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Medical Anyone here have Asperger's?

  1. Dec 29, 2011 #1
    People with this neurological condition have trouble in relationships because they were born that way...
     
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  3. Dec 29, 2011 #2
    What is your point. Many "normal" folk have trouble in relationships too.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2011 #3

    Evo

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    People with true aspergers have problems understanding emotions, some can't make eye contact, they can't read facial expressions, they tend to take things literally, will be afraid of meeting in person, etc... I have attempted dating two men with asperger's. :frown:
     
  5. Dec 29, 2011 #4
    My understanding is that someone who does not have this mental structure cannot comprehend what it is like to function with this completely different world view. I feel that it is not a disease or ‘syndrome’ as much as having different tools to analyze and interact with reality. There are advantages that more than make up for the difficulty in communication.
    One aspect is to build compensating behavioral interaction patterns to match accepted norms. This is done naturally thru adolescent development, and leads to a feeling of ‘faking’ emotion but also enables the person to understand how people work rather than just reacting to stimuli.

    Here are some useful sites for this subset of humanity…
    http://newideas.net/aspergers-syndrome [Broken]
    http://www.aspergers.com/
    http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Dec 29, 2011 #5

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    This seems to be a typical neuro-typical's (NT) view of such things.

    From my experience, it is a judgemental view, because it seems to me that relationship problems are associated with the neurotypical types, not the Asperger's types:

    NT+NT -> relationship issues are common. (Both sides may have their own ideas on relationships = unbalanced = problems to overcome)
    NT+Asperger -> relationship issues are usual. (One side will likely have their own ideas on how the relationship should go = unbalanced = problems to overcome)
    Asperger+Asperger -> relationship issues are uncommon. (Neither has a clue = balanced = no expectations therefore no problems to overcome)
     
  7. Dec 29, 2011 #6

    Evo

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    Where are you getting this information?

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551/DSECTION=symptoms

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12212919
     
  8. Dec 29, 2011 #7

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    You are asking where I am getting this information when I have said it is from my experience!?

    Through my eyes, ears and other senses.... it's where most people get the information of their experiences from (well, not my eyes and ears, that is to say).
     
  9. Dec 29, 2011 #8

    Evo

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    Sorry, I didn't realize your entire post was anecdotal. Have you've been diagnosed with aspergers? I am very close to 2 men with asperger's and I keep forgetting that they can't get humor or metaphors or jokes most of the time. As I said they can't make eye contact, they're afraid of meeting people or being in situations they are not familar with. They don't get emotions, as one guy told me, Ok, this is another "deer in the headlights" moment, meaning he's not able to understand the emotional event I am describing.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2011 #9

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    Medical people have regarded me as 'having Asperger's', in a clinical setting. Actually, I think it's more a case of outright autism, albeit an extremely highly functional version of it, to the point of apparently overcoming any 'disability'. I can't quite tell for myself anymore, as I have gotten so good at pretending to be NT when I need to be, and to avoid making NT's feel too uncomfortable.

    By the time I was around 10 I was bright enough to recognise other people 'did stuff very differently' and clearly approached their lives in a wholly different way to myself [actually, this realisation at least in part stemmed from people commenting that I was a truly horrible child, which seemed odd as I felt I was doing exactly what was logical for any given scenario]. So, like the poster above has said already, I set about choosing people whose behaviour I felt was worth copying, to accomplish the task of progressing in life, and then copying their behaviour.

    But enough about me (!), what about you. If you think my description of relationships is in error, let me ask you this (if I may); these guys you were seeing - who had the problem 'with' the relationship. Was it they that thought the relationship wasn't working out, or you? Who was it who actually 'had' (/has) the relationship problem?
     
  11. Dec 29, 2011 #10

    Evo

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    There was no problem with the relationships. Their aspergers made it impossible to date. One guy would select a location, then he'd have to map the place out and have his getaway planned if he got too overwhelmed, then end up canceling anyway because he was too afraid he'd flop. He's in his 40's and still can't date.

    There are different levels of severity.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2011 #11

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    This is the point of my comment above. Sure, I understand that it wasn't the relationship* you wanted, but was it a problem for you that he was like that, or that he felt his behaviour was a problem for the relationship?

    *(I'm talking generally - acquaintances, friends, colleagues, spouses, &c...)

    This is how, *in my experience*, NT's typically see this. They say; "This Asperger person has a problem with relationships because they do [or don't do] things the way I'd like them to do it."

    D'you see what I am getting at? How is it that they get the 'blame' for not being good in relationships when it's actually because the other isn't prepared to accept them for who they are and how they act? It is illogical to critique another person for your reaction to a given scenario.

    If there were two such people, they'd not get upset much about the behaviour of the other 'Asperger type', in the scenario you describe. They'd just let the other get on with whatever, whilst they do likewise. If they happen to do something at roughly the same time, in roughly the same place, they might decide to call that a relationship and aim to repeat the experience. If a planned event didn't work out, for whatever reason, they'd just either a) try it again sometime later [relationship continues], or b) not try it again [relationship ends]. Why get all upset about it? NT's like to analyse 'feelings about stuff' to the nth degree, yet feelings are subjective so are beyond rational analysis, so why bother?

    I'm not trying to suggest that relationships should proceed without any regard for how the other person may react. Of course, these are things I have observed and internalised - NT's typically feel 'hurt' if they are not given some level of attention they think is appropriate that makes them feel special and cared for. But my point is that this, and other NT traits, are usually why relationships fail. If such traits and behaviours are absent in a relationship on both sides, such as in an Asperger-on-Asperger relationship, then it'd not be a possible cause of the relationship failing.
     
  13. Dec 29, 2011 #12

    Evo

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    No, I had no problem, I was willing to do whatever was needed to make them comfortable. They were the ones that decided they were incapable of ever having a relationship with anyone. No matter how encouraging I was, they were too afraid. They are both still alone.
     
  14. Dec 29, 2011 #13

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    Sounds like you did what you could to make it work, under the circumstances. I'm not saying every 'Aspie' is perfect once you get deep enough under 'the shell', they have problems too - just that the problems will tend to be 'different' and less likely to originate from personal feelings, which is usually what causes relationships to fail. Looks like it didn't even get started for it to fail, for you. Sorry to hear it - I do recognise it can be an emotionally 'expensive' effort for NT's to deal with 'Aspies'.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2011 #14

    Astronuc

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    Asperger's folks have a spectrum of behaviors/symptoms, from mild to extreme, and in fact each person, like normal folk, is unique. Asperger's syndrome is one of the conditions found on the autism spectrum.

    This might help - http://www.aspergerssyndrome.org/ [Broken]

    It works for me. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  16. Dec 29, 2011 #15
    I'm afraid I don't follow at all. Let's give a counterexample: suppose that I'm in a relationship and this person cheats on me. I'm hurt about this, but I can't blame that hurt on the other person's actions?
     
  17. Dec 29, 2011 #16
    I don't know that much about Asperger's, but my son is on the Autistic Spectrum. From my experience with him and his classmates I find that there is as much variation in the ASD spectrum as there is in the general population. It's easy to get a distorted picture of what these kids are like by what you read in the media and especially from the internet. No description is going to cover a wide selection of the ASD population.
     
  18. Dec 29, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    The main thing these two people had in common was that they were brilliant, and they were more open and honest than most people.

    I know people that have very mild cases of aspergers, it is a very wide range, like all neurological problems.
     
  19. Dec 29, 2011 #18
    I have a son with Aspergers and have done a lot of research as well. As mentioned, its a form of autism, but at the far end of the spectrum from the kids on TV who sit and spin a plate all day and don't notice people around them.

    My son for example can't filter stimuli OUT well. He has no choice but to process the TV, the radio, and a nearby conversation at the same time he's reading a magazine article...but if someone turns on the vacuum cleaner for example, that might overwhelm his limits, and he might explode, but if perhaps he had only the magazine, TV and vacuum cleaner he'd be ok.

    He experiences life in a magnified way. Everything is larger to him. If you might feel a little anxious about having an interview, he's feeling abject terror at the thought. If you feel a little nervous about meeting a girl for a date, he might run and hide. If you got that job you applied for, you might do a fist pump or smile, etc...he might dance around the house singing Halleluiah.

    He might also say he can't look for a job because he has a doctor's appointment next month, and if he asked for the time off to go to it, they'd probably fire him, so why look for a job until after the appointment (The idea of the potential conflict is overwhelming).

    He might not be able to find the typical word for something...if he falls and skins his palms on the pavement, he might say his hands feel spicy. If he picks up a feather, he might exclaim that he's found a birdie leaf. When he's dancing around singing Halleluiah, he's actually saying Honolulu! Honolulu!

    Its not easy being him, but, he's bright, he did get through college with a BS in Business, knows sport statistics and who's in what league/position down to the college level, has learned to "get along" with people, actually has a fair number of close friends who have grown to appreciate him and his intelligence, brutal honesty, and that he doesn't chase them down the street with a baseball bat, anymore.

    He's 29, has girl friends, but has never had a girlfriend. If he continues to grow and mature, etc, I think its possible one day, but she would need to be a saint.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  20. Dec 30, 2011 #19
    I have a nephew and a friend "diagnosed" with asperger

    I understand that autism and asperger are considered the same scale with different intensities. I wonder however if, say-the sensory intensity of Asperger- is related to the social deficiencies of Autism. Could it be two dimensions, unrelated? Can somebody with intense sensory issues have a very high social EQ, totally non-autistic? In that case, could it be that behavior, due to the intense feelings, can be misinterpreted as social deficient?
     
  21. Dec 30, 2011 #20
    Its not so much the intensity, as the end of the scale parameters they are on.

    If you think of their consciousness as analogous to a telescope, those on one end of the spectrum are seeing life through the view finder.....a tightly focused attention on a very narrow target, with nothing else in the field of view....

    ..and those on the other end of the spectrum are viewing life through the opposite end, blown up larger, with a wide field of view, but with blurs and distortions due to the "fish eye" effect, etc.

    Its part of the same disorder, but there are two ends. For some, their telescope has a larger or smaller field of view...more like a spotting scope or opera glasses perhaps, and the distortions are less severe, from either end.

    As people with Aspergers tend to be highly intelligent, and classically focused on a particular interest....they can become experts in a field, or incredible at pinball, or other specialized pursuit for example

    Because of that focus though, the rest of the world doesn't register well. If you see through a telescope, and you are into dinosaurs as your focus...you are looking for dinosaur related opportunities so to speak, and ignoring the other topics.

    A normal person will notice others yawning, or chewing their arms off to escape a dinosaur related discussion...and take appropriate actions, perhaps changing the subject for example. The Asperger sufferer will tend to be so into the dinosaur discussion, and so happy to be talking about dinosaurs to people, that he will fail to notice/register that those people are trying to escape, looking at their watches, yawning, feigning death, etc. HE'S having a great time.

    The Asperger sufferer tends not to see himself reflected by others, self awareness can be very limited. Comments along the lines of "doesn't he see what he looks like?" would be more common, as they might be too focused on their particular interest, or anxiety, etc, to look at themselves, or on others' reaction to them. They tend to interact more with people as opposed to those with the narrow spectrum autism conditions, but to misinterpret the interactions.

    The sufferers at the other end of the spectrum may not even acknowledge the existence of others, or of dinosaurs, but may be so tightly focused that all they are aware of is a spinning plate or a button, etc....and this is a much harder transition point socially, as other people are potentially not on their radar.

    The autism is therefore present in different degrees and spectrum ends, and how that leaves the person with resources to compensate therefore varies greatly. Some can develop genuine and deep empathy for others, and eventually notice and redirect conversations or behavioral patterns accordingly, and others have less success, but, its always a question of degree.

    What comes naturally to a normal person might take decades for a person with mild Aspergers, and never happen for a severe case.

    So as to if the intense feelings can be misinterpreted by others as a social deficiency, well, its the expression mode of the intense feelings that lead to the interpretations.

    IE: We might all get excited at a party if physics or one of our topics of interest is broached, but, most of us will tone down our responses based upon our perception of the others present, and allow the conversation to go where the group is interested naturally....and we might even have other interests we would be happy to converse about as well, etc....just like everyone else....

    ...but the Aspy might have trouble letting it go, or letting someone else talk, and might over react to the opportunity. You or I may feel a bit wistful if the topics we're most interested in seem to have been a merely passing mention, but the Aspy might get really angry or upset, and react as if he'd been attacked or affronted, perhaps insisting that the topic he's interested in be the one we all must discuss now. This will be interpreted as a social deficiency, as the actions will seem out of scale to the supposed infraction/issue.

    As the medical problem itself impairs how one views and interprets others, its very nature reduces the ability to interact as easily.
     
  22. Dec 30, 2011 #21

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    I could rephrase that; I wonder if the over-heightened sense of personal emotional attachments for NT's means that they are unable to engage as strongly with their 'non-people' experiences as Asperger-spectrum people.

    Why do NT's feel it is OK to declare that a person is 'deficient' simply because they behave differently to their expectations? None of the 'typical characteristics' given above about Asperger or Autism so far seem like any sort of 'disability', other than the fact that NT's are choosing to see them as disabilities. I consider it very judgemental. So what that a person doesn't look at you when you are talking with them? So what they get excited about something you find dull, but are blank about something you think they should be getting excited about? What's the issue? Why LABEL it as a deficiency?

    I find typical NT's are typically deficient in many traits that I do not see for people I would regard to be comfortably within the Asperger spectrum.

    My personal observations/interpretations:
    NT's get overly emotional about matters they regard as personal sleights or signs of disrespect, their behaviour is capricious and inconsistent, they over-look the obvious, they decline to argue a point until each detail and element is properly resolved and seek to close down a discussion quick and disallow all the germane information to be raised (probably because it is an attention-span overload for them - and/or where they have an 'emotional attachment' to the point they are arguing), they use 'intuition' instead of logic or at least allow logic to be overruled by their 'feelings'. Worst of all they tell Aspergers types who see the world as a daunting, confusing place that it is because they, the Aspies, are the incapable ones and they have to learn to 'overcome their disability'; whereas in fact the world IS a confusing place and they are just seeing it for how it really is, all at once where an NT has mental blocks put in place that they do not see the bigger picture all in one go. (I'm not saying one is better or worse than the other. 'Coping strategies' may be required to deal with the world, but that's no excuse to imply Aspies are the ones with the issue for seeing the world as a daunting, confusing place - often made confusing by public-admin inconsistencies generated by NT's.)

    NT's put up barriers of perception that enable their limited attention spans to deal with one small piece at a time, but that also means they may miss the interconnections that may explain the whole. NT's have to rely on what they call their 'intuition', which is probably just the teeny Autistic-capable part of their brain flagging up that they are not seeing something obvious, if only they could expand and maintain their attention (maybe it'd help if the NT's could cut out all the emotional baggage that interferes with their 'logical' deductions).

    NT's have physical disabilities too - anecdotally their sense of smell and hearing seem impaired (compared with Aspies/Autistics), they can't see fluorescent lights flashing blue and yellow (they sell monitors and televisions with such a bizarrely low refresh rate of 50 or 60Hz that most Autistic types can't look at it without their eyes watering - thank goodness for LCD monitors!!). NT's illogical and irrational decisions are plain in many an administrative errors, who then try to cover up their mistakes rather than just saying 'I did that, sorry' like a typical Asperger spectrum type would. NT's also seem to have an impaired sense of touch and feel, though I have not noticed that they are more or less 'clumsy' than 'fully functional' Aspies/Autists. Maybe there is a balance between touch/sensitivity versus motive skills between the groups that renders no 'clumsiness disadvantage' one way or the other.

    (These are my Aspie observations. I checked the script with my NT wife, to whom I have reflected on many anecdotes over the years that illustrate these matters, and she agrees that these are reasonable observations to make from my perspective.)
     
  23. Dec 30, 2011 #22

    Evo

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    CMB, you sound as if you really have a chip on your shoulder. Your repeated attempts at making what is considered "normal" seem bad and deficient is a bit pathetic to be honest. It sounds like you have a lot of issues. You can stop your ranting now.

    From my experience with people that I know have aspergers, you sound nothing like them.
     
  24. Dec 30, 2011 #23

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    This sounds so much like what I've seen from my aspie friends. Sometimes I wondered if I set off their behaviour so I have tried to stop arguing and just agree with them until they get it out of their system. They remind me of a bulldog that's sunk it's teeth into something and there is no use in trying to make them let go. :smile:
     
  25. Dec 30, 2011 #24
    These ARE reasonable observations for you to make, given that you do not understand the entire context, and instead focus on the part of the context of interest to you/on your personal radar.

    So you are not wrong in your observations, just unaware of why they are incomplete.

    My son would argue exactly as you would (And often does).

    The fact is that all people behave along the same spectrum, and no one is "100%" at all times. We call these lapses faux pas, and other expressions where someone lapsed in their social awareness/behavior.

    The people with aspergers simply are more at one end of that spectrum than most people, and, have trouble telling the difference between what is considered as acceptable and unacceptable, due to choosing different measurement parameters.

    It would be analogous to the difference in lighting between two bulbs, one that glared and one that had a softer light, but both were the same watts/volts, etc. If I used a perfectly accurate light meter, and showed that both lights were producing the same light output...and I could not see glare, the people saying the one bulb's light was "softer" would just be making a silly illogical argument...as I had empirical data proving that the light was the same.



    They would be correct about the glare you could not see, but, you would be unable to understand why they were worried about a factor that did not exist to you. You would be correct that the "facts" you chose supported your position, and you would be correct that they did not understand why you insisted on your position.

    The problem is typically that you see their obstinateness in going on about "glare" as unreasonable and irrelevant to the topic. They see your obstinateness in only discussing the light meter results as unreasonable and irrelevant to the topic.

    Normal people can look at both sides to an argument (Not that they all do of course), without only considering their own view point.

    Telling someone with aspergers the above example might sometimes be like trying to explain blue to a blind man...and, many with aspergers will simply miss the point, and argue their original point, etc.

    I have known several people afflicted with this, including my son, and the above patterns are pretty consistent. So, do not take this as a criticism or insult, but merely as an attempt to explain blue.

    :D


    In context of your view, people w/o aspergers are dishonest and do not share their feelings, keeping them bottled up or private, and who are unable to think as logically and clearly as you are, as your ability to focus on a problem is potentially far beyond what a non-aspy can do. Morally, there is no conflict, as you are essentially correct. Where the issues arise when you cannot relate with others is in social repercussions. If people avoid you because they find you rude or boring, or you embarrass them, etc, then you have fewer friends and/or acquaintances, and occasionally, fewer job openings. If you are ok with that, then it all works fine. If you want a person to want to be with you even though you embarrass them, bore them, or make them want to play dead hoping you'll go away...then it may not work fine. Ideally, given the constraints of the condition, you WILL find people who appreciate and love you for your attributes, and can tolerate your deficiencies. (When I say "you" in this post, I just mean someone with aspergers, not you the reader per se)

    Just saw Evo's last post - This is a perfect example of an open minded NT trying to "get along with" an aspy...she knows they can't "let anything go", and so she pretends to agree so they will feel that they've "won", and that the other side "sees the light" finally, so the issue can be laid to rest.

    The aspy is horrified to find that every last detail and fact has not been fully explored, and would see the above pretense as a nightmare scenario, because that would mean that they HAD TO keep arguing. Failure to be convincing on the part of an NT is very dangerous, if the aspy thinks they are not REALLY convinced. An aspy is obsessed with chasing down what they perceive as all the details. An NT is feeling like their life would be the same whether or not these particular details were explored, and therefore doesn't have any motivation to continue the exercise. In fact, the NT may feel like time that could be spent chasing down other details, that might have nothing to do with the aspies topic of concern, would be more productive. The aspy may not be able to grasp this, as the lure of the topic at hand, unresolved, is agonizing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  26. Dec 30, 2011 #25

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    The point of my post was to compare and contrast differences that are unnecessarily referred to, here, as 'deficiencies', 'problems' and 'symptoms'. Why does one group of people feel it is OK to label a set of behaviours different to their own as having 'symptoms' and 'problems'? And why do they react personally to it when they are met with similar language over their own behaviour?
     
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