zondag 2 december 2007

More on Gender Differences

Well, I have to open this post by saying that as far as I am concerned all people with AS and ASD are 'normal' and maybe the non-autistic are the ones who are not 'normal' because they are stuck in an one-sided reality.

When one is dealing with two different things like an APPLE and an ORANGE, the question that seems to linger is whether the orange is an abnormal apple or whether the apple is an abnormal orange.

If one assumes that ALL fruit can only be APPLES, then yes, an orange will be then seen as an abnormal apple because even though it is round and could pass for an 'odd' apple since there are apples that are green, red, and yellow. And since there are apples that are green, red and yellow maybe this is just a weird orange apple!

While the outside shape is more or less the same since both APPLES and ORANGES are considered round, and the color might seem a bit weird, but could pass, it is what's on the INSIDE that makes the real difference: the APPLE is solid while the ORANGE is juicy!

Exactly how the autistic mind differs from the neurotypical: the neurotypical mind thinks in solid forms like boundaries, rules and boxes, while the autistic mind things in 'juicy' fluid forms like images and intuition.

Maybe it is this difference of how thought is formed that makes Autistics so different from Neurotypicals. In a way, the difference between the NT and the autistic brain almost seems like the awake and dream state of the brain. In the awake state the brain thinks in solid information that enters the brain through the five senses and reflects solid data from the environment. Including the data that tell the brain how others around them feel by collecting visual data through eye contact and body movement/language.

Then there is the dream state of the brain, the fluid state where the data that enters the brain comes from the path of intuition, empathy, and telepathy, as the brain goes into a different mode of operation and does not depend on the data of the physical five senses.Could it be that the neurotypical APPLE brain can only deal with facts and data as these are be tangible, and offer clear cut ways of interacting.

After all to be able to communicate and share information we need to have a common set of values.If when I say 'bed' and you understand 'umbrella' while I mean 'chocolate' we will never be able to share an interaction. To be able to share an interaction we MUST both agree that bed means the specific object, and not something else.To be able to share thoughts through clear rules of communication is very important if the individual needs others to survive.

As humans we are in the middle of a food chain, we could be eaten by some animals as we can eat other animals. This means that we must act BOTH as a predator and hunter and as a pray and hunted. To survive we must be able to form a herd and find security within the growing numbers. This is why we need to be socially adept, to prevent ourselves from acting as predators/killers/ hunters against each other, because the instinct of the hunter exists and is just as strong inside us as is the instinct to be submissive and form a herd and find safety.So we create social rules, languages, and culture. This all works well when the human brain confines itself in the 'awake' and solid mode. There these rules and boundaries have concrete use and objective: survival.

But humans are not ONLY awake and solid. We need to exist also in a fluid state, the state of sleep where dreams, where all creativity, sensitivity, empathy, telepathy, even magic, mystery, the supernatural, etc can exist.This state is just as important and necessary as the awake state. Research has shown that no human being can function without sleep and that when one is prohibited to enter that state for an extended length of time the whole structure of the being can and will collapse.

This means that the dream state is just as fundamental to our existance as human beings as is the awake state.Yet, the dream state has received far less attention and value from the scientific and medical world. No one has studied how sleep affects physical healing, how sleep affects the cource of an illness, how sleep affects learning and so on. The research done on the effects of sleep (the initiator and facilitator of the fluid state) in our well-bing and lives in general.Instead this state of being is viewed as unreliable and even as a state of non-existance. Religion calls us to 'awaken', politics tell us to keep our eyes open for terrorists, teachers tell us to watch out for our children.

Being in the awake solid state has taken priority over everything else.

This is the state where the neurotypical mind is the most comfortable: out in the open and not 'hidden' in dreams.That is also why the neurotypical society is so male oriented. The male genitals are out in the open, exposed, vulnerable and visible. The male way of thinking is built to operate in the same way. A steed parades his 'maleness' throught the size of his antlers, an elephant bull through the size of his body and tasks, a lion through his mane. The males need to be able to view in clear and visible ways the maleness of their opponents. Why? because if they go up againsts a male that is far stronger than they are they risk severe injury and death. Now you can also understand why human males are so obsessed with the size of their maleness! It is something that is part of the male brain and being.

On the other hand, the female genital organs are hidden and internal and exist inside the femal body, just like the sleep state is internal and 'exists' inside the brain and it's not visible to the nakes eye. I will take this even a step further and note that the male orgasm is also a visible event as it produces ejaculation, while the female orgasm is an almost invisble event. The only signs that ARE visible similar to REM (Rapid Eye Movement) if one comes to think about it...

That is why the sleep and dream state, which mostly happens at night has been associated with the female gender. The night, the moon, intuition, empathy, witchcraft, etc. are all connected with the female and the hidden female organs. It was thought as magic when these hidden organs could suddenly produce a new human being! The male is associated with the awake state and the neurotypical society, and the female is associated with the (autistic) sleep and dream state.Especially since the domain of dreams has other rules and boundaries. This domain is the ORANGE.

For those who are in the awake solid state, the neurotypicals, the liquid fluid state is terrifying. It is like a pool of dark water (that almost resembles the female hidden genitals) that appears bottomless and scary. They do not dare deal with it let alone enter it and experience its benefits (just as a male feels an instinctive fear to enter the female - which fear is now abused by medical companies who produce pills like Viagra!). What one fails to realize, is that once one takes the risk and jumps in this fluid liquid matter, what one will find is a boundary-less concience, a world of intense connectivity as if everything becomes lucid and transparent and everything is sensed all at once.

This is because the element of water (like the water in the grey cells of the brain) is an amazing element of conductivity, electricity, electrical waves and electrical impulses. The kind of electricity that the brain uses to operate. The kind of electricity that the awake solid world also now uses to communicate: today's WiFi digital technology.

So we have an organ, the brain, that is able to produce, receive and transmit electrical impulses, that can operate in different wave lengths like the alpha, gamma, delta, etc. and has cells that are both liquid (grey cells) and solid (fatty white cells). We all know that water is a far better element to transmit electric impulses and electrical waves than is a solid form, actually a solid form can hinder, stop, eliminate the transmittion of the electrical impulses. We now also know that the Autistic (the ORANGES) brain has
an enlarged amount of grey cells, the water cells.

DO you already see where this is going?

Auties and aspies share the same culture, the culture of the fluid, liquid (and lucid) brain. The male dominant society of the neurotypicals that has taken over our culture will need to move aside and make place for the equally important female dominant culture of the intuitive, empathic and telepathic brain. It is time for the global human society to accept the fact that there are TWO genders and they both are equally important in the way they operate, in the way they think in the way the perceive reality and should BOTH be aknowledged in our human culture.

This the dawn of the Age of Aquarius and the male-female and female-male. The future belongs to bi-genders and the true unisexuality.

zaterdag 1 december 2007

Hormones and Empathy

Why is it so important to understand how the male and female brain and also body works?

Well, mainly because eventhough we are a being that has evolved to live in complex social structures, and have a brain that has great abilities, and because we are also bound by natural laws that we have inherited from our ancestors through our DNA and these laws involve the primal instinct of survival.

Survival of the species in general, depends heavily on whether the organism is able to meet the environmental challeneges and live long enough to mate and procreate, so that the species can exist in the future through a new generation.

To be able to survive in the best possible way, one needs three things:
- the best variety of genes,
- the best gene/environment compatibility, and
- the best possible (capable) parents.

I am sure that one will agree that the issue is both that of nature and nurture.

What kind of genes one will inherit is the part about nature and what kind of parents one will have is the part of nurture. The genes/environment part is the chance factor, the pure luck that gives all species an equal opportunity to survive as the compatibility between genes and environment change every second to ensure that all species get a turn.

Well, in the issue about Autism the genes seem to play a role as does the kind of parenting one receives according to an article posted by the University of Wisconsin called Psychologists glimpse biological imprint of childhood neglect about the effect of the absence of a loving caregiver in the earliest years of a person's life, bringing again the issue of nature vs. nurture under the spotlight.

But what makes a good caregiver, and how nature has foreseen this caregiving?

I mean I have not heard of animals having psychological problems because of a good or bad parent, so maybe nature has somehow given us together with our physical biology some kind of 'parenting' instincts that -unfortunately- through life in the modern societies of the 21st century, these instincts have been suppressed and maybe even erased if not damaged.

Could it be that we have an instinct that has due to our way of life, been rendered useless because it does not fit in the current mentality of our lifestyle?

I believe that we have. Not lost the instinct, but just forgotten how to listen and understand the effects, the impulses that this instinct includes. I believe that we are very little aware of what our hormones do besides the scientific research that tells us what they do, chemistry-wise, to our bodies. But all research always seems to leave out the part that can't be measured: our intuition, sensitivity and sensing through other sources that our actual physical 5 senses.

What if the female hormones give a woman something more than just what science calls in general empathy? What if these hormones gives a woman also the ability to feel, sense, be in tune, with others around her? As if women can pick up other's 'moods' telepathically? Could it be then that the irritability that many women experience during their menstruation, which science calls PMS, is nothing more that a hightened sensitivity to those around her, a hypersensitivity, that feels to the woman as if every mood, every thought, every attitude of the people around her, penetrate her being in an endless stream of information overstimulating her and causing her to become easily irritable, easily annoyed, easily angered, easily fearfull?

You see the female body and hormones have been and still are a mystery to science. Yes, science has studied it under microscopes but still can't explain how women seem to be able to read their husband's or children's minds, how women seem to be able to sense if things are about to go wrong, or if something doesn't feel 'right.'

Could it be that this is why women have been feared for so many centuries, burnt as witches, accused of being the source of sin, and labelled with all kinds of affinity with the sinister and dark forces of the paranormal including the evil as opposed to the good, which is the male personification of God. If God is attributed to the male gender, society tells us, then evil must be attributed to the female gender. If good is the established scientific methods that are compatible with the classifying tendency of the male brain, then evil is the pseudoscientific methods of empathy, intuition, sixth sense, magic, witchcraft, etc., etc. that seem to go hand-in-hand with the female brain...

Here is the oxymoron: if the female nature is meant to be using such abilities to ensure the best possible survival chances of her young, why is science refusing to aknowledge these abilities? Instead of trying to explain these abilities through the male-dominant-classifying point of view, science should accept that some things simply can't be measured!

Why is the female nature denied its true abilities just and only because these abilities don't fit within the perimeters that the male brain operates? It almost feels like someone who is born blind trying to understand how sight works, how can one see things at a great distance and how things seem to change in size the further away they are. How can someone born blind ever understand even the concept of being able to see? The exact same way that science tries to understand the way the female empathy, intuition, sixth sense, allows a woman to 'see' to perceive things invisible to the male: it does not!

One will wonder why would a woman need such a sense? The answer is more simple than one even dares to aknowledge: the woman needs this sense to be able to care for her children. Nature has equiped the female with a radar, or sonar, or whatever one wants to call it, that can allow her to connect with her children in a deeper and more profound way than just by the physical senses.

This ability can be understood, trained, and used like any other of the physical senses. The only problem is, that such an ability is neither acceptable nor encouraged by many societies and cultures. But women still have it, experience it even if they are not allowed to embrace it and cultivate it, which leaves women at the mercy of the sensations they feel, as they can't explain or understand them. This causes woman a degree of irritability that appears as symptoms of PMS. How convenient for the male oriented science and scientists to see and label this ability as something that makes women unreliable because of their changable moods.

Countries like the USA even use this as an excuse for not having a female president. What if she nukes the world during one of her PMS rages, right?

Scientists just seem to have a label for everything!!!

woensdag 21 november 2007

Some Basic Stuff as a Warm Up

To begin explaining some things about Autism, I need to first 'review' some basic stuff, like for example the difference between the male and the female brain. This is necessary, because Autism has been referred to as the 'extreme male brain' by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, because of the way that the autistic mind functions.

Yet, one needs to realize that there are males and females who have autism, and thus it is of great importance to understand how the autistic extreme male brain will interact with the brain of a male and the brain of a female.

The female brain is wired in a different way, it is wired for empathy and this means that the extreme male brain's tendency of the autistic way of thinking will be put into a different kind of use than with male Auties and Aspies. Males in general because of their male brain wiring are more concerned with their own personal advancement, their own career, their own greatness, their own kingdom on earth.

Women on the other hand are more concerned with helping others, teaching others, networking with others, not for personal gratification but for feeling that they have managed to bring forth (give birth to) a better life, a better world, not for the world but for the people. Women want to help people in particular, while men want to help the world in general.

This difference is based on our genetic gender goals: a female seeks a safe nest, a safe place to give birth and bring up her young, this will compel her to create this safe place by making sure that the people around her are foe and not enemies. That is why women are more interested in socializing, networking, creating a group of allies around them that will help them protect her young. After all humans are part predators (meat eaters) but also part prey (we can be eaten by other predatory meat eaters).

Like the female animals of a herd that become sexually available and give birth at the same time to ensure that safety is in numbers is present when the young are born, the same way human females 'network' to create a timing, a perceived safety, for their young. It is common knowledge that if several women live in close proximity with each other, in the same household, their menstrual cycle will eventually become the same. They will become like the female animals of a herb that time their pregnancies and birthing so that it corresponds with the rest of the females in the herd.

This is what empathy is, it the instinct of the herd as a group that cooperates together, it is the HERDING instinct that promotes safety and eventually the survival of the species. Males on the other hand are more concerned of their own personal image, they have to prove to the female that they are worth mating with her and allowing the next generation to carry his genes. Males do whatever they do as a show-off of their ability and talents so they will attract the female's attention. They also have to fight off other males, by for example butting heads with each other like rams do, by proving their superiority to them, and showing that they deserve more than the other male(s) the prize of procreation.

Likewise a male with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger's Syndrome (AS), is doing whatever he is doing as a proof of their own self-worth, as a proof that they are better than another male (or more intelligent for example), and that they are someone worth mating with. If you look carefully you will see that it is mostly men (with HFA or AS or not) that have gotten Nobel prizes, and NOT that many women. Not because women are less capable, or because their work is less groundbreaking. It is because women are more concerned to benefiting others in an individual basis, than with promoting their self-worth through generalized impersonal non-individualized work.

Men are out for the prize: the honor to allow their genes to exist in future generations. Whether men are aware of that or not it is not important, it is still the underlining motivation to anything and everything they do. With HFA/AS men, because of their extreme male brain coupled with the male wiring of their brain, this need is even more extreme and so are the disappointments if this end is not achieved.

This means that a HFA/AS male that has not been given the opportunity to fulfill that need will reject society all together, will reject the competitiveness, feeling he can't compete with other males and that will he will never find a female (love shyness). A HFA/ASfemale feels more the effects of loneliness as an isolation. It is the HFA/AS female that suffer more from the lack of friends and social networking. Men suffer loneliness because of the lack of a (female) partner more than the lack of friends or a social network.

But there is a catch. Because of their extreme male brain-ness HFA/AS females tend to feel the same need (even if it is at a lesser degree than the HFA/AS male) to prove their self-worth by butting heads. They will do that either with their peers and come across as tomboys, either with their boyfriends and come across as dominant and aggressive, or with their husbands and come across as overbearing and controlling. A female, according to the gender stereotyping of society, is not expected to butt heads with others and when this happens the others are taken back by this exhibition of male aggressiveness.

If the 'others' don't butt heads back, the HFA/AS female will not be able to accept them as equal to her, or better. She will then either see them as 'weak' and needy and take over the roll of caregiver, by acting as a 'mother' or will see them as week and intellectually inferior and manipulate them by becoming a control freak as a means for survival.

Or will find them too weak, needy and intellectually inferior and refuse to mother them, control them, deal with them all together and choose isolation. This last kind of withdrawal can also happen to HFA/AS males, too, who see the people and the society around them as not worth dealing with at all and live a life withdrawn from social contacts.

donderdag 15 november 2007

Science and Pseudoscience

In its original sense, science (from the Latin scire, to know) simply meant the state or fact of knowing, as compared to intuition or belief. The current technical sense of the word, however, refers to knowledge obtained from systematic observation, study, and experimentation.

Now, the thing is that many psychological tests aren’t magic; most of them have been developed through sound scientific principles. In fact, anyone who wants to become a psychologist must learn all the scientific principles of test construction; even if a psychologist has no desire to create a new test, he or she must be competent to evaluate the scientific value of any specific test before using it clinically.

Unfortunately, there are many psychological tests in wide use that are accepted as being scientific just because they are called “tests.” For example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram, often used in educational and corporate personnel settings to assess personality “types,” are based in pseudoscience and psychobabble and have about as much worth in clinical settings as astrology. Any competent psychologist can use intuition to get as much information as these “tests” provide.

And then there is the classic Rorschach test that uses inkblots to assess a person’s inner psychological experience. Several methods for administering and scoring the Rorschach have been developed, and although some of them are surrounded with a considerable amount of published research, it would be surprising if any two independent psychologists could administer the Rorschach to the same person and achieve identical findings.

Similarly, tests such as the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), which asks a person to tell stories about various pictures of social interactions, and the Draw-A-Person and House-Tree-Person, which ask a person to draw pictures, are not usually objectively scored and give results of questionable validity.

In the end, then, psychological testing can, in some ways, be both valid and reliable; yet, in other ways, it often does not achieve much more than an impressionistic evaluation of a person. And often the science and the pseudoscience are quietly mixed together in one “scientific” report, but will never admit that anything that is considered pseudoscience had anything to do with the outcome.

In other words, means beyond the clear-cut scientific ways are being used-as they are an integrated part of any human being, since we instinctively know that we sometimes 'sense' things that can't be explained in any other way, but these means will not be given any credit! How fair is that?

Now, let's think that it is psychologists, clinical psychologists to be exact, that are the ones that not only study autism, but have created tests to diagnose autism, Asperger's syndrome and other conditions on the autistic spectrum. If we take into account that these scientics are neurotypicals studying a non-neurotypical condition, it is obvious that they will study it, and measure it and create tests to diagnose it according to the neurotypical brain's parameters and scientific principles.

It almost feels like having an inuit design clothes for the inhabitants of Africa while never having been to Africa. Do you think the clothes will be appropriate for the African climate? Do you think that the tests to diagnose autism are appropriate to the way the autistic brain works?

woensdag 14 november 2007

The Binary Code of Existence

The words 'Binary Code' became widely known because of the internet and the computers. Yet, the binary code is nothing new. Everything in the universe exists because of a binary code, a duality, which can be easily understood as the two sides of ONE coin.

What if everything that exists in the whole universe, began as ONE that became two while still remaining one? If we think of a coin, it is ONE coin, yet it is also two; two sides, each representing one part of that one coin. The coin cannot exist without BOTH of these sides; neither can each side exist without the other. The coin and the two sides form an inseparable unit.

Or think of a magnet. It is one magnet, yet it has a positively charged side (+) and a negatively charged side (-). No matter how small the magnet is, it always retains the two opposite charged sides. The magnet, the positive side, and the negative side are like the coin: three that are one that is two.

It takes a little bit of thought to realize how complicated and yet how simple this is. The three that are ONE that is actually two. To be able to grasp this concept of the three being one, while is the one is actually two, needs a bit of an open mind, a way of thinking that is able to step outside the 'box' of today's science, because science will insist that three cannot be one and one can never be two. Yet, a coin exists as much as a magnet exists to prove that even if this seems impossible to exist, it does exist. It exists all around us, while science has gone to great lengths to disregard this fact and make us believe otherwise.

If you are able to allow your mind to step outside the box of today's science, then you are ready to step into the true world of the Autistic mind. Enter at your own risk. It might get a bit confusing, but I will try and keep things as simple as possible.

dinsdag 13 november 2007

An Introduction

In the last 20 or so years science has been trying to explain the phenomenon that is called 'Autism.' After all these years and a lot of research that takes place all around the world in an attempt to solve the puzzle, explain the enigma, and understand the origin of this so called disability, science is no where near in understanding what Autism is.

The main reason is that science, simply put, does not have the ability to 'see' all that Autism is. Today's science is based on facts that can be measured, research that can be dublicated, and refuses to accept anything beyong the obvious and tangible. That is why it took Psychology so long to find a place under the Sun of Science, Psychology was not tangible until it could prove things through research, through MRI's, through tangible methods and measures.

When Science first appeared, it was very different than what it is today. Astrology for example was seen as a science together with astromony, philosophy and mathematics went hand in hand, as did medicine with religion. Somehow our ancestors understood that the world is not based ONLY on tangible things, but also on things as thought, intuition, even mystery and a bit of magic.

Today, we have scrapped away anything that cannot be witnessed, recorded and measured in the way we understand the world through science. Religion, intuition, mysticism, and magic have been discarted, rejected. Yet, when you ask most people they will admit they have a soul, that they have intuition, that they believe in coincidence, in luck. These things can't be measured either, yet they seem to play an important role in our lives.

Why is science then rejecting them? Why is science so afraid to acknowledge that there is more out there than what we can see, and measure in the physical world?

Could it be that the answer to the phenomenon called Autism lays in the realm that science can't acknowledge? Is it possible that the Auties and Aspies out there know but don't share what they know out of fear of being ridiculed by the established scientific world?

There is only one way to find out. Challenge the scientific world, by offering it the answers it seeks, and explaining how these answers can be ALSO measured in such a way for science to understand and accept.

This is what this blog will attempt to do.

Explain things in the same way our ancestors did, by coupling the logic and the intuition to solve the mystery of Autism. Because only by coupling these two, a solution is possible. Autism is the key to understanding the shortcomings in the way Science has scraped away of all the magic that our Universe contains and has retained dry data.

If you are a sceptic, then maybe this blog might allow you to see things from a different perspective. If you think you already know it all, then maybe this blog is not for you.

I am not a scientist, I am a person with Asperger's Syndrome who is making an attempt, an effort to explain from inside out what Autism is, what it does, and how it does it. That is all.