I have a comment on everyone has ASD.

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FranzOren
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14 Jun 2021, 2:13 am

The problem is that Autism is treated as a spectrum to the point where a lot of people have ASD that is not diagnosed, not to say that everyone has ASD per say. But this is where the theory comes from, because the word "Spectrum" sounds so broad, it comes from being very disabled to being in almost normal state of mind. I don't know how else to explain it though.

I hope my explanation is good.

It's just people who are not medical professionals can even ask themselves if they are normal or not and when they hear the word "Spectrum", it to them must be that everyone has it just a little bit of the trats, while only 1% of the general population have actual mental health and developmental disorders.

I hope that I am correct, I am trying to be accurate about the problems of the word "Spectrum" and why it sounds too broad, because symptoms of ASD can go from very severe to very mild that it reaches to normalcy.

I am sorry, I didn't mean to say that everyone has ASD, I just have problems with the word "Spectrum" and how too broad and confusing it sounds to non-educational professionals.



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14 Jun 2021, 3:01 am

To my mind the word "spectrum" is a problem because it suggests that autistic people fall on a simple scale from low functioning to high functioning. The real picture is way more varied. People who appear high functioning can have traits that are debilitating in the outside world.


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kraftiekortie
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14 Jun 2021, 5:57 am

Spectrum means something comes in many varied colors.



FranzOren
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14 Jun 2021, 2:50 pm

I agree! It does make sense.



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14 Jun 2021, 2:58 pm

It's a whole spectrum, but you can lay any shade from that spectrum from fully opaque to fully transparent. Those who don't show significant traits associated would be fully transparent. Some shades might be more apparent at lower opacities though.


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FranzOren
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14 Jun 2021, 3:49 pm

Thank you! I understood.



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14 Jun 2021, 4:03 pm

My stupid opinion:

Everyone has an IQ. Some people have an IQ below the middle. Some people have an IQ above the middle. Some are two standard deviations above the mean. Some are two standard deviations below the mean. (Etc.)

Everyone has an IQ isn't really saying much of anything. It is both true and meaningless.

It is kind of like saying "everyone has a height".

It is not true that everyone has diagnose-able ASD.

It is true that the detailed description of Autism traits could be made bigger or smaller and applied to everyone you meet.

But - why does it matter? Some people want to be like other people, some people do NOT want to be like other people. I'd bet almost everyone can think of someone they don't want to be more like. And that everyone can think of someone they WOULD like to be more like.

I like to call it the desire to be "a part of" and the desire to be "apart from". We all have some of that.

If everyone being part of one group appeals to you - and I think there is much to be said for this idea - let it be said that we are all alike.

If everyone being unique appeals to you - and there is much to be said for this idea - let it be said that you are unique.

If you have chosen your in-crowd and you WANT to be like the people in your in-crowd who am I to tell you that you are not.
If you DON'T want to be like THOSE people in the out-crowd, than you and your in-crowd are ok with me.

Microwaves, violet light, gamma rays, and short-wave radio waves are all in the same spectrum. I wouldn't try to cook dinner with a purple lightbulb.

If you want to discuss DSM definitions of ASD, and how to get a diagnosis that would be a different discussion.

If you want to discuss FMRI studies of ASD - again a different discussion. Genetic studies, post-mortum examinations of brains of people who had severe autistic, twin studies, EKG studies, protein studies (etc, etc, etc) again different discussions.

Do you want your school to give you accommodations? I'll bet the "everyone is a little autistic" thing isn't going to impress them much.


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15 Jun 2021, 12:33 pm

Everyone does (might as well) have an ASD, but not in the same context as what this thread is discussing.

If my brother can be diagnosed with Asperger's then anyone can. These days someone has only got to be shy and they get an ASD diagnosis.

My boyfriend's friend is trying to get their 2-year-old diagnosed with HFA, even though developmentally she is literally no different to any other 2-year-old. She makes eye contact whenever I see her, is learning to talk at the normal 2-year-old level, plays with toys like a normal toddler, and does all the other things a typically developing toddler might do. But the parents think that everything she does is possible autism.
Usually a toddler who is developing normally wouldn't be assessed for a diagnosis of autism. A 2-year-old should only be assessed for autism if they are showing obvious signs, such as significant lack of eye contact, frequently lining toys up, not learning to talk, etc.

I have a feeling that having Asperger's is going to be a trend soon, where every other baby is getting diagnosed with HFA just for having a personality.
"Oh my baby looks serious in photos, she must have autism!"
"Oh my baby didn't respond to his name, does he have autism?"
"Oh my 2-year-old loves trains, he must be autistic!"
"Oh my 3-year-old is shy at preschool, get her diagnosed!"
"Oh my 14-month-old hasn't said his first word yet, he must be autistic!"


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FranzOren
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15 Jun 2021, 2:54 pm

Thank you! It makes sense.



Double Retired
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16 Jun 2021, 6:30 pm

I agree. "Spectrum" is confusing.

When I first started reading about ASD I thought they called it a "spectrum" to reflect different "intensities" of Autism, that is, it had something to do with severity. I didn't think "spectrum" was a good word for that...because a spectrum is a continuum of different colors, not different color intensities. And, yes, it could lead people to believe they were just really, really low on the "spectrum".

Then, as I read more, I concluded that what they were trying to say is that Autism is not one "thing", that it is a pick-one selection of different things. But, again, I didn't think "spectrum" was a good word for that...because a "spectrum" is usually though not always a gradual, continuous change of some kind, not a collection of distinctly different things with no real order needed. And, yes, it could lead people to believe that since it is a spectrum it must include everything.

I guess what they are really doing is using the medical jargon term "spectrum disorder", but I don't know how widely that term is known in the General Public. I think it's confusing.


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FranzOren
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16 Jun 2021, 6:43 pm

Thank you!



Joe90
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16 Jun 2021, 7:49 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I agree. "Spectrum" is confusing.

When I first started reading about ASD I thought they called it a "spectrum" to reflect different "intensities" of Autism, that is, it had something to do with severity. I didn't think "spectrum" was a good word for that...because a spectrum is a continuum of different colors, not different color intensities. And, yes, it could lead people to believe they were just really, really low on the "spectrum".

Then, as I read more, I concluded that what they were trying to say is that Autism is not one "thing", that it is a pick-one selection of different things. But, again, I didn't think "spectrum" was a good word for that...because a "spectrum" is usually though not always a gradual, continuous change of some kind, not a collection of distinctly different things with no real order needed. And, yes, it could lead people to believe that since it is a spectrum it must include everything.

I guess what they are really doing is using the medical jargon term "spectrum disorder", but I don't know how widely that term is known in the General Public. I think it's confusing.


"Spectrum" actually means two things:

1. A band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.

2. Used to classify something in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme points.
"the left or the right of the political spectrum"

The autism spectrum is actually based more on the second definition. It is a spectrum, so not everyone on the spectrum falls at either one end or the other, I am not denying that. But one person can be completely different to another person but both can still be considered level 1 (Asperger's, HFA, the higher end of the spectrum, whatever you like to call it). So extremes do exist on the spectrum.


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FranzOren
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16 Jun 2021, 10:36 pm

I agree! It makes sense.



naturalplastic
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17 Jun 2021, 5:46 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I agree. "Spectrum" is confusing.

When I first started reading about ASD I thought they called it a "spectrum" to reflect different "intensities" of Autism, that is, it had something to do with severity. I didn't think "spectrum" was a good word for that...because a spectrum is a continuum of different colors, not different color intensities. And, yes, it could lead people to believe they were just really, really low on the "spectrum".

Then, as I read more, I concluded that what they were trying to say is that Autism is not one "thing", that it is a pick-one selection of different things. But, again, I didn't think "spectrum" was a good word for that...because a "spectrum" is usually though not always a gradual, continuous change of some kind, not a collection of distinctly different things with no real order needed. And, yes, it could lead people to believe that since it is a spectrum it must include everything.

I guess what they are really doing is using the medical jargon term "spectrum disorder", but I don't know how widely that term is known in the General Public. I think it's confusing.


Well... I took a nibble at introductory physics and astronomy in school , and knew something about the physics of light before I ever heard that autism was on a "spectrum".

So I had a slightly different take on the meaning of the word "spectrum" when I first heard it applied to autism.

Most lay folks think of the colors of the rainbow (or of "the spectrum") as being distinct entities: green, blue yellow, orange, red. Seperate but comparable things that are not on any kind of sliding scale . So to lay folks like yourself calling autism a spectrum is confusing.

But to me the light spectrum is a perfect analogy because of my being infected by a little physics. That because the spectrum of light is indeed a steadily sliding scale. But whats salient is that is a sliding scale in the WAVE LENGTH (and therefore in the frequecy) of light waves. Differing pitches in the tuning fork.

Like sound comes in different pitches light comes in different pitches. A certain range of frequencies are percieved by the human eye as being one color (say blue), and then as the wavelength grows and the frequency drops it becomes green, and so on.

So in that sense the colors of the rainbow are indeed on a sliding scale that is analogous to sliding scales in the social realm- like that of the severity of autism. Violet light is the highest frequency. So you could liken it to extreme low functioning autism. And red is at the opposite end - long wavelength and low frequency- so its analogous to aspergers/HFA. Then beyond red you go into light that is not visible to the human eye - the wide range called "infrared". Which you might liken to being NT. the color in between violet and red (blue green yellow orange) would be the sliding scale of function levels between the two extremes of autism.

The opposite equivalent is the light with higher frequency and shorter wavelength than the color violet called "ultraviolet" that humans cant see either at the opposite end of the spectrum, but we neednt worry about finding an analog for that in autism.



Last edited by naturalplastic on 17 Jun 2021, 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FranzOren
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17 Jun 2021, 6:05 pm

It makes sense, but the problem is that ASD can be so mild to the point where it will be very hard to differentiate ASD from normal human behaviors unless we do some kind of brain scan.

To me "Spectrum" goes from profound Intellectual Disability with complete lack of social skills to developmental disorders with high IQ and social skills. That is what I think about the "Spectrum" when it comes to ASD. It sounds very broad.



naturalplastic
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17 Jun 2021, 6:14 pm

FranzOren wrote:
It makes sense, but the problem is that ASD can be so mild to the point where it will be very hard to differentiate ASD from normal human behaviors unless we do some kind of brain scan.

To me "Spectrum" goes from profound Intellectual Disability with complete lack of social skills to developmental disorders with high IQ and social skills. That is what I think about the "Spectrum" when it comes to ASD. It sounds very broad.


When they declared autism to be a spectrum-rather than just one thing- that was a giant step in the right direction. But its still an oversimplification.

And high IQ autistics dont necessarily have good social, nor good executive skills. There was a smart articulate young man who used to be a WP member who had trouble going to bathroom by himself. Still shocks me to try to imagine how "low functioning" he was in his offline life - only knowing him from his texts on this site. So the axis of the autism spectrum go in more than one line. If that makes any sense.