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Dr-David-Banner

Autism vs Aspergers

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Dr-David-Banner

My feeling is that, most likely, I have the two. Both Aspergers and Autism. Here's why I lean towards that conclusion:
(1) Most people with AS do fine at school so far as learning goes. That means at one level they do relate to other people. Emotionally and socially they do not. I had a best friend with a strong AS diagnosis and, at the time, he was way ahead of me in maths and education. He used to ask, "Didn't you listen at school?"
Autism as I experienced it is somewhat different. Everything shuts off. You do not connect with people either intellectually or socially. Therefore you develop learning disorders as well as social communication disorders. Clearly because we learn through teachers so, for that to happen, there must be at least communication exchange.
However, so far as AS goes, I did finally wind up high functioning once I discovered I could teach myself. I do have noise and light sensitivity, fabric sensitivity, meltdowns and lack of empathy. I have dyspraxia and motor clumsiness too.
I feel really I can relate to aspies around 50 per cent because the social side of it, sure, I understand. Still, I feel these symptoms are less subtle in me in as much as I feel pretty much a total disconnect. It's not like striving to improve interaction but more there is no sense of belonging or relating.
There is hope, though. Recently I noticed a lot of very positive changes. I find when I open up, people start to like me and ask questions. I make lots of jokes and learned to relate more to females as I find them more open. Plus, to a certain degree, I can make friends much easier. So, my guess is it's possible to improve socially but I think the key is to be yourself. That is, if you can get people to accept you as you are, that's safer than trying to fake it.
Of course, I suppose things go wrong. It's very hard for people to include those of us who don't seem to follow their rules. A lot of my friends keep giving me advice because they think you can wave a magic wand. Like, "pull yourself together, dress better, get a job and routine and then you'll be OK". I know it's not that easy because I can't just be normal fueled by willpower and good intentions. All I can do is keep making improvements and just be myself.

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Sanctuary

For me a central element of autism / AS is not feeling a great desire for sociability and being more comfortable with solitude than those off the spectrum. However we still feel some need for sociability and company. Change is definitely hard and it's very frustrating when, as you say, some people suggest it's easy. Changing if you have autism or AS is even more difficult. Trying to be more socially skilled especially can be very difficult - basic politeness is not hard but trying to make conversation or develop "warmth" and a good impression can be challenging. You're right that it's generally better to work with the autism / AS than try to change and be someone you're not. Setting modest, realistic targets is the way forward - they can be hard to achieve but it's always worth trying. 

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BDEGRD

Im not really understanding you differentiating the two.  Aspergers as per the DSM 5, is just Autism.  I just consider Aspergers as high functioning Autism, there are people on different ends of the spectrum and everything in between, but I agree with the DSM 5.

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Dr-David-Banner

Pretty much always Aspergers is high-functioning. That means in education all is fairly normal. It's not common for someone with Aspergers to be considered as "retarded" in learning. My friend years ago went to a Catholic School and got "A" grades even though he struggled to connect socially.
My own experience was the withdrawel blocked education as well as social interaction development. Moreover, there has to be some connection to others in order to learn language and maths (because all education is a social process).
Last night I noticed while watching a film that I couldn't follow the plot as the particular film didn't have characters with glasses or hats or distinctive clothes. So the faces alone left me unable to tell who was who. That facial blindness aspect has caused me employment related issues. At school personal education also left me floundering as it relied on personal communication.
Severe autism processes all information from within. No reason why an untreated low functioning autistic should be just assumed to be retarded. He or she may just need different learning methods. Whereas Aspergers tends to be high functioning from the onset.

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Miss Chief
17 hours ago, BDEGRD said:

Im not really understanding you differentiating the two.  Aspergers as per the DSM 5, is just Autism.  I just consider Aspergers as high functioning Autism, there are people on different ends of the spectrum and everything in between, but I agree with the DSM 5.

This... AS just means that you are at the high functioning end of the spectrum (hence why they have done away with the diagnosis of AS and now you just get diagnosed with ASD), I don't think it is possible to have 'both' having AS means you have Autism you are just at the high functioning end of the spectrum, if you are lower down the spectrum then you wouldn't have the AS diagnosis. Even people with AS can have severe learning difficulties.

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Dr-David-Banner

I am not sure about that. Paul Cooijman seemed to think AS isn't even autism but a different condition altogether. Still I don't know how many people here had my experience of low-functioning at school. It's easy for me to explain: I just withdrew into a shell and, as teachers put it, "day-dreamed". The stereotype aspie is really the sort of guy who socially is clueless at school but academically quite high-functioning. I was very low functioning till I adopted sort of reclusive self-study techniques. There is HFA which I resemble more but HFA people tend to be late to read but then get through school OK.
My question is how did you do at school in maths and English? Did anyone suggest any learning disorder? How about teacher communication? Did the personal basis of that create any problems?

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BDEGRD

I did not do well in school.  short attention span and was unable to get myself to do anything I wasn't interested in.  It took me 6 years to get through high school.  I didn't get a diagnosis until I was 34, so there was really no idea as to what was really going on with me.  I was always withdrawn, anti-social etc...  in an over populated high school of 2500 students, it was just bad for me.

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Dr-David-Banner

So, at school you weren't high functioning. John Lennon had this experience so was anti social at school although he stated an art course would have benefited him.
One of my friends had severe AS but did well at school. He struggled really bad socially there but was a great student. He seemed to listen to any factual information but the social side was what threw him. With me it was different. Learning was an inner experience. I also needed something to visualise or look at. I didn't process either outwardly or collectively.

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Gone home

Asperger, autistic spectrum condition and autism are all the same thing. Everyone whos on 'the spectrum' will have a mix of both higher and lower ability in differing areas.

The notion of high and low functioning is just a prescribed construct, loosely related to pre-defined activities of daily living / independent living and subjective biased judgement.

It would be nice to move away from such definitions. I consider myself incredibly (potentially) clever and with unique perception in some areas - and hopelessly thick as pigshit (local term) in others - and perhaps just confused about some areas and completely lacking interest in other areas. All these measurements vary according to whats happening in life and how well accepted I feel on the planet - which determines how well I potentially function. All life factors vary continuously

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BDEGRD
9 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

So, at school you weren't high functioning. John Lennon had this experience so was anti social at school although he stated an art course would have benefited him.
One of my friends had severe AS but did well at school. He struggled really bad socially there but was a great student. He seemed to listen to any factual information but the social side was what threw him. With me it was different. Learning was an inner experience. I also needed something to visualise or look at. I didn't process either outwardly or collectively.

in that environment no, if I was diagnosed then and put in a school better equipped to deal with people like me than maybe.   A person in a wheel chair will be low functioning on a flight of stairs, but high functioning on a ramp.

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thirdriding

I always distinguish between the two. I've got a diagnosis of AS and I feel that this correct because I want to socialise and participate in the world...it's just that I'm not very good at it. My understanding is that people with a diagnosis of autism just want to have nothing to do with the world and completely withdraw from it.

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Miss Chief

I don't particularly want to socialise/participate and yet I have an AS diagnosis, although of course they don't use Asperger's as a diagnosis anymore just ASD or HFASD. Ultimately AS is Autism

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Nesf

Also, many people with a diagnosis of classic autism want to have friends and socialise, whether one does or not is more a matter of personality type than diagnosis.

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PandaPrincess
On 7/15/2017 at 4:06 AM, Nesf said:

Also, many people with a diagnosis of classic autism want to have friends and socialise, whether one does or not is more a matter of personality type than diagnosis.

Yes, I agree with this.  There was a girl at the school that I did my student teaching at who I think has classic autism, but she had a really good friend who was a year or two older than her, and I would often see them hanging out together at the after school art club.  

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RiRi

I've always thought that yes, ASD defines our personality in some ways, but we still have a component which is the introversion-extravesion scale. Based on where you fall on that scale, that's how social/not social you'll be. Personally, yes, if I were to be diagnosed with the DSM-IV, I'd probably be diagnosed with moderate Asperger's, not classic autism. HOWEVER, I'm extremely, like extremely introverted (I hate going out, I mostly force myself to go out). So, a person with classic autism who's more extroverted can be more social than me, even if they have/are diagnosed with classic autism. :wacko: I put that face because I wish I wasn't as introverted as I am. And I feel like I shouldn't be, but I am. :wacko: ?

Edited by Makelets
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