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A ponderment

I was just thinking again about the article in the post this links to, and a thought occurred to me. I've often heard Asperger's called "the geek's disease" because of how many Aspies are geeks, and how many geeks are Aspies. Pondering the study's finding that Aspies are possibly overwhelmed by the emotions of others, it stands to reason that, as a result, there would be a high degree of introverted people amongst Aspies, since the effects would tend to drive Aspies away from other people so that, at the very least, they could recharge and recouperate. Which leads me to ponder: maybe Asperger's turns people into geeks. Obviously, it doesn't account for *all* geeks, but it stands to reason that, driven away from other people because you can't cope with their emotions, you turn to other interests. There are many different kinds of geeks, after all - computer geeks, language geeks, art geeks, gaming geeks, pokemon geeks, etc - so it seems to me that if one can't be around other people for long, one becomes introverted and potentially geeky regardless of how they might have turned up if not for being an Aspie.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
christinaathena
May. 26th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
My personal view on the "strange interests" of Aspies is that asking "why do Aspies like strange things?" is a backwards way of looking at it.

Rather, one should ask "Why do NT's have narrow ranges of interests?"

It's not even something inherent to the interests. It's a socially-determined set of acceptable interests. A few centuries ago, pretty much anyone who was of a high enough social class to have free time knew how to play chess, and had at least some skill in it. In fact, playing chess could be a form of courtship! Seriously, if you see a man and a woman playing chess together in a medieval painting - that means they're a couple! The reason was that chess was one of the few leisure pursuits that both sexes pursued. Anyways, today, a person who plays chess, who works to become better at it, is considered a nerd. And the idea of a couple playing chess on a date would be considered utterly absurd!

Here's my theory. Most NT's have interests as a form of social bonding. This naturally restricts them to a small number of interests, because it's not like someone who's interested in, say, philately is likely to find someone at the local bar to talk about it with. Aspies, on the other hand, have interests for the sake of those interests. Interests are fascinating on their own, and finding someone who shares the interest is just an added bonus (of course, the Internet makes it far easier to find people who do share your interests!). Thus, there is no such artificial restriction on what kinds of interests can develop.
fayanora
May. 26th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Bravo! Excellent reply. AMEN! Makes total sense to me! *Standing ovation*
christinaathena
May. 27th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Thanks. :D Just posted it as its own post on my journal. ^_^
fayanora
May. 27th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Got the book you sent me! I have a copy, technically, but as it's in Iowa still, I say "Thanks a million!" :-D
christinaathena
May. 27th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
Yay! Glad it got there ^_^ Knew you'd like it ^_^
fayanora
May. 27th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
:-D
ghost2501
May. 26th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
I've been to like, Card Gaming stores and there's a lot of 'geeky' kids there, I think because when people have such engaging interests, they don't need to be socially graceful or 'cool' or charismatic, because that interest or hobby is what makes them relate to other people, You know? Like, you get along with someone you might not have gotten along with or met just because you're playing the same game, there's not as much discrimination or social status amongst those groups I've seen. That's why I think it's a really good environment.
fayanora
May. 26th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Like, you get along with someone you might not have gotten along with or met just because you're playing the same game, there's not as much discrimination or social status amongst those groups I've seen.

Yeah, that's pretty awesome. :-)
erithianopius
Mar. 15th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
At least for me, it was the other way around. I have always had very specific "nerdy" interests, and I will naturally direct my time toward those interests. Unless it specifically concerns those interests, interaction means diverting myself from them. That is the primary reason I am introverted.

I simply have no desire to interact for interaction's sake. I think that, because of this, my brain does not expend energy trying to sort out the input I recieve from other people. Like you, I have an over-abundance of empathy and input from other people, but my brain directs all available capacity to processing input related to the subjects of my perseveration.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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