Thank you. My son is autistic. It took me a long time to learn the lesson of this video. My son communicates much better when I listen to what he has to say, than when I try to steer his conversation to modes that are familiar to me. Indeed, that is when he shuts down.
Makes me feel dumb. She has a much better vocabulary than I do, types faster than I can and as far as I can tell my keyboard has no flavor what so ever. I've always known I was narrow minded, but I never realized autistic people were so broad minded.
You're jumping from generalization to generalization.
I was under the impression that the point is you judge each person individually. Not assume they are stupid because they are autistic, or smart because they aren't autistic.
This is a hard "battle", to overcome prejudices and to think outside of the box to communicate with people who think differently than most people do. We're hard-wired to do it one way, so seeing it a different way isn't an easy task. I'm assuming most of you have tried to help someone with math before, someone who just doesn't get it, period. This is the same case, but on a wider scale. We just don't get how they think, and it's not easy to learn.
I think that one little video made a giant leap in our understanding. She should make more, if she can.
The thing i can not understand is the constant repetitions, how can more than one or two
feels, tastes, smells increase knowledge, or is it this person enjoys the sensations, i will admit watching this through was hard.
I don't think its to increase knowledge. Most autistic people have sensory difficulties, where they are either over or under reactive and in quite a lot of cases both. For people with Asperger's these over-reactions to sensory input result in unusual responses, quite often a large intolerance to certain types of sensory input. There are however other sensory experiences that tend to have a calming effect, such as swinging or flapping and repetitive movement. So it seems that her interactions with the environment are probably not to gain knowledge in the sense that "I want to know what that tastes like or smells like", but rather are a calming influence through having good sensory experiences in different scenarios. People that take drugs that alter their sensory perceptions often display repetitive and bizarre (to the outside observer) behaviour.
She seemed quite explicit and lucid when she stated that she wanted to experience her senses.
"Pointless" repetition is rather common in people and for many different purposes.
An obvious one is in learning. Not only for memorizing names, formulas, etc.— if you're learning to play a new instrument, repeating patterns and scales over and over is usually a must in order to become familiar with it and play it "instinctively."
Songs and poems are easier to memorize than regular text because of the repeating patterns you find in them. Many people use song-like patterns to memorize things (even if they are unaware of doing so— instead of memorizing a phone number 9055574336, most people will break it up and accentuate syllables into beats: nine-o-FIve .. five-seven-FOUR .. three-three-nine-SIX).
Also, you see repetition in many altered states of consciousness:
Praying and meditating: from monks, to jews (rocking back and forth), to aboriginal chants.
"Other" states: like kurdt said, people on drugs (especially hallucinogens) will repeat words and movements over and over. Though not always just for its calming effect; the repetitions are an action and purpose in and of themselves.
Deep rumination: watch people who are lost in thought. Or maybe catch yourself right as you come off it. I often realize that when I've been very lost in my own thoughts, my body's been repeating motions: maybe tapping fingers, maybe slightly rocking back and fourth (not to the extent of an autistic or meditating man, but it's still there), maybe clenching and unclenching my jaws.
For her, thinking is doing. I thought that was the point of the entire video. So if she tastes a keyboard 20 times in a five minute period it is because she is thinking about the taste of a keyboard for five minutes. She is tasting the keyboard because she wants to know what a keyboard tastes like, not to calm herself down.
Why would she need calming anyway? It is only us looking at her motion that we believe she is agitated and needs calming. Her motion can be agitating to 'normal' people, but it is completely natural to her. She seems to be an intelligent, rational woman and I think we should take her word at face value rather than project our own thought processes on her mental state.
edit - Okay, fess up. How many people tasted their keyboard?
O heck, i think you are trying to justify this behaviour as some thing that resembles normal, i will not quantify normal ,as humans try to and this is so subjective, but in no way can one call this persons actions as normal, intelligent yes but not normal.
I wasn't trying to justify anything ... I was just making a point about our brains' penchant for repetition, which I think is interesting.
I don't think there is anything in particular to justify. She's autistic and it is what it is. I don't accuse zoologists of trying to justify that dogs have fur
I didn't say her motion was her being agitated and needed calming, I said the motion has a calming effect.
I've heard that the incidence of autism in the US is increasing. Whether that's due to better methods of diagnosing it, I'm not sure; I understand the link to vaccinations has been disproved.
Does anyone know if the same increase in autism is happening outside the US?
Modern medical science seems to want to promote any anomaly, and glorify any cure, 9 times out of 10 they are just spouting possibilities and cures far beyond what we will spend.
9 times out of 10? I know that with dentists it is 4 times out of 5. At least in patients who chew gum
There must have been a point where we had to explain language to others, where we had to give them insight into our own thought processes. This could only have been through context, and it must have been a lengthy process. But fundamentally this is no different from what she is trying to say. She has a language we do not understand, that is self consistent, that is not subject to exact things, that is according to her environment and own perception. This is not much different than me learning a language as a child nor anyone learning a language from first principals when meeting a speaker of such language for the first time.
That said it clearly isn't normal, as we would define it, but it is evidently a language, no different from a language that I would have to learn when meeting a lost tribe for the first time in the Amazon. We only have to look at out own perspective to see how we interpret the world, and how sometimes it seems at odds from others, and how often witnesses can see things in a light that is not the same as others, even when they speak and think much like you do, to see that this is not that unusual in itself.
Anyway that was really interesting, and I personally am glad that there are certain ways of looking at the world, that defy understanding, unless we can understand the subjective view of the person involved.
she types at 120wpm wow. I can hardly exceed 68wpm.
Separate names with a comma.