Aspies (1 Viewer)

As Asperger's has been mentioned in a few posts recently, I was wondering if there are other Asperger Syndrome guys on this forum. Yeah, there's me.
What I'd like to add though is that we ALL have our cross to bear, and there are an awful lot of things worse than Asperger's.
I think Buk suffered a lot worse than me, he mentioned 'feeling good' in his writing, but not being happy. Or are they the same thing?
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
My son has it and I most likely have it. I was never diagnosed as a child (I was diagnosed as an adult), but looking at my symptoms (social awkwardness and obsessive behavior), it is obvious to me that I had it and still have some traits. There are worse things to have, of course. Most kids with Asperger's grow up to lead completely normal (and maybe more interesting) lives.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I wouldn't be surprised if I have it. I'm obsessive. I can work on one thing in excruciating detail for long periods of time -- like months on end. And socially awkward doesn't even begin to describe my style.
 
Although I had beefs with one or two members of another site who had AS, it was due to manic swamping of the board rather than anything in particular they posted or their characters. I know a couple of people with AS and they seem decent people - in some ways more thoughtful than regular people, because they have to try hard to decipher emotions and motivations.
 

mjp

Founding member
I remember a time when if you were obsessive or awkward or misread people you were just a weirdo.

A time when we would say that people with TMJ clenched their teeth, Restless Leg Syndrome was crazy legs, men with "low T" were just old, those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were tired and the people who were burdened with one of the hundreds of food-related syndromes we now recognize just needed to eat more. Or less.

That's simplistic, of course, suggesting that an anorexic should eat more, and I'm not out to trivialize anyone's misery. As lewis pointed out, we all have our crosses to bear. But if you dig deep enough you'll find that drug companies are behind researching and defining many of these syndromes. Because if you can't put a name on it, you can't sell a drug or an operation for it.

But you cannot convince me that half of the kids on earth suffer from some organically-based learning or behavior syndrome. That is bullsheet, as they say in the Arab world. But there are those who would have you believe that there are so many attention deficit syndromes out there that virtually every living person is afflicted by one. So the question becomes, when everyone has something, is it still a disease? Or is it just being human?

Forgive me, fellow weirdos, I mean no harm. Gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble, we accept you, we accept you, one of us, one of us...
 
Yes, I started to notice this a few years ago with television commercials that begin: "Do you ever feel awkward at a party? You may need SOPORIFEX!" Then a description of the alleged "illness"--"social anxiety" or whatever DSM category they come up with--would follow, along with the side-effects from taking the "medication"--heart-attack, stroke, diabetes, shortness of breath, dropsy, tuberculosis, etc. Yep, watch out boys: the men in the white suits are going to find something wrong with ALL of us until we will all need those Soma tablets Huxley warned us about in Brave New World.
 

justine

stop the penistry
But if you dig deep enough you'll find that drug companies are behind researching and defining many of these syndromes. Because if you can't put a name on it, you can't sell a drug or an operation for it.

But you cannot convince me that half of the kids on earth suffer from some organically-based learning or behavior syndrome. That is bullsheet, as they say in the Arab world. But there are those who would have you believe that there are so many attention deficit syndromes out there that virtually every living person is afflicted by one. So the question becomes, when everyone has something, is it still a disease? Or is it just being human?

YES. i think there is a tendency to over-pathologize personality traits, and it is mostly the fault of Big Pharma BUT i also think a lot of people use it as a way to avoid being responsible for who they are.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
I feel stupid and contagious. Give me meds and name a syndrome after me.

That being said, the people I've met met that have been diagnosed with Aspergers seem smarter and more focused than me. That wouldn't take much, really...
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
on the flipside, especially for kids with autism spectrum issues, there are a lot of non-pharmaceutical strategies being developed to manage the condition that is substantially improving the lives of kids who would otherwise be stuck in a catch-all special ed class and would be lucky to get placed in a group home upon finishing school. everything is over-pathologized these days, but i think the increased awareness of autism and related symptoms is contributing to the huge rise in diagnoses. and, for the most part, that's a good thing, since the rush isn't (as it was with ADHD) to medicate the kids into submission, but to demand that educators come up with curricula that can more effectively teach kids at early ages rather than just labeling them as disruptive (and likely overmedicating them). if you've ever spent any time with someone who is autistic or has aspergers fairly severely, it's not just that they're antisocial or weird and the term is being used to rope them into a pathologized category - the set of traits that characterize the condition are fairly obvious and very manageable, but giving credence to the syndrome and being aware of it is necessary to get to that point. so, while i agree with mjp in principle, i can't get too caught up in the cynical viewpoint of it, since i don't think any parent of an autistic kid (not to mention their teachers) thinks that more awareness about autism is a bad thing.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
To Jordan's point, I've encountered a couple kids with autism and meds are not the main part of their treatment. It's all about awareness and socialization instead of isolation.
 

mjp

Founding member
Well, if you must know, I'm also bothered by the awareness craze, but maybe that's just because I'm cynical.

But I can assure you that making the average ape walking down the street aware of something achieves nothing. And I'm especially baffled by the GOD DAMN RIBBONS things like "breast cancer awareness." Really? Is there someone who isn't aware that it exists? And if so, do you really want that person on your side. I don't.

I think the majority of kids who have been diagnosed as being "on the autism spectrum" are extremely unfortunate. I feel bad for them. Not because of their awful affliction, but because most of them should be left alone, but now they won't be. A little autism is a good thing, and I'm completely serious about that. That's where philosophy and creation and art and music come from - from people who can sit around doing nothing but focusing on an idea or a word or a problem. From everything I've read about him, I think it's pretty safe to say that Mozart was probably "autistic," and these doctors today would have "cured" him. Wouldn't that have been lovely.

If I was a kid now I am quite certain that doctors would have had their hands up my ass somehow (that's a metaphor, don't get a boner), and it may well have prevented me from becoming the charming, adorable moppet that I am today. I wouldn't have wanted that, but I wouldn't have had a choice.

It's all too much, this shit. If we're helping people who are extremely fucked up and way out there, well, that's nice. It's "helping" the others that worries me. What kind of society are we looking at in the future? I'll be dead soon, so I don't care, but what about the children? The precious children that Michael Jackson used to sing about and rape? What kind of world are they going to live in?

A Muslim one, yes, I know. I mean other than that.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
as far as the awareness craze goes, I get the point. everything is a ribbon or a wristband and it's annoying and too much.

but what I'm talking about is the 3 year old kids who scream holy murder if you touch them, can't make eye contact and only repeat what you say to them but have math skills that are mind boggling. that's not normal. ideal, maybe, but not normal. they don't even make eye contact with their parents. maybe they are the perfect specimens and we are the clods. but for now, the clods rule.

and if I was a kid now I'm sure shrinks would have gotten hold of me and told me the fact that I had a single teenage mom was no big deal and that some of my family hating me for something I had no control over was their problem not mine, and that I could read and write at age three meant I wasn't a freak but expressing an emotional need. but I wasn't sent to a shrink and glad I wasn't. some issues need to be worked out by the individual and not be turned into a non-existent syndrome.

but put an autistic kid with a shrink, and he has no idea of whatever angst I or you may have had. or think we have had. he has bigger issues that need to be dealt with.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I guess I was properly diagnosed as a kid. All the thugs had me pegged as a weirdo. Thanks for reminding me of that term, mjp. Let's make weirdo awareness ribbons. They should be day-glo green.
 

mjp

Founding member
3 year old kids who scream holy murder if you touch them, can't make eye contact and only repeat what you say to them...
Those kids would fall under my clinical diagnosis of "extremely fucked up and way out there," and you would do whatever you could for them.

The problem these days isn't that kid, or Jordan's boner, it's the kids who are shy or awkward or quiet and a system that diagnoses that as a disease or syndrome. "Johnny just sits in his room watching dust particles float around in the sunlight and draws extremely tiny pictures of whales in a notebook, and he doesn't have any interest at all in football or the Kardashians! Can you fix him, doctor? Please! Little league starts next week! Make him normal!"

There appears to be a school of thought now that holds that a kid shouldn't be made to feel upset about anything, and if they are outsiders they should be made to fit inside, and that it is all "for the good of the kid." I'm just suggesting that may not always be so.

But that's easy for me to say, I don't have kids. If I did, I'd probably be in here raising money for autism awareness and there'd be a ribbon on every page of the site. So I get it.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
As someone who has a child that has Asbergers/ADHD and is not just unusual, I can tell you that it may very well be over diagnosed, but in many cases, it is real. I have been living it for 9 years now. My child was thrown out of three pre-schools before he was 4. He is now on medicine. Without it he is extremely unhappy and very aggressive. Without meds he is so hyper that not only can he not concentrate, but he disrupts others making it hard for them to learn. It is nothing that my wife or I have done and we are heartbroken and worried about how he will be as an adult. Some grow out of it and can stop the medication, some do not. He is also extremely intelligent, so I expect him to be successful as an adult.

I can tell you that I am no fan of big pharma and would LOVE it if we could find something to replace the meds. It is not something that we went into lightly. He is very happy and very social/productive while on his meds. Without them, he is miserable and cannot slow down enough to concentrate.

Bill
 

mjp

Founding member
Well I'm glad it's working for your son.

Again, I'm sure if I had kids I wouldn't be such a dick about things like "awareness" or diagnosing everyone. I'd still be a dick about other things, just not this.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Ha! That being said, awareness is good if it gets funding for treatment/research, but just putting a ribbon on your car and thinking that you are actually doing something for the cause are two different things.

People as a general statement seem to think that putting a banner shows their commitment to a cause.

Also, kids are WAY overdiagnosed, for ADHD, etc, so I'll give you that.

Bill
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
it's ok mjp. we're there for you...

mjpawareness.JPG


I kid!
 

justine

stop the penistry
i highly recommend the documentary Wretches and Jabberers if you're interested in what life is like for severely autistic people.


(there is a lot of controversy over the use of "facilitated communication", but the facilitators in this case don't appear to be speaking for their clients, not to my untrained eye anyway).
 
Somebody with Asperger's described his life as being like being on a different radio frequency to other people..Not quite tuned in. I can't put it better than that, from my Aspie brain. I try to re-tune, I really do. Maybe I'm just a weirdo. Any advice is welcome..
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
my advice is not to listen to what any of us here have to say. my experience has told me the only people that you really ever have to listen to are pretty women and bartenders.
 
I teach children with special needs for a living, including (obviously) kids on the autism spectrum. I agree that kids are being diagnosed at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, without a diagnosis services are not accessible. Parents with kids on the border are pushing for diagnosis so they can get the services they need, whether it be for anxiety, social integration, sensory issues etc. The government programs don't fund treatment based on symptoms, they treat based on diagnosis. Without that, you are out of luck. This, combined with the fact the autism and ADHD are relatively new concepts accounts for the high volume of diagnosis. When I was a kid we didn't plan around the needs of these children, instead we called them weird and let them suffer. Now we have names for these collections of symptoms and strategies that help. This is a good thing.

As an educator, it really comes down to differentiating instruction to meet the particular learning styles of the kids in the room. There is no "one size fits all" for designing curriculum. All students need programming that takes their individuality into account.
 

mjp

Founding member
my experience has told me the only people that you really ever have to listen to are pretty women and bartenders.
And legal counsel.
we called them weird and let them suffer.
The idea that no child (or person or animal for that matter) should ever suffer is very recent, very Utopian and ultimately very idiotic.

It's always a question of degree, isn't it. And again, I'm not saying that really fucked up kids shouldn't be helped. But "fixing" millions of kids who aren't broken is going to come back and bite us, as a society, squarely on the ass.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Why listen to bartenders? With pretty women, just watch their lips. It doesn't matter what they actually are saying ... well, to us, anyway.

Around here we have a saying for when I ramble on in a meaningless way. "I'm just talking through a broken tin speaker in the side of my head."
 
"fixing" millions of kids who aren't broken is going to come back and bite us, as a society, squarely on the ass.

I completely agree. These kids are definitely not broken. They do not need fixing (a la Jenny McCarthy and her crusade to "cure" autism). Really, it is about building acceptance by others and developing coping strategies for the kids in question. Some of the kids I teach can do amazing things that we, collectively, just don't put enough value on. Generally speaking, my students excel in empathy, intuition, and creativity. We try to lessen their anxiety about touching mushy textures, for example, so they can explore their visual art talents to the fullest. Or teach self-calming strategies so they don't have panic attacks when a new person or supply teacher comes in the room. I don't think this will cause retro-active ass biting.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
[...] We try to lessen their anxiety about touching mushy textures, for example, so they can explore their visual art talents to the fullest. [...]

I found this very interesting. Can you say more about their aversion to mushy textures? It reminds me of something I heard the art therapist say at the state mental hospital (I was there on a tour -- not as a patient!): they are careful about what media they have the patients use, and they never let them use fingerpaints. It can be disasterous, with the patient going into a complete catatonic shut down. Similar, but not the same phenomenon, I imagine.
 
I'm not sure about mental patients, but people with disorders like autism and ADHD have difficulty processing sensory information. There is a disconnect between the information the body receives and how the brain interprets it. While a neurotypical person may perceive mushy clay and slimy paint as unpleasant but adapt in a short time, people with sensory processing difficulty may find the textures altogether offensive, threatening and even painful. The "fight or flight" response kicks in. This is true for sounds, motion and other sensory experiences as well. They may shut down altogether or become highly agitated, losing the capacity to cope. We try to help students gain more control over how they process an experience so they cope better in their environment. This can be done by slowly and progressively introducing a troublesome stimuli in a controlled environment. I can see how this may be related to what you saw at the mental hospital.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Thanks for explaining that. It may be related, as you say. I got the feeling from the art therapist that fingerpaints provide too much freedom, too much choice, and that was overwhelming the patients. They do better with limited choices, and less immediate physical interaction with the medium. But that's just my paraphrase of whatever it was she said in a more scientific way.
 
There was a TED speech that i watched recently by juan rodriguez. In it, he states that autism may be increasing because we are subjected to oodles of knowledge and in an effort to condense it, we warp our social communication . Some aspies out there that are smart as fuck.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top