The number of Aspergers adults, like the diagnosis, is hard to pin down. Anecdotal growth in their ranks and a burgeoning online "Aspie" adult subculture that includes dating sites, advocacy groups and chat rooms raises the question: Are we starting to discover generations who escaped diagnosis? The condition officially wasn't recognized until 1994, which leads people to believe doctors are playing catch-up with adult diagnoses.
Symptoms of Aspergers—
• Special Interests: Individuals with Aspergers are sometimes found to have an intense or even obsessive interest or hobby. Sometimes these continue for one's entire lifetime. However, in some cases, an individual may get smitten with a completely unrelated activity. However, this obsessive involvement with particular topics help them in gaining an amazing insight into those fields. These topics could vary from computers to knowing how to play the guitar. Encouraging such individuals to continue with their interest helps them to acquire an in-depth knowledge in certain fields. This could help them to gain employment in their fields of interest.
• Love for Routines: Adults with Aspergers seem to follow routines and rituals religiously. They do not take very well to a sudden change in their daily time table, and have set hours for everyday work. The reason behind such mechanical behavior is not very clear. However, it could be an attempt of further simplifying even the simple things that baffles the mind of an individual who suffers from Aspergers.
• Lack of Social Imagination: Although adults with Aspergers can be accomplished musicians and writers, they are unable to imagine alternatives to social incidents. They cannot predict a normal course of action according to social norms. For example, going to a wedding reception of a newly married couple may baffle them.
• Difficulty with Social Interaction: It is their inability to communicate that hampers their ability to maintain friendships. They might be confused at the way other people behave, because they are unable to understand social ways of conduct. They may lose interest in people and appear aloof most of the time. They are often mistaken as ignorant and vain individuals.
• Difficulty with Social Communication: People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They fail to interpret gestures, facial expressions and change of tone. They are usually at a loss in choosing a topic to speak on, and do not know when to start or stop a conversation. They are very literal in what they say and fail to comprehend complex words and phrases, expressions like metaphors and even jokes. The best way to interact with individuals with Aspergers to keep one's sentences short and concise.
Treatment of Aspergers—
There is no cure for this syndrome. However, there are a number of therapies for adults with Aspergers. It should begin with a trained therapist first of all helping the patients to come to terms with their disability. It is important to make such individuals realize that they are just as functional as others, and that they could minimize the drawbacks of their disabilities with certain therapies.
While some may be overjoyed as they start to understand that it was not their fault if they did not understand how the world around them worked, there are those that simply abandon further treatment. It is important to make individuals with Aspergers feel confident about themselves, so that they respond positively to further course of treatment. This can be done through counseling. After that cognitive behavioral therapy sessions could be used successfully. Social training could also be adopted as it teaches individuals how to behave in different social situations.
Aptitude in social behavior is required in every aspect of life. Hence, despite their intelligence being average or above average levels, the chances of employment for adults with Aspergers get limited due to their social disabilities. However, there are agencies and services that help such individuals in getting jobs. It is important to remember that Aspergers does not retard one's intellectual development. If only the society is a little patient with their inability to understand social norms, they can fend for themselves as engineers, mathematicians, video game designers or photographers. They should avoid jobs of a receptionist, cashier or waiter as these involve a lot of social interactions.
Aspergers and Adults in Relationship—
Although research into the sexual interests of adults suffering from Aspergers is still in the stage of infancy, the studies have revealed that they have a normal sexual urge as other adults, but their sexual codes may not be as mature as expected of their age. Hence, inappropriate sexual behavior can be expected. Biologically, they are capable of having kids. However, due to their inability to understand people's emotions, they may face some challenges in issues related to married life and parenting. If only the partner understands the symptoms and does not expect the spouse suffering from Aspergers to shoulder equal responsibilities of the family, married life could still be carried out on near-normal levels.
Life is like a complex puzzle for adults with Aspergers at every step. Matters become worse for them as most of us can't recognize Aspergers in adults. If you know that a person is suffering from this syndrome, be patient with him. With time you will be able to see why his behavior that seems inappropriate to you, is the only right way for him to react.
Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples