Survey: Special Skills and Fun Stuff

Tuesday!!!!!! I’m so excited. I’ve missed our interactive Tuesdays.

This week’s survey questions are all about special skills and fun things that didn’t quite fit in the other categories. You can answer here in the comments or answer anonymously at Survey Monkey.  Question #10 has 4 parts because Survey Monkey only allows 10 questions on their free surveys and I didn’t want to break this into 2 surveys.

Answer as many as you like. Tell us about your awesomeness. Have fun!

Special Skills and Fun Stuff

  1. What is your favourite thing about being autistic?

  1. Do you have hyperfocus? Do you like it? How long do you focus for, on average?

  1. If you like numbers, what’s your favourite number game?

  1. What is your autistic superpower? (data processing, attention to detail, math, super-concentration, beautiful flapping, lucid dreaming, synasthesia etc)

  1. What cool thing about being autistic do you wish that neurotypical people could experience?

  1. Do you use echolaelia to learn foreign languages?

  1. Apparently, most people feel that their inner self has a particular age unrelated to their chronological age. How old are you inside? Are you older or younger than when you were a child?

  1. If you have a photographic memory, how do you cope with physical locations becoming crowded with all of the history?

  1. Do you have childish or otherwise ‘age inappropriate’ interests or did you at an earlier point in life, such as during your teenage years?

  1. And a multi-parter for number 10 because Survey Monkey only lets me make 10 questions. Do you:

[A] experience synesthesia?

[B] regard yourself as hyperlexic?

[C] think in words?

[D] understand the body language of animals?

74 thoughts on “Survey: Special Skills and Fun Stuff”

  1. 1) My ability to find patterns in everything and look at stuff from different angles. It makes me a great photographer. 🙂
    2) Yes!! I can focus for hours and think about something for days or even weeks, especially if it’s a problem I’m trying to solve. My mom always says that if they want someone to come up with an answer to a question, they should ask me. I’ll find it one way or another.
    3) I always felt a certain kinship with the number 3 but I also like the angles of a 4 and the completion of an 8. As far as games goes, anything that involves a specific number of steps or spots you have to follow to get to a certain point. 🙂 And monopoly because it involves a lot of counting. Then there’s the not-really-a-game of counting steps that I do unconsciously.
    4) Data processing, attention to detail, concentration, patterns, photography because I can see a picture before I take it.:)
    5) I wish the neurotypical people could experience my extreme senses. Hearing: I hear the tiniest things and they are facinating in nature but annoying around electronics because I can hear everything exchanging data). Smell: This is a double edged sword as well. Good for things that are pleasurable but bad for things that I can smell that others don’t even notice. Sight: I can see minute details of things when I hold them close to my face. I have super-nearsightedness. Taste: Again with the good/bad. Imagine the way a grape just absolutely explodes in your mouth but then a pea tastes like the dirt it was grown in. ewww Touch: I feel even the smallest stuff which can be annoying with clothing but awesome on a day when no one but you can catch the slightest movement of air around you. It makes sex very interesting as well. *blush*
    6) Not to learn foreign languages because I don’t know but a few random words here and there but usually once I learn a word, it’s there for life. I do use echolalia to better understand the things that people say to me and to make the things I’m writing sound proper. If I say it and it doesn’t please my ears, I will reword it.
    7) My inner self is much younger that my actual age sometimes and much older at others. I can feel the absolute wonder of discovering something fascinating but I can also feel the impermanence of everything. I notice how fleeting time is and because of the attention to detail I pick up on aging much faster but I also feel the delight that swinging on a swing brings or finding a beautiful flower in the middle of an ordinary field. I guess it’s a bit of both? I tend to focus more with the younger self though because it fuels my sense of wonder and curiosity and stamps back my anxiety and fear.
    8) I don’t think that I have so much a photographic memory as much as I have memory for specific things. I can’t tell you every detail of a room but I can tell you a very detailed description of specific parts of a room. I guess my memory is more of a catalogue of things that catch my attention. I have a great memory for words and conversations that held meaning to me. Idle chitchat I forget almost immediatly but tell me facts about something and they stay there forever.
    9) I love those water density timers (with the colored oil in water that drips across spinners or zigzag paths). I adore those things. I’ve always had a special interest in poetry. I have certain stuffed animals that I won’t let go of. Different odds and ends here and there. I think my interests change with my age but I can explain a few of them away with having children (they let me get by with a lot because people don’t judge a person buying toys with kids with them even if the toys aren’t all necessarily for the kids but they don’t know that.)
    10) A: I get different vibes from colors but I don’t think they’re necessarily tied to anything. I always seem to gravitate towards certain ones because of how they make me feel.
    B: Yes! Absolutely! I was reading above a senior level in Intermediate School (which begins at 3rd grade here). I don’t know if I started reading early but I do remember being able to recognize words and being able to tease out their meanings before other kids my age could.
    C: I definitely think in words. I tried to explain to my fiance that I put heavy weight to words because I never say anything I don’t mean to say, though sometimes people take my literal meaning and paint it with their own hidden meanings and it causes problems. I am very straightforward and honest to a fault.
    d: I do understand the body language of animals very well because they are really rather honest in their movements. Animals don’t hide their intentions. If they are displeased, they don’t fake a smile. They will protect you to the last but they also aren’t afraid to walk away from you if they’ve had enough attention, too. I just wish that was more accepted with other humans. hahaha

    This was an awesome list of questions and it really made me think. I thoroughly enjoyed it!! 🙂

    1. I just came back to add that I asked my mom when I learned to read and she said that she thinks I read my name bracelet in the hospital after I was born. LOL She said I was definitely reading before I started school. That answers that hyperlexic question. 🙂

      1. For sure! I don’t remember learning how to read, ever. I’ve just always done it. I do remember the struggle to learn to tie my shoe laces, though.

        Do you see patterns in the floor tiles on a bathroom floor? I could sit in a public loo for ages just matching up the tiles.

            1. I’ve always had a tendency to fixate on patterns in textured surfaces: floors, walls, ceilings. I can lie for hours in bed just looking at patterns in the artex on the ceiling.

        1. To the point that it bugs me if the floor tiles have one that breaks the pattern, yes. Anyone can see that this tile is supposed to go there so why is it here?!

          I’ve had to leave bathrooms and go to a different one in a building on a bad day because it irritated me so much. 😛

          Also: I don’t remember learning to read, but I do remember learning to tie my laces, too. Four years of daily practice to the tune of ever-more-irritated iterations of, “it’s not that hard!” Some creative person realized I needed visual instructions and drew me a cartoon of how to do it. Bing. Done. Still takes me like 10 minutes though. Me and fine motor coordination don’t get on well. So, being the sort of person I am, I decided it’s silly to tie my shoes every time when it takes me so damn long. Why not tie my shoes once with elastic laces, knot the hell out of them, and then just slip them on as perfect-tightness slipons without the obnoxious tendency of slipons to be too loose or the equally obnoxious tendency of no-tie options like velcro to come undone at inconvenient times? Cue shrieks of, “You’ll ruin your shoes like that!” from my mother, but I buy my own shoes now and I’ll do what I want with them. Nobody sees me in the mornings anyway, so I don’t see the point of trying to prove my adultness by tying my shoes every day when it takes me so damn long and is so damn frustrating. Why do you care if people think I’m immature for not tying my shoes every day, how will they know, and most importantly, please explain why I should do it every day when doing it once and then being good for months is an option?

          (sorry, had a bit of a rant, there)

          Handwriting was worse (seeing handwriting sheets can be meltdown-provoking if I’m already stressed, it was that bad). By far.

        2. Yes! I also get annoyed when patterns on rugs or clothing aren’t regular enough. I used to go to group therapy with a rug on the floor with a pattern that should have been symmetrical and when I was listening to people I’d be sta ring at the rug trying to make the two sides line up. I mean, not trying to change the pattern with my mind, but just trying to imagine it if it was right, I guess? Also there was a table on it which was almost centred, but just slightly off kilter and that used to make me unhappy.

      2. I through I was the only one to actually look at the ceiling for something else than being bored in class! =D

        1. Textured walls, yes. Artex ceilings, yes. Wallpaper and curtain patterns, yes. In fact I don’t like patterned things too much because they take up too much space in my brain. I feel compelled to look at them over and over. It was always hard to get to sleep as a kid because if visually tracing the patterns in the wallpaper. Very nice not to be alone! 🙂

          1. And are you bothered by artificial wood surfaces where you can see on particular knothole repeat here and there and over there as well? It drives me nuts! We’ve got to replace our flooring, and I’ve insisted that if we go with laminate that it be one where I can’t see the identical image over and over within a few inches of each other.

            1. Oh yes! Grrr. And I have to follow wood grain with my eyes, like as if my eyeballs are walking along the grain itself, you know? We really are a funny bunch of people aren’t we? But very easily pleased too. As long as I am able to look at things I am happy 🙂

  2. anonymous answers:

    Q1: How I can get paid to do some of my favorite things in the world (make chemicals in a lab!)

    Q2: Yes, sometimes, and depends on whether someone disturbs me. Left to my own devices, 24-48 hours, followed by an exhaustion crash.

    Q3: Counting primes.

    Q4: Super concentration. Also weird attention to detail (I won’t notice a new haircut on someone but will notice a typo on a page at a glance) and synesthesia.

    Q5: The ability to totally immerse yourself in something.

    Q6: No, I use books – very visual, not auditory.

    Q7: Huh? This question makes no sense to me.

    Q8: My memory is not perfectly photographic, but I do remember in images. I cope by avoiding emotionally charged places. Easy to do as I’ve moved around a lot.

    Q9: Yes. I played with toys into my teens, I still read young adult fantasy at 25, etc. And on the other extreme, I had an encyclopaedic knowledge of tornadoes by 8.

    Q10:
    A Yes. I see sounds and physical sensations.
    B Yes. I learned to read at 2, and have always had a larger read vocabulary than my spoken ones.
    C Not unless I’m writing. Mostly I think in images.
    D Depends on the animal. I get on well with cats, dogs, and horses, less well with rodents, rabbits, etc.

  3. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Being different I suppose. Nuerotypical people in general seem quite dull to me in most respects.

    Q2: I like having hyperfocus, but I get quite sad that I can’t control it because I feel sort of empty when it leaves me. I generally get burst that last a couple of months, though I have had some that have lasted many years and some that have been only a few days. But because I can’t choose what or when it hits me, I get kind of depressed when the focus disippates and I feel like I have no purpose

    Q3: I don’t like number games per se, but I do count quite a bit, like count my heartbeats, count stairs, count as high as I can to fall asleep, ect

    Q4: I am quite a good performer, because of my attention to people’s actions and ability to imitate them. Also my ability to catalog phrases/jokes/terms and store them for later conversations. I also perseverate and rehearse all possible veins of conversation I might encounter. While it sounds like it would make me sound weird or stilted, I am so good at it that I am often praised for being so well spoken, such a good public speaker, for being funny ect. When I am faced with interactions I wasn’t prepared for though, I am like a deer in the headlights. I am also very good at things like moderating and mediating, because I am very good at being impartial and unemotional. Also, I think I’m pretty cool.

    Q5: Just seeing the world in a different way than everyone else sees it. That’s really the only way I can explain it. And seeing connections in things that may be unrelated.

    Q6: No, but I can pick up a language very fast if it catches my hyperfocus

    Q7: I have always been somewhere in my 50s or 60s, even as a child. My mother would tell you the same thing.

    Q9: I have age inappropriate focus on things vastly older than my real age. I am very knowlegable on cultural landmarks from the turn of the 20th century; film/television/pop cultural from the 40s-60s; music and fashion from the 19th century. I was also very interested in Egyptology and ancient mythology as an elementary schooler, as well as religious iconography

    Q10:
    A unsure
    B Yes
    C Yes
    D Yes

  4. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Apparently I’m a very good writer. I think I am average because it’s just natural for me, words come in my head and are already arranged in sentence and I only have to type. It’s just like talking to yourself. But NTs tell me they couldn’t write that easily. Also I guess I’m a very open minded person and I am proud of it. So yeah, I like that. And I’m a good reader too, and awesome at language (English is my second language)
    yay

    Q2: I’m not sure I do, but sometimes I just can’t seem to be able to get off tumblr, and I think I do something like that when I write. I’d say it can last one or two hours.

    Q3: I have dyscalculia soooo

    Q4: Lucid dreaming !! Writing ! Roleplaying ! Character and media analysis 🙂

    Q5: Sometimes feeling a cool texture under your hands, or hearing a perfect music can be really amazing. Sometimes I like experiencing things intensely. Or special interests, they’re nice. I don’t understand how people function without being obsessed about something.

    Q6: Oh yeah. I like repeating things from shows.

    Q7: I feel young. Like a teenager or something. But at the same time I know a lot of things teenagers don’t know. No idea there.

    Q9: When I was 13-14 I still had special interests on animals, and aquarium fish specifically. And there was this comic I was obsessed about, and people made fun of me because it was “for kids”.
    Now I just like watching cartoons but Adventure Time is for everybody so who cares ?

    Q10:
    A no !
    B I taught myself to read at 5 but I read that hyperlexic kids are supposed to have trouble understanding the meaning of what they read. Sooo I don’t know.
    C Oooh yes !
    D Dogs. Because I have one. 🙂

  5. My answers:

    1. The way it makes me oblivious to pointless things that other people seem so concerned about and hyperaware of details that other people seem to miss out on.

    2. Yes and yes! I love it. I love how deeply I can engage in an activity and how the rest of the world stops existing. Duration? In the short term, once I get into an activity, I need at least a few uninterrupted hours and can sustain focus on something for the better part of a day if I have the opportunity. In the long-term, my hyperfocus on one thing can go on for months or years or in a few special cases, nearly my entire life.

    3. I don’t think I have one.

    4. Pattern recognition

    5. The joy of having a special interest and the ability to experience intense, unfiltered happiness

    6. Maybe a little. I’m very echolalic but more because I like how words sound and feel. The lack of meaning associated with echolalic words (for me) doesn’t help much with learning a new language.

    7. I fluctuate between feeling older and younger than my chronological age. Feeling younger is often situational. I like to play and I’m not afraid to look “childish” enjoying myself. OTOH, I had my daughter at a fairly young age so when she hit certain milestones (starting high school, turning 18, etc.) that made me feel older because most of the parents of the other kids were much older than me. Oddly, when I was young, people often mistook me for being a few years older. Now that I’m old (heh) people often think that I’m much younger than I am.

    8. I don’t have a photographic memory. I do have an annoying tendency to remember random facts and no ability at all to remember dates, past events, people, etc. Sometimes it feels like all the random facts are taking up the hard drive space that is occupied by memories of actual events in other peoples’ brains. I’m amazed when other people remember the exact year or month that something happened to them. Maybe I have time agnosia . . .

    9. Oh yeah. I played with Legos and Barbies well into my teen years but at the same time I was reading adult horror novels in third grade. I still love all things Disney, have a bunch of stuffed animals, watch cartoons, and play a mean game of Candy Land. I’m gonna make such an awesome grandma some day (hopefully?).

    10.
    A. No
    B. Yes. I don’t remember being taught to read. I also don’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to read. I remember my parents praising me for reading signs in stores before I started school (so I was 4 or 5?). I love words and am a fast, voracious reader.
    C. Yes, at times. I’m discovering that my planned intentional thinking is in words (like working out a problem or coming up with a story or plan) but my spontaneous thinking is more nonverbal and I have to consciously translate it into words to communicate it.
    D. I don’t know! I understand my dog’s body language to a degree but not nearly as much as she understands mine.

  6. 1. Being able to see the details in random items, like the carpet or the ceiling. I’ll dream up little worlds based on what I see, and interestingly, they’ve been the source of inspiration for my drawings.

    2. No hyperfocus, though I know someone who can focus for whole days without eating much. Personally I tend to zone out on whatever it is I’m doing and not really hear when someone is talking to me.

    3. Sudoku. I used to do squares of numbers and figure out which numbers would add up to 100.

    4. See #1.

    5. Seeing what I see. (See #1).

    6. I did a lot of that when I was younger.

    7. Always felt I was a year or two younger than I really was.

    8. N/A

    9. I don’t know what counts as childish anymore, considering my interests-anime and gaming-are pretty common among the so-called geeks and nerds and were pretty popular in Asia anyway.

    10. For a lot of these, I’m actually not sure, since my family and I have pretty much taken any one of them for granted as a part of my life and it’s hard for me now to weed out what is and what isn’t:

    [A] Maybe, but it doesn’t happen in every situation, just one specific one (as far as I know). The sound of packages opening makes me feel VERY uncomfortable, especially if there are tapes on the edges and the sides are touching.

    [B] regard yourself as hyperlexic? No, as far as I can tell.

    [C] think in words? YES. Might explain why I need to talk to myself to do questions.

    [D] understand the body language of animals? Yes.

        1. It’s very weird! When I see it, I hear something like a drummer in my head beating time to the movement of the dots or even a pitch that gets higher. I had to turn all the sounds off to make sure it wasn’t the computer. For me it’s not very loud. I’m curious if it’s a genetic thing or if it was something I was trained to hear, because I also have a musical background.

      1. Weird! I do heard something like a whoosing (if I understand the meaning of this word as some kind of «windy» sound), but it’s pretty low so I was thinking it was just my heart but it’s not in synch O.o

  7. 1) Special interests. I love how my brain can latch on to a topic and adore it intensely.

    2) Yes and Yes. I have no idea because I have no internal sense of time.

    3) I like to take 3-digit numbers I see in life and figure out their factors. For example, 441 is divisible by nine because 4 + 4 +1 = 9

    4) I am a human spellchecker. I can also tell what type of English people use based on how words are spelled. For example, I’m guessing you aren’t American because you spell “favorite” with a u.

    5) I want NTs to be able to experience what it feels like to fall in love with a topic and how happy it makes us to study it.

    6) No.

    7) I relate to children well because I remember what it was like to be a child. I look younger than my chronological age, and as a child I wanted to be older because I didn’t like my parents having to choose everything important for me. I also used to read stuff that was aimed at people older than me. Sometimes I feel younger when I consider how I can’t drive or cook much yet and those are things that a lot of people younger than me can do.

    8) Does not apply.

    9) I like Pokemon. In high school I stopped playing it though because I didn’t want to be singled out for liking it. Even now, I hesitate to play it in public because when I do, the only people who ask to play with me are people I don’t want to interact with.

    10A) Sort of. I have an internal colored number line and timeline.
    10B) I guess so. Mostly when I was younger and I’d read everything I could get my hands on.
    10C) Mostly. I have an ongoing internal monologue. There are some images mixed in, though, and I consider myself a pattern thinker.
    10D) Very much so. I am fluent in the language of cats.

            1. Oh that would be brilliant! 🙂 A whole hour of people getting really mad about grammar rules and why it is vitally important to Line. Things. Up.
              Also, there should be a ‘pedantic rant’ section. I would be SO good at that! 🙂
              Oh hang on, aren’t autistic people supposed to be without humour….? (Please note spelling of humour 😉 )

              1. And unlimited infodumping and long periods of silence. Maybe we’d need a channel rather than just one show. The Autistic Network.

                (Also, where the heck does the no sense of humor stereotype come from? Some of the funniest people I know are autistic.)

                1. The range of cookbooks in the kitchen contains, in a prominent place, Julian Barnes, The Pedant in the Kitchen, 2003, for reference in case the recipe doesn’t turn out the way it was intended. The book looks quite used, it is being referred to quite regularly and very much helps to calm down in case of emergencies.

  8. anonymous answers:

    Q1: being free from the desire to ‘people please’

    Q2: Not sure.. dont know what it is.. dont think so..

    Q3: Och Im a maths teacher…loads of different investigations.

    Q4: math

    Q5: being free.

    Q6: cant learn foreign languages… music might help

    Q7: Im in my twenties… much younger than when I was a child…

    Q8: not sure I understand this question

    Q9: I like little mechanical/plastic toys.. spinning tops..
    and xbox games.. and some cartoons & graphic novels..

    Q10:
    A no
    B no
    C I’ve learned to over the years
    D no

  9. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Strong sense of right and wrong, fairness. Extreme honesty.

    Q2: I do have hyperfocus, I find it to be a useful attribute that makes me better at my job. Depending on the task and my surroundings, i.e. how comfortable I am, I can focus for hours.

    Q3: I like numbers. I like patterns in numbers. I like encoding/decoding ASCII messages in different bases. Binary and hexadecimal are my favourites.

    Q4: Everyone tells me I am a details guy, but rapid data processing, extreme attention to detail and super-concentration are all things that describe me. I am highly organised; I have my own systems for doing things and my routine makes me more efficient than most.

    Q5: Without a doubt, the ability to think in pictures. How weird is thinking in words!? I really struggle to understand how people who think in words manage to get stuff done. It seems so amazingly inefficient. I know that thinking in pictures comes at a cost of me being non-verbal when extremely tired or worked up and I hate those times, but I would not trade with someone who thinks in words.

    Q6: Non. ;P

    Q7: Old is a feeling. I still like all of the same stuff now as when I was a child. I know many people think my interests to not be age appropriate and that I am immature, quirky, but I don’t care. Those things make me happy.

    I went back and removed the list of things as I thought it made it quite easy to determine who I am.

    Q8: Not photographic, but my memories are videos. There is only one place that I find floods me with memories and thoughts, it is quite overwhelming, but it is a happy place. Last time, I took five minutes to myself and I know I was crying.

    Q9: I think I covered this in my answer to question 7.

    Q10:
    A No.
    B Yes.
    C No. Yuk!
    D Hahaha, my cat is good at telling me he is hungry. It doesn’t take much decoding.

  10. I’m not sure yet if I’m autistic, but I’d like to answer number nine. Yes. Swings. I love to swing on the swings. If I’m really stressed out, I can swing on swings and it actually helps my depression. I’ve used swings and spinning in office chairs as a way to decompress since I was a small child. I don’t get dizzy. Spinning in circles is one of the only motions on an amusement park ride that doesn’t send me into anxiety tremors. So I guess that’s two childhood interests.

  11. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I have to pick one? It’s a toss-up between memorization skills, super hearing, pattern recognition, and getting along well with other geeks.

    Q2: Sometimes, usually when I’m reading. In that case, I focus until I finish the book. (In the case of things like Harry Potter, this could mean at least six hours…)

    Q3: Krypto! My MESA instructor in high school called me Krypto Queen, and once at a competition I got 33 points–the next-highest scorer was one of my teammates at 16, and the third-place kid got nine.

    Q4: I’d have to say memorization. I have thousands of songs memorized, not all of them in English. I’m really good at finding breaks in patterns, too, which means I’m a really good proofreader and can find four-leaf clovers anywhere.

    Q5: The way I hear music! It’s like waves of happiness crashing through my brain and it makes me stim like nothing else.

    Q6: All the time. I use lines from songs or TV shows I like as scripts, and memorizing songs gives me tons of new vocabulary.

    Q7: I’m about 14? This can get problematic sometimes, since I’m chronologically 25. I think I’ve always been about 14 and just had to catch up to it. (Although I’ve always been more mature than the average 14-year-old… maybe 14 without all the hormone changes and subsequent stupidity?)

    Q8: None of that for me. My memory is seriously wonky, so I have to deal instead with only vague memories of ever having been somewhere before if it’s not somewhere I go often. (I often wonder if I’ve actually been places or just dreamed about them…)

    Q9: Yep, I still read most of the books I loved as a kid, and I’m always watching cartoons.

    Q10:
    A Not really; I have trouble watching people get hurt, but that feels more like extreme empathy than synesthesia to me.
    B Yes x1000. But my parents are both published authors, so that was kind of expected.
    C Yep. I even narrate my surroundings when I get bored.
    D If I know the animal well, sure. Cats are pretty easy to read, and rats aren’t that hard. I don’t understand dogs much, though.

  12. What is your favourite thing about being autistic? Since I’m still getting used to what it means to be an Aspie, I’m not sure whether I have a favourite thing. I guess I’m more forgiving of my “quirkiness” than I was before.

    Do you have hyperfocus? Do you like it? How long do you focus for, on average? Ohyeah, yup, uh-huh. I can focus for hours at a time, depending on what I’m doing. I practice Zen meditation. Hyperfocus is kind of an advantage there, though I can’t claim any state of true enlightenment. Sometimes it can be a problem in that I will keep at something beyond the point of being hungry, tired, overheated, etc.

    If you like numbers, what’s your favourite number game? I’m not big on numbers, but I have amused myself by imagining prime numbers.

    What is your autistic superpower? Attention to detail, dry humour, verbal (verbose?), thinking waaaay outside the box, acting.

    What cool thing about being autistic do you wish that neurotypical people could experience? The ability to be inspired by almost anything.

    Do you use echolaelia to learn foreign languages? I think so. I do know that when I am in an area where there is a dialect, I pick it up almost instantly.

    Apparently, most people feel that their inner self has a particular age unrelated to their chronological age. How old are you inside? Are you older or younger than when you were a child? I think I’m about 27 or 30. Since I don’t have kids, I have no “time mirror” that tells me I’m aging. The second question is interesting. Logically, I would have to be older than I was as a child. I mean, how could I be younger?

    If you have a photographic memory, how do you cope with physical locations becoming crowded with all of the history? Very, very interesting question. It’s fascinating to go to historical places because of all the “ghosts.” Battlefields are creepy (Manassas on a cloudy winter day is teeming with people who aren’t there, if you know what I mean). I love to do living history events because they allow me to work with historic technology that I feel more comfortable with than a lot of modern technology.

    Do you have childish or otherwise ‘age inappropriate’ interests or did you at an earlier point in life, such as during your teenage years?

    And a multi-parter for number 10 because Survey Monkey only lets me make 10 questions. Do you:

    [A] experience synesthesia? A bit. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I can “see” people’s energy.

    (B) hyperlexic? Definitely

    [C] think in words? Sometimes words, sometimes pictures/films. Never feelings.

    [D] understand the body language of animals? Yes. Especially dogs and cats. I used to be afraid of dogs, but now I speak Dog pretty well.

  13. 2: Yes and yes (My wife would add many exclamation marks to those yeses). I more than like it, I find being hyper-focused the more natural frame of mind. I’ll call the average duration several hours, since most of the daily applications are restricted in time length. However, some extreme examples last days at a time. Then there are the life-long hyper-focused projects….
    3: I like everything about math and have been fortunate enough to have a career teaching math. I don’t have a favorite number game.
    4: I guess at least four of these, attention to detail, math, super concentration, and lucid dreaming.
    6: Due to my difficulties with audio processing and with letting go of the details, I had a very difficult time with (not really) learning other languages. If I am understanding the term echolalia correctly, I don’t think I used it with languages or even with math. I do have to use repetition a lot to give my brain a second chance to process the sounds I hear, but I don’t think that is echolalia, but rather just bad sound processing.
    7: I am mostly much older than I am, except for the rare times when I am much younger.
    10a: no
    10b: no
    10c: No. I think in pictures or patterns. Like another responder, I cannot even imagine what it is like to think in words, though surely I must do it at times.
    10d: I think so.

  14. 1) Special interests, especially the fact that I can earn a living from my primary one.
    2) Yes; I tend to refer to it as “flow” or being “in the zone”. When I’m not stressed I can usually enter the state effortlessly and often hours can pass without me having any sense of the passage of time. The down side is that I don’t notice little things like needing the bathroom or getting thirsty.
    3) I always enjoyed mental arithmetic, which is useful when I’m playing darts.
    4) Probably the way I can focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else (see 2).
    5) No idea.
    6) No. At least, I’m not conscious of doing it but then I wouldn’t be. My echolalia is mostly subconscious.
    7) I don’t assign an age to my inner self, because it doesn’t correspond to the “outer” me at any point in my development; however it is childlike in its innocence and naivete.
    8) That doesn’t happen to me. There’s typically one or two images that stand out through being especially intense – they force their way to the front of my attention, obscuring the detail of other, lesser memories.
    9) No.
    10A) In a limited way – letters have color and music elicits consistent images.
    10B) I was definitely ahead of my age group with my reading as a child, but I’m not aware that I had any deficits with spoken language, so on balance I’d say no.
    10C) No. I’m a strongly visual thinker.
    10D) No.

  15. Yeeeesss a new survey! 😀 *smiley time*
    1)I can shout out loud that I was born to be different and don’t give a crap about being like others and «normal»!!! And also the language skills. Bad with speaking/oral comprehension, but as for mastering unlogical orthograph and weird grammar rules, leave it to me! (in French, my English do tend to be crappy)

    2)I usually don’t have hyperfocus when I’m relaxed, or doing something I don’t want to do (like homework on a boring topic…) but when I’m suffering from a lot of stress, I turn into hyperfocus mode on about anything and it will last until something get me out of it, must I miss my bus three of four time or end up in the next city. But now I tend to focus for a maximum of 2-3 hours because of my school schedule. In exams time, I may go for all nighter of compulsive writing through.

    3)I don’t really like numbers, but I like letters. Any games with words are fun for me!

    4)I consider my capacity to distinguish sound-alike words as part of my autistic self, even through I’m aware those words sound identical, for me they sounds different when I’m writing, thus I’m pretty good with language (or at least, with French!) My very own autistic power is my lucid dreaming, useful when you are stuck in the trafic for at least 3 hours a day!

    5)It may not be really cool, but I would want them to experience social anxiety and sensory sensibilities as they really are: not a creation of our «crazy» minds, but as FACTS. So those «specialists» would stop trying to cure us from something which isn’t irrational nor a fantasy… I wish we could actually switch place for a day or a week and then let those pseudo-specialist in a noisy as heck place with bright lights and annoying sounds!… Okay, it’s a bit evil but still, I’m sick of hearing: it’s in your mind you just need to concentrate on the people you want to heard.

    6)I don’t use it (or at least I think), foreign languages just «pop» into my mind after some time trying to make sense out of it. Like english, I was almost unable to write in english last year, and now I can answer this survey easily and have conversations.

    7)I like to think of myself as a weird mix of a 35/40 years old adult and a 17 years old teenager… mostly because all of those I consider to be friends tend to be in either group. I only have two friends of my age (which is twenty) but I feel like I’m totally younger than them most of the time, and much less immature at some other times

    8) I don’t have this kind of memory.

    9)I only have what others consider to be inappropriate interest for my age: I prefer to talk about politics, science, books and fandom than boys, I’m totally addict to webcomics and weird music mean for «children»(what people think), read teenager’s fantasy books and can’t stand those mean for «adults», I love cartoons, Garfield, mangas and neuropsychology. Nothing for a young adult in this world, it seems…

    10)
    A) I don’t think I do, but I usually feel movements(not body movements, but rather like waves in the air) when listening to music. Pretty normal.
    b)I learned about hyperlexic just now with the survey (thanks, really!!) And I think I fit the description perfectly. All of my languages skills are self-teach, but more like I open a book and read and after a time everything make sense. I could read books around the age of 3-4 (not really clear) but nobody ever teached me HOW to read past the letter/syllabers things. I remeber being bored to an unbelievable point in French class because I was always 2 or 3 years further than everyone else in my class, getting marks for verbs tenses I didn’t even learn but was using in the correct ways. I remember my five grade teacher being «mad» at me for writing in a way mean for much higher levels (in fact, I re-read this very essay and it does sound like was my friends were doing in college… And now, my teachers often think I’m cheating because of the way I write. Funny…
    Woups, this is a bit too long.

    c)I think in words, but I a way others don’t seem to think. I prefer to say that I think in «litterature» rather than «words»… It’s not like a voice in my head saying: «So, what am I going to have for dinner», rather : «Low air pressure today, may rain, I got homework to do, oh a butterfly, I want to play pokemon again, I’m going to miss the bus etc.» without any stop between idea.

    D) Much better than the language body of us furless monkeys, in fact.

  16. anonymous answers:

    Q1: My special interests, since I love learning and telling other people facts they didn’t know. I enjoy having a topic or two that I could just spend hours rambling about. Even though it can annoy others, I love learning and expanding on my knowledge.

    Q2: I do have hyperfocus, and in my opinion, one of the advantages of Asperger’s since I can get a lot done when in my “zone”. How long I focus depends on the subject, but it averages a couple of hours.

    Q3: After I read about it in “Ender’s Game” I’ve started doubling numbers in my head when stressed. Sometimes to make it more difficult, I go through the Fibonacci sequence, or just multiply random decimals together.

    Q4: I’m going to go with my attention to detail, since I tend to sketch quite often when stressed or bored. Having that attention to detail helps me concentrate on the piece more, spend more time and effort on the drawing, and I usually end up really proud of my work.

    Q5: Definitely having extreme senses. I have really touchy hearing, which can make listening to music with high-quality headphones pure bliss. Also, if neurotypical people could experience that, they might not shout so much (having too many people talking too loud is my main cause of shutdowns).

    Q6: Very much, yes. I’m currently enrolled in Chinese, and have been taking it for two years now. I use echolalia all the time to help me get the tone marks on certain phrases correct. I also en up saying the phrases exactly as the teacher or another student pronounces it.

    Q7: I feel that as I have gotten older, so has my mental age. Although my mental self has always been considerably older than my chronological self. For example, my current mental age is around 22-26, although I am about ten years younger.

    Q9: I’ve never really had childish interests, per say. More of childish urges/occasional stimming. For example I have the strong urge to run around waving my arms when I am happy, or if it raining, to go splash in puddles and dance around.

    Q10:
    A I do not, but I consciously create colours and patterns to go along with certain sounds/songs.
    B I don’t know about starting early, but I definitely have an above average reading and word comprehension level.
    C All the time. A good majority of my thoughts come as a monologue of sorts. I find people that say everything/most of what they think fascinating.
    D To a degree. I’ve studied body language in people and animals for art, so I feel like I have a fairly good grasp on it. I also have two small dogs which have greatly expanded my ability to read animal body language.

  17. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Being me. After nearly 5 decades of being different and struggling to keep my sense of self it is a relief to discover after my diagnosis that I am perfectly fine 🙂 I especially like that (so far) I am not a follower. It helps me retain my spirit – just as your Walt Whitman quote says ‘Dismiss what insults your soul’. I have seen how many NTs suffer so in this respect.

    Q2: Yes, life interferes unfortunately. I used to be able to do all day, but now 3 hours is all my day ever allows.

    Q3: Right now, it’s Sudoku.

    Q4: We all have so many! My main ones are observation and ability to see patterns and concentration. However I’d like to include other useful traits like being super-curious and very open-minded to seeing things differently. They might not be super-powers as such, but they sure make me different to many of the NTs I know.

    Q5:How wonderful it is to say what you mean and value an honest answer – no games and no fear associated with all their hierarchies.

    Q6: Yes, I did when I was young, including NT speak. Embarrassingly I also automatically copy accents (not always well).

    Q7: I always thought that most people remained about 8 yrs old and their bodies just aged and decayed around them. I have always felt both childlike and really old, never my “real” age.

    Q9: I guess they could be described that way, I think that it’s more we’re enthusiastic about whatever catches our interest whenever it does.That included reading about religion and philosophy in my early teens and children’s books now in my late 40s. I have always been curious about lots of things and appreciate finely crafted objects of all types – it doesn’t matter what they are, buttons, toys, machines, shoes, gardens, or food etc.

    Q10:
    A No though some odd colour things happen at times
    B Yes
    C Yes i think in words but hear other people’s words as images then words.
    D Yes, though I lacked confidence to believe it when I was younger. Now I work lots with dogs and am confident enough to know I can do it with most animals (including people)

  18. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I like that I think differently than other people. It helps me get answers that they miss.

    Q2: Yes. Yes. I can stay focused for hours at a time if I do not deliberately choose to stop. Also tend to focus in on a narrow topic in a conversation – not necessarily my pet interest – and want to follow that idea as far as it can be followed.

    Q3: Not sure if it counts pardon the pun but working out what place a car is from by its number plate.

    Q4: Attention to detail, stubbornness (yes I see stubborn as positive), lucid dreaming, synasthesia to a small degree, but definitely the flapping! 🙂

    Q5: Probably the hypersensitivity to sound and noise – so they understand better.

    Q6: I haven’t – what a good idea though!

    Q7: I don’t have a defined inner age.

    Q8: I don’t know! I just do, although, I have an eidetic rather than photographic memory – I remember sounds and touch and smell in more detail than images.

    Q9: Oh absolutely, I still buy children’s books 🙂

    Q10:
    A Yes mildly
    B Yes definitely
    C Yes
    D Yes

  19. anonymous answers:

    Q1: My passion for information.

    Q2: No I am not able to hyper focus, I barely have any focus. The ASD/ADD combination makes me desperately interested in things, but unable to sit down and focus on it. I find it really upsetting because I see being able to focus on a subject as a real positive of ASDs, but mine gets cancelled out.

    Q3: I feel everything in numbers. Everything is a 1 or a 2. Other than this I much prefer letter games.

    Q4: Identifying connections between information.

    Q5: Not cool, but I wish that people could spend a day in our shoes. I am tired of having to “prove” that I have an ASD because it is a largely invisible disability. It is so offensive to be told that “you seem so normal” or “but you were fine just before” when on the inside I am in a constant struggle just to get by.

    Q6: Interesting. I use echolalia to learn scripts of entire films, maybe I should put that skill to better use.

    Q10:
    A Yes
    B No
    C Kind of. I think in concepts. I have no visual thought.
    D Only my cat because I know her well, probably not others.

  20. 1. My capacity to enjoy the beautiful things in life.

    2. Yes! I can lose an entire day thinking of my favorite things. I must discipline myself to do housework, eat, shower, etc.

    3. Meh. I’m a pattern girl.

    4. A bit of each, except syasthesia. Data processing would probably be my greatest.

    5. Pure, uninhibited bliss!

    6. Wow! Definitely. I speak Russian in memorized phrases.

    7. I am forever 19. I don’t think I turned 19 mentally until I was 27.

    8. I vividly see what I need to see when I need it. I can tell when they shift products around at the store. It is disorienting, but I make a new image. I have no true sense of direction; I navigate by memory, which means I need to retain my brain each time the seasons change. Processing time is all I need to re-adjust.

    9. I still crush on movie stars. 
    10.
    [A] No, but I experience prisoner’s cinema in low light conditions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_cinema )

    [B] Yes, I’m hyperlexic.

    [C] I do think in words! Neato!

    [D] Animals are easier to read than people since they communicate more with their body and don’t have intricate facial expressions.

    This was a bucket of fun. Thank you! 🙂

  21. Woo Hoo! Tuesdays! (‘cept I missed it and am doing this on Wednesday – doh!)
    1. Seeing how awesomely beautiful things are. Noticing and being filled up with joy from the tiniest seed to the biggest clouds. And that this is all I need to be happy.
    2. I do have hyperfocus. I love it. I can focus all day. But only if I am left alone and people are not likely to come along. And that doesn’t happen often enough. Which is annoying and stupid. I wish people would just let me get on with stuff.
    3. I think that mathematicians have the keys to the door behind which the Universe is talking to them. Numbers have personalities to me (and colours) and I always have a longing to interact with numbers but thanks to an awful, awful maths teacher they don’t play in my head so well anymore.
    4. I have two superpowers, the ability to form extremely fast data connections, that is, an ability to spot trends and solve problems way faster than most people. Also, I have extreme visual intelligence which means that I can draw stuff really well from memory.
    5. How brilliant it is to not be people-focused, which leaves more time and space in your brain to think.
    6. No but I might try that!
    7. Emotionally, I think I am about 7. I am now definitely younger than when I was a child. It freaks me out a bit that my inner self is a kid and my outer self is middle-aged!
    8. N/A
    9. As a middle-aged mother I guess that pretty much all my interests are sort of age inappropriate. I think that society expects me to behave in a certain way and like certain things and I feel totally alienated from that expectation. I like sky, stars, weather, animals, playing, doing silly voices, quoting films, drawing, being at the seaside, experimenting with stuff, exploring the world, making things. I hate pubs, soap operas, television generally, shopping, cooking, women’s magazines and gossip.
    10. [A] Yes. Numbers have colours, tastes get emotions sometimes and when I’m thirsty it makes me feel like I’m homesick.
    [B] I remember exactly the moment I decided that I’d like to learn to read and then learnt very quickly because there was a picture that I loved in a book and I wanted to know the story that went with the picture. Once I could read I could read everything.
    [C] I can only think in words if I ‘interview’ myself. So whenever I think in words it is as if I am having to tell someone something. I only think in words when I am thinking about something that I might have to explain or justify to another human being. For me, I only think in pictures and emotions.

    [D] Yes. Animals are easy, people are hard. Also, animals are nice to look at and people, I am sorry to say, are generally not that nice to look at.

  22. 2) Do you have hyperfocus? Do you like it? How long do you focus for, on average? — yes. If something catches my interest, I can spend every waking moment on it until the interest fades — days, weeks, months. I’m just coming out of a week spent reading interesting things and the only way I managed to eat during that time was inserting a rule that i’m not allowed to just sit and wait for a page to load i have to get up do whatever is most important: eat, drink, use the bathroom, clean the cat litter.

    3) If you like numbers, what’s your favourite number game? — i love numbers. I like to square numbers in my head and the square the answer i get (or however many of the final digits of the answer i can manage) and keep going until it loops (it always ends up in a loop). i like to practice my multiplication tables in hexadecimal and i am interested in prime factorisation so a lot of my decisions are made for by taking the prime factorisation of the day of the year (today is 135th day of year so 3^3*5). I am interested in perfect squares and perfect cubes and I like numbers that fit that pattern (x^x)*(x-1)^(x-1). I like to count my steps to help me find shortest path routes between places.

    6) Do you use echolaelia to learn foreign languages? — yes. this was my question. i listen to music and watch shows online (with subtitles initially) and I also read (and therefore memorise) copies of my favourite novels in the new language. this usually overlaps with having developed a special interest in the language in question. my record for a new language in a new language family (so without cognates for cheating) was a couple months. learning a related language ot one i already know can be done in a few weeks. When I learn a language, I start out with no productive speech and whenever I want to say something I just pick a sentence that closest matches what I’m trying to say and say that. Eventually I can swap out words here and there, recombining my memorised sentence repertoire in novel ways. After some time passes I can do spontaneous speech.

    7) Apparently, most people feel that their inner self has a particular age unrelated to their chronological age. How old are you inside? Are you older or younger than when you were a child? — we’re multiple and have a wide range of ages, but the main outside people are generally a few years older than our body.

    8) If you have a photographic memory, how do you cope with physical locations becoming crowded with all of the history? another one of my questions! i have moved around a lot, which helps, but i’d like to eventually settle down, but i can’t go to the grocery store without remembering that last time i was there i was buying tomatoes and here is past-version-of-me in aisle 6 buying eggs and there’s me walking home in a skirt, in pants, in a dress, in a winter coat, in summer shorts…and there’s too many me here all snaked four-dimensionally around the city. most of it mundane, some of it bad, some of it good, none of it really welcome though. here i am in this parking lot where i made some minor mistake 4 years ago and i start muttering “bad girl bad girl bad girl” every time i go there (Which is often, we only have a few grocery stores nearby and they’re cheapest for some things).

    9) Do you have childish or otherwise ‘age inappropriate’ interests or did you at an earlier point in life, such as during your teenage years? — yes.

    10) And a multi-parter for number 10 because Survey Monkey only lets me make 10 questions. Do you:

    [A] experience synesthesia? — yes. music/sound -> colour/motion, emotion -> colour, taste -> colour. i’m triyng to expand it to number -> colour, with mild success.

    [B] regard yourself as hyperlexic? — if there are words anywhere near me, i’m reading them. i’ve read ingredient lists in so many different languages so many times that if I’m reading for content and not just because there are words in front of me, i can recognise many ingredients in languages i don’t speak.

    [C] think in words? — no

    [D] understand the body language of animals? — yes, particularly animals I am familiar with, though. I can’t always know in advance how my cat is going to react when i touch him, but i can definitely tell if he is happy about being touched, if he’s starting to want to jump down. My cat is pretty intelligent and often successfully communicates rather complex topics with me. When he wants me to get out the laser pointer, he looks at me to get my attention (meowing if he’s having trouble making eye contact), then looks pointedly at the floor, then looks back at me, then stares at another spot on the floor near him, then looks back at me, and then looks at another spot on the floor. He’s also learning my body language pretty well.

    1. oh, and i was really happy when i reached a certain age and was finally old enough to not be out of place in toy stores because people could assume i was getting something for my kids. (don’t have any kids yet)

    2. What do you mean “until it loops”? I couldn’t understand how that could be the case, and so I began squaring numbers (using my calculator because I thought perhaps one had to continue squaring for a long time and therefore square very large numbers, which I can’t do in my head) and I still don’t see what you mean. Does it have to do with the fact that you sometimes square “however many digits of the answer [you] can manage”? I would be very grateful if you could clarify what you mean by “loop” here, because I’m also very interested in numbers (I really like calculus especially, mostly because my special interest is physics) and I’m very curious about what you’ve said.

  23. anonymous answers:

    Q1: brains and learning abilities

    Q2: yes, and yes. couple hours.

    Q3: don’t like numbers

    Q4: I really think i see the truth better than most people.

    Q5: i can’t think of anything.

    Q6: no.

    Q7: sometimes 3, sometimes 14 or so.

    Q8: I don’t! I didn’t know this had a name! it’s overwhelming!

    Q9: I have a childish style of interaction.

    Q10:
    A no
    B yes
    C usually
    D no

  24. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Special interests. I can’t imagine how boring life would be if I didn’t get obsessed with things.

    Q2: I can focus on my special interests for several hours without getting bored. I enjoy that. For everything else, like school work, I need to take breaks, and focusing on that isn’t so enjoyable.

    Q3: I love sudoku and nonograms. Especially nonograms.

    Q4: If I had to pick, I’d say the best work for it is engineering or designing. It’s nothing I could make a profit off of, but I get a lot of entertainment out of designing artwork or objects related to my special interests.

    Q5: Definitely special interests or stims. Those are some of the most fun things for me.

    Q6: No- in fact, the language I learned best was Latin, precisely because there was no spoken component and the early lessons were focused on grammar instead of conversation.

    Q7: I feel maybe in my mid-20’s, about 5 years older than my chronological age. I’ve felt that age for a long time.

    Q9: In terms of television shows, I definitely went from ‘kid’ to ‘adult’ with no stop at ‘teenager’ in between. I was interested in crime dramas and other more adult shows since I was 12. At the age I am now, I guess that’s not so unusual. I like sports manga too, which is generally regarded as being for children, but I think that’s more because the form of media isn’t appreciated than because the content is childish.

    Q10:
    A No
    B Maybe; that sounds sort of like me, but I’ll have to look into it more
    C Yes
    D Yes, but it didn’t come naturally. It took several scratches from cats to learn what meant ‘back off’.

  25. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Hyperfocus

    Q2: Yes. It’s useful.
    I can focus for 10-12 hours.

    Q3: The closest I come to enjoying numbers is sudoku.

    Q4: Picking up logical inconsistencies or things that simply don’t fit, stuff that most people don’t seem to notice.
    Attention to detail.

    Q5: Total sensory absorption.

    Q6: No

    Q7: About 32

    Q8: Once I know somewhere reasonably well my brain seems to delete all the pictures as not needed. My photographic memory is strongest when I return to somewhere I haven’t been for years. In my head the original picture overlays what I am seeing until they snap together, and for a moment it feels like I am at both points in time. It’s odd but useful.

    Q9: I still colour when very stressed, although I use the Dover ‘Adult Colouring’ books.

    Q10:
    A I get strange sensations in my head with certain colours. Not true synaesthesia, but an odd experience that’s hard to put into words. I call it ‘brain fizz’.
    B Yes
    C Yes
    D Yes

  26. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I don’t know.

    Q2: Yes, I can focus on something for hours if I’m interested. Maybe two or three hours, anyway.

    Q3: I don’t know that I have a favorite number game. I like triangular numbers. (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, …)

    Q4: Synesthesia–colors for music and sometimes numbers, spelling, numbers.

    Q5: The way I see everything–I step outside and see nature–the wonder of it all. I don’t think they see the wonder often enough. Maybe that’s my favorite thing about being autistic.

    Q6: I don’t hear well (CAPD)–I learn language by reading it.

    Q7: 12, I think. I’m 47 chronologically.

    Q8: I don’t have a photographic memory.

    Q9: I was still playing with dolls and climbing trees when I was a teenager. Give me a quarter, I’ll climb a tree now. 🙂

    Q10:
    A Yes
    B Yes
    C Yes
    D Yes

  27. YAY ANOTHER SURVEY!! Sorry for being so late to the party here – I’ve been off Twitter all week hiding from Doctor Who spoilers. Also, YAY CONVERSE PICTURES!! Anyway:

    1.) Special interests, music, being able to see through a lot of societal BS rather than thinking “social convention” or “that’s just the way it is”.

    2.) I think I might hyperfocus sometimes, but I’m not sure. I do have times when I’ll be engrossed in a task and not want to finish, but not to the extent that it adversely affects my life. So yes, I love it. 🙂

    3.) I took maths at A-Level. I quite like sudoku. I also sometimes count when stressed, although sometimes i just get stuck on one and the result is repeated muttering of “one, one, one, one, one.”

    4.) Sound hypersensitivity. I can hear phones set to vibrate on the other side of the house. I refer to it as “the world’s most useless superpower.”

    5.) Definitely special interests. I just wish more people could experience that and understand what it’s like.

    6.) I’m learning French, but I don’t think I’ve used echolalia…

    7.) YES!! I still feel like a young teenager, I think. I’m certainly not an adult yet.

    8.) I don’t, so can’t really answer this.

    9.) YES! Definitely! I mean, I’m 19 now and my special interest is Doctor Who, so…

    10.)
    [A] I don’t think so.
    [B] As a kid, probably. Not now though.
    [C] Yeah, I think so.
    [D] NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE

  28. anonymous answers:

    Q1: I mostly make friends with certain types of people ( mostly non-NT) and my friends are amazing. I don’t know if I’d have the same friendships, or same types, if I were NT. ( not to put NT people down, I just get the impression that there is less silliness and other things I like in their typical friendships)

    Q2: Yes. Although recently less so as I’m quite physically unwell so it is harder to maintain.

    Q3: I don’t have any as such, but I like seeing patterns

    Q4: I’m not sure I have one. I am hugely loyal, does that count?

    Q5: I’m sure there are lots of things, but am tired and drawing a blank.

    Q6: I’ve never thought about it, but I am really really good at languages, so, maybe?

    Q7: Somewhere in my early twenties, I think. Used to be around seventeen, but I have a teenage daughter so have had to age up a bit 😉

    Q8: I don’t, it sounds cool but exhausting!

    Q9: Yep. Was playing with baby dolls and flower fairies obsessively up to the end of primary school, which apparently was unusual ( my best friend and I somehow got away with bringing our favourite FF dolls to school and sitting them on our tables in little wicker chairs) I’m pretty into Adventure Time and My Little Pony: FIM, and like a lot of YA fiction still

    Q10:
    A A little bit, mostly with colours having faint tastes/smells sometimes
    B I can’t remember what that means
    C Yes… doesn’t everyone? Does everyone? I tend to think in sort of cloud forms first and then translate into words.
    D cats, mostly, because I’ve spent a lot of time with cats and my parents made sure I learned as much as they could. dogs a bit because you have to learn some for safety. TL;Dr: yes, some of them, but it didn’t come naturally.

  29. So i have been pondering these all week and finally figured how to respond.

    1) dunno yet. I am just sooo glad I was diagnosed and now can understand when my round peg never has fit in the square hole. I used to feel bullet proof. I’ve been working to get my confidence back under the new paradigm.

    2) yes. growing up and in college, i’d call it “night time” where you start to work and then look up and realize have the night went away. As an adult I have to make my self get up otherwise my body gets too stiff and family gets cranky. As a kid, I also did competition piano. I’d do a long piece and not remember beyond starting the piece and then people were clapping. It was always a very disconcerting thing. What happened. Do I get up and bow now?

    3)yes and no.
    macro #’s – I love to work with numbers (my job). I see trends and stuff that people don’t see. Because I am a good viewer of people, I often tell them what they don’t want to hear. I forget to add the emotion/empathy and they take my observations negatively. “just trying to help improve your efficiency”. I count a lot. I know which lights and roads are the most efficient to get from a to b.
    Micro #’s are the bane of my existence. my 3’s and 8’s get mixed up, as well as my 6 & 9’s. the attention to minutia detail I struggle with in my job every day.

    funny story – because I hear the numbers differently, my husband has seen me write phone numbers down from the answering machine and wonder how I actually got the final number down right. ie i’d write 541 – 392, then go back and add the missing number(s) after the fact. creepy.

    4) I can channel my creative side and make beautiful art. I have a terrific eye for photography. I make art quilts. I love to sew and create things.

    5) I see everything (except interpersonal body language and facial recognition). When you see patterns in the leaves that the wind makes, it’s like seeing a whole new world with HD or 3D glasses when everyone else watched the regular show in black & white.

    6)my ear picks up on voice and syntax. I need to read it, but I used to drive my parents (and sister) crazy that I would mimic people’s accents when we would travel. I still do it. I can’t help it. It’s like my brain just syncs up with the new place.

    7)As a kid I was always the oldest person in the room. Over the years, I seem to feel like my brain has settled on about 30-35.

    8) YES. I have a photographic memory for places, situations. etc. Written goes in fast, but I choose not to keep it in long term memory. I “use” a filing system for things. Save the memory in the general bucket with all of the details. Then I can access the memory / info when i need it.
    Story – as a kid, my Mom wouldn’t let me fall asleep when we would go on trips as she would get lost. I am the map and memory queen. I never get lost. The one time when I got pushed into a different route was due to road construction (only about 10 years ago) and when I got to work I was having a serious melt down freak out.

    9)I love animation. Even through my teen and adult years I get sucked into “cartoons”. From Disney to Warner Brothers, I love animation. But for special interests growing up the list is pretty cool: model cars, shell collections (still have), collect rocks, boxes, books etc. We moved so much so trying to keep collections in tact was a major struggle.

    10)
    a)no
    b)yes. very
    c)yes, but mostly see the pictures that go with the words.
    d)YES, YES, YES

  30. anonymous answers:

    Q5: Noticing everything.
    Thinking very logically.
    Lack of desire for revenge or hatred.

    Q7: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt about a decade older than I actually am. Although that is reducing somewhat; it feels more like five years now.

    Q10:
    A no
    B no
    C yes, almost always
    D no

  31. 1. What is your favourite thing about being autistic?

    This is hard to answer because I’m currently dealing with a lot of difficult experiences due to my traits (mostly auditory processing). But I like my ability to think rationally and I love being obsessed with stuff.

    2. Do you have hyperfocus? Do you like it? How long do you focus for, on average?

    I’m not sure anymore. But I do have issues hearing people speaking to me if I’m engaged in something.

    3. If you like numbers, what’s your favourite number game?

    I really like sudoku.

    4. What is your autistic superpower? (data processing, attention to detail, math, super-concentration, beautiful flapping, lucid dreaming, synasthesia etc)

    Linguistics. I also have an intuitive understanding of technology, particularly computers, but basically anything else. I think it’s because it’s reassuringly logical and I trust it to be that way.

    5. What cool thing about being autistic do you wish that neurotypical people could experience?

    The amazingness of good textures.

    6. Do you use echolaelia to learn foreign languages?

    Definitely.

    7. Apparently, most people feel that their inner self has a particular age unrelated to their chronological age. How old are you inside? Are you older or younger than when you were a child?

    About 17. I think this might be younger than as a kid, ridiculously enough.

    8. If you have a photographic memory, how do you cope with physical locations becoming crowded with all of the history?

    N/A

    9. Do you have childish or otherwise ‘age inappropriate’ interests or did you at an earlier point in life, such as during your teenage years?

    Yes, I like dolls, toys, games, cartoons. I’m also really obsessed with a group of musicians not deemed gender- or age-appropriate for this sort of intensity.

    10. Do you:

    [A] experience synesthesia?

    I don’t think so, but there are colours that taste delicious, and I often feel as if certain objects have a taste even though I know the flavour I assign them is definitely different to their actual taste. I have no idea what that is, maybe something connected to untypical sensory experiences which come with autism.

    [B] regard yourself as hyperlexic?

    I used to exhibit symptoms of this as a child, but I don’t know if this is the case now.

    [C] think in words?

    More like in “video clips”, but I do think in words quite a bit because of how much writing I like to do.

    [D] understand the body language of animals?

    I had to learn it from books, just like human body language.

  32. Anonymous answers:

    Q2: I think so, assuming this is what Sherlock does. Most of the time it’s awesome, except when it interferes with sleeping or eating. I have no idea; my sense of time is normally poor. It just goes completely non-existant when I’m focusing.

    Q3: Not really a game, but I like testing my memory by starting with 1 and doubling until I lose track of all the digits I’m using.

    Q4: Learning. I can learn anything I’m interested in, to whatever level it interests me, and I can learn from just reading–I don’t need to find someone to teach me.

    Q5: Being aware of my pulse in my entire body at once, having certain pieces of clothing that feel really good, the joy of motion-based stims (swinging, cartwheels, rocking, spinning) and being upside down–which I think may be related to roller coasters being relaxing rather than thrilling, not sure if this is just me or a broader autism thing but the different shades of meaning that each synonym has so they can’t be used interchangeably, not caring so much about what I look like so that I can care more about comfort and tactile sensations (shaving my head and feeling wind pass between my ear and head is one of my favorites)

    Q6: no

    Q7: I don’t know; I’ve never really thought about it. But people tend to think that I’m younger than I am.

    Q8: I don’t think I have a photographic memory, but locations do get crowded with history for me, so maybe I do. I tend to avoid the negative-history places and spend more time in the positive-history places.

    Q9: I became fascinated with corsets and homemade ink for dip pens when I was around 12 or 13.

    Q10:
    A Not sure if this is synaesthesia or not but I feel my emotions on my skin.
    B Yes, while I was taught to read to some extent, my mother didn’t believe I was actually reading, so she bought me a book and I read it.
    C not usually; when I do, I usually end up mumbling to myself and it’s usually when I’m trying to figure something out.
    D never thought about it

  33. 1. ??
    2. Yes, What’s there to like or dislike? No idea how long
    3. Number game? Aren’t they logic games?
    4. no idea
    5. no idea
    6. no
    7. may be 17
    8. Partial > where some phrases are located on a page I read in a book that I thought to remark, the picture of a street I’m returning to after some long , or short, time, etc. No crowding
    9. no
    A. no
    B no
    C Interesting, I don’t know
    D no

  34. anonymous answers;

    Q1: I am very openminded and accepting which is incredibly helpful as I study cultural anthropology. I am especially interested in religion. I’m also incredible curious and once interested in a subject, immerse myself entirely. I go through phases where I devour books (fiction and nonfiction), videos and documentaries, articles, blogs, movies, anything looking for information and understanding.

    Q2: Sometimes. if I’m very interested in a subject. If I’m not interested it’s very hard to keep my attention. I also have a very hard time pretending to be interested once I’m bored of a conversation/social situation.

    Q3: I don’t get a long with numbers.

    Q4: I see thinks differently and people love my photography because of that. I’m also very good with words. When I’m interested in sometimes I am very attentive to detail. I’m also incredibly empathetic and can put myself in anyone’s shoes, however I have a very hard time showing this or dealing with those feelings.

    Q5: sensory sensitivity/overload can be incredibly stressful but because of it I notice more, I’m more of a quiet observer so I sit back and take everything in, more so than the average person. I’m also very interested in people (even though I’m uncomfortable/don’t understand their actions/reactions/interactions). I see the world almost as an outsider and so I see more beauty and detail than others, I think.

    Q6: no.

    Q7: I think I’m younger now in some ways than as a child. but in other ways I’m not. I have issues with age in general because I’ve never really acted my own age and have trouble guessing it in others so I have no idea what my “age” would be.

    Q10:
    A no
    B I don’t remember much but I did read very early, mostly taught myself and it came very easy to me
    C absolutely
    D usually

  35. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Not being ‘normal’

    Q2: Yes. It is great. I can’t focus as well as before I had a breakdown, but I can sustain a focus for a few days before becoming properly tired. I do sleep, but I’m already waiting to wake up and carry on whatever I am doing! 🙂

    Q4: I can do the whole ‘tangential thinking’ and process lots of information intuitively. I can see connections across a wide area, and usually think faster than I can ‘think about what I’m doing in explainable english’.

    Q5: Knowing that its fun to be doing something so intensely.

    Q6: Sorry, don’t know what that is!!

    Q7: I am older certainly, but I don’t feel like I’ve ‘grown up’. It’s more a feeling that I understand what’s going on better.

    Q8: Doesn’t work like that for me. Perhaps I haven’t got a photographic memory. I do remember everything I read and am interested in though. Perhaps that’s just a good memory??

    Q9: Yes. If I am interested in something, age isn’t a factor.

    Q10:
    A No, but I see movements as sounds(!)
    B No
    C No
    D Yes

  36. anonymous answers:

    Q1: My favorite thing about being autistic is my (extremely) high IQ (over 165– testing on a bad sensory day). I feel like I can read through something once and know everything about the subject. It also feels like sometimes I know things without ever reading or studying them.

    Q2: Oh goodness, yes. I’ve had hyper focus since before kindergarten (I’m 24 now). Now, I can focus (on a subject of choice, of course) for well over 8 hours straight.

    Q3: I like prime numbers, and even square numbers. I’m a marathon running, and I break numbers down when I run (144 is 12 times 12 which is 3 times 4 which is 2 times 2– definitely not a number that sits well with me because 3 is prime and 4 is not)

    Q4: hyperlexia- I’ve been reading (on average) 300-400 pages an hour since I was in kindergarten and retaining 100% of the information through a photographic memory.

    Q5: I wish they could experience how in depth we can think about things. My thought processes definitely go WAY outside the box

    Q6: I used it to teach myself American Sign language (and it’s 3 different dialects) when I was 7 years old. I still use it regarding sign.

    Q7: When I was younger (under 10) I felt like I was 40. Now at 24, I feel younger in regards to feeling like I can’t handle life

    Q8: Going places overwhelms me, so everything gets mixed together in my mind. I put different names of places to the “picture” in my mind.

    Q9: I still pick my nose and eat the boogers, if that counts (I know, it’s disgusting)

    Q10:
    D no, not in the slightest
    C yes, but mainly in numbers
    B yes
    A yes

  37. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Being able to impress people with my awesome knowledge of things I’m into, such as Japanese culture, language and history and transhumanism.

    Q2: No, my attention span is very short and I’ve never been able to focus on anything unless it interests me.

    Q3: Have never been good with numbers. Failed mathematics in year 10; never going back.

    Q4: Amazing skills in language

    Q5: The ability to visualise things really clearly in your head.

    Q6: Am uncertain on what echolaelia is (copying things you hear precisely?) but have studied a foreign language for a long time and am gifted at it.

    Q7: I feel my age, mostly

    Q8: Do not have a photographic memory

    Q9: My experience was the opposite of most autistic peoples’ experiences; I grew out of kids’ shows and toys quickly once introduced to video games.

    Q10:
    D no
    C yes
    B yes
    A no

  38. anonymous answers:

    Q1: My favorite thing about being autistic is my (extremely) high IQ (over 165– testing on a bad sensory day). I feel like I can read through something once and know everything about the subject. It also feels like sometimes I know things without ever reading or studying them.

    Q2: Oh goodness, yes. I’ve had hyper focus since before kindergarten (I’m 24 now). Now, I can focus (on a subject of choice, of course) for well over 8 hours straight.

    Q3: I like prime numbers, and even square numbers. I’m a marathon running, and I break numbers down when I run (144 is 12 times 12 which is 3 times 4 which is 2 times 2– definitely not a number that sits well with me because 3 is prime and 4 is not)

    Q4: hyperlexia- I’ve been reading (on average) 300-400 pages an hour since I was in kindergarten and retaining 100% of the information through a photographic memory.

    Q5: I wish they could experience how in depth we can think about things. My thought processes definitely go WAY outside the box

    Q6: I used it to teach myself American Sign language (and it’s 3 different dialects) when I was 7 years old. I still use it regarding sign.

    Q7: When I was younger (under 10) I felt like I was 40. Now at 24, I feel younger in regards to feeling like I can’t handle life

    Q8: Going places overwhelms me, so everything gets mixed together in my mind. I put different names of places to the “picture” in my mind.

    Q9: I still pick my nose and eat the boogers, if that counts (I know, it’s disgusting)

    Q10: A yes
    B yes
    C yes, but mainly in numbers
    D no, not in the slightest

  39. anonymous answers:

    Q1: my ability to sense a somewhat “pure” version of happiness and contentment

    Q2: I do. It tends to be on arts and crafts like activities. It can be a couple of hours.

    Q3: no, I just like simple math/ algebra that can be repeated

    Q4: dreaming, hand flapping, a childlike naivete for the small things and my expressions of love

    Q5: seeing the sky and getting all giddy and happy inside, for no intelligible reason at all

    Q6: I’m not quite sure

    Q7: i feel younger, just because I now allow myself to express my happiness as I would like to.

    Q8:i do not have photographic memory, I don’t think

    Q9: no

    Q10:
    A no
    B yes
    C no
    D YES! especially my rabbit

  40. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Liking to be by myself, letting my creativity flow as I do not have any distractors.
    Q2: Yes and yes, but sometimes they make work hard to accomplish since I forget simple things I need to do. it goes hours or even a full night.
    Q3:I like calculus
    Q4: super concentration at things I like and an almost godly memory of it.
    Q5: Having some time to ourselves, taking time from the world and worries.
    Q6: Yes, and to give meaning to some events.
    Q7: I am younger than when I was a child, I still feel like a pre teen
    Q8: It makes it harder for me to recall a picture
    Q9: Yes, most of the time.
    Q10:
    A Yes
    B Yes
    C Yes
    D I understand it better than people

  41. Took the survey… It basically boiled down to “actually I’m an Aspie due to pre-DSM 5 diagnosis, and I don’t want to be on the spectrum because it depresses me and I can’t focus on college well enough for my liking, but hey, at least I’m good with cats”.

    ._.

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