An Introduction And Guide To Asperger Disorder

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:35 pm

I re-publish this from my blog. I decided to put together an outline to diagnosis, starting with an introduction.

PART ONE
This will be the first part in a series of articles, designed to enable parents, or adults, to identify Asperger’s Disorder. It will include a detailed description of all of the symptoms, in the clearest terms. Realistically, it is recognised that accurate diagnosis of neurological syndromes is a complex matter, so my essays can only hope to point the way in terms of probability. I base all my information on Hans Asperger’s personal research papers, that date back to the 1930s. I also refer to textbooks and essays published in the Soviet Union.

First of all, we need to address the fact the former diagnosis, called Asperger Syndrome was recently abandoned and replaced by the new definition A. S.D. (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Before any attempt is made to outline, and describe, the diagnostic criteria for the original diagnosis, it is crucial to discuss the reasons behind its disappearance.

There were two main reasons (and a possible third) why Hans Asperger’s research was ultimately discarded:

(1) Asperger was accused of supporting fascist ideology.
The rather unpleasant reality we have to face is that pre WW2 German psychology (including neurology, anthropology) took place amongst a backdrop of political extremism and fascist ideology. Academic Herwig Czech recently accused Asperger of involvement in the Nazi eugenics program, which was an ideology based upon elimination of severely disabled people. It lies outside the scope of this article to address accusations made against Hans Asperger, whom I still consider to have been motivated by a sincere desire to assimilate autistic people.

It must be stated that rejection of Asperger’s almost unique research into autism genuinely harms those who today suffer from the pathology outlined in “Die Autistischen Psychopathen Im Kindesalter”. The insurmountable problem posed by such a position is where to draw the boundaries?

The harsh reality is the sciences of genetics, neurology and anthropology were practically dominated by German researchers, from the 1920s to the post WW2 period. What many people fail to grasp, however, is that German psychology contradicted Nazi ideology. For instance, Ernst Kretschmer wrote:

“But already today, we might say that the incidence of genius and cultural achievements are based on complex biological factors and are not at all the privilege of a certain race. The assertion: the more pure the race, the more genius and productivity, is false.” (Dr. Ernst Kretschmer).

Fortunately, a solution can be offered in this article: The same condition studied by Asperger had already been recognised in 1925. Jewish doctor and geneticist, Grunya Suhareva, described the medical case histories of six children, all suffering from the same symptoms Asperger described, a decade later. Therefore, we could by necessity diagnose Asperger Pathology using Suhareva’s detailed essays. It is likewise highly probable that Asperger had read Dr.Suhareva’s work, published in the USSR.
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#1

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:40 pm

PART 2
Problems Relating To Diagnosis

(2) The second reason was uncertainty over the actual diagnosis.

Prior to the aforementioned changes to the DSM, doctors Judith N. Miller and Sally Ozonoff published a paper that demonstrated Asperger’s Syndrome (in its original form, called Autistic Psychopathy), had been distorted by modern conceptions of its application. Ozonoff and Miller attempted to have the original Asperger children diagnosed through the guidelines in the DSM. The result of this detailed study was startling. The original Asperger children would never have been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, had they been examined by American psychologists. Ironically, the very children who inspired a global diagnostic phenomenon were left in a diagnostic vacuum:

“The central thesis of this paper is that current DSM-IV diagnostic criteria do not identify the types of individuals originally described by Hans Asperger. Indeed, application of DSM-IV criteria has resulted in lower estimates of prevalence than those originally predicted. The accuracy of future research endeavors and effectiveness of clinical interventions rely upon a better understanding of whether Asperger Disorder and autism are distinct subtypes of PDD or one and the same condition.” (Judith N. Miller, Sally Ozonoff PHd).

How did I find out about the Ozonoff and Miller paper? The simple answer to that is I had already started to pick up on inconsistencies between source materials and actual interpretation. I started to search through data to see if there were other researchers who perceived a problem. At that point, I chanced upon the Ozonoff paper. Shortly after, the decision was taken to remove Asperger Syndrome altogether as a diagnosis.

One point to address is the Anglo American conception of Asperger’s Pathology as “a spectrum”. This conception was introduced by psychiatrist Lorna Wing, who alone was responsible for the eventual adaptation of Hans Asperger’s research to the DSM. The two of them met at a London hospital but it would appear the issue of autism as a spectrum became a subject of respectful disagreement:

“In the late 1970s, Lorna Wing sat down with Hans Asperger in the tea-room of the Maudsley Hospital in South London. They discussed whether the condition she had named “Asperger Syndrome” was part of an autism spectrum, or was distinct enough to be thought of as a separate syndrome, with Wing believing the former. They agreed to disagree, but by all accounts had an amiable conversation. “

There was really no concept of “spectrum” in German psychology and the problem may well be Wing was misunderstood, as time went by. To address the question, I believe the original pathology, Asperger referred to as “Autistic Psychopathy” can be diagnosed by following a structured procedure. It would be a huge mistake to view core symptoms as a spectrum. These symptoms need to be clearly recognised and their relationship to an overall pattern understood. The symptoms would normally have caused significant problems from a very early age, and more so at school.

One other crucial point needs to be understood. Asperger didn’t obsess over the finer points of diagnosis or any excessive emphasis on diagnosis. The method involved observation and basic categorization. The emphasis was on the differences in the processing of information, observed via specific testing.

In the next chapter, we will systematically outline the core symptoms of Asperger’s Pathology. We will explain them in terms of the physiological and psychological impact. We will attempt to offer a comprehensive guide that is supported by direct extracts from Asperger’s own files.
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#2

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:04 pm

I recently changed my style somewhat. Diagnosis of any disorder isn't the sum focus of my work. I am writing the current essay more as a sideline.
The real emphasis is on processing of information. In my case, for example, how I tried to address dyscalculia. What causes these processing issues and can it be reversed?
Another issue I'm working on is effects of clinical conditions on physical health, as well as life expectancy. This turns out to be pretty grim.
I was recently reading about Edvard Einstein. That's Albert Einstein's second son. He wanted to become a psychologist and very much admired Freud. However, Edvard suffered Schizophrenia and became too ill to flee the Nazis to America. The first son became a successful engineer but Edvard deteriorated.
Sad case is severe cases such as that are reflected by shortened lives. Of course, treatment can be improved and sad endings avoided.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 11, 2021 1:09 am

davidbanner99@ wrote:This will be the first part in a series of articles, designed to enable parents, or adults, to identify Asperger’s Disorder. It will include a detailed description of all of the symptoms, in the clearest terms.


So when will you write this?

Parents do not care about the history of Hans Asperger, nor the German or Russian political situation in the early 20th century. Nor do they care about Einstein’s children. They do not need that information.

All they need is the “detailed description of all the symptoms, in the clearest terms.” When will that be provided?
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#4

Postby Candid » Sun Jul 11, 2021 11:04 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:All they need is the “detailed description of all the symptoms, in the clearest terms.”


An all-purpose management plan would be good, too—less of "what it is" and a whole lot more of "how a neurotypical can survive alongside"—but I suspect there isn't one.

After two decades of combining insult, criticism and cajolery (me), my husband has shifted maybe two inches and I'm twisted like a pretzel.

I spend a lot of time feeling guilty. He never says a word against me (to my face at least), chiefly I think because he knows what it's like for him when I remove myself.

Anticipating a question from Richard, I know what it's like for me, too. I'm aware of my own kinks, or why would I keep returning to this difficult relationship?

I know I'm not going anywhere, but I'd like to be able to "reach" the man I've chosen to live with, without disappearing myself.

Over to you, David.
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#5

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sun Jul 11, 2021 2:39 pm

Candid wrote:
Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:All they need is the “detailed description of all the symptoms, in the clearest terms.”


An all-purpose management plan would be good, too—less of "what it is" and a whole lot more of "how a neurotypical can survive alongside"—but I suspect there isn't one.

After two decades of combining insult, criticism and cajolery (me), my husband has shifted maybe two inches and I'm twisted like a pretzel.

I spend a lot of time feeling guilty. He never says a word against me (to my face at least), chiefly I think because he knows what it's like for him when I remove myself.

Anticipating a question from Richard, I know what it's like for me, too. I'm aware of my own kinks, or why would I keep returning to this difficult relationship?

I know I'm not going anywhere, but I'd like to be able to "reach" the man I've chosen to live with, without disappearing myself.

Over to you, David.


Yes, I plan on offering guidance. More based on acceptance and awareness. I am myself extremely difficult to reach and, despite serious effort in studying clinical psychology, I struggle enormously. One big step is for the person affected to open up to those aspects of personality abnormality that others struggle to adapt to. That is, admitting to the problem areas. Such as, in my case, suspicion and being the centre of my own world. Not that other people are in any way blameless but it helps to be aware of your defects. At least then you can find people around who might be willing to be patient and constant. I often found thick skinned people tend to handle me better. One woman, for example, who just yells at me (part jokingly) and defuses any tension.
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#6

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sun Jul 11, 2021 3:00 pm

Obviously in the case of the relationship, honesty and openess is going to be the key. I mean, I know I have lots of defects in personality. Selfish, in a certain way, suspicious, negative and defensive. I also suffered abuse in childhood and so, being high functioning autistic, that always creates profound challenges. As said, first step is to accept and be aware of what's taking place and hopefully sharing the problem with a partner or friend. Schizophrenics, for example, are notorious for blaming others (family) and Asperger wrote some of his patients likewise tended to hit out more at siblings, or family.
The issue is complex. It has various perspectives. My diagnostic stage will provide a reasonable guide to probable diagnosis. Management will look at the overall health issues, possible therapy and, yes, help for family and partners.
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#7

Postby Candid » Mon Jul 12, 2021 1:59 pm

davidbanner99@ wrote:I plan on offering guidance. More based on acceptance and awareness.

How does this help the aspie's partner, who needs (particularly while our social lives are so restricted) to be listened to, and to have a comforting or at least attentive response instead of being talked over, not given eye contact, and an entirely different topic introduced the second she stops speaking if not before?

I accept and am aware of what my husband suffers with—god knows he tells me often enough!—but it's not surprising I spend so much of my time "talking" to people online. Yesterday he was practically begging me to go out and sit where I can watch TV beside him while he does whatever it is he does online. Would it be too much for him to listen to me occasionally?

One big step is for the person affected to open up to those aspects of personality abnormality that others struggle to adapt to. That is, admitting to the problem areas. Such as, in my case, suspicion and being the centre of my own world.

I understand you can write only from your own perspective, as do I and everyone else, but this isn't helpful. I have "struggled to adapt to" the "personality abnormailty" concerned, and I know my husband values my presence in his life, but it would be good to see him struggle to adapt occasionally.

Instead of which, he rotates through objectionable (to NTs) behaviours on a predictable schedule, and I've come to terms with the fact that it's his way or the highway. One example is the laundry. He has a fixed schedule in his head while I (wistfully remembering how I used to live my life) did my laundry without any drama whatsoever when I had a full basket. I've done that just once in the past five years, and when he got home he berated me for wrecking his schedule.

So last night he was at his mother's for dinner while I had something that needed to be microwaved. A bit like the washing machine, because I had a traumatic brain injury a few years ago, I no longer remembered how to set the dial—so I had my dinner cold. He was bothered by that when he got home, and no doubt it'll be used as another reason why he has to "do everything" for me. I'm being progressively disempowered, feel like I'm no longer myself or a person in my own right. And you advise me to be MORE understanding of HIS difficulties?

I often found thick skinned people tend to handle me better. One woman, for example, who just yells at me (part jokingly) and defuses any tension.

Well I'm notoriously thin-skinned. I certainly yell at my husband, quite a lot really, but far from defusing any tension is makes me feel rotten and him trot out his pitiful refrain: "I didn't hear you!"

He recently found something about people who are both deaf and aspie, which he got very excited about because that fits him. What I see is that hearing aids in or out, he's way too engrossed in his own weirdo world to LISTEN. On the odd occasion that he does listen, he takes absolutely everything literally and that often makes his responses completely inappropriate to the situation. Metaphor goes over his head and as for irony, forget it.
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#8

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:26 pm

Candid wrote: I'm being progressively disempowered, feel like I'm no longer myself or a person in my own right.


I am not clear on this point. How do you think that you are progressively disempowered?

It seems like, at least from what I've read thus far, is that the only barrier to doing whatever you wish is that your husband may vocalize disapproval, i.e. he complains. He isn't physically stopping you. He has no "power" to disempower. What power does he have over you? What authority does he have and how did he get this authority?
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#9

Postby Candid » Mon Jul 12, 2021 4:09 pm

Some good questions there.

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:I am not clear on this point. How do you think that you are progressively disempowered?

I've spent 20 years (on and off) with a man who "must" have a rigid schedule. He goes nuts without it.

How this translates is that every day without fail he'll give me the full rundown of everything off-schedule that's coming up, soon and distant. This is routinely followed up with the adapted schedule: some things have expired, new have been added. He needs everything locked down, as he puts it.

If he could he would have his whole life "locked down" up to the exact time and date of his death.

This man married a woman who pops appointments into her diary then forgets about them until they happen. I've travelled. I've taken risks in foreign parts. I've either lost or spent all the money I've ever had, sometimes wisely, more often not. I've had highs and lows, disasters and triumphs. I have a lot of stories to tell.

Holidays with my husband, in the good old days when we were allowed to have them, have been to safe and easily accessible countries. He's kept an eye on the weather beforehand, studied all the local attractions, and worked out which activity should be done on which day. No sooner are we settled in our hotel than he's out and about with me or without me, checking the menu of every restaurant within walking distance. Our friend David Banner will probably tell you people with aspergers—most of them men—have quite rigid ideas of what they "can" and "can't" eat.

Don't get me wrong, my husband plans great holidays. Planning and logic are among his greatest gifts. His wife has become, I suppose, mentally lazy. In the good old days (further back good old days) I got on a plane and went somewhere, planned virtually nothing, got into trouble and out of it, lived my life uninsured, had adventures. I now suspect I'll never have an adventure again. And I no longer get to be adventurous as to cuisines.

Using a washing machine or a microwave oven is no big deal, but if things keep on this way, and with the brain injury thrown in, I'll end up like desperate788: incapable of making a decision for myself, incapable of actioning any minor decision I do make, certainly not someone who could live alone.

It seems like, at least from what I've read thus far, is that the only barrier to doing whatever you wish is that your husband may vocalize disapproval, i.e. he complains. He isn't physically stopping you. He has no "power" to disempower.

As it happens he's out and about much more than I am, which means I'm home alone and can technically do as I please. Despite strenuous efforts I often fail to hide the fact that I've been smoking at my desk, but I was able to nip out to the village shop, which he doesn't like me doing because it's more expensive, with different and often better-quality brands than at the cheapest supermarket in town.

When he got home I was washing up for breakfast, including two mugs his and one mine. Knowing he'd want coffee, I dried one of his cups and put it next to the kettle. Oops! My watch is in for repairs and it should have been the afternoon/evening cup, not the morning one.

What had I had for lunch? Where did I get that from? I escaped outside for a cigarette and when I came back in he was in my room, no doubt reading where I'd got up to in this reply so far.

What power does he have over you? What authority does he have and how did he get this authority?

What authority? Technically none. How did he get it? By being completely inflexible and by invading my personal space any time he likes. I complained that I was no longer doing any creative writing, the mainstay of my psyche. We had an agreement that he wouldn't interrupt me if my door was shut.

So many times the door has been shut. I hear him coming and concentration flees. He hesitates. I hold my breath. He knocks. I say nothing. He opens the door. "I'm not interrupting but I need to tell you..." Or "I just wondered if you..."

If he merely respected the shut door, I wouldn't lose my thread because I would know I can safely carry on in my creative world.

So sometimes I haven't opened the door and in he comes, "Oh, you're NOT writing in here. You're just reading a book." Damn, I've been sprung.

Ours was a mature marriage, both parties long-term live-alones. I suppose it was never going to be easy, each of us set in our ways, but I need personal space. I need the sanctuary of my own mind.
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#10

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:26 pm

Candid wrote:What authority? Technically none. How did he get it? By being completely inflexible and by invading my personal space any time he likes. I complained that I was no longer doing any creative writing, the mainstay of my psyche. We had an agreement that he wouldn't interrupt me if my door was shut.

So many times the door has been shut. I hear him coming and concentration flees. He hesitates. I hold my breath. He knocks. I say nothing. He opens the door. "I'm not interrupting but I need to tell you..." Or "I just wondered if you..."


This is where I would start. It is a concrete, useful, practical boundary. It is a “battle” or “hill” upon which I would be willing to “die”….meaning up to and including the termination of the relationship if not corrected.

In the process of resolving this battle you may learn how to deal with other issues.

I would have very clear, specific guidance, such as:

“Between the hours of X and Y, if you see the ‘red’ sign on the door, leave me alone. This means do not knock, do not try to enter, do not contact me for any reason. I don’t care if you are bleeding or the house is on fire. Dial emergency services, but leave me alone.”

Then follow up with the consequence.

“If you can’t seem to respect the above simple request, there will be a price. I will X.”

In my world, I leave for half a day. Still don’t get it? I book a hotel and leave for a couple of days, maybe a weekend. Still don’t get it? I leave for a week.

An understandable question is, “But why should I be the one that leaves?”

My answer is to ask how bad do you really want your own space? If you want your own space, then you must be willing to do what it takes.

You’ve tried shouting matches. That doesn’t work. You could try smashing things, but I don’t recommend that path. So what’s left?

Anyway, my main point is that you are currently not willing to take the steps necessary to correct the issue. You have a valid, legitimate issue, but the limits of your “fight” is verbal admonishment. It isn’t sufficient.

And I’m not claiming my plan is without hardship, but it is a better approach than your current path.
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#11

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:29 pm

Candid wrote:
davidbanner99@ wrote:I plan on offering guidance. More based on acceptance and awareness.

How does this help the aspie's partner, who needs (particularly while our social lives are so restricted) to be listened to, and to have a comforting or at least attentive response instead of being talked over, not given eye contact, and an entirely different topic introduced the second she stops speaking if not before?

I accept and am aware of what my husband suffers with—god knows he tells me often enough!—but it's not surprising I spend so much of my time "talking" to people online. Yesterday he was practically begging me to go out and sit where I can watch TV beside him while he does whatever it is he does online. Would it be too much for him to listen to me occasionally?

One big step is for the person affected to open up to those aspects of personality abnormality that others struggle to adapt to. That is, admitting to the problem areas. Such as, in my case, suspicion and being the centre of my own world.

I understand you can write only from your own perspective, as do I and everyone else, but this isn't helpful. I have "struggled to adapt to" the "personality abnormailty" concerned, and I know my husband values my presence in his life, but it would be good to see him struggle to adapt occasionally.

Instead of which, he rotates through objectionable (to NTs) behaviours on a predictable schedule, and I've come to terms with the fact that it's his way or the highway. One example is the laundry. He has a fixed schedule in his head while I (wistfully remembering how I used to live my life) did my laundry without any drama whatsoever when I had a full basket. I've done that just once in the past five years, and when he got home he berated me for wrecking his schedule.

So last night he was at his mother's for dinner while I had something that needed to be microwaved. A bit like the washing machine, because I had a traumatic brain injury a few years ago, I no longer remembered how to set the dial—so I had my dinner cold. He was bothered by that when he got home, and no doubt it'll be used as another reason why he has to "do everything" for me. I'm being progressively disempowered, feel like I'm no longer myself or a person in my own right. And you advise me to be MORE understanding of HIS difficulties?

I often found thick skinned people tend to handle me better. One woman, for example, who just yells at me (part jokingly) and defuses any tension.

Well I'm notoriously thin-skinned. I certainly yell at my husband, quite a lot really, but far from defusing any tension is makes me feel rotten and him trot out his pitiful refrain: "I didn't hear you!"

He recently found something about people who are both deaf and aspie, which he got very excited about because that fits him. What I see is that hearing aids in or out, he's way too engrossed in his own weirdo world to LISTEN. On the odd occasion that he does listen, he takes absolutely everything literally and that often makes his responses completely inappropriate to the situation. Metaphor goes over his head and as for irony, forget it.


"And you advise me to be MORE understanding of HIS difficulties?"

A few points: As of yet, I don't know enough about your husband to work any wonders. I think the best approach is for you to carefully read the diagnostic guide I hope to start soon. My feeling on this is there are far less people around in professional circles like Tony Atwood (who spent his life researching Asperger's Pathology). That's why I felt a basic guide might help other people. After all, I remain unemployed, pretty much socially isolated, high-functioning (in some narrow areas) and time on my hands to keep researching. Of course, my focus these days is on the processing side and especially why high-functioning autistics have such uneven intelligence.
The guide should help give you an idea but you need to really get into analysing the points I will raise.
For example, Asperger autism becomes evident to a keen eye in small group situations. I kid you not. The Asperger person will most often not be included in group discussion, or be connected (in resonance). Also, the Asperger person may not join in at all, or make any effort. When an effort is made, such conversation will be pretty clumsy or at odds with what's required.
Mimicry in all cases is crucial, even with non autistics. I find women to be more smiley and facially expressive, more eye movement and intonation. Asperger people hardly change expression, as if the face is just a mask.
And to bring home to you the other side of the coin: I recently met a woman who strongly identifies as being on the spectrum and very into the neurodiversity movement. At least twice, we were both in a small group and she totally ignored me. She was so connected with the pretty much normal people that I slipped off her radar as even existing. It actually annoyed me. However, being very naughty, I slipped into analysis and observed her mimicry. It's clear to me she has neurological deviation but just not the same thing as I experience. Her mimicry is functional but more off synch. She smiles when she should be serious. Whereas I don't show any expression. Despite that, it really bothered me she relates to normal people far more than to me, unless we talk alone. My take on it is electrical brain impulse in the sphere of resonance.
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#12

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:36 pm

I will use this as an example of very weak mimicry. I am myself pretty similar in as much as the face reflects no emotional modulation.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHyWQSXMAgQ
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#13

Postby davidbanner99@ » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:45 pm

Compare here. Head moves, eyes show varied expression and face alters in synch with emotional communication. It was through watching Dallas episodes that I finally understood why I was so poorly integrated. Charlene's mother, however, was schizophrenic.
How weird to think what Charlene does here is for me rocket science.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdXLHwqCh2o
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#14

Postby davidbanner99@ » Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:22 pm

I think the direction of Asperger's work got lost and became yet another classification of a clinical disorder.
What he was really interested in was the effects of environment and influence on thought-processes and what happens in the brain if external influence is reduced to minimum. And in the case where emotional processing is reduced.
From what I gather, the initial impact is very negative. The normal brain evolved to learn most rapidly at an early age. The medium for knowledge is personal communication, with emotional feedback. Yet, Asperger children altogether lacked this mechanism and refused to interact. Outside information is cut-off. The thought processes gradually mutate to function via mechanisms which are very inward and free of social bias.
The study of neurologically deviant thinking patterns is the basis of Asperger's research. To test it, you need highly varied intelligence testing questions that hope to determine strengths and weaknesses. There are major differences but most psychologists don't explore them. In the USSR it was noticed linguistic ability was above average, but maths was more generally weak. Co-ordination was poor. A tendency was noticed to gather masses of facts of information, typically makes of trains or washing machines. Some of these people mostly memorize streams of data, but a few show deeper, analytical ability. At the same time, they may perform poorly in other areas.
The modern method tends to just look at the symptoms of disorder and attempt to classify.
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