Aspergers: ‘price’ and ‘punishment’

People with Asperger’s syndrome (Aspies) process information a little differently than most other people.  Some of us (well, OK, ‘we the Aspies’) would say that we process information much more logically!

This is a gift – but is also is a curse:  very often, we will arrive at a completely logical (and rather obvious) conclusion which is not only obvious to ‘us’, but somehow completely inaccessible to ‘others’.  Perhaps this is due to their social programming – I do not know:  I’m still trying to figure out the unpredictable reactions of ‘neurotypicals’ (NTs).

Let me give an example which demonstrates this most clearly and understandably.

Please, consider the way we (as a society) ‘forbid’ things.

We have a list of behaviours which are socially forbidden: from horrible things like murder to little things like ‘talking in class’. Oh, we do not treat each transgression equally (though SOME Aspies thing that might have made more sense) – our society considers some much more serious than others.  Yet, the fact remains, these various behaviours are all ‘forbidden’.

Aspies can deal with that:  IF, that is, we are given a very accurate explanation as to which behaviours are forbidden (often, explaining ‘why’ will help us figure out ‘what’ these prohibited behaviours are), and IF we are willing to accept the prohibition (which is most of the time), we WILL  respect it absolutely.

KNOWING that respecting the prohibition is part of the social contract we have with our fellow humans is enough.

However, our society does NOT stop at the prohibition itself!  Perhaps this is some misguided attempt at ‘labeling’ different ‘seriousness’ of transgressions, but the fact remains:  our society ascribes very specific ‘punishments’ to particular transgressions.

Of course, once a ‘punishment’ is assigned to a specific ‘transgression’, it removes that ‘transgression’ from the list of ‘forbidden’ behaviours:  it has become a ‘permitted behaviour with a price’!

I am not sure if I am doing a good job of explaining this to non-Aspies.  I have a hard time putting myself into their position with regard to this and seeing it the way I (and many, many Aspies do).  Perhaps an example would be useful:

This is a true story:  starring none other than my husband!

When my husband was in grade 7, he had a Math teacher who had a rule:  if you got caught talking in class, you had to ‘write lines’ (a full page of:  ‘I will not talk during class.’).

Of course, this made ‘not talking in class’ a thing which was not forbidden – rather, it was a thing which was ‘purchased’ with a page of ‘lines’.  And, liking to talk in class, he knew he would have to pay the price for it at one point or another.  Therefore, being the intelligent and foresightful person that he is, he would not indulge in an ‘expensive’ behaviour without having the ‘means to pay for it’, so to speak…

Thus, when the teacher ‘caught him’ talking in class and ordered him to write a page of ‘lines’, my husband (well, he was not my husband then, he was in grade 7 – but, you know what I mean) pulled a page of ‘lines’ from his knapsack and handed it over to the teacher!

For some weird reason, many teachers think this type of a thing is a ‘provocation’ of some type:  the reason for this escapes me (after all, the price was pre-set by the teacher), but I have come to understand that many NTs think that many very straigt-forward and logical reactions are somehow ‘provocations’.  Perhaps it is that they do not like to be reminded of the fact that they skipped a logical step along the way…

Whatever the reason, the teacher said something to the effects:  ‘Ah, so you think you are so clever, having your ‘lines’ all pre-done!  Well, in this instance, the punishment is TWO pages of ‘lines’!’

To which my husband responded – logically, I think – by producing a second sheet of ‘lines’ and handing them in  to the teacher!

THAT seemed to end things…

Again, I am not sure if I am explaining things in an ‘understandable’ way:  what I am trying to say is that, once an action has a specifically defined punishment associated with it, it is not really forbidden any longer:  to the contrary!  It is permitted, provided YOU are WILLING to PAY the pre-efined PRICE!

Therefore, it is not ‘advisable’ to have a ‘specific’ penalty assigned to a ‘misbehaviour’, when it comes to Aspies!

Now, I DO understand that for most NTs, knowing the ‘punishment’ is a part of the whole ‘consequences of actions’ bit – and therefore, it is a ‘good’ thing to define the exact punishment for various ‘forbidden’ behaviours.  Yet, I ALSO expect NTs to take a look at the logical conclusion:  once you put a ‘price’ on something, it is no longer ‘prohibited’, just ‘expensive’…

The moral of this post…

If something is ‘prohibited’, keep it ‘prohibited’ and do NOT make it merely ‘expensive’ by putting a ‘price’ on it!!!

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29 Responses to “Aspergers: ‘price’ and ‘punishment’”

  1. The LS from SK Says:

    Lovely story X.

    Looking back, I guess my class had one or two of these people – the teachers really considered them troublemakers and nuisances.

    My Son suffered from ADD allegedly and some of his behavior was also considered disruptive but in the end, after much testing, it just turned out that he was bored.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Yup, that story is priceless! Of course, the reason the teacher found this to be a provocation is because the chore of sitting after class and writing the lines is supposed to be unpleasant. Your future husband avoided the unpleasantness while conforming to the letter of the law. This is seen as cheating even though, presumably, it was just as unpleasant to write the lines beforehand as it would have been afterwards. Still, it does make a person feel foolish when he sets out to force someone to do something, only to find that the other has already done it willingly. The threat is made to look silly.

    Of course, the teacher could easily have avoided the embarrassment by wording the threat more carefully. For example, “the penalty is to stay after class and write 100 lines,” not “the penalty is 100 lines.”

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    The LS from SK:

    Let me tell you a true story.

    I was sitting in the jacuzzi at my local recreation centre not long ago, when a group of teenage boys and girls piled in. As they chattered away, part of the conversation went something like this:

    Girl: “Oh, never mind him. He forgot his prescription.”

    Boy: “Prescription? What’s up with that?”

    Girl: “He’s got ADD.”

    Boy: “What’s ADD?”

    Girl: “It’s a made-up disease.”

    Boy: “What?”

    Girl: “Yeah, they made it up so they could punish boys for being boys.”

    This girl was maybe 13 years old. And truer words were never spoken.

    Xanthippa says:
    I SO want to agree with you – but I cannot. At least, not all the way! And, as is often the case, a half-truth is much worse than a full one – or something like that…

    Like so many ‘things’, ADD/ADHD (they ARE different) are very, very real conditions which present very specific difficulties for people. (And, yes, they are inappropriately named: they have nothing to do with ‘attention deficit’ – rather, they have a lot to do with the ability to control one’s attention consciously, at one’s will.) However, it is a ‘continuum’ – not a ‘on/off’ switch. Therefore, WHERE the line is ‘drawn’ is really important.

    Because so many ‘educators’ demand a docile classroom, this line is currently drawn in the wrong spot and MANY, MANY of the people diagnosed and medicated for ADD/ADHD really do suffer from ‘being boys’ and nothing else!

    This is very, very bad for those of us who actually HAVE ADD or ADHD. Why? Because it trivializes the condition, making it appear ‘made up’ when it is very, very real! It’s like lumping ‘common cold’ in with ‘pneumonia’ and telling the ‘pneumonia’ patients that they should stop complaining ’cause that cold’ll go away in a week’…and then berating them for being worse, not better a week later!

    As for the drugs: ADD is associated with a significant decrease in the neural connections between the cerebellum and the rest of the brain (yes, these are the bits of the central nervous system most often attacked by alpha-antibodies, and we all know what THAT means and why this is a ‘forbidden topic’). One of the best doctors I ever met has told me the definitive test for ADD: administer an amphetamine. IF the person gets high, that person does NOT have ADD. IF the person begins to function more efficiently – but does NOT get high – that person has ADD.

    Therefore, proper prescription of ADD medication to people who actually DO have ADD does NOT lead to drug abuse. Not even a little bit. It can’t -we are missing the bit of the brain that would get high on it! (At least, that is what the highly respected MD, who specializes in this, says!) Only inappropriate prescription – as is now often happening – CAN lead to drug abuse.

    So, I suppose I would agree that many boys are mis-diagnosed as having ADD, ‘for just being boys’ – but that does not mean that this very real, physically-testable condition ‘is made up’ or that it ought to be trivialized: by MD’s who mis-diagnose it, or by people who are attempting to criticize the practice of mis-diagnosis.

    • RadLeftist Says:

      Granted I do think I have ADHD(I just felt a little more different so I obsessed over the DSM-IV for many years). Everyone’s always asked me and I find that when I take uppers I do get “high” in a sense. But I’m calmer. It’s “high” because I feel confident if I try to focus on an activity or “show off”. And I do feel more energy in a sense, harder to fall asleep(but I actually get more antsy when I’m tired) and more focused but calmer, stiller, more able to focus. Even caffeine has this effect and I was never diagnosed as a child, but realized early in middle school I had ADHD because I would always need mountain dew or pepsi from the vending machine if I was going to focus in class. Now in college I take NoDoz and still haven’t gotten diagnosed but am going to see about an appointment. Still wouldn’t want to take them all the time, it makes me feel like a zombie.

      Any “different brain feeling” is going to be perceived as a high by the user if it produces effects the user finds pleasant.

      One thing though is that as soon as it starts wearing off I get really hyper. I enjoy the “hangover” of uppers a lot better than the actual come-up.

      I don’t really think of it as a disorder so much as everyone’s different and my mind-society interaction causes trouble paying attention at certain junctures. I love my brain and wouldn’t accept a cure if someone invented one.

      Xanthippa says:

      You are absolutely right about your brain!

      I agree with you: it IS who you are.

      However, there are times when medication is warranted and needed: just like a diabetic might need insulin. However, when it begins to alter who you are – you are using the wrong medication.

      I hope to help people build tools to be effective in our society just as they are: after all, Aspergers is a natural variation within the human species – and a dominant one at that, so we are going to see an ever-increasing percentage of Aspies in future generations. And, I hope to help educators teach Aspies effectively because they will be educating more and more of us each year!

  4. SUZANNE Says:

    I was amused by your post. But the solution is to then up the ante. If producing lines isn’t costly enough, then make it the price more “prohibitive”.

    Xanthippa says:
    Thanks for the comment, but…

    This misses my main point: once a very specific ‘punishment’ is linked to a particular behaviour, that behaviour is NO LONGER PROHIBITED: it simply means that you will have to be willing to pay that SPECIFIC price for it IF you wish to indulge in it.

    Let me explain it in another way: in our society, murder is NOT forbidden! As long as a person is willing to face a lifetime imprisonment (in Canada, we do not have the death sentence, but, if we did, then the sentence would go: IF one is willing to pay with their life), then 1st degree murder is a perfectly legitimate option!

    This is just the logical extension of the ‘cost/price’ of the ‘transgression’ being pre-defined!

    Instead of being ‘forbidden’, it is now a behaviour which is perfectly acceptable AND PERMITTED provided one is willing to pay the price for it.

    Thus, in a very real and logical way, it goes from the ‘realm of morality’ and moves into the ‘realm of shopping’…

  5. The LS from SK Says:

    Yup Codeslinger

    Girl: “Yeah, they” made it up so they could punish boys for being boys.”

    This girl was maybe 13 years old. And truer words were never spoken.”

    I, too believe that and they even have medication for it. I refused to let any Doctor intervene after I found out that the sad part is it is now part of an addicition cycle.

    Even worse, young people can be denied driver’s permits etc just for having such a diagnosis on file.

  6. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Of course you’re right when you say that ADD is “a very real, physically-testable condition” and even more right when you say that “many boys are mis-diagnosed as having ADD, ‘for just being boys.’” Still, you have to give the girl credit for seeing through the intent, even if they way she expressed it was a bit imprecise. And I think she can be forgiven for that small imprecision, since at least 99 of every 100 boys she sees who are diagnosed as having ADD are wrongly diagnosed; the truth is they just aren’t effeminate enough to suit their teachers. Seeing that truth is causing her (and many other young girls just like her) to reject the feminist dogma lying at the root of the injustice – and that, in my view, is a very good thing!

    Deplorably, using a politically-motivated misdiagnosis to crush the spirit of young boys is much more effective than making things up outright, because it is much more difficult to combat. You can’t accuse them of lying, only drawing the line in the wrong place, which is a much less serious accusation and much harder to prove because it is a matter of “professional” judgement, in which the “experts” have the edge in the eyes of the court and, sadly, also in the eyes of many parents.

    That’s why it was heartening to see that, even if the parents are taken in by the misplaced aura of authority surrounding this persecution, the kids (at least some of them) know exactly what’s being done to them, and why.

  7. CodeSlinger Says:

    The LS from SK:

    Good for you! You’re so right! The medication is almost always Ritalin and it has been described as “medicinal cocaine,” which is not too far off the mark. Ritalin is the brand name. The chemical name is methylphenidate, and it belongs to a class of substances called phenethylamines, which also includes such niceties as MDMA (ecstasy), amphetamine (speed), and methamphetamine (crystal meth). These are listed in order of increasing addictiveness and harmfulness; Ritalin goes between ecstasy and speed in this list. Cocaine is not in this group, but is quite closely related. Marijuana is also not in this group, and is not related at all. Thus Ritalin is far more likely than marijuana to lead to ecstasy, speed, crystal meth. and, ultimately, cocaine addiction. Yet marijuana is illegal and Ritalin is forced on schoolboys who are insufficiently docile.

    And therein lies the real evil of the whole sorry business. If a boy takes the bait and moves on to the more harmful drugs (as many do), the cultural Marxist apparatchiks of the school system will turn around and say, “see how bad he is: he turned into a drug addict, even after all our efforts to help him.”

    The resulting drug-related crime is then used by the state as a justification for more police, more gun laws, more welfare, more taxes, less freedom…

    The process of breaking a free people to the yoke of slavery begins in the schools.

    Xantippa says:
    Are you saying that these days, it is ‘Ritalin’ which is the opiate of the masses? ;0)

    Seriously, though – I DO agree with your assessment!

  8. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Actually, I think the secular Edenism created by the cultural Marxists is the new opiate of the masses, but that takes us a little too far from the topic of this post…

  9. A Says:

    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
    But if you can do the time….

    My guess is this is a case of NTs getting the general gist, and Aspies looking at the actual code.

    “(yes, these are the bits of the central nervous system most often attacked by alpha-antibodies, and we all know what THAT means and why this is a ‘forbidden topic’).”

    I don’t know what THAT means. Please tell me. Unless it really is forbidden topic, then I guess you can’t. But you did put forbidden in quote marks, so maybe you can!

    I recently read something about Joseph Biederman, ISTR some kind of corrupt ADD child psychiatrist, but I don’t know/remember the details.

    • xanthippa Says:

      ‘Alpha antibodies’ were first noticed in studies of anorexia: a statistical co-relation was found in girls with the most severe forms of anorexia, who exhibited the most extreme compulsive-obsessive traits. (This goes back to a series of unrelated articles published in ‘Scientific American’ and ‘Psychology Today’ magazines in the late 1980s – have not been able to find these ones online, sorry, or I would have linked them here.)

      What they did back then was to give the girls a full transfusion: taking their original blood out and replacing it all with other blood, which did not include alpha antibodies. This resulted in significant decrease of the obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

      It would appear that alpha antibodies attack their own body (as in, the person who produces them). But, they attack a very particular part of the body: the central nervous system. In the anorexic girls, they noted that the alpha antibodies specifically attacked the neural connections between the cerebellum and the rest of the brain. (Removing the blood containing the alpha antibodies reduced the symptoms, but only partially, as some permanent damage was irreversible.)

      And, decreased amount of neural connections between the cerebellum and the rest of the brain is something that has been observed in all kinds of people exhibiting OCD, not just ones who are alpha-antibody positive….

      The reason ‘alpha antibodies’ are treated as a ‘forbidden topic’ is because of vaccinations…

      Many people have long suspected various vaccines in making their kids sick. They have noted that prior to specific vaccines, their kids were fine, following them, they started to exhibit some strange behaviours: OCD, autism, Aspergers, and a host of other problems. The ‘medical community’ says this is a load of dingo’s kidneys…

      Various ingredients in all kinds of vaccines have been tested, and no link between these ingredients and any of these conditions has ever been conclusively found.

      However, there is evidence that ‘vaccine reactions’ are more common than is known about. I have – personally – been told by a physician in Ontario that the Ontario Medical Association (OMA – a professional organization which acts as union: an MD has to be a member in order to practice medicine in Ontario) will take away his membership if he reports more than 3 adverse vaccine reactions in one year…

      There is some evidence – but it is hard to access publicly – that SOME PEOPLE’s BODIES react to the very PROCESS of vaccination (not anything specific in the vaccine – but to the very process of introducing a weakened or dead pathogen in order to stimulate the immune system into action) by producing alpha antibodies… There are, actually, know demographics for who has a higher risk factor (and these USED TO be listed on the CDC site – but this was removed… I remember seeing it there, then wanting to make a hard copy for myself and going back, only to find that section completely missing….this was in the late 1990’s…).

      Anyhow, there was quite a bit written on this in the 1990’s – and then, all the info seems to have disappeared. I still have the hard copies of some of the magazines (buried deep in the bowels of my basement), so I know I am not imagining it or having false memories or anything like that.

      It just seems that the connection between vaccinations, alpha antibodies and their adverse effect on the central nervous system has become ‘forbidden topic’ – nobody seems to be publishing anything about it at all!

  10. A Says:

    Wait, is this anything like TNF-alpha? That is linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I have read a lot of stuff about similarities between CFS and autism. (Can post links if you want.)

    • xanthippa Says:

      I did not know that! CFS – I’ll need to investigate this….

      Give me a bit of time…spring ‘sports stuff’ for the kids is on now, and reduces my online time….but this is very, very interesting and would explain a lot!

      Thank you!
      P.S. – where did you read about it?

  11. A Says:

    Xanthippa – I posted loads of links, but they don’t seem to have shown up – I can repost?

    Xanthippa says:

    Of course!

    It might be easiest if you were to send the links explicitly (not as a link, but as the URL) in your comment – along with instructions to me where to insert them. I will be happy to do that: more info is always better, and I KNOW that the ‘comment’ function strips out a lot of the embeded links automatically.

    So, any links and info you have and would like to share would be MOST WELCOME!

    Thank you!

  12. A Says:

    I tried posting a second time, and it still didn’t show up.

    So I’ll try this; try googling for these keywords

    cosford autism ahmf

    great plains Kenny De Meirleir autism cfs mothers

    michael goldberg whale

    Whittemore Peterson Institute

  13. RadLeftist Says:

    I never understood (and I’m not sure if I have Aspergers or not. I used to scour the DSM-IV, Aspergers? Schizotypal? Bipolar? Hypomania? ??? Eventually I just decided trying to understand myself as a disorder was not a useful idea. I’m a radical left situationist and that’s all I need to know) why so many think of right and wrong in terms of consequences to themselves. All a “punishment” logically means is someone in power is able to exert force to threaten you if you do something they disapprove of. In fact I think of someone as being more moral if they’re willing to go out of their way to help people even if it means they will get hurt themselves.

    A much more sensible morality is based on simple, mutual respect. Take into account how your actions impact the quality of life of others. There, that easy. Of course it becomes more complicated if you dive into it. Taking into account quality of life doesn’t always mean not to offend people. Sometimes people are offended by things they shouldn’t be offended by and if they learn not to be offended they’ll have a fuller, richer life. In that case getting offended is for their own good.

    Xanthippa says:

    True – what you say makes sense. When dealing with equals/peers.

    My post was intended as a guide for dealing with Aspie kids.

    I don’t mean that we ought to be disrespectful to kids – to the contrary. I probably treat kids more as equals than any other adult than I know.

    However, parenting (or teaching) requires setting boundaries and enforcing them. That is essential, both for their own safety and to build the skills needed for self-control later on in life.

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