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Showing posts from November, 2007

Do Aspies Make Good Liars?

Don't ask me where I get these topics from (sigh). They usually come up because I read someone's comments about something in a forum and start applying them to myself to see if they fit. The answer is; Amongst People who don't know them very well - NO Amongst Friends - YES. Why is this? There are a lot of social cues that people use to determine whether or not someone is lying. These include; Eye Contact (which aspies have trouble doing) Certain "nervous" body gestures like clasping hands (which aspies do naturally) Differences in vocal tone (which aspies don't vary as much) Facial Tics or twitches (which aspies often have naturally) This means that when someone who doesn't know the aspie well is talking to them, they often interpret the aspie as lying even when they're telling the truth. Conversely, when someone who knows the aspie and their behavior very well is talking to them, they won't be able to use these things as clues. They know that

Asperger's and Depression - Part 4

Please note: This post has some deeper adult concepts in it and may be unsuitable for children. Continuing the discussion on depression (how depressing)... Difficulty reading other people's body language expressions and tone I think that I have already covered this one in other posts but I'll just go over a few important points to be sure. Conversation is a lot more than words. It includes hand gestures, body movements and facial expressions. It includes a variety of different vocal tones and it includes a lot of metaphors, colloquialisms, polite rephrasing and nonsense words and phrases. To interpret the full meaning of somebody's conversation you need to be able to read and process all of these cues at the same time. You also need to be able to understand how these cues inter-relate with each other. Aspies are well known for being very "single process" orientated in conversation. It seems that although we do take everything in, we are unable to process it all

Asperger's and Depression - Part 3

Continuing the discussion about how Asperger's traits can directly cause depression, I'll be working through the list from the end of my last post. Very good long Term Memory How can a having a good long-term memory be responsible for depression? The key to understanding this is to approach it from the point of view of an NT. Most of the time, it seems to me that detailed memories just aren't available for NTs without external assistance. By external assistance, I mean the use of video cameras or photo albums. In the movie One Hour Photo , Robin William's character says, while looking at birthday snaps, " Nobody takes a picture of something they want to forget ". I think that this is particularly relevant to the issue because it means that NT's tend only to remember the good things in any detail. The Aspie however, with their long term memory often has perfect recall of past events and conversations. They will spend hours analyzing a conversation that

Asperger's and Depression - Part 2

In my last post, I introduced the idea of depression in Asperger's, made a few lists and cited a little bit of research. My apologies if I became a bit clinical. To the people who have told me to keep this blog personal rather then following established research, I am listening. In this post, I will be explaining some of the entries in the lists of the previous post. Social Troubles related to fitting in. This should be fairly self explanatory. Despite the appearance of being loners, Aspies often suffer from loneliness. Their poor conversational skills often make it more difficult for them to make and keep friends and to have a social life in general. This leads to loneliness and loneliness leads to depression. Guilt or Regret over Past Actions There is some truth to the phrase "this is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you". When an Aspie is stirred to the point of outburst and/or meltdown, they can temporarily lose control. When this happens, invariably somet

Aspergers and Depression

Like all mental conditions which cause people to behave differently from the norm, Aspergers is associated with depression. Depression can be caused by a number of things including; Social troubles because you do not seem to fit in Guilt or regret over past actions/outburst/meltdowns Overwhelming feelings and thoughts Anxiety and Panic Attacks Miscommunications / Misunderstandings Fatigue or Tiredness due either to the condition that all to the treatment of the condition (eg: Ritalin) There is a lot of research into the depression and ADHD or ADD (a common condition which exists alongside Aspergers) About.Com Additude Mag Help for ADD There's not nearly as much information on depression from an Aspergers only standpoint. Recent research... (Tantam, D. (2000). Psychological disorder in adolescents and adults with Asperger syndrome. Autism) ...suggests that depression is common in individuals with Asperger syndrome with about 1 in 15 people with Asperger syndrome experiencing such s

Towards Success in Tertiary Study with Asperger's Syndrome

Accidentally found this while doing a search; The University of Melbourne and the Australian Catholic University have produced a very useful e-booklet called "Towards Success In Tertiary Study with Asperger's syndrome and other autistic spectrum disorders", which can be downloaded for free from .

The Aspie Meltdown - An Insiders Point of View - Part 2

Following directly on from part one, this entry will try to look at meltdowns in adults. How long do meltdowns usually last? Most meltdowns in children last between five and 15 minutes though I have heard of some lasting 45. The lower end of this range is probably due to the amount of energy that an Aspie expends on the meltdown itself. Older and stronger children would obviously be able to continue their meltdown behavior for a longer period than younger ones. How then, do meltdowns manifest themselves in adults who obviously are much stronger than children. This one is quite difficult for me to answer because any sense of time disappears during a meltdown. I believe however that I have not gone over the 45 minute mark. I am not sure whether meltdowns are sustainable over a longer period. The violent adult meltdown Although there is some suggestion that the violent adult meltdown could lead to mass murderous tendencies ( Port Arthur Massacre - Australia 1996 ), there is much to s

The Aspie Meltdown - An Insiders Point of View - Part 1

What is a Meltdown? A meltdown is a condition where the Aspie temporarily loses control due to emotional responses to environmental factors. It generally appears that the aspie has lost control over a single and specific issue however this is very rarely the case. Usually, the problem is the cumulation of a number of irritations which could span a fairly long period of time, particularly given the strong long-term memory facilities of the aspie. Why the Problems Seem Hidden Aspies don't tend to give a lot of clues that they are very irritated; their facial expressions very often will not convey the irritation their vocal tones will often remain flat even when they are fairly annoyed. Some things which annoy aspies would not be considered annoying to neurotypicals. This makes NT's less likely to pick up on a potential problem. Often Aspie grievances are aired as part of their normal conversation and may even be interpreted by NTs as part of their standard whinge. What happens

Aspie Barriers to Social Interaction

Social interaction is very difficult for people with aspergers for a number of reasons including; Difficulty Achieving and Maintaining Eye Contact Difficulty reading body-language and tone Problems using non-verbal gestures and tone Intrusions from the Special Interest (Disinterest in other topics) Difficulty keeping away from Detail Short Term Memory Issues Language Issues I've already covered eye contact in earlier posts, so I won't cover it again here. Body Language and Tone I don't think that the aspie has any trouble determining when someone is annoyed. That sort of body language and tone is usually strong enough. Most of the time, the problematic body language seems to come from humor or generalizations. For example; I have terrible problems when someone insults me with a smile on their face. I'm never sure if it's a genuine insult or "just mucking around". If I assume it's a genuine insult and retaliate, I could start a fight. If I assume t