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Old 03-06-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
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Asperger's and thought processes

Hello,
I've suspected for a couple of years now that I may have a mild form of Asperger's. I've always had social problems- not knowing how to carry on normal conversations with people, sometimes acting inappropriately out in public, being rude to people when I never meant to or realized I was acting rude, etc. I've learned some of the more acceptable behaviors over the years, but I'm 26 years old, and I still find myself socially awkward, coming off as rude to people when I never meant to (someone else usually has to point it out to me before I realize it) and having no idea how to carry on conversations with people I don't know well. With people I do know well, I kind of just sit there and talk their ears off.
Anyway the reason why I'm posting is because I recently realized that I actually think differently than most people. My thought process is different, and I think it's the reason why I can't always express my feelings or thoughts in words-- I don't actually think in words. I've always been annoyed at TV shows and movies when they portray a character's thougts as an internal monologue, and fiunally one day, I decided to speak out about it in my Livejournal and said, "No one really thinks like that- in actual words!" and so many people replied to me and said that they think exactly in that way, and that they always have an internal monologue going on in their heads. I was shocked because I don't think in this way. The only time I actually think in words and sentences is if I'm trying to plan out what I'm going to say to someone. Otherwise, I think in pictures and feelings... I don't really know how to describe it.
And then the thought occurred to me that maybe this is another symptom of Asperger's. Like I said, I'm not sure if I have it, but I've suspected it for a while, and this strange revelation that my thought processes seem different than everyone else's made me wonder if that's another sympton of Asperger's.
Any input would be appreciated! Thanks!

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 03-06-2008 at 12:22 PM.

 
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:12 AM   #2
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

Hello

Im glad im not the only one. First off I want to say that I maid a post awhile back, when I wrote a similar thread like you have here. I told them I will ask if I for help but until now I have still been to embaresd to talk to anyone on this problem. Im afraid that if I do see a doctor, and they find that theres actually nothing wrong with me I will feel extremely depressed because I will feel hopeless because things are so hard for me but no one seems to know what it is. Im 18 now finally almost graduating!!!

"I've learned some of the more acceptable behaviors over the years, but I'm 26 years old, and I still find myself socially awkward, coming off as rude to people when I never meant to (someone else usually has to point it out to me before I realize it) and having no idea how to carry on conversations with people I don't know well. With people I do know well, I kind of just sit there and talk their ears off."

Exactly, same with me. Lol the last thread i did here I have said something like " I dont have any friends". Luckly just 2 weeks ago I maid a friend!!! Finally after 2 years in my new high school I maid a friend that actually sat by me every single time at nutrition time. But Ive ran out of things to say, but since I have a few friends, I dont really care much if I keep them or not.

" and I still find myself socially awkward, coming off as rude to people when I never meant to (someone else usually has to point it out to me before I realize it)"

Same here, I fight with my close familey members all the time because I do or say something rude, I always had a habit of making a mistake and regretting it afterwards and making it up by saying sorry over and over again. This makes everyone bored at me.

I have had 3 autistic friends in my old special ed school and they are extremely easy to talk to. One of my friends at age 16 left school for a week and went to Australia, when he came back he said to me and others that he was diagnosed by aspbergers, at age 16. Ive heard and read about reptive behaviors in the autism spectrum. Its very embarsing, when I was 15 at the special ed school, I used to bang my head on the side of the bus. One day my friend saw me and started making fun of me, the jokes quickly ended since I forced my self to stop. Im glad theres someone else that is in a similar position as me. Good luck and take care. O and sry about the spelling, I could spell im just a bit lazy.

 
Old 03-07-2008, 06:00 AM   #3
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

Hello, Miniheli,
That's so great that you made a friend! Congrats!
I'm lucky enough that I've always had at least one or two pretty good friends. Back when I was really young, it was easier. But then when I got to 4th grade or so, kids started making fun of me for my weird habits, like singing to myself, and making weird sound effects, and weird things like that. When I was in middle school, I was made fun of all the time for everything, and only really had one good friend. When I got to high school, I had some acquaintances, but it was still really awkward when I ended up in a lunch period with none of my friends and had to sit with kids I didn't know, or who I only knew because they were friends of my friends. I didn't make any good friends in high school until I was a junior, and I know I was so lonely all those years because I just didn't know how to talk to people. After 4th grade and getting made fun of for all of my social quirks, I stopped doing those things around other people and became an introvert when I never had been before. Because I realized I didn't know how to act around people and therefore was afraid to be myself around others. So because I became really self-conscious about talking to people, I just developed this fear and this block where I never know what to say to people I don't know well. I was lucky enough to have made most of my friends in high school by accident, and they accepted me, and slowly over time, I was able to open up and be myself around them.

But anyway, as for the reason for my original post, if you suspect you have Asperger's, I'm curious if you think the same way as I do- the way I described. Do you think in words? It just seems like everyone else thinks in words and I don't, and I'm curious to talk to other people with Asperger's or who think they have it and find out if they think in words or not.

Edit: I went back and found your old post that you mentioned, and I want to comment on that too- I totally relate to you with the thing about not liking talking to people and not being able to keep eye contact. With me, it's really weird because there are people who I like and who I want to get to know better and I want to talk to them, but it's so hard for me and I get so nervous that I actually end up wanting to run away in the middle of the conversation because I get so worked up about whether I'm acting "normal" and whether I can still come up with things to say. And I have trouble making eye contact, too, and then when I force myself to, I just get even more nervous, because I don't know if it's really obvious that I'm like, staring into someone's eyes as I'm talking to them. The weird thing, though, is that I don't have any trouble with this when talking to my family or good friends. Maybe just because I'm relaxed around them so I don't care if they see my weird quirks.

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 03-07-2008 at 06:19 AM.

 
Old 03-07-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

It's very common for those with Asperger's to "think in pictures." I have a very, very vivid visual memory. Even though I have Asperger's, I have an internal monologue with words, but I tend to "see" the words that I think, as if I were reading them from a book. They're spelled out in front of me. My internal monologue is usually accompanied by pictures, too. Plus, pretty much everything that I read illicits a visual image for me. I believe that this is why I have always had great retention for what I read.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:15 AM   #5
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

Thanks, GatsbyLuvr!
I know exactly what you mean about "seeing words". I do the same thing, but more when I hear words rather than thinking them (because I only think in words when I'm remembering what I or someone else said, or planning out what I want to say to someone). I often wonder if that's why I'm so good at spelling.
It's so hard to describe the way I think, though. I do think in pictures, but more of it is just thinking in feelings, I guess. I mean, when I'm observing my surroundings, and I see something unexpected happen, for example, I just get a surprised feeling, rather than actually thinking out the words, "I can't believe that just happened!" or whatever.
I wonder if this way of thinking is the reason why I have such a good memory. I can remember things from when I was two years old, and a number of things from when I was three, where some experts insist that is physically impossible.

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 03-07-2008 at 11:17 AM.

 
Old 03-07-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

I also "see" the words when I hear them and when I'm talking. I often don't even realize that I'm doing it. It's just the natural thing for me to do. I, too, believe that this is why I'm an excellent speller and why I have a photographic memory. I have always had the ability to remember what pages of books look like, even years after I've read them. It comes in handy when I need to find a particular piece of information- I know exactly where to look on the page.

I do not "think in feelings," like you described. I don't have a very diverse range of emotions, which is common in Asperger's. I am either extremely happy, extremely anxious (80% of the time- I also have OCD), extremely angry/frustrated, or extremely upset.
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 03-07-2008 at 02:07 PM.

 
Old 03-07-2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

"But anyway, as for the reason for my original post, if you suspect you have Asperger's, I'm curious if you think the same way as I do- the way I described. Do you think in words? It just seems like everyone else thinks in words and I don't, and I'm curious to talk to other people with Asperger's or who think they have it and find out if they think in words or not."

Hmm , the thing is, is that I dont know how I think. 99% of the time I don't know or feel like im thinking unless im trying do my homework or read. The thing I do know is that I do not have a photographic memory, or at least I think I don't Its kind of the opposite for me. I cant remember words or numbers like you guys and galls can. I am extremely forgetful. In order for me to rember a number in my head for example the number 6 I have to say it over and over and over again until im ready to write it down on paper. and if just one other thought sneaks its way in my head when im trying to rember that number, I forget that number because that one little minute abstract thought was multiplied by hundreds and I get over whelmed. Obveousley I am remembering the number because im typing it and can see it in front of me right now. But what I can do is remember music very well. I have a detailed picture of objects in my head where I can rotate in any direction,cut into pieces,look inside it well you get the picture. Its sort of like a movie with sound.

The obesive symptoms of mine have gotten better. When younger I was extremely extremely obsessive about astronomy,science,helicopters,airplanes, etc ( i still am). I learned to take control of these repeating/ thoughts/procedures by learning how to not think so much. It was very hard at first to not think to much, but I finally got to the point where I can control my thought a little bit better. Heres the thing, and want to know if anyone else has this problem, does it seem like you can only do one thing at a time. For instance you only have space in your head for only one hobby or one thing/skill? It seems like that for me. I wished I could do all my favrote hobby's with out forgetting about the other nearly completely until I come back to it, but it seems impossible. Sry its really hard to explain, im like a 1 mb harddisk....

O ya all these symptoms became awhole lot worse since I was diagnose with diabetes about 1 year ago (i think it was a year). Im definitely postiviley sure these symptoms are not caused by diabetes since I have only had diabetes for a short time, and had these terrible symptoms since I was born. About 3 weeks ago my mom told me about when I was little (3-13) She said I was very awkward, I would take things apart to see the insides such as the gears, and stuff, and would stare at it endlessly. I remember sitting in my bed room staring at the white ceiling and saying "I hate you god" over and over again. My dad was very religous and they put me in a religious school. Well I dont have a religion now, not because I hate god or think his followers are stupid its just because I dont believe there is a god. There was more weird stuff I did, I didnt stop breast feeding until I was much much older where I shouldve stopped ( dont remember age). I needed help using the bathroom/potty when I was 13 years old!! I didnt remember any of this. Its like im literary, living for today. I cant rember the past and can only predict the out come of what will happen in the future. I was laughing like crazy when mom told me these story's. And to top it all off, this one year of having diabetes maid everyone even the most closest of close familey members think that everything that is wrong with me is because of type 1 diabetes, the diabetes i only had to this day for only a short time now! I have a headache, diabetes, I cant remember well, its because diabetes, I think I might have some form of autism again they say, its cause of diabetes. Wow I typed alot.

Thankyou "SentenceDoing" for starting this great thread.

 
Old 03-08-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

I paid a lot more attention to my thoughts today, because I didn't really know how to explain how I think, I just knew I don't usually think in words. But anyway, I paid more attention to my thoughts, and I do mostly think in pictures. It seems like with other people, if they were worrying about how many things they have to do in a certain day, they'd literally talk to themselves silently and say "okay, I have to do this and this, and then go here..." etc. that's how I understand how other people think anyway, but for me, I just picture in my head myself doing those things, but not actually saying anything in my head.
Also, certain words when people are talking transfer as certain colors in my mind, if that makes sense.
It seems so strange to me that other people don't think in pictures

 
Old 03-09-2008, 12:58 AM   #9
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

"It seems like with other people, if they were worrying about how many things they have to do in a certain day, they'd literally talk to themselves silently and say "okay, I have to do this and this, and then go here..." etc. that's how I understand how other people think anyway, but for me, I just picture in my head myself doing those things, but not actually saying anything in my head."

Ya its weird. Before learning how other "normal" people think I thought everyone thought like me. I sat down and took a good 10 minutes trying to find out how to think. From reading your post, I sat down and took a good couple of minutes to find out how I think. I thought of Monday the most hated day for me and others, and what I need to do. I thought of it in pictures but they went stand still pictures but it was like a movie clip I put together in my head but I also had some words in it cause I was talking to my self as well.

By the way, the first time I got worried that I might have some form of autism was when I read something on autism on the internet. I then took an adult autism online test. I know its just a test but well....

I scored 41 the first time I took it. I think I scored 39 the 2nd time I did it cause I didn't under stand 2 questions

" In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives."

Just might thought, this online test thing will help a bit?

Last edited by moderator2; 03-09-2008 at 07:35 AM. Reason: posted commercial website

 
Old 03-09-2008, 01:36 AM   #10
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

SentenceDoing, I agree with miniheli on taking the Asperger's quiz on wired. My son took it and told me about his score. Me, in my advanced wisdom, and many years of counseling, decided to take the test, knowing it would no longer show anything on me, because all that counseling made me "normal". Much to my surprise and chagrin, my score was higher than his. Oops.... That was the catalyst that sent me on a search for counselors who specialized in Asperger's. We have each been helped to better understand our condition, which helped us understand ourselves and get more comfortable with who we are. Also the counselors give us ideas for how to handle ourselves in various situations. For example, before I have to attend a social activity where I will be anxious, my counselor talks me through things - do I know which room we meet in, where will I park, where are the bathrooms, will any of my friends be there, how will I excuse myself if a certain unwanted person wants to talk to me, does this outfit fit the occasion, how will I monitor my anxiety level, where will I go if I feel a meltdown coming on, etc. She makes sure I'm as prepared as possible.

 
Old 03-09-2008, 12:00 PM   #11
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

I took that Asperger's quiz, and I got 28.
Some of the questions I didn't know how to answer, though, because it depends on the situation. Like, the question that asked whether you enjoy social situations, I love situations when I'm hanging out with friends and family I know really well, when we have get-togethers and stuff, but I basicaly freak out in social situations where there are a lot of people who I don't know well, or don't know at all.

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 03-09-2008 at 12:05 PM.

 
Old 04-12-2008, 06:50 PM   #12
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

Whoa. So, I'm new here (website, board, et al). I just took the test y'all were talking about. 45 or 46. That seems bogus though, I'm skeptical of online self exams, but there it is. Results are results. I'm not diagnosed, I've never gone to a doctor about my eccentricities and I never considered Asperger's--hadn't even heard of it until these past few months (but that's another story). My family has always been one where 'you're normal if you say your are', despite whatever happens in a day, everyday, strings of strings of strings of days..years. I work hard to accept things as they are and try to go with it and fit in as much as possible. Doesn't always work. Normal is something I've always strived to be, and I can only wonder how much I've lost slogging my way to it. Sometimes I just have to cut it (the effort), forget it, and go on (hoping others will do the same).

I guess what the rundown is is that--if I manage to actually leave this message on here it'll be amazing--I'm pretty sure I do think differently from most everybody else. Vibrant mental imagery and tableaux, sensations associated with them like texture, taste or scent.. stuff you feel/re-experience when thinking about it. A lot of my memory recall and getting motivated is tied up with stuff like that. People look at me funny when I try to describe it, so I quit explaining about the sensory-movie-replay thing. I quit telling them how I got to where I was. Now, I guess I just come out of left field when I can't keep my mouth shut. Ah well.

Sometimes I notice I'll fiddle with phrases. Or rather the intonation, pattern, etc. of a quote--lining it out like a line graph in my mind's eye and then multiplying it, reflecting it, refracting it, turning it every which way like a 3-D computer model. Not right after I hear it, but after the fact. Helps with explaining/demonstrating text delivery options to cast members when their imaginations run dry. I can actually draw out for them the line in their scripts, demonstrate it, and they understand or at least get closer. It works for directing because that's planned out and the script provides a general structure, but much spontaneous conversation...? Hmm, not so good. I try to do the same thing but it takes a deal of effort. I want badly to get it right. Keep rummaging through stuff, flipping it around, putting stuff out there every couple of moments--trying to keep up my end of things, but when I converse in situations I haven't mentally rehearsed or been through before, it's a mess--doesn't seem to line up. My humor is wonky and off-kilter when I engage in it, I guess mostly because I either fill in the context and miss the moment or catch the timing and forget to build a shared context for it. I don't have a lens or example point of view to go through, that makes it hard. I definitely see the imagery first, that's where stuff's tied up. If I can't see it in my head, how am I supposed to make sense of it? And to another person? A lot of times I feel people just don't get it. Or maybe I just don't get it. It's anybody's guess.

Do any of y'all listen to music and--I guess--see/feel colors textures play across your mind? It's hard for me to explain. Is it easy for you to form... do you have to try to make a mental image when listening to music or does it just happen on its own? From the looks other people have given me when I used to talk about it, I took it they did not. Thoughts?

Last edited by 8GoodQuestion8; 04-13-2008 at 12:12 PM.

 
Old 04-24-2008, 01:36 PM   #13
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8GoodQuestion8 View Post
Do any of y'all listen to music and--I guess--see/feel colors textures play across your mind?
Yes! I mean, I'm undiagnosed, but strongly suspect that I have Asperger's. But I know exactly what you mean. I see color schemes and textures in my mind when I hear music. I've always been very sensitive, emotionally, to music, too. When I was little, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", and the song from the Glow Worms commercial (lol I was a child of the 80's) made me cry EVERY TIME.
But back to the images from music, one example is "Pyramid Song" by Radiohead always makes me picture bright, sunny days and grass and trees in my mind when I hear it (but more abstract than the actual images- it's more like an impressionistic painting). And that's the main reason why I love that song so much.
And as I mentioned "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" above, I remember, with the line of the song that goes "where troubles melt like lemondrops way above the chimney tops", I remember this vivid picture I always got in my head of sitting on a rooftop underneath a rainbow, with giant, yellow raindrops falling all around, but I was seeing myself in the third person.

Last edited by SentenceDoing; 04-24-2008 at 01:38 PM.

 
Old 04-24-2008, 06:50 PM   #14
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

Thank you, SentenceDoing. Maybe I'm not totally off my rocker then? People with me don't understand when I go to a concert (Philharmonic or whatever) or crank up the volume in my headphones, shut my eyes, and "go away" for the duration of the music. It's sad but I quit explaining to them what all coursed through my head, something was lost in the telling. The 'imaginary illustration' I guess you could call it. Only it's not so much imaginary. Hearing, seeing, feeling, all the sensations are one at the same time..like experiencing the music is suffused with something. I'm glad someone else shares that. It's nice, isn't it?

 
Old 04-30-2008, 09:38 PM   #15
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Re: Asperger's and thought processes

"Do any of y'all listen to music and--I guess--see/feel colors textures play across your mind? It's hard for me to explain. Is it easy for you to form... do you have to try to make a mental image when listening to music or does it just happen on its own? From the looks other people have given me when I used to talk about it, I took it they did not. Thoughts?"

Hello. I listen to alot of music and have a large mental collection of my favrote and least favrote classic rock tunes, and yes I see/feel the music. Its like one of my favrote songs "John Lennons- out the blue" theres a line where he says "and blew away life's misery" when I hear that part my hands fly forward and I blow air out and I feel a cold rush running down my body with the feeling of air going over my head. I do these strange hand movements when im sure no ones wacthing me lol. I also feel all the changes in pitch and tempo in pretty good detail, if I could do this why cant i dance lol. Anyways this all happens with seemingly no thought. But its funny, when I do try to analyze sound or something, I wined up nervous and just forgetting it.

At one point in my life I used to want to be a sound editor because of all this

But sometimes I wished I didnt feel or see every single insignificant sound like a raise in tempo or a drop in pitch, I like listening to music when I study but I find my self just staring off into space because im so overwhelmed with all these sounds.

 
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