Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

gfp

Social Behavior -add, Aspergers Etc.

Recommended Posts

ursula, sorry me again,the lying thing isnt so much of a prob more a sense of haveing to tell people everything that has been said about them bad and good, it often gets me in to trouble as people generally label me as atrouble maker but im not i just cant help myself.All my brothers ans siter are dyslexic and so is my mum and my eldest child. i used to suffer with rages but not so much now i think the kids combined with exercise have made things a lot better for me.i have been diagnosed with severe depression and every 6 months my doc prescribes anti-depresants which i never take. As for my dads side he was adopted at birth and has an identical twin brother so ive no clue. but my middle boy is particaily sighted and ime begining to think that it is all connected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My daughter asked the question "why dont they give everybody a ball so we won't have to fight over it?"

I justed wanted to add, I think this is a brilliant observation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some good thoughts and observations ....

This is a very interesting thread.

gfp, I just read through your analysis of different events and some of them are similar to experiences and emotions that I have/had. Part of my issues I think are related to being a scientist and not really being interested in anything I'm not studying or can't learn from - like sports.

I agree and I'm glad you mention that because its the nature vs nurture question. Doubly complex by having a father who is a scientist .. and I obviously inhereted genes as well.

However its not the sport itself ... indeed when I was 18 I was competing in solo sports at a national level.

It is the crowd and tribal mentality that makes me feel very uncomfortable. As I said I feel like a cat watching a pack of dogs completely unable to comprehend what they are sharing and to some extent unable to seperate that from a threat. I think the scientist in me is asking what is so captivating about the ball being kicked about but this is rather subservient to the feeling I get from the group mentality....

However, for the last few years I've been commuting with groups of normal people who make (gentle) fun of my lack of socialization and have slowly been teaching me how to interact with other people more normally. This makes me wonder if some of what people are describing on this thread is an exageration of normal (for them) tendencies.

I'm not gregarious by nature and I avoid large group events when I don't have a specific task, but because I've my friends' help, parties are no longer dreaded events. Now I go to work or volunteer functions with the idea that it might not be as much fun as staying at home reading a book, but it won't be so bad either.

I do spend time with 'normal people' ... I just don't "get" the shared emotions (I think) .. however I also manage parties so long as it doesn't revolve around me...

On the other hand I can be completely at ease in front of 5000 people giving a lecture... so long as its my research subject :D ... as part of my MSc. we had to present our thesis and being me I was different and actually working for one of the guest lecturers who had a consultancy miles away ... I found out that everyone else was being given lessons by the drama dept as the final presentation is a big big thing with lots of industry involvement, sponsorships and the like.

I called up the head of course and he just said he didn't think I needed any coaching ... I guess he was correct since I did my presentation and was offered multiple jobs and research grants on the strength of it.

I didn't even really plan it and half way through deviated from the plan to a whiteboard .... and three years later I presented at the Barbican to 5000 people.... again not an issue and people keep coming to me for presentation advice ... or I get lected presenter .. so in a professional context I have no problems but if I'm invited to staff parties and things this is. I just don't know how to interact socially at this sort of thing so I keep bringing the conversation back to technical stuff...

Equally I also had a friend in a past job, I still keep in touch and his socialisation issues go way beyond mine... but he manages to do poetry readings and write the Times crossword on occaision as a guest.

However his son is severely different, he was at the top of a class of gifted children by a fair margin .. however I didn't know this and one day my friend announced his son was building a PC... having an attic full of spares I invited him over and had a few words then spent a couple of hours chatting, gave him some bits n pieces and saw them off and went to work the next day.... My friend was completely and utterly flabergasted ... apparently his son hadn't said more than a few words in a sentence for a long time not even to his teachers and only communicated with his father.... we had spent a good 2 hours chatting and his father had left without saying anything ... he asked me to spend some time with them which I did and we never had any problem talking even ion front of others... but if my ex asked him a question he would just look like a deer in the headlights.

I've noticed that some of the people that feel they have real socialization issues tend to post a lot on this site. Maybe they don't have trouble interacting with people, but rather have trouble with the thought that people don't understand them. So by writing what they want to convey, they can be fairly certain that what they want to say has been said as clearly as possible.

Again I think this helps but is not perhaps the whole story. Back to my presenting.. I just make sure I know more than anyone else in the room. I make sure I have facts to back everything up and I'm more than fine. Posting here I can find fact to back up what I say... but i can also be very eloquent orally when I want to be.

However what I hate is presenting to peple who don't undertstand the subject and want a management overview and I can't provide the evidence I need.

Maybe we don't want to be alone, maybe we just don't want to feel alone in a room full of people.

That's very profound! I think it certainly captures the spirit of a lot of the issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just on a seperate subject: Not meaning to hijack the thread ...

This is perhaps a family legend... quite how true it is is based on my mothers memory which I think had perhaps exagerated it over the years.... and is never so reliable anyway.

My first words were "give me scissors" after my mother driving herself (her whole family and the doctor) to dispair I was ever going to say anything... I started speaking very late.... but the incident apparently took place after my mother placed a mobile over my cot .. I guess it annoyed the hell outa me so i wanted to cut it down.

Apparently at this point I hed yet to say moma or popa (I think this but might be exagerated) but then just came out with the whole sentence.. the implications I guess being I could talk all along I just had nothing worth saying.

Just wondering about any other late starters? Is it related an all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe we don't want to be alone, maybe we just don't want to feel alone in a room full of people.

You hit my nail on the head, also what gfp said about everyone sharing a private joke and only me not getting it!!!!!! That's how I feel 99.9 % of my life. Or like everyone belongs to some special group except for me. I always feel on the outside of things.

Rachelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to know if we get like that after being glutened because of the physiological effects or the psychological effects. It's possible that we get frustrated and mad at ourselves for not being so careful and frustrated with the world for not accomodating our needs, hence causing us to be somewhat introverted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting read is "The introvert advantage". Some of us are just wired to be introverted and find that spending time with other people takes a lot of energy. We may not be out there as charismatic leaders, but can often contribute significantly through creativity and imagination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's definitively nothing wrong about being an introvert. :D And...I haven't been glutened for a long while and feel physically very well, but I'm still just as introverted as ever (which is actually not extremely, I'm apparently somewhere in the middle).

Apparently the reason some people are more introvert than others is that our brains have a different capacity to take in information, extraverted people aren't that perceptive so they need all that stimulation all the time. :P Introverted people take in a lot and so they need quiet alone time to process stuff or they'll suffer from overload.

Pauliina

who has no trouble relating information to others that she vaguely remembers reading somewhere sometime ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am definitely an introvert; I need to have some alone time to recharge my batteries. But I have noticed that since I've been feeling so much better lately, I am being much more social and very much enjoying myself.

That being said I just told my friend I was NOT doing anything this weekend as I've been social almost every day the past two weeks or longer! And that's a big deal :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I've found since going gluten free that when glutened, I am a completely different person. I've lived this "other" person my whole life and am just beginning to see the real me. I always had a diffucult time living in the moment and truly appreciating small things. I was always obsessing about unimportant details in an attempt to gain control of my life.

...I now know that I am not the "shy" person I always thought I was. When glutened, I am so critical of myself that I can barely interact with others for fear of their ridicule, talking about me behind my back etc...paranoia! I even go so far as to not say hi to people who I recognize because I think that they won't remember or don't like me. I'm recognizing this in myself now and when glutened and when it happens, I tell myself it's just the gluten but it's hard to live through. I hang on, hang on and then in about 12-18 hours of being glutened, it goes away and I'm me again. My body just sighs relief...I really do agree with most that say the brain fog and neurological symptoms are the least tolerable of symptoms...

Rachelle, that about describes my experience perfectly!! I know that I'm not shy or introverted. I love interaction with others. However, I either have trouble getting overloaded with information or with just sorting it appropriately, I can't tell. I know this is directly related to food because eating more vegetables makes it better

A question to all: Does anyone else have trouble "hearing" or understanding what someone else says while in a semi-noisy environment, when everyone else seems to be able to hear and understand what others are saying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like I am pretty opposite of most of these posts. I am very social, outgoing and talkative. I'll talk to just about anyone about anything. Co-workers joke with me that I'm like the mayor of the building because I know everyone.

However that said, I am not one for talking about my feelings or problems. So I guess you could say in that respect I'm more introverted. I am definately the one all friends and family come to when they need to share a problem or need advice; which I love.

Overall I would describe myself as a social introvert (if that makes any sense). As much as I'm very outgoing I also love to just sit back and observe and take my quiet time when I want it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A question to all: Does anyone else have trouble "hearing" or understanding what someone else says while in a semi-noisy environment, when everyone else seems to be able to hear and understand what others are saying?

I have trouble with processing incoming information. It is worse with some people than others. I find that especially with my one daughter, who talks fast and in a high voice, she will often say something, and I register that she is saying something, but I can't make out what she is saying. Often she'll have to repeat it several times before I understand what she is saying. And sometimes she will have to change the wording before I can understand it. Everybody else can understand her just fine.

It happens with other people, too, but most often with her. And when I am at a social event or party, often I give up trying to understand anybody if too many people are talking, because it will all run together and only register as noise. I cannot separate one voice from the others, unless I lipread at the same time and concentrate very hard. We always have to leave early, because overload will set in after at the most two hours, and then I have to get out or hide in the bathroom or find a quiet corner (if there is one).

Some friends and family are curious and want to know.. What caused it?... How do you fix it?

It doesn't matter what caused it or what name they gave it, she has it, she was born with it, and the disorder doesn't define who she is; but it does provide a guide to help understand her world.

Actually, as far as I am concerned, I am not somebody who HAS Aspergers, as in something is seriously wrong with me. I prefer to say, "I am an Aspie", just like saying, "I am German". It DOES define who I am, I don't look at it as a disorder, but a different way of being. The reason it is considered a disorder is simply, because Aspies are different from the norm, they are in the minority. So, the majority has declared that they are 'normal', and we are not. If Aspies would be in the majority, then being extremely social and wanting to be around other people all the time, doing useless small talk etc. would be considered a 'disorder', and people would want to fix these 'strange' people, and trying to tell them that they needed to 'get over' being so social, and to stop being such a pain by talking all the time etc.

We don't need fixing. We need understanding and tolerance from people who are different from us. AS in itself isn't a problem, the problem is, that we don't fit in, because most people want everybody to be the same, and if somebody is different, he needs fixing. Why? This would be an extremely boring world if everybody was the same.

As somebody else who is autistic has said, "If we were all NTs (neurologically typical), we would still live in caves, socializing". Because wo would be the inventers, computer nerds, musicians, poets, writers, great painters, scientists etc.? A lot of those people are Aspies. The world would be much poorer without us. Therefore, 'fixing' all of us would be a very bad thing.

Anyway, I have to go. Maybe more on this later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. "The reason it is considered a disorder is simply, because Aspies are different from the norm, they are in the minority. "

I don't entirely agree with this statement, Ursula. This is like saying that if someone is severely nearsighted, they don't need glasses, they are just different. The reason Asperger's is considered a disorder is that Aspies are usually lacking some abilities that the so-called "neurotypicals" have; moreover, these are the abilities that tend to at least partially define our culture and our society.

"So, the majority has declared that they are 'normal', and we are not. If Aspies would be in the majority, then being extremely social and wanting to be around other people all the time, doing useless small talk "

I think you may be defining small talk as "useless" simply because you are unable to understand the use for it. If the "neurotypicals" see a definable use for it, is it still useless? Small talk IS useful: its function is to help people become more comfortable when others are suddenly in "their" space, and it serves to let people have an opportunity to read each other's spoken, facial, and body languages in order to make needed assessments either about the other person or about the situation.

"etc. would be considered a 'disorder', and people would want to fix these 'strange' people, "

If someone has not learned how to read and write, or has not learned enough math to be able to figure out how much money he should pay at the grocery store, shouldn't he be taught these skills? Or should we be afraid of offending him by making him think he needs to be "fixed?

"and trying to tell them that they needed to 'get over' being so social, and to stop being such a pain by talking all the time etc."

Sensitivity is also a necessary social skill. People who tell you to "get over" being less social than they want you to be and who tell you to stop being such a pain by not talking when they want you to are lacking as much or more social skills than most Aspies! I shudder to think that anyone would consider insensitive jerks like that "normal" (although I'm sure THEY think of themselves as normal!)

"We don't need fixing. We need understanding and tolerance from people who are different from us."

But you've said more than once that you are unable to understand and tolerate those who are different from you! Are you being quite fair here?

"AS in itself isn't a problem, the problem is, that we don't fit in, because most people want everybody to be the same, and if somebody is different, he needs fixing. "

Again, I don't agree. I think the problem is a lack of communication and understanding on both sides.

"Why? This would be an extremely boring world if everybody was the same."

I haven't heard of anybody out there saying that we should all be the same. Many of us who are parents of Aspies have been able to go into our children's world and interact with them in their language. We want to because we love our children so much. Perhaps we are able to because we have varying degrees of Aspie-ness, ourselves! (I know I do!) But we want them to be able to interact with us in our language, too. That isn't asking them to BE exactly like us. That's asking them to learn our language.

"As somebody else who is autistic has said, "If we were all NTs (neurologically typical), we would still live in caves, socializing". Because wo would be the inventers, computer nerds, musicians, poets, writers, great painters, scientists etc.? A lot of those people are Aspies. The world would be much poorer without us. Therefore, 'fixing' all of us would be a very bad thing."

That is assuming that those talents require Aspie-ness--which may be true, I don't know, but nonetheless, it is an unproven assumption, isn't it? Isn't it possible to keep and develop these talents and abilities--and still learn to communicate in the language spoken by the Neurotypicals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason Asperger's is considered a disorder is that Aspies are usually lacking some abilities that the so-called "neurotypicals" have; moreover, these are the abilities that tend to at least partially define our culture and our society.

You know, NTs are lacking some abilities Aspies have, too. And sometimes when we join a different culture, we seem to fit in after all. Because not all cultures value chitchat and parties and being touchy feely all the time. The problem is, that the societal rules in our culture are so ill defined, and you're supposed to 'intuitively know' what is right, that Aspies are simply lost.

I have tried awfully hard to act like other people all my life and to follow their rules, and could still never fit in and was rejected and ridiculed and bullied, at home, in school and in almost every workplace I've been in. I've tried my best, but my best was never good enough. If I almost succeeded, I'd be told I am still not trying hard enough, if only I'd try even harder, maybe I'd measure up.

I have now reached an age, where younger people think my awkward ways are 'cute' (except my own kids). They think it's funny when I don't understand their jokes and say things they consider totally 'off'. And I have some friends who value me for who I am.

I have reached the conclusion that if my best is good enough for God, it better be good enough for people. And if they don't like me the way I am, then I don't need them.

And as in being taught social skills, it would have been nice if somebody would have taught me as a child how to make friends, how to defend myself against bullies, and some social rules, instead of assuming that 'everybody' knows how to do those things.

But there is only so much somebody like me can be taught. I am incapable of reading between the lines, or understanding hints, or follow instructions if one step is missing, and I always take everything people say literally. Much of the time I don't learn from a mistake, because if the next situation is only slightly different, I don't see the connection until after I make the same mistake again. I will have to make the same mistake many times, before I get it. It's very frustrating. People get angry with me, because they think I 'should have learned my lesson'.

My mother would yell at me constantly, I could never do anything right. Now I understand some reasons why. She'd tell me to sweep the kitchen, and I did. Later she'd come and get mad at me for not also having dusted, washed the table and other little things like that. I never understood why she got mad at me for doing exactly as instructed! Now I understand that she thought I'd know that she meant for me to do the other things as well. But since she didn't tell me specifically to do them, I didn't know.

I think my whole childhood was one big misunderstanding like that.

But you've said more than once that you are unable to understand and tolerate those who are different from you! Are you being quite fair here?

You misunderstood me there. I do tolerate people who are different. In fact, I am surrounded by NTs, and all my friends are NTs. I try very hard to understand them, but don't always succeed. I prefer not to be around people who reject me for who I am, and I've given up trying to please those types of people. Why should I spend the little energy I have on people like that?

But I still maintain that I, the person I am, don't need fixing. I need a little help understanding others, which is one reason I see a counselor once a week. I ask him about puzzling situations, and he explains to me what happened, and why, and we try to work on how that could be handled better. He is teaching me to have some boundaries, so I don't let people (especially my husband) trample all over me and treat me like garbage.

I believe that people used to be more tolerant, and didn't have such a narrow perspective on what is 'normal'. If you look around you, or watch people on the street, who really fits the whole definition of normal these days? EVERYBODY is strange in some ways, or has some oddities or quirks. I sometimes just sit and watch people. As much to learn how people interact, as to just see how different everybody is.

In the olden days, people would laugh about the 'scatterbrained' professors, who had buttoned his cardigan wrong, forgot to comb his hair, was socially inept etc. He was accepted as he was, a person of high intelligence, who was brilliant in his field, but needed his wife to sort out his social life and to keep him neat.

Nowadays, these people will be labeled as being deficient, unless they're so brilliant that they're indispensable in whatever position they hold (my older brother, a computer genius, is one of those people). Albert Einstein was a perfect example. By the way, he didn't talk until four or five years old, was considered retarded by his teachers and failed several grades in school, and was quite autistic as a child. Nowadays he'd be labelled HFA (high functioning autism), would be put into special ed and never given a chance.

Unfortunately, my mother stopped me from being allowed to learn what I wanted. Therefore, I was considered a failure. Failures aren't allowed to be different, they're supposed to be inconspicuous and to conform. Too bad I won't conform. So, I was considered a rebel on top of being a failure.

But I am determined to still do some of what I am meant to do. I am planning on taking courses at our local college in HTML, web-design, graphic design etc., and I have every intention of becoming that web-designer, or at least the webmaster for our church (at least that's my initial goal) that I want to be. I am sick of being pushed around, and other people telling me who I should be, and what I should do to be acceptable. I have every intention of being ME, the person I AM, not the person others say I should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love what you're saying, Ursula.

I have always been a loner. As a child I was painfully shy, but now I'm merely quiet and thoughtful. I am what I call a "serial obsessor" - I spend all my effort on some one thing for years at a time, then I've had enough, and move on to something else. I find it hard to identify with people who have never found anything to be interesting enough to obsess over. And they will tell me to get a life, when they appear to have none of their own, as though watching tv sitcoms and sports is the only life worth living.

I consider myself an "eccentric". In another life I might have been in academia, which I've heard described as "sheltered workshops for the socially inept."

I work in schools, and it's clear to me that standardizing kids in the "typical" mode is a primary priority. If a child is introverted, the parents will work on that child as though this is something that can and needs to be changed. So many children I see have reading difficulties but other talents, so what do we do? We pull them out of classes to give them endless reading exercises, so they end up not learning what it was they were supposed to be reading about. Then we discourage them from advancing their knowledge and skills in their true area of interest, because we can't let them get ahead of the other kids. Horrors! Letting a child get way ahead in math or science while being a year behind at reading, can't have that! So much talent is wasted, and the kids end up becoming frustrated and losing interest in school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I work in schools, and it's clear to me that standardizing kids in the "typical" mode is a primary priority. If a child is introverted, the parents will work on that child as though this is something that can and needs to be changed.

Just a little off-topic but I felt I wanted to comment on this before other things....

I think this is the undeclared primary purpose of schools.

Not in a conspiracy sense I just think schools all end up with few exceptions basically trying to impose social norms on the child and academic issues are a secondary concern.

So many children I see have reading difficulties but other talents, so what do we do? We pull them out of classes to give them endless reading exercises, so they end up not learning what it was they were supposed to be reading about.

This one is quite difficult. Personally I didn't learn much at school prior to 16-18 and on.... certainly the UK sylabii can be covered in 2-3 weeks in a bright kid for everything that academically has taken place from 5-16 certainly to a pass level. In most cases each subject can be adequately covering in a single text book of 500 pages ... (of course if they add/take things from the sylabus the single text book is kinda theoretical but I mean theoretically)

A non academic example is diving courses ... you start off with a set of things you must learn and be able to do like hold your breath for x minutes, retreive a weight of x pounds etc. etc. and then each level they increase the minutes and weight and add a few academic questions. Its just items that can be examined. What if I can hold my breath for 5 minutes from the beginning? In reality most of the course is just a timewaster so that you can take the time to gain the practical experience, saving someones life in theory and practice are of course different things... but school is very much the same, largely the sylabii are just defined to make for exams and to provide examinable questions that can be structured.

Learning to read is a fundamental to self education, very little can be taught without it and especially in the case of those who function badly in a classroom.

Then we discourage them from advancing their knowledge and skills in their true area of interest, because we can't let them get ahead of the other kids. Horrors! Letting a child get way ahead in math or science while being a year behind at reading, can't have that!

Here Im not sure, the chance of a kid getting a year ahead all by themselves if they can't read seems pretty hard. Where else would they get the information to be a year ahead if they can't read.

I think what you might mean is "examinable" reading? Like reading aloud ?

The problem is I think that schools put an inordinate amount of effort into making the process as slow as possible. Standards drop every year and with them the length of time someone is at school has increased since the beginning of the 20C. where 13-14 was a more common age to finish school.

So much talent is wasted, and the kids end up becoming frustrated and losing interest in school.
Here I agree totally, indeed it seems to be a schools agenda to knock this talent out of children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yours is the prevalent opinion nowadays - that what matters is improving the kids' "reading skills", it takes priority over all else, and there is no other way to learn. This is remarkable, considering all the theory they teach in education school, where you learn you are expected as a teacher to attempt to recognize each student's learning style and accomodate that.

The problem is that time spent on what they call "literacy" now - basically decoding exercises - is time not spent learning any content. Students in these programs fall behind their classmates in basic understanding. Even if they improve their decoding skills to the point where they are able to read aloud, they do not comprehend what they read, and cannot answer questions about it or rephrase it in their own words. And now they hate "reading", because it is to them nothing but a series of pointless exercises leading to a test that they don't do well on.

While there are many ways to learn besides from books (human interaction being one), often a student who is motivated to learn something will learn to read at the same time as mastering the content in the book. It is a far more natural way of learning than unfocused academic exercises and memorization of arbitrary vocabulary.

Also, keep in mind that mathematics texts are much less language-intensive than literature, while science books often have illustrations to guide the reader through the text.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't entirely agree with this statement, Ursula. This is like saying that if someone is severely nearsighted, they don't need glasses, they are just different. The reason Asperger's is considered a disorder is that Aspies are usually lacking some abilities that the so-called "neurotypicals" have; moreover, these are the abilities that tend to at least partially define our culture and our society.

While this may be true and of course society is defined by the majority many of these abilities are not necassarily good. If we can talk about "non NT" as opposed to Apsie it might be easier?

I find the whole herd mentality of NT's completely puzzling but it is this herd instinct which in humans leads to tribalism, war and most of the worst attrocities. I could go on but hopefully we all get this point?

I think you may be defining small talk as "useless" simply because you are unable to understand the use for it. If the "neurotypicals" see a definable use for it, is it still useless? Small talk IS useful: its function is to help people become more comfortable when others are suddenly in "their" space, and it serves to let people have an opportunity to read each other's spoken, facial, and body languages in order to make needed assessments either about the other person or about the situation.

At the same time standing back and watching their interaction with others can provide a wealth of information too.

I don't know what I am .. but what I have realised, largely as a result of this thread is I don't have group emotions. You know sometimes I wish I could share smalltalk or share whatever it is people get watching sport in a big crowd although perhaps that is only to be able to have smalltalk... but I don't think anyone can ever teach me ... I think I just completely lack this emotion just like a cat.

If someone has not learned how to read and write, or has not learned enough math to be able to figure out how much money he should pay at the grocery store, shouldn't he be taught these skills? Or should we be afraid of offending him by making him think he needs to be "fixed?
(joke) In a world full of non-NT's you wouldn't need to count your change (/joke)

serious mode....

I think there is a difference between teaching math and english and teaching trying to "fix" someones id.

Sorry I'm cat obsessing but I thinkits rather like trying to force a cat into being a pack animal. Cat's just don't have the appropriate responses and although you can force situations then that cat is not itself, indeed its not really a cat in terms of physchology. We might prefer a cat that fetches slippers and the newspaper, herds sheep etc. and perhaps its possible to train them but the resulting aninmal will not be a cat psychlogically.

You know, NTs are lacking some abilities Aspies have, too. And sometimes when we join a different culture, we seem to fit in after all. Because not all cultures value chitchat and parties and being touchy feely all the time. The problem is, that the societal rules in our culture are so ill defined, and you're supposed to 'intuitively know' what is right, that Aspies are simply lost.

This is very true ... I have learned smalltalk as a social skill ... what I didn't learn is the application in other cultures. When I lived in Norway small talk is considered rude and I would constantly try and do my self-imposed smalltalk I had taught myself to do. What I lacked was the ability to see where smalltalk was inapproapriate.

I have tried awfully hard to act like other people all my life and to follow their rules, and could still never fit in and was rejected and ridiculed and bullied, at home, in school and in almost every workplace I've been in. I've tried my best, but my best was never good enough. If I almost succeeded, I'd be told I am still not trying hard enough, if only I'd try even harder, maybe I'd measure up.

Depending what you mean by bullying noone ever bullied me physcially at school, I was way to strange to be physically bullied and everyone knew regardless of our relative sizes they would be seriously hurt regardless of how much they could hurt me. On the very few occaisions anyone ever tried I would just concentrate on doing the most damage to them, noone ever tried a second time. However bullying is a complete NT trait, its part of the tribe mentality. What the bully wants is submission to their authority because they are trying to be the tribal leader.

And as in being taught social skills, it would have been nice if somebody would have taught me as a child how to make friends, how to defend myself against bullies, and some social rules, instead of assuming that 'everybody' knows how to do those things.

Friends are people you can communicate with.... wouldn't it be better if the NT's were taught how to be nice to others? Defending against bullies is easy, you hurt them. We are told we should tell a teacher ... however this is usually the worst possible thing to do. The tribe is usually in opposition to the teachers ... the idea is to make an us and them and if you go to a teacher you demonstrate to the tribe you are with "them" ... (as in the teachers) Moreoever the bully is probably head of the football team or something and will be protected anyway while you will be told to clean up your social skills.

So we hit social skills ....

The point is that social skills are defined by tribalism ... submission to bullies is part of tribalism, running with the pack is part of tribalism .... those who support bullies are part of a tribe.

where does this lead ? (forget the politics of say Desert Storm just the reactions) .. This leads to groups of people sat round a TV set cheering as a bunker full of people who's major crime is being part of another tribe is blown up. You could switch the channel to baseball and the reaction would be the same to a home run...

Personally I see a world of difference between a useless but harmless act like a home run and blowing up 200 people! It appears to me that many high end functioning NT's don't.

But there is only so much somebody like me can be taught. I am incapable of reading between the lines, or understanding hints, or follow instructions if one step is missing, and I always take everything people say literally.

I disagree that there is only so much you can be taught ... since you have obviously self-taught yourself a lot. Maybe you can only be taught so much in certain areas or maybe you can only be taught so much in a classroom.

Personally I have great problems in classrooms and great problems with text books that deliberatly lie.

We get taught facts that the teachers know are wrong...be this in science or language.

We get taught atoms are the smallest matter or we don't need to use the past subjunctive when what they mean is you don't need to know that now....

however this is completely incorrect .. some of us absolutely DO need to know that.

Your example was with phonics but I suspect the major problem was being told "you don't need to know that now concentrate on this"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yours is the prevalent opinion nowadays - that what matters is improving the kids' "reading skills", it takes priority over all else, and there is no other way to learn. This is remarkable, considering all the theory they teach in education school, where you learn you are expected as a teacher to attempt to recognize each student's learning style and accomodate that.

The problem is that in order to transfer complex information the tools available are written ....

You are completely correct in many ways but one could take an example of someone who excels at a musical instrument without knowing how to read music. That person can actually be an excellent musician and learn music theory through perception of the scales and modes rather than anything written but in order for them to transmit this information it needs to be written because 99%+ of people will never be able to learn this through perception alone. In terms of math or science this is also self limiting.... you can only go so far. At some point a gifted student will exceed their teacher, regardless of the teacher because as Newton said "If I have seen further than others it is standing on the shouders of giants". Building and extending the work of others is intrisically linked to being able to communicate that knowedge.

The problem is that time spent on what they call "literacy" now - basically decoding exercises - is time not spent learning any content. Students in these programs fall behind their classmates in basic understanding. Even if they improve their decoding skills to the point where they are able to read aloud, they do not comprehend what they read, and cannot answer questions about it or rephrase it in their own words. And now they hate "reading", because it is to them nothing but a series of pointless exercises leading to a test that they don't do well on.

I agree completely the problem is how they are trying to teach it.

When I went to school I could already read and write and I was reading "real books" .... in English.

When I got to school the first thing they did was try and unteach that with a phonetic alphabet called ITA. They also from my understanding told me my parents had been lying to me and that ITA was the proper way to read. At this point I went from reading The Hobbit and Enid Blighton to reading "little red hen" all other books you were caught with were confiscated in the name of teaching me how to read.

In other words they had 100% control on your reading matter. They also made observations incredibly confusing... when I went down the street the signs were written in the "false language" ... if I went to a zoo the labels were in the false language .. and your vocabulary was strictly limited to words that were in the reading material they gave you. I believe this was the single most destructive thing school EVER did to me.

Whist learning French I have not spent a single minute learning vocabulary yet I know words which most French people don't even know ... from reading. If I have to look up a word it is most likely NOT in the compact bilingual dictionary. Most of this is thanks to J.K. Rowling with a liberal seasoning of Hugo and other masters not to mention signs in museums but all of it has been learned just by reading and putting into context and the aid of a dictionary.

.... and i still do not understand the fundamentals of English grammar.

While there are many ways to learn besides from books (human interaction being one), often a student who is motivated to learn something will learn to read at the same time as mastering the content in the book. It is a far more natural way of learning than unfocused academic exercises and memorization of arbitrary vocabulary.

I completely agree! But what you are talking about is 'the method' which in my opinion is seriously flawed. I am talking about the importance of being able to read....

Moreoever I think this ability is even more important for those who cannot function in a classroom.....

For instance neither of us have learned what we discuss here in a classroom.... either in this thread nor celiac disease in general and yet I recognise you and Ursula as someone with a very deep knowledge of the subject.

Perhaps working in education you have learned the methods in a classroom but I'm not talking about the methods, I'm talking about the ability to learn and to achieve potential.

Also, keep in mind that mathematics texts are much less language-intensive than literature, while science books often have illustrations to guide the reader through the text.

Yes but then we are talking about different things....

I think we have both the same disdain for vocabulary classes and tests....

I doubt I learned a single word from this the whole time I was in school with the sole exception of "bibliography". I vividly remember learning bibliography as the ONLY word I learned at school. Excepting proper nouns!

Actually I learned quite a few in the playground but I can't repeat them here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is that there are many children who are not going to learn to read very well, regardless of how important a skill it is. Do we keep them in school struggling with reading exercises until they leave, still illiterate, or do we try to teach them through other means - such as listening to books on tape and watching videos?

Paul McCartney cannot read music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem is that there are many children who are not going to learn to read very well, regardless of how important a skill it is. Do we keep them in school struggling with reading exercises until they leave, still illiterate, or do we try to teach them through other means - such as listening to books on tape and watching videos?

Good point and the problem is identifying the children and why they are stuggling.

Some children are stuggling because of the way it is being taught and others perhaps because they lack the applied intellegence to read.

What tends to happen is gifted children with learning disabilities are subjected to the same methods as those who lack the basic means.

In terms of the gifted children this tends to exasperate the problem and set a low achievement goal, I know

I was in a "remedial class" for 4 years.

Indeed the whole system is screwed up.... The reason I was put in the remedial class was my refusal to accept ITA and the lies the teachers told me. I refused point blank to write in ITA including my name and therefore I received near zero on every test regardless of subject.

For this I was subjected to watching endless videos and punishments to learn how not to read and write.

I also learned that making sure I was close the 50th percentile of the class was important ...

At 11 I left this school and took entrance exams to several schools... I was awarded several scholarships, entry in the the "grammar school" (public school for the top percentiles) etc. All this I did in a language I had not learned at school where I was considered remedial.

later ...when i was in the 2nd year of high school 11-16 After being placed in the top set in the first year (based on examination) I was put into the remedial set in the 2nd and subsequent years ....

I had a teacher who gave us stupid homework tests everyday. We had to do stupid tests like cat is to mouse as..... and following what I had learned in school made sure I always got 30-40% which was the average in my class. The teacher thought he was smart... we had a red pen and had to mark our own work... the punishment for having a blue pen in class was the cane... so we had to hand them all in before the marking started ....

Of course he only ever checked what was marked correct, not what was marked incorrect so I didn't even have to falsify answers ... all I did was mark 60% incorrect. One day we had to swap books... the person who marked mine read out my mark (100%) to which he replied .. don't be ridiculous .. lets see what does he normally get... OK 35% ....

Now the point is what if instead of standardising the school had accepted I could already read and write....

My girlfriend is almost entirely bilingual yet she was made to attend English class in France. She was marked down for not mispronouncing words "correctly" according to her English teacher who can't speak English. However her French is what she learned in the playground, watching TV etc. Her written French is not perfect to the same degree as her English .. Rather like my English she can write at a certain standard in French but is unable to explain the rules. (think how frustrating this is for me, it would really help me) ...

Just as my English is imperfect and uneducted so is her French, indeed I know more formal French grammar than she does when it comes to tenses like past subjunctive or simple past. However my French isn't even comparable to hers ... she has no detectable accent and a linguistics professor finds it difficult to find any trace of a non Parisian accent however doing her dual law degree she had to work twice as hard in French as in English for the formal language.

Now the question is why should she have wasted several hours a week 'learning' a language she spoke better than her teacher when she could have been learning the French grammar she missed?

In her final Bac results she gained a 20/20 in English (along with around 6 other people in France that year) yet only got 16/20 in French. (Somewhere about the 75th percentile, marking in France is very very tough you can completely fail a history or geography test with 20 spelling mistakes or grammatic errors let alone a French language test) Would it not have been more sensible to break the curriculum and have her do extra French?

This is the basic problem in schools.... they are unable to cope with anyone outside their idea of levels.

Paul McCartney cannot read music.

Exactly my point..and I can't say I'm surprised. most musicians I know consider McCartney as someone who could even make a mess of Lennon's work. Its a sure fire way to bring out an arguament in most musical circles way better than asking who's the best guitarist ever or such.

Which brings me nicely to an observation on the school system.... edit mine!

As soon as your born they make you feel small,

By giving you no time instead of it all,

Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all,

A working class hero is something to be,

A working class hero is something to be.

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,

They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,

Till you're so doggone crazy you can't follow their rules,

A working class hero is something to be,

A working class hero is something to be.

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,

Then they expect you to pick a career,

When you can't really function you're so full of fear,

A working class hero is something to be,

A working class hero is something to be.

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,

And you think you're so clever and classless and free,

But you're still ****ing peasents as far as I can see,

A working class hero is something to be,

A working class hero is something to be.

There's room at the top they are telling you still,

But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,

If you want to be like the folks on the hill,

A working class hero is something to be.

A working class hero is something to be.

If you want to be a hero well just follow me,

If you want to be a hero well just follow me.

Which I think is more poignant than the Frog song. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is very interesting. I am learning more as I read, thank you Ursula for your insight into the Aspie mind!

The comments about the school system are so true, but I do feel lucky that in our small rural school, the teachers were willing to accomodate a different learning style. In grade one my D was labeled as mentally deficient and ADD, based on a bunch of tests. The person testing her felt she was being deceptive cause she wouldn't look at them directly - another diffculty for the Aspie - making eye contact. I knew different and after a visit with the pediatrician, it was confirmed she had Aspergers.

My comment:

Some friends and family are curious and want to know.. What caused it?... How do you fix it?

It doesn't matter what caused it or what name they gave it, she has it, she was born with it, and the disorder doesn't define who she is; but it does provide a guide to help understand her world

...this comment stems from school, because the label Aspergers can be helpful - in that it tells the school where the strengths and weaknesses are... the name Aspergers can also be used by some to limit her as well. I didnt want them to define her soley by the name. Every person is unique and just because they dont follow the "norm" doesnt mean that others need to spend all sorts of time and interventions attempting to make them fit some societal norm. We could help her understand the NT world by explaining it and helping her but at the same time, I ask her for her insight into the Aspie world so I might better negotiate and understand her world.

We were blessed with a school that supported my ideas and found what worked for my D, not what some school policy said should work. They scrapped the whole word approach and went to phonics, which made more sense but it still had my D shaking her head at some words like: know and two and others like that... in grade 2 she asked who invented the words and why did they use a letter if it was "silent". Why would they have 3 words sounding the same but meaning something different (to, too, and two). Not logical to her. She is a visual learner so they gave her an abacus for math, we did home reading because the class was too noisy for her, she was allowed to go to the library if she was getting stressed in the class environment. I really want to track down the -person who tested her in grade one - she just finished grade 7 and was exempted from one exam (high marks) and her lowest mark was 75%. Not bad for a kid who was called "upper range of the mentally deficient"

I think that with all the books out there on Aspergers, books about how to teach them, etc. Someone should write a book about/for the NT. An Aspie could write it and provide interventions to solve the NT's difficulties in the Aspie world. Chapters about : Why the NT is deceptive and prefers lies to honest communication. The NT's need for long conversations and how that need affects daily life. The focus on competitive sports and how it can interfere with the learning process. The NT's inablity to enjoy solitude - step by step method to achieve happiness with oneself. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting to compare and contrast Ursula's, gfp's and my experiences. Granted Ursula feels she is at an extreme of the non-standard socializing spectrum, but I still think it's valid to include her in the comparison. Ursula has stated that she was made to feel inadequate as a child and had to struggle to be "good enough". gfp felt as though he had to conform to other's norms in order to get by. My parents never for one second let me feel that I was less than others and so I feel confortable with my weird ways.

I can't do a conversion equation the way everyone else in science does it, but my way gives the same answer. When I ask someone to check my math before starting an experiment I just tell them that they won't be able to follow my equation, it's easier if they do it their way and we just compare answers.

I can't follow a straight line of logic without examining each step. This means that my "big picture" capabilities are extremely limited. I think almost entirely in abstracts which means I can come up with "brilliant" (to linear thinkers) ideas. It's as if my ideas are all separate balloons in my head. I can pull together any balloons I want. Most peoples ideas (I think) are more like ordered signposts down a road. If they see the first signpost, they can remember what the last one is. I don't have a "last one".

I can't do small talk, and I don't see the point. But I do understand that others see the point and I try not to impose my preferences on them, just as I don't want them to impose their preferences on me. I find extremely social people annoying and vapid. What's the point of a conversation if you don't accomplish something? But I guess I have some inkling that others are accomplishing something, I just have no clue what that is. An interesting sidenote to this - since I need to see the point before I'm willing to do something, I frequently made my teachers justify why I should learn what they were trying to teach me. What a horror I must have been.

Ursula,

Since you have limited social connectivity, I'll be direct in saying this. You often come across in your posts as feeling victimized.

Stop that.

Just because you don't fit someone's definition of "normal" doesn't mean that your skills aren't equally as useful to the world as a whole. You have very deep insights that (I think) less introverted people will never find on their own, but benefit from hearing. You have over and over proven your value on this site and you are far important to this community and probably any community you are a part of to act like a victim. Just believe that you deserve to have people make exceptions for you, just as you graciously make exceptions for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now the question is why should she have wasted several hours a week 'learning' a language she spoke better than her teacher when she could have been learning the French grammar she missed?

The system is not designed to be flexible. When I teach Spanish in middle schools, most classes have a native Spanish speaker in the class. The other students have no language fluency whatever - and the teaching methods will not change that - while this student is learning nothing from a teacher who speaks the language poorly if at all.

At least in the high schools they have initiated a "Spanish for Spanish speakers" class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find it interesting to compare and contrast Ursula's, gfp's and my experiences. Granted Ursula feels she is at an extreme of the non-standard socializing spectrum, but I still think it's valid to include her in the comparison. Ursula has stated that she was made to feel inadequate as a child and had to struggle to be "good enough". gfp felt as though he had to conform to other's norms in order to get by. My parents never for one second let me feel that I was less than others and so I feel confortable with my weird ways.

From what I am learning on this thread I'm quite amazed how some of what Ursual says fits whereas other's don't but as Ursula said she managed to get all the characteristics ....

The thing is my parents never made me feel less than others but they did make me not feel normal.

My father's friends are mainly scientists, engineers or mathematicians and when I was very young he had me solving math problems to race against them. Hence for me math became something where you visualise the numbers and shout out the answer ... In most cases I would have no idea how I came to the answer only know its correct.

Society has some stupid stupid rules.... card counting is illegal ... I can't not count cards, it doesn't take any effort so even playing with friends for fun I can't help doing it. Its funny at first until everyone gets upset at me for keeping winning. If I do math and am forced to dfo the working I'm apt to be confused, I'll keep getting lost and repeating myself wheras if I can just give the answer I can give it usually very quickly and with total certainty.

I can't do a conversion equation the way everyone else in science does it, but my way gives the same answer. When I ask someone to check my math before starting an experiment I just tell them that they won't be able to follow my equation, it's easier if they do it their way and we just compare answers.

This is the same for me, often the equation has a visual aspect I can just see. This was something i found hard in analytical work but forced myself .. however I still can't tie my own laces like anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):
    Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):





    Celiac.com Sponsors (A17):




  • Forum Discussions

    This is good advice. Some restaurants offer gluten-free menus or mark items with “GF” on their regular menu, and I try to eat at such places. I still talk to the manager when I order to be sure. 
    I've had a swollen gland in my neck similar to what you described.  I found that taking thiamine helps immensely.   Here's an article that you might find helpful..... http://wandererandhome.weebly.com/heal-yourself/vitamin-b1-th...
    Mummu said her daughter was "constantly nauseated, tired, and having little to no interest in eating.  She's lost weight and I'm worried she may be becoming depressed"   I agree with M.Martha.  The Autoimmune diet without dairy and...