How many of you are on the Autistic Spectrum?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Mr Silver, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    Don't ask me how I know these kinds of people, but I was talking to a psychologist friend of mine (who is deeply involved in the study of autistic spectrum disorders) and Star Trek came up in conversation. Now I've never been one to "not mention" that I'm a huge fan of Star Trek, so I told my friend about the extent of my interest in Trek.

    It was during this discussion (my friend isn't "like us" in that he has only been a passing fan of the show having watched the UK runs of TNG, DS9 and VOY) that he said that probably 60% of the people he has worked with who have autistic spectrum disorders (Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism, mainly) had some degree of an interest in Trek - one that was more than the average person, but not necessarily near the levels that most of us are at.

    So that got me thinking, why not ask people here as to whether they are on the autistic spectrum, to see if there is any truth in what my friend was saying?
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is there same kind of handy internet test you can take to find out if you are?

    To the best of my knowledge none of my trek friends are, nor myself.

    :)
     
  3. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not, but I have two friends that are, and they were both Star Trek fans decades before their Autism was diagnosed.

    I am disabled though (cerebral palsy) as a result of brain damage I suffered at birth, but I don't know if that helps your query.
     
  4. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not me. I'm just your standard socially awkward geek.
     
  5. donners22

    donners22 Commodore Commodore

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    I was diagnosed with Asperger's by two doctors about six years back. I was seeing them for an eating disorder, which apparently has some link to the autism spectrum (obsessive behaviour, perfectionism, isolation, etc).

    It doesn't mean anything to me. What they regard as Aspie traits, I see as part of me. It's a mere label as far as I'm concerned.

    The autism spectrum, especially Asperger's, seems to be rather over-diagnosed these days. Some people look up the symptoms on Wikipedia, apply a few of them to themselves or their children, and attach the label for life. The reality is that almost everyone will have at least some of the traits.
     
  6. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    I have read in a few places that some experts have speculated on the possibility that autistic spectrum disorders are caused by the cerebellum - namely that it doesn't develop during the fetal stage in the same way that an individual without an ASD develops.

    If this were true (and my knowledge of this particular hypothesis is limited to just the hypothesis itself), then that would surely suggest a connection between ASD's an Cerebral Palsy.
     
  7. Data Holmes

    Data Holmes Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't been officially diagnosed, that I am aware of.

    I have had several non related people think I should see one to see if I was because I "fit the spectrum".
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Unfortunately, you won't be able to gauge what percentage of people on the autistic spectrum are interested in Star Trek, with this thread. At best, you'd be able to gauge what percentage of people interested in Star Trek are on the autistic spectrum. Except that you won't really be able to tell anything about that either, owing to the non-scientific nature of the survey. Just sayin'. :p

    Anyway, I'm not on the autistic spectrum.
     
  9. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    What we really need is a geek spectrum.
     
  10. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blooness Premium Member

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    ^On the geek spectrum, I'm surprisingly normal. :)
     
  11. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

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    My wife has Asperger's Syndrome. She really isn't a geek or a nerd. She is into animals though. She is more childlike than a geek or a nerd. She is socially awkward though but very outgoing with a bubbly personality.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Just make sure no one mistakes that for needing a geek speculum.
     
  13. Captain_Nick

    Captain_Nick Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can we get an internet test for this? I demand to be categorised by an internet test!
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I tend to agree. I too was diagnosed with high-functioning Aspergers in late childhood, and I've never been comfortable with the label (fortunately, the psychologist I saw for three years was very sympathetic on that count). I've never been able to escape the suspicion that "Aspergers" was just a handy descriptor they applied to aspects of my personal condition that they couldn't (couldn't be bothered to?) understand. Most of the people who knew me were a bit sceptical of the diagnosis, thought at least one family member has since latched onto it as an explanation for some of my stranger behaviours. Personally, I think any "Autistic Spectrum" behaviours I exhibit are the result of my mood disorder acting in combination with personality traits that have nothing to do with any disorder or condition.

    I have heard of, and even noted myself, a high degree of interest in Trek and the like among those with high-functioning autism. I would assume Aspergers and the like probably correlate with other factors that encourage interest in popular sci-fi?
     
  15. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Vice Admiral Admiral

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    sorry to shatter your friend's theories but I happen to be totally normal (for a moderate Trekkie, that is :D).

    I suppose that due to their fewer social contacts, autistic people might perhaps spend more time watching TV.
    Plus: Especially before Autism became publicly known, parents of autistic children didn't really know what to do with them and just put them in front of the TV.
    Also, watching might be more in the lines of autistic persons than joining social interactions, so that they'd have a higher affinity to TV than your average person.

    Star Trek airs at a convenient time, so when they switched the TV on, they'd almost automatically watch this show. As a general rule people who regularly watch any series become fans (that's what series are made for, after all).

    If you'd do a statistic as to how many autistic people are fans of Sesame Street, Roseanne or any other daytime series, you would propably get the same results as for Star Trek.
     
  16. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    Will a Geek Hierarchy do?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think that we can all agree that there is no life form lower than furries :lol:
     
  18. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've long suspected that I have some form of autism. I know that I have really bad social anxiety and have a hard time interacting with people socially.

    How does one go about getting diagnosed? What happens if you get diagnosed...is there treatment?
     
  19. Rhaven

    Rhaven Captain Captain

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    I have definitive OCD characteristics, but I've not been diagnosed as one. My geek-dom has a long history that I'm actually proud of. If there's a test, I'm willing to take it.
     
  20. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Part of the reason I'm not sure of myself is that my CP affects my legs more than my brain. I walk part time but use a wheelchair (or crutches) the rest of the time.