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Permaculture and Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Asperger's  RSS feed

 
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I was really ecstatic to find this thread today!

It came after a depressing *day wasted reviewing dating profiles on-line. Again. It seemed that everyone was the same; wanting the same things. And everyone is so fantastically amazing. They want more someone without issues like them. (I miss irony but as you can see I do sarcasm just fine) Rinse. Repeat from *across. I despair that my degree of specificity has doomed me to a life of total isolation. Don't get me wrong - I love love love solitude and have rationalized the merits of hermitude for what seems like forever. But yes, I must admit it would be nice to have a working sustainable relationship with someone in my court. Lifting is literally easier when there are two.

In a world where finding a partner for normal people is like finding a needle in a haystack, what are the odds for someone like me? Abandoned, adopted to another country, abused, child bride, land poor due to being a single mom and working on some debt, aging, person of color and an aspie architect who loves to dance and is concerned with social justice issues and wants - very specifically - to build an earth-sheltered dwelling on a fully self-sustaining permaculture homestead. Most people my age have had the luxury of indulging their self-actualization, but I've been busy working on responsibilities. Nobody seems to want someone who has had a crazy huge amount of real character-building experiences! Or recognize the great accomplishments that have occurred! Odds are kind of grim. Even among permies! Each specific thing makes the proverbial needle in the haystack shorter and shorter. Not being negative, just realistic. But this week I've had a sort of ennui. Sustaining a passion for this since I was seven years old and being so far away from it can wear down the most obsessed person, even an aspie.

I have not been formally diagnosed, but my recent scores on the tests are very high. Fortunately for me. I do not suffer from the physical over-stimulation ailments that (to my mind) make Aspbergers truly on the spectrum. But all the other aspects I have in spades. At 51 I am very high-functioning though. Like the guy in the Ted talk video posted, I actively set about to study human society in high school and now, after decades of observation and noticing patterns, pass amongst them undetected. In a bizarre twist, I am sought out by friends for what they know will be rational and impartial advice. But I still have problems with eye contact, brutal honesty, inflexible integrity, some insensitivity, and failure to converse in a timely fluid manner. Those who see me regularly can appreciate all that I have to offer, but I can count them on one hand and we go our separate ways after work.

But all in all I love being an aspie. I love being engrossed in research. I love that the world falls away and largely doesn't matter. I love the passion and drive that this kind of focus can have. I love that, of all the obsessions to become engrossed in, homesteading was the biggest one that struck me on the head. I love it because it is bottomless. I imagine that a lot of people on forums are obsessive because they are on the spectrum. I hate it because practicing it continues to be inaccessible to me. I hope I can move it out of the academic and into a living laboratory before I die. The world is beginning to appreciate us odd ducks these days, but I only wish there were a couple more - enough that we wouldn't have to travel our specific paths totally alone. Is an aspie eco community in order? It could be like "Bless the Beasts and the Children."

Neil, I just spent an hour searching for a video I ran across last month without success. It had eco synthesis (or something like that -my memory is slipping these days) in the name and was basically about going beyond guilds and food forests and more towards regenerative agriculture by combining agriculture (basically food forests) intercropped with plantings encouraging natural tree succession, the goal being a full-fledged forest. A little too large scale for my taste, but might be more the model you are looking for?

Be strong, stay weird!
 
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Greetings, Suki

I think you and I are on a similar page here. I've also spent a lot of time seeking that one I could settle down with in a forest garden. Most people on such dating sites don't write back (people complain about one-liners, and rightly so but, in my experience, even several paragraphs explaining how you might connect will most likely be ignored). I'm hoping I'm making progress towards making some friends, but Ms Right remains as elusive as ever.

I am still utterly convinced an Aspie would be an asset in a forest garden setting, and make a great partner in such a habitat.

And yes, they all want someone without baggage. Who gets to their mid 30s or older, and ends up on a dating site with no baggage, Aspie or not? I think a forest garden is where you could overcome such issues. I can see that it's going to be even harder in your case, with so many intersecting axes of discrimination.

The best I've managed is an offer of sanctuary (you know who you are!), and this is very, very appealing, but the fact remains it's a stopgap, and may get in the way of finding that long-term solution. I really like the idea, and it's a great way out of what is basically an abusive situation (NOT with a partner), but it won't fix anything in the long run. I was having exactly the same discussion with her about being doomed to a life of isolation because of just how much such a partner would have to get over – over the past few days.

There is also a woman in Canada, but we have run into a problem of ethics I'm not sure we're going to find common ground over. It's frustrating, because we can sort 95% of what we need to sort out, either because we agree or through compromise. There is just that one snag, which would lead to serious conflict.

I've been giving a lot of thought to the question. The fact is that while it's possible to find people who want to get off grid, the second they hear the word “Aspie” they shut communication down (and for many of them it's only talk, I suspect - an aspiration to show the kind of person they want others to think they are). I'm not totally convinced two Aspies could make this work: there are too many requirements for outside contact, such as selling surpluses and so on (which isn't to say I wouldn't consider it: I know one couple who probably are both Aspies and making a go of it!).

In principle, I think diversity is key – not necessarily an Aspie and a neurotypical but maybe an Aspie and someone else with a different variant neurotype (I had an interesting discussion with someone with ADHD on a related topic). The problem is that while it's all very well finding another block unable to fit into society's square hole, it's much harder finding someone who can fit into a similar hole to yours.

For some reason I keep getting matched with polyamorous people, possibly because I'm broad minded in other ways, but there is only one condition I'd engage in non-monogamy under.

No, I don't think an Aspie eco-community would work. You need to be able to communicate effectively in a group, not just one-to-one. You'd need to overcome that problem. I'd last ten seconds in a community anyway. I mean, it sounds nice until you actually think about the implications. No, I'd need me and my partner, in a place where I can control my social interaction – not become a hermit, because that would be equally damaging, but manage who comes and goes and when. This is one of my problems with social ecology: it assumes people like us won't still be marginalised, which is a load of male gonads.

I have no idea about your video, Suki. Anybody?

You never know, over 2000 people have read this thread. It only takes two of them to be the right people to solve both our problems. I still hold out that somewhere is my Barbara, my Lil, my Erytheia (and if you recognise all three references, I want to talk to you anyway!).

Strength to your elbows!
 
Kitty Leith
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Hi Neil,

I am a newly self-identified Aspie and, like I said, a really high-functioning one. So high that it only rears its ugly head once in a blue moon and those around me have no clue or, if I've told them they forget. I kind of figured it out over the past few years by encountering others who were not high-functioning. I was the only one that recognized they were aspies, could empathize with them, and was able to give others practical tips to deal so they wouldn't throttle them. I'm at a point where dreams of hermitage are not really as a shelter against a hostile society, but more just because I've grown accustomed to and comfortable with a simple life away from social complications. That being said, I totally think a low-functioning aspie can become higher functioning. But it takes a lot of effort and the will to. I'm not sure it's worth it, honestly! A lot of the aspie traits are disarming but refreshing and society could benefit greatly from those of us who were built without guile and literal.

Have you seen the movie, "Adam"? We can be very endearing too. I was just like that in grade school, but not anymore. The Aspie revelation and test taking for confirmation was more a huge relief and it explained a lot of my past where social things were a mystery.



My talk of an aspie eco-community was just talk. Having rubbed elbows with the returning adoptee community when I was living abroad in Korea, I know first hand how complicated and touchy it is to be around a lot of other people processing things that are difficult in a claustrophobic environment. I imagine it would also be both comical and frustrating and stressful. It would be a disaster if there were multiple RMH heater geeks with differing opinions on something technical, for example...It could also be very special and bonding. Probably all those things. I'm getting tired just thinking about it. One aspie in a group is probably more than enough. Aspies in love doesn't seem very progressive.

No. Unless I run into some magical person in real life (which is doubtful will happen because I rarely get out to social functions) who thinks all my little obsessions are wonderful like in the movies, then I expect I'll end up living alone. I embrace that most of the time and am happy. And then once in a while I flip flop and think I am fooling myself. Next week I'll be over it. Until the next blue moon.

There are a couple local aspie meetups but from the discussion topics it doesn't seem beneficial to me at the stage I'm in.

Anyway, it's nice to know there are a few others here.
 
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Neil Layton wrote:
In principle, I think diversity is key – not necessarily an Aspie and a neurotypical but maybe an Aspie and someone else with a different variant neurotype (I had an interesting discussion with someone with ADHD on a related topic). The problem is that while it's all very well finding another block unable to fit into society's square hole, it's much harder finding someone who can fit into a similar hole to yours.



I don't think it's necessary for an aspie to be with someone not an aspie. For example, my husband and I also score highly on those tests, but we have different strengths and weaknesses. We're both big on communicating honestly, which is really helpful! We also have a hard time reading social signals, and love to collect things. But, aside from that my husband's aspie traits are different than mine. He's got the extreme focus on one or two activities. Has a hard time in organized activities/school. Had serious OCDs. Highly gifted in some areas... and not in others.

I, on the other hand, do not focus my attention on one or two things, and I did well in school (but was never gifted in one subject). But, I can't stand change and I'm really clumsy. I also have a harder time learning social skills, whereas he was able to figure a lot more of them out and act "normal." The things that bother us sensory-wise are also pretty different

Because we're different, we can support each other. And, because we're both "aspies" we understand more of what the other person is going through. I'd much, much rather be with someone who's honest but lacks the skills to communicates socially appropriately, than to be with someone who says all the right things, but is never honest. A good marriage --and good communication--is build on honestly. Also, I find it a lot easier to communicate with fellow aspies, as their mode of speach is akin to mine, than with those who are not. I'm horrible at small talk!

I would say, don't give up! I'm sure it's harder the more "baggage" and years you have (as the percentage of aspies who haven't already found someone decreases). But, there's a lot of aspies out there, and there's a lot of them that are into permaculture, etc. Online, and at "nerd" conventions, and at "continuing education" classes (in subjects you're interested in), might be good places to find another aspie. Also, if you have a particular religion, visit multiple different "churches" that align with your beliefs. You might find another person there who attends and may help out at church-wide events. Like you said, fellow aspies are easy to find. And, if they have a faith, they might still be going to church/synagogue/mosque/etc. (I met my husband at my church's young adult group, almost 10 years ago. The moment I saw him, I though, "Hey, there's someone weird enough to be cool!" I didn't know anything about autism/aspergers at the time, and neither did he, but we still recognized each other as being the same type of weird).
 
Nicole Alderman
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Suki Leith wrote:

Have you seen the movie, "Adam"? We can be very endearing too. I was just like that in grade school, but not anymore. The Aspie revelation and test taking for confirmation was more a huge relief and it explained a lot of my past where social things were a mystery.




Oh man, this brought back memories! Two weeks after I met my now-husband, he handed me some flowers and said, "You know a lot about flowers, could you identify these for me?" So, I identified them for him, "These are hydrangeas; they are usually blue; and they grow in my mother's garden." And then, because there could not possibly be any other reason for him to be giving me flowers, I handed them back to him, having completed my mission and identified them. He then said, "They're for you." I had noooooo idea what to do about that! I believe said, in very awkward voice, "Oh, thanks..." So, he thought I didn't like him, and slowly stopped coming to church as often. Meanwhile, I carefully dried the flowers and stashed them away. We then went almost a year without seeing each other (he came back to church because they needed a bass player), and we both tried again. Much of our relationship has been like that! The first time he told me he loved me (we'd been dating a month, maybe, so I was once again unprepared), I replied, "What does love mean?" So we discussed it! We have to muddle our way through a lot of stuff, but we're doing it together, and that's the important thing!
 
master pollinator
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Nicole Alderman wrote:"What does love mean?" So we discussed it!



That should happen more in relationships, I think. When my husband first asked me out I bluntly asked him what his intentions were.

I don't know if I'm autistic. I do know that I don't do the people thing at all well. My husband is the only person who doesn't drive me crazy by being confusing or exhaust me by talking all the time.
 
Kitty Leith
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Nicole,

That is the sweetest story! Maybe there is hope...

I love weirdos but don't have any clue where to find them.


Tyler, you'll be amused to know I was pretty impressed with you until I found out you were taken!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Aww, thank you!

 
Nicole Alderman
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Suki Leith wrote:Nicole,

That is the sweetest story! Maybe there is hope...

I love weirdos but don't have any clue where to find them.



I thought a success story was in order--there is hope!

Speaking of finding other weirdos, Ross Raven recently wrote about going to an SCA (medieval reenactment) gathering, and finding lots of aspies there: http://www.permies.com/t/51780/survival/Medieval-Survival-Experiment-SCA-Prepping (the actual meat of his experience is on another forum he posts on: http://internationalpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=5925&sid=509843ba827b5c5da12539451907975d). But, anyway, if you have any interest in the medieval period (and not just European), you should be able to find some aspies there. There's SCA gatherings all over the world, and this seems to be the one for your area: http://mists.westkingdom.org. Another advantage to an SCA nerd is that they are more likely to know useful, permaculturally-relevant skills (woodworking, metalsmithing, weaving, etc, etc.)
 
Kitty Leith
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Thanks for the weirdo suggestions - that's very creative thinking!

I went to an SCA thing one time. I get why people like it and it was fun to visit, but it wasn't my thing - maybe it was the recorder music and war games that turned me off. Though I definitely could see it as a great place to market crafts. Ha! I recently read somewhere that there are a lot of S&M aficionados attracted to SCA, and that it's a sub-genre!

There is also Burning Man. Lots of engineers & IT people at that. Lots of nudity and eating sand. Not for me. Lloyd Kahn (author of the Shelter books) recently spoke at the last Maker's Fair in the Bay Area. Went to a Robocon thing once too. That was fun. I know there are Permie conventions now. I get a little insecure at geek events though, being so behind in everything, feeling inadequate with my arrested development self. People also aren't walking around with indicators of their relationship status though, and most appear to be partnered.

I think, like you, it would be best to have a complement vs. someone who obsesses about the same things.

One of my favorite movie characters is Seymour in Ghost World. I could easily find Seymour, but would he be inclined to lift an axe? Dig a post hole? yeah, I didn't think so...Highlander games, now that's another story. Maybe I need to find a taber tosser! Ha ha!

I will try and make it to an aspie meetup and see what it's like, but not for romance. You know if you work too hard at something you screw up nature's synchronicity. Would rather have my own hydrangea story.


 
Neil Layton
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Suki Leith wrote:Hi Neil,

I am a newly self-identified Aspie and, like I said, a really high-functioning one.




I have big issues with these “functioning” labels. At root, what they are mostly code for is how well you can pass as neurotypical. If you put me in the middle of Princes Street in Edinburgh, or a noisy, drunken party, I function pretty poorly. If you put me in the corner of a quiet coffee shop with a friend and expect me to have a long philosophical conversation I'll enjoy it, and maybe look a bit odd, but there are people who consider me worth going back to. I'll pay for it later in quiet time, but I'll still seek it out. If you stick me in the woods with my tent, or in the garden for a few hours, I function pretty well. I've learned that I need to be somewhere I can function as the best possible Aspie I can be, rather than function as a second-rate pretend neurotypical.

Am I “high functioning”? I would have to ask under what conditions.

I think I could function very well indeed on a forest garden smallholding with the right person – who would most definitely be an equal but different partner, not a carer (I don't need a carer, but I do have serious limitations in certain human-intensive environments, not inherently because of me, but because those environments are geared up to a more mainstream neurotype).

Nicole Alderman wrote:I don't think it's necessary for an aspie to be with someone not an aspie. 



I think you make a really good point here, Nicole, and one I hadn't properly considered. Male and female Aspies typically present differently (it's thought to be one reason for the gender bias towards males in identification, because fewer people are familiar with the female Aspie profile). It's most likely a female Aspie would have different, and quite possibly compatible, strengths and weaknesses. We might have similar sensory issues and dislike of change, but a different profile when it comes to interaction with others. Female Aspies often make better social mimics, for example.

Nicole Alderman wrote:I'd much, much rather be with someone who's honest but lacks the skills to communicates socially appropriately, than to be with someone who says all the right things, but is never honest. 



No kidding! I have no wish to go through that again. A point that has come up for me is that women in many societies, including mine, are conditioned to go along with what the man wants in order to avoid conflict. Most Aspies, me included, tend to assume that everyone is honest (I react almost pathologically to most forms of dishonesty, and this also seems to be a trait). It then slowly emerges in a relationship that the woman has been neglecting to mention important facts, and trust breaks down (and this applies to NT-NT relationships almost as much as it would to NT-AS ones). I've been through this, and do not want to do it again! Women then complain that men have trust issues. I'm not surprised – it's a conditioned response to the environment.

So yes, an Aspie who is honest to a fault would be much preferable to someone saying the right things to keep me happy. Then we can address issues on the spot rather than letting them fester, which would be a very good thing living together on a homestead. That would be key to making it work long term, I think, and is a lesson learned.
 
Kitty Leith
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I see you've thought about this much more than I have. I guess I would concur regarding when and how one functions. I have been in leadership roles often, and that may appear very high-functioning but it's actually a role that insulates one from participating as much. One on one is actually much more fluid.

I have a problem with the labels - even the aspie label. I even feel uncomfortable calling non aspies neurotypicals or whatever. We all have issues, all of us. And we all have value. My daughter's bi-polar boyfriend lived with us for awhile and he was a genius at times and out of his mind at others. In other times, in other cultures, he might have been considered a divine oracle. In Korea, shamans were often females who had cracked and were considered channels for spirits. If one is obsessive, it means you have a purpose and are one with it. Being authentically different with specific talents is a benefit to society and should be nurtured.

For the life of me I can't understand why more people don't seek out aspies. People who can't lie should be valued!

I think the problem is the breakdown of community. In a real community, of a sustainable size, it is possible to know everyone enough to view the depth of their characters and potential for contribution and accept them. In modern society we move past each other in a rush and interactions are fleeting and pressure-filled so a call must be made - we've only got so much space and have to make judgements. It's sad.

I know my life would be so much more peaceful living apart from society. I also know that is lazy of me. And in some regards I think we are good for society...It would nice to find some balance. Like literally live on the margins yet still have some meaningful interaction.

Sorry so disjointed. In a rush myself off to the jobby job.
 
Neil Layton
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Suki Leith wrote:

I have a problem with the labels - even the aspie label. I even feel uncomfortable calling non aspies neurotypicals or whatever. We all have issues, all of us. And we all have value. My daughter's bi-polar boyfriend lived with us for awhile and he was a genius at times and out of his mind at others. In other times, in other cultures, he might have been considered a divine oracle. In Korea, shamans were often females who had cracked and were considered channels for spirits. If one is obsessive, it means you have a purpose and are one with it. Being authentically different with specific talents is a benefit to society and should be nurtured.



My thought on that is to borrow from the neurodiversity movement and point out that it's not a simple dichotomy between Autistic and Neurotypical. Someone who is bipolar may or may not be Autistic, but is certainly not neurotypical, and may have a lot to offer as a result. Schizophrenia is another case in point. I could see any of these having something to offer in terms of creativity in alternative forms of agriculture, as in other fields.

Suki Leith wrote:For the life of me I can't understand why more people don't seek out aspies. People who can't lie should be valued!



I have a theory about that too. There is a fine line between honest and hurtful. We're not sought out because most people can't handle that which is different. As I pointed out to a permie I know slightly locally, most humans prefer the familiar - in effect a mental monoculture, just as they prefer their monoculture fields and monoculture supermarkets and monoculture culture. It's one reason for all the research into cures, but that's getting off topic and into rant mode.

In my experience Aspies can, will and sometimes do lie, but we tend to treat it very seriously. It takes a lot for me to lie, and I'm not good at it.

Suki Leith wrote:
I know my life would be so much more peaceful living apart from society. I also know that is lazy of me. And in some regards I think we are good for society...It would nice to find some balance. Like literally live on the margins yet still have some meaningful interaction.



Actually, I think this is my ideal. I know I can't function well in neurotypical society, but I also would not do well as a hermit (although it sometimes appeals). I am also increasingly sure that I could be of benefit to society in such an environment.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Neil Layton wrote:
I have big issues with these “functioning” labels. At root, what they are mostly code for is how well you can pass as neurotypical. If you put me in the middle of Princes Street in Edinburgh, or a noisy, drunken party, I function pretty poorly. If you put me in the corner of a quiet coffee shop with a friend and expect me to have a long philosophical conversation I'll enjoy it, and maybe look a bit odd, but there are people who consider me worth going back to. I'll pay for it later in quiet time, but I'll still seek it out. If you stick me in the woods with my tent, or in the garden for a few hours, I function pretty well. I've learned that I need to be somewhere I can function as the best possible Aspie I can be, rather than function as a second-rate pretend neurotypical.



I think we end up having to use "high-functioning" because now aspergers has been eaten by autism. You can only be diagnosed with autism, not aspergers. If you don't say you're high-functioning, people assume you can't speak at all and are constantly rocking back and forth and shaking your arms. Of course, they'd be wrong, but you'd still get labeled with it, and people would view you differently.

As for pretending to be a neurotypical, now that I can stay home with my son, I don't really pretend much at all. I also thankfully don't have to pretend with my husband, either. And, my family knows I mean well, even if it comes out wrong. And, anyway, I'm really too sleep deprived to put forth the energy, and fail even when I try. But, when I had a job, I tried as hard as I could to not offend people, especially since I worked in a preschool and offending the parents of students is a really bad idea. It was very stressful and emotionally exhausting, but sometimes you do what you have to do to keep a job and earn money.
 
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most humans prefer the familiar - in effect a mental monoculture, just as they prefer their monoculture fields and monoculture supermarkets and monoculture culture. 



I have had this thought before many times in various forms. I like how you phrase it.
 
Kitty Leith
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I got all excited about this today.



It's about an aspie female architect living "half isolated" and championing neuro-diversity.
 
Neil Layton
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Suki Leith wrote:I got all excited about this today.

(video trimmed)

It's about an aspie female architect living "half isolated" and championing neuro-diversity.



I can relate very strongly to this woman. I mean, if you actually watch the entire documentary (linked from her web site) there are some key differences (no two Aspies are the same), but she is living much more closely her ideal environment than I am to mine.
 
Kitty Leith
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Agreed.

She is full of vigor, perceptive, and has a wonderful message. She has crafted a life that recognizes the joy of being comfortable in a world that doesn't appreciate difference. She's living an authentic life and that's something we should all strive for.
 
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I recently managed to blag a review copy of Aspergers and Adulthood: A Guide to Working, Loving, and Living With Aspergers Syndrome. I thought I'd find stuff of use to myself in there, seeing as it's only fairly recently I've discovered that I'm almost certainly an aspie, and I also thought that it seemed to be a perfect book for my 20 year old son, also almost certainly an aspie. I do worry that there's stuff he needs to be aware of that I'm blissfully ignorant of, so I flicked through the book and selected a few useful-sounding sections to read out loud to him to see what he thought. There were a few of the usual bits on social interactions, then some more interesting and relevant ones dealing with job interviews, how to tell if your gaming habit is really an addiction, and then this...

Co-esisting conditions

  • ADD/ADHD and executive-function disorders

  • Many adults with Asperger's struggle with issues related to attention, and they may also have a related but distinct condition called executive-function disorder, which results in difficulty organizing and planning, as well as trouble shifting from one activity to another.



    As I read, I suddenly realised what I was reading, and slowed down significantly, reading each word separately as the implications began to hit. As I finished, I looked over to my son, who was giving me one of his looks. And then he said,

    "Well that explains a lot, doesn't it mum!"

    And he's absolutely right. I couldn't organise the proverbial piss-up-in-a-brewery. And he's no better.

    And yet, here I am in charge of the day-to-day running of this site. Which I find a fascinating paradox. So I spent a couple of days thinking about it all and trying to piece together how that could happen, in the hope that there might be something interesting to discover, or lessons to be learned, or something.

    I seem to have that aspie-focus, for one thing. But the main thing was that if I make a decision about how to deal with the various issues that arise on permies.com, about 95% of the time I seem to come to the same decision that Paul would. So, being Paul, he decided that he might as well leave me to it so he could move on to other projects. The assumption that I made from this was that Paul and I must think along similar lines, in similar ways. Last summer, I actually managed to get myself accross the pond to visit the lab and meet Paul, Jocelyn, and loads of other amazing people, including some of the other staff, in person. Even for an antisocial hermit of an aspie like me, this was an amazing experience.

    At one point I was sitting trying to decide how to handle a post. There were three statements in it. Statement A might or might not have been true, but it was out of the scope of my experience. Same for statement B, and C. But the implication in the way they were presented was that A led to B, and therefore C was the appropriate conclusion. It didn't appear that way to me and I was trying to decide what to do about it, so I took the opportunity of having Paul right on hand instead of thousands of miles away to discuss it with him.

    "Paul, those three statements are completely unrelated, and yet people are going to assume that the conclusion is true, based on whether or not they believe the other statements are true. How should we handle it?"

    Paul immediately complimented me on my understanding and application of the rules of logic, as, he said, not many people would have noticed that.

    I was dumbfounded and explained that the laws of logic were a total mystery to me, and that my thought process was entirely different. I think very visually, as, apparently, a lot of aspies do. I grew up assuming that everyone thought in pictures. After all, how else could you possibly think? Don't words exist purely as a means to paint pictures in other people's minds? I'd always believe that.

    Paul looked at me like I'd arrived from another planet when I said that I thought visually.

    "I don't even know what that means..."

    So we have this paradox that we don't even understand how each other think, but tend to come to the same decisions about stuff 95% of the time.

    It felt a bit like this...



    I still can't fathom 'rules of logic'. But this, very roughly, is what goes on in my mind when I read stuff. Someone makes a statement. It's like a lump of wet clay landing on a surface. Or possibly like a dollop of poop being deposited by a passing donkey. The next statement produces another dollop. Sometimes those dollops stick to each other, and create a bigger, more interesting dollop, a bit like pottery taking shape. But sometimes the dollops land all in a row, as they aren't really connected in any way, and all that is left is a trail of donkey-poop. Occasionally, two dollops really do fit together, even if they were deposited separately, but you might have to run around gathering them all up and comparing how they fit. Once you have a few that really do fit together, things get interesting. Occasionally you get a whole load in one post that fit together perfectly and an amazing creation starts to form before your very eyes. Other times it takes dollops from several posts, or different threads, or anywhere really, to get that idea to take shape. Sometimes dollops that appeared separately can be stuck together using a dollop from somewhere else. Sometimes a thread gets really busy and everyone is flinging dollops all over the place, some sticking, some falling away, and amazing new, complex and beautiful structures/ideas/solutions begin to form, gradually taking on a life of their own as they take shape and begin to fulfill their purpose in life.

    But then sometimes someone tries really hard to stick on something that really doesn't belong there, or tries to saw the idea away at the base, or balance something totally inappropriate and way too heavy so that it will bring the whole thing tumbling down. My job is to remove anything that's going to do that, and to smooth the cracks over, maybe bring together dollops from other places, or help push bits into place. If I do things right, I can mostly just sit back and watch all the magic happen. On a good day I might even throw a few dollops of my own into the picture. But mostly it's looking on from outside, nudging things into place and chiseling out anything nasty. Attempting to create a kind of living order out of chaos, but in no way imposing structure or organisation.

    I get the impression that most non-aspies would consider this a form of dis-order. I don't operate from lists of instructions, I just leap in when something looks like it's going to unbalance everything, based on a mix of intuition and past experience and just what the situation looks like. New staff members will often ask me 'what should I do' or 'what is the protocol for this situation?' and mostly I have no idea at all, as my modus operandi is to leap in and put things right. If I do the same thing often enough, I might be able to figure out some kind of 'rule' describing it, and maybe even write it down, but it's very much a case of putting the paths where people walk, not imposing paths where they 'should' walk. Of course, I think permies.com would collapse on itself it there wasn't a load of internal structure to support it, but that internal structure is a bit of a mystery to me, and I'm certainly not very good at constructing it, or even doing the routine day-to-day stuff that supports it. I seem to thrive in chaos, leaping in where it's needed to keep things afloat, and need a team of more ordered, or is less dis-ordered, staff to do all the things I'm no good at. Maybe this is why executive function disorder is seen as a disorder - it functions from the top down, reducing chaos, rather than from the bottom up, creating structure. But then, maybe it needs both ways to operate simultaneously and in harmony to create true innovation.

    Or maybe I've just walked through this thread spreading far too many donkey-dollops that don't really connect. I'll leave them to you to pick up and put to use if you want...
     
    Kitty Leith
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    Neil, I found that video: Life in syntropy

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Burra, though I've never been able to think in pictures (my husband, another aspie, totally does, though), what you describe seems a lot like how I operate my life. When I draw a picture, I have to use pencil because I'm constantly going back and "smoothing out that pile of poo." When I clean the house, I just go from one place to another putting things away and into places until it looks good. I usually can never visualize the end product so much as just keep hacking away at things until they're done.

    It's also how, for instance, I pick berries. Some people go about it systematically. I try to, but I always end up just picking the best looking berries first. They catch my eye, I pick them and then I move on to the next one that looks good. They eventually all get picked.

    I hadn't realized that lack of organization was a aspie trait. I always pictured aspies as having all their trains (or whatever else they were fascinated by) meticulously organized on shelves. Both my husband and I are not very systematic or organized UNLESS that's the thing we're focused on. For example, my toys were always organized in height or color order...if they weren't strewn about the floor. I'm always always putting things down in random places, and then having to go back around and put them where they are supposed to be. My cupboard doors are almost always left open until I notice them and go and close them all.

    Thank you for sharing this, Burra!
     
    Kitty Leith
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    Bura, The species comparison was fun. We are similar in that I would always visualize and have to draw my ideas instead of speak growing up, and then when I did speak my precise choice of words caused peers to berate me and say, "speak English!" We are different in that I like some order with my chaos.

    All this aspie stuff is rather a new revelation. I apologized to my daughter in advance the other day, asking her to try and understand if I ever appear unfeeling, and explained how I don't really know my emotions. I told her it's like: hey! what is this moisture in my eye? Oh! It must mean I am sad. That blew her mind. "Wait - you have a physical response first and then have to figure out what it is?" It blew my mind that that blew her mind, because that state of being isn't remarkable to me. I am the opposite of a drama queen because it's hard to be dramatic about something you have little feeling about. Sometimes I wonder what it is like to feel so much - if it makes life more enjoyable - but then I watch those with smiley faces and heart-dotted i's crash and burn and remember to be thankful for being spared all that. It's nice to get excited about concepts instead.

    As an aside, do you think permies could reconsider the name thing? This is the only forum I belong to that makes me use a real name and it makes me feel really vulnerable. Maybe you and Paul could talk about that? Might not have thought about that back when the policy was first started...
     
    Neil Layton
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    Suki Leith wrote:Neil, I found that video: Life in syntropy



    Thanks Suki.

    This is a little different to what I have in mind: what's in this video is more of an alley-cropping system, designed for the use of machinery and somewhat less diverse than what I have in mind. What's in this video is part way between modern industrial agriculture and what I want to be doing. What I'm looking at would involve several hundred species per hectare, including a fungal layer.
     
    Neil Layton
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    Burra

    I do something similar to you when I spot something that just isn't logical.

    I was thinking about this earlier. I've been revisiting a very popular, highly regarded text on Permaculture. It's been reviewed several times by others. I'm finding that it's just as messed up, out of date and borderline (sometimes more than borderline) illogical as I remembered.

    The Aspie's response is for my logical processing to override any tendency to conform to what others think (there are four lights!).

    What I am wondering is whether I'm the only one who can see the faults in this standard text, or whether everyone else is just going along with the consensus (or, of course, I'm the one who's wrong and there are five lights after all...). Is this a reflection of the Aspie tendency towards honesty you and I discussed privately?

    Come to think of it, I did the same thing with my Mycelium Running review: it's a good book, but I don't think it deserves the kudos everyone else seems to be giving it, simply because I think it's flawed.

    Oh, and my executive function, especially after a long day, stinks.
     
    Burra Maluca
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    Neil Layton wrote:
    I was thinking about this earlier. I've been revisiting a very popular, highly regarded text on Permaculture. It's been reviewed several times by others. I'm finding that it's just as messed up, out of date and borderline (sometimes more than borderline) illogical as I remembered.

    The Aspie's response is for my logical processing to override any tendency to conform to what others think.

    What I am wondering is whether I'm the only one who can see the faults in this standard text, or whether everyone else is just going along with the consensus. Is this a reflection of the Aspie tendency towards honesty you and I discussed privately?

    Come to think of it, I did the same thing with my Mycelium Running review: it's a good book, but I don't think it deserves the kudos everyone else seems to be giving it, simply because I think it's flawed.



    Oooh, complex issues here. I'm guessing you're talking about Mollison's Designers' Manual?

    I think the thing to remember about that is that it was pretty well the first of its kind, a mega brain-dump where Mollison seems to put all his thoughts down in one place for future reference. It's not a work of art, it's a work to seed a new way of thinking. It's bound to be out of date, it's seeded so much new stuff. Mollison had brilliant vision and foresight, but not all his ideas were fully developed. I read once (no idea where, sorry...) about a university professor introducing himself to his new students. I think the subject was chemistry, and he explained that in twenty years, half of what he was about to teach them would be proved wrong. But, as he didn't know which half, he was going to teach all of it and trust that his students would help sort out which bits needed updating. And I think when you have a gazillion ideas, half of them half-baked, sometimes the best thing to do is to put all of them down and trust the later generations to be able to sift through, ignore stuff they can't use, and maybe stumble on a little gem of an idea buried in another one of those donkey dollops that everyone else overlooked.

    Yes, it has faults. And yes, I think a lot of people overlook those faults and gush over it anyway. But I think those faults also drive a lot of people away. That's why we need more books, suited to the needs of different readers. And why we need different people to review those books and attempt to get the right books into different people's hands. I know you love Jacke and Toensmeier's works, other people might find them too 'heavy'. Gaia's Garden seems to find a balance where it's easy enough to read, not too long, and yet accurate and scientific enough so that it appeals to a huge range of people.

    As for Mycelium Running, I happen to love it. But I do screen out the 'purple' woo-woo ish bits, but then I have my own theory on sentience and consciousness which would probably be considered totally woo-woo, too. The rest of the Mycelium Running book is outstanding. To return to my donkey-dollop-sculpture analogy, I see it as a shining example of a wonderful work of art, full of amazing information with highly practical applications, but with a fair amount of dollops still sitting unused around the base. I tend to ignore the stray dollops unless they overwhelm the sculpture. On the other hand, I never give 10 out of 10 on reviews (though I'm tempted with a few...) on the grounds that no book is perfect.

    As for going along with consensus, it's true that it's something I rarely do, so maybe an aspie thing? I've noticed that since getting that 'mother tree' title and a huge collection of apples that apples tend to pour my way much more easily, suggesting that there is a tendency for my voice here on permies to be somewhat 'too strong' these days. And that has actually made me somewhat nervous to share my opinions in a lot of threads in case what I write gets misinterpreted as 'what permies.com says'. I think Paul has similar issues, wanting to stay out of some aspects of the site so it stays a community rather than 'the Paul show'. I'm fumbling so much with getting my head around the aspie stuff though that I'm quite happy pouring out my asinine ramblings here.

    I really ought to go and write up that review of the aspergers and adulthood book though. I seem to have got myself distracted and disorganised again...
     
    Tyler Ludens
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    Burra Maluca wrote: That's why we need more books, suited to the needs of different readers. And why we need different people to review those books and attempt to get the right books into different people's hands. .



    I think this is important.
     
    Kitty Leith
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    Neil - The video is definitely not a method for a small holding. It's a scale thing and a big ag. thing. But I liked their motivation and how they incorporated succession.

    Aspies - do you have a hard time reading? I have become more and more critical of books all the time so that, where I used to consume dozens I can now not suffer through any.

    I found Mollison unreadable, and Mycelium Running as well. I don't like method mixed with proselytizing. Couldn't finish either.
     
    Neil Layton
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    Kitty Leith wrote:

    Aspies - do you have a hard time reading? I have become more and more critical of books all the time so that, where I used to consume dozens I can now not suffer through any.

    I found Mollison unreadable, and Mycelium Running as well. I don't like method mixed with proselytizing. Couldn't finish either.



    I'm a bookworm, but it is fair to say that I'm not going to gush over a book I find ungushable. I found Mycelium Running useful in places, but outright irritating in others. I recommend it on the basis of it being a good place to go to for certain information. There are many aspects of it that pissed me off. PADM is also a good volume with deep flaws, which does not deserve the 9 or 10 acorns most reviewers on here are giving it. There is good material in there, but it should not be read uncritically.

    I think the difference between me and most allistics is that I'm not afraid to say these things. I'd rather be honest with myself and others than go along with the crowd. Most Aspies I know react almost pathologically to most forms of dishonesty. I had to learn (at the age of 19 or 20!) the proper response to "how are you?", and why most allistics expect you to lie (and it's only been the last 6 months or so that I've really thought through the implications of this.

    I learned a Swedish aphorism a couple of months ago, which roughly translated means "only dead fish flow with the stream". You find relatively few dead fish in the Aspie community.

    Going back to books, I think I'd have a hard time learning much reliable without them. The trick is to learn to read critically. I'd also quickly have to scrap most of my indoor recreational activity.
     
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    Hi. Very interesting website, as one living all his life in a farmhouse that operated on most of these principles as a matter of course until about forty years ago.

    I've been lurking for a time, but I had to post for this one. This is a convoluted topic, because there are those who self-diagnose and identify as ASD types as an almost cultural thing, and others, especially on the internet, who just throw it out rather dubiously to excuse dire and unrepentant behaviour. It's become this whole drama thing, y'know?

    As one with a diagnosis and a nasty five week hospital visit I'd lean towards it being a pure neurological developmental shebang, and that unless you're impaired enough to impact your lifestyle, it's beter to leave the self-diagnosis alone and consider you've got a handy smattering of traits, as opposed to the more serious issues like having trouble recognising faces due to distortions of expressions, or the complexities of others and your own emotional states.

    I mean seriously, I only discovered this year that people feel different intensities of emotion depending on the circumstance, while I assumed it was a conscious linguistic artefact, or that neurotypicals could feel two different conflicting emotions at once! that sounds pretty messy to me, but then I imagine I sound messed up to them.

    I'm rambling. I just wanted to say there's a lot going on in that question, and the neurologists can be quite interesting when they speak of the physiological differences found so far.

    Also this website is utterly baller.
     
    Kitty Leith
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    Yes, unfortunately it has become in vogue since it's gotten so much media play of late. And agreed, when it is worn as an excuse for all manner of "dire and unrepentant behavior" it does indeed allow people to be annoying and dramatic. And probably too many people take the self tests and declare themselves somewhat or probably. They are easy to manipulate for the outcome you want as well. Mass hypochondria and co-opting labels really does diminish the real struggles of those really afflicted.

    BUT I'm thankful because it becoming pop culture made me know it exists. It didn't exist when I was growing up. People were touched in the head and to be avoided was about it. It's presence explains a whole lifetime of difficulties and it's comforting to find out about it, because it is better to know I am wired differently than to feel I have just failed at ALL of it because I'm a loser, when I know I am not.

    I went in for diagnosis this week (with more testing to go). I have wondered what good it will do to have a label because I've worked decades to seem normal and fit in and am superficially successful at that. But I'm also on my 18th job. And I've moved 40 times. And I'm never happy in society despite having talents society can utilize. So I think even if one superficially fits in, one can have a hard time living a lie. And so the diagnosis if positive will help me work with - whatever it is - and not in spite of it or trying to kill it. And relationship and friendship is clearly something I have problems starting and maintaining.

    I don't think one has to exhibit more physical Autism traits for it to count or to not have it catastrophically impact your life. I have some unseen neurological issues that were inconclusive but might be co-morbid to Autism. I exhibit none of the physical presentations that characterize Aspies, though one might be able to see me as a more subtle female Spock.

    It's not cheap though, so it's understandable more people don't go in for a formal diagnosis. I broke my no credit card rule for this, because I was about to leave yet another job...so realizing I can't keep doing this it seemed worth the high cost.
     
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    Yes I fit. While I have never been diagnosed with apsbergers I hit nearly the whole list of indicators from very high IQ and totally social inept and on down. The little mini idicator test that anything over the high 20's is likely aspbergers I score 36 or 38 on.(a couple of question can honestly be answer 2 ways) I have struggled with this my whole life so know I do understand.

    Now back to the original question. For apbergers I think creating isolation zones is the wrong answer.(For autism in general it might be the right answer) Aspbergers needs to know the rule book and coping techniques. Mostly I had gotten by my problems the hard way before I knew what they were. It was only about 5 or 6 years ago that I learned why I am the way I am. Suddenly light bulbs are going on all over the place. It would have been so much easier if I knew what was missing and had a way to learn it. Some acceptance from the outside is nice and certainly less painful. But if I had known how to get there when I was much younger that would have been the most important thing. Teach the skills then the aspbergers people need to be pushed and encouraged to use the skills till they can get along. It will mean being very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.

    When I graduated HS I would have said I was in the top 3 in the class for being the social outcast. School was basically a war I attended on a daily basis. Add in that I am a dyed in the wool introvert on top. Now imagine my surprise a couple of winters ago when we started planning the 30th class reunion when I learned that I was in touch with more of my graduating class than all but one other person. He is the dyed in the wool extrovert and realtor so his job requires social networking so his being on top is no surprise. The really funny thing that I was in contact with most of them because they found me not because I went looking for them. The skills can be learned. It will not be comfortable and shouldn't be. This is a muscle and it takes the pain of the workout to make it stronger. The thing is the pain needs to be made to count. The rural isolation zones are not working that muscle. Instead they basically hiding from working it for aspbergers.

    As for there being more autism and especially aspbergers here that one logically follows. If you don't fit in society you are going to go where you fit. If you are over stimulated you will go where you can relax from that. Rural life fits well with those. Add in that if you have been socially isolated you have learned to cope with it so one of the main disadvantages to most people of rural life you are fine with. If you are high IQ on top of that and it is making you comfortable you are going to work to improve that comfort. Thus you will end up places like permies that is working to improve the comfort of that life. For those of us likely dealing with aspbergers though we need to be sure we don't let it stop our growth along the way. We don't need labels and we don't need to hide. We need skills and practice in using those skills.

     
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    I was so glad to find this thread! My son is 13, and when he was probably 10, his pediatrician convinced me to take him to a psychologist because she was sure he had Asperger's. The psychologist agreed, but referred him to the local University psychiatrists to have him diagnosed. Well, the "experts" told me that he tested "just below" the threshold for Asperger's, so they would not give him a diagnosis. I have to say that I was crushed, probably very selfishly, because an official diagnosis would have validated my feeling that he is different. The older he gets, the more I am convinced that he does have Asperger's - I don't care what the experts say. So I'm really interested in hearing everyone's ideas on this topic. He is very intelligent and gets straight As in school, but I have a hard time getting him interested in anything other than video games. We live on a 5 acre farm that I am slowly transforming into a permaculture farm. I'll definitely be following this thread to see how I can try to interest him in more outdoorsy things.

    As an interesting side note, leila hamaya mentioned in a previous post about "gifted" and "learning disabled." I always felt that my daughter, who is now 5, was very intelligent, so I was perplexed this school year (she is in kindergarten) that she struggles mightily with reading, writing, and math. They put her in learning lab (for learning disabled children) and recommended her for speech therapy. As part of her screening, they did an IQ test, and she tested at 139 for the non-verbal portion, which is in the gifted range, and 118 in the verbal portion, which is above average. Overall IQ is 131, gifted. Go figure. The speech therapist explained to me that gifted and learning "disabled" are not mutually exclusive. I prefer to think that she just learns differently from most children. Luckily, our school has a wonderful program to address her needs, but this was an eye-opener for me! The speech therapist suspects dislexia, but is hesitant to put that label at such a young age.
     
    Neil Layton
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    Well this thread has flared up.

    There is a lot here. Cards on the table. I have a formal diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (we still use the ICD-10 in this country). I had the advantage of a proper health service, so I didn't have to pay for it, but it's done me little good because there are no services for adults. There are also some secondary issues stemming from acute and chronic periods of social isolation.

    Okay, Matt, I think you are correct about those who use it as an excuse for bad behaviour. I think there is a difference between accepting AS as a reason and using it as an excuse, and there can be a fine line between the two. I make plenty of mistakes, and I'm careful to apologise for them afterwards, but I'm less inclined when I've been asking if I'm making mistakes, been lied to by allistics, and then had the allistics use it as an excuse for exclusion later.

    I could go on and on about examples of what you (rightly) describe as serious issues. The thing is, where I disagree with C. Letellier is that these things can be learned. To a point you can learn to mimic, but it's never going to be good enough for allistic society. I made the mistake of thinking I could learn these skills cognitively, and paid for it in emotional damage.

    I also think that the label has its uses: my brain doesn't work the same way those of allistics do.

    Chris: many people have a lot of traits and score on the Broader Autistic Phenotype without meeting the full diagnostic criteria (my parents would have been examples of this).

    I think, as an adult, that a Permie smallholding would be a good environment for me, but I would need to be very careful about social isolation, because I know that cutting myself off completely does immense damage.
     
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    I've also been formally diagnosed with high functioning Aspergers and ADHD since 6th grade. At that time, I was shifting into middle/junior high school, which meant shifting into the next tier of education and workload. I would find myself having panic attacks because of this change and eventually it got to the point where I would barely get any homework done at all, because I was hyper focused on the fact that I wasn't getting anything done, how my teachers would react the next day, and how it would affect my grades. My English class seemed to have a particularly heavy workload for 6th grade. By the end of the year, I had a D. Despite that, the teacher who taught my English class was the one who immediately noticed me and played a huge part in getting me a diagnosis, and gave me what was probably the most thorough education in grammar I've ever received, even after high school. At some point, I was put on meds to help me focus. At first, the ones that actually did what they were supposed to, made me feel motivated...I genuinely wanted to do the work. This wore off despite the fact that I was still taking them. I would stop taking them during the summer and start again along with school and the motivation effect was back. As I got used to this issue of not being focused, I only found myself malfunctioning when I really did have a lot to be stressed about.

    At some point in high school, I decided that I wanted absolutely nothing to do with any medication from a pharmaceutical company (unless it's a life or death/extreme pain situation). I am also lucky enough not to have any conditions where a doctor might try to convince me to take medication over trying to resolve the situation homeopathically. Moving away from the meds, I definitely struggled to keep up with everything, especially during my senior year. Despite that, I managed to graduate 38 out of 438 in my class (weighted)...not that grades really matter beyond the education world, but I think it shows progress from where I started with my diagnosis.

    I've also never been able to keep my room organized, despite the fact that I do like things to be neat and categorized...even if its a simple Excel Spreadsheet, or a bunch of files on a computer.Sometimes a lot of the time, that just doesn't happen though. I'm currently in the process of thoroughly myself that if I want to make myself a better person, I need to enable myself to do things better. To do that, I need to be organized.

    So... I've decided that every useful thing that I own needs one spot and one spot only, with a very clear, concise, and easy to read label, and every useful thing needs my name or initials engraved/written in permanent marker/stenciled with spray paint. Every piece of paper that I want to keep either needs to be scanned as a PDF and then filed properly. Every other piece of paper should be immediately be filed in the 'I don't want this paper' bucket. Every other thing that I own should either be permanently fixed to a particular spot, purged from my life, or redefined as useful as something that it was not before (e.i. random metal knickknack is now scrap metal). Some might call this OCD, but I want my life to be organized to the point where the only component that can fail is myself, NOT the things that are a part of my life. (I wonder if I'll ever get to that point??) Let's call this the code of organization.

    To give you insight into what is motivating me to do this, follow https://www.youtube.com/user/caseyneistat on youtube.

    This is a tour of Casey's office.

    Casey talking about motivation.

    More on organizing by one of Casey's mentors.
     
    C. Letellier
    Posts: 250
    Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
    16
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    I fully agree it is mimicry. Because of different wiring the real direction most people take may be completely closed. But that doesn't mean there are not alternate paths to the same destination. If 3 of us are walking down the sidewalk. The guy with us sees the color of the tree is off color and thinks there is a problem. You on the other hand have good eyesight and see the leaves are covered in aphids while I am farsighted so I miss that but I see the sideway covered in the slick sticky wet looking glaze. Each of us knows something is wrong. Each of use may choose a different path to solve the problem. But as long as the problem is solved safely it doesn't matter to tree which one of us was right or how we solved it.

    I will likely never be good at reading peoples' emotions. That is beyond me. But if I know them on a personal level I can read typical vs atypical behavior. That is a type of cataloging and pattern recognition which is a skill I am a good at. I will never be the life of the party. In fact I probably will never really enjoy the party at all. But if needed I can pretend well enough to mostly fake it. I will step in deep messes at times because I didn't see them coming or took the wrong action. Rule books don't always work is the problem. I will not have the success rate of someone with the correct instinctive reactions. But I know from experience that I am way better at faking it than I was even 10 years ago. And I am exponentially better than I was in school 30+ years ago. And I find that in a few special cases I am actually better than most people at recognizing problems and helping. In this life we each should be working to be the best we can be. If we let fear limit us and push us into hiding we will never reach that point. And by going off and hiding on the farm that will never be reached.

    Now you will say faking it is hiding too. It isn't. It is simply good manners and getting along in society. Everyone has to do a certain amount of it. For example I find that sharing how my mind it actually working is a good way to get in trouble. Usually it is the fact that it is taken out of context that gets me in trouble. Take an example clear back to HS. Someone wanted to know how to pick the principle's wife out of the crowd. My comment was to "find the lady who looks like a bulldog". This of course drew gasps from most of the little group I said it to. Now everyone there was thinking I was insulting her. Funny thing is that in my stream of conciousness at the time there was absolutely no insult intended. I wasn't implying she looked like a dog or was ugly or any other thing that could be read into that comment. I was simply pointing to 3 features that combined made her face shape look like a bulldog. To me that was the obvious pattern and I was completely oblivious to the possible insult in the thinking. It didn't even register to me. I knew people gasped but it literally took me hours to figure out why. My stream of conciousness is just as shocking and messed up now as it was then. The difference is that I apply better filters to what I let out of my mouth most of the time. I still step badly in it occasionally. But now I know to filter and I know to read reactions and try and take corrective action as needed. Those are skills that can be learned. Still a work in progress but getting better.
    But without all the rough patches I have hit I would not have grown like I have.
     
    Neil Layton
    pollinator
    Posts: 632
    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
    110
    bee books forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees
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    I don't think a forest garden is hiding.

    Sitting in my den, staying away from the kinds of environments most allistics enjoy (shopping, pubs, drinking, parties etc) - that's hiding.

    A forest garden is accepting that I am suited to a different environment and working to my strengths - being the best possible Aspie I can be.

    Finding someone who has complementary strengths does nothing but accept the principle that there is strength in diversity. I could offer a great deal to someone with a different neurotype to mine, even one who is pretty much neurotypical, and vice versa. Call it mutualism, call it cooperation: either works, but any permie will recognise it.
     
    Liar, liar, pants on fire! refreshing plug:
    please help me create BB wiki pages, and other PEP pages
    https://permies.com/t/98467/create-BB-wiki-pages-PEP
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