a reply to: OpenMindedRealist
There's a significant problem with self diagnosis. People can have autistic tendencies but not enough of them to actually be autistic. My best
friend bugs out at little noises or can't sleep if her sheet isn't perfectly flat. That would be oversensitivity for sure but it doesn't make her
I wouldn't say that autism equals a lack of productivity. I'm not sure where you got that one. High functional autistics can be extraordinarily
productive, far above and beyond the call of duty. It just has to be something that is one of our interests. As an autistic, I turned an 8 page
written project into a 33 page written project, much to my professor's horror and joy. I earned an A+ and my professor requested that she keep it as
her "pinnacle of perfection" to show her future classes as an example. That's not a "lack of productivity". That's pretty much getting
obsessively mental over a subject to the point of expertise--which is autism.
Another example of autism productivity was my son and his desire to learn hiragana and katakana, which combined is roughly 40,000 characters in the
Japanese language. Seriously, that was his goal at the age of 14 and for months I found Japanese characters written all over paper everywhere. I'd
find little bits of paper with Japanese script written on them on his floor, in his coat pocket, in his jean pockets, remnants of them in the wash,
all over his desk, bookcases...I think you get the point. After I started joking that he was going "a beautiful mind" on me, he agreed it wasn't
healthy. Although he did ask me for a book on Japanese characters about two months ago. I'm awaiting the slips of papers' grand return with bated
That's what an autistic does. We go "a beautiful mind" on whatever catches our interest. We'll be working, learning, absorbing for hours
throughout the day and late into the night. I've had interests that left me operating on about 3-4 hours of sleep a night. That's "a beautiful
mind". Autism does not equal a lack of productivity.
The lack of confidence is really related to the social awkwardness thing. I'm socially awkward to this day though I can hide it pretty good (I think
lol). It's not that I lack confidence. I'm just not always sure when I should chime in or when I've been going on and on for too long.
My son's speech therapist at his school (rigid language use due to autism) always told my son that he should have more than just a couple of friends
that he talked to every day and needed to work on making more. In fact, when they transferred him out early into college, there was some concerns
voiced about his maintaining friendships. 3 years later and those two friends are still his best friends despite the fact that they haven't gone to
school together for so long. We do make meaningful relationships. We're just not social butterflies who feel the need to have a dozen or more
people that act more like acquaintances than friends. It's a difference of value and definition. I have friends that I value very deeply that even a
harsh disagreement cannot tear asunder.
Avoiding eye contact is definitely an autism thing. Even when I try to make sure I'm doing it, my fiance laughs a little because he knows I'm
struggling to maintain it as my eyes are darting about so much. Can't fool him, lol. Gah, he's picking on me now by mimicking what I do as I type.
Jerk, lol. I do do pretty good at it and even learned to do a natural seeming timing that gives me a break from holding it by passing it off as
thinking of a response (I already have the response, I'm just taking an eye contact break. HA).
Anyways, hope the above clears up those "tendencies" you cited in the hopes that it helps you better understand what autism can look like in a high
functional autistic. I grew up in a sink or swim family that was actually the kind that would forcefully hold your head under the water just to make
it that much harder. I didn't do that with either of my children and only one is autistic. I don't think it has anything to do with the
environment a child is in otherwise both children would have ended up the same. Instead, they turned out radically different. That, to me, points to
genetics along with family history.
One of my family lineage landed in the Who's Who for learning over 70 different languages. The criticisms for his translations was that he was inept
with idioms, too literal, and too faithful to perfect translation that he made the works stilted. That among a few other things, like his total
disdain for fashion or shaving, screams Asperger's. We have a strong lineage of people with these traits. That's genetics.