Ask an aspie anything you want

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Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Music » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:39 am

I am an aspie, which is probably why I am interested in Buddhism. Ask me anythjng.:smile:It could be about my condition or my interest in the teaching or anythjng at all.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:06 pm

How do I persuade a person with autism, who is verbal, to talk on the phone?
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Music » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:48 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:How do I persuade a person with autism, who is verbal, to talk on the phone?


Could you explain the situation a bit more? I too have that problem - would rather email than call - but it is better to know more about the situation.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:24 pm

what is it like for you?
he used to talk on the phone when younger but now seems horrified by the idea.
So, i want to know what is going on in his head (he won't/can't say) so maybe if you tell me what goes on in your head regarding this, it will give me some insight.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:32 pm

Music wrote:I am an aspie, which is probably why I am interested in Buddhism. Ask me anythjng.:smile:It could be about my condition or my interest in the teaching or anythjng at all.


Okay, thanks; here are some questions that I have always wondered about:

Aspies find it difficult in social encounters, etc. How is that any different from someone who is just shy? How come there are aspies who have girlfriends / boyfriends and also friends of their same gender? If they find it difficult to interact, wouldn't they be extreme loners and not have friends?

How are aspies any different from someone who just wants to be a loner?
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Osho » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:46 pm

How come, before Aspergers was named and claimed; kids kinda grew out of social awkwardness?
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Music » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:13 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:what is it like for you?
he used to talk on the phone when younger but now seems horrified by the idea.
So, i want to know what is going on in his head (he won't/can't say) so maybe if you tell me what goes on in your head regarding this, it will give me some insight.

I can relate. As I grew older, I became more and more email-friendly. In my case, there is some sort of anxiety whenever it comes to meeting people, even if it's only on the phone. So email gives me a chance to communicate and avoid people at the same time. This is probably because Aspies are too focused on the self.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Music » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:18 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Music wrote:I am an aspie, which is probably why I am interested in Buddhism. Ask me anythjng.:smile:It could be about my condition or my interest in the teaching or anythjng at all.


Okay, thanks; here are some questions that I have always wondered about:

Aspies find it difficult in social encounters, etc. How is that any different from someone who is just shy? How come there are aspies who have girlfriends / boyfriends and also friends of their same gender? If they find it difficult to interact, wouldn't they be extreme loners and not have friends?

How are aspies any different from someone who just wants to be a loner?


Aspies have social anxieties, which is only a small part of being an aspie. Doesn't mean anyone who is socially awkward is an aspie. Like grapes are fruits, but not all fruits are grapes. Aspies can be very, very quiet, but also very, very verbal, especially when talking about subjects they love. So making friends is not impossible, although difficult.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby catmoon » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:23 am

I worked with a number of aspies in my time with disabled riding association. The ones I encountered went way beyond shy. Some of them had not spoken in years.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby viniketa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:13 am

If I am not mistaken, Asperger's is considered part of the 'autism spectrum'. What is different?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/06 ... ith-autism

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21687660

If one considers neuroplasticity, however, meditation might alter those properties of the brain.

My question, Music, is do you meditate?

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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Music » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:01 pm

^ I do try to meditate. Problem is, most aspies have other problems like OCD/ADHD, so it isn't an easy task.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby viniketa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Music wrote:^ I do try to meditate. Problem is, most aspies have other problems like OCD/ADHD, so it isn't an easy task.


Yes. The attempt is quite laudable. Keep trying! :smile:

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If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby undefineable » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:26 pm

A different aspie with different answers here, if no-one minds :thanks: Musicc, I don't think aspies are more focused on 'the self' if 'self' is defined in relation to 'other'. There just isn't as much perception of 'other' in terms of other people.

David N. Snyder wrote:Aspies find it difficult in social encounters, etc. How is that any different from someone who is just shy? How come there are aspies who have girlfriends / boyfriends and also friends of their same gender? If they find it difficult to interact, wouldn't they be extreme loners and not have friends?


Socialising -like musicianship and many other pursuits- is a whole-brain activity, which -it seems to me- makes it both worthwhile and -for autists/auties of all shapes and sizes- particularly hard. An activity isn't less enjoyable just because it's hard and worthwhile, so the reason high-functioning autistic people often make friends is because they see the value in attempting it, even though they don't have enough whole-brain connectivity (mechanically) or sensory input processing (holistically) to really pull it off.

A truly shy person is someone who sees all the potential negative outcomes of socialising to an extent which would be impossible (given his lack of sensory input processing) for an autist, and therefore (since she lacks the wherewithal to assess and respond to social situations as precisely and assertively as an enlightened being would) avoids them.

Osho wrote:How come, before Aspergers was named and claimed; kids kinda grew out of social awkwardness?


Me and many people from my parents' 'baby-boomer' generation suggest this is because our society -with its stiff job competition and so on- demands a more sophisticated minimal level of socialising than the society of, say 50 years ago. The kind of people Catmoon describes:
catmoon wrote:I worked with a number of aspies in my time with disabled riding association. The ones I encountered went way beyond shy. Some of them had not spoken in years.

might have simply been diagnosed as autistic for the 50 or so years between autism's appearance on the psychiatrists' books (i.e. the DSM) and asperger's', but have since been shunted across to the 'severe' end of the 'asperger' stretch of the 'autism spectrum'.

viniketa wrote:http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/06/04/154175007/whats-different-about-the-brains-of-people-with-autism

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21687660

If one considers neuroplasticity, however, meditation might alter those properties of the brain.


There's also the small matter of what the Buddha said about the inability to escape the consequences of past karma

Moreover, Buddhist teachers such as this one:
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote:We all experience negativity-the basic aggression of wanting things to be different than they are

give the impression that, while the aspiration to 'achieve enlightenment' is a 'necessary evil' at the start of the path, simply feeling things to be unsatisfactory is always and necessarily counterproductive as a starting point {C.f. Threefold Purity} - Because you're working with yourself, you always get the opposite of anything you strive for, given the universal importance of self-acceptance that I'm sure we all acknowledge.

Wishful thinking is considered by atheists to be the basis of religion, but I wonder if it has a place in Buddhism. :thinking:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Osho » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Thank you for the reply and keep at that meditating music.
Saw some research a while ago on the benefits of meditation for students on the autistic spectrum. It was a tad TM-partial but conclusions where measureable appeared to be sound.
Attention and retention improved over life of the the study.
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:43 pm

Greetings Music,

What is the best way for an aspie to encounter, learn and practice the Dharma?

Are there certain aspects which would be emphasised or de-emphasised?

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Music » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:09 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Music,

What is the best way for an aspie to encounter, learn and practice the Dharma?

Are there certain aspects which would be emphasised or de-emphasised?

Maitri,
Retro. :)


I can't speak for others, but for me there has to be some kind of logic, formula, routine etc., which I believe Buddhism offers unlike many theistic faiths. I normally try to focus more on the rational or practical part of the dharma (meditation, questioning, understanding concepts etc.) and less on the faith-based part (praying, idol worship, and so on).
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Tiger » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Dont go by psychological classification because it is just the classification of a behaviour and shouldn't be called a "disorder". It is not "wrong" to be shy and introverted, is it? I wonder why the modern western psychologists, pediatrician etc want to "cure" it. A human being's behaviourial pattern is conditioned as he or she grows up according to experiences.

A Tiger is extremely introverted and secretive and likes being alone most of the time in the wild. Is it still not the king of the jungle? Have not the people of East admired, feared, respected and adulated the Tiger where it lived along their side? I am introverted too, and from what I read about aspies in wiki just now, I could be classified as one too. I dont like much social interaction but that is because I never want to conform to the standards of most social groups because they have become extremely materialistic and attention-mongering. Those are a good socially are only so because they do not mind spending too much time trying to gain other's attention. Put them in a secluded spot away from social interaction and they will go paranoid. Now that is a disorder, isn't it? :guns:

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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby Tiger » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:47 pm

I would like to add that there are some people who talk so much, and mostly useless things, that it makes other people crazy. There are others who like to be laughed at and are therefore always trying to be humorous and funny. There are those who want to dominate others, There are those who feel frightened because there is no other human to socialize with them. These are all different behaviourial patterns. Why are these not considered "disorders" that need to be "cured". If someone is shy, and dislikes company, it doesn't mean he hates the human kind. That would make the Buddhist ascetics as anti-socials! From the perspective of Buddhism, such fundamental characteristics are acquired by individuals based on causes and conditions. It is an individual's Alaya-vijnana that decides his nature. And Alaya consciousness is not a permanent soul.

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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby undefineable » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:31 am

Tiger, I can't tell whether you're confusing autism with shyness or low sociability - Written descriptions of autism spectrum disorders ('ASDs') fail to make clear what is emerging from recent research as the core of autism {See, for example,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lyczl}:

An autist literally has no way of fully 'sussing out' what is going on around him. This is because the unconscious brain -and not the 'mind', 'heart' or 'soul', as those who ascribe autism to inborn solipsism (like the cousin of the UK comedian better known as 'Borat' and, formerly, as 'Ali G') would have it- is failing to take past experience on board and filter out irrelevant information:
http://ultimateautismguide.com/2011/09/ ... -behaviors

In your 2'nd post you seemed to imply that mental 'problems' are things no-one would ever want to be rid themselves of for their own sake. Note that the 'problems' you listed don't themselves amount to disorders but could be considered 'symptoms' of disorders - including autism. I only studied Psychology for a sixth of my 1'st year at University, but it was emphasised that mental health professionals steer away from aiming to cure such 'problems' solely for the sake of 'society' or any other such abstract ideal, distress to the individual with the 'problem' being the 1'st priority for any attempt at treatment. And because of the complexity of the human brain and its reliance on past experiences, a 'cure' for autism can be safely ruled out - See verse 127 of the Dhammapada:

Verse 127. Shelter Against Death
Neither in sky nor surrounding by sea,
nor by dwelling in a mountain cave,
nowhere is found that place in earth
where one’s from evil kamma free.
{http://www.buddhanet.net/dhammapada/d_evil.htm}

Tiger wrote:It is not "wrong" to be shy and introverted, is it?


It's a pattern of behaviour rather than an action that could be considered 'wrong' (relatively ofcourse - this is a mahayana board ;) ). It also seems unlikely to result in such actions, although it could lead to a failure to seek employment on the level of one's abilities, which seems to me to be a negative action 'by omission'. However, the word 'shyness' implies an aversion to having one's ego bruised by the eventual consequences of a more 'gung-ho' approach to socialising. Furthermore, although I can't see extroversion as intrinsically better than introversion, given the current definitions that divide the human population equally between these two temperaments, Buddhism cautions us against blindly following habitual patterns, and gives us a definition of humanity that's vast enough for us to embrace introversion and extroversion equally - in theory if not necessarily always in practice.

Tiger wrote:Put them in a secluded spot away from social interaction and they will go paranoid


Have you tried this? :twisted:

Seriously, why shouldn't heightened responsiveness to one's social environment translate into heightened responsiveness to any environment?
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Re: Ask an aspie anything you want

Postby undefineable » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:36 am

Music wrote:I can't speak for others, but for me there has to be some kind of logic, formula, routine etc., which I believe Buddhism offers unlike many theistic faiths. I normally try to focus more on the rational or practical part of the dharma (meditation, questioning, understanding concepts etc.) and less on the faith-based part (praying, idol worship, and so on).


It's become a cliche in autism circles to say "once you've met one aspie, you've met one aspie", and in that spirit, I'll confess that I'm prone to prayer/prostrations etc. but (unfortunately for me) resistant to routine. However, even with myself as a more 'atypical' aspie (i.e. atypical atypical :rolleye: ), I'd still say logic is important for autistic people, because there's less of the social intuition that acts as a counterweight (to logic) for everyone else.

I'm curious about transcending logic though.
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