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>> No. 30345 Anonymous
19th January 2021
Tuesday 12:37 pm
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This is something of a meta-thread, though the topic is of some personal relevance to me as well.

I've been increasingly led to the thought that Asperger's and autism spectrum conditions are tremendously overdiagnosed. Without even going into the conversation about whether it's a useful set of characteristics to label, if there are physiological markers, etc., I think even according to existing criteria many people are mistakenly lumped under the category for reasons that are more properly related to increased chronic stress and anxiety, as well as more intense emotional isolation than ever.

Do you lads have any thoughts on this?
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>> No. 30346 Anonymous
19th January 2021
Tuesday 4:47 pm
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Agreed. At the high-functioning end, loads of people self-diagnose as autistic just because they're a bit socially awkward. Not knowing what to say at parties is not a medical condition, we've just been conditioned by the media to believe that everyone is extroverted and quick-witted. You're not autistic, you're just a bit of a berk.

At the low-functioning end, a lot of people who would have previously been diagnosed as learning disabled are being diagnosed as autistic, probably out of some impulse towards false hope. There are autistic geniuses, but there are no learning disabled geniuses; pretending that your kid has autism allows you to overlook the fact that they have an IQ of 55. There might one day be a cure for autism, but there's no cure for being terminally thick.

There was a big wave of badly-raised chav kids with a bit of foetal alcohol syndrome being misdiagnosed with autism, but now they're usually misdiagnosed with ADHD, ODD or PDD-NOS.
>> No. 30347 Anonymous
19th January 2021
Tuesday 6:44 pm
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High-functioning autistic people are a special bunch who can often learn to live with their condition and have successful lives and careers, if they're raised in the right way.

What seems to happen very often now is that instead of being pushed into situations that are difficult and stressful for them, giving them the chance to learn how to cope and thrive, many more kids are being wrapped in cotton wool and so denied the chance to learn.

I'm definitely at least a borderline case myself, I was never diagnosed but very much mothered too much which allowed me to get by for too long without developing better social skills and self reliance, but at 18 I left home and made my own way and that set me back on the right course.

The problem is that if you tell people nowadays that kids with autism just need to be kicked out into the world, you get people screaming "ableist" at you, but that's completely missing the point. High functioning autists aren't disabled they just think differently and arguably better in many ways, but they need to learn how to interact with a world full of normals to reach their potential and you can't book learn those skills.
>> No. 30348 Anonymous
19th January 2021
Tuesday 8:33 pm
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I get what you're saying, but think you might also be succumbing to survivor bias, here. I don't have any data, but I imagine there are likely examples of people "on the spectrum" being pushed out into the world as you describe and failing to become resilient, perhaps experiencing trauma, getting their psychological makeup categorised in some other way, and falling through other social safety nets as a result.
>> No. 30349 Anonymous
20th January 2021
Wednesday 1:22 am
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>if you tell people nowadays that kids with autism just need to be kicked out into the world, you get people screaming "ableist" at you

Not to be a cunt but your post reads like the sort of detached and casually ignorant Mail-esque shite my parents are always coming out with, and I always have to ask them "How the fuck do you two know, you've not been anywhere or spoken to anyone beyond this street and the local for the past ten years."

I'm reasonably certain that a lot of the apparent prevalence of autism and such in kids has more to do with cynical parents attempting to abdicate responsibility for their kid being a little shit at school, than it does to do with kids these days being wrapped in cotton wool.
>> No. 30667 Anonymous
28th March 2021
Sunday 12:33 am
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In my experience, the main purpose of an autism diagnosis is to provide an explanation for something that is otherwise extremely confusing and distressing. Once you know what you're dealing with, everything feels a lot better.

I, officially, don't have autism. But throughout my life, people I know have constantly been telling me, "Dude you have autism lmao", based on the fact that autism is the only mental problem they can name, and they want to play the genius expert in human nature. The fact that none of the countless doctors I've ever encountered have ever told me I'm autistic, and the test I found online that apparently picks up autism pretty competently said I am completely 100% not autistic, doesn't fit their narrative so they ignore it. In reality, I'm just weird, or potentially I guess I might have something else. Anyway, I often wonder if I might be wrong about myself and actually be autistic after all, and some points come up constantly:

1) Autism isn't something you either have or don't have. It's a spectrum.
2) This means, of course, that everyone is somewhere on the spectrum, and we're all a little bit autistic, even me.
3) People telling me I'm autistic as a self-aggrandising insult to discredit my conversational contributions means that even though it shouldn't matter whether I'm autistic or not, I really, really hope I'm not autistic, just so I'm right and the various bullies and wankers I have met are all wrong.
4) Any diagnosis is just based on a doctor's opinion. There isn't any kind of brain deformity or structural difference that you can look for to stop autism, and the doctor only really has what you tell them to base their diagnosis on. They don't know you, after all.
5) Imagine for a moment that I did have autism. What then? What would change? There are no anti-autism pills that would make me normal and cool. I probably wouldn't even get one of those cool "Please be patient; I have autism" hats that lets everyone know they need to be nice to me. Women wouldn't swoon over me suddenly, deciding that my personality is suddenly sexy now it's a chapter in a psychology textbook. My job wouldn't pay me more to compensate for the hardships of having autism. Literally all I would get is an answer to a question I don't care about, from a person who doesn't know me.

And again, some people really want that answer. I am now good friends with a girl I went to university with, who I liked but spent very little time with back when I knew her. She was very quiet and didn't really socialise much, and I stayed with my group of friends. Anyway, a few years ago, she had some serious emotional crisis, and tried to kill herself at least twice. Doctors had diagnosed her with various mental problems, and others had said she was just making it up for attention. Doctors are incompetent fuckheads, by the way.

Turns out she has autism. Lots of doctors had dismissed this when she suggested it, because female autism presents itself differently, and they didn't know this because, once again, doctors are fuckheads. All my friend's problems had stemmed from her not fitting in, struggling to make herself understood and struggling to understand other people, and never knowing why. Now she knows she has autism, she's much happier and lives a perfectly okay life. So there is a lot to be said for just giving someone that diagnosis if they want it. But again, from my perspective, I don't think I have autism and I much prefer just being a unique and special snowflake instead.

Here's the test I took, if you want to try it yourself. It was devised by Ali G's brother! https://www.aspietests.org/aq/index.php
>> No. 30668 Anonymous
28th March 2021
Sunday 8:51 pm
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I very much share your attitude; I have long suspected myself of being on the spectrum but see no particular reason to get a formal diagnosis.

I just took that test and scored 37.0, which according to the results page is above the average score even for people who have been diagnosed with ASD.
>> No. 30669 Anonymous
28th March 2021
Sunday 9:11 pm
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>devised by Ali G's brother
Cousin, actually. Your Wikipedia-fu is weak.
>> No. 30670 Anonymous
28th March 2021
Sunday 9:21 pm
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Lots of people thought I had Aspergers as a kid, but I was just introverted and good at maths. I started to believe it myself for a while, until a psychotherapist I was seeing for unrelated depression pointed out that I was if anything too perceptive and sensitive to other people. I wasn't particularly socially maladroit, I just felt that way because I noticed minor sleights and faux-pas and took them to heart; if I was on the spectrum, I'd be blithely unaware of why I kept annoying and offending people, or even that I had caused annoyance or offence in the first place.

Ironically, neurotypicals love putting labels on things and making the world fit into neat little boxes. We've replaced a nuanced understanding of differences in temperament and personality with a clinical model of diagnostic categories. Perhaps that's just a reflection of the demands of a one-size-fits-all educational model and an increasingly conformist and bureaucratic corporate culture - we feel like people need a medical excuse for any kind of difference or eccentricity.
>> No. 30671 Anonymous
28th March 2021
Sunday 9:35 pm
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I wouldn't put much stock in what morons say. I have had many people tell me "haha sounds like autism." I know I am a bit weird, and I tend to get even weirder when I am on things. There is no room for eccentricity anymore.
>> No. 30672 Anonymous
28th March 2021
Sunday 10:02 pm
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According to the test I am probably slightly an autist.

Not surprising. I am a 33 year old programmer who likes going for long walks on his own and finds it difficult to connect with people.

I'm not sure it is over-diagnosed. I suspect recent history has selected for autistic traits and it is becoming ever more common.
>> No. 30673 Anonymous
29th March 2021
Monday 1:51 am
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I suppose the popular answer is that people have been autists all along, it's just that nowadays we both notice it more, but also it's kind of easier to be a noticable autist, if that makes sense.

Back in the day you'd just be a bit of a loner and a wierdo, and that was basically the end of it. People wouldn't have much reason to speculate any further. You'd work in the library or in the back room of some shop or repair place or whatever, and nobody would think twice because those were the kind of jobs that that kind of people got on well with.

But nowadays you've got all the social media to sperg out over, jobs are much more public facing because shite gig economy work or call centres etc are all that's left in many places; and the ones that aren't are more suitable for autists because the stat bonuses being a sperg gives you are very helpful in more tech-focussed or IT related stuff. There's more opportunity for people to see and judge your autistic tendencies.


>Perhaps that's just a reflection of the demands of a one-size-fits-all educational model and an increasingly conformist and bureaucratic corporate culture - we feel like people need a medical excuse for any kind of difference or eccentricity.

Definitely. I was listening to a documentary on the radio a while ago and it made a good point about how even psychiatry itself has changed in recent years. We no longer view the symptoms of mental illnesses or disorders as consequences of a harmful situation or environment; but rather we view the individual as a malfunctioning part, which must be corrected in order that it functions within its environment.

Did it trigger any of you that I quote the posts backwards? That might be a sign.
>> No. 30674 Anonymous
29th March 2021
Monday 2:17 am
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People have said this about me as well but they seem to say this about most internet people. The correlation is that we spend large amounts of time online rather than developing irl social skills and were probably those children 'cultivating a rich personality' before then. It's also undoubtedly why imageboards always have a high amount of ISTPs.

In my own experience as I've gotten older my social skills have improved dramatically which has a lot to do with confidence and just giving less of a fuck. Also from having a job where I have to socialise everyday. Now when people tell me that something I said was impolite or I don't notice other peoples feelings I know that it's just because I'm a bit of a cunt.
>> No. 30675 Anonymous
29th March 2021
Monday 4:20 pm
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Surprisingly, I scored in the mid-twenties. Apparently I'm just a prick.
>> No. 30676 Anonymous
29th March 2021
Monday 4:44 pm
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To throw something into the mix, I have been diagnosed with autism, and scored well within neurotypical, make of that what you will.
>> No. 30677 Anonymous
29th March 2021
Monday 6:31 pm
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Interesting, isn't it? I'm finding with practice that it's easy to tell peoples intentions from facial expressions when you actually pay attention to them - from their voices and choice of words even, unless they're especially practised or trained in hiding such things. It's just that much of the time i don't care to look at or listen to people.
>> No. 30678 Anonymous
29th March 2021
Monday 7:27 pm
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Facial recognition is actually the one thing that I had to mark as "I don't have a fucking clue", I certainly have brain damage that affects that mechanism. You are right I go off peoples tone of voice too, I presume that to be easier to fake then you do though and considered quite a normal thing to do (unless you assume waiters really are always happy).
I think the key part of why I scored 'normal' is that I don't really have an obsessive hobbies as an adult and I like people.

I think it is also a bit out of date as a test - who bothers to remember phone numbers anymore?

In theory ASD isn't something you are supposed to 'grow out of' I've suspected for a while that maybe I never was, there are enough other complications in my childhood that I could explain a lot of false positives as the result of abuse.
>> No. 30681 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 12:10 am
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I resent some of the questions on the Autism Test. Some people are good at social chit-chat and will talk about something interesting or fairly universal like the news and others make me want to blow my brains out by overexplaining every single detail about their car journey, I can't judge it all equally. I also feel as though some of my answers have more to do with being a self-loathing failure, rather than an underlying neurological condition. I got 14-5 anyway so I'm really normal and there's not a thing wrong with me, hurray.
>> No. 30685 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 9:10 am
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>In theory ASD isn't something you are supposed to 'grow out of' I've suspected for a while that maybe I never was, there are enough other complications in my childhood that I could explain a lot of false positives as the result of abuse.
>I also feel as though some of my answers have more to do with being a self-loathing failure, rather than an underlying neurological condition.

You lads are touching upon exactly what I was trying to get at with my OP. It reminds me a bit of the conversation surrounding depression, which portrays particular behaviours as innate and neurological rather than a very understandable response to external circumstances. How much of what we consider "autistic" behaviour is really innate, and how much is a response to our experiences?
>> No. 30686 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 9:40 am
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34, huh?

>>30678 In theory ASD isn't something you are supposed to 'grow out of'

Don't you just get more competent at working round the annoyances over time? Like anyone does at anything? I doubt I'll ever start recognising people out of context or stop finding <thing> fascinating, but why not smooth the path a bit?
>> No. 30687 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 10:01 am
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I got 33 last time so I feel qualified to answer >>30686

Yes, you do. 'Masking' is one aspect of this, where you develop your public persona and refine your reactions to certain things to fit in. Masks get better over time as you learn more and experience more.
>> No. 30688 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 11:18 am
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>How much of what we consider "autistic" behaviour is really innate, and how much is a response to our experiences?

Discussing or researching that question is pretty much career suicide.

>> No. 30689 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 11:34 am
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>Don't you just get more competent at working round the annoyances over time? Like anyone does at anything?

The argument is it would be like expecting a blind man to tell you what colour something is, or a legless man to high jump. It is assumed that there is a particular mechanism absent that is required for these things and it isn’t there. It doesn't matter how much I insist my cat understands what I am saying they aren't going to talk English back to me.

>How much of what we consider "autistic" behaviour is really innate, and how much is a response to our experiences?

'grown out of' lad here, I think part of it is a question of how much does the criteria for being autistic relate directly to those questions, because some times the 2 can be synonymous and other times they are hinting at something underlying indirectly.

The reason the questionnaire exists is probably because of the Rosenhan experiment it is felt there needs to be an 'objective criteria' so professionals don't get caught out and look stupid, so everything needs to have a questionnaire, even if those questions might not get at the underlying point.
I obviously said that I have been formally diagnosed but came up neurotypical on that test, but to play devil's avocado for my own 'grown out of it' maybe they asked the wrong questions... for example I have pretty classic Savant syndrome traits. on a IQ test broken down by area I score around 90 for language related questions, but for abstract patterns score 157 (a number so absurd that when people lie and claim high IQ they would never go that high), that would seem like a better move obvious requirement, and yet; not all autistics have that which would make it meaningless to diagnose them, and to flip back from avocado devildo again, I quite probably have brain damage, which is considered the other cause for savant syndrome, then again ‘if it looks like a duck’, isn’t it easier to group what I have with the people who have similar traits and problems even if it isn’t technically the same, isn’t every case basically unique anyway, the ‘average person’ doesn’t exist as they say.
Essentially diagnosis run into the classic problem of over specified criteria and they exclude things that should be part of that group, over broad and the preverbal Diogenes the Cynic turns up with a plucked chicken saying it is a man because by the stands they have set, it is. Which I think is why they have hedged their bets on a spectrum, even if in reality 99% of people are on one end of it. - Missing an arm, is probably classified as a spectrum by the same logic, there is a meaningful practical difference between some of a hand, no hand, no elbow and no humerus that the rest of us don't really need to think about and for practical purposes and isn’t a person with a paralysed arm in a similar enough boat even if they don’t meet the criteria to be treated the same as someone with no arm? Isn’t easier to group them with the people with no arms even though that technically doesn’t make sense.
>> No. 30690 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 12:13 pm
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Aren't we somewhat stuck with that while our diagnostic tools are as crude as asking questions and hopefully noting the answers, then looking things up in the big book of hints?
Maybe crude is wrong, maybe you really can do some modelling to work backwards from Q&A to the actual thing you're trying to fix, assuming it's something you can model that way? Hidden Markov Model style?
In 20-50 years, we're going to look back and shake our heads at our fumblings, but what can you do?
>> No. 30691 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 6:23 pm
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There is some difference in brain activity that is measurable with certain psychiatric disorders autism being one of them.

unrelated note; I looked up the sally anne test on wikipedia as I was making this post and found this quote "Eye tracking of chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans suggests that all three anticipate the false beliefs of a subject in a King Kong suit"
>> No. 30692 Anonymous
30th March 2021
Tuesday 7:09 pm
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The average score graphs tell you plenty about the usefullness of this test to be honest. 5% of people diagnosed with ASD will score 20, and 5% of neurotypical people will score nearly 40. Yes that's at the extreme ends but there is just too large an overlap in scores for it to be anywhere near definitive.

The types of questions are also highly leading as well, and heavily dependant on context. Take the questions like "do you enjoy socialising?" People I know well and am comfortable with in a familiar setting, yes I enjoy it. Socialising in a business setting where I can talk about work, yes I enjoy it to some extent. If I've had a stressful day at work and my boss calls me and asks me about my weekend I've been feeling like I'm almost having a panic attack.
Things that are really indicative of ASD are things like being able to make eye-contact, and for a lot of people that's difficult to answer truthfully because they're just not aware that they're failing to do it. At the age of 18 I just couldn't do that, at 30 I force myself to do it most of the time but I'm aware that I still sometimes have entire conversations with colleagues without even looking at them.
Which also leads to the question of age, if I try and answer to how I look back at myself as and 18 year old, I'd score more like 30-35, rather than 27 now. But I'd say that's more through learning and experience rather than fundamental changes to how my brain is working.

With questionnaires like this there's also the issue of overlap with depression and anxiety. These often go hand-in-hand with ASD and it's not possible to truly pick out what's a cause and what's an effect of the different symptoms.

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