Reading emotions… Listen to the silence…

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Photo by Martin Péchy from Pexels

Research shows for the first time that adults with autism can recognize complex emotions such as regret and relief in others as easily as those without the condition.

Psychologists at the University of Kent used eye-tracking technology to monitor participants as they read stories in which a character made a decision then experienced a positive or negative outcome. The lead author Professor Heather Ferguson, from the University’s School of Psychology, explained that the study highlights a previously overlooked strength in adults with ASD.

The researchers found that adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were quickly able to think about how things might have turned out differently (either better or worse than reality), then judge whether the story character would feel regret or relief (known as counterfactual emotions).

The adults with ASD were found to be just as good at recognizing regret emotions in the character as adults without the condition, and even better at computing relief. (1)

We believe that reading emotions is important. But there is nothing to read. Because everything lies within our self. Let go and become a hole for the cosmos to fill. And you will understand everything.

People with ASD do not try to understand, explain or respond as we do. They simply receive. And their inability to express what they know makes us believe that they know nothing, even though the truth is exactly the opposite.

It is the silence which holds the knowledge we try to find.

It is the absence of understanding which holds the wisdom we seek.

Listen to the ones who speak not.

And in their absence of words.

You will hear everything…

Dyslexia. Understanding speech.

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Neuroscientists have discovered that a basic mechanism underlying sensory perception is deficient in individuals with dyslexia, according to new study. The brain typically adapts rapidly to sensory input, such as the sound of a person’s voice or images of faces and objects, as a way to make processing more efficient. But for individuals with dyslexia, the researchers found that adaptation was on average about half that of those without the disorder.

If a single, consistent voice speaks a stream of words, brains get used to the voice right away and adapt. But if every word spoken is in a different voice, the brain does not adapt. The difference in adaptation is large. Essentially, brains are working hard to process different voices, and much less hard to process a single voice. However, those with dyslexia adapt much less. In this cases, the amount of adaptation is small in general. Dyslexic brains are working hard to process speech no matter what. (1)

We speak because we listen.

We act because we are acted upon.

We live because other people lived.

Trapped inside a mirror.

Trying to break the glass…

Do not be sad about dyslexia. It might be your way out…

Autism. Senses. Seeing the world as it is. Being philosophically illiterate.

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– I am afraid. What if I fall? – Oh, my dear, what if you fly?

Autism spectrum disorders are generally thought to be caused by deficits in brain development, but a study in mice now suggests that at least some aspects of the disorder – including how touch is perceived, anxiety, and social abnormalities – are linked to defects in another area of the nervous system, the peripheral nerves found throughout the limbs, digits, and other parts of the body that communicate sensory information to the brain.

In the new study, the researchers examined the effects of gene mutations known to be associated with ASD in humans. In particular, they focused on Mecp2, which causes Rett syndrome, a disorder that is often associated with ASD, and Gabrb3, which also is implicated in ASD. They looked at two other genes connected to ASD-like behaviors as well.

By engineering mice that have these mutations only in their peripheral sensory neurons, which detect light touch stimuli acting on the skin, scientists showed that mutations there are both necessary and sufficient for creating mice with an abnormal hypersensitivity to touch.

The investigators measured how the mice reacted to touch stimuli, such as a light puff of air on their backs, and tested whether they could discriminate between objects with different textures. Mice with ASD gene mutations in only their sensory neurons exhibited heightened sensitivity to touch stimuli and were unable to discriminate between textures. The investigators next examined anxiety and social interactions in the mice using established tests looking at how much mice avoided being out in the open and how much they interacted with mice they’d never seen before. The animals with ASD gene mutations only in peripheral sensory neurons showed heightened anxiety and interacted less with other mice.

“Based on our findings, we think mice with these ASD-associated gene mutations have a major defect in the ‘volume switch’ in their peripheral sensory neurons”, says first author Lauren Orefice, a postdoctoral fellow in Ginty’s lab. Essentially, she says, the volume is turned up all the way in these neurons, leading the animals to feel touch at an exaggerated, heightened level.

“We think it works the same way in humans with ASD”, Ginty adds. (1)

We tend to believe that having our senses is right.

We are certain that people with no senses have problems.

We are certain that people with heightened senses have issues as well.

In a world full of deceit, we like believing we are right. Because we see. Because we hear. Because we can touch and taste. But the world is only phenomena. Full of smoke and mirrors. The only way to look through the deception is by closing your eyes or by looking too hard.

Some people do.

And they scream out of agony when they do.

Or stay silent in awe.

All we can do is pity them. Because we do not understand. And we never will…

Having autism. Having a disability. So? Be indifferent. And you will cure cancer!

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“I don’t look like I have a disability, do I?” Jonas Moore asks me. I shake my head. No, I say — he does not. Bundled up in a puffy green coat in a drafty Starbucks, Moore, 35 and sandy-haired, doesn’t stand out in the crowd seeking refuge from the Wisconsin cold. His handshake is firm and his blue eyes meet mine as we talk. He comes across as intelligent and thoughtful, if perhaps a bit reserved. His disability — autism — is invisible.

That’s part of the problem, says Moore. Like most people with autism spectrum disorders, he finds relationships challenging. In the past, he has been quick to anger and has had what he calls “meltdowns”. Those who don’t know he has autism can easily misinterpret his actions. “People think that when I do misbehave I’m somehow intentionally trying to be a jerk”, Moore says. “That’s just not the case”.

His difficulty managing emotions has gotten him into some trouble, and he’s had a hard time holding onto jobs — an outcome he might have avoided, he says, if his coworkers and bosses had better understood his intentions. (1)

Should we treat people with disabilities differently?

Sure we should help them. But what is the best way to do that?

And if they need help because they have a problem, what constitutes a “problem”? Do we know? Is it that they cannot do certain things the way we do them? Is the majority defining the “norm” which we all want people to adhere to?

People with autism have different brains than “normal” people do. So? Should we treat them specially? Or should people with autism treat US specially? Most people have problems in their relationships with other people. Should we treat them all as people with disabilities? Or only the “people with disabilities” deserve being treated as such? Is the result of a disease the cause for special treatment or simply the result, no matter what the cause is?

We are all born as we are born.

We all have special abilities and inherent limitations.

Which ones are critical so as to be tagged as “disabled”?

In a society, the answer can only be one: The ones which are defined by the majority. But should we trust majority? Should we listen to it? Is majority the best way to determine “healthy” and “sick”? If the majority is sick, could it be that we are feeling sorry about people who are actually healthy?

But no one can live together with a child with autism without having too much patience in order to deal with him. Sure. But the same applies the other way around too: The child cannot live with you as well.

No, this is not a philosophical “trick” void of any meaning.

This is life. As it is.

Without any “majority filters” applied…

Autism as a privilege. Not a disease!

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Could drama workshops help children with autism-spectrum disorders? Results from a pilot study called Imagining Autism suggests this might be the case.
The research involved 22 children aged between 7 and 12 and consisted of one 45-minute session every week for 10 weeks. During this time, groups of four children entered an enclosed themed environment, such as a forest or outer space. These environments were designed to engage all senses simultaneously, using lights, sounds, puppetry and interactive digital elements.

Trained performers used improvisation techniques to encourage the children to engage creatively with the environment and each other, both physically and verbally. The hope was that the sessions would help develop the children’s communication, social interaction, and imagination skills – the “triad of impairments” seen in autism. (1)

Autism most of the times is related to excessive communication and creativity!
Autism most of the times is related to hypersensitivity to sensory input. (23456789)
Autistic children may have problem distinguishing fantasy from reality. (1011)

So?
So what?

What makes us so high and mighty to name all these symptoms “DISEASE”?

We have lost the connection with our self.
We have lost the connection with the world around us.
We have lost the ability to be creative.
We have lost the right to have fantasy like children only can.
We have become alone and cold.

And we treat everyone different as “sick”!

We have named white black.
And black white.
But white is white.
And we must not be afraid to look at it.

WE need to be in the forest again.
WE need to feel again.
NOT the children with autism.

WE need to be human again.

These children are happy in their world.
And we try to make them unhappy by bringing them into ours. [Valia]

Let’s stop trying.
Let’s just love.

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