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musicians with Asperger's Syndrome

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GUEST,Senoufou 06 May 16 - 02:52 AM
keberoxu 05 May 16 - 01:26 PM
Jack Campin 04 May 16 - 08:31 PM
leeneia 04 May 16 - 10:14 AM
The Sandman 03 May 16 - 12:52 PM
keberoxu 02 May 16 - 05:34 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 12 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Stim 05 Dec 12 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,999 05 Dec 12 - 08:45 AM
Jack Campin 05 Dec 12 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Jane of 'ull 05 Dec 12 - 06:45 AM
Jack Campin 05 Dec 12 - 05:42 AM
Galloping Gwdihw 05 Dec 12 - 02:45 AM
tonyteach1 01 Sep 11 - 02:04 PM
Lox 01 Sep 11 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Lec Zorn 01 Sep 11 - 07:51 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Jul 11 - 10:17 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Jul 11 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Whistlinghen 07 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,zeptepi 06 Jul 11 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 06 Jul 11 - 08:25 AM
The Sandman 06 Jul 11 - 07:21 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jul 11 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,stringsinger 09 Mar 10 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,murrbob 09 Mar 10 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Stephanie P. Ledgin 08 Mar 10 - 03:23 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 08 Mar 10 - 03:03 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 08 Mar 10 - 02:53 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Mar 10 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Larree 15 Jul 08 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Clare 05 Sep 06 - 01:54 AM
Gurney 16 Apr 05 - 01:42 AM
Lizzie in beautiful Sidmouth 06 Apr 05 - 02:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Mar 05 - 10:01 AM
freda underhill 31 Mar 05 - 08:07 AM
Muttley 31 Mar 05 - 07:47 AM
sed 22 Jun 04 - 03:59 PM
Gurney 21 Jun 04 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,Sandra 20 Jun 04 - 09:28 PM
Tracey Dragonsfriend 30 Apr 04 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,O.J. Malm 29 Apr 04 - 11:22 AM
Homeless 13 Jun 03 - 11:57 AM
Blackcatter 13 Jun 03 - 12:29 AM
Steve Parkes 12 Jun 03 - 12:08 PM
Gurney 12 Jun 03 - 06:57 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 12 Jun 03 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Ely (at Mom's) 11 Jun 03 - 10:17 PM
Blackcatter 06 Mar 03 - 12:28 PM
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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 06 May 16 - 02:52 AM

My niece was diagnosed with Aspergers as a child, and is now in her twenties. As I understand it, one is 'on the spectrum', as there are varying degrees of autism, ranging from severely affected with major disabilities (needing full-time care) down to mildly affected (various problems with socialising, dislike of change, obsessions etc) which is Aspergers.

My niece reached Grade 7 in piano at the age of eleven. She has since played piano concertos with concert orchestras in public as a teenager, before she went to University. She can listen to any piece of complex music and reproduce it note-perfect on many instruments, but mainly the piano. As a child, she would sit for literally hours at the piano and play endlessly, until her mother almost dragged her away.
I might add, she is a brilliant mathematician. I've heard the two talents often go together.

I'm absolutely horrified at some of the early posts, years ago, on this thread (thankfully they didn't come back) Such ignorance and sneering beggar belief. There is no 'medication' which cures or moderates Aspergers, but severe cases may need some form of sedation in the event of a 'meltdown'.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 May 16 - 01:26 PM

Ach, JC, you are pushing the limits again, naughty you.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 May 16 - 08:31 PM

But as keberoxu's example shows, it doesn't just affect musicians, it also affects squalidly manufactured no-talent celebrities with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

Maybe (being the Susan Boyle of American politics) Donald Trump has it too?


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: leeneia
Date: 04 May 16 - 10:14 AM

Good for you, Schweik.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 May 16 - 12:52 PM

to follow up my post of 4 years ago, I am still teaching this young man, I consider it one of the best things i have managed to do.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 May 16 - 05:34 PM

Somebody is missing from this thread:

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2013/dec/08/susan-boyle-i-have-aspergers


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 05:35 PM

For me this has been a very interesting thread with lots of information and resources to check out. I thank everyone who participated, no matter when. I have one friend who has been diagnosed after a major blow up at the prison job where he was working. Another certainly has some of the symptoms but who knows she may be just like me, unusual and queer in how I see and interact in the world. The Sensory World site was also very interesting and I forwarded it to a teacher friend. My youngest nephew and I and his mom all have extreme corn allergies or sensitivities and some of our reactions are neurological as well as immunological. The sensory overload and sensitivity definately applies to us when we get a dose of corn in some food. I feel for those kids and adults who live with it every day.
Di


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 11:39 AM

Lepus Rex and an number of others that posted to this thread were Mudcat regulars who have since disappeared. Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be...


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,999
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 08:45 AM

Lepus Rex hasn't posted to this thread for NINE years.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 07:47 AM

Yes, that was what I just said. We had another thread about it: here.

The DSM has no formal status in the UK anyway so it has only an indirect influence here.

I often play with a musician who has unmistakable autistic symptoms and has been diagnosed with AS - but unlike typical AS people he has a sense of humour, so it seems "high functioning autism" fits better. One odd problem he has is that he's really crap at figuring out the key other people are playing or singing in. For someone with the other skills he has, that is a bit odd. But maybe it's part of the general failure to get what other people think and feel.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Jane of 'ull
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 06:45 AM

The term 'Asperger's Syndrome' is no longer being included in the new DSM-5 next year (it's first major update for 20 yrs). It's being absorbed into the general autism spectrum. Read it yesterday in The Guardian (UK).


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 05:42 AM

Famous Aspies have included: Mozart & Beethoven.

I have just finished reading H.C. Robbins Landon's "1791", a very thoroughly researched book on the last year of Mozart's life.

It's obvious from the information there that Mozart was nothing of the kind. Just read some of his letters to his wife, for a start.

Somebody's been watching too many crappy mythologizing movies.


Are you a doctor /neurologist? If the answer is no then clearly you are not qualified to diagnose Asperger's

The implication of the US medical system eliminating it as a diagnostic category is that (American) doctors will be the only people NOT permitted to use the word. The rest of us will still be able to ignore DSM-V and we probably will.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Galloping Gwdihw
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 02:45 AM

@Lepus Rex... Are you a doctor /neurologist? If the answer is no then clearly you are not qualified to diagnose Asperger's or to judge whether or not someone "Really Has It" so I, and I'm sure other commenters on this thread, would be grateful if you keep your judgmental and cynical remarks to yourself. People on the autistic spectrum, as well as those with other "invisible" disabilities (eg, mental illness, M.E) face enough suspicion and condemnation from society at large as it is, which causes an immense amount of suffering and does nothing to help make their lives easier. This is particularly the case here in the UK at the moment, where sick and disabled people are being persecuted by the Government and 73 sick and disabled people a week - including paraplegics and cancer patients - being driven to suicide by being stripped of their benefits after being declared fit for work, when clearly they are NOT. Fuelled by propaganda from the Government and the right wing press stating that all benefit claimants - even those claiming disability benefits - are workshy scroungers, disability hate crime has gone up since the Tories got in AGAIN (people never learn... *sigh*) and attitudes like yours are contributing to this and encouraging people to think it's OK to persecute and shun disabled people. So, if you have no other interest in Asperger's Syndrome besides coming on here to spout your ableist views... Please go away. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: tonyteach1
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 02:04 PM

I taught a lad for 3 years who had this - no problem with his playing just could not cope with life BUT he got better as he got older Not helped by having policeman father who was a total git who took every opportunity to humiliate him


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Lox
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 08:22 AM

I've taught extreme cases of Aspergers and there was no confusing them with "nerds".

But I guess its easier to be judgmental than it is to become informed.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Lec Zorn
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 07:51 AM

Yes, Gary Numan is open about having it. So is Dan Aykroyd. Of course, he's better known as an actor, but he's recorded several albums with "The Blues Brothers." Prince probably has is and Michael Jackson probably did. And I'm a musician and fairly certain that I have it - http://www.myspace.com/leczorn.

I've always had an extremely good memory and I had social interaction problems growing up but have largely overcome them. It helped immensely that I worked for a Target store for three years, from ages 21-24. Forcing me to interact with strangers every day was great therapy. And over the years I've picked up on a lot of ways to assess people, including non-verbal communication and figures of speech. And I've learned to overcome my lack of time management by making daily schedules for myself.

There are still certain substances and sounds that are disturbing to me, but I have a very healthy social life and many wonderful friendships. When Aspies have trouble socially, it's not merely because of AS but rather because they haven't been given the right structure.

Any questions/comments, just ask!

Lec Zorn
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
theleczornproject@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 10:17 PM

Whoa! I didn't realize I had previously told part of this same story in this very thread, over a year ago.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 04:10 PM

This has nothing to do with music, but possibly a lot to do with Mudcat.

I have a friend whose son was recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. She described some of his difficulties. He was enrolled in a college writing class where students' essays were posted online and available to be viewed and critiqued by other students, as well as by the teacher. Despite warnings, the kid kept getting into discussions of controversial topics and using language that others construed as disrespectful and offensive. Early in the semester, he was banned from online participation and practically forced to drop the course.

His mother has some strong political opinions that she expresses, sometimes angrily, or sarcastically, in private, to friends who mostly agree with her, but she is discreet enough to avoid making enemies. The son has apparently inherited his mother's opinions but not her discretion.

She reports that he has been banned from several web sites. I think they mostly concern his favorite hobbies—auto repair and online game-playing. He can't even discuss his favorite cars without getting into verbal fights with people who like different cars!

Now you might be surprised that a web site devoted to car repair would have to ban people, but hey, you might think a web site about folk music wouldn't have that problem, either.

I know it's dangerous to generalize from one case, but I wonder....


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Whistlinghen
Date: 07 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM

"I think the late Canadian pianist Glenn Gould also probably suffered this condition"
I know someone who went to Glenn Gould's high school (not at the same time)but who knew someone who did go at the same time. That person described Gould as "the weirdest person they'd ever known". That aside, as a longtime Bluegrass musician I've know several banjo players (no jokes please) and more than one fiddler that fall into this category. I think this is one of those subtle conditions which shares symptoms with other conditions but is primarily distinguised by its cause(s). Simply being "anti-social" or very introverted (most of the Aspies I know are quite "social"-they're just rather inept at it)or obsessive-compulsive does not make you an Aspie.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,zeptepi
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 08:36 PM

Not a folk musician of course, but Gary Numan has aspergers. He's been very open about talking about it too.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 08:25 AM

Interesting thread. At the risk of talking complete nonsense....

I think there may be a fair number of people in the folk music world who have AS in as much as it seems to be a characteristic of people with AS to be preoccupied with detail, categorisation, a preoccupation with structure and so on. To that extent, as well as the (apparently) very solitary nature of some people with AS (which often makes it comfortable for them to spend long periods of time on their own practicing instruments, model-making, messing around on computers and so on) the world of folk music may be something that a person with AS may well be comfortable with on an intellectual level.

Also, the folk community is, for all its faults, a very accommodating and non-judgemental one. The fact that so many people in the folk scene work in teaching or caring professions doesn't hurt either. Not something to be ashamed of.

I don't know about self-diagnosis. I don't think I have it - I suspect if I did I'd be a better musician!

I've worked with a couple of musicians who perhaps might be decribable as having AS. Having said that, some of them could also be described as just being downright rude on occasions. Bad and difficult behaviour is just that whatever the reason but I think as a community we do a fairly good job of accommodating people who might struggle in other creative or social environments.

Of course, if I am talking complete bollocks please say so.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 07:21 AM

I am at present time teaching a lad guitar who has this condition, its eye opening.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 04:25 AM

Well (just wondering if anyone is still interested in this thread). Not sure why I decided to post in here, but I'm not really a musician (I'm an amateur singer who sings even when she's supposed to be doing other stuff), even though I'm learning to play the piano. And about what Lizzie Cornish said about how some people (like the man she mentioned who wrote the book about his marriage) find it easier to communicate in writing? It's easier to talk online or in writing because if you accidentally make a mistake, it's not as immediate as talking to someone face to face. At least, that's how I've experienced it personally.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,stringsinger
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 11:21 AM

I think it has been institutionalized and renamed "Libertarianism".


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,murrbob
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 01:57 AM

I have two grandsons with AS. As has been mtntioned, AS is often found in combinaion with other factors: the oldest boy, just 10, has AS, non-verbal learning disorder, sensory deprivation and who knows what else, while the younger, age 8, is AS, ADHD and anxiety disorder. Both tested as "profoundly gifted," with IQs over 150.

    The older boy loves Irish folk music. He will stand in the center of the room and do a complete rendition of "Rocky Road to Dublin," "Brennin on the Moor," or any song hat has booze in it. He is an exceptional poet; because he lacks fine motor abilities, he cannot write or keyboard. He will twirl around for 20-30 seconds when a poem comes, and within 5 minutes will dictate and 10 verse work. Some are humerous, many are profound. He will never play a guitar like I do, but his love of folk music is evident.

Great thread -- bob --


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Stephanie P. Ledgin
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 03:23 PM

My dad, Norm Ledgin, has written 2 books on Asperger's, forewords by Temple Grandin (my 1/2 brother has AS). In Asperger's and Self-Esteem, he discusses such musicians as John Hartford, Oscar Levant, Mozart, among others. See http://normledgin.com; he has spoken extensively around the country on this subject.

If you are a fan of Big Bang Theory, Sheldon very realistically portrays those w/ A.S., insofar as many of his "quirks" and lack of recognition of social cues. for example. There is an organization started by a young man still in college w/ A.S. that speaks to what Lizzie Cornish just posted about understanding we are all different. Go to http://www.autisticadvocacy.org.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 03:03 PM

And....there's another great book called 'An Asperger Marriage' where husband (asperger) and wife (non-asperger) write alternate chapters, but on the same subjects. It's so interesting to see how they view the same situations from a very different perspective.

Even though they are married, they go into different rooms and communicate via emails, because the husband can get his feelings, his words, his emotions, out so easily when he writes, rather than when he is right next to her. In this way, she is able to realise and understand how much he loves her.

a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asperger-Marriage-Gisela-Slater-Walker/dp/1843100177">An Asperger Marriage - Amazon


The support lies in his Mum going into his 'world', seeing it from his perspective and then talking to him about her world. He is an intelligent person, most Aspergians are, and he will start to realise where he can make things easier for himself.

What makes me angry is that it is put upon those with Aspergers to adapt to 'our' world, when in should be that we are all taught, from a very early age that many of us think differently to others. That way we'd be able to meet each other half way with deep understanding and empathy.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:53 PM

'Look Me In The Eye', Jim.....a truly wonderful book, written by John Elder Robison.

It is the uplifting, often humorous, often tear inducing story of his life with Aspergers, which went undiagnosed for most of his life. In there you will find the world where so many people live, confused, befuddled, bereft and alone.

They live that way *only* because those without Aspergers don't understand well enough.

You will read about his reaction to a neighbour's death. The one where he smiled...and those around him thought him evil, because of his expression. Yet he ONLY smiled because his mind had already raced through something along the lines of:

"How awful! Poor lady! I hope that never happens to me!" before he arrived, in a split second, at "I am so lucky to not have what she had happen to me!"

...then as he got to his final thought of utter relief....he smiled.

He did not understand their reaction, because his smile had been the correct reaction to his last thought, one of relief and thankfulness.

In later years he began to realise that he thought differently to others and started to learn to answer in a way 'they' expected him to, not in the way he actually wanted to answer.

He became, through his extraordinary engineering skills, one of the special effects guys for Pink Floyd and KISS, designing guitars that belched smoke or exploded into fire....designing lights for huge gigs, the likes of which people had never seen before.

Eventually, he started up +his own business, repairing expensive cars...and to this day people still ship their cars to his firm, from around the world, so highly thought of are his skills.

His book is inspiratvoicesional and enlightening..and he also describes the terrible fears, the voices which tell him he's a failure, even to this day.

Look Me In The Eye - Amazon

John Elder Robison talking on Youtube

He is proud to be an Aspergian, as he calls himself, and OH, HOW we need to promote such pride!


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:34 PM

While I was in St. Louis recently, I had some long conversations with an old friend about her son, age around 25, who was recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

That diagnosis was added to other diagnoses. He was already taking antipsychotic and antidepressant medications, and they seem to be working—he has been restored to the condition he was in before his psychotic episode began, a year or so ago. But the Asperger's symptoms remain. He probably always had them; it's probably just that, before he became psychotic, they went unrecognized, because he had never seen a psychiatrist.

This will give you some idea of the difficulties this young man is having:

He is taking some college classes, and one of them makes heavy use of an educational software package called Blackboard. It works something like a discussion forum. The teacher posts a question and the students post answers. The students can read one another's answers and comment on them.

The teacher deleted his first post and then commented: "Please read my policy on insulting, abusive, and demeaning language…." (my paraphrase). His second post resulted in his being banned from the forum altogether, and his mother promptly had him withdraw from the course. (That was in part a financial decision; it was nearing the deadline for getting a partial refund of tuition.)

His mother showed me the answers he had written. Frankly, they didn't seem THAT bad to me. I thought the teacher had overreacted. But I could also see what the teacher found objectionable. The subject was rhetoric, and he had said something like, "If I were arguing with a neo-Nazi, or a person who believed the earth was created in seven days…."

His mother speculated that the teacher was a Creationist. Maybe so, or maybe she was just concerned that some other students might be Creationists, and she was trying to prevent the whole discussion from being sidetracked.

Certainly he didn't NEED to bring Creationism into the discussion—or neo-Nazism either, for that matter. He could have made his point about rhetoric equally well, or better, by saying, "If I were arguing with someone who believes the earth is flat…."

I didn't read the policy on objectionable language; perhaps it makes that very point. Certainly it's a point that ought to be made somewhere along the line in a class about rhetoric: if you're trying to make a logical argument, you don't want to be pushing your audience's emotional buttons.

What it boils down to is this: This kid repeatedly gets in trouble because he doesn't know how to be polite. (He also has some other, more benign characteristics: obsessive interest in certain hobbies, high intelligence, and a very good memory for details.)

FINALLY, I HAVE A QUESTION: How do support groups work, for people with Asperger's? I suggested a support group to my friend, the young man's mother, and she was skeptical. She thought it wouldn't work, because if you got a group of similar people together, none of them would be interested in helping the others, or would know how. I hope she's wrong.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Larree
Date: 15 Jul 08 - 05:16 PM

I'm a musician with Aspergers Syndrome and no one ever tried to sell me pharmaceuticals!


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Clare
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 01:54 AM


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Gurney
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 01:42 AM

On the 11th Feb, Harvey pointed out a book about Aspies in relationships. I've just read a newer book by the same author, on the same theme, but maybe more widely researched. As several posters have mentioned the difficulty, it might be of help, particularly if the significant other isn't Aspie.

'Aspergers in Love' by Maxine Aston, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

It was available in my local library, so maybe you could try yours first.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Lizzie in beautiful Sidmouth
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 02:48 PM

The repeated thing that comes across in this thread is a deep sense of intelligence. All these emotions that struggle to come out physically, seem to pour out when so many of you write.

If it wasn't for the 'gift' that you have then I probably would not be listening to such amazing music, probably wouldn't even be able to sit here typing on my computer, for they may never have been invented and we would all be deprived of so many other marvellous things as well.

I'm very glad this thread has been resurrected, well done 'Muttley' above.

I do hope it will stay up in Mudcat for many months to come and that it will help many more people. Thanks to everyone else for all the various links.


Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 10:01 AM

If you haven't read it yet, for anybody who'd like to get a bit better understanding about Asperger's Syndrome (or in fact for anyone), read Mark Haddon's splendid book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (And here is a site with an extract.)


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: freda underhill
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:07 AM

tony attwood's website


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Muttley
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 07:47 AM

Found this thread by accident and boy is it a beauty!

Like Winterchild, I am an Asperger person and I play guitar (badly these days due to head injuries from an accident - but that's in another thread)

My eldest son is a VERY mild Asperger - you can't tell unless you REALLY know what you're looking for and my youngest boy is a fairly severe Asperger.

I am somewhere in between: much higher functioning than my youngest lad but more socially inept and profound in symptomology than my eldest one.

Like other "Aspies" (which is how we prefer ourselves to be called, generally speaking) I, too have great difficulty reading social situations, people's moods and emotions / faces etc. Like virtually all Aspies I am TOO trusting; (Aspies rarely lie so it's difficult for them to detect one!)

However, growing up in a society (I am 46) which knew nothing about us except for a few obscure journals: was horrendous. I never knew WHY I was different. Why other kids avoided me - I was simply too weird! I didn't understand their play and when I tried, I got it wrong. These days I can pass for normal but to get to that point has cost me a LOT of punches in the face in order to learn NOT to say the wrong thing at the wrong time (or even the RIGHT thing at the wrong time); I still get agitated when my 'routine' is broken - even going to the supermarket and finding the shelves rearranged can render me almost catatonic with panic. I get agitated and jittery because "It's different".

Those who do not know an Aspie or who are not one themselves will never understand how confusing this world is to us - it simply operates on rules too subtle for us to understand. We tend to be straightforward and the world is just not like that!

I am lucky though - my parents loved me despite my awkwardness: though I can now understand why my mother used to say "Now don't show me up" whenever she took me to a social function (Christmas Party etc) for her work - even though she never could! I am married to a wonderful woman who supports me and has learned to help me compensate when the routine goes off the rails.

I was also a more fortunate Aspie in that, though I was physically awkward, I was never unco-ordinated: I played soccer at State level, cricket at turf standard, Indoor Cricket at representational standard; swam at Olympic trial speeds (back-stroke) and am a black-belt in Shotokan Karate. I also have an IQ of about 160 - I could read and write by the time I went to school at 4yrs 7 mnths.

Famous Aspies have included: Mozart & Beethoven. Bill Gates is an Aspie and if you watch CSI (the one set in Las Vegas, Gil Grissom, the head of the Vegas CSI team exhibits CLASSIC Asperger traits. The most obvious is that he tends to obsess about odd things (bugs) and his propensity to say the wrong thing at the wrong time (though bluntly and blatantly honest) and hurt the feelings of those around him - and then wonders why they go off hurt!

I would also say that Aspergers is NOT a condition which can be medicated and it is NOT a catch-all nor something made up for convenience. Lepus Rex you are an ignoramus for even suggesting that it might be so. Get informed before you open your big mouth. However I shall now take the advice I give others in this situation: "Never argue with an idiot - he will just drag you down to his level and beat you with experience!"

BTW - my obsessions are: 1:48 scale models - World War 2 Tanks (German); WW2 aircraft (fighters and some bombers - all nations; allied and axis) and some German
artillery - anti-aircraft and anti-tank. But they MUST be 1:48 scale!

Dinosaurs: Books, models, toys

General Knowledge of the above

Trivia

Collecting "Yowies" (a toy found in a chocolate snack in Australia)

If you want to know a little about the positives of being an Aspie try reading Dr.Tony Attwood's site and an article entitled "The Discovery of Aspie Criteria". I have a copy of it on my computer - if you wish I can send it to you via email. contact me via this thread and I will email it to you if you wish


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: sed
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 03:59 PM

A logical reason why we can't do something isn't much of a friend, but finding our way makes life worthwhile.

Someone once advised that I should be as creative with my life as I was with my songwriting.

Who said that? I don't remember but the words have stuck with me for twenty or thirty years. The conversation took place in Birmingham, Alabama where I was raised.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 02:40 AM

There is, in the booklist of Autism New Zealand (Auckland Branch, at least) a small paperback autobiography by a lady named Jen Birch. She has quite pronounced Asperger's and has learned to cope, bravely, in my opinion, with this condition. Worth a read, if you are interested in this thread.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 09:28 PM

My husband is un-diagnosed AS and played his bass all the time, isolating himself from his family. He and I are divorced now. I do not think he realized that isolating himself from his family had a very negative impact. Just for the record, I respect diversity and persons with Asperger's. I also dislike the term "suffering" from Asperger's. I think it is disrespectful and degrading.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:26 AM

Hmmm.. this is really interesting stuff, and so descriptive of many of the people I know. (I'm an IT consultant.) And maybe myself, too - I tried that test, and scored 33. But I never thought of this is being a medical condition, rather as just part of the way people are, especially in the IT world.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,O.J. Malm
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:22 AM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/disorderlymetal/


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Homeless
Date: 13 Jun 03 - 11:57 AM

*Ping* ... and a little light goes on. I'd heard about AS a while back and strongly suspect that this is me. *All* of the symptoms listed here describe me. But in reading this thread (even before I got to the last few posts) it just dawned on me why I have incredibly anxiety when I have to speak with someone I don't know, but put me in front of a group of 25 or more people I don't know and I'm perfectly comfortable... In the group situation, I'm not interacting with anyone - I'm usually presenting in one form or another. Geez, this has had me confused for ages.

I've always lived in a world apart from the rest of the population. I just don't fit in anywhere.

Two years ago, my grandad died. He was found to have lung cancer, had the lung removed, and never recovered dying a week after the surgery. Needless to say, the two weeks preceding his death were stressful for the whole extended family. A lot of us spent a lot of time in the ICU waiting room. A couple days before they pulled the plug (there was still a little hope), I spent about 6 hours writing a letter to him, telling him all he'd meant to me over the years. While I was writing this, I cried. Really cried for the first time since I was a small child. And somewhere in that time something happened and I could read people's faces. I could look at someone and tell what they were feeling. I could see when what they were saying didn't match what they believed or felt. I could tell what someone was feeling even if they didn't say anything. I actually took part in a couple conversations, and passed out hugs to people who I could tell needed them. I don't know how I knew these things - I just knew them. And I can't explain what it was like. It was the weirdest sensation I've ever experienced. Over the following couple of months, that ability went away, and I'm now back to my old self. I've often wondered if that was what it is like to be 'normal'


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Blackcatter
Date: 13 Jun 03 - 12:29 AM

To me,performing is easy compared to a lot of what I do in life. I'd much rather be responsible for an hour set on stage than talk to someone on a subject I don't know much about such as auto mechanic stuff.

I have a lot of trouble calling people who I don't know on the phone, especially if I need info from them and I'm not on the same level of knowledge.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 12:08 PM

Performing with another musician helps a great deal, especially if s/he is good at handling the audience.

Steve


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Gurney
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 06:57 AM

Ely and Animaterra, Would you consider a performance as 'interacting?' I'd say it is nearer to a lecture, and most Assies can lecture better than anyone!
If you work out a floor-spot programme, with intro's, jokes etc, the interaction is fairly minimal, because it seeems to me that it is then the audience interacting with the performer. Does Billy Connolly interact? Not so that you would notice, he just rambles about getting side-tracked. Have you ever heard him deal with a heckler? Not that I'm diagnosing him, you understand, just observing.
I'd say, from personal experience, shyness is as big a drawback as AS.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 06:01 AM

Thanks so much for sharing this, Ely- now you know you aren't alone here! No apologies needed for refreshing this.
I know that my son also balks at the idea of performing. He has been able to learn to be brave in certain situations- he's learned to drive a car, for instance- so I wonder if there's a way to learn to overcome the insecurities and fears of performing. There has to be a desire to do it, of course.


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: GUEST,Ely (at Mom's)
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 10:17 PM

Sorry, but [refresh]

I missed this thread while my computer was down but since somebody else brought up ADD . . .

I have Asperger's (my father has Asperger's, his mother probably had it, and her father almost certainly had it); I was diagnosed when I was 23. As a kid, I always maxed out on intelligence and skills tests but struggled in school. My school system agreed that I had problems but couldn't help because their bylaws did not allow "help" unless I was formally diagnosed. However, if I had been diagnosed, the only "help" available was to put me in remedial classes. I am not developmentally disabled--I did not need remedial classes. The fact that lots of Asperger's kids are smart almost makes it worse--how can we be so smart and so DUMB at the same time?

I suppose I would not be who I am if I didn't have AS--as has been pointed out, it's not a mental condition, so my personality doesn't exist separately from my "disorder", but it has made life hard. I managed to graduate from college but my academic record was spotty. I'm a hard worker but part of succeeding in the job market involves interpersonal skills and "competitive spirit", and these are foreign to me. I'm hopelessly single; it's hard to make yourself appealing when you don't know how to project your personality.

I cannot possibly imagine myself as a professional musician. I have no confidence in my ability to interact with an audience and I can't bear the thought of dealing with the politics and business details.

I've learned to compensate a lot, but I don't know if I'll ever catch up. Meanwhile, AS limits my access to higher education, a decent living, and companionship. I'm not on medication and I don't agree with medicating every undisciplined, out-of-control child for the sake of convenience, but AS is a much bigger problem for me than just "nerdiness".


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Blackcatter
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 12:28 PM

Gurney - that gives me hope!

It's tough in relationships because #1 - my natural sleep pattern is going to sleep around 2 am, get up around 10am. My work schedule fits into that fine, but most girlfriends have to get up by 6 or 7 am. #2 - unless I'm exhausted and fall immediately to sleep, some part of my body needs to be moving - a leg usually. I feel that most girlfriends get the message that I'm uncomfortable and don't really believe my explanation.

Funny thing is that I don't get nauseous on rollercoasters, but I don't really care for the feeling of the big dips. I like the "Disney" type better - big fast turns at the like.

Do you find yourself eventually realizing that you've probably talked on a subject enough?

take care


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 03:49 AM

Blackcatter, your thoughts on relationships strike a chord, as my wife, myself, and our son are all mildly AS. J & M get nauseous on rollercoasters, all of us have trouble interpreting unspoken language, and we all turn a conversation into a lecture. There is also the point that 'Men are from Mars, Women from Venus' anyway. The book is worth a read.
With regard to sleeping together, a large bed with a pillow/bolster DOWN the middle works for us, but we have given thought in the past to separate beds, in the same room. We've been married 30years!


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Subject: RE: musicians with Asperger's Syndrome
From: Blackcatter
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 10:40 AM

Hi Mark,

I'm happy to share my experiences and my thoughts - that's the best way to learn about something like this.

When I said it never occured to me, that's a regular situation. Rarely do I think of asking such a question when in conversation. Part of me wants to make a list of possible questions to ask and carry it with me, but imagine how that would look in conversation - It would be like I'm interviewing people.

I don't ask a lot of questions in general. Aspies' conversations are typically very topic driven. For example, if you were to ask what I do for a living, I would talk only about that until you or someone else adds something else to the conversation. A new topic means that I will change topics, but I'm often left feeling like I didn't say enough about the first topic (I've learned it's good that I feel that way, because if I didn't, I'd be like may other Aspies and keep talking about the first topic).

If we're talking about the weather, I probably won't be the person who eventually changes the subject to something else. I can, and do sometimes, but not often. So sometimes, the conversation just dies, when the other person has nothing left to say on the subject and I have realized that I've probably talked long enough on the subject (rarely do I ever run out of things to say, however). :-)

If I do find out what a person does for a living, I have the ability to refer to that in conversation. My life is one of constantly searching for connections amongst all the random facts that are in my head. So when I found out that one of the persons I was talking to was a children's librarian (the person sitting next to her asked) I was able to ask her if she liked storytelling and invited her to our church's open mic night to do some storytelling. Now that I know she's a librarian, I will never forget it and will try to connect with that in some way occasionally.

Conversation is a exercize. I talk only about stuff I know, but if I know stuff about my friends, I can use that in conversation to make it appear to be 'average' conversation.

pax


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