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  • Autism and Aspergers

    Wired has an article today about a woman with autism who is both uncommunicative and erudite:

    The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know
    http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/...6-03/ff_autism

    There seems to be a theme that if you treat autism as a disease you can make a lot of money in grants, but if you treat it as just being wired differently, it's not so profitable.

    I first got interested in this when I read a 2001 article in Wired on how autism seems to cluster around high-tech geeks:

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9...ergers_pr.html

    Here's another article that suggests that smart families may be a breeding ground for autism:

    http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/200...ike.php?page=1

    BTW, a search of the forum for mentions of autism turns up these posts:

    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/sandbox...tml#post797863
    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/sandbox...come-true.html
    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/sandbox...olving-sa.html
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Autism and Aspergers

    One of the studies they mentioned (and disagreed with) in that first article said something about Autists having "peaks of ability" where they were good at a few things while deficient everywhere else. The author didn't really like that characterization, but perhaps it is more correct to say Autists have "valleys of ability" where, despite being perfectly fine at most things a brain needs to do, they are really terrible at a few things that just happen to be really important for normal social interaction. You know, like talking. >.>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Autism and Aspergers

      Kero: Autists cant be lumped into one group and any study that tries to do so is ridiculously bad. Autism doesnt have one form. There are literally thousands of parameters to define where a patient fits into the series of autism spectrum disorders. Simultaneous classification of all patients suffering from an ASD as having peaks or valleys of ability is, quite literally, impossible.

      I'm going to withhold further comment here because ASD (autism spectrum disorders) is the focus of my doctoral project thesis. Put simply, I have over a thousand sources and currently over 400 pages written on the subject. Perhaps after I submit and get my DrNP, I'll necropost this thread with a link to my novel on ASD. I seriously doubt anyone will actually read 500 pages of text and charts on the subject, but it'll be there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Autism and Aspergers

        being a SPED teacher Ferris, I will read it most likely :)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Autism and Aspergers

          With thousands of parameters, how can one know if one is on the spectrum? I recall reading how the inventor of BitTorrent has Aspergers, and the symptoms sounded very familiar. But I've never gotten diagnosed, and I'm not sure that a diagnosis would even be valuable. (I'm not looking to reproduce, so I'm not worried about creating autistic progeny.)

          Here's a forum dedicated to those on the spectrum:

          http://www.wrongplanet.net/

          Here's a good support group for Aspergers:

          http://www.grasp.org/
          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Autism and Aspergers

            I'd read it, my son has Aspergers
            Delectable - 70 Druid
            Nymphai - 70 Rogue
            Meepmeep - 70 Warlock

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Autism and Aspergers

              As far as I know, autism isn't a disease. Psychologists of the more quantative approach mostly, really like to bunch symptoms up into "disorders". One of the telltale signs that a suggested "disorder" is not to be equated with the medical "disease", is the constant shifting of the taxonomy.

              They "discovered" autism some x years ago. Then they saw a multitude of cases that didn't seem to fit the category "autism". That is why your (not to anyone specifically) kid probably has autism-spectrum disorder if he doesn't have ADHD (and all kids have one of those).

              Well I don't pretend to know what is happening to all those kids, but I sure now the label "autism" blindes us more then it teaches us. When I hear the symptoms of autism, I cannot help but think every time: just give them a computer. Where to an average individual (the term normal is out of place) a computer is that thing that never does what you want, to many "autists", I would think it is the opposite.

              The idea that autism is prevalent in the high-tech geek world therefore makes a lot of sense to me. It is common and ancient wisdom that the line between genius and madness is flimsy at best.

              If pervents and psychotic liars are natural politicians, why shouldn't other "disordered" people find their niche and prosper. This is of huge benefit to society. An atypical person in the right job, can be everything an employer ever wanted, instead of a lifelong burdon on society.

              Hmm, I wonder if I am off topic too much, but what is the topic except autism? I find it a fascinating topic at any rate. To my best knowledge as a psychologist, for now, it is best to see the diagnosis as follows. Autism is probably a grouping of several different disorders. Some of these may have a physical causes; a psysiological or hereditary cause. Meanwhile others in this diagnostical category may have no physical causes at all, yet similar symptoms.

              This problem on the diagnostic level is a huge burdon on the validity of any quantative research that is done these days. Alway be cautious when confronted with research of the "X% of autism is caused by factor Y". It is very hard for this kind of research to reveal anything useful or meaningful because it assumes that the existence of autism is about as evident as the existence of the chair you are sitting in.

              Well...eh :) fascinating topic!

              Oh and scratchmonkey, don't get diagnosed - is my advice! Don't let others tell you who you are. There is no cure for "autism" so why get the label? Your energy is better spent in making your life work, then in finding out what may be a classification that applies to you. If you think I'm dumb here, all the better! Realize that any person that could give you a diagnosis is probably just as dumb as me (smart enough for university, too dumb for physics).

              As an addendum: This is autism. This is what a psychologist or psychiatrist will use to say whether you have autism or not. It looks like a checklist that you would use for say, shopping. That is exactly how it works. According to this widely accepted system, the average person has about 3 mental disorders.

              http://ani.autistics.org/dsm4-autism.html


              PS- Ferris, I'd like to read your work. You seem to have an interesting perspective on the subject. Especially for the anglo-saxon tradition of psychology (I'm most familiar with the Lacanian tradition) . Have you also researched the history of the "autism" category? A quick checking on wikipedia reminded me that "autism" is yet to celebrate it's 100th birthday! It's still a baby! What would the romans have called autists?
              Last edited by BigGaayAl; 02-26-2008, 06:25 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Autism and Aspergers

                I second the no-diagnosis opinion. I have a friend that was diagnosed with Asperger's. Before he was diagnosed, he was just weird. Afterwards, it was almost like justification. Now that his "weirdness" had a name he quit trying to act normal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Autism and Aspergers

                  Originally posted by Buck Fush View Post
                  I second the no-diagnosis opinion. I have a friend that was diagnosed with Asperger's. Before he was diagnosed, he was just weird. Afterwards, it was almost like justification. Now that his "weirdness" had a name he quit trying to act normal.
                  That weirdness is the viewpoint from your side of the glass. I expect you're equally "weird" from his side.

                  Currently evolution selects for stupidity, it seems, so there should be a natural brake on the autism that seems to spawn from bright people. But if evolution starts selecting for geekiness, the Asperger "weirdness" may become the norm, and "neuro-typicals" will become the unusual case. Should NT's then try to act more like Aspies, or should Aspies accomodate NT's?
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Autism and Aspergers

                    http://drawingonfaith.tripod.com/rit...t-interactive/

                    I asked him what happens to the smart kid in class, the one who the teacher points out to the others as being somehow "gifted" once those kids find the weakness of being "slow" in human interaction.

                    "They get picked on".
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Autism and Aspergers

                      I once saw a kid on the news who had autism, and couldn't do much of anything.. But he was absolutely phenomenal at playing any musical instrument he touched. It was quite interesting actually. I mean, I felt bad, but still. Interesting.



                      Atomic Dog: Do it, hit it with a crowbar!
                      Delta: I don't have a crowbar.
                      Atomic Dog: Hit it with the dog!

                      Ednos: I just need to man up and get ready to have a testicle removed (which is what using Vista feels like)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Autism and Aspergers

                        Savant qualities are very common with certain types of ASDs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Autism and Aspergers

                          Originally posted by Delta View Post
                          I once saw a kid on the news who had autism, and couldn't do much of anything..
                          What couldn't he do?

                          I like to liken the inabilities of HFA and Aspergers to blindness. Put everyone in a dark room and the blind are no longer "handicapped". (There are even whole species that are blind, living their whole lives in darkness.) What is the equivalent of the dark room for autism?
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Autism and Aspergers

                            There isnt one, because as I said, its not just autism. It's a myriad of disorders with different symptoms. That being said, you cant create a "dark room" for people with ASD because they wont all fit the same spectrum of criteria.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Autism and Aspergers

                              Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                              I like to liken the inabilities of HFA and Aspergers to blindness. Put everyone in a dark room and the blind are no longer "handicapped". (There are even whole species that are blind, living their whole lives in darkness.) What is the equivalent of the dark room for autism?
                              The Internet?

                              Comment

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