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Due to my autism, it is often nearly impossible for me to find things that I need, even if I'm right next to it and/or someone is pointing right at it. Because of this, normally I have to have my mom find in two seconds something that would've taken me weeks to find.

Today, for the first time ever, the situation was reversed - Mom kept looking through my closet trying to find a pair of jeans for me to wear, and couldn't find one, and so she eventually gave up. But then, as it turns out, it was in plain sight and I found it after looking in only two places!

I doubt this means I've gotten any smarter, though, especially considering my driving skills today. If past experience continues to hold true, this will only result in me doing something really stupid tomorrow or later today. It's like the second law of thermodynamics - a decrease of entropy in one system is only possible with a greater increase of entropy in another. (And, for the record, the fact that I'm smart enough with science to know about that DOES NOT necessarily mean that I'm smart enough to drive or find stuff. Capiche?)

Comments

( 18 pigeons used the Internet — You're quite honest, aren't you? )
glowing_dragon
Jun. 4th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Psst... this entry is actually public as of 5:35 PM PST. ;)
matt1993
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
That's my point exactly and/or because I was in a hurry to finish the post since I needed to leave right after it. :S

Might as well leave it public now, though...
glowing_dragon
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
Mmm, I guess so. Good for you that you found the jeans, though!
matt1993
Jun. 4th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
Thanks!
glowing_dragon
Jun. 4th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
kandigurl
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
I have the same problem. Since I've had to live on my own, I've also had to figure out how to look for things I can't find, and trace back steps, and learn when to give up looking and accept and be okay with the fact that I may, in fact, never find the thing. (Usually when I do this I find the thing five minutes later somewhere that I wasn't looking for it.)

I don't think it's any mark of a lack of intelligence. For me, I think it's that my brain expects the thing to be somewhere specific, and it has a hard time rejecting that image so that I can look in places where it might not expect the thing to be. However, that's not always easy and I sometimes overlook the thing even when I'm looking right at it.

My dad used to say, "If it was a snake, it would have bitten you." I also started trying to look a little harder, or check and double-check, especially if I think I'm sure I can't find it, before I go ask someone else because I've gotten tired of feeling like I'm looking in every possible place only to have someone else go straight to where I was looking and find it. It does still happen, though.
matt1993
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
I have the same problem. Since I've had to live on my own, I've also had to figure out how to look for things I can't find, and trace back steps, and learn when to give up looking and accept and be okay with the fact that I may, in fact, never find the thing. (Usually when I do this I find the thing five minutes later somewhere that I wasn't looking for it.)

It's almost funny how sometimes you can only find things if you're looking for something completely different. You're lucky you can find the item five minutes later, though - I usually don't find it until a week or a month later.

I don't think it's any mark of a lack of intelligence. For me, I think it's that my brain expects the thing to be somewhere specific, and it has a hard time rejecting that image so that I can look in places where it might not expect the thing to be. However, that's not always easy and I sometimes overlook the thing even when I'm looking right at it.

I do something similar myself - if I don't know exactly what the item I'm looking for looks like, I can never find it. This doesn't apply so much for finding particular clothes in my closet, but it does apply to if, say, Mom points outside at some animal she wants me to see that's in front of a particular tree - obviously, even though I know what trees look like, I have a hard time finding which tree she's pointing at. Even if she says that it's the tree by, say, the swimming pool, that still doesn't help because to me, more than one tree counts as being "by" the swimming pool.

My dad used to say, "If it was a snake, it would have bitten you."

My mom says that too (which is probably why I always feel stupid when I can't find things).

I also started trying to look a little harder, or check and double-check, especially if I think I'm sure I can't find it, before I go ask someone else because I've gotten tired of feeling like I'm looking in every possible place only to have someone else go straight to where I was looking and find it. It does still happen, though.

I feel that, in the long run, it's much better to have someone "smarter" find the item than to keep trying to find it myself, because except for in the case I posted about, it saves me a LOT of time.
eccentricrabbit
Jun. 4th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
I don't think doing stupid things (as you put it) is anything to do with intelligence to be honest. You seem to be a lot more intelligent than I am, and I do stupid things every day too. (Honest, I have terrible concentration, probably due to my depression and anxiety apparently.) People are constantly looking at me like "what the heck Chrissy, how did you not see that door you just walked into?" Or.. Mum gets really frustrated cos I can't find my bag when it's hanging where it always hangs on the cupboard door! o_O Everyone is 'smart' in different areas! You excel in science, and I excel in animal things for example. :-D I'm pleased you found your jeans though!! Go you!! :-D
matt1993
Jun. 4th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
You seem to be a lot more intelligent than I am, and I do stupid things every day too.

<sarcasm>pathvain_aelien, why did you hack into eccentricrabbit's LJ?</sarcasm>

Seriously though, I know other people do stupid things every day as well. I just find it hard to believe that I'm still smarter than them, because it still seems to me like I do more stupid things than them.

(Honest, I have terrible concentration, probably due to my depression and anxiety apparently.)

I also have terrible concentration (in fact, earlier today, I tried measuring my attention span - it's only about 16 seconds!), but mine is due to my random associations and "creative tumors".

Everyone is 'smart' in different areas! You excel in science, and I excel in animal things for example. :-D

I know, but it seems to me that I'm smart in fewer areas than most people. Let's compare me to say, pathvain_aelien, for example:

I excel in: most areas of math (believe it or not, there's still at least one type of math that I don't know!), computer stuff (except using printers and setting up Internet connections), about half of the fields of science, most Mario games, a few other video games, being politically neutral. That's slightly less than 5½ things.

P_A excels in: knowing the filmographies of almost all of the actors in every movie and TV show she's ever watched (which apparently is an even greater achievement than I thought, since Firefox doesn't even recognize "filmographies" as a word :P ), driving, cooking, writing, Zelda games, buying gifts for people, noticing when she should say "thank you", paying attention, Harry Potter trivia, Lord of the Rings trivia, X-Files trivia, Buffy trivia, having creativity, organizing, and probably even more things that I couldn't think of off the top of my head. That's at least 14 things.

True, the fact that I'm good at fewer things allows me to be especially good at them, but sometimes that's not such a good thing either - just earlier today, Mom didn't believe me when I said that I didn't have the mental capacity to clean my room and my closet. Apparently, the fact that I'm so good with computers implies that I can stay organized easily. Using that logic, everyone who lived before the ENIAC was built had extremely messy rooms.

I'm pleased you found your jeans though!! Go you!! :-D

Thanks! That was actually going to be the original point of this post, but somehow I ended up getting depressed in the middle of writing it :P
eccentricrabbit
Jun. 4th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Well.. From reading everything you & P_A are good at... I feel very average!

I'm good with animals, and reading, and ocassionally (but not always, depending on how well I can concentrate) writing. I'm terrible at math & science even though science fascinates me.. I'm alright at dealing with clients at work, generally I can say the right thing and keep them happy. But I think that's only because we're talking about their animals and that is something I'm comfortable with.

I'm terrible in any other social interaction, I get anxious and muddle up my words. Although, my self esteem is pretty low so that also doesn't help me in social situations, I get very self conscious and I begin thinking more and more that I'm ugly, and awkward and people know that and that they pity me and that's why I was invited. The more I think that, the more I freak out and I end up having to leave!

I think when you say you do 'stupid things' it sounds like you're insulting yourself, and that isn't good. We do all make mistakes, and while you think you make more in a day I'm sure if you and I compared mistakes in a day we would have a similar amount! And you know what? While I find it hard to believe myself, and it's not until years later when I look back... The 'stupid things' or 'mistakes' we make, however small or big... They actually teach us something. :) Right now though, with the recent mistakes I've made I can see no positive out of them. :-\ Hopefully one day I will though...
matt1993
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
And you know what? While I find it hard to believe myself, and it's not until years later when I look back... The 'stupid things' or 'mistakes' we make, however small or big... They actually teach us something. :) Right now though, with the recent mistakes I've made I can see no positive out of them. :-\ Hopefully one day I will though...

Oh I've learned from my mistakes too, but to me, it's always painful to look back at my mistakes regardless of whether or not I've learned anything from them. In fact, in a way, it's actually more painful to look back at the ones I've learned from, because those are generally longer ago, and thus, generally worse. Plus, I usually find that I make the worst mistakes whenever I'm optimistic (except with driving - I make the same mistakes no matter what due to my 16-second attention span). But then again, someone in autism felt the same way at 15 but no longer did at 22, so there's hope :)
eccentricrabbit
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
I have my fingers crossed. Age really does seem to make a difference in a lot of areas. My brother has come a very long way in a short space of time. He couldn't tie his laces until last year, or do anything alone. He can catch the bus now, tie his laces, and even make plans to visit friends without our help! He's always going to have autism of course, but he has come so far from the uncommunicative 4 year old I remember! (He didn't speak until he was 5.) Things change every day. :)
matt1993
Jun. 4th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, he sure is lucky! I've never been that lucky - whenever I overcome one of my problems, it's always so gradually that I don't even notice. Whenever someone asks me how I overcame a problem I used to have, my response is usually , "I don't really remember. It just happened somehow."

There's hope though - I've recently been better about not procrastinating my various projects, which seem to be about the only thing holding me back by being stuck in my brain like "creative tumors" and distracting me EVERY 16 SECONDS. I still have to work really hard if I wanna be creative-tumor-free before college, though...
sarea_okelani
Jun. 5th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
That is really awesome re: the jeans, that must've felt good. :D

It's very interesting to hear how it goes for you in the day to day, because I think there is a general lack of understanding -- I mean, online, if you hadn't said you were autistic, I never would have guessed. So thank you for sharing!
matt1993
Jun. 5th, 2011 05:08 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

And thanks, because it feels even more awesome whenever it turns out that I'm so high-functioning that someone doesn't even know I'm autistic until I tell them! So far, this has only occurred twice: at the Johnson Space Center summer camp (part of NASA's High School Aerospace Scholars program) with my teacher, and right now with you. (And even then, since we only know each other online, you can't see my stimming and lack of eye contact and stuff, so it's really only 1½ times.)
(Deleted comment)
matt1993
Jun. 6th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Ya know Autistic people tend to look at details.. I think thats how you found it so quick!

True, but rarely the right details. Normally, I'm worse at finding things than anyone else is - this is just a very rare case of the opposite happening.
(Deleted comment)
matt1993
Jun. 7th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
Which one? Being able to find things easily, or not being able to find things easily?
(Deleted comment)
matt1993
Jun. 10th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
Lucky her ;)
( 18 pigeons used the Internet — You're quite honest, aren't you? )

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