Geoff.D wrote:I'm wondering if those who have self-identified as having Asperger's are able to highlight the advantages they notice.
Aspies tend to be good at science and engineering because of the very trait that gets them into trouble: a tendency to prioritise facts and evidence above the feelings and sensibilities of others, which is a distinct advantage when you’re trying to get something to work. People who b.llshit and spin, even for the best of motives, tend to get nowhere in science. To quote physicist Richard Feynman's report on the shuttle accident:"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
It’s just occurred to me as I type this that the reason that Aspies make themselves unpopular has much in common with the reason why science is so unpopular with some people too: they both have a nasty habit of telling people the truth that they don’t want to hear.
An eye for detail is important, a lot of the issues in engineering are in the details that many are oblivious to.
Aspies tend to be perfectionists.
They often have an ability to focus on details long beyond the point where NTs get bored.
They can often produce large quantities of repetitive information with fewer errors.
They have a memory and liking for numbers and statistics, people often used to come to me when they couldn't remember part numbers to get components out of the stores.
The sort of behaviour that gets labelled as obsessive can also be very useful too. If you’re driving down the motorway, one reason that you can feel safe that a wheel won’t fall off is because a lot of engineers made painstaking measurements on thousands of metal samples so that other engineers can calculate the strength of components such that they won’t fail from metal fatigue. A lot of NT engineers can baulk at this sort of work, but I used to enjoy it as much as anything else.
They are better able to think laterally because they have more independence of mind and are less influenced by peer pressure. Here's Searle:"Many NT people are unable to think and form opinions for themselves and end up following the opinions of the masses, while great discoveries in science as well as changes in society are made and initiated by people with the courage and vision to think for themselves and form their own opinions."
The problem with being able to see things that others don't is that you end up getting branded stupid for the things you can
do, as well as the things you can't.A waste of talent.
And another question. I understand that it it's easier to manage a situation if you can label it, understand it and then act accordingly. I say this through my own experience of having depression some time ago. I assume this applies in this issue, too. But, would people say being diagnosed (if that's the right term, knowing that there's still debate as to whether Asperger's should be termed a disorder, or not) is helpful in an emotional sense and/or a practical sense?
Many Aspies remark that it makes life much easier when they are able to tell others that they have Asperger's because they then get treated better by others, but you can't go around telling people that you have AS without a diagnosis first.