Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
I decided to point a webcam at myself for a few minutes as I'm doing absolutely nothing, just to get an idea of what I look to people when I'm just sitting around waiting, like waiting for dismissal at my kids' school, for instance. Yeah, I know, I need to get a life.
Okay, so I sat there for a bit, aware of the camera (can't really help that), but just allowing myself to have a normal stream of consciousness and being as natural as possible. I assumed that it would be pretty dull, because it would just be me sitting still. Well, lo and behold, as I'm sat there thinking, my face does all kinds of weird expressions. I've always known I have a bit of a goofy face; I mean, it's very expressive and rubbery, with lots of odd asymmetrical expressions. But I didn't realize that when I'm just sat there waiting, my face is doing all these weird things. I look like a cartoon character plotting to take over the world. AND, I had no idea that I'm doing this little conductor thing with my finger.
It was strange, because people on the spectrum are "supposed" to have this "flat affect". I don't. I have a "weird affect"! Ha ha!
Also, I noticed that my mouth tends to go into a kind of lopsided sneer, even when I'm thinking about something that I find amusing. Well, dang! That would explain why people act weird around me! Or why they give me a really wide berth!
Heck, maybe I don't have AS at all. Maybe I just have "weird face syndrome". (Well, that and executive dysfunction, and a bunch of other stuff.) How very odd.
Joined: 5 Mar 2009
Location: Oxford, UK
I can relate to this "weird face syndrome" somewhat, the left hand side of my face constantly makes facial expressions. Some of them simple, some of them completely weird. However the right hand side of my face does have the whole flat effect thing going on. People will regularly accuse me of being "pissed" with them and it'll be like "Huh? noooooo i'm not pissed with you!", "Then what the hell is your problem?"... "MY problem? you're shouting at me!".
Joined: 1 Sep 2006
I, too, have strange face syndrome. Candid pictures of me have always been the worst. When I'm having a good time, I get the most goofy, unflattering buck-toothed expression on my face. I get that lop-sided sneer when I'm amused as well. People have accused me of looking at them strangely or grimacing. Sometimes, I feel like my face slowly gets stuck into expressions that are just... strange.
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
i have rubber face syndrome. and it gets weird and embarrassing> I make all these stark and jagged expressions and people misread my face all the time. oh well.
if you read more about the spectrum, one finds people on the spectrum show a great deal more than flat affect. rather, it can be flat affect or overly expressive facial expressions and in both cases there is a DISJUNCTURE between the internal realm of the individual AND their outward expression. And that is the key to it - a discordance between internal feelings and normal outward expression of these. the two do not match up.
Joined: 9 Mar 2007
Location: Snapdragon Ridge
Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I do this too. Some people like to be fidgety by tapping their arms or feet. But I like to fidget with my face too. When I am walking or sitting around I will make all sorts of weird grimaces. I try not to do it when I know other people are watching, but some times I am caught off guard. I'll be walking down the street making these weird faces and then I will notice that someone is there and can see what I'm doing.
Posing for pictures can be hard too. When I try to smile, I usually end up exaggerating it. Here is a recent example:
I'm the girl in the white shirt, BTW.
Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Only in popular stereotype. According to the DSM people being impaired in the use of non-verbal communication to regulate self-expression is a symptom of AS. The expanded description goes on to describe how this might manifest, and describes both the flat effect and "gauche" body language. What you are describing is the latter of these two.
Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Location: Invisibly here
If you need to get a life, then so do I, because I've done the same thing! Pretty much the same results as you. I make lots of grimaces, and I downturn one side of my mouth while I'm thinking. People do tell me that I look mad a lot, and after I saw myself I know why. In my avatar I thought that I was smiling really big until I saw the picture. That's not a smile. I'm not sure what it is.
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
People always ask if I'm "Stoned" which I am never.(except that one time I had 20-30 something cans of creaming soda)
I seem too have a docile face most the time. My insomnia has made my eyelids open half-way and my scoliosis makes my face look like a mass-murdering hippy goth.
I shall rule the world with an iron spork!! !!
http://www.imvu.com/catalog/web_mypage. ... r=10671143
4th sin: sloth.
Joined: 1 Sep 2006
Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
Location: Logan, Qld, Australia
Joined: 27 Sep 2008
Location: The Lands where the Jumblies live
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
How should we explain this to other people in a non-threatening and straightforward way?
I'm saying this because sometimes, inadvertent miscommunication could be a real problem.
This is very true, AmberEyes.
I am almost attuned to a "frig off" defensiveness because of being so misread. It's not good
my facial expressions are very exaggerated and people who know me - family and some art people - factor this in when speaking with me. Still, how does one say "excuse me, but my face is all over the place...please disregard the expressions whilst talking to me as they bear no resemblance to how i feel."
THe good thing is that people here on WP understand some of these issues.
Joined: 15 Aug 2008
i rarely make an expression because my mind and my face are not related.
i do have rudimentary ones like smiling or frowning, but that is about it.
i only smile when i am feeling amused, and i only frown when i feel frustrated.
i do not smile at things like pretty scenery or nice smells or good luck. i only smile when i feel entertained by my thought on a matter (it is usually a barely discernible smirk, but sometimes i dissolve into laughter).
i do not frown when i am annoyed or when i disagree. i do not frown at anything except obstacles that are impeding my progress.
there are only 2 subtle expressions i ever pull (that i can think of) and they are a look of disbelief, and a look of distaste.
the look of disbelief is betrayed by raising my left eyebrow while not changing any other expression on my face whilst listening to a story.
the look of "distaste" is hard to describe, but i will try:
when i was small, i studied the ears of our german shepherd dog. i liked them. he pointed his ears in the direction of his attention, and in pointing his ears, he pulled his facial expression as a by product of where his ears were turned.
he even could point each ear in a different direction, and swivel them as he paid attention to different things.
this stretched and squeezed the facial skin slightly as a result, and he seemed to have a myriad of different facial expressions.
i understood them. when he pointed both ears sharply foreward when he was keenly studying something, his face would get a bit altered and he looked intent.
when he was getting annoyed by someone who was silly and trying to pet him and talk gibberish, he would point his ears backwards and it made his face look quite funny.
humans can sometimes wiggle their ears, and i am someone who can. it is almost imperceptible to a witness, but i feel as if my ears are being moved, and i can control which ear i move in which way.
although this does not translate to visible movements of any significance, i feel a brain map of it happening that is magnified.
so my look of "distaste" is a subtle expression i pull when i severely pull my ear muscles in a way that makes me feel i am pointing my ears backwards.
i can not explain it any other way.
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