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View Diary: Living With Autism/Aspergers w/FAQ (174 comments)

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  •  NT's are always reading intentions (6+ / 0-)

    that aren't there. The whole social cue system is inefficient, cumbersome and error prone! The simplest and most effective way to find out what someone means is simply to ask.

    •  The problem is that some NTs DO put out (5+ / 0-)

      intentions non-verbally.  So an NT who meets another NT but doesn't try to read social intent into nonverbal signals puts herself at a disadvantage socially.

      An NT who meets someone with ASD doesn't automatically realize that they need to turn off the social intent detection and take what the person with ASD says at face value.

      And, of course, someone with ASD who doesn't understand the social cue system is at a complete disadvantage with an NT who overuses the social cue system.  Sometimes NTs are, too--there are varying gradations of the level of nonverbal cues given out by NTs, so one NT can be completely stymied by another NT!

      I know how frustrating it is--I've watched my 10 year old try to learn how to read nonverbal social cues.

      •  Personally I've given up on (6+ / 0-)

        trying to read social cues. I just don't get it, and at the age of 48, it's unlikely that I ever will. I just try to limit my face to face interaction to NTs as much as possible. Not a great strategy I know, but it keeps me out of trouble.

        "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

        by Phil In Denver on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 07:45:30 AM PDT

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        •  What has helped me... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          Find the NTs with a purpose. Avoid the ones who are only interested in American Idol (unless, of course, you really have something to say about it, and sometimes I do).

          Getting politically involved has made me feel more like I don't have to force myself to swallow conversational junk food to make a social connection. That I can be making the most of my time, while I do it.

          Because a lot of the time, small talk feels like I'm wasting my time, like I could be somewhere else really making the most of a relationship. But I can't avoid small talk, so what do I do? Find a better quality of small talk.

          Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

          by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:42:39 PM PDT

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          •  I'm not sure I've ever dealt with (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lucy Montrose

            people on a level other than talking about something I'm actually interested in.  As intently and seriously as possible.  Of course I'm surrounded by geeks and nerds of various sorts, which is a very helpful start.  I don't try to read subtle social cues, and I've gotten good at the gross ones (frustration, boredom, wants to change subject, please move further away, etc.)  And I suspect there are a fair number of other people with Aspergers in the surroundings I choose for myself, frankly.

            -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

            by neroden on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:04:48 PM PDT

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      •  Oh, that's the worst.... (6+ / 0-)

        An NT who meets someone with ASD doesn't automatically realize that they need to turn off the social intent detection and take what the person with ASD says at face value.

        I hate that.  It was the source of innumerable arguments with my fiancee until she understood what was going on.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 08:08:31 AM PDT

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        •  Gahh, yeah... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, mbzoltan, Cassandra Waites

          Nothing like being told that you're being dishonest when you're being absolutely truthful and just happen to not be maintaining just the right amount of eye contact. Or that you're being sarcastic, when making a truthful statement, because you happened to say it with a slightly off-kilter tone of voice.

          Gaaahhh!

      •  And that makes things even more complicated... (4+ / 0-)

        You can't always tell in real time the difference between an NT who's not using their social cue system and an ASD who doesn't understand the social cue system.

        Sometimes NTs are, too--there are varying gradations of the level of nonverbal cues given out by NTs, so one NT can be completely stymied by another NT!

        And that's exactly why it's dangerous to classify the facility at correctly reading nonverbal cues as a black-or-white, or a strictly instinctual thing. It takes humanity out of the equation, and it moralizes/pathologizes what used to be thought of as a healthy human difference. Plus, it ignores the fact that instinct, to reach its highest potential, must be refined by instruction, thought and feeling.

        This black-or-white thinking has IMO only one advantage: speed. And our culture has made a good chunk of our population too stressed-out and time-strapped to have time or energy for anything but the quick decision. No matter what studies have said that people are more satisfied with gut-level decisions; they still have consequences, which can be devastating, emotionally. No one likes to feel like they've not been given due process, and that's exactly what's taken away in a snap decision.

        The more I look at it, the more I just throw my hands up and go, "Enough with the labels! We're all human beings with differences. The best thing we can do is listen to each other and make friends with each other!"

        Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

        by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:46:47 AM PDT

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        •  YES! Exactly! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, Lucy Montrose

          So what do you really mean?  

          (Joking!  Joking!  :) )

          •  Good one! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, mbzoltan, Cassandra Waites

            Remember this?
            Good experiment there on DH's part.

            The whole point of really listening to someone is making sure you really understand them, and that means making sure you've as much of the story as possible first. How many articles and opinion pieces have I read through to the end, and found out that their meaning was different than I thought I'd figured from a cursory glance?

            Believe it or not, women's magazine covers have been instrumental in this for me. I'd see a Woman's Day with some eye-grabbing headline: "New Technology To Keep Your Kids Safe", and I'd think, "Oh * groan * more about putting GPS in your kids' cellphones to keep tabs on them!" ... and I'd actually read the article and it turned out, it was about using friend controls on MySpace, something very pro-privacy.  

            Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

            by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 10:17:59 AM PDT

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    •  So being able to*correctly* guess an intention... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, codeman38

      ... seems to be a pretty lousy way of differentiating ASDs from NTs.

      Better yet, why differentiate at all? Just accept that putting ourselves in other people's shoes is a struggle for us all, and work to bridge that gap. It would save a lot of time, heartache, and constant second-guessing of oneself.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:26:59 PM PDT

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      •  Correlation is why. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codeman38, Lucy Montrose

        So my mother spotted my social skill problems early and got me into a very suitable school.  Fine.  My reactions to taste, sound, and sight happened independently and were dealt with independently.  Fine.  My reaction to peer pressure was discovered later and was useful.  Fine.

        I later ran into more serious problems, relating to generating daily habits.  If I'd known that there was a whole correlated cluster of things which go together like this (Asperger's Syndrome), I could have looked up everything I might have higher odds of having trouble with later, and started working on them in advance.  And looked up how other people with similar combinations of issues have handled the problems.

        If every one of the seemingly unrelated issues is totally separate, you see, that's not helpful.  Unfortunately, without the Asperger's name (or, to be fair, the things written by people just in the last few years) looking up the methods for how other people dealt with each of my individual problems or issues was often a bust, because whatever techinque they used simply did not work due to one of my other "atypical" issues.

        Does that make sense to you?  The correlation of seemingly unrelated symptoms is the reason it's a useful name.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:25:27 PM PDT

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