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  1. Dr-David-Banner

    Limited Manual Skills

    A quote from an old Soviet psychology document: "Принято считать, что эти дети являются представителями «крайнего варианта мужского характера» (A. van Krevelen, 1962 и др.). В то же время некоторые их особенности, выявляющиеся при наблюдении (раннее речевое развитие и высокий уровень речи в последующем, тонкая ручная умелость при общемоторной неловкости и др.), описываются как характерные отличительные признаки психофизиологического развития девочек по сравнению с мальчиками." "It is considered that these children are representatives of the “extreme variant of a male character” (A. van Krevelen, 1962, etc.). At the same time, some of their features that come to light upon observation (early speech development and a high level of speech later, limited manual skill with common motor impairment, etc.) are described as distinctive features of the psycho-physiological development of girls compared to boys." An unusual but striking observation - well worth exploring. All my female friends are limited in the sphere of manual work, to a lesser or greater extent. I will often be asked to fix a stuck lock or any basic mechanical difficulty that arises. I should point out too that I'm not the prime candidate myself for fixing things. The above quote relates to me as well. Over time, I've improved my DIY skills and learned some basic woodwork or how to use power drills and tools but, compared to typical DIYers, I am not really so great at practical tasks. I also feel like I have 4 thumbs and 2 fingers so tend to get very worked-up and irritable when, say, fixing a bike. Or I may struggle to figure out some mechanical fitting. It's interesting the psychiatrists above suggests later on that "limited manual dexterity" only is highlighted as a problem in relation to boys because at school it's just assumed boys will be far better with at stuff like woodwork and metalwork than girls. In fact, at my school, when the boys did woodwork class, girls would be sent off to baking and cooking classes. It's another topic entirely to discuss whether these differences are predominantly cultural. Personally, I feel pretty sure I could teach any female to fix a broken bike or use power tools. I know the odd female who can weld and we all know some women have been known to make great mechanics (even if percentage-wise they are few). When I read testimonies by males with A.S., very often they refer to problems at school with manual skills: "I was excellent at all subjects except for music, gymnastics, drawing, and manual 6 training." (Paul Cooijman) My own take on this? It is true Asperger himself compared HFA to an extreme masculine identity (in thought processing) but I myself have noted girls with A.S. often tend to be tomboyish and I think many of the males are actually less masculine in personality. The point is anyway the Russian psychiatrist compares Asperger males to neurotypical females in the area that's limited to manual dexterity. Personally I just accepted I am not particularly brilliant with applied, practical work and tend to be more theoretical. I tend to streamline my activity accordingly and just do my best when trying to work with my hands.
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