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Old 04-23-2015, 04:23 PM   #76
SuperUberBob
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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Originally Posted by A-Rod's Cousin View Post
Bob, you recognize/remember the person you are seeing but just forgot their name? Or you don't even recognize the person?
Sometimes I recognize them. Sometimes I don't. Depends on how long it's been since they've last seen me. If the person mentions how we met, it might ring a bell as to who they are but it still won't jog my memory wrt their name.

It's doubly bad if I'm introduced to multiple new people at a time. Out of a large group, I'll remember two of their names if I'm lucky. At times, I won't remember any of them! Even if I ask multiple times for a person's name, it won't sink in. I could see that person tomorrow after being at the same table with him/her for hours and not remember their name. I'll know the face, but not the name.

Part of this is memory related, but it's also because I have difficulty mingling with people. I assume that if I speak with everybody in a large group, I'll probably be better with names. I'm good in one-on-one conversations and in a group of three if I know at least one of the other two people. In a group of four or more, I isolate myself to a person I know and ignore everybody else. I never even approach a group unless one of my friends is in the group and can introduce me to them. If that friend leaves, then I normally sit silently and don't say anything at all unless somebody speaks to me first. I simply don't know how to break into a group chatting among themselves.

I also have other lapses in memory such as walking into a room not knowing why I walked there or what I wanted to do there. I have the inability to find a word when speaking. If I'm interrupted in a conversation even if it's just for a few seconds (say somebody accidentally bumps into my chair), I need the other person to remind me what we were talking about. If I have multiple web pages and switch between them, I'll have to remember why the other page was open and what I was doing on it. It may take minutes for me to figure it out and sometimes I just close the page entirely without figuring it out.

Thing is that I've had epilepsy for nearly 20 years now. I really don't know what a normal memory is or if I even have one. I never knew the side effects of my medication or how I felt after it. I never got to express how I felt or knew how I was supposed to feel.

Autism and epilepsy is a hell of a combination.

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Old 04-23-2015, 05:39 PM   #77
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

I'm always terrible with names, because a part of me thinks that somehow they just aren't relevant to anything. I kinda have to make a special effort to remind myself to pay attention when I meet people.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:54 PM   #78
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

One of my employees asked me if I was somewhere on the autistic spectrum (phrased like that so she obviously knows at least something if she's aware it's not binary), which at the time hurt because I really thought she was someone who thinks in the same way as me, and she obviously sees me completely differently. I rejected the idea, because as an English teacher you need some telepathy skills e.g.

Student: Last week I was in Prague for my .....
Teacher: ..... daughter's graduation ceremony?
Student (amazed): yes.

but I wonder if that is real empathy skills or just instinctual experience of what students of a certain level can say by themselves and what they need help with.

I know I think differently to other people. As an English teacher I get asked to explain words and I find that some of the ones about mental processes I can explain, or give the standard translation if necessary, but I have no direct experience of. For example I once chaired/lead a discussion lesson with advanced students where the printed materials gave different hypotheticals and whether they would forgive the people in the situation or not, and I realised I didn't actually understand what "forgive" means. At the end I mentioned that I didn't really get the concept (they are programmers so they are ok with a bit of weirdness) - I mean I know that it refers to a change from mental state A to mental state B - they understood me as saying I get stuck in state A but actually it's more the opposite, that I am already in state B. Another one was the English phrase "to have one's thoughts scattered" which I don't really understand directly and there are many more.

I also have trouble recognising people but I tend to go on if they think they recognise me then they do - also if they address me in English then I know they know who I am. I also have my homepage on my mobile set to an internal web page showing the list of students I am teaching at any time (it's between 1-6 people) and so I can always refer to it if I get stuck and you can get them by process of elimination (the other trick once you have the list of names is to say "Peter, can you ask the first question please" and see who starts, although more than once the students have said "Peter isn't here today"). Outside of school everyone can be called "you", the local language here is one with the familiar/formal distinction with two words for "you" but as an English person I get a pass on that if I forget.

But I do ok in social situations. I've managed 1500 posts on here without getting infracted for example - but e.g. in the Pokerstars hacking thread, someone posts "there are three trolls in this thread" and I have no idea who they include and if they include me. I've also been married for 9 years (although to another crazy) and I have a few people who ask me to the pub now and then. So I don't necessarily need a diagnosis or help. I don't want to change but it's good to understand more about oneself, if the differences between me and others are ASD related or something else.

So I tried the Baron-Cohen test, but I don't really understand all the questions, or I would like to answer "it's situational". Here are some of the questions (one I think is from another test) and my comments.

"It is difficult for me to understand how other people are feeling when we are talking"

Similar to tall/short, easy/difficult seem to make sense as words to describe one person but in unstated comparison to a general population other people. How can one compare oneself to other people here? I don't see how you can have a basis of comparison to answer the question because you don't know what "reads" other people have.

"I find it easy to work out what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face."

As above. Also does the question mean when someone is openly communicating with their face like a smile or when you are trying to get a "read" on what they are thinking?

"I prefer to do things the same way over and over again."

For example always ordering "the usual"? - I don't freak out if they don't have it. I think I went with slightly agree here.

"When I was young, I used to enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children."

Is this where pretending is part of the game but there is still a winner (we had a courtroom one) or where pretending is the whole game?

"I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else."

I can imagine if my life was different so it matched their life. Is that what is meant by "being" someone else or is about or something else?

"I enjoy social occasions."

Depends, not if it is "let's be social" rather than socialising over something else like a poker game or watching a football match.

"If I try to imagine something, I find it very easy to create a picture in my mind."
"I usually concentrate more on the whole picture, rather than on the small details."

I'm not quite sure why, but I don't really know how to answer these either.

So for my "don't knows" I went with slightly agree or disagree so as not to skew the test too much. It came back as just under the threshold so it's inconclusive but I already know it isn't something that needs urgent intervention. I just need to adapt. For example our 7 year-old has a friend who is texting her too much (in my wife's opinion but she wanted mine) and I successfully persuaded my wife that neither of us were really qualified to give advice and if it wasn't bothering our daughter we should leave the social situation up to the expert, i.e. the 7 year-old.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:23 PM   #79
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

Lektor, wouldn't you expect that a test like this would have a selection marked "I don't understand this question"?

I would think that if someone indicated that they didn't understand the concept, it would be helpful in a diagnosis.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:29 PM   #80
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

Quote:
Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
One of my employees asked me if I was somewhere on the autistic spectrum (phrased like that so she obviously knows at least something if she's aware it's not binary), which at the time hurt because I really thought she was someone who thinks in the same way as me, and she obviously sees me completely differently. I rejected the idea, because as an English teacher you need some telepathy skills e.g.

Student: Last week I was in Prague for my .....
Teacher: ..... daughter's graduation ceremony?
Student (amazed): yes.

but I wonder if that is real empathy skills or just instinctual experience of what students of a certain level can say by themselves and what they need help with.

I know I think differently to other people. As an English teacher I get asked to explain words and I find that some of the ones about mental processes I can explain, or give the standard translation if necessary, but I have no direct experience of. For example I once chaired/lead a discussion lesson with advanced students where the printed materials gave different hypotheticals and whether they would forgive the people in the situation or not, and I realised I didn't actually understand what "forgive" means. At the end I mentioned that I didn't really get the concept (they are programmers so they are ok with a bit of weirdness) - I mean I know that it refers to a change from mental state A to mental state B - they understood me as saying I get stuck in state A but actually it's more the opposite, that I am already in state B. Another one was the English phrase "to have one's thoughts scattered" which I don't really understand directly and there are many more.
I'm an English teacher at a private academy. Where do you teach?

I know it seems odd for an autistic person to teach. Teaching requires emotional intuition, great social skills, and the ability to connect with a wide range of people.

But I feel more comfortable as a teacher. The reason is because the students want to like you. So, the social situation is biased in your favor. When I am making a cold approach towards a group of complete strangers at a pub, I have no degree of control over the outcome. The teacher crafts the atmosphere of a classroom in a way that makes his/her job easier while also making the learning environment suitable for efficient teaching.

There are advantages to being a teacher with autism. One big strength is my attention to detail. I would teach advanced level classes and a student would ask, "What's the difference between obtain and receive?" Now in practice, we use those words interchangeably and being asked that question when it is unrelated to the lesson you're teaching can throw people for a loop. But for students taking advanced level exams, they need to know that distinction. So, I have to explain that receiving something means that somebody gives it to you while obtaining something means that you have to get it yourself.

Young students are also more accepting of some quirks with their teachers. If anything, they find them humorous. You can play into it a bit. For example, when I am drilling them on their pronunciation, they'll shout the words incredibly loud when practicing because they like it when I have to cover my ears and if the classroom small, briefly stand in the corner. Personally, I find it unpleasant but I know they're 7 year old kids and they're having fun learning English. I take it and deal with it.

Of course, there are disadvantages. One is my intolerance for bull****. If I am given a book to use or told to use a teaching methodology that is total crap, then I have to use it if I want to keep my job. The students hate it and I hate it. If I do it my boss's way, the students complain to me or my boss that the class is boring. If I do it my way, the boss complains that I'm not doing it his way. I find myself ignoring him and just doing my own thing. I know that my boss prefers that I use his methods, but if the students are learning and not complaining then they really can't do anything to me.

I also have difficulty dealing with parents. The more practical reason is that I'm not fluent in Spanish (I am at an intermediate level). Things can get a bit stilted if I engage in a serious discussion and I don't want to risk misunderstandings. Normally, I direct them to my boss.

The more visceral reason is that parents are some of the most full of **** people I have ever met in my life. I will spare you the rant, but the type of **** parents forgive and rationalize these days to maintain their cognitive dissonance regarding their children would get me grounded for life when I was a child. Good news is that the worst complaint I've received from a parent since moving to Europe was that I forgot to give candy to one of my students for getting a high score on a quiz. So, it's clear that I'm doing a good job.

As children get older, dealing with parents becomes less of an issue because children become capable of speaking for themselves. Most of my classes are of older teens and adults. They are by far my favorite ages to teach because they're more willing to call you out if you don't know your ****. While being cordial and pleasant is important, effectively teaching the material is what generates more respect. I also don't have to bull**** them when giving them feedback on their performance. I let them know their weaknesses and how to improve them.

So yeah, teaching is not a stereotypical job for an autistic person. But the idea that is impossible or that you can't be good at it is completely false.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:24 PM   #81
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

Parents can be ridiculously irrational regarding their perfect little children. My wife is a teacher and I'm her sounding board sometimes. It makes sense. As you say, any thing or person that tries to critique their PERFECT spawn is a threat to their ego and sense of self-worth. So instead of admitting their child is the worst in the class, they try to deflect criticism back onto the teacher.

I think no matter how good of a teacher you are you will have to deal with ****ty parents, so just accept it as the rake. Some of these people may even be rational in other walks of life but when it comes to another adult "attacking" their precious child it's welcome to Emotional City.
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Old 04-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #82
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

It is what it is. Not gonna change any time soon.

I'm just grateful that teaching young children is a small portion of my job. I expect it to stay that way.
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Old 04-25-2015, 02:31 AM   #83
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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Originally Posted by granddam View Post
Lektor, wouldn't you expect that a test like this would have a selection marked "I don't understand this question"?

I would think that if someone indicated that they didn't understand the concept, it would be helpful in a diagnosis.
Yes, but even "I don't understand" isn't that clear, because there is (probably) a big difference between not understanding because you are able to perceive 2 or more possible ways to interpret the question and not understanding because you are able to perceive 0 possible meanings.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:42 AM   #84
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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I'm an English teacher at a private academy. Where do you teach?
...
Of course, there are disadvantages. One is my intolerance for bull****. If I am given a book to use or told to use a teaching methodology that is total crap, then I have to use it if I want to keep my job. The students hate it and I hate it. If I do it my boss's way, the students complain to me or my boss that the class is boring. If I do it my way, the boss complains that I'm not doing it his way. I find myself ignoring him and just doing my own thing. I know that my boss prefers that I use his methods, but if the students are learning and not complaining then they really can't do anything to me.
In Slovakia. I have my own school now so I get to be the boss imposing my craziness on other people rather than having to take someone else's craziness. I also don't teach under tens because it stresses me and the other teachers too much - and progress is close to zero compared with what you can do with adults and older children (despite all the research that supposedly children can learn languages better - maybe but not in the after-school tutoring format). I advise parents the money will be more effectively spent if they come back when the kids are older, which they don't like much but they respect that you don't just want to get their money straight away and they often come back after they have been ripped off somewhere else.

But teaching methods are a pain. People assume that because this is the 2015, all professions are at a 2015 level - which of course is superficially true, but there is a huge difference in the maturity of different professions. Teaching foreign languages is kind of at the stage chemistry was at when it was called alchemy, it's still like someone can come up with a method on the back of an envelope that results-wise is comparable or ahead of the conventional ways of doing things, even if it isn't based on any solid theory at all.

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But I feel more comfortable as a teacher. The reason is because the students want to like you. So, the social situation is biased in your favor. When I am making a cold approach towards a group of complete strangers at a pub, I have no degree of control over the outcome.
Absolutely. I think a lot of even "normal" people feel this way.

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Originally Posted by SuperUberBob View Post
There are advantages to being a teacher with autism.
I'm probably not autistic, but coming from a different mental skill set (for example I was a computer programmer) to the typical English teacher helps. For example the books say random observational stuff like: We use "have done" where A, B or C apply and "have been doing" where D, E or F apply. Then you get the students to create sentences but they come up with a situation where both B and D apply and the book gives no clue as to how to resolve the conflict. So with a programmer's mind set you set out the actual rules or priority order for applying the rules. In that particular case the boss criterion is that if it is a "state verb" then it's "have done" and you don't look at any of the other criteria (like you don't execute that part of the code). I think the "normal" teachers resolve that type of thing by saying "That's just what feels right".

Coming back to the thing on reading people's faces, there was case in the UK recently which sparked a lot of discussion on whether a judge could/should order a female muslim defendant to remove her veil in court, in the interests of justice and/or reducing the potential for the jurors to discriminate against her. Anyway someone pointed out that research (sorry don't know what/where) has found that people were better able to act as jurors where they were not able to see the defendant and could only listen to a sound recording of the trial, rather than when they were looking at the defendant and getting all kinds of imaginary facial and body language "reads" from them. The guy who pointed that out suggested that perhaps it would be better if all the defendants where wearing burqas I used to teach from a book with this exercise

http://www.jpeg.cz/images/2015/04/25/qDboS.jpg

the students had translations of all the words and were supposed to discuss which applied to the facial expressions there, but they weren't exactly unanimous about which words could be applied to which picture, but they were sure that their answer was the right one.

In a spoiler in case anyone wants to have a go at the exercise themselves

Spoiler:


So it seems like "normal" people aren't anything like as good as they think they are at reading facial expressions.

....

Last summer there was a thread in which some armchair psychiatrists were diagnosing Dan Colman based on what they had seen on TV, and one popular diagnosis was SPD, the wikipedia article had some interesting text:
Some psychologists argue that the definition of SPD is flawed due to cultural bias: "One reason schizoid people are pathologized is because they are comparatively rare. People in majorities tend to assume that their own psychology is normative and to equate difference with inferiority". Therefore "[t]he so-called schizoid personality disorder is one of the more blatant examples of the APA’s pathologizing of normal human differences."

I don't match the symptoms for SPD anyway, but the basic point is that being different on its own isn't a sufficient condition for wanting or needing help or to be changed.

A few days ago I had a difficult social situation. As I mentioned last week I had been getting hay fever, an adult student had brought her machine to the lesson to offer diagnosis of allergies afterwards. This is a machine made by a British company (so proud) that uses quantum physics to detect the specific resonances of viruses and bacteria in the body and thereby diagnose particular allergies, and make up the correct homeopathic remedy all in one session with one machine. So anyway I had to get out of that without offending the client. I did pretty well I think (she agreed it didn't work on people who are sceptical and I told her that I was sceptical), but the other student got roped in and was still there 45 minutes after the lesson being "examined". So firstly, who says I am the crazy one and not the general population with all the things they believe in? secondly who says my social skills are wrong when I got out of the situation and the other person didn't?

Last edited by LektorAJ; 04-25-2015 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:34 AM   #85
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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In Slovakia. I have my own school now so I get to be the boss imposing my craziness on other people rather than having to take someone else's craziness. I also don't teach under tens because it stresses me and the other teachers too much - and progress is close to zero compared with what you can do with adults and older children (despite all the research that supposedly children can learn languages better - maybe but not in the after-school tutoring format). I advise parents the money will be more effectively spent if they come back when the kids are older, which they don't like much but they respect that you don't just want to get their money straight away and they often come back after they have been ripped off somewhere else.
The research focus on the ability to absorb language. That's why some of my colleagues teach children as young as 3. Of course, having zero attention span makes a classroom environment unsuitable for learning. They need to have full immersion to learn effectively. Most of those classes don't have teachers more than they have glorified babysitters.

Pretty gutsy to tell parents to wait until later. Young children is such a profitable demographic to target. At least in Spain, they'll go elsewhere and won't come back given how saturated the market is here.

Quote:
But teaching methods are a pain. People assume that because this is the 2015, all professions are at a 2015 level - which of course is superficially true, but there is a huge difference in the maturity of different professions. Teaching foreign languages is kind of at the stage chemistry was at when it was called alchemy, it's still like someone can come up with a method on the back of an envelope that results-wise is comparable or ahead of the conventional ways of doing things, even if it isn't based on any solid theory at all.
To put it into perspective, there are still academies in Spain that use the Callan method.

When I was teaching in China, a new teaching method was making its rounds called Crazy English. It wasn't a teaching method more so than some snake-oil salesman trying to make a quick buck before he's found out. It basically involves people screaming English words. My colleagues and I were given books about it which we laughed at before throwing them out. Guy makes a ****load of money and people still can't speak English in China.


Quote:
I'm probably not autistic, but coming from a different mental skill set (for example I was a computer programmer) to the typical English teacher helps. For example the books say random observational stuff like: We use "have done" where A, B or C apply and "have been doing" where D, E or F apply. Then you get the students to create sentences but they come up with a situation where both B and D apply and the book gives no clue as to how to resolve the conflict. So with a programmer's mind set you set out the actual rules or priority order for applying the rules. In that particular case the boss criterion is that if it is a "state verb" then it's "have done" and you don't look at any of the other criteria (like you don't execute that part of the code). I think the "normal" teachers resolve that type of thing by saying "That's just what feels right".
I've always believed, "That's just what feels right" is really just a way to cover up the fact that you don't know an answer to a question. I mean there are some things that are very intuitive of language and only come from using it, but I've always disliked those rationalizations because they can't really be backed up by any kind of evidence. It's a fluffy answer meant to maintain your authority and status in the class as a knowledgeable teacher.

I used to use that excuse myself but now I just tell them if I don't know an answer to their question that I'll get back to them with the correct answer as soon as I can. I have found that older teens and adults like that a bit more because it shows that you are not bull****ting them and are working beyond the classroom to get things right.

Quote:
I don't match the symptoms for SPD anyway, but the basic point is that being different on its own isn't a sufficient condition for wanting or needing help or to be changed.
That's a fair point. As psychology is an inexact science, some psychologists may be quick to point out that a person's conditions without enough sessions with them. There may be a profit motive involved as diagnosing somebody brings in a new patient. Plus, guidelines for diagnosis change periodically as new research is developed. When everybody perceived autism as a disorder for low-functioning people only, I would not have been diagnosed. With further research, now I am diagnosed.

I was a bit shell-shocked upon hearing that I was autistic. I don't think people want to believe that they have a problem. It's just after going through my history, my psychologist believed that I did fit the DSM criteria for ASD.

I think the reason I wasn't diagnosed with Aspergers was that it is no longer in the latest version of the DSM. Instead, it is integrated into the new ASD guidelines which provides a severity scale for the condition rather than separating it entirely as its own condition. I wager that this was done because it was difficult to distinguish what was previously Aspergers from other high-functioning autistic people. In my opinion, I would have been diagnosed as Aspergers under the old DSM guidelines.


Quote:
A few days ago I had a difficult social situation. As I mentioned last week I had been getting hay fever, an adult student had brought her machine to the lesson to offer diagnosis of allergies afterwards. This is a machine made by a British company (so proud) that uses quantum physics to detect the specific resonances of viruses and bacteria in the body and thereby diagnose particular allergies, and make up the correct homeopathic remedy all in one session with one machine. So anyway I had to get out of that without offending the client. I did pretty well I think (she agreed it didn't work on people who are sceptical and I told her that I was sceptical), but the other student got roped in and was still there 45 minutes after the lesson being "examined". So firstly, who says I am the crazy one and not the general population with all the things they believe in? secondly who says my social skills are wrong when I got out of the situation and the other person didn't?
I'm confused as to what the problem is here aside from the use of what sounds a lot like an E-meter from The Church of Scientology.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:43 PM   #86
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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It's doubly bad if I'm introduced to multiple new people at a time. Out of a large group, I'll remember two of their names if I'm lucky.
I don't think this is all that unusual. Upon seeing this thread I took an internet autism test and it diagnosed me with light symptoms if at all. Still, if I get introduced to 10 people pretty much at once, I'll struggle remembering their names, and I think everyone will.

Like when I was in 3rd semester we welcomed the new students by making a tour through the local pubs for them, and I was one of the people "guarding" a pub, ready for questions, advice, some games etc. It was 5 groups with about 10 people each, they all gave their names and stayed roughly an hour so it'd be enough time theoretically, but i remembered maybe 3 names out of ten, and the people at the other bars said the same. It's just a flood of information and I don't think anyone's gonna be offended when you ask (politely of course) for people's names or where you first met. When ten people get introduced to one guy, obviously it will be more different for those guys to remember the one name and face.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:58 PM   #87
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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If I get introduced to 10 people pretty much at once, I'll struggle remembering their names, and I think everyone will.
There are techniques for getting better at this, but I generally don't bother even trying.

Honestly I think it's bizarre when people introduce others all at once. I suppose it's "polite" or whatever, but to me it's just stupid. Let everyone talk and they'll figure out names over time. Or not, which is fine as well.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:48 PM   #88
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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I don't think this is all that unusual. Upon seeing this thread I took an internet autism test and it diagnosed me with light symptoms if at all. Still, if I get introduced to 10 people pretty much at once, I'll struggle remembering their names, and I think everyone will.
I think this is less related to autism and more related to the memory loss I suffer because of epilepsy medication.

I recall tanking on a test when I took a cognitive examination at some hospital. I was given two columns of words and something like a minute to look at the paper. Whenever a word was mentioned from column 1, I had to mention the word that was next to it in column 2 and vice versa. I read it, gave it back and almost immediately went "wtf did I read?" The results of that test were pretty sad.

The positive news is that since my change in medication, my memory has improved. Still very absent-minded, but there has been some improvement in my memory.

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Old 04-25-2015, 07:15 PM   #89
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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To put it into perspective, there are still academies in Spain that use the Callan method.

...


I'm confused as to what the problem is here aside from the use of what sounds a lot like an E-meter from The Church of Scientology.
They also have Callan Method in Slovakia, but in the smaller towns the choice is between that or the state language school with a moonlighting schoolteacher droning on at the front to a group of 20 disengaged students. So that's what I mean that someone can come in with something with no real basis and get better results than what was there previously.

Re: babysitting, I use the exact expression myself. Gutsy? Maybe it would be more gutsy to teach, but you don't just take the most immediately financial EV decision in every spot (otherwise you would never spend anything) it's always a tradeoff. Also the ones that do respect it and come back turn into serial recommenders although that's somewhat longterm and uncertain. Market isn't saturated for British teachers in E Europe outside the biggest cities so there is more chance of them coming back.

The two points about tldr anecdote were that it was difficult as I had to avoid potentially insulting a client's beliefs or business, and also the fact that there is so much of this around is an example of the functioning of 'healthy' minds, so I am fine about being different in whatever undetermined way I am. Good luck anyway. I will keep checking back.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:38 AM   #90
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

This was an awesome read. Great discussion.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:27 AM   #91
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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This was an awesome read. Great discussion.
Thanks

I hope that I can add more to it soon. There's more for me to write.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:38 PM   #92
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

What a shame. I go 4 months without a seizure and despite taking my meds shortly before I leave to go out to eat, I have a seizure as I am walking towards the restaurant.

Even worse is that was right after I sent a message updating my status where I told my neurologist that I have been seizure free since the last time I saw him.

It was likely due to my irregular sleep schedule which affects my medication schedule. If the medication was ineffective, I'd be having seizures way more often.

Hard for me to say which I hate having more. I'd probably say epilepsy. It puts a lot of restrictions on my life. I could work my way around my ASD to a certain degree and avoid things that trigger it. You really can't predict seizures though. Even medication isn't 100% reliable.

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Old 04-27-2015, 11:57 PM   #93
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

Interesting read. Thank you for posting SUB, it was a bit thought provoking.

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It depends on the situation. If it's one-on-one talking in a quiet area, then I have no issues staying focused. If it is a crowded pub with music and TV on with many people talking at the same time in close vicinity, then I'll experience some kind of sensory overload and have to leave the area to get my senses back. The vast majority of sensory overloads are auditory but rapid flashing or moving lights will also cause some issues both with sensory overload and my epilepsy (the ASD and epilepsy are unrelated). Most of the time, I come back and reenter the busy pub but I do have to leave the place frequently if I choose to stay there due to the overload.

One of the benefits of writing is that I have time to proofread my posts for errors and even after I post something, I have 30 minutes to find some kind of grammatical mistake, a better word/phrase to describe something or unnecessary information to remove. That luxury doesn't exist in real-time conversation. I also live alone and barring some occasional light music, there aren't any interruptions when I am in my apartment.
I'm the same way, but my reaction is different. I simply withdraw and tune everything out. I can't pick out conversations so I'm can't really interact anyway other than eye contact. I mostly avoid situations like that unless its a ballpark, but nonverbal communication at a sporting event is so easy and says everything you need to get across, plus the event itself gives you something to focus on.

That said, I just don't think that the way you react and interact, as described, is all that debilitating (not considering the unrelated epilepsy). Is ASD the new label for "somewhat eccentric"? Is there any advantage to a label of ASD as an adult?

Maybe I spend a lot of time around undiagnosed or closeted ASD folks. Maybe I am one (as evidenced by a five figure post count on a forum about a card game)?
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:55 AM   #94
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

^ I'm learning more about this at the moment so this may be wrong.

As I see it, it's a spectrum, and it relates to a different distribution of mental strengths and weakness (some people call it neurodiversity, i.e. their brain is different to the typical), so the level to which its debilitating depends on the individual and their own particular distribution of strengths and the extent of the differences. However many people with autism have IQs under 70 so in their case it is.

It might be more accurate to say that "somewhat eccentric" is the old/new label for people who are different in some unspecified way, with more information you can take them out of that category and put them into something more accurate.

Is there an advantage to the label? Depends where you are but for the people I think you are talking about who function in society and could otherwise be classified as "somewhat eccentric" rather than "ill" then I doubt there are any special privileges. I think there is probably also the aspect of being a unique snowflake for some people - but mostly people on the spectrum are different to their peers so probably are already aware they are different - the advantage is understanding more about why and who you are. I'm not sure you always need a doctor to give you the label though if that's the question.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:22 PM   #95
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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I can't pick out conversations so I'm can't really interact anyway other than eye contact. I mostly avoid situations like that unless its a ballpark, but nonverbal communication at a sporting event is so easy and says everything you need to get across, plus the event itself gives you something to focus on.
My understanding of nonverbal communication is limited at best. I know the obvious (if a person is smiling, they're happy), but the more subtle things such as eye contact are either unnoticed or completely misunderstood by me. I just think, "Why is that person looking at me so weirdly?"


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Is ASD the new label for "somewhat eccentric"?
I think some people may use it a liberally outside of a clinical context to mean weird. But it is deeper than that.

The logic by which people with ASD operate is very different. For example, people perceive regular communication as a need to show friendship. Personally, I don't do that. Not because I don't like people. I just don't see a need for that mindless "Hi, how are you?" type of stuff every day. It's meaningless to me. It's like when people say "How are you doing?". I used to always just tell them how I was doing not realizing that it wasn't a literal question and that people didn't want to hear about me losing my job or something like that. Again, I force myself to answer "Good" instead of telling them the truth. I think it's stupid to ask that question if you don't want the answer to it, but whatever.

I'm sure there are things that I don't even know are odd because nobody has ever told me about it. Maybe they don't know how to approach me about it without offending me or something like that.

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Is there any advantage to a label of ASD as an adult?
Some business such as Microsoft are creating programs to hire autistic people.

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Maybe I am one (as evidenced by a five figure post count on a forum about a card game)?
It's possible. Wouldn't be surprised if the prevalence for ASD on 2p2 was higher than in the world.

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As I see it, it's a spectrum, and it relates to a different distribution of mental strengths and weakness (some people call it neurodiversity, i.e. their brain is different to the typical), so the level to which its debilitating depends on the individual and their own particular distribution of strengths and the extent of the differences.
Correct.

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I'm not sure you always need a doctor to give you the label though if that's the question.
You don't, but it helps to give credibility to it. It also can help if it is something that can be treated. While treatment in the form of applied behavior analysis is available, it's expensive and I don't speak fluent Spanish.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:18 AM   #96
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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Is there any advantage to a label of ASD as an adult?
I'm going to take a slightly different interpretation to the one I took when I answered this earlier.

I think this can be said about all information about oneself, whether an ASD diagnosis, which Myers-Briggs zodiac sign you are, more informal feedback from friends, teachers and colleagues, self-reflection and self analysis or whatever:

If you take the information and use any identified strengths and weaknesses to plan coping strategies, how to play to your strengths, what weaknesses to work on, then the information has a positive effect.

If you take the information and incorporate the identified strengths and weaknesses into your sense of identity and act based on that then you become more extreme, almost as a caricature of yourself. So then the information has a negative effect.

The most wonderful thing about being a member of the human race and not an animal is having such a large capacity to work on changing oneself. For example at school I was shy and terrible at speaking in front of the class. Therefore at university I joined the debating society as the nut worst debater in the new intake and pretty much fixed that - for example as an adult I have been interviewed on live television without problems. So that's better than just identifying the weakness and using them as a reason to avoid things.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:56 PM   #97
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

Think I bungled a social situation at a pub recently. Perhaps poor social skills at work, but I think I was justified in my decision (execution was prob. lacking). (cliffs at bottom)

I was in a pub watching the Mayweather/Pacquiao undercard minding my own business when the person next to me speaks to me. Apparently, he is interested in speaking English despite the fact that he is wholly incapable of saying the bare essentials. So, the conversation is extremely stilted. I can keep up with Spanish to a reasonable degree but he insisted on speaking Spanglish and wanting me to correct him.

Personally, I hate it when this happens. I don't tell an accountant to do my taxes if I meet him at a pub. At the same time, it might be a good opportunity to get a new student and pick up more work. So, I humor him a bit while watching the undercard. He is joined by somebody who knows him and a group discussion begins. Group discussion with guy who can barely speak English but is incredibly intent on speaking to me and a complete stranger is a pretty uncomfortable spot. That and I want to watch the fight. I mean that was my primary objective. I wasn't meeting anybody I know there as the people I know aren't boxing fans.

The conversation is initially friendly but gets very odd. For some reason, this guy keeps on offering me drinks despite me emphasizing multiple times that I don't drink alcohol. He then buys hot dogs and offers them. I reject the hot dogs as I ate earlier. I am very weirded out by this guy, but still don't want to be rude because he seems to be trying to be friendly in his own way.

The third person in the conversation was in a way acting like a intermediary which probably wasn't all that great for him. I shifted my attention to the fight and was scolded by the third person for ignoring the conversation. To me, this isn't a big deal. While I am in the group, nobody is talking directly to me. They're speaking a language I'm not fluent in. So, I'm not involved. I explain that I'm just occasionally looking at the fight as that's what I wanted to see. I still mix in some conversation inbetween rounds and fights. Not too much later, I am again scolded by the same person for watching the fight. I state that I am not involved in the conversation and that I'm interested in watching the fight. I am accused of being rude and insulting. I tell them that I'm watching the fight and I walk to the other side of the pub without saying goodbye.

So, the main event approaches and the dude who can't speak English follows me shortly after I find a new seat. This time he bought me a beer, put it down in front of me, and moved my unfinished soda away from me. So yeah, not happy. The fight begins and the guy periodically whistles loudly throughout the fight. If there's one thing that I can't stand, it's very high-pitched noises. They're worse than screeching chalk to me. The place is packed and I don't want to lose my seat. So, I decide to suck it up and deal with it. I leave after the fight is over without saying goodbye.

Not sure if I was being rude or if I was perceived as an *******. To me, I wasn't doing anything wrong. Evidently, people around me disagreed.

CLIFFS
-Guy wants to learn English while I'm watching fight
-Another person joins conversation
-I get scolded for conversing and watching the fight at the same time
-Guy follows me after I leave and continues to annoy me

Last edited by SuperUberBob; 05-06-2015 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:55 PM   #98
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

I don't think you did anything wrong. lol @ drinking or eating anything some strange guy buys you. You are perfectly in your right to tell them you are interested in watching TV not ****ing teaching some strange idiot English.

The moment he moves my soda away and puts a beer down in front of me (after I've made it clear I don't want it and have already moved to another spot in the bar) is the moment I get out of my chair and ask if he has a problem. At that point I'd think he was trying to drug me or something.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:56 AM   #99
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

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I don't think you did anything wrong. lol @ drinking or eating anything some strange guy buys you. You are perfectly in your right to tell them you are interested in watching TV not ****ing teaching some strange idiot English.
He wasn't just offering it to me. He was offering food and drinks to others as well. It's not something suspicious like in the states where people are less trusting of each other. Plus, I saw the food being made and drinks poured. The guy was trying to be friendly just in a way that was uncomfortable for me. It's just that everybody else who visited our group was palling around with him and being friendly and accepting whereas I was aloof and awkward. So, I thought something was wrong with me. Perhaps I was in the right and everybody else is messed up. I don't know.

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The moment he moves my soda away and puts a beer down in front of me (after I've made it clear I don't want it and have already moved to another spot in the bar) is the moment I get out of my chair and ask if he has a problem. At that point I'd think he was trying to drug me or something.
Again, people are far more trusting here than in America. Everybody in America questions the motives of strangers who do this for people. I still do that to a certain extent. It's a trait that was hammered into me as a child. That's not the case here though. Buying a drink is just a way of being friendly. It's exactly the way that I was always offered a cigarette from strangers in China. They weren't laced or anything. They were just being friendly.

I used to have a very bad temper and some really bad things happened as a result when I was a child. Things that would set me off would confuse people. I mean, somebody would touch me from behind or tap my shoulder and I would freak out at that person. Even today, I get pissed off about that. It's just that I don't express that anger out loud anymore because with me it never leads to anything good. Plus with everybody else liking this guy, I might be in a bad spot no matter how right I was.

At least it allowed me to remember why I stopped going to that pub in November.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:49 AM   #100
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Re: A psychologist diagnosed me as autistic recently

Yeah, I don't think you're obliged to talk to everyone who feels like talking to you - particularly when they want you to effectively teach them for free or the price of a beer.

It may have been more advisable to get the potential social/work contact but it's up to you. Who else was in the group?

IMHO they are out of line being "entitled"* and telling you not to watch the fight and to concentrate on them - and trying to buy you with beer. Also if you move away from them they should take the hint. They made it into a bigger deal than it had to be.

* normally don't much like this overused word but it seems like the right word here.
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