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Which came first: the Asperger's or the egg?

 
 
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 07:24 pm
I want to be clear -- the Asperger's I'm talking about here is the self diagnosed kind that I see everywhere from people who are social awkward but do well in school, not the kind characterized by pervasive developmental delays.

And by egg I mean what Soz has called "the death of the daytime neighborhood" where everyone is so fearful that they don't let their kids out to play, and the focus on academics in school.

I was listening to something today (a speech about homework) and something kind of clicked. In the speech the person was discussing how kids don't get much down time anymore, and how when they do we don't trust them to use their time well. The speaker asserted that this is having an effect on kid's social skills.

Most of the kids I know are being carted around for "enrichment" activities or they're being locked away from the boogie man. School is one of the few places they get to socialize and the "rigor" of school no longer allows much of that. They get home and do hours of schoolwork so they don't get a lot of time to just chill out and socialize with their friends. They acquire Facebook friends instead of real friends.

Do you think that fear of the world and turning kids loose in it, and the rigor of academics is having an effect on kid's ability to socialize? Are we creating a generation of "Aspies"?

I think we might be.

What do you think?

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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 3,260 • Replies: 48

 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 04:05 am
Although I'm not all that knowledgeable about what kids do, I agree with you, Boomer. Social skills are declining. Conversation is declining. Kids being kids seems to be disappearing. Sigh.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 06:26 am
@Roberta,
They do seem to be disappearing!

There's a high school kid who brings his dog to the dog park about the same time I do. He's the coolest kid. He can carry on a conversation with anyone, about anything, and he holds his own. I've never seen him pull out his cell phone.

His mom was out with the dog the other day and all the park regulars were telling her how much we liked her kid and she said he's just always been very socially confident and able to integrate himself into various situations.

Comparing him to other kids I know, and come across really highlights how unskilled a lot of kids are.

A lot of adults seem to be caught in the cell phone bubble too. It's kind of like the old pull-out-a-book-on-the-plane gambit to keep from having to chat with your seatmate, only everywhere.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 07:05 am
@boomerang,
Sorry but I take umbrage (not personal) with the usage of Aspergers for individuals who aren't actually afflicted with the actual disease. There's no such thing as a part time Aspergers patient that being someone whose allegedly socially awkward at home and yet miraculously and perfectly normal at school and elsewhere.

Quote:
They acquire Facebook friends instead of real friends.

I think this is truly a misunderstanding of the obvious social evolution of this next generation(s). You seemingly forget that in past generations, many people have and possibly still hold different level of friendships throughout their lives. Many young people make and lose friends at the drop of a hat. Sometimes its dramatic and other times its not. In many cases Facebook friends are those same shallow "oh you ride the same bus as I do" friendships that come and expire fleetingly in the past generations when the friendship is no longer deemed necessary or too much work to uphold.

No. I don't think we're becoming a nation of "[a]spies." I believe that this generation is adapting to the cheap and easily accessible high tech revolution. That even if the child doesn't have access to a Facebook page or a cell phone, that he or she is still aware and ready/capable to adapt to his/her generation's social preference du jour. Whether this trend is a good or bad thing overall for this generation, its far too soon to tell.

If many people with ACTUAL Asperger's disease can adapt and thrive in mainstream society: get an education, hold a job, get married and have kids, etc... then I believe these so part-time "[a]spies" who already are socially advantaged during the school day and during these "'enrichment' activities" will do fine.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 07:15 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

A lot of adults seem to be caught in the cell phone bubble too. It's kind of like the old pull-out-a-book-on-the-plane gambit to keep from having to chat with your seatmate, only everywhere.

Sorry but this is clearly a case of self projection of ones beliefs, motives, and sociability, and social EXPECTATIONS onto others. As a whole, its merely looking at a few cases (anecdotal evidence) and conveniently forgetting similar trends in the past. Not everyone was approachable or strong as conversationalists prior to the existence of cell phones. I think the existence of cell phones, ebook readers, tablets, etc... is now highlighting (rather then exasperating/making worse) the normal/regular antisocial tendencies of most people when it comes to social interactions with complete strangers that happen to share public space coincidentally at that same time.

Quote:
Comparing him to other kids I know, and come across really highlights how unskilled a lot of kids are.

And I'm sure the same can be said (for the most part) of the ratio of kids back in last generation , the generation before, and so on. We're not necessarily heading into some great terrifying social interaction (lack thereof) based dystopia.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 08:02 am
@tsarstepan,
I tried to make it clear that I was talking about self diagnosed Asperger's.

Google "I think I have aspergers" (5,680,000)
"I think my child has aspergers" (1,260,000)
"I think my son has aspergers"(760,000)
"I think my daughter has aspergers" (2,000,000)

They say essentially the same thing -- bad social skills, good grades.

And I'm not talking about levels of friendship, I'm talking about the ability to interact with actual, physical people who are in the same room.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 08:05 am
@tsarstepan,
I never suggested that we were falling into some terrifying dystopia.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  6  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 08:41 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Sorry but I take umbrage (not personal) with the usage of Aspergers for individuals who aren't actually afflicted with the actual disease.


You and me both, my son is autistic. It's a medical condition and has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not I allow him out in the streets.

And, he is very sociable.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 08:58 am
@boomerang,
Those folks (poor social skills, good grades) have always existed.

And it's not aspergers. It's just that they're bombarded all of the time with medical terms; everyone today is self-diagnosing for all kinds of stuff. Depression, erectile disfunction, aspergers, etc.

And the whole "kids are too protected today" claim is not really the case, either. It's not like we're suddenly a nation bubble boys.


(We might, however, be becoming a nation of hypochondriacs.)
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 08:59 am
@DrewDad,
It not being asperger's is exactly what I'm saying.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:00 am
@boomerang,
I was addressing why they're googling it.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:02 am
This looks like an interesting radio show about the topic. I haven't listen to it yet but from the description it's relevant...

Quote:
Canadians face a conundrum. Lots of people are unemployed and yet a labour shortage looms. And the upcoming workers - the Gen Ys aren't impressing the bosses. Coddled, courted, entitled and without boundaries, employers complain they lack basic social skills. And the fear is that One generations' awkwardness will affect an entire nation's economy.

(From part one)

But even with the worker shortage, skilled candidates aren't always getting hired. As they say in Human Resources, they fall short in interpersonal skills. In other words ... they're inept with other humans. And alarmingly, it's educated young people who are unable to handle the small talk.

Todd Hirsch, for one, says we need to invest in the development of people skills or risk the future productivity of the entire Canadian economy.

(From part two)

We started this segment with a clip from Alanna Himlet, who runs the Charm School at the student activities office for MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For the past 19 years, the one-day course has aimed to give awkward geniuses lessons on how to be ... well, less awkward. But economists here in Canada say it's not geniuses who are suffering from social awkwardness. It's a whole new generation of young workers often dubbed Generation Y.


http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2012/03/13/the-decline-of-people-skills-workforce-shortage/
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:04 am
@DrewDad,
Yes, I get that. Everyone is thinking lack of social skills is asperger's and that isn't what it is. I'm trying to figure out why there seems to be an epidemic of poor social skills.

I know it isn't anything new, but it seems to be a growing problem.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:05 am
@boomerang,
It's only a problem as long as the older generations emphasize people skills above technical skills....

Wink
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:06 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Which came first: the Asperger's or the egg?

On a related note, I now have to stop feeding my kids eggs, for fear they will develop Asperger's.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:08 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

(We might, however, be becoming a nation of hypochondriacs.)

Or worse, sentimental hypochondriacs. Yeah, it's natural to worry and obsess about the next generation. It's not scientific or correct to predict large trends based on sentimentality and mere anecdotal evidence.

Let's remember that everything and everyone was healthier, happier, better prepared, etc... in the past like our generation conveniently was.... (((sigh))) Rolling Eyes Sorry. I can't even type that with a straight face.... Neutral
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:09 am
@boomerang,
I then am a bad parent - my kids have run rampant this summer. Except for one week of basketball camp for my older daughter and two weeks of local rec camp for my younger daughter, they had no structure.

We moved to a neighborhood that reminds me of when I was a kid. The previous owners had never locked their doors - there is only one key to give us. The kids run outside and knock on the door to visit friends. They take off on their bikes, they play hide and seek at night in the dark. They had a lemonade stand.

They are so much happier here. The can just play. There are some kids in the neighborhood that I don't see so much and they rarely go out. I feel bad for them.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:09 am
@DrewDad,
I think if we change "people skills" to "diplomacy" or "bedside manner" we might get an indication of where it could become a problem.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:10 am
@boomerang,
The Current is generally a pretty terrific radio program. I recommend listening to the streaming program or podcast whenever you can. Ana Maria Tremonti is a solid solid host and interviewer.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  4  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 09:11 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
It's not scientific or correct to predict large trends based on sentimentality and mere anecdotal evidence.


good thing that there's quite a bit of research being done in this area
0 Replies
 
 

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