Not all autistic issues with socializing have the same cause

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starkid
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29 May 2020, 8:39 pm

It seems like social problems for autistic people are all lumped together as "social deficits." That doesn't seem helpful because there are several very different possible reasons for "social deficits":

Person has auditory/visual processing problems and literally can't hear different tones of voice or has problems seeing gestures/body language.

Person is so self-absorbed that she just doesn't pay enough attention to other people to pick up on social nuances.

Person doesn't have the same social needs/wants as typical people, so the way other people socialize doesn't make sense, doesn't come "naturally," and does not motivate her to learn or practice socializing.

Person actually has Theory of Mind issues.

Person avoids looking at/listening to other people due to sensory sensitivities and doesn't learn to recognize body language/tone of voice.

Person has delayed development and is still at, for
example, the parallel play developmental level.

Person has issues with receptive language and misses social information that's communicated implicitly (instead of explicitly).

I think there really could be a breakthrough in understanding autism if people would differentiate between medical reasons (sensory processing issues and sensory sensitivities) and cognitive reasons (ToM, developmental level).



Borromeo
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29 May 2020, 9:16 pm

This is extremely well-thought and I appreciate how you bring up that not everyone has theory of mind issues. Another thing to add to the list-- not all the time can Aspies stay ready to interact socially (spoon theory) and that might have something to do.

Thank you so very much.


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IsabellaLinton
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29 May 2020, 10:13 pm

I agree that's a good list. I would add face blindness which seems to be quite common in the autistic community.

I don't even recognise people I've known for years.

Plus, there's the physical exhaustion of self-monitoring the entire time, not having the same interests, and being repelled by people's scented products, loud voices, or overwhelming venues (restaurants, parties, face-to-face coffee). I can't stand being sat across from anyone because of eye contact. I'd much rather be beside them. Oh, and if they want to hug and kiss me hello and goodbye, or they invade my personal space, I'm outta there.



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30 May 2020, 2:12 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I agree that's a good list. I would add face blindness which seems to be quite common in the autistic community.

I don't even recognise people I've known for years.


I wanted to add this, too. Forming connections is hard when you don't know who you're talking to and people tend to take huge offence when they're not recognized.



firemonkey
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30 May 2020, 5:08 am

I haven't got much of a clue what my issues with socialising are . I just know I've never been good at it .


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Edna3362
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30 May 2020, 6:00 pm

I think I supposed to have all the issues mentioned above.
All -- because I'm more severe than I ever appear to be.

Also I'm just a great compensator (how else I can pass for an aspie while having all said issues?) and paradoxically having a largely unexpressed pro-social talents and experiences on my own;
I know this because me and some people saw this unexpressed unencumbered 'self' without most of those issues which supports the OP's theory.

On top of that, I have excellent social influencers, socially and emotionally inclined cultures, and the all taken for granted social inclusivity in which the culture I ended up with is likely built upon.

There, I got a front seat of I've observing degrees of sociality -- and it's value.
There I realized the very value of internal flexibility, social agility and certain process -- past the sentimental components, over masking, 'nice-ness' and scripting.



I just lack several fundamental parts that most NTs naturally develop (sensory, processing, etc..) a social drive that made me a willing subject to interactions, a guide-base that most NTs can be handed with (basically, culture, 'common sense' via the typical ToM) and then the inconsistent executive dysfunction that mismatches the ego's demand and intent (alleged 'competence', 'capability', internal regulation) to 'perform' consistently.

I only need the last part -- consistent supply of functional executive function.
The rest are either unnecessary (I'd rather have matching sensory processing and tolerance over filters) or unnatural (I'd rather surpass the concepts that made most NTs systematically create this one-sided empathy) even if it does make others' lives easier -- I've seen it if it can be afforded.



My main issue in socialising might be...
Very likely medical in nature with countless factors with varying effects and circumstances than inherently autistic.


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NorthWind
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31 May 2020, 10:20 am

Very true and great list.

Also, while some autistic people have a huge problem recognizing emotions, picking up on implicit meanings, interpreting intent and so on, others do not have as much of a problem with understanding other people as with responding in the correct way in real time.

Some have secondary social issues, like a lack of experience due to growing up socially isolated or anxiety.



Skilpadde
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01 Jun 2020, 7:11 pm

Good list, starkid. I think there would be breakthroughs if they understood these differences, and I also think they could learn by simply listening to what we can actually tell them (don't get me started on that one)

Borromeo wrote:
This is extremely well-thought and I appreciate how you bring up that not everyone has theory of mind issues.

And also that those that do might not always have ToM issues. Everything for us is a spectrum and things change with age, experience and simply the mood and shape we're in that day.


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cubedemon6073
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01 Jun 2020, 7:26 pm

Quote:
Person is so self-absorbed that she just doesn't pay enough attention to other people to pick up on social nuances.




Is it being self-absorbed or is it that I didn't know I was expected to pay attention to other people, know what to pay attention to, and don't understand how I'm expected to conform to all of these social nuances and be true to myself at the exact same time?

And, if I pay attention to others to much then I'm told I'm not supposed to care about what others think yet if I pay attention to little or not at all I'm self-absorbed. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.



Mr Reynholm
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04 Jun 2020, 8:29 pm

Face blindness is a problem for me. People I don't recognize greet me by name a lot.



Jakki
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04 Jun 2020, 8:58 pm

neurological impairment creates lots of difficulties especially in executive function for some imho


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sorrowfairiewhisper
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04 Jun 2020, 9:24 pm

Agree with the title! i've known some people on the spectrum, throughout my life, that like cuddles and love talking to people.

Can't tar everyone off with the same brush

Its funny how we rely on people that don't have autism, to tell us what is socially the norm or not. They're not experts, despite the degrees to there name.

Half of them don't know the true extent of autism anyway,some are misdiagnosed. We all vary from severity to moderate

in this day of age, it depends on upbringing too, if your parents didn't spend time talking to you or other people didn't,you don't develop these communicative skills. The younger generations, text talk then talk face to face.

Btw i've always struggled with sometimes, responding to people, especially if they expect me to say something and i'm still processing what was said and coming up with a response. :|



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07 Jun 2020, 2:04 pm

I hate talking about things I'm not interested in just to appease someone else when I know they aren't even going to pretend to be interested in mine. I'd rather have my special interests than these friend things.


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The_Face_of_Boo
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10 Jun 2020, 4:36 pm

The same can be said about every other “AS related” issue.

AS is still just a psychiatric diagnosis with no genetic/biological definition - actually it may be an umbrella for more than one just disorder.



LunaticCentruroides
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19 Jun 2020, 5:59 am

What always bothered and what I didn't even realize for too long was that all people around me focused so much on my asperger, without recognizing the fact that most of my social problems came from my social anxiety. And yes, sure the roots of my social anxiety might be AS, but still...

And I've known so many people with AS, (cause I worked in facilites for people with AS) and I percieved most of them as very shy + with the other AS traits of course like you mentioned in the first post. But still there has been a few without social anxiety or extreme shyness and they were constantly interacting with NT's and having conversations and it worked for them.. so yeah..



RadioDog
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19 Jun 2020, 4:29 pm

Thank you for this - very well put together.

My challenges are often recognized in part by one person/group, but then that part isn't recognized by another person/group but they do recognize this other part, and so on. Rare to get the package acknowledged. Also, I had a workplace, for example, that would bend over backwards for my sensory issues in my work area, but wouldn't budge on same issues in meeting areas. Very difficult.


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