Dealing with autistic traits

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    Sep 22, 2010 8:58 PM GMT
    Well, i first would like to start by saying... yes I am a freak ^_^ but NO I am not crazy...

    I was recognised as having autistic traits when I was very young, in kindergarten... the teachers noticed I was not communicating adequately with other children and had me checked out by a psychiatrist

    Typical behaviour: unresponsive to non-verbal cues... unablet o deal with emotionally laden social issues, responding to social situations by drawing back or being overreacting, and inappropriate emotional responses to social cues....

    The problem: slight autism... an inability to recognise social cues and to communicate using them

    How I recognised it: becoming exasparated and confused when people try to make things clear to me using cues other then verbal ones (my bf said he was "dropping hints" and showing signs for a week and was about to give up on me before he tried verbalising, which worked immediately... I had had no idea of this before)... people losing patience with me and becoming angry because I just refuse to "get the hint" and that Im "not paying attention" to what they're trying to make clear.

    How I respond: I verbalise everything, and make my feelings explicitly clear and require that from others to.. which to them looks like Im oververbalising and overthinking, its because I have to....

    it took my brother until in my twenties (many years of exasparated attempts at normal communication later) that I was slightly autistic and that this does happen to a part of the population...

    Imagine talking to a deaf person and you dont know hes deaf.... he may nod and respond only to show he has your attention.. and he may think he is understanding... but the meaning of what you are telling him is not going through to you... and you lose patience... an autistic person is "deaf" to non-verbal communication

    Other signs:

    1) being extra responsive to sudden sounds ( I always notice them and lose attention for the conversation that way, which comes off as untinterested and impolite)

    2) Inappropriate and unintended content (people may think Im arrogant and rejecting them due to the fact that I am unaware of how I phrase things will be interpreted by them)

    3) Extreme attention to certain detail and focus on a repetitive task (more than most people will think is necessary, due to the perception of details others do not, visible when I pracatice music)

    4) Exceptional abilities in other things (I was always top of my class in math, not tryng to be arrognt, Im not proud of it, its just that my brain works its way around it easily, something it cannot do in social situations)

    5) Emotionally overintensse (I feel emotions more intensely than normal people, both the positive and the negative ones... they are not out of whack, just very intense.. ppl describe me as "intense" and "overwhelming" alot)

    6) Better able to deal with animals than humans (when I was a kid I had tons of animals, their communication is more clearcut than humans communication)

    So to sum things up, having autism means being handicapped in social abilities, its always been very hard for me to communicate in my personal relationships and has made it impossible for me to date, because I cannot get hints that are used more commonly in those situations.. I am completely oblivious to them, cant read facial expressions properly... things need to be made explicitly clear to me. I dont get it when people drop hints. If there is a problem or you want something I have to be told in specific, concrete terms

    On the plus side, its made my brain exceptionally good at verbalising and communicating myself through other means, mainly through music... unfortunately it does not help in personal relationships, as it seems to people I am "unresponsive" on a non-verbal personal level... the inability to respond to people makes me come across as obstinate, unwilling and insensitive in social situations.

    Hopefully saying this here will help others who deal with autism, either themselves or in their personal lives icon_smile.gif Autistic traits cannot be cured, as little as being gay can be "cured" you have it or you dont.... but it can be coped with with a little awareness

    Peace and love,

    P.A.S.
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    Sep 22, 2010 10:01 PM GMT
    Baby, fly your freak flag. If you can't change this about yourself, own it. When you start dating someone and things start getting serious say to them

    amar_m saidSo to sum things up, having autism means being handicapped in social abilities, its always been very hard for me to communicate in my personal relationships and has made it impossible for me to date, because I cannot get hints that are used more commonly in those situations.. I am completely oblivious to them, cant read facial expressions properly.


    followed by

    "things need to be made explicitly clear to me. I will not get it if you drop hints. If you have a problem or you want something you have to tell it to me in specific, concrete terms."

    Everyone is a special, fucked up little snowflake. Relationships are a negotiation between two or more snowflakes. Just be who you are and be open about it.
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    Sep 22, 2010 10:44 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_Syndrome

    Sounds like this...
  • tokugawa

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    Sep 22, 2010 10:45 PM GMT
    How did you get a boyfriend?
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    Sep 22, 2010 11:00 PM GMT
    tokugawa saidHow did you get a boyfriend?


    Like I said, he was dropping hints for a week I didnt pick up on...so he thought I was a lost case.... he wanted to give up and resorted to verbalising his wishes... I just complied... I was just oblivious to his come-ons, still am
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    Sep 22, 2010 11:01 PM GMT
    Fearthefall saidhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_Syndrome

    Sounds like this...


    Aspergers is a mild form of autism yes, correctly noted my good sir ^_^

    The full spectrum is the following:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervasive_developmental_disorder
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    Sep 22, 2010 11:34 PM GMT
    Well I'm part of the gang too.

    Woot woot, the freaks come oot.
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    Sep 22, 2010 11:37 PM GMT
    Thanks, OP, for speaking up and encouraging understand and tolerance.

    My twelve year old son is pretty far along on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was four. In his case it is characterized as a neurological disability because even though he has a very high IQ, he is very severely his social skills. Thanks to access to exceptionally skillful and dedicated doctors, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and teachers, aides and school administrators, he is doing remarkably well.

    Speaking as someone without autism (or, as my son would say 'a neurotypical') it's hard to convey how unsettling it can be to be in the presence of an outwardly normal looking person who neither responds to nor delivers many of the myriad social cues (gestures, facial expressions, voice inflections, etc) that we are hardwired to transact. On one hand, I sometimes get frustrated with myself for feeling annoyed or frustrated with my son. On the other, it reminds me of how incredibly intricate our neurologically-based psychology is.

    I would encourage anybody who would like to learn more about autism and other pervasive development disorders to have a look at http://www.autismspeaks.org

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    Sep 22, 2010 11:52 PM GMT
    i'm pretty sure my ex is mildly autistic - not saying that to be smarmy or anything - just always had a feeling about it. For the most part, was not an issue, as i'm terribly aloof and easily distracted, but social situations were always a challenge.
  • rndale

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    Sep 23, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    II also have Autism. I have found that Philosophy is the best thing to help sort out order, in the ciaos of the world.

    For me I get overwhelmed and get overloaded when I can't understand something, it reaches a certain point then I shut down, literally I just drop/pass out, I did so last week for 3 days, I had a migration on Sunday night sent my just in case e-mail, while in bed... the I woke up on Thursday, was starving ate 5 cheese burgers. The upside of the pass out is that my mind stays in it until I subconsciously solve enough issues to allow me to function.

    I did several mild breakthroughs in Botany, Chemical-Physics in regards to the Ozone layer. The problem is that you can only solve up to your current abilities, which is why I tend to avoid sciences so I am able to function for longer periods of time then I would if I tried to study any science, that I couldn't understand.

    Philosophy and Anthropology allow me to get around social issues. However I still lack rudimentary social skills, I verbalize all my thoughts (no-filter). I can't lie because I talk without a filter, so I think very clean thoughts all the time.

    Also when someone raises a topic, you find that all the information on that topic and related information just come to mind, and come out uncontrollably.

    Downside your senses are heightened to such an extent that you are unable to shut them out, I can hear sound waves of every electronic device in my area. Whenever someone texts on a cell phone I hear it, turns on an electronic device, or shuts one off I hear it.
  • toybrian

    Posts: 395

    Sep 23, 2010 1:44 AM GMT
    Amar, good for you for speaking out..working in a toy store I deal with all types of people and learn to treat each person as I see them..deal with everything from Autism to deaf so know about the problem communicating with people...Just take it one day at a time and you will get by....good luck to you and your b/f and good luck to you and others in here with the same problem...
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    Sep 23, 2010 1:55 AM GMT
    I was diagnosed with ASD right after high school. It's a pain in the ass and I can't live alone because I do shit like forgetting I left the stove on... I can't keep up in a conversation with more than two people and I can't think straight if there's any background noise.

    I drive my room mate nuts because I can't remember conversations past a few minutes and if he draws my attention when I'm in the middle of something I'll have no recollection of what I was doing before, not to mention I'll completely misunderstand what he was talking about. If there's a TV or some other thing on nearby, I can't focus on anything.

    Even though I'm very awkward socially and have the attention span of an apple, I'm real good with computers (surprise surprise!) and I can write programs better than guys with masters degrees (genius-level IQ) and I can read encyclopedias cover-to-cover and retain most of the information word-for-word. Problem is finding employment with people and businesses who're willing to look past my short-comings.
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    Sep 23, 2010 3:19 AM GMT
    Thank you much Amar for bringing this up. I have an eight year old nephew whose adorable, and is also autistic. I love him and his brother like theyre my own kids.
    Again, thank you and bravo for being an honest man.
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    Sep 23, 2010 3:37 AM GMT
    flieslikeabeagle saidThanks, OP, for speaking up and encouraging understand and tolerance.

    I would encourage anybody who would like to learn more about autism and other pervasive development disorders to have a look at http://www.autismspeaks.org



    Thanks man, I appreciate it ^_^

    One thing this reminded me of was the intolerance for sudden physical touch you no doubt see in him... Its not that we dontlike being touched, we're actually very touchy-feely, you will see autistic kids touch other people and showig physical affection more often than "normal" kids, we require it too... but sudden physical touches, that we didnt see coming freak us out lol ^_^

    Id like to note on here though, I dont have a bf, I was talking about my ex-bf... unfortunately my relationships with men that I get close to invariably become strained by 1) our inability to communicate and 2) our tendency to say and verbalise our thoughts in ways that come off as arrogant and attack the people we talk to... in effect we are not aware of it... many autists seem self-centred because of it, mostly because we often become confused as to what our "self" is and we confuse our own selves with that of others... I may feel someone talking to me is angry, but I wont know whether its my own anger or that person's anger, because Im not abl to completely distinguish between the feelings I pick up from another from my own...

    Unfortunately, a partner or loved one must have an unusual amount of patience and understanding of the handicap, because it is doubly straining to communicate with that person who seems normal, but does not understand, and to remember that person cannot communicate back to us in our own way... leading us both to frustration... as you have well noted... this is doubly bad for us, as we know our handicap is the cause of the strain... and we feel that inadequace more intensely due to our intense emotions
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    Sep 23, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    Everyone is a special, fucked up little snowflake.


    This is the greatest thing I have ever heard. Ever. And the most accurate.

    And to the OP, much respect for "coming out" icon_smile.gif...if there was anyone reading your post who was ignorant about austistic people or the spectrum of disorders, hopefully they are better educated now. You may have just helped to break the stigma icon_smile.gif.
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    Sep 23, 2010 3:49 AM GMT
    ManVaKar said
    MunchingZombie said
    Everyone is a special, fucked up little snowflake.


    This is the greatest thing I have ever heard. Ever. And the most accurate.

    And to the OP, much respect for "coming out" icon_smile.gif...if there was anyone reading your post who was ignorant about austistic people or the spectrum of disorders, hopefully they are better educated now. You may have just helped to break the stigma icon_smile.gif.


    I hope so ManVaKar, I hope so ;-(
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    Sep 23, 2010 4:18 AM GMT
    hey...not everybody is fucked up...I think you gotta look it at it more than being damaged, odd, or freaky...I hate to sound like a teacher...but...everyone is a snowflake(god, this sounds so stupid), but snow flakes are pretty(even more stupid), and not fucked up.

    so you have autisme, or traits of it, doesn't make you a freak, or fucked up...you were probably just the kid who stood up for snack time while everybody else sat down, or the band guy who marched to the left when everyone else marched to the right...that's all...so don't wave the "freak flag"...wave the, hey i am human, too. flag...like me...like the rest of us.

    (No offense to the guy who said " wave the freak flag"...I know you are being supportive, and sorry of those who had to read these corny ass words while I am being supportive.)
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    Sep 23, 2010 4:52 AM GMT
    Franko85 saidhey...not everybody is fucked up...I think you gotta look it at it more than being damaged, odd, or freaky...I hate to sound like a teacher...but...everyone is a snowflake(god, this sounds so stupid), but snow flakes are pretty(even more stupid), and not fucked up.

    so you have autisme, or traits of it, doesn't make you a freak, or fucked up...you were probably just the kid who stood up for snack time while everybody else sat down, or the band guy who marched to the left when everyone else marched to the right...that's all...so don't wave the "freak flag"...wave the, hey i am human, too. flag...like me...like the rest of us.

    (No offense to the guy who said " wave the freak flag"...I know you are being supportive, and sorry of those who had to read these corny ass words while I am being supportive.)


    Lol I dont consider my self fucked up though babe ^_^ I consider myself socially handicapped, which I literally am icon_razz.gif
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    Sep 23, 2010 4:53 AM GMT
    Franko, it's literally like being in a wheelchair some days. Not really something you wanna be oversimplifying ;)
  • conquer

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    Sep 23, 2010 5:26 AM GMT
    thank you for the information, it is really great to hear something about the human issue not, "would you do the guy above you". this is incredibly personal and something you have to deal with on a daily basis. it is much appreciated.

    most people have no idea how to react to something they are not used to and don't have the common sense to stop and not speak.
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    Sep 23, 2010 7:15 AM GMT
    It's actually quite common here in Silicon Valley. Not all autistic traits are negative . It took me awhile to see a pattern in what I just thought was Geek behavior. It recently shut down a relationship because I could not take the over verbalising about me all of the time and the repetitive behavior.
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    Sep 23, 2010 11:33 AM GMT
    the plus side to hypermasculine thought processes or highly functional autism is that we are smart and can work on ourselves...most adults are clueless about their minuses. And yes, HFA's are often married and carry relationships....after all our partners are not perfect either.
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    Sep 23, 2010 4:07 PM GMT
    Sam52 saidthe plus side to hypermasculine thought processes or highly functional autism is that we are smart and can work on ourselves...most adults are clueless about their minuses. And yes, HFA's are often married and carry relationships....after all our partners are not perfect either.


    Yeah my dad's got a touch of it himself and drives my mom crazy LOL! All in all their marriage is functional and they're happy. I'm a little more off the deep-end though, but a relationship isn't really a priority for me.
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    Sep 23, 2010 4:27 PM GMT
    I always wondered If I had any autistic traits, like I'm really socially awkward unless I'm around friends that I know well. It's incredibly strange, I can be around a group of people I don't know and I will totally shut down, but if you add in one person I know well I can become the life of the party. I also change my outfit like 5 times before I leave the house. I don't pick up on nonverbal hints (directed at me).

    Maybe I'm just OCD
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    Sep 23, 2010 10:59 PM GMT
    amar_m said

    Id like to note on here though, I dont have a bf, I was talking about my ex-bf... unfortunately my relationships with men that I get close to invariably become strained by 1) our inability to communicate and 2) our tendency to say and verbalise our thoughts in ways that come off as arrogant and attack the people we talk to... in effect we are not aware of it... many autists seem self-centred because of it, mostly because we often become confused as to what our "self" is and we confuse our own selves with that of others... I may feel someone talking to me is angry, but I wont know whether its my own anger or that person's anger, because Im not abl to completely distinguish between the feelings I pick up from another from my own...


    This seem to indicate a lack of empathy, ie an inability to recognise how the other person feels or thinks. It is one of the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, (AS) a condition related to Autism, but tend to affect males with an above average IQ. I have a friend with AS who is also a brilliant mathematician, good on Current Affairs and a candidate for Mensa (but refuses to pay the exorbitant membership fee).
    In a counselling session I had with a Psychologist a few years ago (it lasted six hours with a three hour IQ test) I found out that I have AS. It was a shock to me to discover that I had it, but it was why I displayed these characteristics in life:

    Negative Traits

    1. Inability to read or understand the feeling or thoughts of others.
    2. Remaining quiet in group discussions, especially in a bar or tavern.
    3. Unable to work as part of a team, this includes team games like soccer and rugby, both I had to endure at school.
    4. Difficulty in making friends.
    5. Liable to make statements that are likely to offend or raise curiosity.
    6. Prone to be pedantic. Thus can't cope with time-related pressure at work.
    7. A loner.

    Positive Traits

    1. Good with one-to-one talk.
    2. Have a good knowledge of a subject most interested in.
    3. Has "stick-ability" to complete a task or project rather than abandon it. This include gym workouts.
    4. Drawn towards individual sports such as footraces and triathlons.
    5. Having perseverance in such sports, thus "dropping out" is virtually unknown.
    6. Being pedantic can be good for business - clients love top-rate professional workmanship.
    7. Ability to travel the world on my own. Many if not most British backpackers travel in pairs or with a group of mates.

    These are my own traits, some I knew all the time, others were highlighted by the Psychologist. As you can see, I attempted to bring out the same number of positives as the negatives to demonstrate that having AS is not altogether a bad thing.