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Featured Your unautistic autism symptoms.

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by Vatblack, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. Vatblack

    Vatblack Active Member

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    (I am a parent of a 9 year old daughter with autism.)

    I am doing an informative speech on autism in two weeks. I am thinking of talking about parents of autistic children and people with autism themselves who was surprised that they are not anything like Sherlock Holmes or Sheldon from Big Bang or rain man.

    Basically, I want to break down the stereotype and paint a more realistic picture.
    To give you an example of what I'm after:
    My daughter at the young age of two did line up her baby dolls in a row.
    She also made a lot of eye contact and is very social.

    So, when I tried to figure out why she is different, I dismissed autism because she made eye contact. I simply decided I was a bad parents and did not know how to parent.

    So please share your experiences as a parent or a person identified on the spectrum that goes against the stereotypes will be appreciated. I might be quoting some of you directly if it fits in the structure of my presentation (unless you aske me not to) and I will use examples of how real people differ from the stereotyped characters.

    Also, if there are any reading material you could direct me to on this particular aspect I would appreciate it greatly.
     
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  2. Dubz

    Dubz Member

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    I'm on the spectrum and I make eye contact. It may be fleeting, usually, but sometimes too intense, like when I'm Pissed off! I don't think we can be pigeonholed anymore than anyone else can be. No two NTs are alike in every way either. Far as I've read most autistics aren't very athletic either but I am. I have always been somewhat clumsy, especially when I was really young. However, I played hockey, soccer, rode a skateboard, and played all kinds of sports when I was young. No doubt it all helped with my coordination. I've also dabbled in martial Arts. I am much more athletic than most people whom I went to HS with that were on the HS teams. I'm also not a math wiz or really a "wiz" at anything, although I did very well in school. Academically. Socially ehhh. I really like that you're trying to break down the stereotype, I applaud you and I hope your speech goes well. If I could pose My feeling on the subject in a sentence it would be this: As person with autism I don't think you can look at any one of us, point your finger and say, "That's what autism looks like." We are as varied as the rest of em, whatever the label is, even if it's "normal" whatever that is. I have many autistic traits but I've masked well enough to get by, usually. I feel like I'm blabbering too much now so I'm out. I'll reflect on my response and think about how it could have better. That's probably another trait. Good luck with your speech.
     
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  3. Clueless in Canada

    Clueless in Canada Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm pretty good at public speaking, but what people don't realise is that not all autistic people are necessarily shy and also public speaking is quite different from normal conversation, which I am not good at. With public speaking there is a script, it's okay to have notes, I can rehearse and in front of a large crowd I can sort of make them visually disappear. I just don't see them while I speak. I do have to be quite motivated or invested in the situation to speak publicly but when I do it people tell me they don't know how I can do it, and that I am so impressive.


    I have met a few people who have been denied a diagnosis as adults because someone saw them public speaking.
     
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  4. Vatblack

    Vatblack Active Member

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    Unbelievable! There are a few actors that have come out as being on the spectrum!
     
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  5. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    When I was a little kid, I had friends and usually did well in social situations and was pretty outgoing. It wasn't until I was a teenager and wasn't ready to be one that I started becoming depressed and withdrawn, mostly at school.

    And I always stunk at math. It drives me insane that everyone assumes we're all great at math. But I was always good at reading and loved it
    .
    I'm always hearing that aspie girls are anorexic. Or that all aspies are skinny. I'm not.:(

    I wasn't afraid of public speaking, either. I think it might be because I could speak to an audience but they had to sit still and be quiet until I was done, so I'm the one doing all the talking and interaction. I also had a loud, clear voice so it wasn't hard for people to hear me. I did find making eye contact a pain, though.
     
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  6. Kyou Nukui

    Kyou Nukui music is amazing

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    Autism isn't the (idea of a) person that others see. It isn't the school subjects you're good at or bad at. It isn't being introvert or extravert. It isn't the things you say or do. It isn't having a hobby bordering on a fixation, or having no real "passion" for anything in particular. It isn't being neat or messy. It isn't a preference for symmetry or for asymmetry.
    Anyone can be bad at sports, line things up by size or have emotional outbursts, be introverted or extraverted.
    Sure, you can find differences in the statistical likelihood of an autist having one or other of these outwardly visible traits; but they are all traits that auties share with the normies, that both auties and normies can express in any degree or variation.

    It is simply a different use of the internal (behind the scenes) routes of conscious and subconscious thought processes that an autistic mind uses to perceive and make sense of incoming stimuli and formulate response.

    Some say that auties' thought processes take more complex and thorough routes; that we are more methodical and less intuitive.

    I could be really over simplifying here but to try to give you some idea of what autism is AFAIK in a paragraph or less, I would describe auties as being (typically) more rigid in the thought processing route map used, with (typically) less frequent use of shortcuts; but that doesn't mean there's more waypoints on the route that thoughts take through the autistic mind, or that auties won't make use of certain shortcuts that prove useful and reliable for the individual. I think that we may (typically) have a preference for the planned or familiar routes, and our thought route maps are less likely to be adapted on the fly.


    P.S.I would avoid using the phrase "coming out". xD
     
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  7. Progster

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

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    People think that autistic people don't have empathy, but that's not true. In fact, they often have too much empathy. People also think that we can't have friends, romantic relationships, children, a job... there are so many stereotypes that just don't hold true. Some don't have a romantic relationship, some don't have kids, some don't have many friends, but many do. Most are introverted, but some are extroverted, too.

    I have a job which involves a lot of interaction with people, I'm a language tutor. I can make eye contact, am polite and friendly, show empathy, enjoy some activities with people like walking/foraging, have a relationship, one or two friends. I can 'act neurotypical' (to some extent but not completely) and mask/supress my Asperger's traits, my struggles are often internal rather than external.
     
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  8. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    I often think there is a blindness in the way empathy is tested and 'framed' for the test.

    Is it is 'social empathy' or 'expected cultural response empathy' that seems to be tested. Not empathy itself.

    If you don't react how you're supposed to, you fail the test.

    Hidden assumptions amongst a lot of tests is 'does this person fit in to be considered normal under current cultural norms.'

    Which is often a struggle dismissed. As we are often dismissed.
     
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  9. Progster

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

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    Yes - we have different thought processes to them and process information in a different way, so often have different resposes to social cues, or fail to realise even that we are being cued for something, or we might have a non-conventional opinion on something, all of which they erroneously interpret as coming from a lack of empathy or lack of theory of mind.

    Also, social communication is not just about words. It's about hidden meaning and subcontext, the exchange of emotions and intentions. When people on the spectrum communicate, we communicate with words and not with emotions, intentions or hidden meaning. When others speak to us, we often understand the words, but don't pick up on the accompanying emotion that is also being transmitted, so when we respond, we respond only to the words, not the emotion - another reason why people think we lack empathy or lack theory of mind.
     
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  10. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Back to our ememes again :)

    I think there is often a cultural bias to these assessments, that they miss.
    Subconsciously. They are in the matrix so don't see outside it.
    (Oops a cultural reference!)

    There again, I often feel that many value ''being normal' or perhaps 'fitting in' whereas many of us don't .
     
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  11. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    In primary school I was sociable and had friends, and I was often the one to invent new games because I have a very creative and vivid imagination. I didn't begin to struggle until secondary school.

    I love fiction and have never been particularly literal, I never had any trouble understanding things like metaphors because I read so much as a child.

    I have never had any difficulty lying, white lies come naturally to me and as a teenager I frequently lied about being ill to get out of school, because I was so unhappy there.

    As an adult I am very sociable, I have a solid group of friends who I see regularly, going a week without seeing any of my friends is rare and I'll miss them.

    I cope really well with change, I have travelled extensively.
     
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  12. Vatblack

    Vatblack Active Member

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    Haha - of course! How silly of me. I did not even realize that I used that phrase and it was definitely not meant in that way! Thanks for pointing it out.

    Can I quote you in my speech? I think I can conclude selected parts of your response.
     
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  13. Vatblack

    Vatblack Active Member

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    My intimate experience with autism is limited. My daughter, a boy I babysat for a while and I suspect my husband and my stepdaughter. Every one of the people I mentioned has a lot of empathy - or too much as you say.

    I swallowed all these stereotypes hook line and sinker until I loved a person on the spectrum.
     
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  14. Vatblack

    Vatblack Active Member

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    What is ememes?
    Yes! I love the Matrix reference about NTs. I am going to use that in my speech!
     
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  15. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Ememes are based on the word memes.

    Memes = a cultural unit of transference . ( Or something like that)

    An ememe = a unit of emotional transference.
    The idea of the word is that NT's often are communicating emotionally,not with the meaning of the words.
    So the ememe separates the two things.

    A neologism courtesy of me and @Progster
     
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  16. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you haven’t already watched it,
    Professor Tony Attwood - Aspergers in girls. Www.healthed.com.au

    First two minutes are stats but bare with it, it might shed some light on your daughter?
    Intellect, not intuition?


    I was ‘slippered’ (corporal punishment) at the age of 5 in a Roman Catholic junior school for calling Sister Gertrude a liar.
    She said “God is everywhere”
    I couldn’t see him.
    (Literal interpretation?)

    I was ‘faddy’ with food. In a battle of wills against parents at mealtimes, I won.
    Phases of only eating one type of food, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    I was barely the right way up when younger.
    Rolling may have been my equivalent of rocking. Soothing repetition of moving body.
    As such I could handstand, cartwheel, sprint, climb, dangle upside down, ride a bike, use a skateboard,

    This led the brilliant headmaster at the different school I attended, (approx 7yrs) to put me in almost every sports team.
    Once I understood my role in the team, I was good at what I did and represented the school.
    Excelled at solo sports, Gymnastics, sprinting/relay, hurdles, discus etc.
    Enjoyed kayaking, abseiling, golf.

    In junior school I discovered if I applied myself academically, I stuck out, was different. Ostracised.

    If I applied myself physically (sports teams) I was one of the best, helped the team win, gained admiration.

    The sport continued in secondary school but tapered off toward the final years. Gangs, parties, pushing boundaries, boys, image seemed to be the trend.
    (Or at least, held fewer rejections)
    Looking back, I was fearless.
    The first to try or do something- no real concept of dangers.

    Homelife was terrible. I escaped into the Army not long after leaving school.

    Had the time of my life.
    Understood the hierarchy, rules, roles, routine, function and what was required from me. It barely changed. I ‘fit in’

    Also met Mr Gracey.
    At that time there were no options for change or amalgamation.
    Woman served in the W.R.A.C (Women’s Royal Army Corps)
    I was fortunate enough to be allowed to drive heavy goods vehicles but women weren’t permitted to pick up a spanner or fix a gearbox.

    Having a family as a female serving soldier wasn’t permitted at that time either.

    30 odd years on, I’m still with Mr Gracey, we have 3 grown up children all doing okay for themselves.
    (Six pregnancies, 3 surviving)

    At about the age of 45, I broke. ‘Lost it’
    By accident I came across Aspergers when reading.
    I’m almost 50 now, after a visit to my doctor I was referred for assessment.

    Very few believe me.
    Even some family.
    I just about believe it myself.
    When I read some of the stereotypes attributed to ASC,
    Can’t do this, can’t do that,
    I don’t believe myself to be on the spectrum.

    I have certain habits (stims) that have stayed with me for a lifetime and no matter how many types of meds and therapies I’ve tried, certain behaviours just aren’t going away or changing much.

    I’m boring as hell and irritating :)
    I ramble on and on and often miss the point where I’m supposed to stop writing/talking.
    I’ve met (and observed) thousands upon thousands of different people to date,
    So it isn’t as if I’m still bewildered because I’ve led a sheltered life !

    I could go on, but won’t.
    This post is humongous already :)
     
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  17. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    No comment :)

    (Disclaimer available if pressed)
     
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  18. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Suck it up buttercup
     
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  19. xudo

    xudo something

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    As many have already stated, I also had no real issues interacting socially and having friends when I was in primary school (while in school at least, outside of school I had one friend I would see, but other than that none). It wasn't until high school that I really started to struggle.

    I second this. I have dyscalculia....so everyone with AS being a maths genius couldn't be further from the truth :p
     
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  20. Aeolienne

    Aeolienne Well-Known Member

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    I can sit quietly in a cinema.
    And I hate bowling.
     
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