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Dr-David-Banner

Aspergers In Russia

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Dr-David-Banner

"Так сложилось, что в России отсутствует диагностика синдрома Аспергера и аутизма у взрослых. Поэтому люди вынуждены прибегнуть к самодиагностике. "
"As things stand in Russia there is no available diagnosis for Asperger Syndrome available to adults. Therefore, people are forced to resort to self-diagnosis"
The site I found is www.aspergers.ru and it's a pretty quiet site. It got me to thinking if maybe I could apply my language studies to connect with the Russian people on the spectrum. You see, over here and in the EU or USA, there are resources for adults who have AS. There may be very long waiting lists but at least you can get to see an autism specialist. I popped on the Russian AS forums and always find the real spoken Russian to be tougher than my textbook language. In real life there are more idioms and more modern words. In AS jargon they use English terms such as "HT" for "NT". In Russian "H" is "N".
Russian Aspies are having some interesting debates and some of the members have other disorders such as schizoid personality or schizophrenia.
I think it's a safe bet to assume psychology in Russia lags other countries. The culture may be less tolerant too in a way as AS is seen as "autism" and a psychiatric disorder.
I will dwell on it. I'm curious as to how a Russian AS site would welcome me (or not) but one snag is many won't process members in other countries due to post codes.
If anyone is interested I'll share what I discover.

Stoke-on-Trent-20160821-00173.jpg

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Dr-David-Banner

The dog above is my GSD soul mate and is now 12 years old.

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Nesf

My experience of ASD forums in non-English speaking countries is that they are generally inactive and mainly for parents of autistic kids. Here in Greece there is no decent, active ASD forum. Most people with ASD who join forums use the English speaking ones.

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Dr-David-Banner

You're right the forum seems inactive. Plus, only children get diagnosed for autism in Russia. I guess perhaps the mentality in Russia is abnormality doesn't fit. We've seen this already in the reactionary thinking towards gays and lesbians. The forum topics I found though were very communicative. The Russian Asperger community adopted words like "Aspie" and they're working towards getting diagnosis for adults. I am incredibly busy at the moment trying to put my own house in order but will try and explore it.

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Nesf

It's the same here, they seem to think that adults can't be diagnosed and that it's only for children.

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DavidTheWitch

I wonder how Autistics are treated there?

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Dr-David-Banner

I found something out about Russia that surprised me a lot. Apparently it's still common for Russian parents to use a belt on their offspring. For example, lots of Russian parents if they find their son or daughter has bullied or lied, they will use a belt. My point: Well, I figure if you're on the spectrum in Russia maybe a lot of parents will conclude it's a defect. I also think being gay or bisexual is seen as an actual disorder - it could be due to the former militarised nature of the society.
I believe too in Oriental countries like Signapore or Korea being on the spectrum isn't tolerated as there's such a teamwork dynamic to culture. At least in Russia more enlightened views are getting across.


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Dr-David-Banner

It turns out the Russian Aspie community is alive and kicking. Typical thread, "Would you like to be rid of autism? One guy responds:
".Хотели бы вы стать серой жидкой биомассой или остаться достойным индивидумом новой рассы и обладать уникальными качествами?"
"Would you want to be a drab, liquid biomass or remain a useful individual of a new race with unique qualities?"
So, the Russian aspies too are aware of "The Tomorrow People" ideology. Actually I have the original series created by Roger Price who was inspired by David Bowie. The Tomorrow People were kids with telekinetic and other powers and were the Homo Superior. The new race of intergalactic humans. NT's were called "The Saps" (Homo Sapiens"). Don't confuse the original series with the rubbish modern American version. The 1970's Tomorrow People was like the little brother of Dr Who. My favourite episode was "Living Skins". The kids buy these bubble-skin jump suits that take over the body and alter the personality of the wearer. The Earth is then invaded by these bobbing baloons that shout "Absorb! Absorb!"
I ought to pop onto the Russian ASD site and introduce myself as the alternative to "The Saps".

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DavidTheWitch

Do you have a link to the Tomorrow People?

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Dr-David-Banner

 

 

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Dr-David-Banner

Above an extract from "Living Skins" where the Tomorrow People encounter the new, bubble skin jump-suits.
"Некоторые считают, что каждый человек с синдромом Аспергера обладает какой-либо феноменальной способностью."
"Some people consider that everyone who has Asperger Syndrome has some sort of special powers."

Edited by Dr-David-Banner
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Sanctuary

I really like the 1970s "Tomorrow People" series as well. The show had a really interesting concept. One of the best stories with a link to Russia is "The Dirtiest Business" about a young Russian telepath who tries to escape as the authorities want to use her as a spy. The show makes a lot of how the authorities would like to use the Tomorrow People as weapons of war but they refuse and insist on non-violence.

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Dr-David-Banner

I had to laugh at the Hitler's Lost Children episode where Hitler is brought back to life. The kids who are Tomorrow People are clearly as NT as it gets but the London accents struck me too. Mike says "I don't wanna be a Nartsi!" As I recall he was in the boy band Flintlock as well as being in Tomorrow People.
I was puzzling a lot as to whether people on the spectrum really are Tomorrow People or simply defective due to all the negative symptoms. I am so curious about this I'm doing a kind of experiment to find out more.

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Dr-David-Banner

I got a nice welcome on the Russian AS site. They are all mothers with Asperger children and they tell me there is little support for adult Aspies. I introduced myself as an adult and willing to help advise on AS generally. Maybe we will use English a bit too as it takes me ages to type Russian script as I don't have bilingual keys to type on. I want to find out too if there are less students of Russian now from English speaking countries. My guess is Russian will be studied more in China and the Middle East. I figure it's lost ground in the UK but I don't mind being a bit different.

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Dr-David-Banner

Met a Russian mother whose young son is a human computer with behavioural problems. At a young age he's into astronomy and anatomy. Also programming and very high English grades. He's been bullied out of the school so his mother has to now bring in home tutors. The young boy also has fits of rage and withdraws. So, they ask me was it the same for me at school and really it wasn't. I did very poorly at school. From what I gather her son may either have very high intellect, may be Aspergic or maybe a mix of the two. One expert wrote gifted children show identical traits to AS but may normalise if they're put into a specialist school. That is for genius children. I wouldn't dare say on the site but Russia always seemed to me backward but also producing great writers, musicians, artists and inventors. Another thing I feel about Russia is all the academics seem to function in institutions, academies and societies. Doctorates are as common as beautiful women. They asked me what qualifies me to speak about AS but do years of struggle add to my curriculum? .

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Nesf
11 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

They asked me what qualifies me to speak about AS but do years of struggle add to my curriculum?

Anyone who has AS is qualified to speak about it.

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Dr-David-Banner

The moderator asked me to change my profile tick box to tick "adult with AS" as opposed to "Spetsialist" which I had ticked on registering. I only did that as I approach the subject from a different perspective based on my years of struggles. However, I was fine with de-selecting the box and then selecting "adult with AS". I understood where there are children they feel safer to know who are the various analysts and who are the diagnosed adults or parents. However I don't know how I could explain my self diagnosis. They don't know I only last had psychollogy treatment in 1986, before AS existed in the UK. In Russia self diagnosis is accepted (there's no official adult diagnosis). The problem is I don't quite accept AS is one disorder but more a general lumping together of people whose symptoms may vary a lot. I think mine vary enormously although I do have the core symptoms too. I now simply diagnosed myself as autistic with "probable" HFA. Anyway where the kids are concerned I can forward the official AS tests and resources.

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Dr-David-Banner

I'm listed as "Синдром дефицита внимания и гиперактивности" or СДВГ (attention deficit) It's the most recent diagnosis.

Edited by Dr-David-Banner

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Dr-David-Banner

Hmnnmn, the mothers certainly don't pull punches. Some want the discussions to switch to English. One of the mothers has a high functioning autistic son who evidently constructs sentences like me. So she thought I was her son and had joined to "infiltrate" for fun. I don't doubt my Russian will be a bit odd for them but I need to practise too!! I think the best option is a 50/50 mix. Odd thing is the mothers speak weird trendy Russian you'd use in real life. Mine is derived from books on Perestroika where I picked up old words and use of participles (bookish format). Funny though how her AS son shares my sentence structure. Maybe he reads a lot of old books and listens poorly to spoken language.

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HalfFull

When I first discovered AS forums, I dabbled with French ones, but they seemed quite small and all discussion seemed very academic or serious, nothing fun. I know AS is serious business but I think its fairly relaxed on here. I just found a couple of French ones tonight due to this topic, still a bit more serious than here, but I enjoy reading the terms Aspergers, Aspie and NT falling in the middle of sentences constructed in French :)

As for Russian, I know nothing of the Russian Aspie scene, though I'm not surprised by its less accepting stance. France I've heard has very strange views on Autism. I remember on my year abroad being quite bewildered there. I guess the classes were fine even if I mostly stayed quiet, but I lost my work placement apparently for not fitting socially, and its not as if I didn't say hello or ask for more work to do etc, but it seems required to act in an outgoing way a lot. I never forget the two sisters who never seemed to instigate the required cheek kissing rituals. I did later wonder if they were Aspie. I guess NTs can usually at least put on a mask and pretend to be socially confident.

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Dr-David-Banner

"The sad truth is that family has a diagnosis (which is not 100% percent  accurate) and that's it. No help from health or educational system. All you can do is to find the therapy for your own money and in most of the cases to homeschool your kid."
This mother posted in English to sum up the situation for all of them. She explains that the problem of high functioning autistic children isn't fully catered to. I can only guess that maybe in Russia boys are supposed to "man up" and get on with life. Sure, if they're slow or low functioning there's understanding but social interaction handicaps are a new concept. I also guess Russia has decent private psychologists who will understand AS, HFA and the latest advances. However I suspect the old school psychologists will view AS as a "disorder".
There is hope. Here in the UK we had no diagnosis till about 1989. My psychologist was based at an outpatients psychiatry dep and I recall she explored "derealisation" as well as a hint at PSD and definitely depression. There was no AS or HFA as the German texts hadn't been translated. So, at least Russia has a decent internet resource to turn to with lots of websites.
I guess it would be good to try and help. I'll ask if Paul Cooijman's articles have been translated to Russian where they can access his material. He's written about Aspergers as well as gifted children and a fair bit of psychology. He also made the GAIA test and there's the Baron Kohen test as well.

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Dr-David-Banner

"France I've heard has very strange views on Autism. I remember on my year abroad being quite bewildered there."

I have certain impessions of France. I used to go through it on the Eurolines bus on the way to Spain. I recall we'd pass through Paris about 2.00 am. Bourdeaux would be around 14.00 pm. It was clear it was richer than Spain as a country. French was the main language at school and most schools had an exchange program.
"But I lost my work placement apparently for not fitting socially,"
I think I had definite problems teaching English in Spain. For maybe 3 years I survived but mainly because there were very few native English teachers. Also being a foreigner made the Spanish more inclined to overlook my defects. The big problem I have now is when I look back at all my jobs I can now see how AS and my other issues made it all so uphill. I got to the point where I feel my trying to just live and work as normal is like asking a fish to fly. People just seem to spot very quickly that I'm not somehow just a normal person. One thing I do like about Russia is even many of the NT's are a bit offbeat. The character is maybe more tolerant of odd-balls than, say, Germany or Japan.

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Nesf
11 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

Some want the discussions to switch to English.

This is one thing that really irritates me when I want to practice the language I'm learning - as soon as they know that you are English, they automatically switch to English to you regardless what the original language of the conversation was. They have this assumption that because you are English, you must speak English and not any other language.

9 hours ago, HalfFull said:

I lost my work placement apparently for not fitting socially,

This happened to me on at least 1 occasion. For not fitting in, or for other difficulties related to ASD that affected my work.

5 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

For maybe 3 years I survived but mainly because there were very few native English teachers. Also being a foreigner made the Spanish more inclined to overlook my defects.

This is how I survive now too.

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Dr-David-Banner

The group sort of told off the woman who attempted the language coup by quoting forum rules. Namely that Russian is the site language. Even so I don't mind her practising her English and don't want to hog the whole opportunity. So she's posting first in Russian and then in English below to practise. Fine by me. I did find it very strange she thought my Russian was so similar to her autistic son's, she thought I was him. Of course I use search engines to check my constructions. It's mostly correct but not how people really talk.
The women asked two questions. One asked if I'd explored Schizoid Personality as a diagnosis. I looked it up and a lot of it fits especially the solitude and lack of emotion. Still I have a fair few AS traits such as noise sensitivity, motor issues, the non verbal language issue. Not so much stims although I do have awkward body movements. My strongest and most traumatic traits are the waves of feeling alienated and disassociated. I get this on and off.
They are curious about empathy. To explain this in Russian is going to be tough. I think the whole thing has been misunderstood. In my case, in some things I can empathise. What I can't do is "tune into" a certain group feeling at a given time. That is, knowing when I ought to act in the expected way. I do know some psychotic criminals felt nothing when shooting their victims and some psychologists link this to the autistic empathy situation. I don't think it's the same at all. I was watching the James Bond View To A Kill where the psychopath villain Drax just shoots someone with no emotion. It sort of confuses people. Maybe they fear those who don't feel the same as they do. For example if someone gleefully tells me some footballer has scored a goal and "didn't he do well?", then I couldn't give a stuff. I'm not connected to that situation or bothered by the outcome.

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Nesf
6 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

I do know some psychotic criminals felt nothing when shooting their victims and some psychologists link this to the autistic empathy situation. I don't think it's the same at all.

Not the same at all - psychopaths feel no emotion at all so don't have the ability to empathize, people with ASD do feel emotion, often too much and are easily overwhelmed by it, and often react emotionally in a different way to NTs.

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