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autism brain connectivity


Hans de Vries
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11 minutes ago, joigus said:

"Curing" autism? I don't think that's the approach.

It's like trying to cure Van Gogh, or Ramanujan, or one who has the potential to become like them.

They don't need a cure. It's us who need an intensive wisdom-acquiring treatment. The sooner and the more widespread, the better.

 

Not all autistic people are socially and intellectually able, it is often a disability. I know autistic people that have no concept of danger... for instance.

Edited by StringJunky
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4 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Not all autistic people are socially and intellectually able, it is often a disability. I know autistic people that have no concept of danger... for instance.

I see. Any kind of danger, physical danger, danger of being deceived?

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42 minutes ago, joigus said:

I see. Any kind of danger, physical danger, danger of being deceived?

Physical danger, like walking across a busy road without due consideration to traffic, or using knives. The two I know will sit for hours doing the same thing. What we call "commonsense" is lost on them.  Bear in mind, as I'm sure you know, they are all different in the challenges they face. Being bullied in school is another because they can send out the wrong social cues and don't respond in the way their non-autistic peers expect. The two I know, one is in his twenties and the other about ten, don't have a realistic prospect of being fully independent, I don't think.

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3 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:

How this neurodivergence is experienced is, I think, a very individual thing. All the other people on the spectrum I know (I’m active in various support groups for neurodivergents) have sensory issues to some degree, but only a few of them would call those challenges ‘debilitating’. It depends very much on your personal circumstances, too - if you are (e.g.) very sensitive to noise, then being a parent of very active and noisy kids will put you in an extremely difficult position, just to name a (sadly) very common example. But the reverse is also true, which is something a lot of people forget - many neurotypicals find the absence of sensory stimuli very challenging, which is why so many people cannot bear to be in silence and solitude for very long; most autistics on the other hand have no problem with silence and solitude (within reason of course), and the meaning they attribute to their lives tends to be intrinsic, as opposed to extrinsic (i.e. in terms of social relations to other people). Perhaps I am overgeneralising now, but that’s how it is for me personally, and it is what I observe in other autistics too.

Forgive my descriptive ignorance, your perspective has been most illuminating.  Through your words and insight, as I now more clearly understand, autism isn't necessarily debilitating or disabling.  It is a neurodivergence from neurotypical norms as those norms are generally understood.  My apologies for characterizing your experience as anything other than extraordinary.  As I may not have adequately expressed, I do not consider the behavioral adaptations of autistics particularly divergent from those produced by the brains of neurotypical norms.  In the brain, our responses are tailored by the type of stimuli it receives and how that stimuli is delivered and dispersed within its structure.  Indeed, the autistic brain appears to be neurotypical in its responses to how it experiences stimuli.

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11 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Physical danger, like walking across a busy road without due consideration to traffic, or using knives.

That applies to me, and pretty much anyone who has been distracted...

14 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

What we call "commonsense" is lost on them.

What they call "commonsense" is lost on us...

The extreme's of ability, exists in everything; that's how evolution work's. 

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30 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

A question.

 

Can autistics just "relax" and enjoy life as NTs do? NTs can sit down drinking beer with friends and just "relax" not thinking or worrying about anything. Can autistics do the same?

 

 

Autism is a spectrum disorder, so some can and some can't.

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16 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Sounds like life...

You clearly don't have a clue how disabling it can be. Much of what we see on the internet is about autistic savants, with specific, extraordinary abilities, and focuses just on that aspect of their life.

Edited by StringJunky
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Just to note that suicide rate among autistics is several times higher than in the general population and among autistics WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE unemployment rate is over 80% (for comparison, Down Syndrome only has unemployment rate of approx 40%)

 

It can be a fun experience if you are a VERY high functioning autistic with a lot of social support or if you have a well paid job in STEM field that aligns well with your special interests... I think it is the case for a minority of people on the spectrum.

Edited by Hans de Vries
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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

You clearly don't have a clue how dfisabling it can be.

I cared for a guy called John (among others), he was non verbal (and once spent a month trying to hurt himself, because I forgot to open his advent calendar on the first day), yet he was able to play the piano like a virtuoso. 

You tell me how able he was?

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27 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I cared for a guy called John (among others), he was non verbal (and once spent a month trying to hurt himself, because I forgot to open his advent calendar on the first day), yet he was able to play the piano like a virtuoso. 

You tell me how able he was?

Being a piano virtuoso doesn't help you navigate you through lthe practicalities ife, although it it may prompt more help because they have gained others attention through that ability.

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1 hour ago, Hans de Vries said:

If a cure was available, nobody would be forced to take it. You can have a birthmark on your face and still choose not to have it removed.

The issue is with how you're framing it as something requiring a cure in the first place. It's not a disease. It's not an infection. It's just another way of being.

You may as well be asking about a cure for brown hair or a preference for potatoes over meat. 

Edited by iNow
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Having brown hair does not make your life harder in any significant way. It's maybe a disadvantage if you're dating someone who does not like bronze hair but it isn't a disadvantage in 99.9% of life situations.

 

Autism on the other hand is very disabling. It's as disabling as being on a wheelchair if not more. If you weren't able to hold simplest jobs and would not be able to sit down at a table with more than 3 other people because the noises would drive you inside, it's possible you would be pissed off and tired as well. :)

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12 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

Autism on the other hand is very disabling

It seems you haven't read this thread at all. It's hard to have a conversation with you if you simply ignore and dismiss what's been shared.

This generalization from you is false. Your understanding is flawed. There are a spectrum of experiences, yet you approach them as binary.

This is not, however, a problem unless you stubbornly refuse to correct it. 

13 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

It's as disabling as being on a wheelchair if not more.

Sigh

Edited by iNow
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1 hour ago, Hans de Vries said:

Autism on the other hand can be very disabling. It can be as disabling as being on a wheelchair if not more. If you weren't able to hold simplest jobs and would not be able to sit down at a table with more than 3 other people because the noises would drive you inside, it's possible you would be pissed off and tired as well. :)

I corrected your post. You're framing the above as absolute.... it is a spectrum disorder after all.

Edited by StringJunky
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21 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

What do you think are interesting avenues of research in terms of treating/curing autism?

Once again, in general terms autism isn’t a condition that needs to be “cured” - it’s a difference in brain connectivity, hence “neurodivergence”. Suggesting to someone on the spectrum that they need to be “cured” so that they can better fit into a neurotypical world is not just unhelpful, it’s deeply disrespectful. This really sums up everything that is wrong with the medical establishment’s current approach to autism. Furthermore, you cannot “fix” autism any more than you can fix other forms of neurodivergence such as Down Syndrom (e.g.) - these are not learned or acquired traits, they are differences in brain structure. 
Instead, the thing that would be helpful to people on the spectrum who struggle with sensory issues, executive functioning, social interaction etc is to give them specific supports to develop techniques that will help them address their specific challenges in everyday life. For example, if someone struggles with organising and coordinating everyday tasks (quite common for autistics), then there are specific organisational techniques that can help with this, and these can be learned. People who are more severely impacted could be offered “assisted living” arrangements, and so on. 

I am of course aware that there are certain very severe manifestations of autism, and people affected by those will struggle greatly. But even here, the answer is to offer the specific supports that they need, not try to somehow turn them into neurotypicals - which isn’t possible.

21 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Would you try it if you could just for fun?

Apart from the fact that I don’t know what FMT even is, the answer is no, I wouldn’t. The reason is simple - I have made peace with being on the spectrum, and I am very content this way, even given the various challenges I face in everyday life. If I was somehow magically given the opportunity to be reincarnated, and be given the choice if I was to be ND or NT, I would choose to be on the spectrum again, without a moment’s hesitation.

21 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Do NTs also have special interests or interest that approach SIs in intensity?

I can’t comment on this, as I don’t know what it is like to be NT.

19 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Can autistics just "relax" and enjoy life as NTs do?

Sure...it’s just that my idea of relaxation will likely be very different from yours. Generally speaking, relaxation to me means silence and solitude; quiet contemplation and investigation; or intellectual stimulation by working out some mathematical/physical/philosophical problem, just for the fun of it. I often spent extended periods out in nature, in some remote and beautiful place far away from people with just my tent and my eReader. Or I thru-hike long-distance trails. Or I volunteer for some social cause that is meaningful to me.
After I do these things, I feel a sense of peace, insight and meaning.

What I would never do is spent my relaxation time in a crowded and noisy place full of people, while intentionally altering my mind through ingesting intoxicating substances. How anyone could possibly consider this “relaxing” or in any way meaningful is so far beyond me that I am not even trying to understand it. Each to their own, I guess.

20 hours ago, StringJunky said:

I know autistic people that have no concept of danger... for instance.

Yes, this seems to be fairly common among people on the spectrum, but it’s by no means a universal trait. I don’t experience this at all, for example, and neither do most of the other autistics I know. The opposite - being overly and unduly fearful and cautious - appears to be more common.

19 hours ago, DrmDoc said:

It is a neurodivergence from neurotypical norms as those norms are generally understood. 

Precisely :) Which does not mean we trivialise the very real challenges people on the spectrum face...but yes.

19 hours ago, DrmDoc said:

My apologies for characterizing your experience as anything other than extraordinary. 

No need to apologise, I didn’t take offence at all :)

18 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Just to note that suicide rate among autistics is several times higher than in the general population

Yes, because being neurodivergent in a world designed by and for NTs is no stroll in the park, since most NTs don’t appear to possess enough metacognitive introspective awareness to see their very own social conventions as being social conventions, but mistake them for solid unchanging reality. This makes it very hard to accept anyone who does not conform to those conventions...and since too many NTs also don’t appear to possess the cognitive empathy required to tell that they are causing hurt and suffering through their rejection of those who don’t fit in, a proportionally higher suicide rate amongst people on the spectrum is the inevitable consequence.

Am I the only one who sees the sad irony here?

18 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

It can be a fun experience if you are a VERY high functioning autistic with a lot of social support or if you have a well paid job in STEM field that aligns well with your special interests... I think it is the case for a minority of people on the spectrum.

This is true, but the reverse is just as true - the most severe forms of autism also affect only a small proportion of people on the spectrum. The vast majority of us sit somewhere in the middle.

16 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Autism on the other hand is very disabling. It's as disabling as being on a wheelchair if not more.

Honestly - can you not see what a condescending statement like this makes an autistic person feel like? And that’s after you claiming earlier that it is us autistics who have no sense of cognitive empathy...go figure 🤨 

Generalisations of this nature are not helpful to anyone, least of all to autistics themselves. What are you trying to really tell us here?
I usually hold back when discussing autism with NTs, but on this occasion I’ll be perfectly blunt with you : unless you are on the spectrum yourself, and have close relationships with other people on the spectrum, you are not in a position to make any claims about what it is like to be autistic, and what autistic people really need and want (hint: mostly it’s just being accepted for who we are, and given some basic supports for the challenges we face). Academic study of this subject does not qualify you to claim you know what it is like being autistic, or how “disabling” you think it is. I can tell you, based on some of your remarks here, that you know less than you think you know about the actual experience of it.

So I strongly suggest you dial it back a notch, because the direction this thread is now going is not a good one.

Edited by Markus Hanke
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3 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

@Markus Hanke

o you think your autism is inherited? Are there other people in your family who show traits of the spectrum? BTW sorry if you felt offended.

 

 

Although you asked Markus, isn't there a lot of material on this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_autism 

Of course maybe you are just asking if there are other people in his family, regardless of how much it is inherited?

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4 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

sorry if you felt offended.

I hate non-apologies like these. Just say you're sorry, or sorry FOR offending. Saying the equivalent of, "I'm sorry you felt butt-hurt" only magnifies the original insult. 

Meta-Comment: Thank you Markus for being so open and eloquent here. It's not always easy to speak of such personal matters, I've learned a tremendous amount from your posts, and have also found a good number of your descriptions to be quite relatable to my own experiences.

Peace and long life to you and all those with whom you share affection and care. :) 

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9 hours ago, Markus Hanke said:
On 12/16/2020 at 12:06 PM, Hans de Vries said:

What do you think are interesting avenues of research in terms of treating/curing autism?

Once again, in general terms autism isn’t a condition that needs to be “cured” -

 

Due to the shortage of interesting (to me) threads at the moment I had a look at this one, as I have a passing interest in the subject.

What a sad suprise!

I must say this is the first time in the last 8 years I have considered handing out a negative rep.

After restraining myself I decided to content myself with a positve one to Markus (+1) for his measured response.

Autism is not a disease or condition to be medically treated, any more than is pregnancy.
 

 

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