Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Confessions of a Social Retard

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  • Steve Barnes,

    It did remind me of a recent flight where on landing at Brisbun aerodrome a passenger started to go for his baggage (not a euphemism for wanking) and was asked to sit down. He totally ignored the request and proceeded with his task, the attendant , this time a little more forcefully, repeated the request, he again ignored. When approached he just opened his jacket to reveal a shoulder holster complete with scary looking cannon thing and a US Marshals badge. I didn't know whether to feel safe or relieve myself.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just a thought to whack out there: The autistic tendency can often result in mastery of any game for which there are rules. If the game you decide to play, for whatever reason, happens to be a social one, then you could actually be a master of social situations, and yet still well on the spectrum.

    I think this is what I was getting at. There are still forms of human interaction that appall me -- workplace warfare more than most -- but I can avoid those.

    I still wouldn't place myself on the autistic spectrum, but my path through life suggests a degree of some sort of difference, possibly neurological in origin.

    Which is, as I've said before, what I've learned from our kids: an understanding of the way people are different. It has been an incredibly useful insight to me.

    It's a very complex disorder, so complex that calling it a disorder is only measurable by what effect it's had on your life.

    Testify.

    Although I sometimes get impatient with Aspie advocates who seem to forget that there can be real harm in people not being able to interact well with their environment. Our kids especially have a right to environments where they can flourish, but you can't entirely re-engineer life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    We've got the builders in.

    NAILED!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1510 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Which is, as I've said before, what I've learned from our kids: an understanding of the way people are different. It has been an incredibly useful insight to me.

    'You must have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.'

    F. Nietzsche.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "At this time, we are working with the FAA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to investigate the incident..."

    It wouldn't be the airline that pressed charges. I can understand aviation authorities taking very seriously anyone being airside unauthorised, so I imagine they'd arrest first and negotiate later.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I am so slow...

    We've got the builders in.

    What day did you say the builders were leaving?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1510 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Another AQ score of 35 here. Been aware of my many differences from norms and expectations all along, but two years ago following links from PAS to Humans to was it the same test in different format? resulting in same score, and discussion with one confidante in particular, made it seem pretty clear I'm well within the ASD range. And it seems helpful to appreciate the degree of commonality as well as differences that identification brings, and build awareness from there.

    Perhaps as apparent on this thread, there is now a preference to drop the D for disorder? Fair enough, but TLAs (three-letter acronyms) work best.

    So with such prevalence revealed on this thread, is it not obvious PAS is People (with, of, on the) Autism Spectrum?

    And no one has mentioned Peter Ashby and his lack of empathy as per the recent fracas on other thread? I missed that in real time but it makes sad reading now. Surely a worthy member of the PAS community in two or three senses, who might have been tolerated when not appreciated?

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Chris W - I think the people who've responded, acknowledging they may fit on the autism spectrum, are not a majority on PAS...Peter Ashby seems to lack not only empathy, but a recognition he could actually be wrong in some of his comments. I've enjoyed his comments in other fora, but those blogs tend to be way less personal/less centred on personalities (except when they are clearly diffusionist nutters, e.g certain archaeology sites.) I think the hectoring tone to his "exercise more/you'll become healthy" didnt find any resonance with people who are dealing with CFS (or osteoarthritis) because most exercise is actually painful, draining, and not at all helpful.

    Anyway - it's an interesting thread eh?

    (As are the majority of threads on PAS.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Chris, Peter may be back at some stage and obviously I'm not speaking on behalf of him or anyone else.

    I sometimes get impatient with Aspie advocates who seem to forget that there can be real harm in people not being able to interact well with their environment.

    To me, it's like what Russell said - there is sometimes real damage you can't ignore. Totally missing the tone of a thread and doing the same thing again and again after clear and consistent disapproval from moderators is sadly sometimes incompatible with being part of a community.

    That community - and in this case also the owner of the discussion space - is bound to respond. Only human. Not much different to being banned from a bar for being a nuisance to others or the manager. Offending community standards, whatever they evolve as.

    I do admire the sense of fairness we folk of the spectrum have (even though it can sure cause problems of its own). And I'm not going to second-guess how much I really get community and how much I've learned it. More fun that way.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Although I sometimes get impatient with Aspie advocates who seem to forget that there can be real harm in people not being able to interact well with their environment.

    I know what you mean. There is a line between tolerating/celebrating difference, and indulgence. A hard one to find in many cases, but it's there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Not (meaning to appear to be) pushing a barrow on these things. Perhaps this might have been a case for "Just sayin' "? Is that the rule/guideline? Mostly just musing on myself.

    I recognise the D for Disorder is meaningful and adds value to the term. It's an interesting word, covers multi-dimensional spectrums of possibilities in itself. I'm a bit disordered myself, my house and home patch of land shows it well.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Real life example for you Ben. Child who presents with screaming and throwing self backwards when thwarted. Child is on the spectrum. So is his behaviour typical? Turns out he's just being a brat. :) It's taken us a year of close observation and a lot of talking about it. But it was still the conclusion we came to initially, anyway. Now, however, we use different strategies.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I suppose it would be impolite for me to suggest here at this stage that perhaps people with ASD just need to exercise more and then they'll be cured?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 729 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    ZING!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think this is what I was getting at. There are still forms of human interaction that appall me -- workplace warfare more than most -- but I can avoid those.

    Sure -- David and I don't do the disco round, because he's partially deaf (he finds it impossible to follow conversations in large crowded rooms) and large crowds just freak me out. I can gird my psychic loins, and get through the Christmas party season without any permanent trauma, but God it's exhausting and well-meaning people who want to pathologize a high level of comfort with your own company don't help.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I suppose it would be impolite for me to suggest here at this stage that perhaps people with ASD just need to exercise more and then they'll be cured?

    Funny you should say that. In Japan, rigorous physical exercise is part of autism therapy (Daily Life Therapy).

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 646 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I suppose it would be impolite for me to suggest here at this stage that perhaps people with ASD just need to exercise more and then they'll be cured?

    No more impolite I suspect than suggesting that exercise can cure being a cowardly cat.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    A few people on here will be interested in this. Posted in case you haven't already seen it.

    Autism can be diagnosed with a brain scan

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    A few people on here will be interested in this. Posted in case you haven't already seen it.

    Autism can be diagnosed with a brain scan

    Interesting, but extremely preliminary, given the numbers involved and the fact that they only looked at adult men.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Interesting, but extremely preliminary, given the numbers involved and the fact that they only looked at adult men.

    maybe it was just a Brian scan?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I think this is what I was getting at. There are still forms of human interaction that appall me -- workplace warfare more than most -- but I can avoid those.
    I still wouldn't place myself on the autistic spectrum, but my path through life suggests a degree of some sort of difference, possibly neurological in origin.

    This quote of Russell's echos my own experience... but I scored 27 on the test.

    I'm comfortable in social interactions, like meeting new people, don't mind public speaking, find chit chat easy, whether I dislike it or not.

    I have been given public relations, political lobbying and media spokesperson roles in some jobs. My level of confidence - physical and social - has been very, very high all my life.

    I can't really be sure if I'm boring or interesting, though I certainly have elicited emphatic pronouncements at both ends of the scale from people. I'm not sure if people find me polite or not, but like Russell I'm strongly motivated to make whomever I'm with comfortable. This doesn't extend to agreeing with everything said - a robust debate seems friendly to me, but I have been told by people in the past that to disagree with their position was the same as being socially difficult. So I am not sure how I rate.

    Small talk irritates me as it irritates pretty much everyone on earth, but I like taking to taxi drivers, hair dressers, bus drivers... anyone really. I'm a bit sympathetic to people who are employed in what are considered low-status positions and they are usually very responsive to any attempt at genuine conversation. I am equally sympathetic to people who are considered socially awkward, and often awkward people are the ones whose company I most enjoy. Often they seem more interesting and less shallow than the charming.

    I am genuinely interested in what people have to say. I have had some amazing conversations with taxi drivers of every ethnicity possible - we no sooner become engrossed in a fascinating conversation about WWII warfare, the Bhopal disaster or the clamp and run technique in surgery and I arrive at my destination.

    A person doesn't have to be intelligent or even sane for me to like them and enjoy meeting them, and in more than one job I have been given the crazy, the difficult and the emotionally unravelled to deal with, as they tend to like me. I am fairly small and non-threatening.

    I've never felt like I actually had any peers as such. I don't really think of myself as a type, though I've been told I look like more people than you could possibly ever imagine - many of whom don't remotely resemble each other, men, women, other species. I remind everyone of someone or something. So much t's a bit disconcerting sometimes.

    I am strongly attracted to the socially awkward and prefer their company to the mean-spirited. I've witnessed some fairly shocking social nastiness in supposedly respectable social circles, and felt nothing beyond revulsion.

    I once witnessed a bunch of drunk editor types (trashy womens' magazines) bully another woman by talking about her "bad skin" and "Manuel Noriega face" and "Pineapple complexion" within earshot of her at a party. I was astonished, and wished to be back in Canada where that kind of crap would have been strongly discouraged in grade school by disgusted peers who'd have said "grow up" or "stop being such bitches" by the time they were 8 or 10 years old. Single sex schools can have an appalling long term effects on social interactions, sometimes.

    But as far as the Aspergers' Spectrum goes... I don't know where I'd be on that. I get told I'm weird here in NZ a lot more than I did in Canada, but those may be cultural differences. Not sure.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Very refreshing Dyan all I can really say to that is ditto.
    Do you think, maybe, that long distance running could cure us?.
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    How the hell did you score 27, dyan? There must have been some dimension you really hammered.

    Interesting, but extremely preliminary, given the numbers involved and the fact that they only looked at adult men.

    If they could reliably get all the males, there's 80% of ASD right there.

    But the important one would surely be children, rather than adults. In adults it's a relatively easy diagnosis compared to pre-verbal children. And considering the massively amplified dividends of early intervention, that's where it would pay off the most.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I got 18. I am plagued by self-doubt but have heard others describe me as "sunny", "bubbly" and "confident" so maybe put on a better front than I think I do.

    I'm pretty good with public speaking and facilitating meetings and am largely OK with people I don't know. The social situations I struggle most with are with people I know a little bit - especially friend-or-a-friend types - where the level of "input" required is undefined.

    I am definitely an energy-introvert but am blessed to have a partner who, whether through his quiet and undemanding manner or just long acquaintance, doesn't really count as "people" in those terms.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    David and I don't do the disco round, because he's partially deaf (he finds it impossible to follow conversations in large crowded rooms) and large crowds just freak me out.

    I'm almost with you. If I wasn't single, and loud, crowded, drunken venues didn't offer the opportunity of fraternising with attractive people, I'd be staying home too.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2137 posts Report Reply

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