Asperger's: The Engineer's Disease (PBS)



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alex
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04 Oct 2007, 1:12 pm

The PBS show Wired Science has a special on Asperger's

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/st ... sease.html


Quote:
Nobody wants to have Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism that limits a person's ability to communicate, often leaving them socially isolated and mired in weird-seeming behavior. But the disorder can sometimes be a strange sort of double-edged sword, coming coupled with powerful, if narrowly focused, intellectual gifts. Put those two together, and it's clear why many people believe any number of scientists and related geeks, from Bill Gates to Albert Einstein, may have or had the disorder.

People with Asperger's generally just seem odd, not obviously impaired - which helps explain why it often goes undiagnosed. Those born with the condition tend not to understand facial expressions, body language and other nonverbal communications, and thus take statements literally, missing implied meanings and subtexts. They often lack empathy, blurting out truthful but unvarnished statements. And they typically fixate on very specific interests-anything from baseball stats to movies to .... (continued by linked page)


Thoughts?


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MrMark
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04 Oct 2007, 1:26 pm

"The Engineer's Disease." I like that. I find that the more I try to explain AS to people, the more misconceptions they develop.


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mmaestro
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04 Oct 2007, 4:22 pm

alex wrote:
Thoughts?

Only one: I'll set my DVD-R.

OK, two: it sounds like it may actually be balanced, which would be a nice change, although I wonder if my instinctive dislike of Baron-Cohen's "extreme male brain" hypothesis may spoil it for me, given he's one of their experts.


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edal
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04 Oct 2007, 4:41 pm

Hope it makes it across to this side of the Atlantic.

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weird_el
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04 Oct 2007, 5:28 pm

hmmm... In the past 20 years, all the men I've really been attracted to have been engineers. There might be something to this theory.



ZakFiend
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04 Oct 2007, 5:57 pm

alex wrote:
The PBS show Wired Science has a special on Asperger's

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/st ... sease.html


Quote:
Nobody wants to have Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism that limits a person's ability to communicate, often leaving them socially isolated and mired in weird-seeming behavior. But the disorder can sometimes be a strange sort of double-edged sword, coming coupled with powerful, if narrowly focused, intellectual gifts. Put those two together, and it's clear why many people believe any number of scientists and related geeks, from Bill Gates to Albert Einstein, may have or had the disorder.

People with Asperger's generally just seem odd, not obviously impaired - which helps explain why it often goes undiagnosed. Those born with the condition tend not to understand facial expressions, body language and other nonverbal communications, and thus take statements literally, missing implied meanings and subtexts. They often lack empathy, blurting out truthful but unvarnished statements. And they typically fixate on very specific interests-anything from baseball stats to movies to .... (continued by linked page)


Thoughts?


I think if (some) Aspies lived longer they'd see having Aspergers like having super powers. I know I appreciate having a more logical mind and being able to visualize complex systems and systematize things other people can't even begin to understand.



CeriseLy
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04 Oct 2007, 8:43 pm

that's weird. I like engineers too and if it makes them feel any better, someone later told me that they make the best husbands



gwenevyn
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04 Oct 2007, 8:52 pm

The program already aired?


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05 Oct 2007, 10:32 pm

Wish I'd known this story was going to be part of episode beforehand, I didn't watch it.
Tried (2 different times) to use link-loading the PBS page caused my browser (Safari) to crash.

By the way, here's a recent lengthy gov't. report on employment and people with ASD's:
http://www.autism-info.org/2007_employm ... report.pdf


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05 Oct 2007, 11:28 pm

Interesting comment from an HFA viewer:

Quote:
Why is there even a syndrome. Why label it as this. Why call an amazing artist an IDIOT savant? Why lump extreme intelligence into the SYNDROME category? Do they not understand that with great intelligence comes great sadness because of an even greater understanding of how things are and will be. Sure some show extreme effects of the "disease" autism, but for the most part great things can come of an aspergers person. The simple fact is the schools system of education is not equipped to deal with extreme intelligence and they teach the poor kid like he is stupid when in reality he is starving for information.



violet_yoshi
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06 Oct 2007, 12:41 am

Apatura wrote:
Interesting comment from an HFA viewer:

Quote:
Why is there even a syndrome. Why label it as this. Why call an amazing artist an IDIOT savant? Why lump extreme intelligence into the SYNDROME category? Do they not understand that with great intelligence comes great sadness because of an even greater understanding of how things are and will be. Sure some show extreme effects of the "disease" autism, but for the most part great things can come of an aspergers person. The simple fact is the schools system of education is not equipped to deal with extreme intelligence and they teach the poor kid like he is stupid when in reality he is starving for information.


True, true.


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06 Oct 2007, 11:09 pm

gwenevyn wrote:
The program already aired?

I'm not sure. There was episode last Thursday (which was rerun Saturday night-I watched it this time), but I didn't see/hear the above linked story. Instead the episode I saw had feature on emotional-expression-reading software at MIT, with a few students w/ASD's trying out the program. Maybe the Asperger's & engineering profession story will be aired next week ???


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RadiantAspie
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07 Oct 2007, 7:53 pm

I never saw the program (yet), but the title is kinda misleading. And I think Newton is closer to Bipolar, but since he's dead and you don't have his brain there really is no way to verify any claims about the cause of his personality.

In any case, it does seem like its designed to have a positive outlook on the condition.


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08 Oct 2007, 7:17 pm

My husband is AS and an Engineer.

My focus has been on the science of medicine since a very young age. Family and friends have called me "the walking medical book" for years. I also have AS.

Engineers are hot 8)


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08 Oct 2007, 7:25 pm

Apatura wrote:
Interesting comment from an HFA viewer:

Quote:
Why is there even a syndrome. Why label it as this. Why call an amazing artist an IDIOT savant? Why lump extreme intelligence into the SYNDROME category? Do they not understand that with great intelligence comes great sadness because of an even greater understanding of how things are and will be. Sure some show extreme effects of the "disease" autism, but for the most part great things can come of an aspergers person. The simple fact is the schools system of education is not equipped to deal with extreme intelligence and they teach the poor kid like he is stupid when in reality he is starving for information.


I've actually started to wince when reading such words as disorder, affliction, disease, etc. when they are used in connection with AS/HFA. It is only being viewed as such by those who do not have it. Those of us "afflicted" with it, may well see them as the ones with the affliction, when they spend so much time in useless gossip, teaching their autistic child to wave their hand, constantly doing things in herd, etc. It will be a great day when this whole spectrum is viewed as a necessary and important deviation from the "norm", instead of something lamentable that must be fixed, without further delay.


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