has social anxiety. She took an art course and has found it very helpful in expressing herself, her way. She couldn't do it in words but turns out she can in other forms.

    Or maybe dance or poetry or writing? What are other ways you can express your true self, where you are in control of how, when, why, whether it's fluid etc...

    I experience connecting as my way of "recharging". It's comforting, gives me pleasure and makes me happy.

    As for it being "fake"- no, it's as automatic as you if you were to tell me what synesthesia is...your 'feeling' you get when you are sharing, explaining, exchanging information is the same feeling I get.

    I know how hard it can be trying to "read minds" (that's how Mr.LoveDream tells me it feels like). What can we do to help include you?? I think we naturally assume everyone feels like us, so we can be quite ignorance of even recognizing that this is not always the case.

    Ps. Think of like this: You know when a baby is "goo gooing" and baby talking to an adult. The adult drops to the babys eye line, starts to mimic baby talk and they both will smile, laugh and enjoy this experience.

    -Of course the adult has no idea what the baby was saying (unless you major on Baby Talk lol-my attempt at a joke, clearly I missed my calling in life as a comedian...lol) but the glee and joy they experienced is what they connected with.

    Please excuse me if any of this was confusing....

     
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  8. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    I'm not being rude or aiming at you, just telling it how I see it. I take things literally unless specifically told "This is how it is except when....." and give the exact specifics of when there is supposed to be an exception.

    I do not understand the need to be liked, to have anyone else feel whatever emotion I or anyone else is feeling or, to understand something that is not relevant to the individual. I don't expect anyone else to understand or know why I get upset over audio set up and sound check errors same as I don't understand why people get upset when they loan people something and the person that borrowed it wrecks it or messes it up when it would be better to simply demand the person correct or pay for the problem they caused.

    To me it's simple reality that no one else is going to understand anyone else because no one else has had the same life experiences and any other person. No two people are going to feel the exact same way about the same thing. No one can validate who, what, how or where I am except me because no one except me knows every detail of how, when, where, why and what got me here and, it's the same for you, him, her, whoever.

    I don't understand repairing cares, for example because I don't all of the details and reasons for those details on every type of car there is. You might not understand music because you don't know every detail of every genere and style of music. She might not understand raising children because she doesn't know every detail of every age of a child. He might not understand lawn care because he doesn't know the details of the different types of grass. No one understands anyone else's life because they don't know the details, no one undertstands anyone's feelings because they don't know the details. Details being everything that went into making each od us the individuals we each are.

    So I don't understand how anyone could expect another to validate or understand them. Sure agree or disagree but, that's it.
     
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  9. qwerty

    qwerty Sight seeing on the planet of the apes

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    This, to me appears that you are projecting some very manipulative and self centered personal beliefs Bev.
    I myself and many, many people actually express genuinely positive feedback to people in our lives very frequently simply because we feel like expressing our respect and care to them.


    your posts sometimes come across quite aggressive, condescending and reveal far more about yourself than i think you may realise.

    i don't think you mean to, and think you have some very good qualities too.
    It sounds like you, like me like to have people be direct, and i know i would appreciate someone telling me rather than ignore it,
     
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  10. LoveDream

    LoveDream LoveDream V.I.P Member

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    Beverly,
    How you just wrote this comment is the best example of expressing your opinion while being respectful and mindful of others. You expressed your disagreement without any negative or condescending words. Thank you!!!! This is all I wanted.

    As for the topic of acceptance and understanding....My coworker is pregnant and she's very sensitive to smells. I was eating a banana and she told me the smell was making her naseous. I told her, I was sorry and it must be very hard dealing with 'morning sickness' and that
    I'd try to be more cautious about what foods I bring to office.

    Now, I've never been pregnant before but I acknowledged, accepted and tried my best to understand her feelings. I don't have to be a doctor, or have been pregnant to process that she is extremely uncomfortable by the smell of bananas. The acceptance and understanding is not factual based.

    I know nothing about cars so when my friend Logan is working on his car and then calls me all in a huff to tell me because of x, y, z part is backorder or he doesn't have the right size wrench etc....I don't know the specifics of parts or wrench size, its not important. I do know how frustrating it is to not have everything you need in a timely manner or missing a tool that you need. So, I say, that's ridiculous that the part is backordered. How long do you have to wait? Maybe try online? It's the "huff" the frustration, the annoyance that I'm accepting and understanding, not the "topic".

    Of course, this doesn't change the fact that the part is backordered or the fact that Logan didn't have the correct tool. We accept this as fact. Our emotions surrounding this fact is what we deal with.

    Here's an example: MIke is 5 years old and has been crying everyday when his mom drops him off at school. It's his first time, ever being away from his mom for such a long time.

    Mike is crying and his tells his teacher, "I miss Mommy" over and over again.
    His teacher tells him, "Aww, I know you miss Mommy very much. I see that when she leaves you get very sad." Mike at this point, is nodding his head and saying "Yes, because mommy always plays with me and makes me lunch and reads my favorite books, but she's not now and it makes me sad" -Mikes feelings has been validated and therfore he feels safe to tell his teacher "why" he's crying. Now, they can move forward and maybe the teacher offers solutions...draw mommy a picture telling her all about your day or the teacher tells Mike's mom, that he misses their interactions and needs reassurance.
    ■ This is also helpful for Mike, because he now understands why he was upset. Often, as NT'S we feel our emotions but we don't fully understand why we feel that way. But, sometimes we can get caught up in the feelings and not actually move to the stage of understanding and that is why we need others to keep ourselves in check.

    What would not be helpful is criticizing, minimizing or dismissing Mike's feelings. If his teacher said, "All the other kids miss their mommy's and they aren't crying" or "Big boys don't cry. You're 5 now and you're a big boy. Only babies cry." Or "Okay, when you're ready to join us, without crying, you can. If you want to miss all the fun, then okay."

    ▪▪As for your example of murderers or other criminals....you know how a therapist testifies on the mental capacity of the criminal and presents, in their professional opinion, if the criminal had a disorder or mental breakdown or that the criminal suffered from an abusive environment as a child and this caused x, y, z which led to x, y, z. The therapist isn't saying murdering is okay. They are just trying to understand "why" and the only way is to understand the criminal.

    Please work with me in my examples and if some information or fact is wrong, oops, it's not intentional.
     
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  11. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    In your teacher example, I would remind the apparently forgetful child that "mommy" was at work and would be back later in the day, then leave the child to process that and think it through. That's how I would wish to be treated in that situation. Being coddled would not allow me to process anything because I'd have to be responding to the adult, trying to figure out what they wanted form me, what I was "supposed" to be doing. Leaving me alone would let me process and, I'd realize on my own that crying wasn't making Mommy come back noire, time pass any faster so, thought I may dislike it, I'd shut up and join the class. However if the teacher were to coddle me, I'd keep crying, add screaming and, it would eventually result ina meltdown because I would be overloaded with verbal input from the teacher.

    I also think that the "bad parents made the now adult be a criminal." is bogus. I don't think that is a reason at all. If it were then I'd be a crazed serial killer or a pushy religious zealot, convinced that anyone not of my "One true faith" was damned one. I think we are each responsible for ourselves and, it's up to us to change how we react to the world around us because that is all we can change. We only have control over ourselves, we can never change what others do nor events that happen which we are not responsible for planning. We can only control ourselves and what we as individuals choose to initiate. So, all we can do is change ourselves and, how we react to that which is beyond our control.

    For example, I could choose the allow myself to be angry when my ex step son implied that I was a female dog on his Facebook but instead, I chose to laugh and post a photo with a poll asking all of his followers if they thought I looked like a canine. I can's alter what he thinks of me nor the satisfaction he gets form calling me derogatory names but, I can laugh about it and, find ways to make every one of those he posts come out sounding like a joke to readers. Better for me to laught than be angry - anger is not healthy in large doses, laughter is.
     
  12. Progster

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

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    Beverly I've been in a similar situation where I was in charge of a 4-year-old whose mother had gone out for a while, and I dealt with it exactly as you described. She started crying melting down and asking for her mum. I told her that her mum was out, and that she'd have to wait until she got back. I didn't try to talk to her but stayed in the room with her but she continued crying, then I put her ABBA CD on, adn she started to calm down. In that kind of situation, I understand that the child is upset because her mum left her with a strange woman because I know that small children do often react like that with babysitters, but I didn't feel the emotional connection that LoveDream describes, adn I don't have the instinct to go and comfort the child. Instead I think that I have a situation on my hands that must be dealt with, so i deal with in in the only way I know how to, which is to find some other way to stop the child crying, which for me means a practical solution like putting the CD on, because I know that the child likes ABBA and it might distract her from the fact that her mum isn't there adn she might stop crying.

    What it comes down to is that NTs relate to people and things through emotions, but we don't because we don't get that emotional connection that NTs have, so we deal with things in a practical rather than emotional way. The first instinct of an NT when they see a child crying is to go adn comfort that child, relating to it emotionally, hugging and talking to it and taking care if its emotional needs, whereas we will think "oh dear, the child is crying, now what do I do? How do I stop the child crying?" We know that people have emotional needs, but we don't know how to fulfill the emotional needs of others. In NTs, this is an innate skill, but in us, it isn't.
     
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  13. DogwoodTree

    DogwoodTree Still here...

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    I think this will vary a lot by personality and experience, not just neurology. I was at a church meeting a few months ago, and there was a grandmother there with her very small grandson (just a few weeks old). She walked out of the room for a few minutes with a friend, leaving the baby in a stroller in the care of her guy friend.

    The baby started crying, but the guy didn't pick him up. Then the baby started screaming, and the three guys in the room start talking about how it's good for a baby to cry some. Within a couple of minutes, the scream goes into panic mode, and I know from experience of raising 4 kids that this is not good for that baby, and I feel sad for him, scared even. So I ignored the three guys' decision to let the baby cry and went and picked him up and comforted him and rocked him and looked into his eyes so he would know he's safe and not alone, even though he didn't know me.

    The three guys were NTs, but they preferred to ignore the baby's screaming. I responded, not because of the loud noise that I needed to stop, but because my heart ached for that terrified little baby being left there to cry with no response from the people in his world. He sounded alone and scared.

    But then, I have many years of experience caring for babies and reading their cues. So I knew what the baby was feeling and how to respond, so I did. And this, I think, goes back to the question of empathy. It's not that we don't have empathy. From my perspective anyway, I have a ton of empathy. I just don't always pick up on the right information about how people are feeling, and/or I don't know how to respond to that information once I get it. Seems to me that what NTs usually want in response to their emotions would make the situation worse, not better, so it's really hard to give them things that seem so counter productive, and that would be so uncomfortable for me in that same situation.

    Like, "You mean you want a hug when you're sad? With all that physical contact? Really? Isn't that overwhelming? Doesn't that overload the system? Wouldn't you rather just have some space?"

    I can't quite fathom how a hug is supposed to help when someone, an adult, is upset. For me, it's extremely counterintuitive. And if I'm feeling their sadness at the same time that they're feeling it, I don't want the physical contact at that point, either, because I'm already overwhelmed with their emotions (or baffled by their emotions...that happens a lot, too).
     
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  14. Progster

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

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    DogwoodTree Yes, I think it also matters what experience you have. You are a mother, and you know how to comfort a crying baby. I don't have children and I really don't know how to deal with babies. My experience of handling babies is that when I pick them up, I feel awkward, perhaps they sense this and start to cry. My experience is with older children as an educator, so I know how to teach and encourage them to learn, but other people with no experience of this won't know how to do this, regardless whether they are on the spectrum or not.

    But the real question is here, is this action, picking up the baby to comfort it, the result of learned experience, or is it intuitive?

    Also, guys have certain ideas of masculinity, that it's not manly to pick up a baby and comfort it, they want to preserve their macho image. I know this may sound dangerously like a stereotype, but I think there's also some truth to it.
     
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  15. DogwoodTree

    DogwoodTree Still here...

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    I don't think any of the three men there that night would have felt their masculinity threatened by picking up the baby. Two of them are grandfathers.

    I really don't know why they didn't pick him up. It seemed so obvious to me what should've been done. I waited as long as I did only because the baby didn't know me, whereas he was more familiar with two of the other guys. I didn't think it was my place to step in, until it became obvious the baby really was getting stressed out and the guy watching him really wasn't going to respond.

    You're right, though...I've learned that response from experience with my own kids. I was never a natural caretaker with kids...always clumsy about it, and still am today even with 4 kids of my own (and I'm also trained as a teacher).

    Babies are easier...simpler to understand and provide for. I knew the baby needed to be cuddled, and I know how to calm my own energy level to help calm a baby's energy level. I can even put myself in a near sleep state to help a baby go to sleep, because I know their heart rate, breathing pattern, and brain waves regulate to the person holding them.

    What is intuitive for me is observing patterns of what works and what doesn't, and using objective logic to deduce what needs to be done, and then objectively carrying that out while putting my own needs aside for the sake of a small child. It wasn't warm-fuzzy-love that made me do what I did. It was logic. The baby is panicking, and I can feel the stress on his system. The baby needs help re-regulating his system because the fear and pain he's feeling is more than he can handle. No one else is giving this to him, and I can, even though I'm not sure that's allowed because he's not my baby. So I took a chance and got up and did it. And the grandmother thanked me when she got back, so I think I did the right thing.
     
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  16. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    I also know that I have empathy, but like you posted, I don't always know the way to express that. How I would react to something (quiet contemplation, needing some alone time, excusing myself to go and calm down) is apparently not how an NT would react. When I am stressed or in some form of pain, I prefer to handle it by myself, unless I need medical attention, say. A hug or acknowledgement is not first on my mind. So when confronted with a person in some distress, I would usually ask if they are OK, if there is something I can do, but emotional reassurance would be secondary, and I would have to think "is there some emotional reassurance needed?" which I would probably overlook.

    For example, I ride my bike a lot, often I come across someone with a mechanical problem. I always have spare tubes, some basic tools, and a small bike pump with me, so I will stop and ask if the person needs help. Once in a while I'm able to help someone out and get them going again, but I am not aware that they might have been emotionally distressed. I provided the practical help they needed, but other than saying I'm glad I could help, I wouldn't think any emotional support would be needed.

    I also do some mountain bike racing, my 9 year old son does the kid's races and I usually do the mid-pack ride along in case there is a mishap. Nearly every race a kid crashes, or has a mechanical problem, and I check them over and get them going again. Often they are upset, maybe crying, but I reassure them that they are OK, and encourage them to get going again. That is an example of my ability to provide emotional support, though I can do more for friends and family, depending on the situation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
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  17. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Cosmophylla

    Cosmophylla (coz-MOFF-illa) V.I.P Member

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    I completely agree with you here. I finding dealing with kids, even my own, extremely hard but babies kind of speak a primal language to me. Mind you, that is because I am a mother and have experience caring for and learning about babies. Without that experience and the knowledge I consciously put into my head so I'd understand babies' communication and needs, that primal language spoken by the baby would have been misunderstood, as indeed it was for many years. I had no idea about babies until I got pregnant, even on an innate, instinctive level. It took pregnancy and the huge education I undertook to awaken that primal understanding of baby language. Nowadays my instinct would have taken me over to the baby in the stroller to comfort him. I doubt I would have picked him up for fear of being admonished for handling another's child, but I would have made eye and physical contact as best I could, and spoken to him gently. If it was a teeny baby the urge to pick him up and cradle him (as he so desperately needed at the time) would've been very strong; older babies less so.

    Now that my kids speak and walk and are aware of their individuality and needs, I'm floundering. It's practical solutions all the way for me. On rare occasions I can recall how I felt as a child and try to apply that knowledge when faced with an issue with my son (bullying, trouble with verbal instruction, etc.), but it's still practical advice I offer. Even when I suggest to him that he meditate to regulate his emotions, I'm being practical. He rejects hugs as well, which is handy. :)
     
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  19. LeroyT1000

    LeroyT1000 Active Member

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    NTs thrive on their fake friends who bond with how good they look with each other or who's boyfriend is the most jealous or what kind of wine they want to drink on a Friday night. They caste out the unfamiliar and those who don't fit into their safe lives. Pretentious people who rate themselves by how much money they earn and if they are earning more than the girl they used to ridicule at school lol!!! Make up, hair extensions, nails, eyebrows and bullshiiiiii lol
     
  20. AveApollo

    AveApollo Active Member

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    Are there any more neurotypicals that can provide some more examples of what goes through your head during day to day interactions, activities (like going to a public place such as a supermarket or mall/Shopping centre) how you interact with other neurotypicals etc? Aspies: If you can ask your NT friends, that would be helpful. I'm very interested. I've got a provisional AS diagnosis (awaiting the face to face interview, but tested as an Aspie on all tests and questionnaires). I used to this I was a failed NT but now I know I'm not NT, I want to know how they think (I thought i knew) and compare to my experiences. Thanks.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2