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    #188396 - 04/15/14 09:39 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: blackcat]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: blackcat
    I took in DS for a speech assessment and after the woman spent literally 1 minute talking to him she asked if he has Aspergers. Simply because he was not making eye contact with her that often. He was very chatty and friendly, the eye contact just wasn't there. He DOES make eye contact with us and other people that he knows well. And he was making eye contact with her by the end of the appt. It just annoys me that people are trying to label kids with ASD based on such superficial characteristics after just talking to them for a minute. I have troubles making eye contact as well and have to force myself but I don't fit ASD criteria in any way. DS had a teacher who got right in your face with a direct stare--I thought that was just as weird as not making eye contact.

    In some non-Western cultures, maintaining eye contact is considered confrontational. If someone asks me a difficult question, I may concentrate better if I am not looking at them. It should not be assumed that more eye contact is always better.

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    #188399 - 04/15/14 10:09 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    Quote:
    If someone asks me a difficult question, I may concentrate better if I am not looking at them.


    This is what my DD says. She also will fiddle with things with her hands when asked something hard (mentally hard, or emotionally hard) or feeling confronted. To me, it does not come off well. However, I am her mother and am hyperattuned to her minor social issues. No one else has ever mentioned it to me about her.

    When I asked her if she knew what I meant about feeling ignored if someone didn't look at her when she was talking, she said that it was not ideal, but specified that she didn't really care that much unless it was obvious the listener also was not paying attention because he/she did not answer or respond appropriately. She also pointed out that we frequently have good conversations in the car when we cannot look at each others' faces (true!)

    This all sounds pretty ASD-ish, I admit, but some part of me also thinks--well, I am imposing my NT view of the world here or what?

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    #188400 - 04/15/14 10:11 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154

    Quote:
    In some non-Western cultures, maintaining eye contact is considered confrontational. If someone asks me a difficult question, I may concentrate better if I am not looking at them. It should not be assumed that more eye contact is always better.


    I know, a friend of mine who grew up in India was talking about that teacher (with the very direct stare) and how creeped out that made her. Dh has commented on it as well. It does seem confrontational, and I grew up in the U.S.

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    #188401 - 04/15/14 10:14 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I agree, blackcat-- and I know that most introverts regard eye contact as a matter of-- well, of personal space, as weird as that sounds.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #188404 - 04/15/14 10:47 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: blackcat]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: blackcat
    I took in DS for a speech assessment and after the woman spent literally 1 minute talking to him she asked if he has Aspergers. Simply because he was not making eye contact with her that often. He was very chatty and friendly, the eye contact just wasn't there. He DOES make eye contact with us and other people that he knows well. And he was making eye contact with her by the end of the appt. It just annoys me that people are trying to label kids with ASD based on such superficial characteristics after just talking to them for a minute. I have troubles making eye contact as well and have to force myself but I don't fit ASD criteria in any way. DS had a teacher who got right in your face with a direct stare--I thought that was just as weird as not making eye contact.
    I have been there.

    This was one of the reasons we kept being asked if DS was "on the spectrum" when he was having emotional problems as a preteen. It's doesn't seem that odd to me that an emotionally fragile introverted preteen doesn't initially make eye contact with an adult he doesn't know well. I kept getting frustrated that adults he didn't know well would get into his face and expect him to warm up to them immediately. Maybe there is a reason beyond autism that he is looking at the floor? DS didn't have a problem with eye contact as a preschooler and doesn't have problems now that he is older and a lot more stable.

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    #188408 - 04/15/14 11:07 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Well considering the fact that DS is in first grade, I thought it was a lot to expect. Many/most kids that age are anxious talking to adults, but he answered all her questions in detail. He is definitely an introvert though and slow to warm up, but this isn't necessarily apparent to anyone but us. It probably didn't help that he kept talking about minecraft, astronomy, Cleopatra, and other random odd things.

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    #188413 - 04/15/14 11:43 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    I think what is more confounding is that such signs can be both mild ASD and brain immaturity/slow development. In particular, I am thinking about the child of a family friend who appeared to me clearly mild (beyond borderline) ASD and was classified with an IEP for ASD by the school district in K. Interestingly, this child also had a couple of savant traits (give him any date and he can give you the day of the week immdediately, etc.) that disappeared after the ASD signs improved substantially many years down the road. It struck me as odd that the savant ability disappeared as his behavior improved substantially into the "borderline" range - one of those mysteries of the brain.

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    #188415 - 04/15/14 11:57 AM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    DD is no savant, but had some vaguely savantish traits as a toddler that could also have been considered ASDish (or gifted). In particular, she memorized the location of most countries of the world and many, many flags of the world as a young toddler (twoish) and could recite extremely long picture books with ease within a few hearings. I feel like these unusual memory skills have receded somewhat, although maybe they are just more underground. She looked more odd/off as a toddler than she does now, that's for sure.

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    #188417 - 04/15/14 12:16 PM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: Quantum2003]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: Quantum2003
    I think what is more confounding is that such signs can be both mild ASD and brain immaturity/slow development. In particular, I am thinking about the child of a family friend who appeared to me clearly mild (beyond borderline) ASD and was classified with an IEP for ASD by the school district in K. Interestingly, this child also had a couple of savant traits (give him any date and he can give you the day of the week immdediately, etc.) that disappeared after the ASD signs improved substantially many years down the road. It struck me as odd that the savant ability disappeared as his behavior improved substantially into the "borderline" range - one of those mysteries of the brain.


    I don't think this is mysterious. It is just two cases of developmentally normal growing up. The linked article already describes how various behaviors that look autistic are often really just various forms of immaturity that are grown out of.

    In the case of disappearing savant skills (and there was a thread here a while back with several examples of this, e.g. our DSthen3 could rattle off the elements from memory but has long since forgotten them, and can't even remember doing it) my theory is the gifted toddler's mind is in high gear, but unsophisticated, so they may display savant-like skills. As they grow up and become relatively more sophisticated their brains have a lot more skills than "mere" memory/calculation feats, so basically their brains have better things to do, and so the savant-like skills seem to fall by the wayside (imho).

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    #188420 - 04/15/14 12:49 PM Re: Atlantic piece about 1 in 68 autism rate [Re: ultramarina]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    It's a decent theory.

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