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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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livingdeadboy Offline
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autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 8th 2014, 04:07 AM

I was diagnosed with mild autism at the age of 16, and through research and personal experience believe that mild autism is an evolutionary advancement. The disability is not in the brain- it's in society. Anybody share this view.


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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 8th 2014, 12:14 PM

Not too sure about evolutionary advancement but I agree with your thinking.

When I was in uni, we looked at ‘learning difficulties’. I did a presentation on dyspraxia and from my research, found that there are two ‘models’ of looking at learning difficulties. One is the medical and the other is the social model. The medical model focuses on the more ‘negative’ aspects e.g. what those with learning difficulties can’t do or find difficult, and offers little help- it is the individual’s problem. The social model promotes the more positive aspects such as what those with learning difficulties are good at, and how society can adapt to these things, as it is a societal problem.

Unfortunately, the medical model seems to be popular as some people still hold those type of views. However, there is more of a movement to see learning difficulties as a different way of thinking as opposed to a ‘disability’.

If you’re interested, the article that I was reading was: Edmonds, C. (2012) ‘Diff-ability’ not ‘disability’ right brained thinkers in a left brained education system.

EDIT: Agree with Cassie, mild autism yes, but more severe no.


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Last edited by Celyn; November 8th 2014 at 02:45 PM.
   
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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 8th 2014, 02:18 PM

Yeah, I think mild autism is more in society and the environment. I know a lot of people with autism, and I worked with a lot of children who were more severe and I don't know if that's the case for more severe cases. But, for mild, I think it is more in society.


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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 8th 2014, 08:27 PM

Autism usually means you're smarter but not as good with social interactions, right? So, maybe this is an advantage. You have a mental advantage over other people, and because of the way the food chain has evolved, we're at the top, and can basically survive without having friends. Doctors will happily help you for money, and grocery stores will give you food for money. It's a good look on things.


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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 8th 2014, 08:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassiopeia. View Post
Yeah, I think mild autism is more in society and the environment. I know a lot of people with autism, and I worked with a lot of children who were more severe and I don't know if that's the case for more severe cases. But, for mild, I think it is more in society.
Yes, I've known many people with severe autism and it is definitely not an evolutionary advantage, but, from my personal experience, I think any cure for autism should be used very carefully lest we mess with the natural process of evolution.


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never's the word God listens for when he needs a laugh.- Stephen King

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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 10th 2014, 03:54 AM

I don't think it is an advancement. I am not entirely convinced that it is through "evolution." It's a spectrum disorder and so not all causes may be from the same source such as genetics or an environmental exposure such as an exposure to a toxin or a virus.
   
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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 10th 2014, 07:44 AM

I was diagnosed with mild autism when I was 16, and it turned out to be complete bullshit. They came on that conclusion because 1. I was a genius of a child who hardly ever talked to people (why would I? Everyone made fun of me). 2. On an autism test, I could recognize some patterns and not others that were more abstract (bravo mom, you wasted 300(!!!!) dollars on that test). 3. When I was 3, I could do 1000 piece puzzles. 4. I sucked at talking to girls (WHY would I be able to talk to girls mom? You always acted like it was inappropriate till I was in high school). 5. I wasn't very good at algebra at the time. Still got a B in Calculus.
The only thing I learned about my diagnosis was that my mom is a flawed parent. She blew thousands of dollars to deny it.
Oh yeah... is it an evolutionary advancement? I don't think its an evolutionary thing at all, I think it has something more to do with the fact that for the last x amount of years, people have consumed so many new and potentially harmful things (chemicals, tv induced laziness, things that humanity previously didn't have) that it literally changes the genes we pass down (look up epigenetics, interesting topic). I don't think autism is necessarily good or bad, but I've always felt offended by my misdiagnosis because it was effectively throwing everybody else's sense of responsibility out the window when it came to my own rehabilitation. But in truth, an autistic mind can do many things that the average mind simply can't do. Ever seen Rain Man? Neither have I, but I heard its about an autistic guy who bankrupts a casino by counting cards. Never met a normal person who will ever be able to do that.
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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 10th 2014, 08:16 AM

The person who was the inspiration for Rain Man did not have autism.
   
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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 10th 2014, 08:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin Cake View Post
Autism usually means you're smarter but not as good with social interactions, right? So, maybe this is an advantage. You have a mental advantage over other people, and because of the way the food chain has evolved, we're at the top, and can basically survive without having friends. Doctors will happily help you for money, and grocery stores will give you food for money. It's a good look on things.
Not really. You can have low-functioning autism and high-functioning autism:

http://www.stuartduncan.name/autism/...utism-in-2012/

There's also Asperger's syndrome. There seems to be a bit of a grey area between the differences of high-functioning autism and Asperger's.

http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autis...ifference.aspx

My boyfriend has Asperger's so I'm interested in this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lelola View Post
The person who was the inspiration for Rain Man did not have autism.
Kim Peek was an autistic savant. He would be considered to have low-functioning autism if we just judged him for his IQ but when in fact he has a freakishly amazing memory. I watched a documentary on him before, quite interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wjgMtNF3Ms

Edit: Nevermind, I just looked up Kim a bit more. He had FG syndrome, my bad. Sorry They should have said that in the documentary :/ they just call him a "savant"


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Re: autism as an evolutionary advancement. - November 10th 2014, 08:38 AM

Kim Peek had other health issues including brain abnormalities that suggests that he did not have autism. However, it is a misconception that a lot of people believe.

Also, savant does not mean a person has autism.

I'm already 5 minutes in the documentary but they have yet to mention autism. They do mention the brain damage and his poor hand eye coordination. From the description of your Youtube video:

"Peek was born in Salt Lake City, Utah with macrocephaly, damage to the cerebellum, and agenesis of the corpus callosum, a condition in which the bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain is missing; in Peek's case, secondary connectors such as the anterior commissure were also missing."

Pretty sure that would suggest he does not have autism and his abilities are from his unique combination of brain changes.
   
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