Asperger Research

Postby davidbanner99@ » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:15 pm

Simple introduction. I've been studying Asperger's research for quite some time. This is the original research in Austria, Vienna. I'm currently comparing these papers to the much earlier work of Grunya Sukhareva whose work it seems Asperger read. I recently wrote a small book on Asperger which gives very precise details on diagnosis. I used very many anamneses of patients mostly in the USSR. That is patients with autism.
Just found this forum and hope it is O.K.
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#1

Postby davidbanner99@ » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:29 pm

Just to add Suhareva's work is dated from the 1920s and is excellent. Patients pretty identical to Asperger's. If it has never been translated from Russia I will be amazed. Possibly not. I found comments on her on media sites but no direct translation. As I specialised in Russian I hope to translate it in stages. I found USSR research to be excellent except for the fact biological causes are pushed forwards. However Suhareva investigates genetics and her whole approach must have influenced Asperger.
Sorry for talking shop. I am actually on a Russian autism site but people on it seem disinterested and feel neuroligical deviation can be fixed by pharmaceutical prescriptions. Plus as a bilingual psychology student they probably find me odd.
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#2

Postby GalmOne » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:58 pm

Yes, it's sadly uncommon to see foreigners coming to Russian language online communities, and due to the massive privatization of the post-Soviet health system, everything is now solved by copious amounts of medication, because health is now a business and not a service.

Still, I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that there's interesting research that was done in the Soviet era about mental health, I wouldn't have thought. But after all, the 20s were an era of innovation and openness in Russia, so why not?
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#3

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:03 pm

The USSR as you know was quite different to Russia. There were quite a few ethnic groups. It's early to tell as of yet but Grunya Suhareva appears to be an outstanding autism researcher. There are some symptoms she outlines I never saw referred to in modern Asperger definitions. Yet, she is correct. Of course, looking at her sources, she uses German analysts. My feeling is the best research emerges from Germany but regardless Suhareva writes in Russian.
I am now convinced she does deserve credit as the true discoverer of Asperger Syndrome. Her patients are totally the same as Asperger's.
If this paper hasn' t been translated, I will do so. I would be very surprised if nobody ever put it into English. Yet, searching on Google merely gives a quick outline of her career.
The actual diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome is Schizoid, Autistic, Avoidant Psychopathy.
Beware the term "psychopath". Back then this was a clinical term which in my view is based on "pathology" and "psyche". Not like in the films today where the term has a totally different association.
As to "schizoid", well,.this condition was associated as borderline schizophrenia. As it was seen as similar, it was simply called schizoid disorder.
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#4

Postby GalmOne » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:01 pm

That's pretty fascinating to see the evolution of these terms as well! And yes, modern day Russia already has quite a lot (around 160, if I'm mistaken) of ethnic groups, and the USSR had even more of them!
And I'll be looking for her papers in Russian then, it does look fascinating.
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#5

Postby davidbanner99@ » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:25 pm

GalmOne wrote:That's pretty fascinating to see the evolution of these terms as well! And yes, modern day Russia already has quite a lot (around 160, if I'm mistaken) of ethnic groups, and the USSR had even more of them!
And I'll be looking for her papers in Russian then, it does look fascinating.

The unique perspective I got the other day from Suhareva is mimic. She then described a related symptom whereby facial expression may be out of phase with emotional reaction, as in a lag. When I eventually grasped "mimic" I took to analysing facial expression in normal people. It seemed to me somehow that women are a bit more facially expressive than men. Asperger also studied "gaze" but noted the autistic children had a vacant look, as opposed to interested and engaged.
Often we assume very dated research isn't as good but these papers should be more publicized. I will know more when I finish reading.
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#6

Postby davidbanner99@ » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:09 pm

Here is my angle: So far as Asperger diagnosis is concerned, for decades emphasis has been on treatment of a disorder. How to enable people with autism to function normally in society. Here, I agree the symptoms per se are hugely disruptive to the patient. It can cause depression, anxiety, family pressure, isolation and so on. However, where I perceive Asperger after having studied his papers, is his view was abnormality in social terms isn't something to get overly hung up on. Asperger views chaos as the twin of creation. He doesn't see perfection as having one polarity. That is positive needs negative. So, what we do is accept flawed individuals unconditionally and find their positive attributes. Then, like Asperger, we discover something deeper.
What I found as I went on is that the information processing aspect of autism is a whole field in itself. We all assume that to be an ace student, we listen well and master information quickly. We function well in a class and quickly process new information. And yet, autistic people I knew tend to process information with a delay so it seems they never took anything in. However, processing here is slow and deep. Beyond that, some autistic people really find the most unusual patterns and associations in abstract matters.
Now, here is my main drive: Almost a majority of autistic people are so burdened by their social obligations to be normal, they find it incredibly hard to escape the cycle of anxiety and worry. I mean, pressure to utlise social communication for acceptance is huge. We are expected to communicate clearly, act accordingly, preserve relationships (business or student or personal). So, my feeling on this is Asperger's approach that looks at the whole context is in a pioneering class. Personally I'd like to see more emphasis on how neurologically diverse people respond to different educational systems, such as in maths and music or arts. Meantime "manage" the neurotic aspects and use perspective.
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#7

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:35 pm

I just checked out Lorna Wing's listed sources and see she does list Samuel Munhin (USSR psychiatrist and neurologist) but she never knew of Suhareva. Lorna Wing is said to be the pioneer of the Asperger Syndrome diagnosis in the UK and USA. Munhin, as it happens was educated by Suhareva's writings.
I was struck by the fact Wing states in her major essay there is no relation between Schizoid Disorder and Asperger's case studies. Yet, reading Suhareva in much detail, it is clear her patients are identical. The term in Russian, "shizoidniye" merely suggests the patients were similar to childhood schizophrenia patients. That is, back then the doctors saw certain similarities but both Asperger and Suhareva (as well as Munhin) did realise their patients were not suffering from schizophrenia. Despite that "schizoid" disorder was used. It is by no means a distint condition as Wing stated.
I found Suhareva has been translated into German. Anyone who knows German here could read it. Should you find there is an English version, please let me know. The book is called in Russian Schizoid Disorder In Childhood.
Note the similarity to Asperger's Autistic Psychopathy In Childhood. He had evidently read her work.
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#8

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:42 pm

I plan on translating the paper as a labour of love. She is today hailed as a genius in Russia although she's also Ukranian and Jewish heritage. Uses German also in her medical notes.
If no western psychiatrist or doctor ever read her translated works, I'd find that very odd.
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#9

Postby davidbanner99@ » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:46 am

Dug out the answer. It does exist in.English as a translation by Sula Wolff. Not sure where copies are accessed.
Regardless of that I'll translate parts of it. Maybe add notes and comparisons. Just to keep busy.
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