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What is Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome?

Discussion in 'Autism & Aspergers' started by uniquetadpole, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. uniquetadpole

    uniquetadpole I have no problems, just challenges!

    Autism in General
    Autism is a label applied to individuals who display unusual behaviors resulting from their brain performing differently than what most people consider the norm. It is a neurological disorder causing the brain to interpret information differently than everyone else. There are a number of disorders that actually fall under this spectrum of Autism encompassing from Low Functioning Autism to High Functioning Autism (HFA), as well as Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD), and Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). Some professionals also believe that Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) are also under this umbrella of Autism but that is still in great debate at this point.

    Some of the characteristics that are commonly found with those on the spectrum include:
    Unusual Interests
    Unusual Social Interactions
    Unusual Physical Movements
    Unusual Reactions to Object, People, and/or Situations
    Unusual Speech and Language
    Unusual Abilities

    “Unusual” meaning out of traditional patterns… you can find more detailed info here… http://www.thegraycenter.org/identifyingachild.cfm

    Asperger’s Syndrome
    I was diagnosed with AS in 2005 at the age of 34. Those with AS do tend to get overlooked due to their speech abilities… there is not usually an alert at a young age keying in on the inability to speak. Rather, those with AS tend to have more of a “Little Professor” speech…Gosh I don’t know how many times I have been told that I am a little professor while growing up. (LOL) And My speech patterns, I am told, do change… there are times when I don’t sound like the “little professor.” I am realizing now how I imitate other peoples pattern of speech at varies times and situations according to how I subconsciously think I need to for the given situation. That is how I socially cope with the apparently inability to pick up on those hidden messages that Neurotypicals (NTs) [non-autistic or non-aspie (those with Asperger’s Syndrome prefer Aspie many times)] give out with their body. I have probably had more English classes than most English majors… and hense I have worked really hard at my writing skills. I was lucky enough to get a 9th grade English teacher who inadvertently taught me how to “see” a paper and to turn words and writing into a math formula…otherwise I would probably have not made it through college. Heck I was the only one who got an A (my first A by the way in that class) on a paper I did about Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach…because I was the only one to get that the story was about being different and not following the crowd. I think I had first hand experience to help me with that one. That is the paper that changed my social communication life. From there…writing became a communication tool that I began to have confidence in. I also began being a Jr camp counselor about that time… and for the first time I really began socializing… not just another body in an organized program… of course my socialization was with the 5 and 6 year olds that I took care of… (I didn’t get anyone my age nor did I get the other counselors) but that was a start. To this day I still prefer my socialization to be with animals or 5 year olds but I have probably graduated to a better interaction with my peers as long as it is within an organized setting…like playing a board game, or camp activities, or even group therapy… but to just go to a party where you simply sit and talk about nothing relevant…forget it. I would much prefer to be at home by myself with the computer or a good book or creating artwork. I have also found my artwork not only to be an outlet for my feelings which I have no feeling words for… but also a “icebreaker” so to speak. If I am in a group setting and I am working on one of my paintings… inevitably someone will ask me a question about it or about the topic of my drawing and that gives me something relevant to talk about and then I have my guide to open up some to others. I actually like to talk to people… I just never know where to start. And this so called irrelevant chit chat like the weather just doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean if you want to know what the weather is like…look outside for pete’s sake… why do you have to state the obvious just to say something… quiet is nice too.

    I am finding that many of these things are very characteristic of Aspie’s.

    Here are a few links that I have found that really explain the specifics of Asperger’s Syndrome very well…

    The Discovery of "Aspie" Criteria
    By Carol Gray and Tony Attwood, M.Sc., Ph.D., MAPS., AFBPsS

    Asperger’s Syndrome Characteristics

    What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
    By Robert Morgan for Tony Attwood’s Website
    (click the link to this topic…I can’t link directly there)

    Sensory Issues on the Spectrum
    Many people do not realize just how much sensory issues impact those of us on the spectrum… these sensory issues many times go overlooked but are the primary reason for the “odd” behaviors that result. There are actually 7 sensory systems…not the usual five we are taught in school.

    Vestibular – Balance http://www.thechildrenscenteraz.org/vestibular.htm
    Proprioception – Movement: knowing where your body parts are http://www.thechildrenscenteraz.org/proprioceptive.htm

    Individuals on the spectrum can be over or under sensitive to these systems… but the confusing part is when they are both. I an under responsive to touch most of the time…but if you came up from behind and gently touched my shoulder or ever reached to touch my face or even come near my face… I am over responsive… I used to play sports (especially soccer) just for the thrill of colliding with another player. And I was extremely clingy with my camp counselors growing up to a point where I would get into trouble and I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing. My subconscious reached out and basically got my needs met… I wasn’t getting enough information from my skin for my body to know where the parts of my body where… I still have that difficulty… I am always wiggling in my seat. However, there is help… I have been doing a Therapeutic Listening Program http://www.abilitiesinfo.com/therapy_listeningsensoryint.html that helps greatly to modulate most of my senses…and when I do it properly I even get hungry appropriately… see my body gets hungry but the message doesn’t seem to get to my brain to know that I am hungry or sometimes it tells my brain I am hungry when I am full… etc. I have to be reminded to eat regularly…but this listening therapy helps regulate that much better.

    If you are interested in more help with the sensory issues I highly recommend an Occupational Therapist… one that specializes in sensory modulation/sensory integration. They can do a sensory profile and recommend the intervention(s) which might work specially for you or your child.

    Sensory Issues related websites:
    What is Sensory Integration?

    The Sensory Processing Disorder Network

    I just want everyone to know that there is hope for those of us on the spectrum… we are individuals and Aspies can become more independent than they think. I am currently in intensive therapy for trauma and it is helping me to deal with the trauma related to being undiagnosed for all of these years. I am also looking into obtaining a service dog…to help me get around with less anxiety…particularly for crossing streets that can be confusing and overwhelming to me. I was inspired by this fellow’s article on Service Dogs for those with Autism…

    SSigDOGs - Social Signal Dogs & Orientation Guides for Autistic People

    I have done lots of research on the web and I store my links to my sources on Kaboodle… here is a link to a few of my pages on Autism, AS, and related information






    Threads found on Christian Forums where you can post comments

    What is Asperger’s Syndrome

    Asperger’s Syndrome Characteristics

    Sensory Processing Issues on the Spectrum

    Sensory Issues: Understanding the Tactile System

    Sensory Issues: Understanding the Vestibular System

    Sensory Issues: Understanding Proprioception

    An Article I wrote for "Parents of Children with Autism" Newletter in my Area

    Sensory Issues: Dealing with Crowds

    I am blessed with Asperger’s Syndrome
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. drifter5

    drifter5 Senior Member

    Thank you so much for this information. It is wonderful the way that you desire to help other people with autism, and their families. God Bless you, dear.
  3. 4Everloved

    4Everloved Legend

    This is great information.

    My teenager displays some of these characteristics.
  4. HazelAngel

    HazelAngel A New Zealander that is proud of her country

    In Relationship
    I am also diagnosed with AS but at the age of 8. Thanks for telling me all that info which I never knew. I am nearly 19 now but mum also thinks I have NLD (Non-Verbal Learning Disorder) and sensory disfunction. I cant judge speed, distance or time very well and struggle to understand or remember social rules.
  5. gratefulgrace

    gratefulgrace Contributor

    Thank you for all the information. I haven't read it all yet but I will. I especially like your personal story as it helps me see inside your brain. I work in a high school with people with different learning challenges. I recently saw one of my students with AS graduate. He made some big social jumps over the years. His big longing right now is for a girlfriend which I guess is a huge hurdle for him. Anyway thanks again. gg
  6. Dean Anderson

    Dean Anderson Member

    In Relationship
    I was a lot like you: Top 5% in math in the nation with no skills whatsoever in writing throughout high school. I even got a C in a statistics class in my first semester college without studying once! :p Then, as the semesters went by, my skills dropped because I didn't need to take anymore math. I tried Algebra with Trig once (required for Computer science majors) but failed and switched majors. However, it was during a time I was teaching myself how to write. Now I've been published in poetry, short stories and as a journalist. I completed my AA degree in journalism at the community college level, and I'm working on my BA at Cal State Fullerton. Well, off to class...
  7. nana16

    nana16 New Member

    My 9 year old grand has Aspbergers. As a teacher, I searched for a long time to determine what was going on in his tiny body and brain before I finally found out what what happening. His teachers while wonderful hadn't diagnosed his symptoms yet. And his many doctors couldn't seem to find answers as everytime they tried to work with him he simply didn't communicate. This is one of his things, he doesn't answer questions about topics he isn't interested in. I started substituting in Special Education classrooms and watching and learning everything I could in order to figure out how to best help him. He was a relief when we finally got him daignosed and his IEP fixed so they would know how to best fit his educational needs. I have never been upset with God or anyone else as to his "special" qualities as that is what I see them as. He is our wonderful gift from God who looks at this world a little differently than the average person on the street. But how boring is average? He has a light and zeel for life that amazes me everytime I hold him or just stand back and watch him. We are so lucky to be blessed with this child and his love. Thank your for your insight on this beautiful complicated world that so many people and may I say some of the most wonderful people of this world live in.
  8. mom2anaspie

    mom2anaspie Newbie

    Thank you for all this info!!!
  9. undoing

    undoing Junior Member

    I find it incredible that autism can go undetected throughout years into adulthood. I am going to get a referal to see a psychologist this week. I really think I suffer from it aswell.
  10. cuddlycutebaby

    cuddlycutebaby Newbie

    This is a very good post related to autism/asperger's Syndrome. autism child parenting is very tough.
  11. Rex Lex

    Rex Lex Newbie

    Autism occurs when for one of various reasons, the human spirit withdraws from its normal place (conscious eye-level) to regions within the soul the Bible describes as 'inner chambers'. It stays there and hides until it decides that there is good enough reason to return.
  12. AlbusEarwax

    AlbusEarwax Newbie

    autism is not about peoples soul I think.
  13. fairygailie

    fairygailie Newbie

    thanks for all the info everyone.

    yea, my friend alex... he's got a zeal for life, as i just read above. that's the admirable trait i like. no time now, but i'm gonna read more later.

    not so sure i agree with the soul thing. what would be a good enough reason?
    and where is that in the bible? we can't blame every disease on the holy spirit
    being in the wrong place within us.
  14. jackmt

    jackmt Newbie

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  15. lupusFati

    lupusFati Bigby, Reid, and Z

    I forget Balance is a sense. I have balance most of the time when I walk but sometimes my legs 'give way' and I lose my balance temporarily. Not in the sense of 'I wasn't paying attention' even. Just sometimes I lose my balance and have to readjust.

    As for touch, I'm fine with most things but textures like chalk, denim (sometimes), hymnal paper and newsprint, etc mess with me, and my teeth 'itch'. It's hard to explain but it's a full body sensation that I hate. And it usually starts in the nails.

    As for sight, I'm a bit photo-sensitive with sunlight but no big deal until it causes a migraine. Luckily I take some pain meds before the eyeache BECOMES a headache.

    Incorrect. It occurs because I was born with it.
    Everything psychological is biological. My soul had nothing to do with it.
  16. BlueLioness

    BlueLioness Guest

    Thanks for this information. I have Autism but I really wish I didn't. I do know when my brain is having "different than normal" thoughts and I try to catch and correct myself.
  17. BlueLioness

    BlueLioness Guest

    Heard that there is no cure for it though.

    I mean this is our lives we are talking about and peoples' lives can be ruined by just one disease or injury.

    But that doesn't mean we shouldn't let that disease/injury win and take over us and dictate our lives.
  18. Amrak

    Amrak Guest

    they say that about 15% of people with autism have amazing talents for art, math, etc. due to a lack of activity in the left hemisphere. when I was taught to oil-paint, I had to tap into the right side, and it worked fantastic, but then I had no idea of time or logical stuff until I stopped painting
  19. Aspie34

    Aspie34 Newbie

    I am 34 and only got diagnosed this year in the UK with AS. It has helped explain so much of my life that made me feel different / weird etc. I thought your explanation was clear and I can identify with lots. Thank you
  20. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014