Let's discuss Autism

Sackerson

Old-Salt
A serious (no taking the piss please!) Discussion on all aspects of Autism

Tagging in:

@BratMedic
A few comments a bit scattery but maybe you can pick something useful out of them.

I've taught many children diagnosed with ASD - including two months in a specialist ASD school. It's a heck of a wide spectrum - down to the ones who do not understand langauge and will give you a sentence all as one word because they know it's a sound to make when you want something; and others who are mute, or can only screech.

It's said that ASD is underdiagnosed in girls because at first they get by on copying their pals; later (teen-ish) when female competition takes off they realise they haven't a hope and the anxiety and depression really take off. And temper/panic blowups, or self-harming.

We have a 50ish friend who I suspect is ASD but she doesn't know and I'm not sure that it would necessarily help to tell her, because she might add it to the list of 'things that are wrong with me' - for some young people I've taught, it's a badge saying'don't expect anything from me' - a kind of get-out-of-work chitty cum self-stigmatisation. [Some of the low-ncome parents can be keen to secure a diagnosis for their children, it results in extra financial allowances that help them with their budgetary struggles.] In any case our friend has finally found someone who loves her which is what she needed most; but she has gone from one job to another, each time eventually coming to the conclusion that the workplace people 'have it in for her.'

At a higher level of the spectrum, apart from things like OCD and food faddishness the major problem is in social understanding and communication - and we all know what a subtle game that is. But it can be taught or learned, it's just that the learning will be a slow process and the person will seem socially reticent or awkward; maybe more can be done to teach them conversational strategies so they can make relationships more easily. Doesn't always stop you making a living - think of the BBC's Chris Packham; can be an advantage in maths, sciences, engineering etc where memory, attention to details and ability to focus for long periods are advantages (incidentally, in the Army some members of the SAS might be somewhere on the spectrum? I remember reading Andy McNab saying one of his lot couldn't wait to get home to clean his windows!); but it is a more difficult path for many. Part of the problem is other people's atttitudes of course.

Looking at other comments here, yes, I think there's a lot of undiagnosed adult cases, ASD diagnosis has extended greatly in latter years so older people will probably have been missed. Worth trying for a diagnosis because if an employer takes you on on that basis they will have to make reasonable adjustments and to be fair many do.

Also, there are other conditions that may have ASD-like features, e.g. dyspraxia (which can also manifest as physical awkwardness) and foetal alcohol syndrome (whch can link to a host of symptoms.)

A challenge for the ASD person is dealing with a vague sense of disconnection, aloneness, of being on the wrong foot somehow; anxiety and depression are common and kindness and understanding from others can go a long way to help. But not just condescension - as I said, one can learn and develop skills and confidence.
 
Excellent thread OP.
Our eldest grandson was diagnosed as Autistic a few years ago and has just turned 5. We don’t see him as much as our other grandchildren, as both parents (Son and DinL) live and work in London. From a very young age (before he had turned 1), his ‘special skills’ were apparent. He was recognising and counting numbers everywhere - reciting house numbers while his parents were out and about in the car as an example. In the past few years, this ability has developed to such an extent that he can carry out quite complex addition, subtraction and multiplication tasks with ease. Yet, he doesn’t recognise us as his grandparents and can’t hold a conversation, which is heartbreaking.
Thankfully Mum and Dad are both high achievers and loving parents and are throwing some serious time, thought and effort into supporting their son. We see changes in him every time we get the chance to spend time with him, whether it is up in London or down here with us. Some of the changes are marginal and for the better, whereas in other areas he seems to be getting more uncontrollable- this manifests itself in him staying awake until very late at night and running amok in the house, even on school nights, so it is exhausting for him and his parents.
My wife and I do worry about him as he gets older, stronger and more assertive, but his parents remain positive and confident that he will develop his own coping methods of facing the world.
How we are ‘wired’ is a fascinating subject.
ETA I scored 19 in the test, which is around what I expected.
 
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A few comments a bit scattery but maybe you can pick something useful out of them.

I've taught many children diagnosed with ASD - including two months in a specialist ASD school. It's a heck of a wide spectrum - down to the ones who do not understand langauge and will give you a sentence all as one word because they know it's a sound to make when you want something; and others who are mute, or can only screech.

It's said that ASD is underdiagnosed in girls because at first they get by on copying their pals; later (teen-ish) when female competition takes off they realise they haven't a hope and the anxiety and depression really take off. And temper/panic blowups, or self-harming.

We have a 50ish friend who I suspect is ASD but she doesn't know and I'm not sure that it would necessarily help to tell her, because she might add it to the list of 'things that are wrong with me' - for some young people I've taught, it's a badge saying'don't expect anything from me' - a kind of get-out-of-work chitty cum self-stigmatisation. [Some of the low-ncome parents can be keen to secure a diagnosis for their children, it results in extra financial allowances that help them with their budgetary struggles.] In any case our friend has finally found someone who loves her which is what she needed most; but she has gone from one job to another, each time eventually coming to the conclusion that the workplace people 'have it in for her.'

At a higher level of the spectrum, apart from things like OCD and food faddishness the major problem is in social understanding and communication - and we all know what a subtle game that is. But it can be taught or learned, it's just that the learning will be a slow process and the person will seem socially reticent or awkward; maybe more can be done to teach them conversational strategies so they can make relationships more easily. Doesn't always stop you making a living - think of the BBC's Chris Packham; can be an advantage in maths, sciences, engineering etc where memory, attention to details and ability to focus for long periods are advantages (incidentally, in the Army some members of the SAS might be somewhere on the spectrum? I remember reading Andy McNab saying one of his lot couldn't wait to get home to clean his windows!); but it is a more difficult path for many. Part of the problem is other people's atttitudes of course.

Looking at other comments here, yes, I think there's a lot of undiagnosed adult cases, ASD diagnosis has extended greatly in latter years so older people will probably have been missed. Worth trying for a diagnosis because if an employer takes you on on that basis they will have to make reasonable adjustments and to be fair many do.

Also, there are other conditions that may have ASD-like features, e.g. dyspraxia (which can also manifest as physical awkwardness) and foetal alcohol syndrome (whch can link to a host of symptoms.)

A challenge for the ASD person is dealing with a vague sense of disconnection, aloneness, of being on the wrong foot somehow; anxiety and depression are common and kindness and understanding from others can go a long way to help. But not just condescension - as I said, one can learn and develop skills and confidence.

"It's said that ASD is underdiagnosed in girls because at first they get by on copying their pals; later (teen-ish) when female competition takes off they realise they haven't a hope and the anxiety and depression really take off. And temper/panic blowups, or self-harming "

My daughter to a tee mate.
 
"for some young people I've taught, it's a badge saying'don't expect anything from me' - a kind of get-out-of-work chitty cum self-stigmatisation. "

And this too.
 
Nothing too add, apart from excellent topic. Also, just want too find this thread later on.
:)
SK
 

BratMedic

LE
Book Reviewer
Our motto is "Always expect the unexpected, you will always be surprised and sometimes disappointed, BUT it's always FUN". :biggrin::boogie:
 
I don't like crowded loud places and tbh I'm rather socially awkward, I prefer my own company.

I found school boring and stressful and I had very few friends, I was also bullied to the extent that I would bunk off and go fishing.
The only subjects that interested me were History and Geography. I have always felt a bit "Different" and very much an outsider.
 
What you said about using a son and gaining a gem, I like that!

I hate the tag "special needs" which is often used to "tag" autistic life and we prefer in our house to say they have "special powers" instead and both sun and daughter much prefer that.
I'm nicking that for the grandson (4), who definitely has special powers and is an absolute 100% gem!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
25 but I feel you can game the answers fairly easily, I would expect my wife would score me differently.
 
I'm nicking that for the grandson (4), who definitely has special powers and is an absolute 100% gem!
We have found it is a much nicer way to explain why they are different.

Children who are on the autistic spectrum ARE different but we need to always reinforce the fact to them that being different is not a bad thing
 
Nothing too add, apart from excellent topic. Also, just want too find this thread later on.
:)
SK
Must admit I WAS concerned about starting it but I am very glad that everyone is treating it with the respect that it deserves and hopefully we can all learn by others experience of ir
 
Since my son got diagnosed though it’s struck me how little joe public knows about it.

I took my son out somewhere a few weeks ago and he kicked off. The woman at the counter made some comment about naughty kids. I told her he was autistic and that was whyhe was kicking off. Naturally she thought as I used to that autistic kids sit up the corner and rock
We deal with that on a daily basis. I was even told once " maybe she should wait outside?" to which I walked out of the shop never to return again.
 
25 of 50 here. A little trepidation taking the test without any substantive reasons.
Looking back into the test again, I've figured around 12 of the 25 are based on my innate mistrust and impatience of people in general, but I think......I'm OK at not letting the passive-aggression or feelings of impatience show.
I used to be a dreadfully impatient driver for example. Now, if getting tail-gated etc, it does not bother me at all.
If SWMBO says/does something epically thick (rarely in her case but common to very high IQ's as she has) I just smile and clear it up.
I guess advancing years knocks some of the crap out.
I've a feeling if I'd done this test 30 years back.....the result would have been very different but my rhetorical question would be " Is the/these conditions subject to abating at any broad rate with the passage of time?"
In my historic instances, I think I was just a short fused impatient S.O.B.
 
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Sackerson

Old-Salt
I've own a couple of guys who were autistic. One at prep school would suddenly wonder around the school and pop into other lessons. Nobody minded, he was never disruptive and seemed to do all right academically.

One of the Chefettes went out with one, a lovely girl who could hold forth on the Winter War (Russia v Finland) but was seriously upset by some food colours, bread was fine, toast too brown. They didn't like changes in routine either.

However since psychologists seem to feel that everybody is somewhere on the spectrum and getting your kid statemented opens up funding for both the school and the parents I feel that it is becoming the catchall diagnosis for all sorts, consequently debasing the currency which is a shame.
Yes, at root for many youngsters it may be emotional / behaviour boundary problems from home. I worked for 12 years at primary age pupil referral units (kids thrown out of school) and latterly we've been using a social-emotional diagnostic-intervention system called Thrive; according to this, most of the children who came to us were about 2 years behind in their development. They don't know how to share, collaborate, accept losses and their coping strategy is infantile rage. I'd have them all off computers and video games, for a start.
 

Truxx

LE
I like my routine. I have a certain way of doing things and I don't deviate from that.

I have a photographic memory especially for faces and places. I only have to see a face once and I'll recognise it again years down the line. I only have to drive to a place once and I'll know how to get there again without a map or sat nav.
I served with a chap. Sadly no longer with us, who would watch the captions at the end of a film then not only recite the names roles and titles but also list other examples of other films where Hiram J Huckleburger had been 2nd grip.

Uncanny.

Obviously poached by the g2 world before his untimely demise.
 

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