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Kon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:07 am    Post subject: Shyness/Introversion vs mild AS-Differences. Reply with quote

Any opinions?

Shyness and AS: similarities and differences?

A while back, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal called Asperger’s disorder “a pompous label for shyness”. While perhaps going a bit far, I think it highlights a point: there are a number of similarities between people with (mild) Asperger’s and people with shyness/social anxiety. While the standard issue answer to this question is, “Aspergers don’t know how to interact, shy people do but are freaked out”, one should consider that lack of social skills is widely reported in the literature on social anxiety and avoidant personality disorder. Many shy people withdraw for so many years that they lose the opportunity to develop social skills. Thus, they can’t maintain a conversation, awkward silences, may be socially immature and underdeveloped, be withdrawn…just like people with Asperger’s disorder.

Except in extreme cases, where the person in question is literally obsessed with some archaic topic, talks at people endlessly about said topic, has sensory issues, takes everything extremely literally and can not make generalizations, I would say social phobia/AvPD is almost always the more appropriate diagnosis. My feeling is a lot of people these days in the Social Phobia/Avoidant ballpark are misdiagnosed as Asperger’s because it is a “trendy” diagnosis and the outward appearance can be so similar. I am especially skeptical about those online who claim to have Asperger’s yet seldom ever mention any other symptom than the usual “I’m XX years old and never had a girlfriend.” To me, that’s classic Avoidant Personality, not Asperger’s, except if there are fairly clear-cut autistic traits accompanying it.

Am I wrong here? Am I off base? I think what I’m saying is fairly reasonable, and I wish people on the internet would stop calling themselves “Aspies” because they are introverts or experience a mild and very normal level of social awkwardness that would disappear if they stepped away from the computer for a few minutes. I’m actually glad Asperger’s is being dropped from the DSM-V and being merged into Autism Spectrum Disorder. This way, the people really afflicted with it will still qualify for an ASD diagnosis, and the shy, introverted nerds will no longer have an excuse for being a social shut-in and will actually maybe grow a pair and start…gasp! talking to girls…

http://www.goanxiety.info/archives/shyness-and-aspergers-disorder-similarities-and-differences.html
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SammichEater
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:43 am    Post subject: Re: Shyness/Introversion vs mild AS-Differences. Reply with quote

Kon wrote:
A while back, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal called Asperger’s disorder “a pompous label for shyness”. While perhaps going a bit far, I think it highlights a point: there are a number of similarities between people with (mild) Asperger’s and people with shyness/social anxiety.

Well duh. How long did it take you to figure that out?

While the standard issue answer to this question is, “Aspergers don’t know how to interact, shy people do but are freaked out”, one should consider that lack of social skills is widely reported in the literature on social anxiety and avoidant personality disorder. Many shy people withdraw for so many years that they lose the opportunity to develop social skills. Thus, they can’t maintain a conversation, awkward silences, may be socially immature and underdeveloped, be withdrawn…just like people with Asperger’s disorder.

People with AS are shy because they don't know how to interact, and people who are shy never learn to interact. Seriously, what's the difference?

Except in extreme cases, where the person in question is literally obsessed with some archaic topic, talks at people endlessly about said topic, has sensory issues, takes everything extremely literally and can not make generalizations, I would say social phobia/AvPD is almost always the more appropriate diagnosis.

What makes you say that? You just said that they were so similar that it's hard to differentiate, and now you say that they should be separated? And in the extreme cases previously mentioned, that's not even AS, that's actually more like full blown autism.

My feeling is a lot of people these days in the Social Phobia/Avoidant ballpark are misdiagnosed as Asperger’s because it is a “trendy” diagnosis and the outward appearance can be so similar.

Yes, because aspergers is so frequently diagnosed. I can't think of 3 people I know that don't have AS. Everyone has AS, right? What have you been smoking? I mean seriously, AS is underdiagnosed if anything. Hardly anybody knows what it is. I am an obvious example of the stereotypical shy aspie, and it took 17 full years before someone told me "hey, there's this thing called aspergers, I think you might have it."

I am especially skeptical about those online who claim to have Asperger’s yet seldom ever mention any other symptom than the usual “I’m XX years old and never had a girlfriend.” To me, that’s classic Avoidant Personality, not Asperger’s, except if there are fairly clear-cut autistic traits accompanying it.

Well, there must be some reason why. Sure it might not be AS causing the avoidant personality, but obviously there is a cause for it. For many, that cause could be AS. Personally, since the other symptoms do line up perfectly for me, it clearly is the reason, the only question is the severity.

Am I wrong here? Am I off base? I think what I’m saying is fairly reasonable, and I wish people on the internet would stop calling themselves “Aspies” because they are introverts or experience a mild and very normal level of social awkwardness that would disappear if they stepped away from the computer for a few minutes.

Please, show me where these so called aspies are on the internet. I have yet to see one here on wrong planet. Sure I might not be looking very hard, but don't accuse people of not having AS. Please, tell me I don't have AS so that I can make a list of about 100 AS traits that I have other than introversion and social anxiety and make you eat your words. As for the computer, you leave technology out of this. My computer use has neither helped nor harmed me in terms of socialization. If you want to argue about technology that's fine, but don't just go making assumptions. Just because the majority of geeks you see are more asocial than the average person doesn't mean it's the computers fault. Really, most asocial people are going to naturally be more attracted to pursue hobbies dealing with computers.

I’m actually glad Asperger’s is being dropped from the DSM-V and being merged into Autism Spectrum Disorder. This way, the people really afflicted with it will still qualify for an ASD diagnosis, and the shy, introverted nerds will no longer have an excuse for being a social shut-in and will actually maybe grow a pair and start…gasp! talking to girls…

I may or may not qualify for an ASD diagnosis because so far it really hasn't impacted my life in many ways besides my lack of friends and a social network. Either way, I am in fact a shy introverted nerd, and while I might not have an excuse for being a social shut-in, it's because of people like you that I don't care. I couldn't care less about women at this point in my life with or without a diagnosis of AS. Maybe if I didn't get so much flak from being introverted and shy I might not want to be even more introverted. I shouldn't need an excuse just to be myself, don't you think?

And, by the way, thanks for insulting my masculinity. Your logic is just so flawed I don't even know what to say to that. I'm not even going to bother, I don't think it's worth my time to try and argue anymore. Usually I don't say such things just for the effect of making people feel like idiots without actually listing reasons, but this is truly how I feel right now.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone who says they have AS and never had a girlfriend/boyfriend, they could have other symptoms because they aren't required to write an whole essay to prove their AS. They could be self diagnosed or diagnosed. You don't know that.

I didn't get my first boyfriend until I was 20 but I tried getting one when I was 17 but I did it the typical classic AS way, missing out on the cues and the social rules. I flat out asked if he had a girlfriend and he said no and I asked him if he wanted to be my boyfriend and he told me he was too old for me. I did not pick up he was rejecting me in a nice way. I just thought he was saying he couldn't be with my bf because he was too old but we were only nine months apart so I told him that. But he kept telling me he was too old for me so I finally told him I was not after sex and I want a boyfriend. Everyone laughed and I didn't know why but I didn't care. The following week, my aid told me during the IEP meeting my social skills need to be worked on and I didn't know what she was talking about. I thought mine were excellent because I was always talking to kids in my cooking class (but it was about my obsession with Benny & Joon and reciting it) but my teacher brought up that class and I still didn't know what she was talking about until she brought up that incident and I still didn't understand. My mom just burst out laughing when she heard the story. I still didn't understand and she told me he was telling me that because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. It took me until my mid twenties to connect all this to figure out what really happened. Just an example of me having AS. I am sure any social awkward person would make a mistake like this too because they happen to have that trait? My mom just called me naive then for that because I didn't understand. Now I know that is not how you get a boyfriend and she even told me that then and told me how people get one.

Sometimes I wonder if they should keep the Asperger's and make it a condition of it's own but not make it be autism anymore so aspies who do have difficulties but didn't meet the new autistic criteria won't be alone and they still have an explanation for their problems and get the help they need. But that might be confusing because there will still be books out there that talk about AS and memoirs about it and it be about autism and people might confuse that for the new AS. Unless they take all those books off the shelves and reprint them taking out "Asperger's" and turning it to "autism" or "autistic."

I have questioned my diagnoses in the past wondering if my traits were caused by my shyness or my past bullying I received or me being in my own world too much and that if I actually look at people, I might notice body language and pick up on it and read it. Also the fact I have anxiety and they cause my meltdowns and my traits seem to get worse during those times and my stims. But then I have questioned my ADD like if my traits were mistaken for ADD. But I would drive myself crazy if I fretted on it like I did four years ago. I am not going there again. Also the fact I had ear infections and then hearing loss and wondered if it just caused me to be this way because it messed up my development. Well some people think autism is environmental and something in the environment causes it and my husband thinks you need the gene to get it but something in the environment has to make it happen and mine was ear infections and getting fevers all the time and my development declined and then I went deaf. Even my own mother thinks it caused it. Maybe I would have turned out NT if I didn't get sick a lot so who knows or maybe I still would have had the traits because they sure run in my family or it was just a coincidence but we'll never know. But no need to fret on it or I will drive myself crazy. Same reason why I don't fret on the ADD label about if I really have it or not. My mom says I do but it wasn't the correct diagnoses and AS explained it all.



Quote:

Except in extreme cases, where the person in question is literally obsessed with some archaic topic, talks at people endlessly about said topic, has sensory issues, takes everything extremely literally


Sounds AS to me but what does she mean by cannot make generalizations? Can't generalize people?


At first I thought you wrote this and then realize you didn't and you were just linking to the topic.
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Kon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SammichEater,

That wasn't my stuff and I didn't agree with it. I just posted it from the link to see what people on here thought about it. By the way, I agree with most of your comments.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have to keep this in mind if I ever come across someone who says they're autistic because they never had a relationship and no other reason.

Honestly, I have "Asperger's is diagnosed" fatigue. A former friend on livejournal started going off on this, how AS and ADHD are supposedly "prestige" diagnoses for families, and someone on another forum was complaining that people who are socially inept but not truly autistic are being diagnosed with AS, and it just seems like everyone has an opinion on how to say autistic people aren't really autistic.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was a kid I kept getting told I was shy all the time by adults. My answer was always "I'm not shy I'm just quiet". Infact I was so innocent looking I could cause trouble and my friends would get the blame while I stood innocently by. I always knew I had this power of innocense.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:49 am    Post subject: Re: Shyness/Introversion vs mild AS-Differences. Reply with quote

Kon wrote:
Any opinions?

Shyness and AS: similarities and differences?

A while back, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal called Asperger’s disorder “a pompous label for shyness”. While perhaps going a bit far, I think it highlights a point: there are a number of similarities between people with (mild) Asperger’s and people with shyness/social anxiety. While the standard issue answer to this question is, “Aspergers don’t know how to interact, shy people do but are freaked out”, one should consider that lack of social skills is widely reported in the literature on social anxiety and avoidant personality disorder. Many shy people withdraw for so many years that they lose the opportunity to develop social skills. Thus, they can’t maintain a conversation, awkward silences, may be socially immature and underdeveloped, be withdrawn…just like people with Asperger’s disorder.

http://www.goanxiety.info/archives/shyness-and-aspergers-disorder-similarities-and-differences.html


I was diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 18. I was selectively mute till I was 17. I was super shy throughout my childhood and barely socialized with people. So in the end pertaining to this issue, my Aspergers diagnosis is questionable. The years I didnt associate with my peers were very crucial to social development within a child. So its possible that Im not aspie, that my years of social anxiety and selective mutism have caused me to show aspie like symptoms. Ive thought about it and I do think Im aspie. If a few yrs from now, I am able to overcome many of challenges that entails being aspie then maybe I dont have aspergers...who knows?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone with numerous psychological problems, probably including AS, I have come to realize that you just have to ignore people's opinions about your issues. Everybody wants to offer advice. Everybody wants to tell you that you can overcome things if you just try a little harder. The fact is that my inability to understand social interactions will not go away with a little effort. My obsessive behavior will not stop just because I want to stop it. My depression will not go away by just trying to see the bright side of things. Ultimately, I have to accept that all of this is just a part of me. I can learn to deal with it, but I can't eliminate it completely.

It is unfortunate that people who have not had to deal with psychiatric illness are often so quick to judge, but I suppose that is just human nature. I just try to ignore them, and don't let them get in the way of dealing with my issues.
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Chronos
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Shyness/Introversion vs mild AS-Differences. Reply with quote

The difference between AS and shyness is, shyness is shyness and a person with AS may or may not be shy. Shy people usually feel that everyone is judging them in a social situation, and worry that they will judge will be judged negatively and so what others think of them is the source of their social anxiety and shyness.

People with AS who experience social anxiety typically do so for purely logistical/coordination reasons. First the person must pull their attention away from their own musing, which is stressful, and then the person must process a lot of information from a "foreign source" aka the people they are socializing with. The concept that others might judge them frequently eludes those with AS, or is often irrelevant to them.

I do agree that social issues are only one small aspect of AS, and the one people without AS dwell on the most because socialization is near the top of the list of priorities for NT's. I also agree that people who likely don't have AS are being misdiagnosed with it, or adopting the label erroneously, and while I have no wish to alienate or exclude others who have non-AS social problems, I do get annoyed by the bulk of men who adopt it as a banner to not being able to get a date (most especially when they've never actually asked anyone out). I also take issue with those who like to use AS as a license to be rude or inconsiderate of others.

AS is not actually disappearing. It's being rolled into ASD. It will not make any existing diagnosis of AS null and void. Rather it will just relabel those with AS, or who proclaim to have AS as autistic. I think this is most unfortunate for those who care for individuals on the lower end of the spectrum because they are already significantly overshadowed by those diagnosed with HFA, and they are really becoming quite marginalized when they are the most in need of help.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What if a person has a mixture of both social anxiety and ASD traits?

I socially withdrew partly because of Anxiety (due to a history of being bullied for many many years) and partly because socialising is confusing and I gave up trying to figure out what was going on with people and opted for the clarity of my own personal world instead. Socialising gives me a headache! That, and in all honesty, I find my hobbies more interesting than socialising sometimes and would rather be doing those most of the time anyway (although I do get lonely feeling social days).

I used to enjoy socialising more in my youth before I realised that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say. After that, and I realised I could no longer rely on the spoken word, it just got too confusing so I gave up lol.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: Shyness/Introversion vs mild AS-Differences. Reply with quote

Chronos wrote:

People with AS who experience social anxiety typically do so for purely logistical/coordination reasons. First the person must pull their attention away from their own musing, which is stressful, and then the person must process a lot of information from a "foreign source" aka the people they are socializing with. The concept that others might judge them frequently eludes those with AS, or is often irrelevant to them.



I don't know...maybe I do just have severe social anxiety and not an ASD but when you are young you don't worry so much about being judged by people in a general sense (and indeed in some ways I don't worry about people making judgements...I am a quirky person, I like my quirks and I really don't care if the world does think I am weird lol...I like weird). However, when you get older and start to realise that the judgements that people do make can often lead to vicious bullying...it does make a person wary.

I am not worried about silly things such as feeling embarrassed because I might knock over a cup of coffee (I usually tell people not to wear white if they are going for a drink with me), walk into a lamp-post (I've done that a few times and it was funny lol), fall over in front of people, stutter or things like that. Firstly I am very hard to embarrass as I think people make judgements over silly things (ie judging someone as not being likeable or foolish or whatever because they are clumsy....it's ridiculous. Actually I think clumsy is kind of endearing...I always did prefer the shy awkward clumsy guy to the overly confident one lol), and secondly, I am not worried about people making judgements about me in general, I don't really care what the majority of people think about me (unless I really like them and I want them to like me back) but I am painfully aware of how nasty people can be when they do form negative judgements about you. I don't care if someone does not like me, but I am hurt by the bullying that can result when some people do take a dislike to you.

I have been bullied for most of my life (all the way through school, at work and then on the internet)

I never did want to be in the 'in crowd', I just wanted people to stop bullying me and leave me alone. I do not understand why they feel this need to bully people, it makes no sense to me. The only way I can understand it is as a mechanism to 'make' someone conform to existing social norms. If you don't conform you are often ostracised, ridiculed and bullied.

I never was good at conformity as I have always been more interested in just doing my own thing.
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Chronos
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Re: Shyness/Introversion vs mild AS-Differences. Reply with quote

bumble wrote:
Chronos wrote:

People with AS who experience social anxiety typically do so for purely logistical/coordination reasons. First the person must pull their attention away from their own musing, which is stressful, and then the person must process a lot of information from a "foreign source" aka the people they are socializing with. The concept that others might judge them frequently eludes those with AS, or is often irrelevant to them.



I don't know...maybe I do just have severe social anxiety and not an ASD but when you are young you don't worry so much about being judged by people in a general sense (and indeed in some ways I don't worry about people making judgements...I am a quirky person, I like my quirks and I really don't care if the world does think I am weird lol...I like weird). However, when you get older and start to realise that the judgements that people do make can often lead to vicious bullying...it does make a person wary.

I am not worried about silly things such as feeling embarrassed because I might knock over a cup of coffee (I usually tell people not to wear white if they are going for a drink with me), walk into a lamp-post (I've done that a few times and it was funny lol), fall over in front of people, stutter or things like that. Firstly I am very hard to embarrass as I think people make judgements over silly things (ie judging someone as not being likeable or foolish or whatever because they are clumsy....it's ridiculous. Actually I think clumsy is kind of endearing...I always did prefer the shy awkward clumsy guy to the overly confident one lol), and secondly, I am not worried about people making judgements about me in general, I don't really care what the majority of people think about me (unless I really like them and I want them to like me back) but I am painfully aware of how nasty people can be when they do form negative judgements about you. I don't care if someone does not like me, but I am hurt by the bullying that can result when some people do take a dislike to you.

I have been bullied for most of my life (all the way through school, at work and then on the internet)

I never did want to be in the 'in crowd', I just wanted people to stop bullying me and leave me alone. I do not understand why they feel this need to bully people, it makes no sense to me. The only way I can understand it is as a mechanism to 'make' someone conform to existing social norms. If you don't conform you are often ostracised, ridiculed and bullied.

I never was good at conformity as I have always been more interested in just doing my own thing.


A person with AS can have social anxiety and be shy due it it. I was simply stating how AS and shyness are not the same thing.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a matter of cause and effect. A person may not be shy because of AS, but because his/her AS made him/her a social pariah growing up, causing him/her to BECOME shy as a way to protect him/herself from ridicule.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think there is a difference between shyness and AS: shyness is related to social interaction, AS however includes not only shyness but alot of other sensitivities.

thanks,
anton
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Indy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sacrip wrote:
It's a matter of cause and effect. A person may not be shy because of AS, but because his/her AS made him/her a social pariah growing up, causing him/her to BECOME shy as a way to protect him/herself from ridicule.


This. I was always extremely quiet as a child, but I tried to make friends, except I kept saying the wrong things then got beaten up. Eventually, I gave up and just avoided other children.

I think that the main difference between shyness and Asperger's is that a shy person will only appear shy around people they're not comfortable with. Somebody with Asperger's will still have misunderstandings, some communication issues, and sensory issues around people they're very close to. I mean generally.
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