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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Experience with Aspergers?

    I am currently doing some research to become more familiar with how to communicate with someone with Aspergers. There are a number of links online, but I was also wondering if anyone here has experience with this. I realize it is a spectrum disorder, and I have worked with a couple of individuals. What I have encountered involves a strongly concrete perspective that has to work with what is directly in front of them. For example the person cannot extend the idea that you can play an instrument even if you work as a teacher until they actually see and hear you play. There is need for strongly concrete and linear approaches to the world. There is also a tendency to approach a learning situation by telling the teacher what they are going to teach and so forth. I think that is part of the concrete perspective since they cannot imagine what the teacher would bring to the table. That concept is unknown and therefore too abstract.

    I am currently trying to calibrate my communicate to an adult student who has what appears to be a relatively severe case, at least in terms of communication. This person constantly instills conflict, but is also incapable of dealing with conflict. I had to leave early because of a winter storm and they became quite upset, which I understand is an event that would be challenging in that context. I might be raked over the coals next week. My main area of anticipation is that I don't know what approach to take. I'm not even sure if the upset in one instance tranfers over that far. I might just deflect attention away from it and demonstrate a peaceful, happy mood to draw them into. I could also try to help the person reason through it by pointing out the information they are lacking to draw a conclusion and reassure them I had wanted to work with them that day. I could also just work out something simple and direct to say that somewhat mirrors their style. If I want to get a point across it needs to be direct. I also need to find out to what extent I should be veering them in the direction of normative behavior. In some cases with special needs, behavior therapists work with the whole team and everyone keeps the person on task to remember to ask before grabbing, respecting personal spaces, etc. This individual doesn't have a team of helpers. I can also just go with the flow and let it be however it is.

    Where I work I am given all the special needs clients, although I don't have a degree in special education, but my work would probably fall under the category of "recreational" so it isn't considered an issue. I am somewhat isolated professionally in working in part because no one else there does much in this area. I am constantly learning with each new scenario.

    If you have any experience or knowledge about Aspergers, feel free to relay it here whether or not it seems to directly apply to my situation. I just want to get more data points overall in both theory and application.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    I have mild Asperger's Syndrome so I'll post what I know and feel and hope that that is somewhat helpful, though I honestly don't think it will =\. I'll let you judge though.

    When I was 3 I was diagnosed as being "profoundly deaf" and for two years went to the Florida D&B. Well, at the age of 5 I started responding to people and when my parents took me back to the doctors they told me I wasn't deaf (WHOOPS!) but instead I was mildly Autistic. They recommended to my parents that I be sent to a special ed school because of this. My parents were so furious over the doctor's decision that they decided they would "try out" me being in regular school and see how it went. I'm glad they did because it's interesting to me to know that I literally came REALLY close to riding the short bus to school every morning.

    I didn't have very many friends growing up because I couldn't really connect to the them. The only ones I ever did were the other "geeks" and "loser" folk but otherwise people thought I was weird and largely left me alone.

    It wouldn't be until I went through my depression 9 years ago that my psychiatrist corrected my diagnosis and told me I had Asperger's Syndrome and that I only had it mildly as it was more of a quirk for me than a really hidnering disorder.

    As an adult, my AS just means that I have a really difficult time opening up or relating to people I don't know. People don't realize it but when I first meet them I'm analyzing them, watching their body language and listening to everything they say and not just what they say but HOW they say. From that I draw up a little "profile" in my head that I call on whenever I talk to them.

    We Aspy's intellectualize our and other peoples emotions, we can't read intuitively like other people do. This is partly why I'm so quiet around people I've just met because I have to really examine them to determine how they feel about certain subjects. I've learned if I don't do that then I'll run the real risk of misunderstanding how they feel on a certain subject and might offend them in someway.

    I speak with a vocabulary and in such a way as to where people think I'm "really smart" when in fact I've consistently scored average to above-average on IQ tests. In other words, I'm really just as intelligent as most of the people around. I actually have a hypothesis that most people really are 'smart' but they just don't like to show it for some stupid reason.

    I know that when I was a child I was immature for my age for a while, then I somehow ended up jumping the maturity curve and became more mature than my classmates. I have no idea how this happened, I just know I was held back in the first grade because I wasn't growing up soon enough and then by middle school I was told I was "more adultlike" than my peers.

    I'm not sure how helpful this has been, but let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them as best I can.
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  3. #3
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    I As an adult, my AS just means that I have a really difficult time opening up or relating to people I don't know. People don't realize it but when I first meet them I'm analyzing them, watching their body language and listening to everything they say and not just what they say but HOW they say. From that I draw up a little "profile" in my head that I call on whenever I talk to them.
    I find this so interesting.

    I feel the same but for entirely different reasons.

    I read people's body language, listen to how they say things, take in their mannerisms, and create a little profile of each person that I met in my head for later interaction as well, but instead of that distancing me from others emotionally it helps me connect with them on a profound level. It aids in my empathy. I come off initially as aloof and a little cold and uncaring, but inside I feel things rather intensely.


    We Aspy's intellectualize our and other peoples emotions, we can't read intuitively like other people do. This is partly why I'm so quiet around people I've just met because I have to really examine them to determine how they feel about certain subjects. I've learned if I don't do that then I'll run the real risk of misunderstanding how they feel on a certain subject and might offend them in someway.
    I relate to this, but only on the surface.

    I don't know if this is in any way connected to my Fi, but I intellectualize my emotions, too. However, the difference between our methods is I think that I trust my feelings more whereas you're more suspicious of them. My feelings inform my judgment while yours defy your judgment. Interesting how that works. We look similarly on the outside yet are polar opposites on the inside. That, I'd imagine, would be confusing for an outsider.

  4. #4
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I am currently doing some research to become more familiar with how to communicate with someone with Aspergers. There are a number of links online, but I was also wondering if anyone here has experience with this. I realize it is a spectrum disorder, and I have worked with a couple of individuals. What I have encountered involves a strongly concrete perspective that has to work with what is directly in front of them. For example the person cannot extend the idea that you can play an instrument even if you work as a teacher until they actually see and hear you play. There is need for strongly concrete and linear approaches to the world. There is also a tendency to approach a learning situation by telling the teacher what they are going to teach and so forth. I think that is part of the concrete perspective since they cannot imagine what the teacher would bring to the table. That concept is unknown and therefore too abstract.

    I am currently trying to calibrate my communicate to an adult student who has what appears to be a relatively severe case, at least in terms of communication. This person constantly instills conflict, but is also incapable of dealing with conflict. I had to leave early because of a winter storm and they became quite upset, which I understand is an event that would be challenging in that context. I might be raked over the coals next week. My main area of anticipation is that I don't know what approach to take. I'm not even sure if the upset in one instance tranfers over that far. I might just deflect attention away from it and demonstrate a peaceful, happy mood to draw them into. I could also try to help the person reason through it by pointing out the information they are lacking to draw a conclusion and reassure them I had wanted to work with them that day. I could also just work out something simple and direct to say that somewhat mirrors their style. If I want to get a point across it needs to be direct. I also need to find out to what extent I should be veering them in the direction of normative behavior. In some cases with special needs, behavior therapists work with the whole team and everyone keeps the person on task to remember to ask before grabbing, respecting personal spaces, etc. This individual doesn't have a team of helpers. I can also just go with the flow and let it be however it is.

    Where I work I am given all the special needs clients, although I don't have a degree in special education, but my work would probably fall under the category of "recreational" so it isn't considered an issue. I am somewhat isolated professionally in working in part because no one else there does much in this area. I am constantly learning with each new scenario.

    If you have any experience or knowledge about Aspergers, feel free to relay it here whether or not it seems to directly apply to my situation. I just want to get more data points overall in both theory and application.
    It's really good to see people showing an interest.
    I have a lot of experience of this, pm me though (if you want) as i do not wish to openly discuss it.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  5. #5
    Senior Member human101's Avatar
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    i have aspergers never realised until two friends told me they thought i had mild symptoms then i went to gp who confirmed this was true he called what i had as 'odd but active' aspergers.

  6. #6
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    toonia, my son was diagnosed with high-functioning autism last year. It has been quite a journey for us. I would be happy to offer my experiences and research, but beyond that, we've been working with Chapel Hill TEACCH which is a wonderful resource. They offer free telephone or email consultation to educators. They won't be able to discuss your student specifically, but they can give you lots of fantastic general feedback and advice.

    Unfortunately I left the form with the phone/email of the person who does the consultation in my van which is now in the shop, but I'm sure if you contacted them via the website they could give you the number/email to contact.
    Division TEACCH - Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped CHildren - UNC-CH
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    ...I actually have a hypothesis that most people really are 'smart' but they just don't like to show it for some stupid reason...
    Consider this what you will, but if someone acts stupid all the time, can they still be called smart? Even if it can be reasoned they have a lot of great understanding and powerful intellectual reasoning going on in their thoughts that they never apply?

    I hate to tell you this, and I know you will have to figure it out yourself, but most people don't show it because they aren't 'smart' to begin with. And here I'm using 'smart' to mean 'smart' from your internally analyzing perspective, where smart is figuring out the nuts and bolts of a machine and 'not smart' would be taking that for granted and using the machine for a purpose while not understanding how it works.

  8. #8
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    My wife (studying psychology) figured that I probably have it. Meet most of the criteria in the DSM-IV, and it does seem to explain a lot.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member human101's Avatar
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    and i think the thing about the symptoms showing up in the family are quite true my dad is a recluse computer programmer and even though he has a good career and 6 children he seems just as disconnected as me, im the only introvert of my siblings.

  10. #10
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    If anyone has experience using Vitamin D3 to treat Asperger's or Autism, I'd be very curious in your results; please post...

    Autism and Vitamin D

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