Medication makes everyone’s life easier

 

A friend of mine made an interesting point: Why should people want us to be medicated for who we are, including if we have difficulty picking up on social cues and others’ feelings?

Her point seems to be: Why should we accommodate people who won’t accept us for who we are – and presumably for how we behave while in ignorance of said cues and feelings?

Well, some things that Aspies do, while not understanding cues and feelings, hurt others. We insult people. We put people between a rock and a hard place by forcing them to express negative things, such as a lack of desire for a date, bluntly. That makes it hard for us to make and keep friends, good jobs, accommodating roommates, and particularly romantic relationships.

We even make it more difficult for people to distinguish actual criminals, in that we sometimes act the same ways that criminals act, such as by peering into people’s windows, staring at and even following people (especially women) and pushing people’s (implicit) boundaries. That means, among other things, that people may call the cops on us. Or even play vigilante and give us a beating…or worse.

Now, some of those real criminals are mighty grateful for the service some of us are providing them. So, they’re happy to accept us for what we are. They’d love us to remain oblivious to people’s thoughts and intentions – especially theirs as they gear up to beat, rob, kidnap, rape and even murder us. The last thing a thug wants is for people to jam his easy-victim sensors or detect and pre-empt his game.

If AS and autism spectrum conditions, in general, are disabilities, for which we can ask for accommodations – and I think they are – don’t we owe it to both ourselves and society to pursue reasonable efforts to alleviate them?

What do you think?

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Jeffrey Deutsch
I have Asperger Syndrome (AS) and give inspirational talks, consult with organizations and train people on how to recognize and work well with people on the spectrum and coach individuals on and off the spectrum.
Jeffrey Deutsch

Jeffrey Deutsch

I have Asperger Syndrome (AS) and give inspirational talks, consult with organizations and train people on how to recognize and work well with people on the spectrum and coach individuals on and off the spectrum.

6 thoughts on “Medication makes everyone’s life easier

  • April 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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    @keystspf@xanga – good points!

    Here’s a sad case in which at least one of the parents didn’t teach the son that no means no, not even when his target got a restraining order!  http://carolinecrane.wordpress.com/  Behold her bare;y caring how the target felt even while demanding that everyone else should have cared very much how her son felt.

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  • September 4, 2010 at 10:43 am
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    “If people cannot accept you for who you are, then why accomodate them and why make them feel comfortable?”

    Why accommodate other people and not make them feel uncomfortable?  Because of this: 

    “…Well, some things that Aspies do, while not understanding cues and feelings, hurt others. We insult people. We put people between a rock and a hard place by forcing them to express negative things, such as a lack of desire for a date, bluntly. That makes it hard for us to make and keep friends, good jobs, accommodating roommates, and particularly romantic relationships.

    “We even make it more difficult for people to distinguish actual criminals, in that we sometimes act the same ways that criminals act, such as by peering into people’s windows, staring at and even following people (especially women) and pushing people’s (implicit) boundaries. That means, among other things, that people may call the cops on us. Or even play vigilante and give us a beating…or worse.

    “Now, some of those real criminals are mighty grateful for the service some of us are providing them. So, they’re happy to accept us for what we are. They’d love us to remain oblivious of people’s thoughts and intentions – especially theirs as they gear up to beat, rob, kidnap, rape and even murder us. The last thing a thug wants is for people to jam his easy-victim sensors or detect and pre-empt his game.”

    Maybe you’re cool with hurting other people and putting them in the “if I don’t accept this behavior I might discriminate against the disabled and if I do accept this behavior I might make myself more vulnerable to a non-disabled attacker” (after all, how is the stranger you’re following on the subway supposed to know you have an ASD? are you going to demand that NTs have ESP and read your mind at the same time you demand that they accept your inability to understand all but the bluntest social cues?), but Dr. Jeffrey Deutsch knows better and says it very well.  Bravissimo, Dr. Dautsch!  😀

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  • June 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm
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    Another thing: Educating an Aspie on some of their more “dangerous” tendencies is highly effective. Once I understood that someone might misunderstand me putting things in my pocket (my motive was to free my hands) at a store could be seen as an attempt at shoplifting, I stopped doing it. Has someone had to remind me every now and then? Yep. Usually simply explaining to an Aspie that a certain behavior could be mistaken for something criminal is enough to discourage them from doing it. Parents want so badly to protect their Aspie children from the reality of the world that many of these kids have no clue what might be considered suspicious behavior and are therefore unable to recognize it themselves. They see a man or woman behaving as they do and it only reinforces their own behavior as acceptable… unless someone explains to us that it is questionable behavior, WE DON’T KNOW IT, not to stop doing it, and not to recognize it ourselves either.

    So, rather than medicate, it would be MUCH better to EDUCATE.

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  • June 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm
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    The only meds that might possibly help an Aspie are sleep aids sometimes and anti-anxiety meds for extreme cases. Meds are not going to make an Aspie’s brain work like an NT brain. They’re not going to make me any less literal. They’re not going to make me able to come up with the lame excuses for why not when the only real reason is simply, “I don’t want to.” Meds won’t make me understand why people don’t say what they mean and mean what they say. Meds won’t make me stop wishing they would (unless, of course, they dulled my mind to the point where nothing mattered anyway) or understand what it is they really mean if it isn’t what they literally said.

    Not all Aspies have the propensity for invading people’s personal space. Some of us actually actively avoid it. I doubt very seriously that any medication would fix that particular complaint anyway.

    Meds might make me stop stimming… but at what cost? With what side-effects? Stimming is harmless to me. Meds are rarely harmless. Rocking or letting my hand shake isn’t going to HURT me or anyone else, no matter how much it might annoy them. Meds interfere with EVERY part of a person’s body, is the benefit greater than the risk? Absolutely not. Especially if the only reason is to make “you” more comfortable with me. I’m sorry, but “your” comfort is not nearly as important as my health and well-being. Thank you.

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  • June 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm
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    I have a hard time with medication. I feel as though a lot of people with developmental disabilities are over medicated just in order to be able to relieve society of things they might do, or just blunty DO. I understand that sometimes if the person is prone to lashing out, and may hurt others physically, medication will be of help to them. but when it comes down to autism and aspergers, I often find that medication is not necessary. There are other options, and I do believe in what your friend has said. If people cannot accept you for who you are, then why accomodate them and why make them feel comfortable? Do you feel comfortable every day… do you have all the luxuries that other people have? I don’t know. I just feel as though if everyone was a little more accepting then these things wouldn’t matter that much.

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  • June 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm
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    I think this country is overly medicated. Yes, some people need medication, but a lot of things we medicate for should be dealt with by participating in therapy. I’m not really sure if this applies to autism, but one example I know of is depression. Antidepressants were originally made to give the a patient while they were in therapy until the underlying issue was dealt with. Then the person was supposed to come off the drugs. But drug companies push them on people, telling them they need it for life. It’s a sad process.

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