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Author Topic: Is Emily an Aspie?  (Read 10717 times)

user-abuser

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Is Emily an Aspie?
« on: 12 Dec 2012, 06:08 »

Emily The Intern ;) acts like someone with Aspergers. "The smell of books", "your apartment is very blue", not minding social rules, being painfully honest and sooo persistent [all them nosey questions!]; etc.

I was just wondering- was this done on purpose [like introducing a transgender character], or it's just a side effect of creating "someone even more weird than the others" ?
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ChaosWolf

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #1 on: 12 Dec 2012, 08:11 »

Emily The Intern ;) acts like someone with Aspergers. "The smell of books", "your apartment is very blue", not minding social rules, being painfully honest and sooo persistent [all them nosey questions!]; etc.

I was just wondering- was this done on purpose [like introducing a transgender character], or it's just a side effect of creating "someone even more weird than the others" ?

Most likely the latter.  And the label of "Aspie" get batted about a lot lately by folks who don't really understand it beyond "that person acts weird", so I'd be hesitant as suggesting Emily is one.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #2 on: 12 Dec 2012, 08:16 »

As far as I can see, no. Apart from her funny quirks I don't see any "aspbergers type behavior".

[also, when the second post quotes the first post of a thread, something has gone wrong somewhere]
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pwhodges

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #3 on: 12 Dec 2012, 08:51 »

I'm not happy with "aspie" being thrown around as a term.

Also, the medical community is starting to move towards dropping the term Asperger's Syndrome in any case (as reported in a link in another thread).
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #4 on: 12 Dec 2012, 09:42 »

The DSM-V has deprecated the term, yes. The condition formerly known as Asperger's syndrome is or will become known as a mild form of the broader class called the "autism spectrum" not that such technical minutiae make a blind bit of difference to the condition as experienced by the patient.

And no, Emily does not appear to be suffering any form of autism, mild or otherwise; autism, as a rule, affects the patient's perception of others' motives and intent, making social interaction confusing and therefore scary. Emily, on the other hand, is not trying but failing due to a literal inability to spot others, nonverbal social cues; she appears to simply literally not care.
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user-abuser

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #5 on: 12 Dec 2012, 12:55 »

Most likely the latter.  And the label of "Aspie" get batted about a lot lately by folks who don't really understand it beyond "that person acts weird", so I'd be hesitant as suggesting Emily is one.
I do understand what being on the autistic spectrum means; I've been diagnosed with AS.

As far as I can see, no. Apart from her funny quirks I don't see any "aspbergers type behavior".

[also, when the second post quotes the first post of a thread, something has gone wrong somewhere]

Sorry, didn't notice the post you mentioned.  And that "type of behaviour"  is often seen as "funny quirks".
Also, the story in the comic we're talking about is not really a drama or a medical story is it, that's why I don't really see the author wanting to draw something too, uh, "realistic".. . There's always a comical streak in there. Hannelore and her OCD , Claire and being transgender....  why not Emily being an Aspie?


I'm not happy with "aspie" being thrown around as a term.
I didn't use it as a term.  1) I like the word, 2) It sounds much nicer, 'milder' than "having a SYNDROME".

Also, the medical community is starting to move towards dropping the term Asperger's Syndrome in any case (as reported in a link in another thread).

I didn't really plan on starting a topic discussing Aspergers Syndrome itself , that's why I didn't even try to explain anything deeper. Just figured everyone is able to do a research on the subject if interested. As for the gossip from "the medical community" - I'm well aware of the fact; but they didn't "move" and "drop" the term yet, and it is still being used.
 And besides,  is it what's this forum about? Thought it was about the webcomic we all like to follow.

The DSM-V has deprecated the term, yes. The condition formerly known as Asperger's syndrome is or will become known as a mild form of the broader class called the "autism spectrum" not that such technical minutiae make a blind bit of difference to the condition as experienced by the patient.
Right, and yet one can still be diagnosed with Aspergers, an it's still called AS "in the papers". Also I agree with the last part of the sentence above - the name doesn't make any difference.
And no, Emily does not appear to be suffering any form of autism, mild or otherwise; autism, as a rule, affects the patient's perception of others' motives and intent, making social interaction confusing and therefore scary. Emily, on the other hand, is not trying but failing due to a literal inability to spot others, nonverbal social cues; she appears to simply literally not care.
How are you going to know if a comic character suffers from any neurological issues? Let's assume the author wanted her to be autistic - do you really think he would draw her having a meltdown or stimming? ... seriously?  Difficulties in social interraction often look like the person just doesn't care about what others think or is simply rude. Or eccentric.  Again, "Questionable Content" is not a documentary on anything. 

I guess I should have explained more thoroughly what gave me the idea of Emily having AS; her talking about smells and colours might be a sign she's hypersensitive. Her eccentric behaviour, asking loads of very straightforward questions and not noticing that she's irritating/upsetting someone [scenes with Momo] - nonverbal communication issues. She was also said not to have many friends before [classic, when social interactions are scary...]. She wanted to work in a library [I might have overinterpreted that, but isn't it a good place for a person who likes schemes, has her special interest and does not appreciate noise, loads of movement around ,very bright light, physical contact, has low stress tolerance?] Plus her rather original style of putting words together.

Do I really need to write about things like mirror neuron dysfunction, sensory processing disorders and whatnot?  Are we still talking about a FICTIONAL CHARACTER here?  I just wanted to see if any other readers had the same idea as me.
And personally I think it would be awesome if Emily was an Aspie -
1) spreading awareness in a 'light' way, 2) a good - looking girl working effectively and having a group of friends; so different from the stereotype
3) a character to feel  a bit connected to.



 



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idontunderstand

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #6 on: 12 Dec 2012, 13:13 »

To be honest I wouldn't mind a serious discussion on the topic here, I just think you have misunderstood the general tone of this forum a bit. We often get into VERY SERIOUS character analysis here. And to throw out stuff like this in a sort of light-heartened way doesn't usually go down well. Sorry.  :meh:
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user-abuser

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #7 on: 12 Dec 2012, 13:38 »

To be honest I wouldn't mind a serious discussion on the topic here, I just think you have misunderstood the general tone of this forum a bit.
So let's start the discussion then, there's nothing better than a good discussion. About the tone of this forum - I didn't analyse it much, just posted a question .
We often get into VERY SERIOUS character analysis here. 
  Didn't mean to "sound unappropriate". The 'serious character analysis part' is understandable - following a story of any kind might be a hobby, so it's important. 
And to throw out stuff like this in a sort of light-heartened way doesn't usually go down well. Sorry.  :meh:
About 'going down well' - perfectly noticeable ;) .
 Again I didn't mean to throw out anything in any way especially; sorry if anyone felt offended.  I got so worked up with the idea that I just wanted to ask the question I asked and check out the responses FAST.  And I even had to  discuss it with other people before posting, so that might count as a  serious approach to the subject.

:)
« Last Edit: 12 Dec 2012, 13:46 by user-abuser »
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pwhodges

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #8 on: 12 Dec 2012, 14:47 »

also, when the second post quotes the first post of a thread, something has gone wrong somewhere

Sorry, didn't notice the post you mentioned.

What he means is that it was unnecessary for ChaosWolf to quote your post when replying with no post in between (it's mentioned in the stickies that outline the preferred behaviour in this forum); it wasn't addressed to you.

I'm not happy with "aspie" being thrown around as a term.
I didn't use it as a term.  1) I like the word, 2) It sounds much nicer, 'milder' than "having a SYNDROME".

"Syndrome" is neutral, being merely a description, and so is preferable to "disease"; but people with asperger's don't like being described as "suffering" from it either way.  Having no specific knowledge, I reacted to the word "aspie" as being a possible cause of offence, as similar words can be in other situations - however, some research shows me that I was wrong to be concerned in this case.
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user-abuser

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #9 on: 12 Dec 2012, 15:40 »

What he means is that it was unnecessary for ChaosWolf to quote your post when replying with no post in between (it's mentioned in the stickies that outline the preferred behaviour in this forum); it wasn't addressed to you.

Cheers for explaining - first day on the forum, loads of reading to do.
"Syndrome" is neutral, being merely a description, and so is preferable to "disease"; but people with asperger's don't like being described as "suffering" from it either way.

Right, because it's like saying that life of a person with AS is  nothing more than suffering . Bit harsh isn't it.  And "having a syndrome" feels like wearing a label. To put it in a simple way, autistics have a 'funky' central nervous system; developmental differences never go away and never change. It's just a different way of experiencing everything, not a disease.
Having no specific knowledge, I reacted to the word "aspie" as being a possible cause of offence, as similar words can be in other situations - however, some research shows me that I was wrong to be concerned in this case.
   The purpose of your reaction was right, even if this time you weren't ;).  "Aspie" is  just for short, a "pet name" even. People with autism and aspergers often use this referring to themselves. I've never heard anyone using it as an insult.
« Last Edit: 12 Dec 2012, 15:46 by user-abuser »
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MillionDollar Belt Sander

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #10 on: 12 Dec 2012, 15:43 »

You normal people crack me up.   You have to come up with a funny nickname for everything don't you.   :roll:
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user-abuser

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #11 on: 12 Dec 2012, 15:49 »

You normal people crack me up.   You have to come up with a funny nickname for everything don't you.   :roll:
Do you think NT's came up with this? :D
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Bluesummers

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #12 on: 12 Dec 2012, 17:13 »

Wow...okay, I feel better actually reading this thread, than looking at the title. I thought you had mis-spelt "ass-pie"...which is more a term for Pintsize.

Looking at it just from a reader's point of view, I don't think she has AS...I tihnk she's just dipsy. I'm not sure "Is 1000 people too many? I'm not sure my house could hold 1000 people" is something soneone with AS would say without jest. But that's just my two cents.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #13 on: 12 Dec 2012, 18:23 »

I guess I should have explained more thoroughly what gave me the idea of Emily having AS; her talking about smells and colours might be a sign she's hypersensitive. Her eccentric behaviour, asking loads of very straightforward questions and not noticing that she's irritating/upsetting someone [scenes with Momo] - nonverbal communication issues. She was also said not to have many friends before [classic, when social interactions are scary...]. She wanted to work in a library [I might have overinterpreted that, but isn't it a good place for a person who likes schemes, has her special interest and does not appreciate noise, loads of movement around ,very bright light, physical contact, has low stress tolerance?] Plus her rather original style of putting words together.

Welcome, new person!

That's a fascinating case you've made there.

Does Emily have too much taste for novelty to be on the autism spectrum?

Could she simply be child-like?
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foolsguinea

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« Reply #14 on: 12 Dec 2012, 19:16 »

[also, when the second post quotes the first post of a thread, something has gone wrong somewhere]
It's a sign of Asperger's!

No, seriously, though, I think Emily is a Cloudcuckoolander, more than an Aspie as such. If I recall correctly, Aspies tend to have trouble with humor, avoid being touched, stuff like that. They also are supposed to be more analytical and less social, I think. Emily's the sort of goofball that gets mistaken for Aspie. Eccentric, maybe lower than average intelligence in some ways, but not the analytical, low-empathizing, asocial type that is supposed to define the syndrome.
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DSL

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #15 on: 12 Dec 2012, 19:30 »

You normal people crack me up ...:roll:

Why, that's ... um ... normal-normative.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #16 on: 12 Dec 2012, 21:02 »

Emily, on the other hand, is not trying but failing due to a literal inability to spot others, nonverbal social cues; she appears to simply literally not care.

Isn't either one possible at this point? I don't really see anything about Emily's behavior that shows that she strictly does not care. I mean, we haven't actually seen someone point-blank tell her that she's making them uncomfortable or offending them, have we? What looks like "not caring" could just as easily be "doesn't realize she's coming off weird because she doesn't catch social cues".

If I recall correctly, Aspies tend to have trouble with humor, avoid being touched, stuff like that. They also are supposed to be more analytical and less social, I think. Emily's the sort of goofball that gets mistaken for Aspie. Eccentric, maybe lower than average intelligence in some ways, but not the analytical, low-empathizing, asocial type that is supposed to define the syndrome.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, and someone can have varying degrees (and various severities) of the various symptoms. So even if she's missing some of the "classic" characteristics doesn't necessarily mean she's not some flavor of autistic.

Also, people with autism have senses of humor, they sometimes just have trouble conveying humor or understanding the way others convey humor. For example, I find QC hilarious, but if any of the funny moments happened in front of me I might be confused by it being auditory rather than text and happening in real time without the freedom to digest the words.

"Low-empathizing" is an unfair characterization. Autistic people do have empathy; the thing is that since people with autism have difficulty reading social cues, they may miss the signals that neurotypical people are putting out about their emotions. So an autistic person may need an extra clue or outright verbal confirmation of someone else's feelings, but once they know they empathize just fine. I might not realize I've hurt someone's feelings, but if they tell me that I've hurt their feelings, I'm mortified.
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Carl-E

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #17 on: 12 Dec 2012, 21:56 »

First, I'd like to mention that I'm no expert. 

I do, however, have two nephews that area t opposite ends of the autism spectrum.  The older is quite severe, has extreme dificulty functioning in any way, the other has been mainstreamed at school and functions quite well with only a few of the more common "tell tales", like reduced eye contact and obsessive attitudes on a few topics.  I've also had two students over the years who identified themselves as Aspies (one used that term self referentially, that was just two years ago). 

With all that being said, I can certainly see the identification of Emily as a person with AS.  "Banana smoothie!" as a summary of her training certainly fits right in there.  She doesn't seem to shun social interaction or eye contact, but that can also be the result of a "bull by the horns" attitude, similar to one of my students who, realizing his difficulties in that area sort of went overboard in the opposite direction; he adopted a very unnerving continual stare and near compulsive handshaking every time a conversation ended (seriously - everything from a brief question after class to an office visit to an encounter in the halls ended with a handshake.  It was a bit weird, but I'm sure it was because he'd observed it as a part of "normal" interactions). 

But like a lot of behaviours on the autism spectrum, Emily's actions (and reactions) can have multiple interpretations.  AS?  Maybe.  A little nutty?  Perhaps.  Raised as an over-indulged only child?  That may explain more of it than anything else...  we'll just have to see how these things develop! 
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #18 on: 12 Dec 2012, 22:30 »

People with autism and aspergers often use this referring to themselves.
This, this right here, is an extremely bad criterion for deciding whether it is OK to use a term when referring to other people. What is acceptable for members of a group to call themselves, and what it is acceptable for non-members to say, are very different things.
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pwhodges

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #19 on: 12 Dec 2012, 23:16 »

This is  why I needed to do some research.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #20 on: 13 Dec 2012, 00:58 »

Well, objectively, I guess I'm almost certain she could have AS. But in that case pretty mild, as she doesn't seem to suffer from any problems with social interactions. It's an interesting notion though. More personally, I don't think she has AS. Jeph has put her in the cast as a sort of funny character and.. I don't know, it almost feels like making her into an AS person would be like saying "people who are weird have some sort of mental issues". Just a feeling though.

Though to be honest I always had a feeling that part of her being weird was due to being Japanese.....  :-\
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #21 on: 13 Dec 2012, 09:50 »

She seems to be at least mostly Americanized by culture.

She may be too weird for the overanalysis game, but it's fun to try.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #22 on: 13 Dec 2012, 11:55 »

By the way, as someone diagnosed with Asperger's, I always hated the 'aspie' label. Trying to take what is actually a handicap and make it empowering in such a way I always thought was asinine. We aren't people in wheelchairs looking for motivation, we're just dudes who aren't good at socialising. And honestly I hesitate to say 'we' when I consider myself 'cured' in a fashion anyway.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #23 on: 13 Dec 2012, 12:00 »

Jeph has put her in the cast as a sort of funny character and.. I don't know, it almost feels like making her into an AS person would be like saying "people who are weird have some sort of mental issues". Just a feeling though.


People can be quirky and weird without having a syndrome or disorder.     We are all individuals.    Society attempts to define what is "normal" and what is "weird" but lets face it:  It's just an artificial construct.  Each person on this planet is different and unique and MANY problems come from people drawing a line and saying "This is normal.   This is not."

    My normal is different and strange to MANY people,  while I can't even BEGIN to comprehend how "normal" people deal with certain things.

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idontunderstand

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #24 on: 13 Dec 2012, 13:30 »

Well, that was my point exactly. Guess I phrased it badly.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #25 on: 13 Dec 2012, 13:42 »

I knew what you meant,  I just expanded it a bit more.  :)
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idontunderstand

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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #26 on: 13 Dec 2012, 15:14 »

Aha, gotcha.
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #27 on: 13 Dec 2012, 17:57 »

 In the last QA Dump Jeph said that "Emily is a bit touched in the head".

 But i don't think she has Asperger  :-)
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Re: Is Emily an Aspie?
« Reply #28 on: 14 Dec 2012, 00:28 »

"touched in the head" is a polite way to be vague enough that it could be anything...
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