Tag Archives: Obsession

Question?: Autism Symptoms In 6 Year Old

James asks…

how do i distinguish autism from a learning disability?

how would one know if they are autistic or have a learning disability or perhaps both?

admin answers:

Some of the behaviors that both of my autistic spectrum children have esp. When they were young, my 7 year old still has are: hand flapping and pigeon toe-walking (during the younger years); esp. When they were nervous or worried; repetitive actions esp. My daughter did this. She would not really play with toys just line them up, no imaginative play, not really much doll play, mostly just lined up stuffed animals or whatever.

Most autism are said to have delayed lang. Like my son, he saw a speech therapist at 3 because he was not speaking. But my daughter on the other hand was an early speaker at 6 months, but did a lot of echolalia where she would repeat phrases over and over again (so my husband really had to watch his language!!!) They are also very obsessive about things. I think all kids have this to some extent, but they really take it to another level. They always have an obsession and it is very difficult, almost impossible for them to focus on anything else. Currently, my daughter is obsessed with Pokemon, before that dragons, before that dinosaurs, human body, etc!

They also both have sensory integration disorder which my son has the most severely. He cannot stand being touched, hugged, or kissed. They both cannot stand anything sticky being touched and eat fried or barbecued chicken by encasing it with paper towels (they love the taste but hate the feeling!) My son used to scream being bathed or touching grass (still doesn’t like baths!)

My daughter doesn’t seem to have any noticeable learning disabilities, but my son does have the dyslexia that his father and grandmother do. That has been addressed with a lot of Orton Gillingham reading programs, phonemic awareness (also called phonological awareness) programs, phonics, vocabulary, etc.

You can tell if one is dyslexic pretty quickly by going to http://www.interdys.org/servlet/compose?section_id=5&page_id=41 (If you have an older or younger child, click on the Symptoms for Preschool Child or 5th-8th or High School & College or Adults and look at the symptoms according to age.

My son has always exhibited all the symptoms of each age as a preschooler and as he has grown. The addition of his dad and his grandmother having dyslexia (I believe dyslexia is genetic in origin) and if there is a strong family history of dyslexia that is another good clue.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Causes

Donald asks…

What developmental disability do you think Boo Radley’s character from To Kill a Mockingbird has?

I am doing an assessment paper on Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. I am having a difficult time determining and narrowing his disability. I am inclined to believe that he has Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS with a Co-morbid diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder but on the other hand I am swayed by the diagnosis of either Autism or Aspergers Syndrome. I would love any and all input in regards to this!

admin answers:

I would say Schizoid Personality Disorder, not Autism or Aspergers. Boo Radley purposefully isolates himself from the rest of society, and when he appears, he is silent and detached. Autism and Aspergers usually show up with some sort of obsession. With Autism, depending on the severity, communication and attention issues. I could see how you would go there because they are disorders that cause an individual to be distanced from society. Recall that toward the end of the book, Boo Radley came out and helped Scout and Jem when Ewell attacked them. Someone with autism would not do something that spontaneous unless they were conditioned to behave that way. And people with Aspergers Syndrome usually have little interest in things outside their topic of fixation.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Symptoms

Mandy asks…

What Are The Symptoms For Aspergers Syndrome?

My mum said she has a friend with Aspergers syndrome and says that i’m very similar to her. Does anyone know the symptoms so I can see if it does sound like me?

admin answers:

Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome include:

Engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is listening or trying to change the subject
Displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures
Showing an intense obsession with one or two specific, narrow subjects, such as baseball statistics, train schedules, weather or snakes
Appearing not to understand, empathize with, or be sensitive to others’ feelings
Having a hard time “reading” other people or understanding humor
Speaking in a voice that is monotonous, rigid or unusually fast
Moving clumsily, with poor coordination
Having an odd posture or a rigid gait

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Spirituality and Nyan Cat

So you all know Nyan Cat, right?

In case you don’t know, I will quote at you from Wikipedia:

“Nyan Cat is the name of a YouTube video uploaded in April 2011, which became an Internet meme. The video merged a Japanese pop song with an animated cartoon cat with the body of a Pop-Tart, flying through space, and leaving a rainbow trail behind it. The video ranked at number 5 on the list of most viewed YouTube videos in 2011.”
Also, this:
Count yourself lucky if you haven’t experienced Nyan Cat. OR! Count yourself lucky if you’ve experienced Nyan Cat, but your autistic kid hasn’t decided that THIS PARTICULAR MIND GRATING THING is what he wants to obsess on for the rest of time.

(Right now he is looking over my shoulder saying, “I want to watch Nyan Cat. Please? Please?” He was alerted to the topic when I accidentally opened the video to link to it here and the three seconds of Nyan Cat music traveled across the house to his waiting ears. If you don’t want to experience that, just imagine that picture above, but with the stars passing by and the most obnoxious music you could possibly think of.)

(And NOW he is sitting on my chair, giving me suggestions on what to add to this post. NO, JACK! I WILL NOT TELL THE INTERNET THAT YOU HAVE SPIRAL EYES!!!!)

(Curses. I played right into his hands.)

Jack’s eyes were opened to the existence of Nyan Cat when Sam had a friend over who cued it up on our computer before we even knew what was happening. Seriously, y’all, don’t ever let children out of your sight when they’re online. You could end up with a kid in the clutches of predators, or you could end up with a kid with a dangerous Nyan Cat obsession.

Also, he could end up perseverating on the name of that first video he saw: “Nyan Cat on crack! Nyan Cat on crack!” over and over, which is less bad than some of the stuff he ended up scripting during that brief, ill-fated period when my husband decided it was okay to let Jack watch Futurama, but still it’s not what I want him to bust out with at school.

He did, however, infect every kid in his camp class with the Nyan Cat bug. Sorry about that, other parents. To pay me back, one of the teachers told him about a Nyan Cat iPhone app.

Well played, vengeful teacher, well played.

The reason I am telling you all this, other than to complain, is to give you the backstory for the conversation we had in the car the other day. Quinn has been talking about our late cat Izzy a lot lately and how she is in heaven, which is cool, I guess, even though I’m not a big believer in heaven myself.

Well, Quinn’s heaven sounds awesome, full of Izzy cats and rainbows. It is not your conventional heaven though, and maybe I should invest in some theological teaching for my kids, because based on the conversation that followed, something is getting lost in translation for them.

Quinn: “Do you know that when cats go to heaven, they become Nyan Cat?”

Sam (outraged!): “Not unless the last thing they ate was a Pop Tart!!!!!”

Then came the vigorous debate over whether Izzy had ever eaten a Pop Tart and whether Nyan Cat was actually real.

(No. And no.)

I’m not a religious person, but even I know that this is not the usual track that conversations about heaven are supposed to take.  Sometimes I feel like I am failing them in the “teaching them options about religion” area and sometimes I just want to make shit up so that they say crazy things when their friends talk about heaven.

Although I’m guessing they might not need any help in that department.

View the original article here

Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism

Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism
Posted on Monday, January 30 @ 09:04:17 EST by WrongPlanet Tips Recently, an article appeared in the New York Times featuring my boyfriend, Jack, and me. It was about how autism affects romantic relationships, though really it was about how our autism affects our relationship. Every relationship is different, and every autistic is different.

One criticism of the article that really resonated with me was about my comment about how learning to dress differently opened me up to more romantic venues. I said, “A lot of it is how you dress. I found people don’t flirt with me if I wear big man pants and a rainbow sweatshirt.” Now, like many autistics, I have trouble communicating my thoughts and intentions when speaking aloud. I am far more eloquent in text, thankfully, but nevertheless, my speech difficulties lead me to say things like this. I want to clear up exactly what I meant, because out of context, this statement can be quite hurtful to many people. After my explanation, I want to address the larger picture behind the controversy: the autism world is currently extremely hetero-normative.

Read on. . .

Now, the quote was part of a larger story. When I was in high school I cut my hair myself. I always kept it short, going so far as to simply cut as close to my scalp as I could with thinning shears. I wore ill-fitting men’s clothing from thrift stores, and I had an obsession with rainbows. I had a rainbow belt that was my grandmother’s in the 60s that I wore every day, I wore rainbow pins on my backpack, and I painted rainbows on my clothes with acrylic paint. I didn’t learn until the end of high school from some classmates that plenty of boys had thought I was cute, but everyone had just assumed I was a lesbian because of how I presented myself. Interesting, isn’t it? Without even realizing it, I was advertising a social niche. I was sending non-verbal signals about my identity to those around me.

Visual images telegraph quite a bit about identity to the community. Would you assume a male college student wearing a football jersey and a backwards baseball cap might be a sports fan, or a “jock”? Why? What would you think of the same boy with dreadlocks and a baggy sweatshirt? How about if that same boy wore a dress?

Many autistics are logical, straightforward thinkers. Is this shirt clean? Am I wearing pants? Ok, ready to go. For most of my life I put little if any thought into how I dressed, or how I wore my hair. I wore pigtails because a favorite cartoon character wore pigtails. My favorite shirt had a wolf on it because I liked wolves, and light-up sneakers sure were neat. As I got older it still never clicked. I wore a lot of teal because it was my favorite color, just like I wore rainbows because rainbows are pretty. I cut my hair short because I was too impatient to grow it out, and whenever I got bored, I would just cut it some more. I never once thought about how clothes could represent identity, beyond wearing a shirt with my favorite anime character on it.

I was a heterosexual girl, with no problems fitting into my assigned gender. Though I don’t consider myself extraordinarily girlie, I feel like a girl on the inside. I liked boys, yet I was communicating myself as off limits through my clothing. When I learned this, I started to make an effort to buy clothes more appropriate for the image I wanted to present. I started wearing skirts and dresses?and rainbow dresses ! And I began to grow out my hair. This in no way means that, if you’re a straight girl, to find love you have to turn into something you’re not. I never faked anything. I still wear clothes that I like. I still wear men’s clothes and rainbows sometimes too, though lately I’m making more of an effort to dress like an “adult,” whatever that means. I’ve found that I really enjoy having long hair. I can play with it and style it, and it’s an all around fun part of my body to have. I didn’t turn into someone I’m not to get male attention, though I’ll admit that I have tried and failed a few times. I simply learned how to speak the language of clothing.

If you’re a heterosexual girl who wants male attention but is so not girlie, then you don’t want to doll yourself up to attract guys who want something you’re not. If you want to wear baggy cargo pants and metal t-shirts and shave your head, go for it. Believe it or not, everyone is different, and sexuality is far from black and white. There are more than a few guys out there who will love your shaved head and non-conformist attitude. Or who will love your grandma sweaters and peasant skirts, or your dreadlocks, or your Mohawk. And guys, the same goes for you. You don’t need to like sports if you really couldn’t care less, and you don’t need to be something you’re not. Because even if you do end up attracting a mate by faking a role, you’ll never be happy with that person. You’ll have to keep on faking.

Now, something I have never once seen mentioned in any mainstream autism media is the fact that–gasp–autistic people can be gay, bi, trans, gender queer, or anything else for that matter. It’s hard enough for someone to whom social signals don’t come naturally to find a mate, let alone someone whose sexuality strays outside what’s considered the norm. How does an autistic teenage boy figure out whether the cute guy in his calculus class is gay or not? What about the autistic labeled by a driver’s license as “female” who doesn’t feel like either a girl or a boy? This stuff is hard even for neurotypicals, and autistics are basically left high and dry when it comes to sexuality in the first place.

As a straight, cis girl with only my own experience to draw from, I am in no way qualified to give advice on any of this. We live in a world where there are only two genders, and those genders are expected to always match up perfectly with biological sex. We live in a world where anything other than procreative intercourse is taboo enough to make most people uncomfortable, and any sexuality outside of heterosexual vaginal penetration is condemned. Why is it that a straight man that likes prostrate stimulation is seen as “gay,” even if it’s his wife he’s having sex with? There are so many problems with the way our culture addresses love and sex that I won’t try to get too far into it in this blog, but I will certainly write more on this in the future.

All I want to say for now is, if you’re reading this?yeah, you!?and you don’t feel like that daytime TV heterosexual, you’re not alone. Just because you don’t only like to have sex with a single someone of the opposite biological sex in missionary position with the man on top doesn’t make you a freak. If you’re a boy who wishes he could hug his friends like girls are allowed to, you’re not alone. If you’re a girl who’s sick of being judged the second you walk into a video game store, you’re not alone. If you’re a trans woman who can’t afford surgery who’s tired of being treated like some sexual pervert, you’re not alone.

We autistics are often classically considered to think in black and white absolutes, but I can’t think of anything more black and white than the modern view of sexuality and gender identity.

See more of Kirsten on Autism Talk TV.
               
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Magneto Monday, January 30 @ 09:35:38 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Hmm. What’s the article called? I agree about the clothing-identity issue, though it does go further than that. Sometimes I wish people were all clones physically, just so we wouldn’t jump to conclusions about someone based on what we see of their body. From my limited perspective, the big guy in the seat in front of me on the train could have wanted to be a princess when s(he)? was younger, while the dolled up young woman could be an exterior shell. There’s no way, short of telepathy or being told – and even then they could be lying – of understanding who they really are. Feck, I want to be pretty and wear dresses, but that’s socially off limits because of an accident of birth. :rolleyes:
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Grisha Monday, January 30 @ 09:48:28 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) This article is spot-on, personally, I tend to dress “metrosexual” which leads some people to assume that I’m gay (I’m not), but if it allows me to feel comfortable and being “myself” then who cares? I don’t have a huge problem attracting women, some women like guys who tend to “dress up”. Changing the way I dress to conform to some stereotype makes my feel like an awkward, fake NT instead of an Aspergian who has accepted his neurological identity.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by IamSonja Monday, January 30 @ 10:54:49 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Awesome article… I totally agree on your point of view!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by purchase Monday, January 30 @ 11:50:26 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Really good article. The experiences you describe are really relatable for me personally.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by techstepgenr8tion Monday, January 30 @ 14:53:51 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I think we’re just at an awkward point in history where everyone’s quite sensitive about the verbal minutia of things and hence walking on egg shells. I guess we’ve gotta just keep in mind that we practice a way of thinking that’s still somewhat new and that as the ‘isms’ get flushed out of society people will likely have thicker skin again.

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by aliensyndrome Monday, January 30 @ 17:54:57 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I like the article. It’s odd that the pictures for Kirsten’s articles emphasize her beauty, especially considering the content of this article. I am not questioning her integrity, I am merely illuminating something that I found odd.Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by wendigopsychosis Monday, January 30 @ 21:04:00 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by Ai_Ling Tuesday, January 31 @ 03:53:52 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by so_subtly_strange Sunday, February 12 @ 01:29:33 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by TheStranger Tuesday, February 28 @ 06:14:35 EST


Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Brony2011 Monday, January 30 @ 20:46:03 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Another great article! Although most of this is about clothing and appearances. I can relate in an interesting way. While I’m a heterosexual male, starting in my early teens there was a rumor that I was gay or bi that followed me for many years, based solely it seems on assumptions drawn from my appearance and behavior, specifically that I never dated or had relationships, looked and acted more “girly” than the average guy, and appeared to interact with girls and guys the same. It was a strange conclusion for anyone to jump to. Worse, I’ve always been shorter and skinnier than other guys, I hit puberty late, and I didn’t know anything about fashion or what looked “manly” or not, so I was wearing children’s clothes all the way into college. So there were things that caused me to stand out and get “picked on,” but most of it had to do with how things seemed on the outside, not who I was on the inside, and even then, people’s sexual orientation and gender identity are personal and important to them, and not things to be judged or mocked.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by artrat Monday, January 30 @ 21:30:20 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I have criticized your articles in the past and if it offended you then it was not my intention. I have found that it is impossible to get male attention in the American south if you are a non-conformist. I am quite envious of all people with a boyfriend because I have never had one. Your not a bad writer and this article is better than your others.
I got a nasty shock when a psychologist who was supposed to assess me to see if I’m on the spectrum not only didn’t give me any of the tests I’ve since learned are used for such evaluation but also dismissed me in the end as a gay cross-dresser who should change my clothing in order to become more acceptable to other people. It was one of several reasons he apparently had for not being willing to even consider that I might be on the spectrum. It was as though he decided I was just weird and lazy, so there was no point in bothering to take my concerns seriously or really learn anything about me and my life. (I give details in my blog.) Now, I don’t deny that I’m gay or that I shop in the men’s department because I identify as butch. But I wasn’t there complaining that people criticized my clothes. These days, nobody I know does. But he never bothered to find that out. He simply made an assumption and dished up his prejudice instead. I guess I hadn’t expected that kind of thing to happen around where I live anymore. But it seems that type of attitude is still alive and well, at least amongst some professionals.

Thanks for posting this piece, Kristen. Once again, you’ve written something meaningful, insightful, and progressive.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by cathylynn Tuesday, January 31 @ 08:01:09 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) that gland you mentioned is the prostate. prostrate is a position you assume when in awe or extremely fatigued. i’m impressed with your knowledge of sexual preference terminolgy. in the social services agency where i work, we have a fairly (not universal) welcoming culture. welcoming is the official stance. in fact, a transgendered individual is on an important committee. times are not horrible here for LGBTQI folks. hopefully, things are improving everywhere.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by jamieevren1210 Tuesday, January 31 @ 08:55:13 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Love love love this article kirsten! Totally agree with your point of view!!:))
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by jojobean Tuesday, January 31 @ 10:13:41 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I am a bi-romantic asexual…which gets confusing for some people. I thought your article was very respectful to LGBTA folks on the spectrum. However I have found there are more of us than some folks realize. Your right in that autism makes navigating the non-hetro waters very frightful indeed. As far as gender identity, it is common for aspie girls to feel like both sexes or neither, myself included. In one site that is listed as a girl aspie trait. That was always my biggest secret…and then I find it is a girlie AS trait. ….And rainbows are cool, regardless what they mean. I never understood “symbolic” clothing. I just wear what is comfortable which is mostly cotton as synthetics irritate my skin. Anyway great post…and best wishes to you and Jack. Jojo Jojo
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by TheWingman Tuesday, January 31 @ 17:22:40 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) i could not explain what it is but my instinct always told me that there is something very wrong with homosexuality.Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by Hittheroadjack Thursday, February 02 @ 19:38:02 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by spookiewon Friday, March 02 @ 15:01:51 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by dcs002 Sunday, March 04 @ 22:26:29 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by Jedipinkkid1138 Tuesday, March 27 @ 10:22:12 EDT

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by PennySue Tuesday, January 31 @ 18:04:16 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Wow! What a well-said, easily understood explanation of the situation! You have a real gift in writing on these subjects – you make no condemnation, just offer clear exposition. Nicely done. By the way, that’s me all the way – is this shirt clean? Do I have pants that fit? Good enough for me! I wore a lot of fuschia and turquoise when I was a teen and in college, but also wore Salvation Army clothes. Then again, I was alway overweight, so I didn’t figure clothes would help any way.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Agemaki Tuesday, January 31 @ 22:21:23 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I always find it interesting (or surprising) when I hear how other people see me as I’m generally clueless about it. I wore a lot of dresses and miniskirts in high school, oftentimes with high heels, and I liked to wear ribbons in my long hair. I was once told that boys found me cute but were also intimidated by me. I think there is more to presentation than dress and physical appearance alone (I looked plenty feminine at least). Having talked to a few other friends in recent years I think I might have gained more of an understanding of what is going on in terms of the messages I am unconsciously sending. Apparently if you are a cute female who is also highly decisive and a good student then you will appear rather intimidating to many potential male romantic partners. I think the main issue I’ve had is that I’m not willing to play the flirting game that involves assuming a submissive feminine role in order to flatter potential male love interests. However, I entirely agree with Kirsten’s statement that you can find people who appreciate you for who you are. I’ve managed to find boyfriends who aren’t intimidated by me and who–being rather shy themselves–appreciate my forwardness and lack of game-playing.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Comp_Geek_573 Wednesday, February 01 @ 22:09:36 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Excellent article! People need to be reminded that people can have more than one difficulty with social adjustment. There are people who are autistic and gay, or even autistic, gay and transgendered!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Freak-Z Thursday, February 02 @ 12:41:48 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) “never faked anything. I still wear clothes that I like. I still wear men’s clothes and rainbows sometimes too, though lately I’m making more of an effort to dress like an “adult,” whatever that means. I’ve found that I really enjoy having long hair. I can play with it and style it, and it’s an all around fun part of my body to have. I didn’t turn into someone I’m not to get male attention, though I’ll admit that I have tried and failed a few times” Who are you trying to convince here? “I simply learned how to speak the language of clothing” And whats that exactly? sounds more like the language of conformity.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by goundreykruse Thursday, February 02 @ 15:11:23 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Good for you, Kirsten! I didn’t know I was autistic as a young person, I wish I had because I maybe would have felt more okay about my own fashion/clothing choices and sexual identity. Although I am physically female and a mother, inside myself I feel ‘non-gender specific.’ So I too have been mistaken for a lesbian and also had times in my life when I wanted to be fluffy girly (not so many of those tho…) Now I know that I am autistic, I feel free to be myself (thanks in part to people like you folks here). I dress A)for comfort – NO polyester or pokey/tight stuff, and B) because I like the garment. Perhaps it is the autistics of this world who can truly be free. Let’s stop trying to fit ourselves into ‘social norms’ because often those norms make folk unhappy. Let us be authentic, free people and the neuros can follow our example for a change! 🙂

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by perpetualconfusion Thursday, February 02 @ 21:06:58 EST
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) Kirsten, Good job on this article! I think you outlined it well and stated your opinions in a frank, matter-of-fact style. As to your original article about Autism and relationships (appearing in the NY Times), I had no trouble understanding your intent and took no offense to it whatsoever. In fact, that article is what led me to WP in the first place! Again, Kudos to you and I am looking forward to reading your next article 🙂 .
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by aussiebloke Thursday, February 02 @ 21:28:25 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Are you wearing Mr Planks glasses?
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Scatmaster Friday, February 03 @ 01:16:21 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I agree completely that sexual identity of aspies can be confused by people looking from the outside in, based solely on appearances. I grew up in a poor family and didn’t pay much attention to appearances, so I ended up looking like a tom boy. But my sexual identity has been clearly heterosexual since the start, since I knew that I only had crushes on guys. Given how I was more interested in intellectual pursuit than that of the opposite sex, I can see why people would have called me lesbian throughout my growing years. Even my own current boyfriend didn’t realize at first that I was into guys, which deeply confused me and I had to seek professional help to realize that my feelings rang true. Unfortunately, having people tell me who they think I am made me really confused, since I figured that if that’s the way people saw me, maybe there was some truth to it. This made me much more unsure of myself than I should have been while going through puberty, and even made me a bit homophobic for that time, since I would do anything to not be perceived that way. Sad how people jump to conclusions because of the way you dress… Though I guess that’s a bit of an aspies thing to say…
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Xyzzy Friday, February 03 @ 15:20:14 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Great article. I can’t say that I’ve ever taken the time to think about it much, but a lot of what you wrote about was very familiar to me. I’m not a slob, but I’m certainly no fashion plate. I completely relate to your comment about a clean shirt and the presence of pants. That pretty much sums it up for me too. With that said, I have the opposite problem to yours. Something about my body language seems to convey that I’m available to everyone. I don’t dress out of the ordinary, I’m shy and somewhat non-social (not “anti”-social) and I’m as thick as a brick when it comes to recognizing flirting. My wife laughs about it and is convinced that even if a woman got naked in my office I’d probably just assume that the thermostat was up too high and she was just trying to cool off. I’ve been hit on by a lot of gay guys who assume that I’m gay and I’ve also had strange women just plant themselves on my lap in a club or bar and start really aggressively flirting with me. Usually I’m too dense to take the hint and it’s not until they get frustrated and get very blunt or I have someone else explain it to me after the fact. It’s not that I’m asexual or wouldn’t be interested, I’m just never really “in the context” until something clicks and puts me there. As a result, women would generally perceive me either as “safe” or a challenge. I don’t really get the gay guy thing, but it may be that I don’t repel the inital testing and flirting because I don’t recognize it. Of course it may all be pheremones or they just instinctively recognize our vastly superior minds 🙂 As an FYI, I probably would have been attracted to you in high school. I always found the outliers much more interesting and they’re usually much easier to relate to. I’ve never really been into the “girlie girl” thing. Give me a dorky geek librarian in a sweatshirt and jeans over a frilly overdone prom queen any day. I wonder if a similar dynamic exists with gay autistics?
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Dunzel Friday, February 03 @ 21:50:32 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Excellent article. However I think that the issue goes beyond sexual expression. NTs, by culture and by physiology, rely on certain cues and feedback mechanisms in how they engage and relate to the world and each other. Cues can take various forms I have found. And NTs not only expect certain gender cues in dress and appearance, NT sub-cultures also expect certain variations of these as well. I was into industrial music for many years, yet people wouldn’t consider me unless I had a “look” so I complied. In my corporate world, I must dress the part as well to stay employed and to be granted the opportunity to communicate my ideas. Again, I comply since that is the uniform required to play the game. Long story short, its an NT world, with their rules, and they outnumber us 99.7% to 0.3%. The best we can do is adapt just enough to live our lives comfortably. After that, keep private life private and who cares what they think. Just my two cents.
This is a great article. I’m an autistic cis gay man (or read in “homoromantic demisexual” in the pace of “gay” if you prefer). I’m fortunate enough in that while I certainly don’t fit every male stereotype (not least the one about being attracted to women), I fit pretty well into the gender binary, enough that people probably assume I’m straight. But thank you for giving this the attention it deserves.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Nereid Friday, February 17 @ 03:04:08 EST
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) I can relate to your article and to many of the attire-confused aspergians who replied. Even now being aware of how your outer shell affects others perceptions of who you are, I still get “resentful” about societal pressure to present yourself a certain way. Like some other posters, I went through a phase when I was younger of wearing baggy jeans and t shirts and once had a neighbor boy shout at me that I was a “lesbian”, and “walked like a man”. I dont like that I have to hide my face under makeup and dress like the rest of society’s sheep in order for people just to not make them resent me. I dont like that in a country where we grow up being told to “be yourself”, we are constantly condemned to following other’s fashions, ideas, and behaviors. I have enough issues being a hetero and not being able to correctly read signals, so I feel sorry for people with specific non hetero interests trying to find a significant other. And to the commenter who mentioned going thru a fuschia/teal phase….. I literally wear that ensemble multiple times a week! I am always drawn to bright shades over dull, dark ones and thus have a rainbow in my closet. Even though I dress colorful, I am still told I dress “frumpy”.

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by iddles Thursday, February 09 @ 04:23:08 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Gay autobots in the UK and especially London might want to check out thingbox [thingbox.com”]. It’s just a generic gay chat forum but for some reason it seems to attract weirdos of all neurotypes and has a sizable AS clique. Autistic spectrum gay men I know seem to use beards as an indicator of the sexuality. I’d speculate that a higher than average proportion of bears (hairy/bearded gay men) are AS. Most of the straight aspies and autobots I’ve known have been gay-friendly; perhaps because of the shared experience of being an oppressed minority, or perhaps the more logical autistic outlook precludes a subscription to nonsensical homophobic views.
cheap adidas soccer shoes (Score: 1)
by adidasf50 Thursday, February 09 @ 23:00:33 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) President Johnson expressed the same conclusion during their terms of soccer shoes. For the future of peace, precipitate withdrawal would be a disaster of immense magnitude. A nation cannot remain great if it betrays its allies and lets down its friends. Our defeat and white soccer shoes would promote recklessness in the councils of those great powers who have not yet abandoned their goals of worlds conquest. adidas f50 predator would spark violence wherever our commitments help maintain the peace — in the Middle East, in Berlin, eventually even in the Western Hemisphere. Ultimately, adidas f50 tunit uppers would cost more lives. It would not bring peace. It would bring more war. For these reasons I rejected the recommendation that wholesale soccer cleats should end the war by immediately withdrawing all of our forces. I chose instead to change American policy on both the negotiating front and the battle front in order to end the war fought on many nike ctr 360 maestri. I initiated a pursuit for peace on many fronts. In a television speech on May 14, in a speech before the United Nations, on a number of other occasions, I set forth our peace discount soccer cleats in great detail. We have offered the complete withdrawal of all outside forces within one year. We have proposed mercurial victory blue under international supervision. We have offered free elections under international supervision with the Communists participating in the organization and conduct of the elections mercurial soccer cleats as an organized political force. And the Saigon government has pledged to accept the result of the election. We have not put forth our cheap soccer cleats for kids on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. We have indicated that we?re willing to discuss the proposals that have been put forth by the other side. We have declared that cheap adidas soccer shoes is negotiable, except the right of the people of South Vietnam to determine their own future. HYD
it always is buried soccer shoes for kids but there. Breathe them in as if they are the air you breathe because they are yours. Let go of anything that isn?t abundant for the time being. Name the shoe boxes in your closet nike mercurial orange with your gifts of abundance; pull from them every morning if needed. http://www.soccersshoess.com/ Lydia
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by N0tYetDeadFred Friday, February 10 @ 15:44:05 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m loving these glasses (maybe that’s a bit of ADD kicking in, though.) I loved the article and wish you the best!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by emtatiana Sunday, February 12 @ 16:03:04 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m lesbian and aspergers – I too dressed all wrong (and often still do) when young. I sent out completely the wrong messages – wearing flowery dresses (they were comfy) and shaved hair. I was lucky enough to know I was lesbian because I experimented lots and knew what felt ‘right’ and what wasn’t (for me). I was recently at a conference where a sepaker mentioned that a lot of autistic women don’t conform to hetero-gender stereotypes and indeed some were lesbian. The lady next to me immediately told me she wasn’t lesbian even though she was autistic. I replied – well I am, lesbian. Clearly I was wearing my ‘hetero-gender appropriate clothes’…. It is all so complicated. I will only wear clothes that are comfy and not too bright coloured and I have smart clothes for work and conference and the rest I can wear in the house. My lovely partner guides me if it is socially important to be dressed ‘properly’ but loves me no matter what 🙂
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by rondeau Wednesday, February 15 @ 12:18:02 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Nice piece. Really, I think there is too much on our plate as is. Quite frankly, I never got the memo as it were?LOL. Folks when I was younger gave me too many labels to be sure. Can?t tell you how many times I?ve been accused of being gay, and had to pay the price for that label. Yet, I don?t believe I dressed or acted in a manner that would suggest any such thing. Perhaps as I was developing, I chose the wrong colors or spoke on the wrong subjects. Quite frankly, looking back, it should have been great that I was speaking at all?LOL. Such as it is, I just took it all as being very different from those around me. I would say I was different not like someone from another country, but like someone from a different planet. Maybe that was a bit much input?LOL. Later in life it was sooo cool to find wrongplanet. Maybe there is something to that birds of a feather notion?LOL.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by The_Face_of_Boo Friday, February 17 @ 09:52:35 EST
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by 2ukenkerl Saturday, February 18 @ 22:35:04 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Nice article. and some good points, MY GOD though, are males that are straight that are comfortable with their sexuality now to be called CIS males? If people like homosexuals want to be better accepted, maybe they can start with not coopting the language and forcing EVERYONE ELSE to change. I once referred to “my partner” which I had done off and on for a while, and someone said “Are you homosexual?”. I had to explain that I meant partner in the same way that I understood it for like 40 years. A BUSINESS partner. Whenever I spoke of him, it was about business and technological views, but an excoworker used the term to hide the fact that he was homosexual. And the time when females were expected to dress a certain way, at least in most western societies, is LONG gone. I guess the rainbow color scheme seemed to associate you with homosexual groups, like an “=” sign might. Outside of things like that, or kind of trying to look physically masculine, people probably won’t assume you are homosexual. As for “men’s” clothing, it IS more utilitarian than anything else, and women can wear it, without any westerners caring. Of course they usually tweak it, for women, to better show the figure and it may even be more comfortable for women. I just saw a comedy where a woman tried to wear baggy mens clothing to turn a guy off, though she really liked him. It did NOT work! 🙂 Still, I have known at least 2 women that seemed very “butch”. One even had cards all over her cube that said she was ok with GLBT, or whatever it is called, and both were straight and cis female. I know that ONLY because one was VERY much against GLBT, and the other ended up telling me about her love for her husband who had died. I never brought up any related issue. Who knows? BOTH had severe mobility problems. BOTH were overweight, and had Ruematoid arthritis. Maybe they figured their style was very low maintenance and they had no interest in relationships.
It is often said that louis vuitton monogram have nine lives, that they are lucky enough to escape from danger again and again. Here is a science fiction tale about how one such lucky escape by a cat led to a discovery that was able to change the course of louis vuitton Antheia. The problems stemming from the discovery also make interesting reading. Somebody someday will make a study of the influence of animals on history. Among them, Mrs. Graham’s cat should certainly be included in any such study cheap louis vuitton online. It has now been definitely established that the experiences of this cat led to the idea of quick-frozen people. We must go back to the files of the Los Angeles newspapers for 1950 to find lv monogram handbags. She suspected no connection between the two events. The cat was not to be found until six days later, when its owner went to fetch something from the deepfreeze. Much as she loved her pet, we may imagine that lv monogram bags was more horror-than grief-stricken at her discovery. She lifted the little ice-encased body out of the deep–freeze and set it on the floor. Perhaps it is unfair to pull all the responsibility on one louis vuitton outlet. Had such a thing happened anywhere else in the country, it would have been talked about, believed by a few, disbelieved by most, and forgotten. But it happened in Los Angeles. There, and probably only there cheap lv monogram, the event was anything but forgotten; the principles it revealed became the basis of a hugely successful business. The Zeritskys were businessmen, first and last. Anyone who had the fee could put himself lv monogram purses away for whatever period of time he wished, and no questions asked, The ironclad rule was that full payment had to be made in advance. Law enforcement agents, looking for fugitives from justice lv uk, found no way to break down this system, nor any law which they could interpret as making it illegal to quick-freeze. Perhaps the truth is that they did not search too diligently for a law that could be made to apply lv us. As long as the Zeritskys kept things quiet and did not advertise or attract public attention, they could safely continue their bizarre business. ZHC
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by edgewaters Friday, March 16 @ 05:47:46 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) The rainbow thing I get, because it’s actually a symbol used by the gay rights movement. One could be forgiven for mistaking someone wearing a cross as Christian, just as one could be forgiven for mistaking someone wearing a lot of rainbows as homosexual. But baggy pants etc? Who told you this? Many, many guys find women who dress like tomboys to be very attractive. But here’s the rub: most of those guys are introverts and introverts (whether male or female) have difficulty making the first move, so if you’re an introvert too, well … you see the problem.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by NMCB3299 Sunday, February 19 @ 17:07:37 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Me, I’ve found my fashion style in the Junior/Misses department at Target. So far this winter I’ve found two very fashionable jackets’ by Merona with toggle buttons’ and I have added my Ted Baker scarfs and a woven hat that I won in a online contest. This adds a feminine expensive look to my outfit which previously people have criticized as looking masculine. I also got two Mossimo spring jackets with toggle buttons for when the weather warms up and will wear them instead of hoodies so much. I still feel very strongly about dressing comfortably. For footwear I have chosen Lands End shoes from the kids’ catalog that look just like the womens’, but are a fraction of the price. I favor slip on boot-shoes that cost $25. Comfort in shoes is foremost particularly since my left leg was injured and is now home to 7-8 pins plus plates and hardware. A friend tried to get me to admire stilletos in a fashion magazine. That is a big no because I would be in an unbelievable amount of pain from that venture ino the high fashion world and it would not be me.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by CockneyRebel Tuesday, February 21 @ 09:43:16 EST
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) Due to my gender issues, I enjoy looking the way Mick Avory did in the January of 1964, with the short hair and the plaid cap. I feel that society has more expectations of people from a gender standpoint than from any other standpoint. I’m female by an accident of genetics, but my brain, voice and soul are male.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Palakol Tuesday, February 21 @ 14:55:44 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I was the guy with the mohawk AND dreadlocks (dread-hawk/mo-locks?), who was supposed to be an art student, but instead studied political science. And I like telling people I work with that I’m gay. I enjoy the conflict.
Great article! I am a an open-minded cis female, and am comfortable being this way. That said, I definitely have gone through phases of change in the way that I dress. Some days I feel comfortable wearing a dress, others I’ll wear grungy boots and pants with baggy pockets. To my knowledge, others have never questioned my sexuality in spite of these changing clothing habits, probably because I generally have long hair and behave in a traditionally feminine manner. I, like almost everyone else I’ve ever met, have tried to change my appearance due to having been bullied. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as long as you are comfortable with how you present yourself to the world- fitting in is a defense mechanism, after all. It shows that you’re not afraid to assimilate into society, and if people are comfortable with your appearance then I’ve found you have more wiggle room to act as eccentric as you please. I still love getting secondhand clothes but now I know how to wear them in a socially acceptable manner. Goodwill is the best. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Thank you for writing this Kirsten!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by aryaunderfoot Monday, February 27 @ 10:53:17 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m actually bisexual and I discovered when I was 15. Just a few months earlier I understood for the first time that one of the reasons why I was constantly rejected from my peer-group was my outward appearance: colours that don’t fit, jeans that are not “in” and plain sweaters. No one except me was wearing these things during those years, but I still never expected that I could be excluded for the way I dress! Today I still don’t go with fashion but I celebrate my “own style” – only wearing black and white. Makes it easier to buy clothes and sends somehow different signals. I tried butchy too once but it never got me any attractions. Now I’m kinda comfortable with the way I look and how others react to it – and I’m also comfortable with my gender identity which wasn’t always the case…
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by damipenny Tuesday, February 28 @ 20:15:51 EST
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by GrungeFlannel Tuesday, March 20 @ 02:53:28 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Might I add that “prostate” stimulation is unhealthy and a risk factor for cancer, and increases the likely hood of HIV positive people. My friend Daniel got some sort of infection from having butt-sex with a girl who was clean as he later found out, but it was the fecal matter inside his eurethra that made the ecolai come and hit his testies. It all runs with the what the majority good is. “Don’t stick things where they don’t belong.” As for condoms, their not 100% so while I indentify with people who are against condoms I don’t like them cause their fake, and don’t treat the problem of America being Over-Sexualized. Especially the females for Trevor’s sake. I don’t aggree with the homosexual lifestyle cause it interferes with something that we were meant to do, which is procreate. Even if the kids come out as homosexuals or bi or trans or simply apathetic to the nature of sex. It doesn’t stop the problems associated with the above quote. Simply put. “Don’t stick things where they don’t belong.” – Myself. No source because I founded this quote myself upon studying both sides of the fences. Take it for what you for want. But my words won’t change the factors above or the status I have with myself.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by spookiewon Friday, March 02 @ 14:58:04 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) A friend of mine directed me to your article, and an interview with you and your boyfriend. I do feel the need to correct some misconceptions you seem to have. Rainbows may indeed make people believe you are gay, but lesbians most definitely DO “feel like girls inside.” The best way I can explain this to you is that I KNOW I’m a “girl inside” and I think that being female is really super special, and about the most attractive thing on earth. ALL women are beautiful. I can’t imagine why, since being female is so special, I’d be attracted to males, who, at least APPEARANCE wise, are clearly inferior. And because females are so much more attractive, why would I want to be male? You are also wrong that there are only two genders among humans. That is the “old fashioned” veiw. The “modern view of sexuality and gender identity” are much more complicated. (Yes, we all prefer black and white, but real is real.) Male and female are phenotypes, not genotypes. There are people born with varying GENOTYPES, and XX and XY are not the only possibility, who also vary in PHENOTYPE. And I’m not just talking cis vs trans gendered. The Intersex Society of North America has some great information on the complexities of what sex and gender are. http://goo.gl/YEDSU
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by markb Saturday, March 03 @ 09:12:25 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) great article, thanks for sharing.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by OllyThedude Sunday, March 04 @ 10:39:22 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m an transgender aspie. Feel free to interview me via my email at allyallen1@hotmail.com
I find wearing dresses very nice but it’s socially condemned because of shallow viewpoints in regard tog ender. The way I see it love is love…for such emotional beings humans really don’t want to just be truly fair towards each other. At some point though it’d be nice to go for an adrogynous look I uppose, for comfort as much as it would be to mess with people’s notions of “normal.” I do think aspergians are often counter-cultural by nature though hehe.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Atrice Tuesday, March 13 @ 05:16:09 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) As an Aspie who has struggled with gender identity issues, I just want to thank you for writing this fantastic article. Like many people have already said, your comments are spot-on. A lot of the things you mentioned clicked with me personally — in high school, I wore practical, comfortable clothing at the expense of “looking good,” cut my hair short because I didn’t see the point in growing it out, etc. Of course, these decisions motivated by the most logical and practical of reasons? at the time, it never really occurred to me that people were judging me based on my choice of dress. Although I identified as heterosexual at the time, my classmates — and everyone else who met me — just assumed that I was a lesbian. It’s a sad truth that most people’s first impressions are motivated by snap judgments, based on physical cues such as height, weight, gender, race — and especially clothing. There’s really nothing to be done about it, and eventually I learned how to express myself more accurately through the way I dress. I *wish* it was different, but sometimes, the best thing you can do is adapt!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Sorenzo Sunday, March 25 @ 08:15:00 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I love her previous perspective on clothing. I felt the same way, although I expect my bad habits and devastating acne had more to do with the fact that women wouldn’t look at me. Now I’m a fairly good-looking guy, and I’m not gay, but I insist on wearing pink and purple shirts. I like pink. I don’t know if women would think I was gay, but they’re welcome to – The only time I’ve ever been able to get women to talk to me was when they thought or knew I had a girlfriend (as if single guys are rabid or something), so I imagine seeming unavailable is gonna help me in the long run. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I think I can? Uhmmm…….. Autism, and people calling other Autistic people “autistics”… Ya know, that’s called labeling!! And if you think the way “gay” people are being treated is unfair…. THINK AGAIN! You don’t know me? You do NOT know how much crap I’ve been through, just to be diagnosed mere days after my 18th birthday, with Asperger syndrome!!! VERY rare or at least uncommon for my gender (female)!!!!!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by whiteflower Thursday, March 29 @ 18:47:26 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) great article, a lot of us are more likely to be lgbt than NTs so articles like these are very helpful.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by awriterswindow Saturday, April 07 @ 22:07:26 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Thanks for this article, and even more thanks for the one that ran in the Times. It meant so much to me and my boyfriend, and we saw so much of ourselves in it. Thanks for sharing that with all of us.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by ibtiamat Tuesday, April 24 @ 21:21:17 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Awesome article. You are such a unique person! I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s very recently and I am also a lesbian. It can be very hard since I hate being lonely but I also can’t figure all the ins and outs of the social world and since I look like a heterosexual female I get guys hitting on me all the time, most of the time inappropriately and my anxiety gets so high up I can barely stand it.
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Recognizing the Milder Symptoms of Autism

Most individuals tend to focus on Autism as the most severe disorder of all the Autism Spectrum disorders. It is typically triggered by dysfunctional neurological issues that oftentimes lead to dramatic and highly irreversible damage in behaviors, communication skills, physical development, and social interaction. The average age at which the disorder becomes detectable is three years old.

Despite the seriousness of the disorder, there are milder symptoms of Autism which are referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome. Additionally, children suffering with Asperger’s Syndrome usually have average to above-average IQ’s. The following is information on the six most common yet milder symptoms of Autism:

Emotional concerns – individuals who suffer with milder Autism may oftentimes exhibit mood swings, even at an early stage in their lives. This is displayed when they get easily agitated because someone disrupts their “normal” routine.

Motor skill impairment – poor motor skills are usually a sign of mild Autism as well as the more severe cases. For instance, it may be difficult for them to catch a ball or there may be delays in learning handwriting skills.

Social skill impairment – another one of the skills that is usually impaired when a person exhibits the milder symptoms of Autism involves conversational difficulties, specifically starting and continuing a conversation with another individual. Additionally, the person finds it difficult to maintain eye contact with that person they are conversing with.

Obsessiveness – it is not uncommon for any child to focus on a single hobby or toy. However, when they are suffering with milder symptoms of Autism, they will not want to have anything to do with objects or toys that do not center around that favorite hobby or toy. They may talk incessantly about their obsession with that hobby or toy as well.

Repetition in speech – children with milder symptoms of Autism oftentimes repeat what they have heard from a book or on TV as well as what another person may have said to them. In many cases, this is due to the fact that the child’s memorization skills are above-average compared to normal children.

Sensory issues – some children may also be suffering with sensory issue impairment. Certain things may aggravate or bother them such as bright lights, noises that are louder than normal, and the textures of certain foods.

As was mentioned above, the symptoms of Autism are usually spotted in the earlier years of a child’s life. Although individuals suffering with the disorder do not always appear to be different from other individuals, their abnormalities are usually revealed in the way that they communicate, interact socially, and learn.

Finally, another aspect is that individuals who are suffering with Autism will share some common characteristics of the disorder. However, it is wrong to generalize these symptoms of Autism because of the fact that no two individuals, even those with Autism, are ever alike. Just like normal individuals, people with autism will develop distinctly unique personalities and will have different ways in which they relate to and understand the ways of the world.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism

Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism
Posted on Monday, January 30 @ 09:04:17 EST by WrongPlanet Tips Recently, an article appeared in the New York Times featuring my boyfriend, Jack, and me. It was about how autism affects romantic relationships, though really it was about how our autism affects our relationship. Every relationship is different, and every autistic is different.

One criticism of the article that really resonated with me was about my comment about how learning to dress differently opened me up to more romantic venues. I said, “A lot of it is how you dress. I found people don’t flirt with me if I wear big man pants and a rainbow sweatshirt.” Now, like many autistics, I have trouble communicating my thoughts and intentions when speaking aloud. I am far more eloquent in text, thankfully, but nevertheless, my speech difficulties lead me to say things like this. I want to clear up exactly what I meant, because out of context, this statement can be quite hurtful to many people. After my explanation, I want to address the larger picture behind the controversy: the autism world is currently extremely hetero-normative.

Read on. . .

Now, the quote was part of a larger story. When I was in high school I cut my hair myself. I always kept it short, going so far as to simply cut as close to my scalp as I could with thinning shears. I wore ill-fitting men’s clothing from thrift stores, and I had an obsession with rainbows. I had a rainbow belt that was my grandmother’s in the 60s that I wore every day, I wore rainbow pins on my backpack, and I painted rainbows on my clothes with acrylic paint. I didn’t learn until the end of high school from some classmates that plenty of boys had thought I was cute, but everyone had just assumed I was a lesbian because of how I presented myself. Interesting, isn’t it? Without even realizing it, I was advertising a social niche. I was sending non-verbal signals about my identity to those around me.

Visual images telegraph quite a bit about identity to the community. Would you assume a male college student wearing a football jersey and a backwards baseball cap might be a sports fan, or a “jock”? Why? What would you think of the same boy with dreadlocks and a baggy sweatshirt? How about if that same boy wore a dress?

Many autistics are logical, straightforward thinkers. Is this shirt clean? Am I wearing pants? Ok, ready to go. For most of my life I put little if any thought into how I dressed, or how I wore my hair. I wore pigtails because a favorite cartoon character wore pigtails. My favorite shirt had a wolf on it because I liked wolves, and light-up sneakers sure were neat. As I got older it still never clicked. I wore a lot of teal because it was my favorite color, just like I wore rainbows because rainbows are pretty. I cut my hair short because I was too impatient to grow it out, and whenever I got bored, I would just cut it some more. I never once thought about how clothes could represent identity, beyond wearing a shirt with my favorite anime character on it.

I was a heterosexual girl, with no problems fitting into my assigned gender. Though I don’t consider myself extraordinarily girlie, I feel like a girl on the inside. I liked boys, yet I was communicating myself as off limits through my clothing. When I learned this, I started to make an effort to buy clothes more appropriate for the image I wanted to present. I started wearing skirts and dresses?and rainbow dresses ! And I began to grow out my hair. This in no way means that, if you’re a straight girl, to find love you have to turn into something you’re not. I never faked anything. I still wear clothes that I like. I still wear men’s clothes and rainbows sometimes too, though lately I’m making more of an effort to dress like an “adult,” whatever that means. I’ve found that I really enjoy having long hair. I can play with it and style it, and it’s an all around fun part of my body to have. I didn’t turn into someone I’m not to get male attention, though I’ll admit that I have tried and failed a few times. I simply learned how to speak the language of clothing.

If you’re a heterosexual girl who wants male attention but is so not girlie, then you don’t want to doll yourself up to attract guys who want something you’re not. If you want to wear baggy cargo pants and metal t-shirts and shave your head, go for it. Believe it or not, everyone is different, and sexuality is far from black and white. There are more than a few guys out there who will love your shaved head and non-conformist attitude. Or who will love your grandma sweaters and peasant skirts, or your dreadlocks, or your Mohawk. And guys, the same goes for you. You don’t need to like sports if you really couldn’t care less, and you don’t need to be something you’re not. Because even if you do end up attracting a mate by faking a role, you’ll never be happy with that person. You’ll have to keep on faking.

Now, something I have never once seen mentioned in any mainstream autism media is the fact that–gasp–autistic people can be gay, bi, trans, gender queer, or anything else for that matter. It’s hard enough for someone to whom social signals don’t come naturally to find a mate, let alone someone whose sexuality strays outside what’s considered the norm. How does an autistic teenage boy figure out whether the cute guy in his calculus class is gay or not? What about the autistic labeled by a driver’s license as “female” who doesn’t feel like either a girl or a boy? This stuff is hard even for neurotypicals, and autistics are basically left high and dry when it comes to sexuality in the first place.

As a straight, cis girl with only my own experience to draw from, I am in no way qualified to give advice on any of this. We live in a world where there are only two genders, and those genders are expected to always match up perfectly with biological sex. We live in a world where anything other than procreative intercourse is taboo enough to make most people uncomfortable, and any sexuality outside of heterosexual vaginal penetration is condemned. Why is it that a straight man that likes prostrate stimulation is seen as “gay,” even if it’s his wife he’s having sex with? There are so many problems with the way our culture addresses love and sex that I won’t try to get too far into it in this blog, but I will certainly write more on this in the future.

All I want to say for now is, if you’re reading this?yeah, you!?and you don’t feel like that daytime TV heterosexual, you’re not alone. Just because you don’t only like to have sex with a single someone of the opposite biological sex in missionary position with the man on top doesn’t make you a freak. If you’re a boy who wishes he could hug his friends like girls are allowed to, you’re not alone. If you’re a girl who’s sick of being judged the second you walk into a video game store, you’re not alone. If you’re a trans woman who can’t afford surgery who’s tired of being treated like some sexual pervert, you’re not alone.

We autistics are often classically considered to think in black and white absolutes, but I can’t think of anything more black and white than the modern view of sexuality and gender identity.

See more of Kirsten on Autism Talk TV.
               
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Magneto Monday, January 30 @ 09:35:38 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Hmm. What’s the article called? I agree about the clothing-identity issue, though it does go further than that. Sometimes I wish people were all clones physically, just so we wouldn’t jump to conclusions about someone based on what we see of their body. From my limited perspective, the big guy in the seat in front of me on the train could have wanted to be a princess when s(he)? was younger, while the dolled up young woman could be an exterior shell. There’s no way, short of telepathy or being told – and even then they could be lying – of understanding who they really are. Feck, I want to be pretty and wear dresses, but that’s socially off limits because of an accident of birth. :rolleyes:
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Grisha Monday, January 30 @ 09:48:28 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) This article is spot-on, personally, I tend to dress “metrosexual” which leads some people to assume that I’m gay (I’m not), but if it allows me to feel comfortable and being “myself” then who cares? I don’t have a huge problem attracting women, some women like guys who tend to “dress up”. Changing the way I dress to conform to some stereotype makes my feel like an awkward, fake NT instead of an Aspergian who has accepted his neurological identity.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by IamSonja Monday, January 30 @ 10:54:49 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Awesome article… I totally agree on your point of view!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by purchase Monday, January 30 @ 11:50:26 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Really good article. The experiences you describe are really relatable for me personally.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by techstepgenr8tion Monday, January 30 @ 14:53:51 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I think we’re just at an awkward point in history where everyone’s quite sensitive about the verbal minutia of things and hence walking on egg shells. I guess we’ve gotta just keep in mind that we practice a way of thinking that’s still somewhat new and that as the ‘isms’ get flushed out of society people will likely have thicker skin again.

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by aliensyndrome Monday, January 30 @ 17:54:57 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I like the article. It’s odd that the pictures for Kirsten’s articles emphasize her beauty, especially considering the content of this article. I am not questioning her integrity, I am merely illuminating something that I found odd.Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by wendigopsychosis Monday, January 30 @ 21:04:00 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by Ai_Ling Tuesday, January 31 @ 03:53:52 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by so_subtly_strange Sunday, February 12 @ 01:29:33 EST
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism by TheStranger Tuesday, February 28 @ 06:14:35 EST


Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Brony2011 Monday, January 30 @ 20:46:03 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Another great article! Although most of this is about clothing and appearances. I can relate in an interesting way. While I’m a heterosexual male, starting in my early teens there was a rumor that I was gay or bi that followed me for many years, based solely it seems on assumptions drawn from my appearance and behavior, specifically that I never dated or had relationships, looked and acted more “girly” than the average guy, and appeared to interact with girls and guys the same. It was a strange conclusion for anyone to jump to. Worse, I’ve always been shorter and skinnier than other guys, I hit puberty late, and I didn’t know anything about fashion or what looked “manly” or not, so I was wearing children’s clothes all the way into college. So there were things that caused me to stand out and get “picked on,” but most of it had to do with how things seemed on the outside, not who I was on the inside, and even then, people’s sexual orientation and gender identity are personal and important to them, and not things to be judged or mocked.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by artrat Monday, January 30 @ 21:30:20 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I have criticized your articles in the past and if it offended you then it was not my intention. I have found that it is impossible to get male attention in the American south if you are a non-conformist. I am quite envious of all people with a boyfriend because I have never had one. Your not a bad writer and this article is better than your others.
I got a nasty shock when a psychologist who was supposed to assess me to see if I’m on the spectrum not only didn’t give me any of the tests I’ve since learned are used for such evaluation but also dismissed me in the end as a gay cross-dresser who should change my clothing in order to become more acceptable to other people. It was one of several reasons he apparently had for not being willing to even consider that I might be on the spectrum. It was as though he decided I was just weird and lazy, so there was no point in bothering to take my concerns seriously or really learn anything about me and my life. (I give details in my blog.) Now, I don’t deny that I’m gay or that I shop in the men’s department because I identify as butch. But I wasn’t there complaining that people criticized my clothes. These days, nobody I know does. But he never bothered to find that out. He simply made an assumption and dished up his prejudice instead. I guess I hadn’t expected that kind of thing to happen around where I live anymore. But it seems that type of attitude is still alive and well, at least amongst some professionals.

Thanks for posting this piece, Kristen. Once again, you’ve written something meaningful, insightful, and progressive.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by cathylynn Tuesday, January 31 @ 08:01:09 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) that gland you mentioned is the prostate. prostrate is a position you assume when in awe or extremely fatigued. i’m impressed with your knowledge of sexual preference terminolgy. in the social services agency where i work, we have a fairly (not universal) welcoming culture. welcoming is the official stance. in fact, a transgendered individual is on an important committee. times are not horrible here for LGBTQI folks. hopefully, things are improving everywhere.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by jamieevren1210 Tuesday, January 31 @ 08:55:13 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Love love love this article kirsten! Totally agree with your point of view!!:))
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by jojobean Tuesday, January 31 @ 10:13:41 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I am a bi-romantic asexual…which gets confusing for some people. I thought your article was very respectful to LGBTA folks on the spectrum. However I have found there are more of us than some folks realize. Your right in that autism makes navigating the non-hetro waters very frightful indeed. As far as gender identity, it is common for aspie girls to feel like both sexes or neither, myself included. In one site that is listed as a girl aspie trait. That was always my biggest secret…and then I find it is a girlie AS trait. ….And rainbows are cool, regardless what they mean. I never understood “symbolic” clothing. I just wear what is comfortable which is mostly cotton as synthetics irritate my skin. Anyway great post…and best wishes to you and Jack. Jojo Jojo
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by TheWingman Tuesday, January 31 @ 17:22:40 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) i could not explain what it is but my instinct always told me that there is something very wrong with homosexuality.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by PennySue Tuesday, January 31 @ 18:04:16 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Wow! What a well-said, easily understood explanation of the situation! You have a real gift in writing on these subjects – you make no condemnation, just offer clear exposition. Nicely done. By the way, that’s me all the way – is this shirt clean? Do I have pants that fit? Good enough for me! I wore a lot of fuschia and turquoise when I was a teen and in college, but also wore Salvation Army clothes. Then again, I was alway overweight, so I didn’t figure clothes would help any way.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Agemaki Tuesday, January 31 @ 22:21:23 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I always find it interesting (or surprising) when I hear how other people see me as I’m generally clueless about it. I wore a lot of dresses and miniskirts in high school, oftentimes with high heels, and I liked to wear ribbons in my long hair. I was once told that boys found me cute but were also intimidated by me. I think there is more to presentation than dress and physical appearance alone (I looked plenty feminine at least). Having talked to a few other friends in recent years I think I might have gained more of an understanding of what is going on in terms of the messages I am unconsciously sending. Apparently if you are a cute female who is also highly decisive and a good student then you will appear rather intimidating to many potential male romantic partners. I think the main issue I’ve had is that I’m not willing to play the flirting game that involves assuming a submissive feminine role in order to flatter potential male love interests. However, I entirely agree with Kirsten’s statement that you can find people who appreciate you for who you are. I’ve managed to find boyfriends who aren’t intimidated by me and who–being rather shy themselves–appreciate my forwardness and lack of game-playing.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Comp_Geek_573 Wednesday, February 01 @ 22:09:36 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Excellent article! People need to be reminded that people can have more than one difficulty with social adjustment. There are people who are autistic and gay, or even autistic, gay and transgendered!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Freak-Z Thursday, February 02 @ 12:41:48 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) “never faked anything. I still wear clothes that I like. I still wear men’s clothes and rainbows sometimes too, though lately I’m making more of an effort to dress like an “adult,” whatever that means. I’ve found that I really enjoy having long hair. I can play with it and style it, and it’s an all around fun part of my body to have. I didn’t turn into someone I’m not to get male attention, though I’ll admit that I have tried and failed a few times” Who are you trying to convince here? “I simply learned how to speak the language of clothing” And whats that exactly? sounds more like the language of conformity.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by goundreykruse Thursday, February 02 @ 15:11:23 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Good for you, Kirsten! I didn’t know I was autistic as a young person, I wish I had because I maybe would have felt more okay about my own fashion/clothing choices and sexual identity. Although I am physically female and a mother, inside myself I feel ‘non-gender specific.’ So I too have been mistaken for a lesbian and also had times in my life when I wanted to be fluffy girly (not so many of those tho…) Now I know that I am autistic, I feel free to be myself (thanks in part to people like you folks here). I dress A)for comfort – NO polyester or pokey/tight stuff, and B) because I like the garment. Perhaps it is the autistics of this world who can truly be free. Let’s stop trying to fit ourselves into ‘social norms’ because often those norms make folk unhappy. Let us be authentic, free people and the neuros can follow our example for a change! 🙂

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by perpetualconfusion Thursday, February 02 @ 21:06:58 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Kirsten, Good job on this article! I think you outlined it well and stated your opinions in a frank, matter-of-fact style. As to your original article about Autism and relationships (appearing in the NY Times), I had no trouble understanding your intent and took no offense to it whatsoever. In fact, that article is what led me to WP in the first place! Again, Kudos to you and I am looking forward to reading your next article 🙂 .
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by aussiebloke Thursday, February 02 @ 21:28:25 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Are you wearing Mr Planks glasses?
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Scatmaster Friday, February 03 @ 01:16:21 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I agree completely that sexual identity of aspies can be confused by people looking from the outside in, based solely on appearances. I grew up in a poor family and didn’t pay much attention to appearances, so I ended up looking like a tom boy. But my sexual identity has been clearly heterosexual since the start, since I knew that I only had crushes on guys. Given how I was more interested in intellectual pursuit than that of the opposite sex, I can see why people would have called me lesbian throughout my growing years. Even my own current boyfriend didn’t realize at first that I was into guys, which deeply confused me and I had to seek professional help to realize that my feelings rang true. Unfortunately, having people tell me who they think I am made me really confused, since I figured that if that’s the way people saw me, maybe there was some truth to it. This made me much more unsure of myself than I should have been while going through puberty, and even made me a bit homophobic for that time, since I would do anything to not be perceived that way. Sad how people jump to conclusions because of the way you dress… Though I guess that’s a bit of an aspies thing to say…
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Xyzzy Friday, February 03 @ 15:20:14 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Great article. I can’t say that I’ve ever taken the time to think about it much, but a lot of what you wrote about was very familiar to me. I’m not a slob, but I’m certainly no fashion plate. I completely relate to your comment about a clean shirt and the presence of pants. That pretty much sums it up for me too. With that said, I have the opposite problem to yours. Something about my body language seems to convey that I’m available to everyone. I don’t dress out of the ordinary, I’m shy and somewhat non-social (not “anti”-social) and I’m as thick as a brick when it comes to recognizing flirting. My wife laughs about it and is convinced that even if a woman got naked in my office I’d probably just assume that the thermostat was up too high and she was just trying to cool off. I’ve been hit on by a lot of gay guys who assume that I’m gay and I’ve also had strange women just plant themselves on my lap in a club or bar and start really aggressively flirting with me. Usually I’m too dense to take the hint and it’s not until they get frustrated and get very blunt or I have someone else explain it to me after the fact. It’s not that I’m asexual or wouldn’t be interested, I’m just never really “in the context” until something clicks and puts me there. As a result, women would generally perceive me either as “safe” or a challenge. I don’t really get the gay guy thing, but it may be that I don’t repel the inital testing and flirting because I don’t recognize it. Of course it may all be pheremones or they just instinctively recognize our vastly superior minds 🙂 As an FYI, I probably would have been attracted to you in high school. I always found the outliers much more interesting and they’re usually much easier to relate to. I’ve never really been into the “girlie girl” thing. Give me a dorky geek librarian in a sweatshirt and jeans over a frilly overdone prom queen any day. I wonder if a similar dynamic exists with gay autistics?
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Dunzel Friday, February 03 @ 21:50:32 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Excellent article. However I think that the issue goes beyond sexual expression. NTs, by culture and by physiology, rely on certain cues and feedback mechanisms in how they engage and relate to the world and each other. Cues can take various forms I have found. And NTs not only expect certain gender cues in dress and appearance, NT sub-cultures also expect certain variations of these as well. I was into industrial music for many years, yet people wouldn’t consider me unless I had a “look” so I complied. In my corporate world, I must dress the part as well to stay employed and to be granted the opportunity to communicate my ideas. Again, I comply since that is the uniform required to play the game. Long story short, its an NT world, with their rules, and they outnumber us 99.7% to 0.3%. The best we can do is adapt just enough to live our lives comfortably. After that, keep private life private and who cares what they think. Just my two cents.
This is a great article. I’m an autistic cis gay man (or read in “homoromantic demisexual” in the pace of “gay” if you prefer). I’m fortunate enough in that while I certainly don’t fit every male stereotype (not least the one about being attracted to women), I fit pretty well into the gender binary, enough that people probably assume I’m straight. But thank you for giving this the attention it deserves.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Nereid Friday, February 17 @ 03:04:08 EST
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) I can relate to your article and to many of the attire-confused aspergians who replied. Even now being aware of how your outer shell affects others perceptions of who you are, I still get “resentful” about societal pressure to present yourself a certain way. Like some other posters, I went through a phase when I was younger of wearing baggy jeans and t shirts and once had a neighbor boy shout at me that I was a “lesbian”, and “walked like a man”. I dont like that I have to hide my face under makeup and dress like the rest of society’s sheep in order for people just to not make them resent me. I dont like that in a country where we grow up being told to “be yourself”, we are constantly condemned to following other’s fashions, ideas, and behaviors. I have enough issues being a hetero and not being able to correctly read signals, so I feel sorry for people with specific non hetero interests trying to find a significant other. And to the commenter who mentioned going thru a fuschia/teal phase….. I literally wear that ensemble multiple times a week! I am always drawn to bright shades over dull, dark ones and thus have a rainbow in my closet. Even though I dress colorful, I am still told I dress “frumpy”.

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by iddles Thursday, February 09 @ 04:23:08 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Gay autobots in the UK and especially London might want to check out thingbox [thingbox.com”]. It’s just a generic gay chat forum but for some reason it seems to attract weirdos of all neurotypes and has a sizable AS clique. Autistic spectrum gay men I know seem to use beards as an indicator of the sexuality. I’d speculate that a higher than average proportion of bears (hairy/bearded gay men) are AS. Most of the straight aspies and autobots I’ve known have been gay-friendly; perhaps because of the shared experience of being an oppressed minority, or perhaps the more logical autistic outlook precludes a subscription to nonsensical homophobic views.
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by N0tYetDeadFred Friday, February 10 @ 15:44:05 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m loving these glasses (maybe that’s a bit of ADD kicking in, though.) I loved the article and wish you the best!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by emtatiana Sunday, February 12 @ 16:03:04 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m lesbian and aspergers – I too dressed all wrong (and often still do) when young. I sent out completely the wrong messages – wearing flowery dresses (they were comfy) and shaved hair. I was lucky enough to know I was lesbian because I experimented lots and knew what felt ‘right’ and what wasn’t (for me). I was recently at a conference where a sepaker mentioned that a lot of autistic women don’t conform to hetero-gender stereotypes and indeed some were lesbian. The lady next to me immediately told me she wasn’t lesbian even though she was autistic. I replied – well I am, lesbian. Clearly I was wearing my ‘hetero-gender appropriate clothes’…. It is all so complicated. I will only wear clothes that are comfy and not too bright coloured and I have smart clothes for work and conference and the rest I can wear in the house. My lovely partner guides me if it is socially important to be dressed ‘properly’ but loves me no matter what 🙂

Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by rondeau Wednesday, February 15 @ 12:18:02 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Nice piece. Really, I think there is too much on our plate as is. Quite frankly, I never got the memo as it were?LOL. Folks when I was younger gave me too many labels to be sure. Can?t tell you how many times I?ve been accused of being gay, and had to pay the price for that label. Yet, I don?t believe I dressed or acted in a manner that would suggest any such thing. Perhaps as I was developing, I chose the wrong colors or spoke on the wrong subjects. Quite frankly, looking back, it should have been great that I was speaking at all?LOL. Such as it is, I just took it all as being very different from those around me. I would say I was different not like someone from another country, but like someone from a different planet. Maybe that was a bit much input?LOL. Later in life it was sooo cool to find wrongplanet. Maybe there is something to that birds of a feather notion?LOL.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by The_Face_of_Boo Friday, February 17 @ 09:52:35 EST
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by 2ukenkerl Saturday, February 18 @ 22:35:04 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Nice article. and some good points, MY GOD though, are males that are straight that are comfortable with their sexuality now to be called CIS males? If people like homosexuals want to be better accepted, maybe they can start with not coopting the language and forcing EVERYONE ELSE to change. I once referred to “my partner” which I had done off and on for a while, and someone said “Are you homosexual?”. I had to explain that I meant partner in the same way that I understood it for like 40 years. A BUSINESS partner. Whenever I spoke of him, it was about business and technological views, but an excoworker used the term to hide the fact that he was homosexual. And the time when females were expected to dress a certain way, at least in most western societies, is LONG gone. I guess the rainbow color scheme seemed to associate you with homosexual groups, like an “=” sign might. Outside of things like that, or kind of trying to look physically masculine, people probably won’t assume you are homosexual. As for “men’s” clothing, it IS more utilitarian than anything else, and women can wear it, without any westerners caring. Of course they usually tweak it, for women, to better show the figure and it may even be more comfortable for women. I just saw a comedy where a woman tried to wear baggy mens clothing to turn a guy off, though she really liked him. It did NOT work! 🙂 Still, I have known at least 2 women that seemed very “butch”. One even had cards all over her cube that said she was ok with GLBT, or whatever it is called, and both were straight and cis female. I know that ONLY because one was VERY much against GLBT, and the other ended up telling me about her love for her husband who had died. I never brought up any related issue. Who knows? BOTH had severe mobility problems. BOTH were overweight, and had Ruematoid arthritis. Maybe they figured their style was very low maintenance and they had no interest in relationships.
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by NMCB3299 Sunday, February 19 @ 17:07:37 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) Me, I’ve found my fashion style in the Junior/Misses department at Target. So far this winter I’ve found two very fashionable jackets’ by Merona with toggle buttons’ and I have added my Ted Baker scarfs and a woven hat that I won in a online contest. This adds a feminine expensive look to my outfit which previously people have criticized as looking masculine. I also got two Mossimo spring jackets with toggle buttons for when the weather warms up and will wear them instead of hoodies so much. I still feel very strongly about dressing comfortably. For footwear I have chosen Lands End shoes from the kids’ catalog that look just like the womens’, but are a fraction of the price. I favor slip on boot-shoes that cost $25. Comfort in shoes is foremost particularly since my left leg was injured and is now home to 7-8 pins plus plates and hardware. A friend tried to get me to admire stilletos in a fashion magazine. That is a big no because I would be in an unbelievable amount of pain from that venture ino the high fashion world and it would not be me.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by CockneyRebel Tuesday, February 21 @ 09:43:16 EST
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) Due to my gender issues, I enjoy looking the way Mick Avory did in the January of 1964, with the short hair and the plaid cap. I feel that society has more expectations of people from a gender standpoint than from any other standpoint. I’m female by an accident of genetics, but my brain, voice and soul are male.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by Palakol Tuesday, February 21 @ 14:55:44 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I was the guy with the mohawk AND dreadlocks (dread-hawk/mo-locks?), who was supposed to be an art student, but instead studied political science. And I like telling people I work with that I’m gay. I enjoy the conflict.
Great article! I am a an open-minded cis female, and am comfortable being this way. That said, I definitely have gone through phases of change in the way that I dress. Some days I feel comfortable wearing a dress, others I’ll wear grungy boots and pants with baggy pockets. To my knowledge, others have never questioned my sexuality in spite of these changing clothing habits, probably because I generally have long hair and behave in a traditionally feminine manner. I, like almost everyone else I’ve ever met, have tried to change my appearance due to having been bullied. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as long as you are comfortable with how you present yourself to the world- fitting in is a defense mechanism, after all. It shows that you’re not afraid to assimilate into society, and if people are comfortable with your appearance then I’ve found you have more wiggle room to act as eccentric as you please. I still love getting secondhand clothes but now I know how to wear them in a socially acceptable manner. Goodwill is the best. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Thank you for writing this Kirsten!
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by aryaunderfoot Monday, February 27 @ 10:53:17 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m actually bisexual and I discovered when I was 15. Just a few months earlier I understood for the first time that one of the reasons why I was constantly rejected from my peer-group was my outward appearance: colours that don’t fit, jeans that are not “in” and plain sweaters. No one except me was wearing these things during those years, but I still never expected that I could be excluded for the way I dress! Today I still don’t go with fashion but I celebrate my “own style” – only wearing black and white. Makes it easier to buy clothes and sends somehow different signals. I tried butchy too once but it never got me any attractions. Now I’m kinda comfortable with the way I look and how others react to it – and I’m also comfortable with my gender identity which wasn’t always the case…
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by damipenny Tuesday, February 28 @ 20:15:51 EST
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Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by spookiewon Friday, March 02 @ 14:58:04 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) A friend of mine directed me to your article, and an interview with you and your boyfriend. I do feel the need to correct some misconceptions you seem to have. Rainbows may indeed make people believe you are gay, but lesbians most definitely DO “feel like girls inside.” The best way I can explain this to you is that I KNOW I’m a “girl inside” and I think that being female is really super special, and about the most attractive thing on earth. ALL women are beautiful. I can’t imagine why, since being female is so special, I’d be attracted to males, who, at least APPEARANCE wise, are clearly inferior. And because females are so much more attractive, why would I want to be male? You are also wrong that there are only two genders among humans. That is the “old fashioned” veiw. The “modern view of sexuality and gender identity” are much more complicated. (Yes, we all prefer black and white, but real is real.) Male and female are phenotypes, not genotypes. There are people born with varying GENOTYPES, and XX and XY are not the only possibility, who also vary in PHENOTYPE. And I’m not just talking cis vs trans gendered. The Intersex Society of North America has some great information on the complexities of what sex and gender are. http://goo.gl/YEDSU
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by markb Saturday, March 03 @ 09:12:25 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) great article, thanks for sharing.
Re: Kirsten Lindsmith on Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Autism (Score: 1)
by OllyThedude Sunday, March 04 @ 10:39:22 EST
(User Info | Send a Message) I’m an transgender aspie. Feel free to interview me via my email at allyallen1@hotmail.com
I find wearing dresses very nice but it’s socially condemned because of shallow viewpoints in regard tog ender. The way I see it love is love…for such emotional beings humans really don’t want to just be truly fair towards each other. At some point though it’d be nice to go for an adrogynous look I uppose, for comfort as much as it would be to mess with people’s notions of “normal.” I do think aspergians are often counter-cultural by nature though hehe.

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Criteria for Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome is a neurobiological illness that is part of a set of conditions called autism spectrum disorders. The name “autism spectrum” refers to progressive disabilities that comprise autism as well as other illnesses with comparable characteristics.

What it is to know with Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome can be known and detected in many ways. One major criterion is the patient’s qualitative impairment in social interaction. This is revealed by the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye contact, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures to control social interaction. Other patients suffering in this disorder also fail to cultivate peer relationships fitting to their developmental levels. They also have lack of natural seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people and they also have the lack of social or emotional reciprocity.


How to identify if a person has Asperger Syndrome?

* Another major criterion to identify Asperger syndrome is the patient’s limited repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, likes, and activities.

* Patients have encompassing obsession with stereotyped and restricted patterns of interests that is abnormal in intensity and/ or in focus.

* They also have stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms like hand or finger twisting and flapping and whole body complex movements.

* They also have persistent obsession with parts of objects and are apparently adherent to specific, non-functional routines.

* The Disorder also causes clinically major impairment in the community, in work and in other important areas of functioning. However, there is no delay in language of children with asperger syndrome. In example, two year olds use single words to communicate while 3 year-old use communicative phrases.

* There is also no setback in the progress of self-help abilities, adaptive behavior, and curiosity about the surroundings in childhood.

These criteria sounds like there’s a significant difference in diagnosis between Asperger syndrome and High-functioning Autism, but the truth is, in the words of Asperger syndrome expert Dr. Tony Attwood, “the difference between them is mostly in the spelling.”

This is mainly the situation as children grow up and differentiations in language ability at the age of three become extraneous. When children with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism become teenagers, those distinctions have basically disappeared, making it very hard to differentiate amid the two diagnoses.

Help your Asperger child by giving them the support and love that they need!

Dr. John E. Neyman, Jr.Christian CounselorDr. John has reared 3 children, Philip, Laura, and Matthew. Dr. John has been teaching families for the last 30 years. He is a family coach that specializes in parenting. Dr. John’s motto is “Empowering parents to transform their homes.” Dr. John was a pastor for 25 years.Dr. John has been serving as a Counselor/therapist for 30 years. He is currently a Behavior Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist in Western PA. Dr. John also is the director /Owner of the Renewed Life Counseling Center. Dr. John is a bestselling author entitled Wake up Live the Life You love: Success and Wake up Live the Life You Love: Freedom.Dr. John has developed a strategy that parents are able to use immediately, and effectively. It is entitled Power moments with Your Children. It takes less than 1 minute to put a strategy into place. Dr. John holds degrees from Liberty University and Rochville University.Dr. John has a passion to teach principles that transforms lives. He has spoken to audiences from 4 to 4 thousand. Dr. John’s teachings are practical, pointed, and powerful.
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The Symptoms Of Asberger’s Syndrome

If you’re like most people, then you’ve probably heard the term “Asberger’s syndrome” bandied about quite a bit in recent years. If you’ve never taken the time to learn what it is exactly, now is the time. By learning about the condition, you can help raise awareness and learn that this condition is far from a completely debilitating one.

The Symptoms Of Asberger’s Syndrome –

The symptoms of Asberger’s syndrome fall into a handful of different categories. Look below for a brief description of each of these:

Impaired Social Interaction Abilities – Children and adults who suffer from Asperger’s usually display a range of problems when it comes to normal social interaction. It is usually difficult for them to maintain and develop friendships, and an ability to emphasise or to pick up on normal social cues often appears to be missing. Nonverbal behaviour can be problematic – people with Asberger’s might display glazed over eyes or inappropriate facial expressions.

Impaired Ability To Use Subtle Communication Skills – Those with Asperger’s often have trouble when it comes to nuance in communication. Quite often they can take things extremely literally as they cannot discern some of the underlying messages. Conversation skills are therefore stunted – however, speech is by no means actually impaired.

Interests Are Restricted – Consistency and routine are abnormally important to people who have Asberger’s syndrome. They may focus on seemingly random things or ideas with extreme intensity that might even border on obsession.

Managing Asberger’s Syndrom –

As much as Asberger’s syndrome might get in the way of normal social communication, it is by no means a condition that restricts people from living mostly normal lives. As more is being learned about Asperger’s, better treatments and solutions are being devised every day. Generally combined with therapy, patients tend to respond extremely well to various forms of prescription medication. Thanks to the customisable medications that can be created by the modern compounding pharmacy, there is a broader range of treatments for people suffering from Asberger’s Syndrome than ever before.

People who suffer from Asberger’s can still lead rich, fulfilling lives. Many actually become experts in their chosen field, turning their intense focus into a beneficial quality. Between therapy, medication and a loving and caring family and friends, individuals with Asberger’s syndrom can excel in life just like anyone else can.

Although not every person with Asberger’s will use it, prescription medication has been shown to provide certain benefits. When customised by a compounding pharmacy, such as Dallas Parade Pharmacy, medication can be used to manage some of the larger problems that are often associated with the condition.
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How To Cope with Aspergers Obsessions And Rituals

Aspergers obsessions are very common for those with Aspergers Syndrome. A hallmark of Aspergers is the development of obsessive thinking the performing ritual behaviors. This is done by the child in an effort to reduce stress and anxiety. This behavior can meet the criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults later in your child’s life. Many Aspergers children have a particular obsessive interest in one subject and little interest in anything else. They may obsessively seek out information about maps, or clocks, or some other topic. Their obsession will usually make the ability to concentrate on other topics very difficult.

They can also be very inflexible in their habits and rigid about routines or rituals. These obsessions and compulsions are believed to be biological in origin. This means it is difficult to address these behaviors with therapy. It is impossible to try to reason with them about the behaviors. It is not something they have control over. Even so, there is some evidence suggesting that cognitive-behavioral therapy may help control some of the behaviors. This therapy can make the child aware of ways to recognize when the behavior is starting so they can stop it right away. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on concrete concepts like behavior and thought changes that can be taught to children, teens and adults with Aspergers. Aspergers obsessions can be controlled to improve function on a day-to-day basis, but not “cured.”

Parents may need to simply be supportive of a child who hangs on to rituals they don’t understand themselves. Without a great deal of therapy, it is very, very difficult to fight the rituals performed by Aspergers children. Punishing the child for performing the Aspergers obsessions will not stop them and will only traumatize the child. Medications are often used to take the edge off of obsessive compulsive disorder behaviors. They are particularly successful when combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Every medication has side-effects, however, and improvement may be limited. Try medications recommended by your child’s doctor with complete and full knowledge of the intended effects as well as the side effects that might apply. Work with your doctor to find a medication with the least amount of side effects, or the side effects your child can most easily live with. A compromise of what the costs and benefits of the use of medication are important to consider, when treating Aspergers obsessions. Take all decisions about medications very seriously.

I hope that this has been a helpful article for you in better understanding Aspergers obsessions and rituals.

Dave Angel is a Social Worker and the author of three best-selling ebooks about Aspergers Syndrome. Do you have an Aspergers child? Get your free report ‘Secrets to Parenting your Child with Aspergers’ Guide at www.parentingaspergers.com/blog
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