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About gigaday

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  1. Chris Why on Earth were you trying to manufacture nitrogen trichloride? (Let alone chlorine.) Both are very toxic ... I just read that flour bleached with nitrogen trichloride gave dogs epileptic fits and that was discovered in 1947. Anyway, you obviously had a lot of curiosity as a youngster. I experimented a little with chemistry (nitrogen triiodide) and I was very interested in electronics (largely unsuccessfully due to lack of resources) and carpentry. I started a 10 year stint at boarding school aged 7 years. I had some "mates" at school from age 13 to 18 but holiday times were always spent without social contact besides my mother and brother - father was overseas. I hated all my school days ... Apart from alcoholism and pot smoking - now over 30 years ago; and workaholism, depression and irrational behaviour, I was reasonably "successful". But, I understand what you mean about being a fraud - even in computing there were things that I could do quite well and many others that were beyond me. Tony
  2. Well done for your singing, trekster. Sadly for me my singing is as bad as everyone told me - I do sing in a choir though. For me singing along with others is a lot easier than on my own, as I can follow along.
  3. Have you tried meditation or relaxation techniques? I overcame years of alcohol and drug abuse and I found 12-step fellowships provided companionship, but they are not for everyone. I found tai chi the easiest meditation because it gives something physical to focus on. Zen philosophy can also be very calming.
  4. How about using velvet? It might feel better on smooth lips rather than damaged ones.
  5. Chris Thanks for your recommendation on the John Elder Robison book. I finished it a few weeks back and have been meaning to say something. Some of his behaviour to his brother was alarming, the way he bullied him. And his stunt with the mannequin was extreme. I was intrigued at his hypothesis that he was a savant in the way he could _hear_ what electrical circuits sounded like by looking at the circuit diagrams, but is suppose that is no more amazing than others' savant abilities. He did well to find a channel for his abilities in auto-mobiles and he managed his social skills well. I am not at all a savant but I have some talents in problem solving, mechanical engineer and computing. I had quite a successful career in IT - not too remarkable but adequate to raise 3 sons in comfort. The things that bug me are the things that I can't do or find very hard to do - mainly to do with sport and physical activities. For example I would love to have been able to skate but on the occasions I tried I couldn't even stand up for a second. My family have ridiculed my singing for years and when I had dance lessons aged 18, the teacher told me that I was wasting my money after 3 sessions. Playing a musical instrument has always been an ambition and I still try to do this although I recognise that I do not have what people would call talent or aptitude.
  6. Try lip salve eg Chapstick to stop your lips having loose bits that you can pick at.
  7. Do you mean you want to work as a translator or an interpreter? I would think that you could find translation work without having to move away from your family. Failing that, you could use your language skills in other ways eg teaching, research .... People with language skills often make good computer people. too.
  8. Yes, there will be a lot more diagnosis going on and really no way of knowing if there is actually any increase in incidence. How does the 15 in 1000 figure (which is about 1 in 67) relate to the 1 in 42? Anyway, I guess that there is something that could be measured. Take a fully diagnosed sample and then give them all the tests - those not capable of doing the tests are likely the non-HFAs. Thanks Chris for the extra reading material. Tony
  9. Thanks, Chris, for giving us some pointers on reading matter. Just one last thing: if the 1/42 number relates to people who are mainly if not all HFA, the number of people who have debilitating autism must be quite small. Do we have any idea what this number might be? Tony
  10. Very likely. But the most important thing is whether you can cope now. How do you manage?
  11. Chris All very interesting. Now one might ask: what separates the HFAs from the others? At one time they were thought of separately. I wonder if there is any test or definition to differentiate, any line to cross? Autistic savants seem to straddle the line if there is one, with remarkable abilities in something specific but otherwise unable to cope. In my search for answers to my own dilemmas I looked into Neuro Linguistic Programming. Quite a bit of it is fraudulent mumbo-jumbo but there is also a lot of good stuff buried in it if one digs around a bit. One of the ideas that came out (long before it became mainstream and fashionable) was thinking of the brain (animal or human) in terms of computers. Instinct = firmware, memory = data storage, learning = programs, consciousness = central processing - etc. An interesting thing in NLP was that it raised the possibility of changing or implanting "programs"; again these days this isn't so ground breaking but the early 70s it was quite new. One of the most revolutionary ideas was that a person could be made to change their beliefs in just a few minutes by using external or internal persuasion techniques. I have some experience of doing this myself, but I digress. From a young age I held the idea that my brain had been “wired up wrong” or at least differently from other people's – this is reflected by the fact that I am quite good at a few things and totally inept at many things that most people can do fairly easily. Bringing this back to ASD, I have not yet done much reading but I wonder of anyone has any idea what is actually different in these people's brains – it has to come down to brains in the end. And how there might be a continuum of brain structures that results sometimes in specialisms and sometimes in non-functioning. Please pardon me if this is all common knowledge. I would like to know where to start looking for more information. Tony
  12. Chris The fact that people with ASD are included in the control is actually the way that I want it for my own personal quest. It may well distort the distribution curve if you want to look at NTs only but that doesn't bother me. The statistic of 1 in 42/49 males being on the spectrum is of the most interest. Did you say how the CDC arrived at this number? Also, pardon my ignorance, what is CDC? The next interesting thing to look at, for me, is the solid line curve in Fig 1. What accounts for the strange bit hanging out to the left? Is it people who are just weird but not ASD? Is it older subjects who have learned to behave in such a way that they can change their AQ score? Other reasons? Another question would be, at about what AQ score would we expect to stop seeing people who were HFA? The peak of the curve is at about AQ=38; we could imagine that this is the place where we would no longer expect to see HFAs – it's just a what if. Or maybe HFA doesn't relate to AQ score at all. I have just search the ARC document for “functioning” which has raised another interesting point: if a person is not “high-functioning” how did they get them to do the AQ test at all? Maybe it says somewhere. The real question that I am interested in finding an answer to is: “just how weird am I compared to the population at large?”. The “population at large” would include, say, only HFA people as other autistic people might not be generally “at large”. The 1 in 42/49 figure would include all the people under the solid curve not just those “at large” - greatly reducing my chances of meeting one in the street. Tony
  13. Chris I suspect that we are looking at this from different points of view. Yours being more scientific whereas I am accepting that the results of the AQ test are a good indication of what a full diagnosis would be - albeit approximate. If the line is drawn at 32, it doesn't have to be but that seems to be the figure that has been chosen, and I take the dotted curve, import it into GIMP and set up grid lines and then count the squares, I get 357 to the left of 32 and 8 to the right. (I didn't actually "count" them but that's about the numbers.) So, 357 divided by 8 = 44.62, which is very close to the 42 figure for the ratio you quote. This is quite satisfying because it indicates that the graph corresponds with the 1 in 42 figure. In other words, aren't the ones to the right of 32 going to be all ASD as predicted by the test? No-one ever said they were all NTs, just a random sample. In fact, I have probably just reverse engineered the 32 figure and this was how they came up with it in the first place. This would mean that my guess at 20 people in the room was wrong - I didn't count squares, just guessed. So I could be in a roomful of about 45 people not 20 and still be the odd man out - roughly speaking. Tony
  14. Chris I think I see what you mean. The two curves in Fig 1 really have nothing to do with each other and they should not really be on the same diagram, except that they illustrate that a hand picked sample of AS/HFA people score higher than the general population. It would have been interesting to take the random sample _and_then_ diagnose which of them would have been in the AS/HFA group without knowing what they had actually scored. However, I think that my points 1 and 2 are valid nevertheless, but not precise, because they each relate to only one of the curves. I'm an IT person who graduated as a mechanical engineer so I understand graphs better than I do mathematical statistics. Bayesian? Degrees of belief?? Tony
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