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  #1  
Old 04-11-12, 02:22 AM
zaremskya zaremskya is offline
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Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Lately I've been wondering whether or not I might fit on the Autism spectrum just a tad.

I've always had pretty vivid visual-spatial thinking abilities. I just assumed it was normal to think in "movie scenes" instead of words. Lately however, I've been thinking that maybe I ain't so neurotypical in that regard.

If I'm relaxed and laying down with no external stimuli (usually at night), I can pretty much conjure up anything that I've seen in my mind quite vividly. I can play back events like scenes in my head, going backwards and forwards. If I'm in that just-about-to-fall-asleep state of mind, these can reach almost a sub-hallucination level of detail and clarity. It can be kind of frightening at times actually.

I think this is why I have such extreme anxiety problems in my life...I'm able to imagine what can go wrong in great detail, much more so than most people. I can literally see the car careening off the road, the man in the alley with a knife, etc...

And of course, since I have ADD, this visual thinking is usually out of my control and totally random.

So...is this more of an Autism spectrum trait? I wouldn't be too surprised if it were. Also, I'm just curious about other people's visual thinking abilities. Are they anything like I described? I'm just hoping I'm not too abnormal...
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Old 04-11-12, 07:29 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

While I tend to benefit from a visual learning style, I tend to think in words and numbers and not in pictures. If I do think in pictures, it is two dimensional at a fixed point in time. I can't even begin to comprehend the idea of thinking in "movie scenes" aside from dreaming and the occasional day-dream about a potential future event playing out (still generally two dimensional and fixed in time).
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Old 04-11-12, 09:47 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

I think these things are possible as traits of who you are and what makes you unique, rather than just a derivative of a specific mental disorder that might express the trait you have.

Do you have any other reason to think you might be autistic?
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Old 04-11-12, 10:08 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

All of these things you mention seem like whats inside you and your mind and not connected to ASD or ADHD. Its cozy to think so but you would be just as creative even if you didint have adhd.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:13 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

There are a bunch of online asberger's quizes you can take. Like this one:
http://www.piepalace.ca/blog/asperger-test-aq-test/

These are not diagnostic tools, but should give an indication on whether you have significant symptoms.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:33 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
All of these things you mention seem like whats inside you and your mind and not connected to ASD or ADHD. Its cozy to think so but you would be just as creative even if you didint have adhd.
I do think that ADHD lends to some of our creativity, though I'm not talking about being artistic or musically inclined. Just out-of-box thinking.

Personality and mental ability is just another expression of one's unique brain design, and tangent creativity (as opposed to additive creativity) is something that is easier for people with ADHD.

How Stuff Works has a great article on Creativity and Genius.

Quote:
Like intelligence, creativity and imagination can be difficult to isolate, quantify or explain. Some researchers believe that creative people have less latent inhibition than other people. Latent inhibition is the unconscious ability to ignore unimportant stimuli. Researchers theorize that creative people either receive more stimuli from the world around them or ignore less of it. This may also explain why creative people seem to be more prone to mental illness. People who are both unable to filter stimuli and emotionally unstable are more prone to psychosis.

http://people.howstuffworks.com/genius5.htm
While most people's brains would allow them to ignore tangent thoughts so they can focus on the subject at hand, our ADHD brains are unable to suppress them --- giving rise to our many hair-brained ideas.

But if you train your mind to discern between the good and the bad tangents, then you can sometimes get ideas that are 'not as random', some of which you might benefit from implementing.
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Old 04-11-12, 10:45 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaremskya View Post
Lately I've been wondering whether or not I might fit on the Autism spectrum just a tad.

I've always had pretty vivid visual-spatial thinking abilities. I just assumed it was normal to think in "movie scenes" instead of words. Lately however, I've been thinking that maybe I ain't so neurotypical in that regard.

If I'm relaxed and laying down with no external stimuli (usually at night), I can pretty much conjure up anything that I've seen in my mind quite vividly. I can play back events like scenes in my head, going backwards and forwards. If I'm in that just-about-to-fall-asleep state of mind, these can reach almost a sub-hallucination level of detail and clarity. It can be kind of frightening at times actually.

I think this is why I have such extreme anxiety problems in my life...I'm able to imagine what can go wrong in great detail, much more so than most people. I can literally see the car careening off the road, the man in the alley with a knife, etc...

And of course, since I have ADD, this visual thinking is usually out of my control and totally random.

So...is this more of an Autism spectrum trait? I wouldn't be too surprised if it were. Also, I'm just curious about other people's visual thinking abilities. Are they anything like I described? I'm just hoping I'm not too abnormal...
I did a post and poll about this since im the same was wondering who else on here was.. and there was quite a few people who think like this on here
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Old 04-11-12, 11:09 AM
AshT AshT is offline
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
All of these things you mention seem like whats inside you and your mind and not connected to ASD or ADHD. Its cozy to think so but you would be just as creative even if you didint have adhd.
Could it be that if it were possible to measure creativity, those with ADHD and nonADHD would be the same.

However, because people with ADHD tend to daydream more and our thoughts drift far more...we spend more time thinking about really random things... so we spend more time in 'creative thought' than most others.

Sitting in lectures I seem to have the best ideas haha....but i'll come out having learnt nothing...boredom times seem the best for having really good ideas...for me anyway.

Or, for example the fact our brain generally works much faster. So a NT may have say 1 creative thought an hour but because our brains work say, 3x quicker, we get 3 of those thoughts an hour instead.

Faster thoughts + more time spent on them = more creative thought?
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Old 04-11-12, 11:52 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

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Originally Posted by KCTang View Post
I do think that ADHD lends to some of our creativity, though I'm not talking about being artistic or musically inclined. Just out-of-box thinking.
I think that ADHD contributes to creativity in two ways. The first, is better described as quick thinking than creativity though. I think that we have been conditioned to be improvisational and spontaneous.

As a more direct example of a creative tendency, I like to think of my thinking as quantum-thinking vs NT linear-thinking. The short circuits allow us to make connections that others would never arrive at, which can be handy for a new approach to music or a scientific break through. I don't consider this a positive though, as I'm sure 99.9% of us will probably never have the opportunity to make such a breakthrough which also requires being at the right time and place (and completing what might in some cases be a prerequisite education).
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Old 04-11-12, 11:56 AM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT View Post
However, because people with ADHD tend to daydream more and our thoughts drift far more...we spend more time thinking about really random things... so we spend more time in 'creative thought' than most others.
For me, at least, all of that day-dreaming amounts to nothing more than white-noise when my mind could be put to better use. Because I daydream without focus, I don't feel as if I'm making any sort of progress. If anything, I tend to dwell too much on my failures in life and fall into depressive/anxious thoughts although my day-dreaming was on the lighter side maybe fifteen to twenty years ago. Not to mention, I tend to think about the same things over and over again because I forget that I already thought about them! :P
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Old 04-11-12, 12:27 PM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaremskya View Post

I've always had pretty vivid visual-spatial thinking abilities. I just assumed it was normal to think in "movie scenes" instead of words.
I think like this. Many people do who have no disorders at all, but mine is attributed to my dyslexia. It is a common trait of dyslexics. Many dyslexics are also ADHD.

For a time people associated it with autism maybe because of Temple Grandin's book "Thinking in Pictures", and many autistics are visual learners, but it really runs throughout society.
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Old 04-11-12, 12:41 PM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaremskya View Post
Lately I've been wondering whether or not I might fit on the Autism spectrum just a tad.

I've always had pretty vivid visual-spatial thinking abilities. I just assumed it was normal to think in "movie scenes" instead of words. Lately however, I've been thinking that maybe I ain't so neurotypical in that regard.

If I'm relaxed and laying down with no external stimuli (usually at night), I can pretty much conjure up anything that I've seen in my mind quite vividly. I can play back events like scenes in my head, going backwards and forwards. If I'm in that just-about-to-fall-asleep state of mind, these can reach almost a sub-hallucination level of detail and clarity. It can be kind of frightening at times actually.

I think this is why I have such extreme anxiety problems in my life...I'm able to imagine what can go wrong in great detail, much more so than most people. I can literally see the car careening off the road, the man in the alley with a knife, etc...

And of course, since I have ADD, this visual thinking is usually out of my control and totally random.

So...is this more of an Autism spectrum trait? I wouldn't be too surprised if it were. Also, I'm just curious about other people's visual thinking abilities. Are they anything like I described? I'm just hoping I'm not too abnormal...
it's probably not due to ADD, my visual spatial thinking is crap without meds.
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Old 04-11-12, 01:06 PM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

I took this test in a community college many years ago.
The spatial ability portion of the test I scored above average, yes, I can tell when a flat piece of cut-out will become a square or a triangle or a trapezoid, I can fold them in my head.
Yes, I do a lot of stuff in my head, and not enough stuff in physical reality.
It's a damn shame, I spend too much time in my head and not enough in real life.

Why do we have the talent, but not the will?
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Old 04-11-12, 04:10 PM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haakenlid View Post
There are a bunch of online asberger's quizes you can take. Like this one:
http://www.piepalace.ca/blog/asperger-test-aq-test/

These are not diagnostic tools, but should give an indication on whether you have significant symptoms.
Interesting find. I scored a 32 on that!

What's strange is that the high school psychologist thought I had Asperger's. The counselors/therapists at college disagreed and stated that it is more a mix of OCD/ADHD, some PTSD, and maybe NVLD, that has caused my social and academic difficulties alike.

Elementary and middle school teachers, by the way, just though I was hyper or lazy (or both at once!) and oblivious to social situations. In kindergarten, counselors came in, evaluated me, and basically said I had ADHD (though not in a formal manner). I got occupational therapy for a few years (but never medication), but that got cut off due to budget cuts.
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Old 04-11-12, 05:13 PM
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Re: Powerful visual-spatial thinking - ADD or Autism?

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Originally Posted by Yes, I'm Trying View Post
Interesting find. I scored a 32 on that!

What's strange is that the high school psychologist thought I had Asperger's. The counselors/therapists at college disagreed and stated that it is more a mix of OCD/ADHD, some PTSD, and maybe NVLD, that has caused my social and academic difficulties alike.

Elementary and middle school teachers, by the way, just though I was hyper or lazy (or both at once!) and oblivious to social situations. In kindergarten, counselors came in, evaluated me, and basically said I had ADHD (though not in a formal manner). I got occupational therapy for a few years (but never medication), but that got cut off due to budget cuts.
I got 8 or something lmao...so i'm neither here nor there.
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