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Dr-David-Banner

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Dr-David-Banner

It's commonly accepted people on the spectrum are mathematically disadvantaged. It's also accepted a tiny percentage of autists are sometimes brilliant with numbers. More often the very rare savants. Myself, my maths in certain areas is pretty decent but I'm not a savant. In fact I suffered dyscalculia for decades. What I discovered is the reason most autists can't do maths is there's an immediate fear or aversion to the figures. For me it was like a brick wall and thick fog. Panic. Yet, if you force yourself to go step by step, concentrate and think - the fog clears. To do this I had to picture apples cut into segments and battle to visualise it all. I have a system that kick-starts mathematical thinking and guaranteed to cure any dyscalculiia case. It's just like jogging. Graduated steps.
Decimals are a great way to go. Time is a great subject to use. For example:
In 1 second you have fractions of milliseconds or microseconds.
First example:
1OOO milliseconds = 1 second. This means we divide one whole second into 1OOO parts. To exercise the brain you can do this:
999 milliseconds is the tiniest number short of one second. That's because 1OOO milliseconds is a second.
You can write:
O.999 second. The zero means we're a tiny bit short of a full second.
What would be O.5 second? Answer 5OO milliseconds so half a second.
O.1 of a second is how many milliseconds? Answer 1OO milliseconds.
When I started, this took me some time to conquer because I do have maths impairment. The key is to not go to the next stages till you're sure you fully understand initial stages.
By the way, O.OO1 second would be our smallest figure. 1OOOth of a second or a millisecond.
Next stage is percentages. I always blanked totally over "percentages". Nobody could teach me but really it's doable.
O.5 which is 5OO milliseconds is 5O per cent.
O.9 is 9O per cent. That would be 9OO milliseconds. You can even do simple "head clarifiers". Type O.OO1 times 9OO on a calculator you get back to O.9 which is our 9O per cent of one second.
I time I finally got good enough to convert microvalues of electronics components into 1OOOths to the point sellers got upset if I found ratings were out. Very definitely though I am not gifted in maths because gifted maths experts don't have to struggle and sweat. Funnily enough I may still just get blockages if I need to do an unfamiliar maths puzzle.
Some here may find what I posted very simple but others will feel like a fog. The way to clear the fog is to just force concentration and not switch off. By the way a lot of textbook maths and Calculus in my view is too much showing off. Lots of symbols for the sake of flowery sums. Einstein stated if you can't explain something in simple terms, it's not good.

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Dr-David-Banner

Extra point: NT teaching doesn't work for autists. Asperger people tend to do better in classes but some autistic kids can't be taught in groups. So, teaching materials are substandard due to insufficient explanation and data. It's assumed teachers will fill in the gaps but many autists need visual input more. The books I use are sixties US tech books but these would have been tackled in classes. Autists are not dumb but they do need entirely different tuition.

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

What I discovered is the reason most autists can't do maths is there's an immediate fear or aversion to the figures. For me it was like a brick wall and thick fog. Panic. Yet, if you force yourself to go step by step, concentrate and think - the fog clears. To do this I had to picture apples cut into segments and battle to visualise it all.

When learning maths at school, I found that I was good at geometry, but hopeless at algebra. I'm now reading a theory that says that autistics have difficulty with tasks which require you to use both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, and that sounds about right for me, as I have difficulty multitasking and it's no coincidence that the specific things I find difficult are the things that require good integration of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I think that algebra requires both hemispheres -or two separate ares of the brain which don't have good connections - to solve problems, and that's why I find it so difficult.

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Dr-David-Banner

Sometimes you need to bypass stuff that doesn't simplify the equation. Last week I rebooted a tutorial that used complex equations and I reworded and redid the whole thing. I explained what the numbers were doing without the( XL \ XC =) and so on. That's because I learn maths internally. I disliked the way the site I found had been showing off with long-winded formulae and just put it in direct language.
Most people who swear they can't do maths are simply not engaging. Teachers may have bullied them and added a "stupid" label. So it's a case of "Take it away!"
My NT friends all do maths every day in the shop I can't do. That's due to social pressure and time limitations. They don't have any practical maths impairment. On the other hand, on my own, in my own space and time, I can handle complex maths often better than NTs. I tend to see patterns in numbers or I may redo and reword standard maths to fit my own way of thinking.
I recommend decimals for cerebral exercise. Start simple with, say, the millisecond as 1 = 1OOO milliseconds. To go below 1 start with zero (O. so many thousand parts of a second). O.999 is nine hundred and ninety nine thousandsths of one unit. The biggest number below one. O.OO1 would be just one of the thousand segments. And so on...... It did get tricky when I expanded to microseconds. You can say O.1 is either 1OO milliseconds or 1OO,OOO microseconds - 1OOOOOO microseconds = 1 second.

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Sanctuary

I liked Maths at school and am one those AS people who is fascinated by numbers, especially statistics. I can do calendrical calculation but not to the extent of savants. However my skills at Maths have never been exceptional and I found Pure Maths much more difficult than Statistics. As regards teaching and learning I'm not someone who is adept learning a subject by myself unless I already have some prior knowledge; even then some input from a teacher is useful to clarify misunderstandings and get over any hurdles. 

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Myrtonos

@Dr-David-Banner, @Sanctuary and @Nesf - Look at Einstein, now believed to be autistic, and he was good enough at maths to understand physics. Also, Nicola Tesla, who would be diagnosed with Asperger's today and he had a more advanced mathematical understanding that the general population.

Could @Miss Chief be good at maths given she's quite geeky?

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Miss Chief

I was always very good at maths (and physics which includes some math) at school, also when I went to Uni I studied Electrical Engineering (although I dropped out) which also has a fair amount of math, I don't think you necessarily have to be good at math to be a geek though and certainly not to be a tech although it can help with coding :)

I certainly never feared numbers/figures... I quite like the fact matht is predictable and follows rules, I would think most people with AS would feel that way.

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RiRi

Well, it certainly isn't a savant skill for me. @Dr-David-Banner I do find your statement interesting that most people on the spectrum are at a disadvantage. 

I never really liked math because it was pretty much the subject I was worst at, but I wasn't that bad at it. I'm not very good with mental math (that's why I've thought I have dyscalculia), but if you give me a paper and pencil, I can work out a problem. I didn't like word problems, statistics was hard for me, but then again, every math was. :lol: Math wasn't something that came "natural" to me. 

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Dr-David-Banner

I believe dyscalculia can be overcome. What happened to me was very early school scared me to death. The teacher would do a test and you'd get a paper with basic maths solving questions. Somehow I couldn't "think". Language was OK. I learned to read after a delay but then became a big reader. Yet maths or puzzles just scared me.
Much later in life I was surprised I could do maths. Without a doubt, I had to work very hard to drive through mental blocks. The key is to understand each step. I've to date tackled graphs, ratios, pi, square roots, tiny bits of algebra and lots of fractions. I seemed to find graphs easier. Recently I looked into logarithims because it kept coming up related to decibels. I found a logs tutorial online and just glanced at the basics.
The weird thing is all my maths is purely self-taught. Nobody was ever involved in my swatting and there was no real subject approach. I just learned what I felt I genuinely needed.
One special interest I don't have but figure I could get hugely wrapped up in is astronomy. You need a fair bit of maths for it.

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Dr-David-Banner

"I do find your statement interesting that most people on the spectrum are at a disadvantage. "
That's because education is group based. It doesn't encourage individual approach. I was hounded off all electrical, radio engineering forums as somehow it was noticed I wasn't going through the group, but just exploring whatever angles. Also others struggled to understand the way I word maths because clearly my maths is coming up with the right digits but the thinking is different. To give an example: I always say divide "into". As in divide 25 into 5O gives 2. I don't use "divide by" as it doesn't seem to clarify the process.
So, if the books I read are designed for groups or through groups the teaching is going to put me at a disadvantage. Very often I'd learn purely through whatever example was given. Almost always if there are examples, I can string all the digits together. I may ignore the algebra ticks and symbols to a point.

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Sanctuary

Although it wasn't part of my courses at school and college I've long had a curiosity about Applied Maths (Mechanics). I did try learning it at home but couldn't get to grips with it at all. In part this may be because I don't have a background in Physics, Engineering or other technical subjects unlike most students of Applied Maths. I'm not a technically-minded person and my spatial skills are poor. Once Maths moves into solids and three dimensions I find it much more difficult. Given that many people with AS have weaker spatial skills this may apply to others but I'm aware that there are plenty of people on the spectrum who are very comfortable and skilled in spatial and technical areas. What we may tend to see is not that those with AS are overall less able in Maths than the wider population (indeed the opposite may be true) but that there is a much wider range in their abilities in Maths with some highly expert and others completely at a loss.

Although it doesn't relate wholly to Maths I found those questions in aptitude tests about spotting which shape was the odd one out or next in a sequence very difficult and very frustrating. Sometimes I would get them right but only have studying them for a long time. Often I would just give up and guess. I was far more comfortable with the questions about numbers.

In an ideal world I'd like to study Applied Maths (and Physics) with a teacher and I think it might overcome some of the difficulties I mentioned earlier. Sometimes even a little teaching can make a big difference if the core abilities and interest are there to be unlocked. The ideas of other students can also be helpful. As David mentioned teaching and classes don't work for everybody and those with AS may be more comfortable learning alone than others but I still feel they generally benefit from some teaching and sharing ideas with others.

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Dr-David-Banner

"I''m not a technically-minded person and my spatial skills are poor"

Remember, with autism, the teaching system may have left you behind from the onset. Schools used to expect students to just adapt or be placed in lower class levels. I read recently my old school had been demolished. It was described in wiki as a reasonable school where the struggling working classes sent their kids.
Someone with an autism condition in a school is unlikely to be on a level playing ground. John Lennon had dyslexia and did poorly at school and in later years he complained nobody ever picked up on his talent for art.
An autist can reach adulthood with lingering deficits. Plus weaknesses. We're geared to learn in the early years of education and, if something goes wrong, it becomes harder to correct the imbalance. So, maths for me was a huge battle. I was using my brain in ways it had never been familiar with so I'd get blocks. One huge advantage though was I've gradually over time come to understand how I tick. The extent to which I need "visual" materials. I also very recently started to understand where my deficits lie and the huge impact of autism in the context of education. To the point that I probably gravitate between HFA and LA with "late development" or possibly I had HFA with ADHD thrown in.
Here are my existing deficits as they stand today:
(1) Lack of motivation or concentration in physical tasks. I notice NTs get absorbed far more in physical, hands-on projects. Yet less concentration in bookish, schematic approaches.
Conclusion. My strengths will be in theory and my productiveness or employability will be less.
(2) Very poor ability in fast, problem solving scenarios in normal work. It's too fast and I get overloaded by stress if there's rapid social interaction.
Conclusion: forget bar work, till work, practical task solving. Look at translation or proof-reading, journalism and so on.
(3) Very poor spatial skills (you can test yourself at ping pong).
(4) Chronic inability to organise myself or keep myself orderly. Papers strewn all over the place. Seeming inability to present higher level of personal hygiene. All my female friends seem to easily stay clean and tidy. They keep advising but my mind seems to over-focus on my projects till I realise my surroundings (and appearance) are chaos.
My point is we have deficits in many areas of functionality. We may assume we are poor at maths yet it may be a matter of accumulated deficits. The longer the deficit endures,, the tougher it is to fix it. We may need to juggle our way to a middle path where we try to guage our strengths and options.

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Sanctuary

It's certainly true that some of the deficits we have may be alleviated (if not overcome entirely) by more appropriate and supportive teaching. When I was at school the attitude often seemed to be that someone who struggled with a subject was simply not very good or even "thick" or "lazy" and their struggles were essentially down to them. There was no real concept of special educational needs except for those with very profound difficulties who were often sent to "special schools". AS would have been unheard of. I think schools and the attitudes of teachers have changed profoundly in recent times and there are far greater efforts to help struggling students, whether their difficulties are related to learning or other issues including AS. My difficulties with more technical and practical subjects might therefore have been better addressed in schools today but I'm aware that members who've been educated more recently may feel there are still problems. As regards Maths I generally did well so my difficulties with a few topics may have slipped under the radar.

You also make a good point about the issue of speed. This may be the greatest problem faced by workers (and students) with AS today. They may be able to do tasks to a very high standard (sometimes after a delayed and protracted learning process) but struggle to do them at the speed required by employers. Demands for extra speed may lead to poorer performance and stress. Employers may also expect a speed of adapting to new methods that leaves workers with AS adrift. Being open about AS and asking for extra consideration on these issues may be helpful but there is no guarantee that employers will be accommodating.

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Dr-David-Banner

By the way, Grigory Perelman, the maths genius, is suspected of being on the autism spectrum. He is poor and solitary and lives in St Petersburg. Quote Baron Cohen:
""Virtually everything people have recounted to me about Perelman's behavior... fits the typical picture of a person with Asperger's syndrome. His apparent disregard for conventions of personal hygiene is common to Aspergerians, who perceive it as a nuisance forced upon them by the incomprehensible world of social mores. The trouble he had with articulating his solutions to problems is also classic. `People with Asperger's often put in far too much detail,' said Baron-Cohen. `They don't know what to leave out. They are not taking into account what the listener needs to know.' That is the theory of mind problem: the point of telling is not to get the point across, but solely to tell. Schoolmates told me Grisha was always willing to answer questions about mathematics; the problem arose if the questioner did not understand the explanation. `He was very patient,' a former classmate recalled. `He would just repeat the exact explanation, again and again. It was as though he could not imagine that somebody found it hard to understand.' She was probably exactly right: he really could not imagine it."
 

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Dr-David-Banner

This is for those who DO have dyscalculia. It's a demo of visual thinking to show how numbers can be simplified:
We take one apple and cut it into 1OO pieces. Our goal is to numerically represent either all the bits together or just varied fragments. To represent all the bits back together we use 1. Anything less we need a zero O. Easy so far.
To make it easy we group all the segments into batches of 1O. We should wind up with ten batches of ten segments. If we wish to numerically show just one batch of ten the digit is O.1 This is ten apple segments or a tenth. So, how could we numerically write 4O segments? Answer O.4
Here is the task: What is the closest we can get to 1 apple?
If we take nine batches of ten fragments we get 9O fragments. That would be O.9
That leaves still ten fragments short. As each individual segment is a hundrdth, the best we can do is O.99 that is nine tenths and nine hundredths. Or 9O and nine segments.
Now we are just one segment short of one apple. Yet we can get closer still O.999 Now we have nine batches of ten segments O.9 Then we have 9 more segments O.99 And finally we supplied nine tenths of the very last segment. Thus O.999 is like bundling all the segments together and one segment has still just a tiny bit missing from it.
This is how I worked on my dyscalculia. It's geared to understanding and imagery.

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Sanctuary
15 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

By the way, Grigory Perelman, the maths genius, is suspected of being on the autism spectrum. He is poor and solitary and lives in St Petersburg. Quote Baron Cohen:
""Virtually everything people have recounted to me about Perelman's behavior... fits the typical picture of a person with Asperger's syndrome. His apparent disregard for conventions of personal hygiene is common to Aspergerians, who perceive it as a nuisance forced upon them by the incomprehensible world of social mores. The trouble he had with articulating his solutions to problems is also classic. `People with Asperger's often put in far too much detail,' said Baron-Cohen. `They don't know what to leave out. They are not taking into account what the listener needs to know.' That is the theory of mind problem: the point of telling is not to get the point across, but solely to tell. Schoolmates told me Grisha was always willing to answer questions about mathematics; the problem arose if the questioner did not understand the explanation. `He was very patient,' a former classmate recalled. `He would just repeat the exact explanation, again and again. It was as though he could not imagine that somebody found it hard to understand.' She was probably exactly right: he really could not imagine it."

I certainly have a tendency for my accounts on almost any topic to be too long. Often the core ideas are quite concise but then the extra details and analysis flood out. While those extras are sometimes useful they can result in a much less effective piece of communication - communication involves judging what your specific "audience" needs to know and delivering it in the most accessible manner. This is certainly not about being superficial or "dumbing down" but giving people what they need to know for their purposes. We know from our own experience that it can be frustrating when someone gives a long-winded or overly-complex account when we need something more direct and specific to our needs.

I can be concise when required and my accounts are generally better for this. I'm certainly aware of going into too much detail and benefit from greater brevity. However there can be an over-compensation where the account is too brief and doesn't provide the clearest explanation. I do try alternative explanations with different approaches and examples but these are often no better and can end up being confusing. All this comes back to the AS difficulty in judging what others are looking for. Accounts can end up being too complex, too basic, too long or too short. Explaining things is hard for anyone (harder than most realise) but harder for those with AS.

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Dr-David-Banner

The study of what defines "intelligence" is fascinating. The reason it captivates me is because I realised I'm very unlike most aspies in as much as I had early educational disability. Pretty much all AS people did well at school. You can ask anyone here on the site and nearly all will inform you school ran pretty smoothly. With the one exception a higher percentage will state maths was an issue. For me, only reading was my strong point after a short delay.
What strikes me as odder was I somehow later in life discovered an alternative way to process information. This excluded other people. It was more internalised. Maths was the last hurdle. I needed some maths for electrical sciences so I addressed my dyscalculia. It was really tough going. Bear in mind the brain was never designed to "catch up". It's assumed (period!) any aptitude for learning will be detected at an early age. Despite all the hype about Einstein being slow, his overall early academic record was promising. Yes, he did learn to read and speak late. And, yes, he indeed flunked a fairly basic exam in electrical engineering so was then excluded as mediocre. He was forced to resort to self-study but the engineering exam failure was only a low point in a relatively promising school history. Final point - Einstein struggled to get good at maths.
The researcher I follow from Holland Paul Cooijman and possibly on the spectrum was an "A" rate student from the outset. He's a musician, intelligence researcher and studies Asperger Syndrome, Savant Syndrome and so on. According to Cooijman people with AS often have strong "associative horizon" which means they tend to be able to connect the dots of a larger dimension picture. They can often see how "A" relates to "B".
This subject is more fascinating than imagined. That is, how to define intelligence. I recall a girl I fancied like crazy in a biology class and she was taking Biology and Psychology. All her grades were "A" yet she didn't need to work and just partied a lot. If there was an exam, she'd finish before the others after 2O minutes. She was a lot smarter than me, had no dyscalculia and, of course, I failed my first year biology. Yet some autists where they lack raw intelligence, they are sometimes very persistant. The big bonus is the "associative horizon" too and the tendency to explore new perspectives. I think the Columbo series really highlighted this as Lieutenant Columbo tended to just notice things. In one episode it was merely the fact some shoelaces on a murder victim weren't tied in the normal way (but by a third party).
Final point: Almost always intelligence is evaluated by how fast a child assimilates and understands information. Most aspies do not have obstacles here (except often in maths). If a child doesn't react and respond to teaching effectively, (as remarked above) he, or she, is considered to be "slow". Or in our former schools "thick". Very definitely social intelligence always merges with intellectual. We're meant to listen to the teacher, bond with the teacher, work collectively and win reputation so we can be packed off to Harvard.


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

Pretty much all AS people did well at school. You can ask anyone here on the site and nearly all will inform you school ran pretty smoothly

No, I don't think this is true. If school had gone so well for them, it is unlikely that they would be diagnosed with an ASD. Having significant difficulty with one's environment, at school, in the family and in the workplace later in life, is a key part of their diagnosis. One doesn't get a diagnosis for school to have gone smoothly. Some might have had good academic results, but all going through mainstream schooling will have had some significant social difficulties, that is the definition of the diagnosis.

You studied at university. I don't think that you could have done all that badly academically at school, otherwise you wouldn't have been accepted and gone to university.

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Gone away
16 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

Pretty much all AS people did well at school. You can ask anyone here on the site and nearly all will inform you school ran pretty smoothly

I think thats ignorant, dangerous and probably ableist rubbish ... and certainly not related to my experience.
School was a solitary nightmare where it was impossible to fit into anything, which naturally impacted an ability to learn whilst almost completely shut down.
I left a year before I was legally supposed to and the last 6 years of school were certainly very damaging.
Granted I was schooled in the corporal punishment era where peoples differences were not accommodated and physical and mental abuse was very common ... school running smoothly? certainly not ...

Edited by Gone home
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Dr-David-Banner

"You studied at university. I don't think that you could have done all that badly academically at school, otherwise you wouldn't have been accepted and gone to university."
I went in under unusual circumstances. I first had to pass an English Language exam and my options were then limited to a minority language, not French or German. I didn't have the background. I was also enrolled on Foundation Year which was a prep year you had to pass. I then failed the whole thing. It was a disaster. I didn't understand at that time I'd attempted to go back to classes but it would never work. I winded up with an official letter requiring me to withdraw. I was persuaded to appeal and in unusual circumstances I was let in. Despite all the exam bombs, my score in my one chosen subject was very high.
As to the other points these seem to be addressing social interaction more than learning. Disruptive education due to poor interaction is disruption. Most aspies otherwise tend to get good grades. There is no cognitive shortcoming or disability, unless you have a comorbid condition.

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Sanctuary

I would agree with Nesf and Gone home that problems at school are sadly all too common for children with AS. It is true that these are most often to do with bullying and social relationships rather than academic but such problems can make school life a miserable experience. I must admit I was one of those who didn't have too many social problems at school although there were still signs related to AS such as social isolation and not forming friendships. I had very little self-awareness back then and this may have protected me from self-esteem issues which flared up badly in adulthood. Although AS students often do well academically their profile of abilities may still be uneven and that was certainly true for me. My performance in practical subjects such as Woodwork, Metalwork and Art was abysmal - partly due to lack of physical dexterity but also because my attitude towards such subjects was so negative and I switched off during them. I still resent the fact i was forced to do a practical subject at 'O' Level and predictably failed while I would very probably have passed another academic subject. Others with AS may also have struggled with practical subjects and many have talked of issues with P.E..

The school system has changed a lot. There is far more emphasis now on working in groups or pairs and this may disadvantage AS students - indeed difficulties with this kind of work may flag up the condition. Perhaps the more individual learning of the past helped those with AS. However schools are now far more aware about AS and much more prepared to offer support to students who are struggling in all sorts of ways. These two changes may work to cancel each other out but overall - now or in the past - school tends to be a tough time for those with AS.

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Dr-David-Banner

 "It is true that these are most often to do with bullying and social relationships rather than academic but such problems can make school life a miserable experience."

Let's try and clarify this. Poor grades at school can be traced to the following causes:
(1) Cognitive deficits or attention span issues.
(2) Anxiety induced by environment.
(3) Stress disorders per se.

Surely then, with Aspergers much depends upon the school? I had a friend with worse AS symptoms than myself and he attended a good, Catholic School. While there, he was pretty much a top "A" grade student, with special ability in maths. In fact, he got an "A" pass at "A level".

Let me add this as well:

Normal people are evolved to be educated in a collective basis. Your very first education is within the family when you're taught to speak and walk. After that, it's primary school. In secondary school, pretty much all education is "taught". The way it's taught is through personal interaction. Healthy individuals will have a mix of social and cognitive intelligence so there's a kind of balance and harmony between the two. We're not evolved to function in only one dimension so (as mentioned above), anxiety generated by the social intelligence part of it all can cripple some aspies who otherwise have good attention spans.
I should add the Russian mothers or autistic kids who share with me their experiences report there are major issues at school but this is usually down to rages and tantrums and problems with teachers. So the mothers are forced to teach their very bright kids via home tutors.

At this point it would be interesting to hear how Miss Chief did at her school? My guess is pretty decent grades with anxiety issues rocking the boat a bit? I also have a hunch Nesf didn't do too badly but simultaneously experienced isolation. This is just guesswork though.

As for Paul Cooijman, I discovered today he has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I'd read one of his interviews in the past where Paul stated although he hated being at school, he stood out as an excellent student and had to hide how smart he was. I found these quotes:

""When were you diagnosed with Aspergers? How has Aspergers affected your life, and in what ways? How is it a part of your identity, and how has it affected (increased/decreased) your creativity and intellectual ability?"

Diagnosed June 2000. It has affected my life in that I have always been an outcast in almost every group from early childhood on. I was ignored, bullied, misunderstood etc. I did not understand the way in which others communicated and related to each other (but I did not know that then). I was not aware at all that I was different. I only found those things out a few years ago, which was extremely shocking."

As to school performance, here's a quote where Paul indicates how far ahead he was of the NT students:

"When returning after a two-week illness, the class was taking a very difficult examination for which I had not been able to prepare, but the teacher let me try it anyway. Another pupil who had also been ill was told, “No, you had better not take the test without preparation. We are not all called Paul Cooijmans!” It turned out the exam was so hard that, apart from my perfect score, everyone failed and had to redo it.

Below Cooijman himself.

mat.png

Edited by Dr-David-Banner

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Gone away
4 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

There is no cognitive shortcoming or disability, unless you have a comorbid condition.

Complete rubbish.

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

I went in under unusual circumstances. I first had to pass an English Language exam and my options were then limited to a minority language, not French or German. I didn't have the background. I was also enrolled on Foundation Year which was a prep year you had to pass. I then failed the whole thing. It was a disaster. I didn't understand at that time I'd attempted to go back to classes but it would never work. I winded up with an official letter requiring me to withdraw. I was persuaded to appeal and in unusual circumstances I was let in. Despite all the exam bombs, my score in my one chosen subject was very high.

Thank you for clafifying. I don't understand this - I don't understand how these "unusual circumstances" arose, why you were limited to a minority language and why you didn't have the background, probably because I don't have the full picture, but I guess it might be personal, so I'm not going to ask you to explain further.

1 hour ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

I also have a hunch Nesf didn't do too badly but simultaneously experienced isolation.

Yes, I did experience isolation. Academically, I did well at some things, but badly at others. I did well at subjects related to special interests. I had good years, and really bad years, and periods of depression. In middle school, after two very bad years, the teachers thought that I was slow or had learning disabilities and wanted to put me in the slow learners' class, but my parents objected and I wasn't moved. I got into university, despite having an A level grade D in one of my subjects. I certainly wouldn't say that it went smoothly, though, I had a lot of issues, social, behavioural and mental health and some academic. I 'survived' because I developed coping strategies.

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Dr-David-Banner

It's not a personal question. Degrees in Russian needed to be filled so the demand for A levels was exempted. They would take reasonable candidates. Whereas for French you needed an A Level pass. For Russian you could do Foundation Year and an overall 4 year course. I was a "mature student" with at least some promise so I was allowed in to study Russian. Yet Foundation Year for me was a bad idea. Too wide and varied. So, I just got into Russian and got top grades in that while flunking biology and the whole FYear to boot. After appeals and discussions they allowed me into year one only on the basis of my Russian language exam result. It took years for me to discover that I need to narrow down my focus and gravitate to theory. People like me make good physicists but not so great engineers.
I like Einstein a lot because the system didn't work for him. The idea Einstein was a slow, substandard student was never true. That was exaggerated as he spoke good French and was a talented violin student. Even so, he did flunk his electrical engineering entrance exam. After that his only option was to take the self-taught path.

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