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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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baddad

Trying to promote more positive perspectives on autism...

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baddad   

I suspect at some point my son will, like most people, have relationships and that, like most people, he will experience the pain/sadness of relationships breaking down. Should I tell him 'oh, that'll be your fault, then, because you're autistic'? Is it unrealistic of me to imagine a scenario where any sort of 'blame' or joint responsibility for the breakdown of a relationship might lie with the other party, purely on the basis that my son is autistic and the partner may not be? Would that be 'supporting' him?

 

I suspect at some point my son's life will be hard/disappointing, and that at times he will screw up. Should I tell him, 'oh, those screw ups, those hardships, those disappointments will be your fault, because you are autistic?' Should I assume, and let him assume, that in any scenario where communication breaks down between him and other people it must be his fault, because he isn't neurotypical? Would that be supporting him?

 

Should I sell him the lie that neurotypical people's lives are full of happy marriages and perfect relationships, that they never encounter any hardships or disappointments, that they never screw up (unless by being unfortunate enough to realise after many years in a relationship/marriage/whatever that they somehow managed to overlook the symptoms of undiagnosed autism in their partners?), never feel anxious or depressed, never suffer? Should I foster the belief in him that those things only happen to autistic people, and happen as a direct result of the 'disease' infecting them? Could DAN be right after all? Would that be supporting him?

 

Alternatively, should I wrap him in cotton-wool? Provide him with an artifical world where his autism negates all self-responsibility whatsoever? Where he is exempt from the usual rules and expectations? Where anything he does that negatively impacts on the wellbeing of others is written off as a 'symptom' of his autism and something over which he has no control? Where it's always 'their' not his fault? Would that be supporting him?

 

Sorry... just thinking out loud, 'cos I'm getting a bit confused about what 'support' might mean... Seems to me that while most would generally agree that none of the above are 'good' perspectives on autism they are the ones that when getting down to specifics seem to be the most widely endorsed and attract the most sympathetic responses. Is that what support means? :unsure:

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hi

 

and welcome.

 

I would say nither. I am 31 have AS and the best thing for me has been meeting others who have AS at Autscape, having support from my family but also realising what is possible. he should grow up knowing he has autism and as he grows gaining a deeper understanding in relation to his changing level of ability and needs what this means and to meet others like him his age and older.

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Mumble   

Alternatively, should I wrap him in cotton-wool?

Nah - he'd probably have a sensory reaction to it which would cause an uncontrollable (and totally 'understandable') anger outburst... :whistle:

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Hi BD - you know the answers are no. And you also know the general direction of the alternatives too. I know you want to enable him, to teach him that he has a responsibility, to show him his role in things and how that effects what others people do, and that he shouldn't just resort to blaming autism for anything negative.

 

But surely what goes hand in hand with this is teaching him how to understand himself to work with/around any issues that can be worked with/around.

 

I struggle to know what support means in my own circumstances cuz I've got other things going on - but I can say that none of the things you listed would help me. But conversely I cannot say what would help me, I started with confusion, then increasing knowledge - but then what? What if someone doesn't have someone like you? Too many other people I know are very happy (maybe not the right word) to go along with the things you outlined in your post. And they are not helping me at all.

 

But you can define "helping" as different things can't you? Some people might find it easier to believe the things you said cuz then it might feel easier? The things you said lets people put everything in a nice neat little box and clearly states a disorder rather than any personal responsibility...

 

To be frank, the people around me don't have a clue and neither do I. I am currently resorting to things people suggest for helping their children because there is little help for adults - so although absolutely demeaning and torturous, I am forging ahead with child like reward charts and structures (tailored to my own requirements) in order to try and put in place the place some of the things I should/could have learnt when I was a kid. Now all I can say is this is very very difficult and on top of that I don't have a clue what I should be doing.

 

But myself, I don't feel enabled by having responses such as the ones you have listed - but nobody can tell me the alternative in such clear detail as your negative details, and in one clear list like you just wrote...

 

Darkshine

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Mumble   

child like reward charts and structures

Just wanted to say that I have these. If they harm no-one and enable you to get done what needs to be done, then I don't see the problem with them. :first::)

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Sorry... just thinking out loud, 'cos I'm getting a bit confused about what 'support' might mean... Seems to me that while most would generally agree that none of the above are 'good' perspectives on autism they are the ones that when getting down to specifics seem to be the most widely endorsed and attract the most sympathetic responses. Is that what support means? :unsure:

 

Hi baddad. Your son is fortunate to have such a caring and concerned dad. Clearly you want to help him become as self-sufficient as possible so that he can have a productive and happy life when you are no longer around to support him.

 

If I were to look back at my own younger days, what kind of support would I have liked from a parent? Well, I would definitely have wanted to know that I had Aspergers' and to have been told exactly what that meant in terms of symptoms for me. Then, I would have wanted to be told and shown that the condition need not limit my life in any meaningful way.

 

So instead of growing up thinking I was some sort of social freak, I would have known that because my mind worked differently to those of most other people, they might be put off by my manner, my demeanour, my way of expressing myself, etc., etc. In other words, it was not because I was repulsive or stupid that people steered clear of me, but due to a medically-recognised condition that can be treated.

 

This would have been so helpful and prevented many years of mental anguish.

 

So I would guess that you are preparing your son very well for life. Would that others of a previous generation were so lucky. :tearful:

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sesley   

Be positive and be supportive,offer advise when he needs/ask for it. The truth is most relationships are all different,it all depends on indivdual interests and how they click together or not. obviously advise on whats appropriate behaviour and what is not,like when its ok to kiss and touch and where touch can go. Mine is 11 and will begin puberty very soon.He is fasinated by my boobies and i have to tell him to leave me alone and not touch anyone else either. In big school my elder son says someone asked him if he was a virgin? My poor P did not undertand what was said to him. His social mind is about 8/9 now, so any sexual comments or inuendo goes right over his head.When he is older hopefully he will learn how to develop human relationships.

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Tally   

No, obviously.

 

But autism does create additional communication problems which can contribute to the breakdown of friendships and relationships. It would also be wrong to go too far the other way if your son was upset by something like this and tell him the autism had no impact whatsoever and it just happened because he must be a really unlikeable person. Sometimes autism can lead to a person making a mistake and it's much better to have the opportunity to learn from mistakes, than to have someone smack you round the head with them.

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baddad   

No, obviously.

 

But autism does create additional communication problems which can contribute to the breakdown of friendships and relationships. It would also be wrong to go too far the other way if your son was upset by something like this and tell him the autism had no impact whatsoever and it just happened because he must be a really unlikeable person. Sometimes autism can lead to a person making a mistake and it's much better to have the opportunity to learn from mistakes, than to have someone smack you round the head with them.

 

Yes tally, totally agree... No headsmacking here, I can assure you, and no self-esteem issues to date from wandering too far from the middle ground either way :D He's very likeable too :D Of course autism causes communication problems - it's a communication disorder, after all! - but whatever the effects for any individual they will be part of that individual's reality, and they really need to be helped to a position from where the can see the wood and the trees. And autism isn't the only explanation for communication problems, 'cos if it was, as i'm very fond of saying in one way or another, the world would be filled with blissfully happily NT's all communicating perfectly, never upsetting one another, and never projecting 'blame' for all their problems on to everyone or everything else.

 

L&P

 

BD

Edited by baddad

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Just wanted to say that I have these. If they harm no-one and enable you to get done what needs to be done, then I don't see the problem with them. :first::)

It's mainly cuz I have to hide them cuz if people see they ridicule me and that makes me feel like I'm lesser than them :(

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Yes tally, totally agree... No headsmacking here, I can assure you, and no self-esteem issues to date from wandering too far from the middle ground either way :D He's very likeable too :D Of course autism causes communication problems - it's a communication disorder, after all! - but whatever the effects for any individual they will be part of that individual's reality, and they really need to be helped to a position from where the can see the wood and the trees. And autism isn't the only explanation for communication problems, 'cos if it was, as i'm very fond of saying in one way or another, the world would be filled with blissfully happily NT's all communicating perfectly, never upsetting one another, and never projecting 'blame' for all their problems on to everyone or everything else.

 

L&P

 

BD

So didn't the rest of us say the right things then? :blink:

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Sally44   

I think that you already have a good relationship with your son.

What you could do is just be a bit proactive in asking him questions because he may not ask them himself, or even consider certain things. Just by that dialogue he will be learning stuff eg. if he is going on a date ask him "where are you thinking of going/doing", then ask him "does xxxxx like that kind of thing." If he says he does not know, then you have a discussion about talking about what you both like to do, and about both sides sometimes going and doing something their partner likes, even if they are not very interested in it etc.

 

At this stage you really don't know WHAT kind of relationship he may be heading for eg. my own older sister is independently living and working, but has never had a relationship. She did meet up with someone once (via a community centre thing run by Social Services). Somehow this chap managed to get himself into this circle and the family later found out he had done time at Rampton for violent sexual offences! So you do need to keep a close eye on their circle of acquaintences.

 

We had a meeting of our local NAS group some months ago, and someone from SS came to talk to us about how they were finding that many teenagers/adults with ASD were coming onto their register because they had been groomed by other adults who were using them because they were naive and usually wanted desperately to have some friends and often did not even recognise that they were being taken advantage of.

 

No, I don't think being on the spectrum is something that can be blamed for every relationship failure. Those in the relationship were attracted to the person with an ASD, which could even be part of their ASD behaviour. And you don't know if your son may meet up with a girl who has got some disability herself and that too would need to be factored in.

 

I also think that when someone is on the spectrum, although they should try to help themselves by learning social skills etc, that it should not be the sole burden on them to try to change themselves. We are who we are. If he went into a relationship and his partner were forever trying to get him to improve his areas of difficulty I would begin to question their motives. People should respect eachother, and to a large extent accept them as they are.

 

To respect other people, you also need to respect yourself and to be happy with yourself.

 

I think the kind of support you would be offering is just being there to talk things through and plan things through with him. He should never feel apologetic or second class for being on the spectrum.

 

I think most girls would be more worried about meeting you as prospective father in law. :lol:

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cmuir   

Everyone (NTs and people with ASDs) will experience varying degrees of hardship, disappointment, upset, etc etc throughout the course of the lives whether it be related to work, relationships, etc etc. I wish there were a manual to assist parents bringing up ASDs kids about about to go into adulthood, but there isn't. I think all you can do is guide and advise, be there when you need to (and let your son know that) and back off when you need to – it is confusing and knowing how much or how little parent intervention is a difficult one to gauge. Sometimes, I've made the mistake of looking too far ahead and become bogged down and depressed by it all. I think it's important to discuss. identify, and address issues which may arise from having an ASD - outlook has a lot to do with it, but it is a disorder and there are positives, but it poses obvious difficulties/issues, particularly when it comes to social interaction, relationships, etc.

 

Best wishes

 

C

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If this thread is about promoting positive perspectives on autism - how come there aint no description of this positive perspective? I already asked this by the way at the end of my reply to this thread (#4). . .

 

I'm not saying everything has been negative - it hasn't - but loads of people have rattled on about negatives in other threads on this forum - as you have pointed out Baddad - but nobody seems to produce such eloquent and understandable chunks of text to do the opposite.

 

In my constant effort to keep an open mind - I would be very interested to see this - and not to just pull it apart - although the negative gets pulled apart so positives should also be allowed to be put under that same scrutiny/degree of questioning - just saying that the reason I'm saying isn't because I want to pull such a response apart but because I'd actually like to see it in the same way as the negative is so fluently presented - partly to see if it's even possible - and in order to see what a positive perspective on autism even looks like.

 

And also cuz the thread title suggests this should happen too

 

Regards

 

Darkshine

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Suze   

hi im Jack.

 

im autistic. personally i dont think you can use autism as an excuse for anything, be it getting you out of trouble at school or as an excuse to get your way (or though i admit i did use if as an excuse to get out of trouble at school) its just a gift that we were born with and we learn to live with through life. so dont complain about it because because you cant do anything about it!!!!!!!!!!! :crying: and its not like its all bad because not everyone has a strange obsession at the age of 16 with tractors (like me) or like another very special person i know an obsession with pokemon (really strange. these obsessions also give us "special" people focus and determination to do things in life, like for example next week i start at reaseheath agricultural collage doing a course in agricultural and land based technology or "fixing tractors" as i like to call it!!! and just finally it is certainly not an excuse to live on disability benefits, my theory on this subject is that if you can use a forum (which this just happens to be) or you can use a computer, your fit enough to go out and work and not just sit inside all day and moan about something you cant change!!!!! :o

 

 

 

 

.............er this is my son ...and I agree with him ..I think :D

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Hi Jack (and Suze) :)

 

Your reply definitely comes across as having a positive attitude :D

 

I think sometimes people (myself included) find it all too easy to sit and moan about the negatives in life - and about autism specifically.

 

To be honest I almost put a "PS" on my last reply - it was gonna say this - "I can think of positives about AS but not about promoting a positive slant on autism itself as a wider topic"

 

I like your positives though - they sound really cool - and they are exactly the kinds of things I was thinking (although with different examples cuz I don't have a tractor obsession - I've always wanted to learn about mechanics of engines though and am looking into ways I can do this) :unsure:

 

I knew someone when I was 16 who was totally obsessed with tractors - he was a lovely lad - maybe an agricultural interest is a sign of really cool people :thumbs:

 

Best

 

Darkshine

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baddad   

If this thread is about promoting positive perspectives on autism - how come there aint no description of this positive perspective? I already asked this by the way at the end of my reply to this thread (#4). . .

 

I'm not saying everything has been negative - it hasn't - but loads of people have rattled on about negatives in other threads on this forum - as you have pointed out Baddad - but nobody seems to produce such eloquent and understandable chunks of text to do the opposite.

 

In my constant effort to keep an open mind - I would be very interested to see this - and not to just pull it apart - although the negative gets pulled apart so positives should also be allowed to be put under that same scrutiny/degree of questioning - just saying that the reason I'm saying isn't because I want to pull such a response apart but because I'd actually like to see it in the same way as the negative is so fluently presented - partly to see if it's even possible - and in order to see what a positive perspective on autism even looks like.

 

And also cuz the thread title suggests this should happen too

 

Regards

 

Darkshine

 

Hi darkshine -

The thread was more intended as a rhetorical/ironic observation on the kinds of responses to autism I feel are damaging, presented (hopefully) in a way that no one could interpret personally or feel challenged by... the fact that it may have missed the target in that respect's fine, 'cos the discussion it has given rise to is interesting in its own right!

 

With regard to 'what are the positives of autism?' or 'what positives could we promote?' that is as individual and subjective as 'what are the negatives?'. For Suze's son Jack, he would identify 'focus and determination' (and thanks, Jack, to fessing up to the fact that you did sometimes use your dx to your advantage at school :thumbs: Parents take note :whistle:), but I'm sure there are many on the spectrum who would identify precisely the opposite (i.e. a tendency to be easily distracted and to lack motivation) as negative effects of their autism... if 'focus and determination' were definitive 'symptoms' of autism then the opposite couldn't also be true, and vice versa...

 

The same would be true for Mumble's sense of humour (which I thought she had mentioned as a positive in this thread but it must have been elsewhere?) or for, say, someone who felt their special connection/relationship with a specific artform (music, for example, being one I think many people could identify with) was intrinsically linked to their autism. For every autistic person citing them as 'positives' there would be other autistic people for whom those things wouldn't be relevant at all...

 

But... (and here's the point I was trying to make) ... there seems to be a huge difference between how people perceive positives in their lives in relation to autism and how people perceive negatives in their lives in relation to autism, with the negatives generally attracting the autism label while the positives, if they attract labels at all, are seen more as part of the 'whole' that would remain behind if autism could somehow be taken out of the equation...

 

Trying to put that another way, it would be like someone with bi-polar disorder labelling the 'downs' bi-polar without acknowledging that the 'highs' were part and parcel of the same thing.

 

Now, imagine someone saying 'with MY autism there are no 'highs', no good points, no positives...' How can they reach that conclusion without looking at all the other factors in their lives (mental health, self-esteem, background, financial security, etc etc) and eliminating them first? They don't - they just label all those things as 'symptoms' or implications of their autism, and make it the monster that's screwed up their lives, in the same way that non autistic people might blame their parents, or the bullies at school, or the wife/husband/boss as the root of all their unhappiness/underachievement/aggression/anger/fecklessness....... (that list could go on for ever, as could the list of people/things/circumstances on which they might project blame).

 

As for putting a 'positive slant' on autism itself as a wider topic, that's as difficult as putting a positive slant on 'neurotypicalism'. For most people, neurotypicals and autistics alike, life's pretty much a chicken run - short and full of sh!t. Additionally, a definition of what's 'positive' about being neurotypical in the western world would be completely different to one looking at the typical life of a neurotypical person in the third world...

 

Not in any way suggesting abject poverty as a 'leveller, but hand on heart, do you think people with HFA or Aspergers (diagnosed or undiagnosed) in the third world, could afford to have the some outlook and go through life projecting the same sorts of negatives onto their condition? I'd take a fairly confident bet there's not one child with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers or 'traits' living in the slums of Delhi who refuses to eat anything but chicken nuggits or yoggit, or who at six still won't walk unless they choose to and gets pushed everywhere in a supersized buggy.... and the reason for that won't be because 'every child is different' it will be, purely and simply, because those options will not be available to them, and faced with Hobson's choice and real consequences they will just get on with it, rather than - as Jack put it - sitting inside all day and moaning about something they can't change.

 

L&P

 

BD

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sesley   

really all human existence has negatives and positves and each person will have a different view on his or her life and people with autism are no different.Its being content with who and what you are or not.Your circumstances will all be different.The purpose for me to promote positivity in autism is because of the negative media response either the fear of mmr vaccines or people getting in to trouble with the law. The public perception generally of autism is one of Rainman or hacking into computers.We know from our experiences of either having a child with autism or people on here able to express their views from a personal point of view that all autism really is a human difference,like race or culture and for that human dignity is a human right,there should be no discrimination or abuse because of a human difference. People with autism deserve the same rights as humans for equal access to main stream life and thats not just being taught how to push a broom at Macdonalds,but being given the right skills through the right education to be able to function and have careers.

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baddad   

really all human existence has negatives and positves and each person will have a different view on his or her life and people with autism are no different.Its being content with who and what you are or not.Your circumstances will all be different.The purpose for me to promote positivity in autism is because of the negative media response either the fear of mmr vaccines or people getting in to trouble with the law. The public perception generally of autism is one of Rainman or hacking into computers.We know from our experiences of either having a child with autism or people on here able to express their views from a personal point of view that all autism really is a human difference,like race or culture and for that human dignity is a human right,there should be no discrimination or abuse because of a human difference. People with autism deserve the same rights as humans for equal access to main stream life and thats not just being taught how to push a broom at Macdonalds,but being given the right skills through the right education to be able to function and have careers.

 

Hi Sesley -

 

The first two paragraphs of your post I agree with totally. :thumbs:

 

With regard to media responses - well, that begs the question where the media gets it's 'models' from, and it is, and has been for many years now, a fundamental issue for the disability rights movement and the politics surrounding it. For decades (centuries?) the models fed to the media were of 'victims', of 'heroes struggling against the odds', of 'pitiful'people, and sometimes, particularly in terms of mental illness or psychological difference, of inherent 'wickedness' etc. These models have been promoted and endorsed by medical professionals, by well meaning charities and sponsors looking for donations, by 'philanthropists' who project their ideologies onto disabled people, by religious or ethnic custom and by the parents, carers and sometimes even disabled people themselves - the latter 'indoctrinated' by the sheer volume of negative imagery and the lowered expectations that have normalised those perceptions of self from the cradle onwards. Autism is almost unique as a disability in that rather than challenging those stereotypes there has, over the past decade or so, been major shifts to actively promote them, and a growing industry of interventionists, counsellors & snake oil peddlars (professional, dubiously qualified and blatantly ridiculous) both fueling and profiteering from that promotion. While I've no sympathy for the media in the wider sense, it is, with regard to autism, a case of 'don't shoot the messenger' coupled with a very real need to look at the sources of the message they're delivering...

 

I'll bypass MMR (done to death elsewhere, and really can only 'agree to differ'), but the next point you make regarding 'getting in trouble with the law' is another example of the same problem - how can you 'challenge' this perception when even autistic people themselves are quite happy to exploit the stereotype as a defence, and even autistic people who speak out against it are trampled in the stampede of do-gooder armchair experts ('hey, lets start, despite knowing beggar all about it or at best only one side of the story, a facebook petition... Who knows, maybe we'll even get some well known rock star to buy into it and donate the proceeds of a charidee record to it') who are happy to make uninformed assumptions of cause and effect regardless of how much evidence there might be to the contrary?

 

Moving from media to public perceptions of autism: I disagree. I think it's far more damaging/dangerous than that. I think, as someone quoted Emma Thompson as saying recently, there's much more the perception these days that we're a 'Nation of Autistics', or, more precisely a (western) world of autistics, that we are 'all on the spectrum somewhere'. It's this perception that, IMO, has provided a culture where being a 'bit' autistic or having 'mild' Asperger's, or having some 'traits' becomes (consciously or unconsciously) attractive and desirable, where being a bit 'different' negates the need to apologise for or try to improve any negatives while simultaneously implying some sort of artistic, academic or moral superiority. Of course, for anyone who can't actually demonstrate that artistic, academic or moral superiority the 'dx' also provides the perfect explanation for why they are under achievers*.

 

Again, I totally agree with you about human rights and that autism isn't just about teaching people to push a broom at McDonalds. That said, I think you're making a really unfair value judgement about people who push brooms at McDonalds, and are simultaneously overlooking the fact that for some autistic people that would be completely appropriate employment. Not all autistic people are potential computer programmers/whatever if they're given the right training. There is - just as with non-autistic people - an entire spectrum of ability, psychological and personal aptitude, opportunity etc, and leaving that completely aside there are probably many McDonald's broom pushers who are just as happy and fulfilled (or unhappy and unfulfilled) in their work as their are middle-management number crunchers or executive decision makers, regardless of the financial and social considerations those positions may seem to imply. As Dickens famously put it: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." .

 

It's a 'mud and stars' thing, you see, and only becomes problematic when people start projecting their own values onto somebody elses reality - which takes us pretty much back to the top where we start looking at media representations and where they get their models from! :lol:

 

 

L&P

 

BD

---------------------------------

*NB: that, of course, will be the reality for some autistic people. Problem is, what will be fact for some will more often be generalised as an assumption about all - the kind of unrealistic appropriation of disabling factors that occurs, IMO, across the autistic spectrum all the time.

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Hi darkshine -

The thread was more intended as a rhetorical/ironic observation on the kinds of responses to autism I feel are damaging, presented (hopefully) in a way that no one could interpret personally or feel challenged by... the fact that it may have missed the target in that respect's fine, 'cos the discussion it has given rise to is interesting in its own right!

Hi Baddad - thanks for getting back to me :thumbs: I sometimes worry people just think I'm being argumentative when I say/ask things - when all I'm really trying to do is learn.

 

I totally missed the fact it could be a rhetorical question - even though I did think your examples in the OP were (as I said - you know the answers are no) but even though those examples were rhetorical - I think the post title is importantly not rhetorical - and as you say - it has become interesting in it's own right.

 

There's 2 other threads I think that lead you here (in current terms - obviously there have been far more comments but I believe its the 2 threads "better late than never" and "to be or not to be .... Asperger's" that prompted you to start this one... That's where I think mumbles' humour example was btw (in one or the other) ;)

 

With regard to 'what are the positives of autism?' or 'what positives could we promote?' that is as individual and subjective as 'what are the negatives?'. For Suze's son Jack, he would identify 'focus and determination' (and thanks, Jack, to fessing up to the fact that you did sometimes use your dx to your advantage at school :thumbs: Parents take note :whistle:), but I'm sure there are many on the spectrum who would identify precisely the opposite (i.e. a tendency to be easily distracted and to lack motivation) as negative effects of their autism... if 'focus and determination' were definitive 'symptoms' of autism then the opposite couldn't also be true, and vice versa...

 

But... (and here's the point I was trying to make) ... there seems to be a huge difference between how people perceive positives in their lives in relation to autism and how people perceive negatives in their lives in relation to autism, with the negatives generally attracting the autism label while the positives, if they attract labels at all, are seen more as part of the 'whole' that would remain behind if autism could somehow be taken out of the equation...

And that's the exact reason that I couldn't write about positives - well not the exact reason - but a factor at least - I was worried that people would pull apart any positives like the negatives are pulled apart (even when I don't actually say that the negatives I'm discussing are due to autism, people assume that is what I mean). In a round about way this illustrates your point doesn't it?

 

Trying to put that another way, it would be like someone with bi-polar disorder labelling the 'downs' bi-polar without acknowledging that the 'highs' were part and parcel of the same thing.

 

Now, imagine someone saying 'with MY autism there are no 'highs', no good points, no positives...' How can they reach that conclusion without looking at all the other factors in their lives (mental health, self-esteem, background, financial security, etc etc) and eliminating them first? They don't - they just label all those things as 'symptoms' or implications of their autism, and make it the monster that's screwed up their lives, in the same way that non autistic people might blame their parents, or the bullies at school, or the wife/husband/boss as the root of all their unhappiness/underachievement/aggression/anger/fecklessness....... (that list could go on for ever, as could the list of people/things/circumstances on which they might project blame).

I can only answer for myself here - but the reason I may come across as only looking at negatives (at this point in time) is because it is the negatives (not of autism alone) that I am personally trying to deal with so that's trhe reason for my focus.

 

However, I am able to see what you are saying and I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I can see positives as part of the "whole" - but I admit - that since the negatives often get the response of "that isn't AS" I don't see the point of saying perceived positives in case I get the same response (and because I'm trying to deal with negatives specifically within my life as a whole).

 

I am starting to see what you are saying about blame - you said it in another post (one of the 2 I mentioned earlier - I think - about stubbing toes) - it seems weird to me - but I guess I also do this/have done this - the big difference about blame and how people use it though is this:

 

I am attempting to take responsibility for what is to do with me - at 17 I blamed my family, my school, my friends, my "peers" (or better termed bullies) - for making my life hell. BUT!!!!! At the same time I felt an immeasurable sense of guilt that it was me, that it was all my fault, that somehow I was just wrong.

 

Anyway, many years later I see better, I see that some things were because of others, but at the same time I was there too, so I obviously had a role to play (whether I realised it or not at the time - which I didn't). Now I try to step back and see more of the picture (which is very very difficult for me as I struggle to put myself in other people's shoes and see how they feel, I don't know how to imagine how people would feel, because I am not that person, so its very hard - that and the fact I can never see the whole picture either - which makes it even harder!!

 

But I guess people do easily lay blame elsewhere because maybe it is easier...

 

As for putting a 'positive slant' on autism itself as a wider topic, that's as difficult as putting a positive slant on 'neurotypicalism'. For most people, neurotypicals and autistics alike, life's pretty much a chicken run - short and full of sh!t. Additionally, a definition of what's 'positive' about being neurotypical in the western world would be completely different to one looking at the typical life of a neurotypical person in the third world...

And that's exactly why I asked :D - but technically - since there have been so eloquent lists of negatives - I figured that even if open to criticism - the same must be possible for positives - things like this are not even black and white I think.

 

I love how you get away with saying sh!t btw :lol:

 

Not in any way suggesting abject poverty as a 'leveller, but hand on heart, do you think people with HFA or Aspergers (diagnosed or undiagnosed) in the third world, could afford to have the some outlook and go through life projecting the same sorts of negatives onto their condition? I'd take a fairly confident bet there's not one child with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers or 'traits' living in the slums of Delhi who refuses to eat anything but chicken nuggits or yoggit, or who at six still won't walk unless they choose to and gets pushed everywhere in a supersized buggy.... and the reason for that won't be because 'every child is different' it will be, purely and simply, because those options will not be available to them, and faced with Hobson's choice and real consequences they will just get on with it, rather than - as Jack put it - sitting inside all day and moaning about something they can't change.

 

L&P

 

BD

I see this too - my courses point it out regulaly - that all the theory, research, knowledge - everything really - has all been influenced by the fact that the predominant research has been "in the West" and so is culturally grounded and not a whole world explanation.

 

I get angry at people who sit inside all day moaning about things they can't change - cuz most of the people I know who do that, are people with better abilities at certain things than me - there's someone I know - for 4 years I watched him and was so angry I could have exploded - in those 4 years he held down a job - intermittently - for about a year - the rest of the time, he sat on a laptop or xbox, smoking wacky baccy and doing nothing - didn't ring or see friends - didn't go out and socialise - didn't improve his mind by studying or learning things - didn't go to work - got everyone into debt because of it (including himself) - and I was fuming - the reason I was so blooming angry is because he could have so easily got off his 4rse and done those things when I couldn't (do them so easily that is) - he has no problems with socialising, no problems with going out, his mind is as able than mine, he can work.

 

And the thing that made me angriest is that he was just being lazy and inconsiderate - everything comes so easy for him but he doesn't want it - meanwhile - everything comes so hard for me, everything seems like it's been a battle to get to the next stage of development, the next stge of ability, of life, of everything - everything is hard - and to sit there and watch him throw his life away - when the things he can do/have are so easy for him - when I would kill for those things - and he just didn't realise how insulting that was - and the worst thing is that all this was in my face the whole time cuz he's my housemate and still is - and all that time I'm struggling to learn to do the most basic things (like communicate, or know when I'm hungry or look after myself independantly) he throws it all away as worthless - when these things are worth the world to me.

 

Darkshine

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Surely the reason why posters on this board who have been diagnosed with HFA or Asperger's Syndrome as adults are more inclined to dwell on the negative aspects is because they have had many years of coping with a disability without any professional help or much understanding from close friends or relatives.

 

I would imagine that Baddad's son would be more likely to view his disability positively because he was diagnosed in childhood - with the resultant professional input - and a caring parent who gave him help and support.

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baddad   

Surely the reason why posters on this board who have been diagnosed with HFA or Asperger's Syndrome as adults are more inclined to dwell on the negative aspects is because they have had many years of coping with a disability without any professional help or much understanding from close friends or relatives.

 

I would imagine that Baddad's son would be more likely to view his disability positively because he was diagnosed in childhood - with the resultant professional input - and a caring parent who gave him help and support.

 

That's one view, but it's certainly not the only view... As the original poll on 'would you take a cure' mentioned in another post highlights, the general consensus among autistic adults (including many diagnosed as adults) a few years ago was generally a more positive one - certainly among the autistic adults I know off forum this is the case.

By the same token, there are many autistic children mentioned on this forum who take very negative views of their autism and project blame for all sorts of issues onto the dx, and they would have had the same potential for professional help, input and understanding from close friends and relatives etc that my son has had.

 

Having said that, my son doesn't necessarily have a 'positive' view of autism - he doesn't even think about it in those terms. He just is who he is and he doesn't even try to compartmentalise himself into the bits that are good or the bits that are bad and to then label them as either autistic or neurotypical. He gets frustrated sometimes about things he can't do as well as other kids his age and he does know that sometimes those things relate to his autism or his dyspraxia or his ADHD, but he also knows that like it or lump it that is his reality, and he doesn't look on the things he can't do as things that autism (or dyspraxia, or ADHD) has 'robbed' him of, any more than someone with, say, Phocomelia might look upon their condition as 'robbing' them of the ability to play volleyball. They just (probably) accept that volleyball isn't going to be a strength and do something else instead.

 

Of course, there are going to be times when he HATES aspects of his life and autism will undoubtedly sometimes be part of or implicated in that... promoting more positive perspectives on autism isn't necessarily about finding or looking for positives per se, it's more about not dwelling on the negatives in life and using autism as a convenient label for them or an excuse for not trying to overcome them. It would be, in the same way that is much more widely applied in all other areas of disability, the promotion of a life improving 'Can do' philosophy rather than a limiting, self-destructive and disabling 'Can't do' one that whether adopted by a child or a parent or an adult post dx will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

The biggest social barriers autistic people face are the same ones all other disabled people face: being judged, and devalued, as 'other'. The major difference between disabled people with (particularly 'HF' defintions of) autism and other disabled groups is that in general terms they are far more likely to be influenced to embrace those value judgements by those (professionals and carers alike) who are meant to be helping them, and/or to embrace them for themselves because the 'rewards' of so doing can far outweigh the negatives, psychological and practical, of not doing so.

 

L&P

 

BD

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cmuir   

Hi

 

I think that those that have an ASD inevitably face difficulties (as we all do to varying degrees) throughout their lives which are related to the disorder, and issues which are not (it can be difficult to separate). I think all one can do with e.g. a child/teenager, is be as open, honest, realistic and as unbiased as possible about both the negative and positive aspects of ASDs. My son is nearly 10 and there are times when he says he hates having AS, but I think he largely accepts that it's part and parcel of who he is. I've tried to explain that yes he may find X, Y and Z difficult, but issues are not insurmountable. I think a positive outlook is key, but as a parent, fully accept that it can be very difficult at times.

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It's been my experience that with a 'hidden' disability it's a help and a comfort to discuss it with someone else who suffers from it. To anyone listening it might very much sound like a negative take on the subject - a kind of lengthy moan of the 'ain't it awful' variety - but afterwards I always feel much more positive.

 

I get the same effect when interacting on this board because it's a relief to find one is not alone out there and interesting to discover how others deal with similar issues - so I sign off feeling positive rather than negative.

 

What doesn't help is to read posts alleging that many adults being diagnosed are not truly on the spectrum; they have been placed in that category due to (according to the poster) the wrongful widening of the parameters relating to autism and/or faulty or careless diagnosis. Also, suggestions that if they are asked by their employers whether there is anything the employer can be put in place to make certain aspects of the job less stressful they should refuse since (a) they've managed to cope to date and (B) it may make it harder for young people somewhere on the spectrum to get work. However carefully posts like this are written the effect, to me, is like a slap in the face to the poster being addressed.

 

I can see that on a board relating to all aspects of Aspergers and ASD people will have different issues. There will be parents with severely autistic children and others with those diagnosed as HFA/Aspergers and parents themselves may or may not be on the spectrum. There will also be people like me who were diagnosed as adults and naturally our concerns will be different but there are surely sufficient categories and threads for us all to post freely without treading on each others toes.

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baddad   

What doesn't help is to read posts alleging that many adults being diagnosed are not truly on the spectrum; they have been placed in that category due to (according to the poster) the wrongful widening of the parameters relating to autism and/or faulty or careless diagnosis. Also, suggestions that if they are asked by their employers whether there is anything the employer can be put in place to make certain aspects of the job less stressful they should refuse since (a) they've managed to cope to date and (B) it may make it harder for young people somewhere on the spectrum to get work. However carefully posts like this are written the effect, to me, is like a slap in the face to the poster being addressed.

 

Hi indiscreet. While fully acknowledging that no matter how carefully written posts like these feel, to you, like a slap in the face, that doesn't in any way diminish my concern that the widening defintions of autism (fact) and the increasing incidence of casual diagnosis (fact - given that I hear and read more and more regularly of people being diagnosed by phone, by one-off ten or fifteen minute interviews, by their wives/husbands/partners, by unqualified nursery or school staff, by facebook apps, by themselves etc etc etc)is already - and over time will undoubtedly increasingly - have an effect on the way autistic people are perceived and responded to across the board. Those are not unrealistic or fictional concerns - we have seen exactly the same dynamics at work in recent years in terms of things like ADHD and Dyslexia, and even with regard to something like wheat intolerance, which has seen the very real medical problems of coeliacs etc reduced to the level of joke material about women farting (some good jokes, though!).

 

There will also be people like me who were diagnosed as adults and naturally our concerns will be different but there are surely sufficient categories and threads for us all to post freely without treading on each others toes.

 

I agree - so why do you feel it necessary to continually 'tread on the toes' of those expressing what is undoubtedly a minority (but perfectly valid and reasonable) opinion rather than promoting the ideal you have just proposed that people should be allowed to 'speak freely'? Why, in fact, have you just chosen to bring the very topic that you feel is a 'slap in the face' into a thread that (I think - I'm not going to look therough every post to check) hadn't even mentioned prior to this point?

 

Seems to me, that what you mean with the statement above about 'not treading on others toes' is that you would prefer certain opinions, however carefully worded, to be silenced, and that's not really got anyhting to do with free speech at all, has it? :unsure:

 

I am sorry you, and others, may feel 'challenged' by what I say, but that's not really my problem. As long as what IMO are fairly casual methods of diagnosis are on the increase I am going to remain 'challenged' by the knock-on effect that has for the wider autistic community, and the more the criteria is widened to include non-disabled people the more i am going to be 'challenged' by the knock on implication that genuinely disabled people are more likely to be overlooked in terms of benefits, services and support...

 

L&P

 

BD

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As long as what IMO are fairly casual methods of diagnosis are on the increase I am going to remain 'challenged' by the knock-on effect that has for the wider autistic community, and the more the criteria is widened to include non-disabled people the more i am going to be 'challenged' by the knock on implication that genuinely disabled people are more likely to be overlooked in terms of benefits, services and support...

Hi baddad,

 

Like indiscreet I find this forum really helpful since I came across it. I have gone from feeling utterly alone and confused about my past difficulties to gaining a sense of shared experiences with other adult AS people.

 

Of course, the forum is host to a wide range of opinions and no one could possibly agree with everything posted. However, the point you make about 'casual methods of diagnosis' causing 'genuinely disabled people' to be overlooked is not a matter of opinion. Either what you claim is true or it isn't. So if you have evidence to support your assertions please share it here.

 

Otherwise try to understand that what you write about adult Asperger's is tantamount to a rejection of some of us who see the forum as something of a refuge. :(

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baddad   

Hi baddad,

 

Like indiscreet I find this forum really helpful since I came across it. I have gone from feeling utterly alone and confused about my past difficulties to gaining a sense of shared experiences with other adult AS people.

 

Of course, the forum is host to a wide range of opinions and no one could possibly agree with everything posted. However, the point you make about 'casual methods of diagnosis' causing 'genuinely disabled people' to be overlooked is not a matter of opinion. Either what you claim is true or it isn't. So if you have evidence to support your assertions please share it here.

 

Otherwise try to understand that what you write about adult Asperger's is tantamount to a rejection of some of us who see the forum as something of a refuge. :(

 

Sorry, little plum - I don't have to answer to you or anyone else for my opinions (which of course, my opinions ARE), no more than you have to answer to me! :wacko: if you want to see some of the evidence of casual diagnosis I have seen just look through the boards... there's plenty of it - wives diagnosing husbands, boyfriends diagnosing girlfriends etc, and if you look more deeply posts where people have openly said they've been diagnosed via phonecalls, thirty minute one off consuiltations etc etc. If you can't be bothered, that's fine, but don't ask me to do it for you! Now taking that one stage further, while there is yet no research to prove the implications of casual diagnosis (and that's unlikely to happen when the people doing it are effectively allowed to 'self monitor') there are many precedents, as I've already stated and offered examples of. I would add to those examples above the quite recent decisions by most LA SS departments to remove 'Aspergers' from their case files as it is no longer seen as a disability, again, widely discussed on these forums and elsewhere!

 

If individuals feel challenged by the assertions I make or 'rejected', perhaps they need to ask themselves why they feel so sensitive about their diagnosis, not me? I don't know them - I couldn't possibly tell them anything about their autism or the manner in which they diagnosed it for themselves or obtained a diagnosis elsewhere!

 

TBH I'd dearly love to see this situation exposed - to see a programme like Panorama investigating private dx with undercover filming etc., and looking into the factors contributing to what has been described time and time again, even by professionals, as an 'autism epidemic'. I'm sure they will at some point - in fact it amazes me it hasn't happened already - but that said, if they exposed a specific doctor for specific bad practice with a (or even some) specific clients, how many of that doctors previous clients do you think would then see it as a reason for questioning the validity of their own diagnosis? While I'm waiting for Panorama or whoever, I'll just have to do the other thing and accept that the anecdotal evidence of people openly posting on this and other forums etc detailing situations that can only be described as casual diagnosis at face value... I mean, what reason would they have to lie about it?

 

L&P

 

BD

Edited by baddad

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cmuir   

Hi Baddad

 

To some degree I share your concerns about how and by whom some individuals are 'diagnosed'. I think that there's a lot of ignorance about what ASDs are and how it affects individuals, etc and I feel that, for example, the way that NAS proactively backed and widely marketed Gary Mackinnon was wrong – I felt to the 'outside world' that it rather portrayed and generalised the disorder in the wrong way (much better to have educated people. Point is, I am concerned that people who have been diagnosed after thorough assessment by suitably qualified professionals may be stereotyped/tagged same as those whereby the diagnosis is questionable (e.g. in perhaps a minority of cases, have been diagnosis without thorough assessment). But (and it's a big 'but), there is always a starting point – i.e. some people go through life struggling and then suddenly wham/something registers, they read something (or a relative does) which describes them to a 'T' (remembering that in the cases of a lot of adults, the knowledge, expertise, etc simply wasn't out there X number of years ago). I did exactly that – I was at breaking point being written off as a stressed out first time mother that couldn't cope. Yet I knew with surety that something wasn't right. Not for a second suggesting that reading books, trolling the internet, etc suddenly made me an expert, but it gave me a starting point. This forum is a source of support and informaiton point for those who suspect thye or someone close to them may have an ASD. I would therefore hate to give those the impression that the absence of a diagnosis (NHS or private) invalidates their concerns, questions, etc etc), partciularly at a time when they're particularly desperate or vulnerable.

Edited by cmuir

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Tally   

Baddad, I can't say I've ever heard of someone being diagnosed via a phone call. I think you dreamed that one up :rolleyes:

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baddad   

Why not suggest it to the daily Mail?

 

Have to say I disagree with you on your views - nothing new there.

 

Ahhh... a 'daily mail reader' snipe. Who's gonna be the first to bring up Hitler or use the word 'Draconian?' :lol:

 

Disagree by all means, barefoot, but hopefully because you disagree with the conclusions not flatly deny the facts of massively increasing dx's, moved goalposts and/or the probable implications of those things.

 

One other thing I forgot to say in my last post: I don't think casual/over diagnosis etc is bad ONLY for the autistic community, I also think it has some pretty lousy implications for the people potentially misdiagnosed. For some it may be the perfect excuse or crutch they are looking for, because psychologically they need something to project all their fear, blame, anger, etc onto. It might indeed provide a 'crutch' - but it's anything but a healthy one, and while they're limping along on it their unlikely to find anything in the way of more positive 'support' or inspiration. Lots of them about, I think. Alternatively, if a case of misdiagnosis rather than simply a 'false positive' then all sorts of things could be overlooked, ranging from mental illness through to things like Munchausen or even abuse. I think increasingly that autism is becoming a bit of a 'catch'all' term in that sense, and once 'identified' creates a pretty impenetrable barrier to getting those things looked at properly, either in isolation or as co-morbids. Finally (not in any 'conclusive' sense - because there could be many many other dangers in misdiagnosis - but purely because I can't be bothered to list them), I think you have to look at that other ol' chestnut of how a diagnosis of autism is often responded to: lowered expectations, assumptions of victimhood, 'can't do' rather than 'can do' thinking.... oh, you know 'em all by now...

 

Now, rather than turning this into another thread that ends up with people lifting their skirts and running away screaming 'victim' hows about we try to get back to the positives?

 

I don't mind either way, really, but in all honesty it does get a bit tedious offering the same logic to people who, for whatever reason, don't want to acknowledge it. Thankfully, thid being a post I started and where I've only responded to questions people have asked me or posted for my attention NOBODY can possibly take any of this personally, so touch-wood this should only prove a minor diversion :)

 

L&P

 

BD

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baddad   

Baddad, I can't say I've ever heard of someone being diagnosed via a phone call. I think you dreamed that one up :rolleyes:

 

No, there's at least one on the forum, and I have heard it elsewhere too. The peeps involved did actually go for brief consultations following the call (I think?), but more to pick up the 'paperwork' than to actually discuss things further, because the actual decision was pretty much finalised on the call and the anecdotal evidence advised during it. As I said, I'm not going to trawl through all the posts to prove a point, because it would be, erm, pointless, as these things always are... If anyone else can remember the post(s) though they mnight want to say so(?). Believe me, Tally, any dreams I actually remember by morning are usually far more exciting than dreams about peeps being diagnosed with autism over the phone! :lol::rolleyes:

 

:D

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Now taking that one stage further, while there is yet no research to prove the implications of casual diagnosis (and that's unlikely to happen when the people doing it are effectively allowed to 'self monitor') there are many precedents, as I've already stated and offered examples of. I would add to those examples above the quite recent decisions by most LA SS departments to remove 'Aspergers' from their case files as it is no longer seen as a disability, again, widely discussed on these forums and elsewhere!

So if Asperger's does get removed from the DSM 5 - do those of us with that dx get re-diagnosed or re-labelled or are we magically "cured" or do all the problems just go away?

 

And interestingly do we then get kicked off the forum as imposters? :unsure:

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baddad   

Hi Baddad

 

To some degree I share your concerns about how and by whom some individuals are 'diagnosed'. I think that there's a lot of ignorance about what ASDs are and how it affects individuals, etc and I feel that, for example, the way that NAS proactively backed and widely marketed Gary Mackinnon was wrong – I felt to the 'outside world' that it rather portrayed and generalised the disorder in the wrong way (much better to have educated people. Point is, I am concerned that people who have been diagnosed after thorough assessment by suitably qualified professionals may be stereotyped/tagged same as those whereby the diagnosis is questionable (e.g. in perhaps a minority of cases, have been diagnosis without thorough assessment). But (and it's a big 'but), there is always a starting point – i.e. some people go through life struggling and then suddenly wham/something registers, they read something (or a relative does) which describes them to a 'T' (remembering that in the cases of a lot of adults, the knowledge, expertise, etc simply wasn't out there X number of years ago). I did exactly that – I was at breaking point being written off as a stressed out first time mother that couldn't cope. Yet I knew with surety that something wasn't right. Not for a second suggesting that reading books, trolling the internet, etc suddenly made me an expert, but it gave me a starting point. This forum is a source of support and informaiton point for those who suspect thye or someone close to them may have an ASD. I would therefore hate to give those the impression that the absence of a diagnosis (NHS or private) invalidates their concerns, questions, etc etc), partciularly at a time when they're particularly desperate or vulnerable.

 

 

Thank you, CMuir, for a coherent response rather than an emotional one. (And that is not, BTW, because you've 'agreed with me to a point'). FWIW I agree with you to a point too and totally accept that there will be many genuinely autistic people who 'identify' themselves or find the 'starting point' for that through trawling (not trolling, Hopefully! :lol: NB - I'm not having a pop at your spelling, BTW I think 'trolling' is a fishing term too, usually associated with ledgering or spinning - it's just more often used in internet terms to describe a very naughty type of forum behaviour) the net, reading books etc, and I think in that respect the more info that's out there the better...

But just like just about everything else on the internet, or in books, or in (etc etc) the way that information is viewed, used and interpreted is totally open-ended and the psychology (for want of a better word) of the reader viewing using and interpreting that information is a complete unknown quantity. And my major concern arising from that is that autism has been trivialised to the point of being something that armchair experts feel qualified to diagnose themselves - for themselves and sometimes for others - and written off with bland and dangerous assumptions that 'we're all on the spectrum somewhere' (a phrase, I believe, that actually started as a quote from a leading professional FGS!).

 

Like you, I would hate to think that the absence of a diagnosis invalidates concerns, questions etc, but I would also hate to think that the assumption of a diagnosis or a casually applied diagnosis (NHS or Private) was enough to undermine the necessity for accurate definitions and full, holistic assessment.

 

L&P

 

BD

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baddad   

So if Asperger's does get removed from the DSM 5 - do those of us with that dx get re-diagnosed or re-labelled or are we magically "cured" or do all the problems just go away?

 

And interestingly do we then get kicked off the forum as imposters? :unsure:

 

Having autism has never been a criteria for membership here!

 

Dunno what would happen to all the current aspies, but the plan, I think, is that there will be three 'grades' of autism, with 'mild' as the least, erm, troublesome. I suspect that most Aspies would fall into the 'mild' category (according to the new defintions) and so would most HFA's. Eventually the term 'mild' will become meaningless in real terms, despite the fact that the lovely new wide net they've created has actually caught lots of fish it shouldn't have, whose problems weren't mild in the 'High Functioning/Mild Aspergers' (no such things despite all the people now so labelled) sense of the word at all.

 

:D

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if you want to see some of the evidence of casual diagnosis I have seen just look through the boards... there's plenty of it - wives diagnosing husbands, boyfriends diagnosing girlfriends etc, and if you look more deeply posts where people have openly said they've been diagnosed via phonecalls, thirty minute one off consuiltations etc etc. If you can't be bothered, that's fine, but don't ask me to do it for you! Now taking that one stage further, while there is yet no research to prove the implications of casual diagnosis (and that's unlikely to happen when the people doing it are effectively allowed to 'self monitor') there are many precedents, as I've already stated and offered examples of.

 

In other words, you have no real evidence for your assertion that 'genuinely disabled people' are losing out somehow because of all these casual/false diagnoses.

 

Meanwhile I'll keep an eye out for possible Panorama reporters lurking in the bushes. :ph34r:

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baddad   

In other words, you have no real evidence for your assertion that 'genuinely disabled people' are losing out somehow because of all these casual/false diagnoses.

 

Meanwhile I'll keep an eye out for possible Panorama reporters lurking in the bushes. :ph34r:

 

No I don't, just logic and no personal psychological imperative to deny that logic. Most people would accept that the fact Asperger's used to be something SS saw as a disability and now isn't provided evidence of a negative impact on the wider Aspergers community as a direct result of widening definitions and a perceived 'status' shift as a direct result of those widening definitions....

 

Do you have any real evidence that 'genuinely disabled people' aren't being disenfranchised by casual/false diagnoses?

 

In wider terms, it's very much established that genuinely disabled people are losing out because of casual/false diagnoses of disability - you only have to look at statistics on disability benefit fraud, and the widely reported fact that cuts to eradicate fraud are also negatively impacting on those with genuine problems. Are you in some way suggesting that autism as a disability is somehow exempt? Got any proof of that? :rolleyes:

 

L&P

 

BD

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Having autism has never been a criteria for membership here!

I suppose I meant the ones who have Asperger's or think they have it :P

 

Dunno what would happen to all the current aspies, but the plan, I think, is that there will be three 'grades' of autism, with 'mild' as the least, erm, troublesome. I suspect that most Aspies would fall into the 'mild' category (according to the new defintions) and so would most HFA's. Eventually the term 'mild' will become meaningless in real terms, despite the fact that the lovely new wide net they've created has actually caught lots of fish it shouldn't have, whose problems weren't mild in the 'High Functioning/Mild Aspergers' (no such things despite all the people now so labelled) sense of the word at all.

 

:D

I find it all confusing - in terms of what to think (I haven't got enough detail to form a complete view) - also I have different levels of interest - I'm curious - but some things feel as though they effect me some way - I feel that it is very weird to be diagnosed with something that essentially won't exist - which is just confusing. And that's ignoring the use of the term "mild" which for some may not be mild at all but only comparatively when viewed beside severe.

 

So what would the other two "grades" be?

 

And finally, don't you think the new classification will just end up with the same results as the ones you think are happening now? Or more so?

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Suze   

So if Asperger's does get removed from the DSM 5 - do those of us with that dx get re-diagnosed or re-labelled or are we magically "cured" or do all the problems just go away?

 

And interestingly do we then get kicked off the forum as imposters? :unsure:

.............thankfully we should be alright I hope as my son was dx with the term, ASD/aspergers.....however if they remove it I guess that means hes cured...which will please him no end!!

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