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Author Topic: Autism or Affectation?  (Read 10170 times)

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Online DashenkaTopic starter

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #125 on: May 04, 2014, 03:53:38 AM »
I think whether or not you get the diagnosis is irrelevant to the problems. Even if you are not officially diagnosed, if you can relate to it and if you have 'undiagnosed Asperger's', if it makes you feel comfortable, it can't be wrong. If people think of you as an asshole or, the reason why I started the topic, in my case, affectation, that's their loss, not ours.

People say to me, even when I'm officially diagnosed, "oh but I have that as well and I don't have Asperger's". They don't say it in so many words but what little bodylanguage I understand, even to me it's clear that they think I'm being an idiot. And I honestly don't care.

I don't really care about a lot of things but those things I do care about, I care about a lot. Anyway, I'm rambling.

This thread is for everybody, so nobody gets disqualified. One of the reasons I signed up for the programme is because I think it can help people to talk to similar minds. The other one is that despite it being more and more common, autism is still looked at as something terrible.
I remember a tv show in the Netherlands where a man was offering his sperm to women who couldn't get pregnant and didn't have money for artificial insemination. Turned out, this man had Asperger's. The host described it as 'A terrible, terrible, mental illness', and suddenly the problem was not the semi rapes, but the fact that the man had Asperger's and all the kids therefor must have it as well.

Got me so pissed off I even sent a letter to the tv show. Never heard anything about obviously.

In short, some general education is needed to people who don't have Asperger's, and the taboo of 'having autism' is, just as so many taboo's, hopelessly outdated. Same sex marriages are now commonly accepted in most places but when you say you have Asperger's, most people still treat you as an idiot or a halfwit. At least in my opinion.

One word of warning I'd like to give you and all people who read this. Most of you probably won't but I know some in real life who do. Don't blame everything that goes wrong on your autism. People will soon think of you as somebody who likes the attention. Some things might be related but a lot of things are just everyday problems we run into and because we have an 'escape' we use that, because that's how some of us (I at least) work sometimes, we choose the easy way and then blame it on autism. Try to avoid that, it's a trap I've fallen into a few times.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #126 on: May 04, 2014, 12:26:06 PM »
I think whether or not you get the diagnosis is irrelevant to the problems. Even if you are not officially diagnosed, if you can relate to it and if you have 'undiagnosed Asperger's', if it makes you feel comfortable, it can't be wrong. If people think of you as an asshole or, the reason why I started the topic, in my case, affectation, that's their loss, not ours.
Fair enough.

People say to me, even when I'm officially diagnosed, "oh but I have that as well and I don't have Asperger's". They don't say it in so many words but what little bodylanguage I understand, even to me it's clear that they think I'm being an idiot. And I honestly don't care.
I'm uneasy because I've seen a lot of the opposite: Someone gets called out on dickish behaviour, and says "I have Asperger's!" like it's an excuse. And then it comes out that the closest they've come to any sort of diagnosis or coping regimen is taking a thirty-second look at the diagnostic criteria.

This thread is for everybody, so nobody gets disqualified. One of the reasons I signed up for the programme is because I think it can help people to talk to similar minds. The other one is that despite it being more and more common, autism is still looked at as something terrible.
Oh, it absolutely can help, as long as you're careful to avoid affective death spirals and similar pitfalls. And honestly, I don't believe it's becoming more common - it's just that our detection has improved vastly in recent years. Given that our world is vastly socially driven - a trend that is on the rise - I would argue that it is prtty terrible - just not in the way most people think. (In other circumstances, it could be neutral or even strongly beneficial, but that is sadly not the world we live in for the most part.)

One word of warning I'd like to give you and all people who read this. Most of you probably won't but I know some in real life who do. Don't blame everything that goes wrong on your autism. People will soon think of you as somebody who likes the attention. Some things might be related but a lot of things are just everyday problems we run into and because we have an 'escape' we use that, because that's how some of us (I at least) work sometimes, we choose the easy way and then blame it on autism. Try to avoid that, it's a trap I've fallen into a few times.
Yeah, this is an easy and dangerous trap to fall into. A trick I've found pretty useful: When I find myself saying "Oh, that's because of Asperger's", I follow it up with "So what am I going to do about it?" I don't always have an answer, but it serves the purpose of shifting it from "excuse for failure" to "challenge to be overcome".

Offline Sabby

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #127 on: May 04, 2014, 05:14:31 PM »
I remember a tv show in the Netherlands where a man was offering his sperm to women who couldn't get pregnant and didn't have money for artificial insemination. Turned out, this man had Asperger's. The host described it as 'A terrible, terrible, mental illness', and suddenly the problem was not the semi rapes, but the fact that the man had Asperger's and all the kids therefor must have it as well.

It's absolutely disgusting what that man said about Autism, but you must admit that selling your sperm and not informing the buyer you have an inheritable mental illness is not okay.

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #128 on: May 04, 2014, 05:20:11 PM »
It's absolutely disgusting what that man said about Autism, but you must admit that selling your sperm and not informing the buyer you have an inheritable mental illness condition in general is not okay.

Legitimate sperm banks take a medical history for everything from heart disease to cancer.  If this guy had a high risk for diabetes and was doing this (again, without telling people), it should be just as much of an issue (if not more, since those conditions can be fatal.)

Offline Sabby

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #129 on: May 04, 2014, 05:24:09 PM »
Is mental illness not an okay term Oniya? I apologize if so, I've grown up with it as the standard (spent most of school in a unit and parents were active with the special needs community).

Online Oniya

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #130 on: May 04, 2014, 05:27:41 PM »
There's some disagreement as to whether autism/Asperger's is actually an 'illness' (to the extent of BPD or schizophrenia), but the point I was going for is that this guy had something important in his medical history that he wasn't disclosing, and that was particularly wrong.  (I'm honestly not sure what the currently accepted umbrella terms are.)


Offline Sabby

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #131 on: May 04, 2014, 05:28:50 PM »
Ah, I understand now. Thanks.

Online DashenkaTopic starter

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #132 on: May 04, 2014, 05:53:47 PM »
It's absolutely disgusting what that man said about Autism, but you must admit that selling your sperm and not informing the buyer you have an inheritable mental illness is not okay.

I agree. But the emphasis on the show became the fact that he had autism and people skipped over the other fact rather easily. Something I found pretty disgusting. As if autism is some sort of terrible thing.

I don't think autism is qualified as an illness but as a disorder. Not entirely sure what the difference is exactly.

Yeah, this is an easy and dangerous trap to fall into. A trick I've found pretty useful: When I find myself saying "Oh, that's because of Asperger's", I follow it up with "So what am I going to do about it?" I don't always have an answer, but it serves the purpose of shifting it from "excuse for failure" to "challenge to be overcome".

I think we've all fallen for that trap at some point, even those without anything to fall back on. So despite the fact that I did (or perhaps sometimes still do) use my autism as an excuse. It's just that, an excuse. It's not a terrible thing and you shouldn't not do it for other people but mostly for yourself. Constantly taking the 'get ouf of jail free card' by waving your autism or whatever condition around, is getting you nowhere.

Knowing you have a condition is one thing, dealing with it is a second thing all together. :)

Online Oniya

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #133 on: May 04, 2014, 07:13:25 PM »
I don't think autism is qualified as an illness but as a disorder. Not entirely sure what the difference is exactly.

'Illness' has the connotation that there is a treatment (such as BPD and schizophrenia have), even if there's not a cure.  'Disorder' implies something negative.  Depending on where on the spectrum someone falls, it could be barely noticeable. 

Offline VioletPanda

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #134 on: May 07, 2014, 04:03:45 PM »
  I am self diagnosed. but my dad was finally diagnosed this year at 43. It's difficult for me to do certain things...Since figuring out out this condition is, it has made it easier and yet more difficult.
  I am trying to join the military and am anxious if they know I am HFA, they will not let me in, so I am trying to work on my deficits  myself...It's very difficult. I forget to do things like eat and shower and its freaking me out. I've tried setting alarms and stuff, but having just gotten my first apartment and work is very stressful...It's making my symptoms very apparent and I am not sure what to do. :(

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #135 on: May 07, 2014, 04:35:54 PM »
  I am self diagnosed. but my dad was finally diagnosed this year at 43. It's difficult for me to do certain things...Since figuring out out this condition is, it has made it easier and yet more difficult.
  I am trying to join the military and am anxious if they know I am HFA, they will not let me in, so I am trying to work on my deficits  myself...It's very difficult. I forget to do things like eat and shower and its freaking me out. I've tried setting alarms and stuff, but having just gotten my first apartment and work is very stressful...It's making my symptoms very apparent and I am not sure what to do. :(

Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I've developed a lot of coping mechanisms myself over the years, but developing habits is a huge weak point for me too. I'd also love to hear what others have done about this. (I've tried pretty much every organizational tool under the sun, but they all fall down on the same point - logging tasks on the tool and checking it regularly are just two more habits I need to develop, and the entire problem is developing habits!)

Offline VioletPanda

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #136 on: May 07, 2014, 04:57:14 PM »
   I'm trying to think of coping mechinisms I've developed over the years....I put a lot of my plans in in phone, and I have a little white board in my bathroom to make sure I remember to do everything. It's kind of embaressing that I have to do it, but I just...forget. It makes me feel really ashamed I forget things like showering, as its so natural for most. It's something I'm still trying to get over. When I was still in high school, and even before then, it was easier. So much easier! My schedule was all set- when I got up, my morning routine and everything was all good.
  With college...I suddenly realized my routine was just a result of all the structure I had in my life, and suddenly I have none, and a million things to balance out that I have never had to do before.

  I have gotten better in social situations- but now that sort of thing seems to pale in comparison to the fact I can't even take online classes and go to work part time because I lost track of what week in the semester it was.
  Anyone have any tips? I am trying to do all this at once and spinning my wheels for the most part.

Offline Sabby

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #137 on: May 07, 2014, 10:38:45 PM »
Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I've developed a lot of coping mechanisms myself over the years, but developing habits is a huge weak point for me too. I'd also love to hear what others have done about this. (I've tried pretty much every organizational tool under the sun, but they all fall down on the same point - logging tasks on the tool and checking it regularly are just two more habits I need to develop, and the entire problem is developing habits!)

I have a method that's done wonders for me, and I've shared it with any friends who are having emotional issues, and I usually get good feedback from them. Basically, I can spiral, emotionally, and say or think things that look absolutely silly in hindsight when I'm able to be rational again. So what I started doing was picturing one of my brothers friends, whose a really awesome guy. I both respect him and am kind of jealous of his social abilities. I take whatever I'm thinking at the time and imagine this person saying it out loud.

If he sounds like a prick, then I know I'm not thinking right and should just abandon the entire thought process. It's helped me in plenty of situations.

Offline Jusey1

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #138 on: May 26, 2014, 12:14:54 PM »
I, too, believe I have Aspergers Syndrome but had not been diagnosed yet. I am in the middle of doing the tests though. (I've already had many appointments and my final appointment should be June 2nd. After that, it'll be a few weeks before I'll figure out the results, so I might have to get back to you on this then).

But however, I do believe it's true to me as well as I do have many symptoms of it (Such a the ones you've mentioned in your original post)... And I don't think I have many issues with others though. Except for bullying, obviously, but nothing like where people do not understand about me having said disorder and saying things like "I don't have it", even though me and many others highly believe I do.

So in the end, I wouldn't have a full idea how to handle such situation, sorry.

Online Caitlin

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #139 on: May 26, 2014, 04:22:14 PM »
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Not too long ago I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To come to this diagnose, I've had to take some tests, mostly oral and a lot of questions on how I was when I was younger. I've always felt a sort of blockage that limited me from doing certain things but I never thought of autism until now. Now having the diagnose fo me doesn't change anything. I anything, it's a relief because finally after all these years I now know what it is.

People around me, who don't know me think it's nothing and claim my psychologist has given the diagnose way too easily. When they ask me what I have that is autism related I always tell them the compulsive and ritualistic behaviour I have. I sort everything (when I was at the psychologist, I had to sort the pens on his desk from big to small, which made his job diagnosing me a lot easier ) and need a fixed schedule to do things. I cannot do things spontaneously. When I tell them that, a lot of people tell me they must have autism as well because they have the same thing, not understanding that it's just a few things of the Asperger syndrome.

Because I'm 27 and only been given the diagnose now, a lot of people talk down the autism, saying it's just a trend and that people are given the diagnose too easily. Before this I never took much notice to autism but now that I have it, I found I need to be careful who I say it too, because of the negativity that seems to hang around the whole thing. Personally I think most people think of autistic people as people who never go out, never make eye contact or can hardly talk, which is one of the three forms of ASD. The other two, Asperger and PDD-NOS, are not that common or not as visible.

I'm running my own business and I got some friends so I don't fit into the 'classic' view people have of autism and because of that, I often get the comment it's just affectation, rather than me actually having a real problem.

Does anybody have experiences with this or something similar and how do you handle with these people who don't seem to understand that Asperger is a real condition and that it can really block or limit people in their day to day living.
Welcome to the club, we got cookies. ;D

On a serious note, I found out that I'm an Asperger when I was about 23. It took me roughly two years to accept that and come to terms with it, but after the difficult phase things went uphill and haven't stopped since.

I mostly find that the autism gives me a lot of advantages. In addition, I've also worked out most of the disadvantages so they don't limit me as much as they used to. Social interactions can still be challenging at times, and I absolutely need a quiet place with as little distractions as possible in order to work efficiently, but apart from those two it's actually great to be an Asperger. I found that I can do a lot of things that other people can't, mostly because they lack the focus to get it done. (For example, programming & publishing a computer game, writing several novels in a foreign language, etc.)

I'll admit to not having followed the entire discussion, but I hope this is helpful to you. To me, being an Asperger is simply awesome. I sometimes wonder if we'd have world peace if the entire world was an Asperger. It'd certainly make things even more interesting. ^_^

Online Caitlin

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #140 on: May 26, 2014, 04:27:24 PM »
There's some disagreement as to whether autism/Asperger's is actually an 'illness' (to the extent of BPD or schizophrenia), but the point I was going for is that this guy had something important in his medical history that he wasn't disclosing, and that was particularly wrong.  (I'm honestly not sure what the currently accepted umbrella terms are.)
I prefer to call it a handicap. We're born with it and there is no cure, i.e. you can cure the flue with medicine, but not blindness or a missing limb. Disorder would fit better than an illness though. I'm not ill and I'd feel offended being called as much.

Offline MistressFrancesca

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #141 on: May 27, 2014, 09:22:27 PM »
I'm on the Spectrum.   Officially diagnosed as HFA.  It's quite difficult some days, but I'm not upset that there is no cure.  I don't want to be cured, because then I would feel...wrong.  I do hope that someday will have a better presentation in the media (tv/movies/books..whatever)...and in REAL LIFE. 

Online DashenkaTopic starter

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #142 on: May 28, 2014, 03:11:42 AM »
The better presentation won't start as long as The Big Bang Theory is on television.

Don't get me wrong I love the show but the image that Sheldon Cooper projects to the world about autism is a bit... wrong. (Although I don't think he ever got officially 'diagnosed' in the show)

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #143 on: May 28, 2014, 07:52:53 AM »
Jim Parsons is on record as saying that he's asked the writers about it & they repeatedly deny that Sheldon is supposed to be anywhere on the spectrum at all. He's just a neurotic arrested peri-adolescent.

Online Oniya

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #144 on: May 28, 2014, 08:14:56 AM »
What might serve better is if there were a show that embraced the diagnosis.  'NUMB3RS' and 'Bones' were both popular series, but shied away from actively diagnosing their lead characters as being on the spectrum.  Bones is notable for having two characters that fall on different portions of the spectrum: Temperance Brennan herself, and Zack Addy. 

Online DashenkaTopic starter

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #145 on: May 28, 2014, 08:30:48 AM »
I think that is the problem with 'acceptance' for autism. Many people don't know that it's a wide spectrum of features and that they all come in gradations.

What a lot of people still think when somebody has autism, is somebody who's got no social skills and is in other ways awkward, like Sheldon Cooper.

Many TV shows have a character that could be on the spectrum, I've never seen Bones or NUMB3RS but I think that one guy on Criminal Minds could also qualify. Makes you wonder why they are so afraid to openly say that the characters are on the autism spectrum. Is it public acceptance or ignorance or something else?

Online Oniya

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #146 on: May 28, 2014, 08:39:45 AM »
It may be the sheer range of presentations that causes a problem.  (And yes, I realize I'm essentially arguing against my own suggestion.)  If a character had a clear diagnosis, then that could 'lock' public perception into thinking that particular point on the spectrum defined ASD.  Spencer Reid actually is confirmed by his actor as being on the spectrum, but by not making that concrete in the show, it keeps people from saying 'Oh, you can't have Aspergers.  You're nothing like Spencer.'

Online DashenkaTopic starter

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #147 on: May 28, 2014, 08:43:32 AM »
Hmm... that could make sense I guess.

Online Caitlin

Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #148 on: May 28, 2014, 08:46:15 AM »
Maybe it's for the same reason that a lead character is generally not disabled, blind, crippled, or handicapped in some other way. I view autism as a mental handicap, though Asperger is a light form of it. For us it can be annoying at times to be autistic, but at least we can still take care of ourselves and generally do well in life. Other forms of autism can be a heavy mental handicap, and include limited interaction with the outside world and a lack of mental development.

I think there is still a stigma to showing people that way on television, or maybe they're afraid alienating their viewing audience.

Online Oniya

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Re: Autism or Affectation?
« Reply #149 on: May 28, 2014, 08:50:55 AM »
There have actually been a number of shows where the lead character has been handicapped.  'Life Goes On' had a major character with Down's Syndrome, and 'Ironside' (originally starring Raymond Burr, and recently revived with Blair Underwood in the title role) has a paraplegic as the title character.  'Monk' was centered around a detective with extreme OCD, and worked him through overcoming many (but not all) of his more crippling issues.