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AS on the Brain


Jamie Toczek

on 9 June 2017

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Transcript of AS on the Brain

Mind Blindness
Hyper & Hypo - Sensory [13,14]
The filtering mechanism in AS brains often works in a different way in assimilating the senses. Aspies can be extremely over or under sensitive to some senses and find the seemingly routine fascinating or even confusing.
Sight - Bright lights, sun, seeing patterns/pictures in clouds or the ground, etc.
Sound - High pitch sounds, too many sounds at one time or too repetitive , hearing things others don't hear until we point it out. My son can't tolerate (teachers have had to inform students in his class to not use) erasers, it is like nails on a chalkboard to him (which I can't even think about without cringing)
Smell - Things too poignant (strong perfume), being able to identify them quickly, noticing them when others don't
Taste - To each his own..... I can't stand anything with vinegar, my son anything with peanut butter (or the smell of it for both of us)
Touch - Certain textures cannot be tolerated, I hate wool, make-up, chalk, foods that don't feel right, can't sleep with clothes on, my son despises sand
Nature - Soaking in the sunset, the smells and sounds of a forest or the beach, animals; all bring a calming affect
Connect to Life - Due to feeling disconnected so often, when we do feel connected it's euphoria; I can get lost in dance and music, it's what makes me feel most alive, My son gets lost in martial arts, throwing knives and conquering video games.
Overload / Mental Exhaustion - Some sensitivities are too much, also too much talking or activity can all make us want to retreat
Disorientation - Too many distractions can be too much to compute sometimes, tendency of getting lost, not a fan of having to make quick decisions, too much information takes time to digest, traveling can be a challenge
Anger - Males act out in this manner more than females. Men are already just wired more towards being physical and aggressive. My son has always struggled when frustration sets in and I have had to replace many doors, fix many holes, etc. He has had anger management and with practice has gotten better.
Famous Aspies
Friends / Family / Partners
Knowing someone with AS can affect the relationship in a number of ways, most notably in the areas of communication and emotional give-and-take. Incorrect assumptions made by the individual with AS often lead to self-protective strategies of distancing oneself entirely and then not responding at all to you.
Communicate your needs directly. Do this either verbally or in writing and without emotion. Don’t hint — they just won’t get it
Most individuals are hardwired to achieve a mutually satisfying solution because they can step into another’s shoes. Aspies are not.
It’s important to remember that Aspies do love and care. They just do it in a different way
Patience is a virtue here.... Not drawing conclusions or assumptions with hurt feelings is best and always open and honest communication
Ask for clarification if you need it or are confused
Don't beat around the bush, nothing is going to come out of it that you want. The person with AS will only get confused and frustrated and is more than likely going to try to guess what you mean.
For both “neurotypicals” and “Aspies”: Become students of each other's culture. Pretend that you are learning a new language from a new country. If you are an Aspie, remember that, in many ways, a neurotypical is from another planet, the neurotypical planet. And if you are a neurotypical, remember that an Aspie is from the Aspergers planet. Celebrate the diversity and the differences.
Insomnia - [24,25]
prolonged sleep latency (time to fall asleep)
reduced sleep efficiency (decreased time asleep/time in bed)
reduced sleep duration and continuity
night awakening exemplified by long periods of time awake
Gastrointestinal Problems - [26,27]
Surveys published in the gastroenterology literature have stated that gastrointestinal problems occur in up to 85% of Asperger’s
Pyloric Stenosis - Oxford and Princeton Universities both conducted studies of birth defects associated with autism and spectrum disorders and PS was seen at a high rate in Aspies
Depression - [28,29]
A large proportion of people with Asperger’s Syndrome suffer from some form of depression. It is unclear whether this depression emerges as a result of the struggles, exhaustion, rejection and failures so often present in a life with Asperger’s Syndrome, or whether the mysterious neurology of AS somehow invites, or includes, a hard-wired affective disorder.
High Definition Fiber Tracking

Thought Process
Looking Forward
Creativity / Imagination
Social & Daily Life
[see sites/books listed]
I don’t like allot of the negative terms associated with being an Aspie, I think the only disability, difficulty, challenge per say would be:

• To “calm” down the constant way my mind is over analyzing, computing
and taking in all that is around me.
• Be able to tune out all the “white noise” that will pop in my head and cause
me to be so distracted with just being in the moment or just relaxing.
• Let go of being confused with what others actions or words mean.
• Not feel the need to over communicate to be understood, but also know when I need to.
• Overcoming the hesitancy to trust my own views and capabilities based on comments from others. (we take too much to heart and then doubt ourselves)
• Be careful with who I am open and honest with, not be so trusting.

To weave thru all the information associated with Asperger’s can be daunting, you really have to look at all the sites, studies, books, videos, interviews and personal accounts as a whole and then slowly add the pieces together as to what fits and what does not.
If you don’t have this neurological difference then, you can only base
your conclusions on what is being taught or seen, but if you do think this
way, it is much easier to navigate between what are assumptions and
what is real.
No two Aspies are the same, you have to take each one’s own account
or testimony as a “This is how my impaired neurological processing affects
me”. We are each at different higher /lower functioning levels within each
aspect of the traits associated with our neurological processing impairment.
AS on the Brain
Outside World
Repetitive routines - This comes as a comfort as to not have to re-evaluate as much. Already knowing what to do or staying within comfort zones let's our ever so busy minds take a breather.
Quirks / Movements - This is not in a sense of being random, but rather an oblivious reaction to a sensory overload.
(covered under sensory)
This may be simple tapping of toes or fingers, sudden need to move or move an object, it's like an impulse kicks in and comes out.
Self / Spacial Awareness - This one is ironic since we can be completely oblivious yet totally aware all at the same time. It's in the details ;]. We notice things others don't, yet may completely miss something going on right in front of us or about us.
Alone Time - Mental exhaustion kicks in
(see sensory)
and I just don't feel like being in a conversation. It's disruptive to my thinking and I just like to "chill out". I love listening to music or a show/movie deep in thought and that's not easy with others around. Or I like to focus on a project. I'm assuming this for all Aspies as to why we like alone time, but in our own ways and our own reasons.
Friends / Dating - It's not that we are deficient in making friends or socializing, we just get confused sometimes or feel uncomfortable. So be patient, extra clear with us and please be proactive to include us even if we look like we are not interested in socializing. Dating is just weird and all my relationships have come from friendships because of this. I have only heard the same from other Aspies as to not knowing all the unspoken rules to this, so we just don't indulge in the uptight version. I have tried though. I just don't understand being forced to get to know someone better that I don't even know if I'm interested in.
Rules / Etiquette - If something seems to be unnecessary then why are we doing it? So many stories on this and it's our way of thinking
(see cognitive)
that makes us not want to conform sometimes. Does it really matter what utensil I use or what I wear to certain events or work?
Behavioral Traits
If we're going to fight a disease, let's fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.
Gene GABRB3 - Chromosome 15
Tracking Brain Activity in Asperger's Patients
[Footnotes 1,2,3,4]

Results of the functional and diffusion MRI scans showed that compared with people with no cognitive problems, people with AS:

Have increased activation in the brain network that governs attention. This might explain hyper-arousal and obsessing or over focus that is typical in AS.
Have detected decreased activity and fewer fibers connecting cells in the brain area that governs the resting state of the brain. This network is also used to explore the intentions of other people, a function impaired in AS.
Have decreased activity in motor areas of the brain. This leads to clumsiness.
Have decreased activity in the brain network that is active when you're thinking about yourself, other people and the relation between the two. This correlates to the increase in apathy and the decrease in social interaction exhibited in AS.
There is no difference in activity in the visual and auditory brain regions between the two groups studied. This suggests that symptoms are not caused by altered perception of visual and auditory stimuli (more of this under Traits/Sensory), but by aberrant processing of sensory information.
The differences in brain development that occur in Asperger syndrome appear to affect areas of the brain involved in thought, behavior, and emotions, such as the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the fusiform face area. In particular, cognitive functions called theory of mind, central coherence, and executive function are affected.
Every trait functions at a higher or lower level with more or less intensity or frequency for each Aspie. These traits also become more controlled or obsolete with age due to: actively overcoming them or creating coping mechanisms that in turn camouflage them.
Cognitive Impairment
Literal - Aspies can be very literal and concrete in their thinking. Like my sister asking me if the milk on the counter was lite, I pick it up and say I guess so!?
Logical - Aspies show advanced reasoning ability, are excellent at deductive and logical reasoning, excellent at pattern recognition, sequential ordering of information; all of which allows for flexible thinking.
Processing - The style of information processing for an Aspie
is spending relatively more time processing detail rather
than processing in a broad-brush approach. This can be a
source of difficulty, but it can also be a strength.
Coordination - Fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye
coordination tend to be a struggle for those diagnosed with
AS, resulting in poor handwriting, poor ability to hold
objects, and even difficulties with walking and posture.

Cognitive impairment is an inclusive term used to describe impairment in an individual’s mental processes that lead to the acquisition of information and knowledge, and drive how an individual understands and acts in the world. The following areas constitute domains of cognitive functioning:

Attention, decision making, general fund of knowledge, judgment, language, memory, perception, planning, reasoning and visuospatial
Abrupt transitions in conversations
Prosody - Spoken language involves more than use of words; we vary our pitch, loudness, tempo, and rhythm in speech in order to convey different meanings. These changes are called "prosody," and people with AS often find prosody difficult to hear, understand, or reproduce or may not truly understand what is being said, or may say things in such a way that they are misunderstood.
Syntax - A set of rules in a language. It dictates how words from different parts of speech are put together in order to convey a complete thought. Those with AS have language development within average to above average limits. They frequently develop excellent vocabularies, often beyond their developmental age, but their ability to use syntax and grammar appropriately may be affected. This can also cause miscommunication.
Visual Learning - Aspies typically exhibit strengths in their visual processing skills, with significant weaknesses in their ability to process information via auditory means. AS tend to be more whole brain thinkers (incorporating visual, auditory and kinesthetic methods) than their neurotypical, "normal" peers who is generally either a right- or left-brain thinker.
Over-thinking/analysis & Event Recording - One coping mechanisms an AS employs is "conversation recording": to remember an event in its entirety for later analysis. In aspies with particularly well-developed coping mechanisms (typically, older aspies), event recording is virtually "second nature". It often occurs without any conscious decision on our part. Reviewing "recordings" whenever we get an unexpected response from people or whenever we deem that a conversation is important and could be carrying more information than is immediately obvious. This can be good and bad.
Caring - What is critical to understanding empathy in those with AS is the idea of having an appropriate emotional response to another person’s thoughts and feelings. An aspie may care that someone else feels hurt or pain, is confused and worried, has doubts and wants comfort, but at the same time not know how to respond in a way that fits that particular situation. This is what makes those with Asperger’s different and where the idea that they lack empathy comes from. Studies have found that when people are overwhelmed by empathetic feelings, they tend to pull back. When someone else’s pain affects you deeply, it can be hard to reach out rather than turn away. For people with AS, these empathetic feelings might be so intense that they withdraw in a way that appears cold or uncaring. What looks like coldness and aloofness to the outside world is actually a response to being overwhelmed by emotion. It is an excess of empathy, not a lack of it, that plagues those with Asperger’s. Asperger’s does not rob someone of empathy, it just makes it more difficult to experience and to express.
Visuals - Aspies tend to be able to "feel" what is seen. Watching violence, hate or manipulation affects us and we either turn away (so we don't have to go thru the mental process) or want to do something about it. Especially if it is a direct connection to ourselves or someone we love.
A study in the journal Molecular Autism confirms previous research that people with Asperger Syndrome (AS) are more likely to carry specific variations in a particular gene. The research was carried out by a team of researchers led by Professor Baron-Cohen at the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. The researchers looked for sequence variations (called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) in the gene known as GABRB3 in a total of 530 adults – 118 people diagnosed with AS and 412 people without a diagnosis. This study adds to evidence that GABRB3 is a key gene underlying AS conditions. This gene is involved in the functioning of a neurotransmitter that regulates excitation and inhibition of nerve cell activity, so the research gives us vital additional information about how the brain may develop differently in people with Asperger Syndrome.
Hyper Brain Plasticity
Brain plasticity refers to the extraordinary ability of the brain to modify its own structure and function following changes within the body or in the external environment. Brain plasticity underlies normal brain function such as our ability to learn and modify our behavior.
An example to relate to AS: Neurotypical people might have one path in their heads to recognize facial expressions. By the time they grow up, that path is well worn and familiar. People with high plasticity (Aspies) might have a hundred paths, or a thousand, and they are all smaller. So plasticity has put a lot more options inside our heads, but they are so complex that they don’t run fast like an NT person. The result – a social disability.
This brain plasticity possibly explains why asperians tend to have a greater ability in reason/logic/objectivity. It also explains that with our super focus and analytical skills combined, we can overcome challenges and learn things at a faster rate.
The idea of rewiring the brain has been used for more than one specific treatment option for Asperger's. The reason for this probably has a lot to do with the actual structure and ability of the human brain to repair itself in many cases. The brain has plasticity, allowing it to rebuild neuro-transmitters and reroute function using healthy areas of the brain. When a person uses repetition to build and strengthen new neuron connections, he is rewiring the brain.
Mind-blindness can be described as a cognitive disorder where an individual is unable to develop an awareness of what is in the mind of another human. It is not necessarily caused by an inability to imagine an answer, but is often due to not being able to gather enough information to work out which of the many possible answers is correct. As a result of this disorder the individual may be unaware of others' mental states, or incapable in attributing beliefs and desires to others. This ability to develop a mental awareness of what is in the mind of an individual is known as the Theory of Mind (ToM). This allows one to attribute one's own behavior and actions to various mental states such as emotions and intentions. Mind-blindness is associated with Asperger's syndrome.
Effects the following:
How we socialize and communicate - Leads to miscommuncation
Empathy - Sometimes hurting others feelings without intent
Emotional awareness - Not knowing how to process intense emotions or identify what the heart is feeling
Contextual processing / Caetextia - Unable to adapt and adjust behaviors or perception to deal appropriately with changing variables in situations. It may manifest as rigid thinking, concrete thinking and literal thinking.
Executive function - Effects ability to curb inappropriate speech or behavior, integrate past experience with present action, manage time and attention, plan and organize, remember details, and switch focus.
Mirror Neurons
The mirror neuron system connects several parts of the brain. It responds when you engage in an action and when you observe others engage in an action. For example, these neurons fire when you gaze in a certain direction or observe another person gazing in the same direction (hence, “mirroring”). The interplay of these multiple and interacting empathy circuits is complicated. Your mirror neurons make you look in the same direction as the speaker, but you also need other empathy circuits to make meaning of why you are looking.
The brain’s empathy circuits must work together in a
complex system, sending signals back and forth, to create an
integrated and highly sophisticated “lights on” response.
Remember, it is not empathy unless you respond appropriately
to the other person.
The brain has a number of circuits that are all connected
like Christmas lights. If one part doesn’t work right, then the
rest of the circuits malfunction, too. These brain circuits are so
tightly integrated that multiple circuits depend upon multiple
other circuits to carry out sophisticated human behaviors and to comprehend complex thoughts and feelings. True empathy is the ability to be aware of one’s own feelings and thoughts at the same time you are aware of another person’s feelings and thoughts. It also means creating mutual understanding and a sense of caring for one another.

Aspies have a huge disconnect between thinking and feeling.
Prof Michael Fitzgerald, a psychiatrist and expert in the Aspie syndrome, claims that people with Asperger's can have exceptional artistic creativity, as well as mathematical genius. Prof Fitzgerald claims that some of the same genes that cause Asperger's are a source of creative brilliance. "Asperger's and creativity are two sides of the same coin - you can't get one without the other."
A neurotypical might just accept, ‘Okay this is just the way it’s done, this is how we do things in our culture or family. Someone with Asperger’s, they kind of ask those why questions. They want more logical answers. Just saying ‘Well we do this just because everybody else does,’ that doesn’t meet their test of logic.”
Our extreme concentration on details, combined with high intelligence and that magic creative spark can create brilliant new thinking sometimes. That is, the different ways in which people with AS engage with the world, as compared to the rest of the population, might be what makes it easier for them to think outside the box.
Individuals with Asperger syndrome tend to develop an intense interest in a particular subject. This interest may be a traditional hobby or
academic discipline, and many people with Asperger
syndrome develop advanced abilities in fields such as
music, science, mathematics, or computer programming.
However, they might also focus on an unusual interest
such as bus routes or a particular type of household
appliance. Often they are able to remember enormous
amounts of detail on their subject of interest. They
may want to share this large amount of information
with others and may resist diversion to other topics.
One of the first ways an undiagnosed aspie might try to determine his or her likeliness of having Asperger’s syndrome, is by taking one of the online tests. Some of these are better than others, and caution should be taken when considering the results. Many of these tests are based on research that might not be that well grounded in science. Broadly speaking, they probably do give a good idea of whether or not to pursue an assessment, but you need to also take into account that you may be answering some of these questions wrong as to not being able to observe yourself. It's best to ask someone who knows you well to also take these tests and to also look back (if your an adult) on traits/challenges you may have had in the past but overcame that was originally manifested by this neurological impairment.

AQ - The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was developed by the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge and first published in 2001. While the test has “Autism Spectrum” in its title, it’s geared toward identifying adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. It has been tested on adults with normal intelligence who had been diagnosed with AS or HFA. While the AQ isn’t considered a diagnostic instrument, it is recommend that it be used by family doctors/general practitioners to determine whether to refer an adult patient for an in-depth Asperger’s Syndrome evaluation.
EQ - The Empathy Quotient (EQ) test is intended to be a measure of your ability to understand how people feel and to respond appropriately. It encompasses both cognitive empathy (perspective taking/attribution) and affective empathy (emotional response to another’s emotional state).
CAST - The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test, abbreviated as CAST and formerly titled the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test, is a tool to screen for Asperger Syndrome and related social and communication conditions falling on the Autism Spectrum in children aged 4–11 years, in a non-clinical setting to be taken by the parents or guardians.

Many other tests you can find at - https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/arc_tests
Self Reflection
I think the most important diagnosis tool would be yourself. Take into account the research, the assessments, observations and see how it all relates to you. I've seen really great "check-off" lists by other Aspies as to how they see things, this is a great way for your own reflection. Below is a quick one of mine.
It means I finally get “the look” I so often receive that only another “Aspie” understands…
• No, I didn’t get your joke (my mind is still processing what was said and why it is funny, there are some jokes I do get though, not sure of why one way or the other)
• Yes, I did take you literally (This one puzzles me too and makes me feel stupid)
• No, I have no idea why I didn’t “know what to do” (I get things mixed up all the time or just don't understand things right away…)
• Yes, I may obsess over certain things (cough... Tolkien, Dance, music) we have a tendency to super focus on things we like or catch our attention.
• No, I don’t get the unspoken rules of dating/socializing… Totally missed that memo. Social “correctness” has come easier over the years especially with the positions I’ve held where I had to get over comfort zones, but I very rarely date.
• Yes, my brain thinks deeply and on multiple levels CONSTANTLY: Which you see as a “blank stare”, talking to myself or not talking at all.
• No, I don’t understand lying or manipulation. It really does confuse me and I can't stand seeing someone do this.
• Yes, I’m gullible (I believe what people say, I think it’s sad that trusting another and not judging or assuming is considered a bad thing.)
• No, my mouth does not have a governor to keep me from being totally open and honest.
• Yes, being alone in nature is probably my favorite and most calming…
• No, I don’t lack empathy, I just get confused sometimes as to how/why I’ve hurt your feelings, but in reality I care almost too deeply and get very concerned with those I care about.
• Yes, my IQ is considered to be “highly gifted”, but I don’t feel like I am and I don’t trust what I can handle until I just dive in and then I’m glad I did, cause I really do like a challenge
• No, I don't ignore you, sometimes I just need to be alone or am mentally exhausted
• Yes, I am very sensitive to too much heat, cold, light or noise.... (and my heart is sensitive too)
• No, I don’t get what people are saying or their actions without them being really clear, I either have to ask allot of questions or try and fill in the blanks as best as I can thru rationalizing what they must mean. This leads to allot of miscommunication on both ends.
• Yes, I over analyze and can be extremely distracted by being overly aware of my surroundings. My mind never shuts off and is running in all directions, all the time.
2 -http://www.aspiestrategy.com/2010/12/mri-scans-and-aspergers-new-research.html
40- http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2010/12/50-positive-characteristics-of.html
Observation is more geared towards children and teens. This is the best way for a physician and/or psychologist to know how they think and grasp concepts in life. As an adult, you have already been able to get past some AS challenges or have been able to camouflage them. Although as an adult looking for diagnosis you almost have to observe your own reactions, thoughts and perceptions as to how they match the traits exhibited by being wired differently. Many adults with Asperger's, post diagnosis, take "long walks" through their memories, re-evaluating them in the context of Asperger's. During the course of these "long walks," there are times when you find your perceptions change dramatically, and pieces fall together in a way they haven't before.
Under diagnosis and over diagnosis are problems in marginal cases. One of the most common mistakes made by clinicians lacking AS experience is to make a number of observations that don’t take the issues related to AS into account. Sometimes they may observe issues such as a person's reading difficulty (possible dyslexia), poor attention span (possible Attention Deficit Disorder), or behavioral issues and diagnose that as the main condition. They may miss the fact that AS is underlying the obvious difficulties seen on the surface.
Websites / Books
Great sites and books, I've read many of them :]

There is a constant continuum of research as to exact distinctions and diagnosis of Asperger's, but I can only imagine a normal neurotypical brain trying to figure us out… ;]

There are so many people out there that would gain great value in knowing more about AS for themselves or a loved one. It is not an easy impairment to live with when you have no understanding of why you are the way you are. It is likewise not easy to know someone with this impairment and not fully understand them.

Self realization and humility can be tough, but mental clarity and peace of mind is far worth it. Life is so much easier when things makes sense. I'm hoping this research prezi helps others too. In a world fueled by personas, ego, and being "cool", feeling like an outsider or different takes a toll. It's harder than it sounds to just keep turning the cheek. So knowing about AS can be a great tool for those who feel they may have it or know someone that does.

Being real or being authentic has some amazing benefits. When we are real with ourselves and other people we can create situations, circumstances and experiences that can truly be called extraordinary. It is these extraordinary events that result in an extraordinary life. When you live life authentically you experience more of the following benefits of being human. Some of these benefits are:

1. creativity 2. honesty 3. integrity 4. self-esteem 5. joy 6. inner peace and 7. unconditional love.

The challenge we each face as we become more real is learning how to live life authentically on a daily basis in a seemingly inauthentic world. The inauthentic world consists of anyone and anything that indicates to us that who we are is not enough. The inauthentic world is one of endless, infinite incompleteness. It tells you that you are half, not whole. It points out all your shortcomings. It tells you that you’re not smart enough, attractive, rich enough, young or old enough to be somebody of worth.

This is the world most live in. It is why we suffer both physically and emotionally. Being real is about being true to YOU in a world where honesty, integrity, inner peace and unconditional love are desperately needed.
Please Share to Create a Better Understanding
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is used, or relied upon, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, the legal system, and policy makers together with alternatives such as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), produced by the World Health Organization (WHO). The DSM is now in its fifth edition, DSM-5, published on May 18, 2013.
One of the most significant changes is that the separate diagnostic labels of Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and PDD-NOS will be replaced by one umbrella term “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Further distinctions will be made according to severity levels. The severity levels are based on the amount of support needed, due to challenges with social communication and restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. For example, a person might be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. The DSM-V revision website says the reasons for using the umbrella term of “Autism Spectrum Disorder” are 1) the old way isn’t precise enough—different clinicians diagnose the same person with different disorders, and some change their diagnosis of the same symptoms differently from year to year, and 2) autism is defined by a common set of behaviors and it should be characterized by a single name according to severity.
The overlap of diagnostic criteria for Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism is difficult to untangle.

Movies / TV Shows (w/ main characters as Aspies)
Depictions are exaggerated, but you get the point.

Sheldon Cooper – Big Bang Theory (Love!)
Temperance Brennen – Bones (Love!)
Max Braverman – Parenthood
Sonya Cross - The Bridge
Abed Nadir – Community (Love!)
Will Graham – Hannibal
Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock
Jerry Espenson - Boston Legal
Dr. Virginia Dixon - Grey’s Anatomy
Spencer Reid - Criminal Minds

A lot to take in I know.....

But, now you have a background to connect how this kind of developmental brain correlates into the life of an individual.....
OK, so where do you even start with knowing if you or a loved one has AS? What tools are used?
So an Aspie is not nuerotypcial or autistic, so?

I think a more helpful and respectful approach would be to see all three as different cultures – living alongside each other, all educating each other about their differences and making an effort to try to understand each other. And most importantly for all to recognize that underneath the differences, they are all human and thus have an awful lot in common too.
This effects / causes the following:
Impaired cognition: Memory, attention and thought process.
Motor coordination: Hyperactivity, balance, movement coordination
Somatosensory processes: Provides a cohesive perception of your body and your physical environment - Variations will cause higher / lower sensitivities to pain, proprioception, touch, sensations, spacial awareness, response to stimuli and senses.
Neurological disorders such as fibromyalgia
Emotion Recognition
Panic / Anxiety
Seizures / muscle spasms
Videos to Check Out

Tesitimony To Share with Kids

Think Differently Documentory
Are there any medical concerns with AS?
Is it an actual Diagnosis recognized by physicians?
Please know there is very valuable information and resources to be found on AS.
Our Strengths Stand Out
Positives you can expect from most Aspies:
are able to easily forgive others
are conscientious, reliable, dependable and honest
are enthusiastic and have a propensity for obsessive research, thus developing a broad and deep base of knowledge in subjects of interest
are free of prejudice
are intelligent and talented
are not inclined to lie to others
are not inclined to steal from others
are not likely to be bullies, con artists, or social manipulators
are persistent, and when they set their minds to something or make a promise, they can usually be trusted to follow through
are unlikely to launch unprovoked attacks, verbal or otherwise
are untainted by the judgments that people often make regarding one another's social position or social skills
are very accepting of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of others
bring a highly original perspective to problem solving
can be selective, choosing honest, genuine, dependable people
can bring up a variety of interesting facts
can listen to people’s problems and provide a fresh perspective
can recall fine details that others miss
can relax and be themselves without fearing social censure
don’t attack the reputations of those around them
don’t discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, age, or any other surface criteria
don’t force others to live up to demanding social expectations
don't have hidden agendas
don’t play head games
don’t take advantage of other’s weaknesses
don't usually recognize hierarchies, and so are unlikely to give someone superior status simply because that person is wealthy or has attained a high position in an organization
have a good work ethic
have a lot of passion when engaging in activities they like, which may translate into a talent for certain pursuits
have a tendency to adhere to routines
have above-average intelligence
have an acute sensitivity that supports creative talents
have exceptional memories
have extreme endurance
have high integrity
have no interest in harming others
have one or more highly developed talents
have values that aren't shaped by financial, social, or political influences
judge people based on their behavior – not the color of their skin or socioeconomic status
like to spend time alone and are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves
loathe small talk and trivialities, preferring instead to talk about significant things that will enhance their knowledge base
make very good employees if able to control their pace and work within either a solitary or socially supportive environment
pay attention to detail
stick to their positions, even in the face of intense social pressure
tend to become proficient in the technological media required for lucrative employment in the “information age”
tend to prefer individual sports to team sports, as there are no social demands and they can exercise complete control over the activity
will not go along with the crowd if they know that something is wrong
We are not less or better, just
We may have struggles and hardships to bear,
but being
is also really awesome!
And, knowing or being
an Aspie has it's perks. :]
The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome (41-44)

Dr. Tony Attwood (worldwide authority on Asperger's) stated: "Most of the major advances in science and art have been made by people with Asperger's, from Mozart to Einstein."

Modern culture is clearly being defined and influenced by our willingness to celebrate and learn from those who think and act differently — a clear sign that tolerance, accommodation, and understanding benefits all of us. But not only that, the rise of autistic culture shows how important it is to have alternative psychological modalities as a part of the cultural fabric. In an age when economic globalization and other factors threaten to homogenize human culture, it's good to know that different minds can still give rise to new ideas.

Genius often comes from finding a new perspective that no one else has taken. Leonardo da Vinci believed that to gain knowledge about the form of problems, you begin by learning how to restructure it in many different ways. He felt the first way he looked at a problem was too biased toward his usual way of seeing things. He would restructure his problem by looking at it from one perspective and move to another perspective and still another. With each move, his understanding would deepen and he would begin to understand the essence of the problem. Einstein's theory of relativity is, in essence, a description of the interaction between different perspectives. Freud's analytical methods were designed to find details that did not fit with traditional perspectives in order to find a completely new point of view.

The hazards of imitative competition may partially explain why individuals with an Asperger's-like social ineptitude seem to be at an advantage........ If you're less sensitive to social cues, then you're less likely to do the same thing as everyone else around you. Rather than taking autism, dyslexia, and other psychological profiles as pathologies that needed to be cured, neurodiversity considers them to be different modes of intelligence. So instead of being a liability, something like Asperger's could be an asset.

In certain contexts, it's neurotypical people who are at a disadvantage.
There are many famous and successful people who either have been diagnosed, believed by Asperger's researchers to have had, or until passing had kept their diagnosis a secret.

Some are "higher functioning" than others, but all managed to overcome obstacles associated with this neurological impairment. Some have even given credit to certain aspects of Asperger's syndrome as being integral to their success.
Jane Austen, Mozart, Marilyn Monroe, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Schulz, Jim Henson, Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Alfred Hitchcock, James Taylor, Mark Twain, Vincent Vangogh, Andy Warholl
Neurodiversity is a biological fact. It’s not a perspective, an approach,
a belief, a political position, or social activist movement.

The idea that there is one “normal” or “healthy” type of brain or mind,
or one “right” style of neurocognitive functioning, is a culturally
constructed fiction, no more valid (and no more conducive to a healthy
society or to the overall well-being of humanity) than the idea that
there is one “normal” or “right” ethnicity, gender, or culture.

The social dynamics that manifest in regard to neurodiversity are similar to the social dynamics that manifest in regard to other forms of human diversity (e.g., diversity of ethnicity, gender, or culture). These dynamics include the dynamics of social power inequalities, and also the dynamics by which diversity, when embraced, acts as a source of creative potential.

Society has forced this image of anyone that is not considered "neurotypical" as having something wrong with them and they need to be "fixed". Then create foundations, charities and "awareness" groups, so everyone sees this viewpoint only. They make money, spend money on "finding cures", then pat them selves on the back by befriending the not so "normal". They exploit instead of treat those who think differently as equals. We all have struggles, they are just different and some more than others. Yes, we should be helping one another cope with our struggles, but then focus on the strengths we all have to offer. That's what the time and money should be spent on is learning from those who think differently not trying to make them feel less and broken.

We are losing out on extremely valuable new ideas from people
who are made to feel they need to change theirs.
Asperger’s or Narcissistic
Thought this needed to be addressed, since I see so many misconceptions of these two going hand in hand. Don't be fooled by a master manipulator posing they care to cover up a cold and rigid heart with someone who deeply cares and just has a hard time processing and showing how they care.

INTENT - Not sensitive (An Aspie is not doing it intentionally) versus insensitive (A Narcissist is intentionally not sensitive). An Aspie will want to know why someone is hurt, but a Narcissist will find this to be a waist of time and something they could careless to "have to deal with". Some will even find pleasure in the fact they know you have been hurt and may even find it entertaining.

SEEKING ANSWERS - Wanting and seeking truth without coming to conclusions based solely on personal opinion and perception describes an Aspie to a "T". A Narcissist could care less about this because they are always right and feel no reason for explanation. They have a "I don't need to explain myself to anyone mentality, but an Aspie can't wait to share their findings and is excited with truth.

REMORSE - When an Aspie has had a meltdown or sensory overload, they may encounter a casualty or two. After this passes, the wake left in their path makes them feel awful and they want peace and understanding even if they don't understand fully why someone is mad or sad; since they meant nothing personal, they were just frustrated. A classic Narcissist gives no thought to who endured their rage and actually thinks that person has problems or is crazy for being mad or sad. It enrages them even more to be questioned or have to deal with a finger being pointed at them (which is all they see) because again they are never wrong or at fault no matter what.

SELF-ABSORBED & ATTENTION - Yes, Aspies love to focus on what THEY like to the point of obsession. But it really is just because it has caught their eye and makes them personally happy. If they don't like the same thing as you, don't take it to heart, they don't like being fake (which is a good thing). They also don't care if it's something that will bring them attention or praise. These things are not important. Aspies do not need approval of others, so they do not exaggerate their achievements or try to inflate their ego. A Narcissist however will set their focus on whatever will bring themselves more attention and praise from others. This really is the core of what they choose to like. They may even walk away from something that is not bringing these types of results.

GOING OUT & BEING SEEN - Aspies also like to be left alone and may say no allot to social outings. It's just too much sometimes for them and they know it will exhaust them. A Narcissist chooses as to who is there and where it is at. Then only participate if they feel it will make them look good or again gain attention. These would never be the reasoning an Aspie would use.

GIVING OF SELF - An Aspie also loves to help an give, but prefers to keep it to themselves. Attention and praise is uncomfortable and not a necessity. We don't need outward gratitude to feel self worth, just knowing we brought a smile to someone is worth more than gold. A Narcissist would feel any giving or help would be in vain if it wasn't seen by others. They feel they deserve and also expect to be admired for this. Doing something for another is going beyond their self-centered ways, so they better be recognized for being "so selfless". They will also use this to manipulate their persona or social status.
Acceptance AND Awareness
The most beautiful people I know are non-neurotypical and I couldn't imagine this world without them, which is what advocates are searching to attain in finding a "cure".

The thing is, there’s a world beyond our own and we can’t push our world onto other people. What someone wants for them self isn’t necessarily a reflection of what they want for you… or how they view you for that matter. One mother that wants the autism out of their grown, non verbal child doesn’t necessarily want the Asperger's out of a 12 year child that has a higher IQ than Einstein. Likewise, I’m sure most people with Autism/Aspergers that can fend for themselves would never want a parent to have to take care of their child forever.

We can't be so quick to judge or get defensive. A pursuit for a cure doesn't have to mean for every trait and/or challenge. Likewise. acceptance doesn't have to mean for every trait/challenge either. I think we should always seek to excel at being healthy both mentally and physically, but never compromise the beauty and need for neurodiversity.

There are so many advantages that we need to focus on, nurture and learn from. In the end, acceptance does not mean complacency and does not mean that we stop working to reach goals and make progress. Acceptance means being tolerant of neurodiversity but it should not be mutually exclusive of finding treatments and causes.

I firmly believe when we support and showcase "Awareness" that we need to include both the disadvantages and advantages. We need to start educating both sides and also researching both sides.

Non-neurotypicals open the eyes and hearts of society, teach tolerance and acceptance of diversity. They are also the first to point out the beauty in this world and to remind everyone to take time to fully appreciate it and each other.
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