[Enneagram Type 4] 4s and the Autism Spectrum - Page 2

4s and the Autism Spectrum

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This is a discussion on 4s and the Autism Spectrum within the Type 4 Forum - The Individualist forums, part of the Heart Triad - Types 2,3,4 category; Originally Posted by Transcendence The reason is that 4s seek literature, music, poetry, fashion, anything that resonates with their emotions. ...

  1. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by Transcendence View Post
    The reason is that 4s seek literature, music, poetry, fashion, anything that resonates with their emotions. Things that help 4s connect with some deep emotion, that's what they seek and want. People with Aspergers don't do this. They don't seek this stuff. In fact, they shy away from it.
    I've never heard that people with Asperger's shy away from things that resonate with their emotions.

    Anyway, as someone diagnosed with Asperger's I wouldn't say I'm less emotional than other people. I've been a bit over-emotional, really.

    Now I haven't always been looking to express myself (especially through fashion), that's true.

    I do know another woman with Asperger's who is likely a 4 though.
    HellCat thanked this post.

  2. #12

    I am a latecomer to this thread, I found it while doing a web search and signed up so I could participate in it. Because I think it's important to understand that a diagnosis is not the same thing as a personality type.

    I am autistic. I am also as four as four can be. I have been everything from the unhealthiest four to the healthiest four and everything in between. It fits me like a glove. And for a long time, I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe that I was a 5w4. I wanted to be that stereotype, the autism stereotype of the dispassionate scientific person, but I never was that person. I just didn't want to be who I was, which I thought was profoundly defective, which I now know is classic unhealthy four thinking. I have come to embrace who I am, including as a four, and one of my strengths as a four is understanding who I am, and trying to help other people understand who they are.

    To look for famous autistic Fours you don't have to go further than Donna Williams. She is in many ways more Four than Four. And she is absolutely autistic.

    People when they think of autistic people who are likely to be on these forums, think of a stereotype they call aspie. The aspie stereottype is being less emotional, more scientific, more aloof, afraid of emotion, certainly not immersed in their emotions. But not even everyone with Asperger's meets that stereotype. And not all people with autism have Asperger's, for that matter, even if all aspies were that stereotype.

    Autism is a place of big opposites. For every type of autistic person, for every autistic trait they have, you will find another autistic person who has the exact opposite trait. What identifies us is not just the traits themselves taken singly. It's how they fit together. And it's the extremeness. We can have extremely hypersensitive senses, or we can have senses that are so shut off that it takes a blaring siren to make an impact. We can be awash in our own emotions, or we can be so cut off from our own emotions that we barely notice they exist. To make matters more confusing, we can switch back and forth between these different modes of existence depending on the situation.

    I would say that the classic aspie on the Enneagram would come out most often as a 5, a 6, or a 1. But that's just the classic stereotypical aspie. Not all autistic people are the classic stereotypical aspie. Not all autistic people are aspies at all. There's also autism and PDDNOS and CDD and Rett's, and that was before they combined it all into one big spectrum diagnosis in the DSM-V to avoid a lot of this confusion.

    I've known an aspie who was a classic nine, a peacemaker, he wanted everything to be harmonious all the time and he did his best to make it that way. He and I did the Enneagram together for the first time and that's when I found out I was a 4. Which I immediately recognized as the truth, but over the years went back and forth rejecting, because I was very unhealthy at the time and hated reading about what a screwup I was.

    Anyway, there is nothing about being a Four that clashes with my autistic traits. In fact, it meshes with my variant of autism very well. The best way to describe my variant of autism is to take the classic aspie stereotype and invert it completely. Rather than logical and cerebral, I am sensory and intuitive. Rather than underemotional, I am overly emotional and too wrapped up in my own emotions, sometimes it used to feel as if I was drowning in them. Rather than lacking in empathy, I am overly empathetic and get overwhelmed by the emotions of others, feeling them as if they are my own, which then can cause a shutdown and an appearance as if I am not processing the information, because there is simply too much of it. Rather than living in my head, I live in the world around me. Rather than understanding things intellectually, I understand them through my senses. Rather than having one rigid, stable set of abilities, I have a constantly shifting set of abilities. I never know from one day to the next what I will be capable of.

    Being autistic added to my Four's sense that I was alienated from the entire human race, that I was not even a real person. I used to dream of when my people would come and find me, although I had only the vaguest notions of what 'my people' would be. I took it to an extreme, I tried to live in a fantasy world. This didn't work out for me very well and I eventually abandoned it, but I was stubborn enough to stick it out for years, thinking maybe if I believed hard enough, it would all come true. I eventually had to concede that it never would come true, that I was a human being like everyone else, just a human being with a different brain wiring. I talk to autistic people every day who went on this same journey though. Autistic alienation, adolescent alienation, and Four alienation are a potent and dangerous combination.

    I've spent a lot of time learning about myself, and a lot of time learning about autism. Being diagnosed wasn't enough, I had to learn about it for myself before I could believe it, because 'autism' was just a word, and I've never understood the world through words. So I learned the stories of dozens, even hundreds, of autistic people, and I learned that I did in fact have a place within this spectrum. I am not the most common variant of autistic person but I am far from the rarest either. And a lot of autistic people make very good Fours, or very bad Fours as the case may be. (I've done both. I prefer making a good Four.)

    While a diagnosis can sometimes push a person's personality in a certain direction, it isn't everything. Certain kinds of autistic people are going to be more likely to be 5, 6, or 1, I think those may be the most common in some ways. But my kind of autistic person is very commonly a 4 or sometimes a 2 or a 9. And there are autistic people who are 3, 7, or 8 as well. Not everyone is the stereotype.

    I'm a very very strong 4, with a 5 wing, and pretty much no 3 to me at all. And I'm definitely autistic. And I can see plenty of clear connections between my form of autism and the fact that I'm a Four. In fact it seems so obvious to me, that it's hard to understand why anyone would be surprised by it. Maybe because there is that aspie stereotype out there, and people think that's all there is. But there's a lot more variation within the spectrum than most people are aware of. In order to really see the variation in the spectrum, you can't just be on the web forums. You have to know people in real life. You have to go to meetups, you have to meet people's children who aren't going to be typing things online yet (and some may never), you have to meet a really wide variety of autistic people before you can start making generalizations about our autistic traits or our personality types. And by a wide variety, I would say dozens, or hundreds. There are over 200 books by autistic people, there are even more writings online, and there are lot of groups where autistic people meet each other, or where parents of autistic children bring their children, and in all of those places you can find autistic people. And when you've read things by, or interacted with, or observed in any way, that many, then you can see our true variety as a spectrum, which is enormous.

  3. #13

    OK fellow fours. I worked as a spectrum outreach specialist for 2 years. During that time I researched a fair amount of autism, and have a lot of knowledge of what someone with autism thinks like as opposed to someone with out.

    Of course, its a spectrum, and we're all on the spectrum.

    It seems like y'all are not being objective enough. Not to discount your own feeling of being aspergers , but someone so emotionally in tune CAN NOT have aspergers because those with aspergers are NOT emotionally in tune.

    ALSO, aspergers tend to PERSEVERATE on MEANINGLESS subjects. NOT illusive meaning attached to objects or words, and the like.

    Just because you 'stim' doesnt mean you have aspergers. Also, social awkwardness comes from several places. Not just, aspergers. 4s are very self conscious, but that isnt the same as sociall awkward because you DONT arent self conscious ENOUGH.

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  5. #14

    Ok, here's an excerpt from webmd. FACTS. I bolded parts I feel will be most helpful.


    Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger's syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.
    Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.
    Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.
    Communication difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context and are very literal in their use of language.
    Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.
    Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger's syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward. ORR
    you could just be a clutz cuz your heads in the clouds or you care more about your mind than physical stuff
    Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

  6. #15

    Studies show that there’s a connection between Asperger’s and video game addiction in that those with Asperger’s may “find it easier to empathize and relate to computers than they do other people.”

    really think about it, I can say with assurance that all people are so very empathetic, EASILY feel others feelings. Whether they feel comfortable EXPRESSING them is a whole other story.

  7. #16

    Quote Originally Posted by EchoesofNowhere View Post
    I am a latecomer to this thread, I found it while doing a web search and signed up so I could participate in it. Because I think it's important to understand that a diagnosis is not the same thing as a personality type.

    I am autistic. I am also as four as four can be. I have been everything from the unhealthiest four to the healthiest four and everything in between. It fits me like a glove. And for a long time, I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe that I was a 5w4. I wanted to be that stereotype, the autism stereotype of the dispassionate scientific person, but I never was that person. I just didn't want to be who I was, which I thought was profoundly defective, which I now know is classic unhealthy four thinking. I have come to embrace who I am, including as a four, and one of my strengths as a four is understanding who I am, and trying to help other people understand who they are.

    To look for famous autistic Fours you don't have to go further than Donna Williams. She is in many ways more Four than Four. And she is absolutely autistic.

    People when they think of autistic people who are likely to be on these forums, think of a stereotype they call aspie. The aspie stereottype is being less emotional, more scientific, more aloof, afraid of emotion, certainly not immersed in their emotions. But not even everyone with Asperger's meets that stereotype. And not all people with autism have Asperger's, for that matter, even if all aspies were that stereotype.

    Autism is a place of big opposites. For every type of autistic person, for every autistic trait they have, you will find another autistic person who has the exact opposite trait. What identifies us is not just the traits themselves taken singly. It's how they fit together. And it's the extremeness. We can have extremely hypersensitive senses, or we can have senses that are so shut off that it takes a blaring siren to make an impact. We can be awash in our own emotions, or we can be so cut off from our own emotions that we barely notice they exist. To make matters more confusing, we can switch back and forth between these different modes of existence depending on the situation.

    I would say that the classic aspie on the Enneagram would come out most often as a 5, a 6, or a 1. But that's just the classic stereotypical aspie. Not all autistic people are the classic stereotypical aspie. Not all autistic people are aspies at all. There's also autism and PDDNOS and CDD and Rett's, and that was before they combined it all into one big spectrum diagnosis in the DSM-V to avoid a lot of this confusion.

    I've known an aspie who was a classic nine, a peacemaker, he wanted everything to be harmonious all the time and he did his best to make it that way. He and I did the Enneagram together for the first time and that's when I found out I was a 4. Which I immediately recognized as the truth, but over the years went back and forth rejecting, because I was very unhealthy at the time and hated reading about what a screwup I was.

    Anyway, there is nothing about being a Four that clashes with my autistic traits. In fact, it meshes with my variant of autism very well. The best way to describe my variant of autism is to take the classic aspie stereotype and invert it completely. Rather than logical and cerebral, I am sensory and intuitive. Rather than underemotional, I am overly emotional and too wrapped up in my own emotions, sometimes it used to feel as if I was drowning in them. Rather than lacking in empathy, I am overly empathetic and get overwhelmed by the emotions of others, feeling them as if they are my own, which then can cause a shutdown and an appearance as if I am not processing the information, because there is simply too much of it. Rather than living in my head, I live in the world around me. Rather than understanding things intellectually, I understand them through my senses. Rather than having one rigid, stable set of abilities, I have a constantly shifting set of abilities. I never know from one day to the next what I will be capable of.

    Being autistic added to my Four's sense that I was alienated from the entire human race, that I was not even a real person. I used to dream of when my people would come and find me, although I had only the vaguest notions of what 'my people' would be. I took it to an extreme, I tried to live in a fantasy world. This didn't work out for me very well and I eventually abandoned it, but I was stubborn enough to stick it out for years, thinking maybe if I believed hard enough, it would all come true. I eventually had to concede that it never would come true, that I was a human being like everyone else, just a human being with a different brain wiring. I talk to autistic people every day who went on this same journey though. Autistic alienation, adolescent alienation, and Four alienation are a potent and dangerous combination.

    I've spent a lot of time learning about myself, and a lot of time learning about autism. Being diagnosed wasn't enough, I had to learn about it for myself before I could believe it, because 'autism' was just a word, and I've never understood the world through words. So I learned the stories of dozens, even hundreds, of autistic people, and I learned that I did in fact have a place within this spectrum. I am not the most common variant of autistic person but I am far from the rarest either. And a lot of autistic people make very good Fours, or very bad Fours as the case may be. (I've done both. I prefer making a good Four.)

    While a diagnosis can sometimes push a person's personality in a certain direction, it isn't everything. Certain kinds of autistic people are going to be more likely to be 5, 6, or 1, I think those may be the most common in some ways. But my kind of autistic person is very commonly a 4 or sometimes a 2 or a 9. And there are autistic people who are 3, 7, or 8 as well. Not everyone is the stereotype.

    I'm a very very strong 4, with a 5 wing, and pretty much no 3 to me at all. And I'm definitely autistic. And I can see plenty of clear connections between my form of autism and the fact that I'm a Four. In fact it seems so obvious to me, that it's hard to understand why anyone would be surprised by it. Maybe because there is that aspie stereotype out there, and people think that's all there is. But there's a lot more variation within the spectrum than most people are aware of. In order to really see the variation in the spectrum, you can't just be on the web forums. You have to know people in real life. You have to go to meetups, you have to meet people's children who aren't going to be typing things online yet (and some may never), you have to meet a really wide variety of autistic people before you can start making generalizations about our autistic traits or our personality types. And by a wide variety, I would say dozens, or hundreds. There are over 200 books by autistic people, there are even more writings online, and there are lot of groups where autistic people meet each other, or where parents of autistic children bring their children, and in all of those places you can find autistic people. And when you've read things by, or interacted with, or observed in any way, that many, then you can see our true variety as a spectrum, which is enormous.
    Wow, that was really thorough and well written.

    Is it ok for me to ask, how the diagnosis of autism came about and how long ago?

  8. #17
    Type 4w3


    Quote Originally Posted by Transcendence View Post
    The reason is that 4s seek literature, music, poetry, fashion, anything that resonates with their emotions. Things that help 4s connect with some deep emotion, that's what they seek and want. People with Aspergers don't do this. They don't seek this stuff. In fact, they shy away from it.
    That's not true. People on the autistic spectrum have difficulties interpreting others' emotional cues and feeling empathy. This says nothing about how they feel about the arts. My closest aspie friend translates poetry, plays the flute, and writes deeply impassioned essays about international relations. Our conversations actually go deeper emotionally than my conversations go with most people -- it's just that they take a different route to get there and have a different feel to them.

    @LeoCat might have some interesting thoughts on this subject.

    Anyway, I definitely don't think a 4 on the autistic spectrum is unfeasible or even unlikely. They just won't be the stereotype of what autism looks like is all.
    Ace Face, Ace Face, Ace Face and 7 others thanked this post.

  9. #18
    Type 5w4

    Quote Originally Posted by chimeric View Post
    That's not true. People on the autistic spectrum have difficulties interpreting others' emotional cues and feeling empathy. This says nothing about how they feel about the arts. My closest aspie friend translates poetry, plays the flute, and writes deeply impassioned essays about international relations. Our conversations actually go deeper emotionally than my conversations go with most people -- it's just that they take a different route to get there and have a different feel to them.

    @LeoCat might have some interesting thoughts on this subject.

    Anyway, I definitely don't think a 4 on the autistic spectrum is unfeasible or even unlikely. They just won't be the stereotype of what autism looks like is all.
    Theory finds that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome don’t lack empathy – in fact if anything they empathize too much | seventhvoice
    Ace Face, Ace Face, Ace Face and 5 others thanked this post.

  10. #19
    Type 4w3


    The link I referenced uses a pretty specific definition of empathy. Did you look at it? It's not contrary to what you linked to.
    Ace Face, Ace Face, Ace Face and 5 others thanked this post.

  11. #20
    Type 5w4

    Quote Originally Posted by chimeric View Post
    The link I referenced uses a pretty specific definition of empathy. Did you look at it? It's not contrary to what you linked to.
    No not yet very busy I just thought you wanted to know the findings on it. So I dug out a bookmark.

    WOW.

    Um a lot is explained for me now. { In fact, in this kind of situation, the only person I’m thinking about is myself and how uncomfortable I am. There I go again, taking my own perspective. My distress at the situation might outwardly appear to be empathic but my internal reaction is a great big “MAKE IT STOP, NOW.”}

    I thought this "was" empathy. That was quite the revelation. Thank you. I am glad I stopped to read it.

    For me it was, 26 yrs ago I was dxed so its easy to say ahh.. they messed up and I have done everything in my power to study therapy books, psychology, theatre and more to appear more normal. But that was kind of "no.. you are not neurotypical. Heres why" I will say I get in a lot of trouble when I get frustrated with female hinting and say too strong for their taste "Are you hinting at something If so come out and say what you want." Then there is pouting and I don't know why.

    Thankyou @chimeric
    chimeric, chimeric, chimeric and 3 others thanked this post.


     
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