Tuning into Autism

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Tuning into Autism

Summary:
– people with ASD interact socially differently & read emotions differently
– isolation is common | others often do to want to his/her friend
– the one others do not want to play with
– in 1960s , when he was a kid (undiagnosed & did not behave appropriately), people thought he was lazy, bad, stupid [& told him so]
– he was diagnosed mid-life [40 years old]
– he understood by 19 that he had difficulty understanding & reading people
– he discusses failed interactions [he said he cared about others; he could not tell just by body language & “implied” language that another person is emotional; he just says what is on his mind; he says he needed people to tell him exactly what they were feeling]
– he taught himself to interact socially (body language & facial expression) – he began to have friends for the first time in his life
– TMS (trans-cranial magnetic stimulation) is used for depression, & is now being experimented with to see if it could be used in ASD to “turn on” the ability to read emotion
– the brain is an electrical organ – medications have impacts on other parts of the brain, hence explaining side-effects [in his view]
– he describes how after receiving TMS, he, for the first time, felt the emotions in the music (not just the technical brilliance of the music)
– TMS made him understand emotions, but he did not receive the “good” messages he had hoped for – instead, he received, angst, anxiety, anger & fear of others – & he realised that ASD had been a protective shield from the world for him
– suddenly he saw the world & others around him differently
– TMS effects are ephemeral (last 15 minutes) – all medications are temporary – but he believes that it leaves a lasting impact
– TMS does not work for everyone
– he believes it should not be done to children or PWD without their consent
– informed consent for adults
– the neurodiverse community are not smarter or better – they are just different
– he discusses “making myself the best person I can be” through learning social skills
– autism is a neurological difference & TMS is a temporary treatment
– suicide rate for people on ASD is 9x the general population

Source: ABC RN All in the Mind | Podcast date: 11.09.16

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