I wanted to say thank you for info. I have just put all the pieces of a puzzle together and understand why parenting Richard (14) has been so hard, although he continues to delight me in so many unique ways, and also why my marriage to his father failed.
I feel relieved, sad, positive and anxious all at the same time. Also - I feel guilty that this was not picked up sooner as the symptoms were there from the day he was born. Life has not always been easy for a child that is as different and unique as he is.
I am looking forward to your next radio show and can't express my gratitude for your site and especially the social stories. Those have been great!
My 15 yr old step son has asperger. He is obsessed with XBox. He does not want to do school work and often throws horrible temper tantrums at school, tries to run away, throws desks etc if he thinks he will lose privileges to XBox at home. He beats his legs, chest, head and screams when he cannot play the games. HELP!
“Oh, your youngster only has Aspergers; you’ve got it easy. Try dealing with my life and my youngster for a day.”
Ever heard that before? I heard this from an autistic youngster’s parent just this week. At first, I guess I found it hard to believe that someone would explain what I deal with daily as “easy”, even comparatively. And, though I made no formal reaction to the comment, it did make me think about how there seems to be a division of opinion towards differing functional levels in the autism spectrum.
After some thought, I realized that I’ve heard the same comment before, just presented in a slightly more elegant package. In fact, even in some LAUNCH classes I took right after the diagnosis, I noticed moms/dads would have different levels of empathy when talking to other moms/dads.
I don’t try to hide my child’s condition, though sometimes it doesn’t really show through and a bystander may not notice any difference from a NT youngster (a common theme with Aspergers kids). Does that make life “easier” than a parent who nurtures kids with lower-functioning autism?
If you parent a youngster with (what I call “classic”) autism, have you ever thought this; or, if you parent an AS youngster, has this ever happened to you?
Posted in asperger, behavior, family, outreach | 9 Comments »
IEP for ASD Parent-Teacher Conference cliffs notes
I went to the first kindergarten parent-teacher conference for my AS son today; although this is not the first time I’ve done conferences (2 years of them in preschool), this IS the first one I’ve attended where there is 1) an established, finalized IEP and 2) an official diagnosis of Aspergers from a developmental youngster psychologist. Here are my notes, intended to serve as a guidepost for other moms/dads who may be experiencing this for the first time.
I should say, my youngster has AS and attends a “regular” public elementary school. I visited a few special schools for more ASD-style therapeutic learning opportunities, but his IEP indicates 80%+ regular classroom (he actually takes 2hr/wk out of class), so I couldn’t justify the (wow, large) expense of the optional school.
The typically-developing youngster’s conference is a meeting with just the teacher and possibly a teacher’s aide. My meeting was attended by the teacher, the speech-language pathologist, the ECSE, and one of the district psychologists, as well as the dean of students. Don’t be overwhelmed by the folks who are there to both give out and receive information; they truly represent the youngster’s full range of experiences while at school and can offer a varying opinion base as to why certain situations may be more troubling than others.
It always helps to have the youngster’s home experience in mind when listening to the descriptions of school interactions. If they are similar, good; if they are vastly different, start thinking about how they are situationally different. In my case, they are somewhat similar, but there is more structure at school so he is very successful in that mode.
Take notes. Ask questions, especially of the teacher. Hopefully the teacher will have a journal or some form of catalogue that demonstrates your kid’s progress over time. If they don’t, suggest it, even if it’s for your youngster. If it gets testy, ask for an IEP review and document it there (and maybe consider if you’re at the right school).
Share your experiences at home with the youngster. The school staff only has half of your picture – when they are telling you about the school experience, you’re getting the whole picture and you will probably have a few “a ha”s – the school staff will likely have the same if you share some backstory with them.
If you are doing a full IEP review at the same time, ask for a copy of the meeting notes and make sure to reserve some time for thought about possible changes or time allocations to the SPED services that are available. For AS, many school districts have a social skills group that would be a great suggestion as part of the youngster’s at-school experience. And – it never hurts to ask what the staff thinks should be changed, if anything; you may disagree with their opinion, but the IEP is yours to modify.
Hopefully these things help.
Posted in asperger, behavior, family, school | Tagged: Aspergers, autism, kids, education, IEP, pervasive developmental disorders | Leave a Comment »
Stumping for Colorado A51
In Colorado there are 12,500 individuals on the waiting list for developmental disability funding that enables them to (afford the ability to) participate in treatment programs. Out of that number, 2/3 are on an immediate waitlist – meaning that they are only waiting for money to become available.
Colorado is voting on a state statute titled Amendment 51 which provides the additionally-needed $185M to essentially end the waitlist for developmental disability treatment. This money comes from a 0.2% state tax increase (2 cents per $10) phased in over 2 years.
Although my youngster has AS and is not on a CCB waitlist because his condition is mild (and we don’t want to take away someone else’s opportunity when they need it more), I am surrounded by families who struggle every month – who have to choose between therapy and life necessities.
It makes sense to approve additional funding, even with the current state of the economy – those who are on the waitlist or who are paying with their retirement funds to treat their 3 year old are impacted much more severely under the current conditions. Though opponents say that this extra money could be gathered by reallocating how Colorado spends its current funds, there haven’t been any plans created by opponents which detail how to allocate $185M with a zero net change to the taxpayer. I would suggest that the opponents of this measure are not among those who are in touch with the 12,500 individuals that can’t get a fair shake.
Posted in asperger, outreach | Tagged: asperger, autism, Colorado, developmental disability, election 2008, politics, voting | Leave a Comment »
A (Brief) Update
I’ve been attending some LAUNCH classes at The Kid’s Hospital, which I feel fortunate to have locally. This is continually one of the top 10 facilities for kid’s needs in the US, and though we had to wait a VERY long time to get seen there, my reflection on the matter is that it was worth the wait. The LAUNCH classes are mostly educational (with some direct Q&A) with our developmental youngster psychologist helping families understand the ins and outs of the entire autism spectrum. I’ve certainly learned a good bit about different treatments that are available, even if I’ve not yet decided to pursue one.
In other news, trusera contacted me about blogging for their website over the next few months to discuss Aspergers – today I’ve accepted their offer, so much of my time over the next few months will be spent authoring for them. You may even see some of the more well-written stories from this blog on there if I’m pinched for time.
And, reaching out for support – do you guys know about and/or use the Yahoo! Group called MASK? It’s official name is maskas99 and it is an invitation-only group, but it is very active and has a lot of input (though some of it is little more than drivel).
Sorry there’s not more time. AS is doing ok so far in kindergarten; we talk to his teacher frequently and we are pretty much aware of where he’s at socially, and we still work to improve it.
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A Completed Evaluation (finally) and its Diagnosis
I apologize for being vacant from the blog for awhile. Yes, all this time has been spent in limbo somewhere between waiting for appointments and attending them.
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking AS out of kindergarten for a day and escorting him to his evaluation at one of the top 10 kid’s hospitals in the US. Those who’ve been through the cognitive and adaptive 4-hour exam with a youngster understand very well that this is not an easy task.
As expected, he performed brilliantly on the cognitive exam. The psychologist commented several times that he was performing well above his age range for the tasks he had. I was surprised, because most of the objects for the task were things he’d never seen before – like cubes that are different patterns on each side.
And, as expected, when it was time for social, adaptive play, he stumbled, and stumbled, and stumbled. The two parts of the exam were clearly night and day, and it was relatively easy for our psychologist to conclude that AS really does have Aspergers, or some form of high-functioning autism that is very near to it.
I believe at this point we are somewhat relieved to have officially learned this about AS. It does open up things for us which were closed until the diagnosis became official, so that is morbidly good.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll begin sharing some of our outreach options and how they do or don’t work for us with AS as they are applied. We were introduced to the CCB (community board) but because he has an IQ over 70 (it was approximated at 110 to 125, actually) we’re pretty much just hoping for some respite money or some advice.
You know, what I think is funny is how, once you hear that diagnosis for real, we all start questioning what properties of ASD we actually have ourselves. While I’m no hypochondriac, I do profess to small amounts of OCD and ADD at the same time; I also admit a little bit of adolescent aloofness, but then again, it’s an easy mold to slip into for the tweener who rides a wave of shifting insecurity.
We don’t blame anyone for this, nor should we. AS can’t succeed any better than before just because we find root cause after some exhaustive search of the entire family trees for 10 generations. The focus has to be on right now, on what’s next, on the near and not-so-near future; that is where we will succeed.
Posted in asperger, behavioral psychology, family, outreach | 2 Comments »
Prelude to a Diagnosis
So, I haven’t written in awhile, and for that I apologize. But I owe a follow-up to our endeavor at the hospital in which we are seeking official, medical diagnosis/clearance for one of our sons.
We have met with a developmental pediatrician, and we have done a preliminary interview with a clinical youngster psychologist. That’s (still) all we’ve gotten done with the hospital. What remains is a battery of testing from the psychologist, which won’t be possible until at least August (we’ve been waiting since last September) The result of the pediatrician visit was a report of findings which, while certainly valid, also yielded that it would truly be up to the psychologist to make a more accurate diagnosis.
What we got in the ped’s report is “autism spectrum disorder …[which is] symptomatic of Aspergers”. During the appointment we got a verbal heads-up that this was coming in our report, and that it would need to be dialed in by the psychologist; however, the ped felt pretty comfortable with the diagnosis based on his observations and his own test results.
So, with that, I want to sidebar and say that this is what we expected. We tried not to lead the doctors down this path; rather, we wanted them to tell us what their diagnosis is instead of us persuading them into this based on confirmation of what we knew were exhibited symptoms. I feel pretty good that we got an unbiased evaluation from a doctor who “knows his stuff” in this area.
When I have more news, I’ll post again. AS is on vacation this month, so I don’t have any real updates on him right now.
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A Diagnosis Follow-Up
Following up on my previous post as I said I would, I still do not have anything official from one of the best kid’s psychological and developmental teams in the entire nation. It’s much simpler than you may think – they aren’t sitting in the lab mulling over volumes of brainwave data to calculate some probability; hell, if that is ever going to happen we haven’t gotten to that part yet.
No, it turns out that every appointment I had with the Kid’s Hospital – ranked 7th in the nation overall – was either canceled in error, rescheduled without just cause, or just plum canceled because the doctor couldn’t make it.
Was I furious? I still am. Kid’s still owes me a phone call that tells me when I can send in Mr. AS for his 2-session psychological evaluations. I’d certainly hoped to do them between the time we return from Japan (a different post I’ve not written yet) and the time kindergarten starts, but that’s a 3-week span and the timing doesn’t seem likely.
In recap, this evaluation was initially scheduled in December, 2007 for May this year because that was the first available appointment; it was initially scheduled as a 6-hour full eval in one session. Show me a 5-year old youngster that can tolerate 6 hours of medical torture and I’ll take away their medication. Exactly one day before our appointment, the hospital called to cancel it “because the insurance company needs yada yada yada first…”. I simply said to the appointment line worker “perhaps you could have considered that in the gap of 6 months that I’ve spent waiting for this appointment as to avoid such a conflict” and I guess I struck the magic note on her marimba or something. The very next day I was in their office meeting with the clinical psychologist getting my business handled.
So, I’m sorry to say to my readers that I still “got nothin’” to confirm what I already know, as I said in my last post. But, as a parent of the kid enduring this, I just want it to be done with so we can move forward.
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Aspergers and an Official Diagnosis
So, since I began this blog to share my insights about parenting a youngster with AS, I thought I’d share some news as well. This might not turn out to be an advice post as most of my other ones in this blog are.
This month we are going in to see a battery of doctors who will be testing and prodding and poking and hmm-ing at our older son, referred to in this blog as AS, to provide us with an official, medical diagnosis of his condition. That being said, we may find out that AS doesn’t have Aspergers at all, but we are pretty confident that we’re going to hear a panel of professionals tell us what we already know – that he does have this condition and his case is on the mild side.
The question is begged: why are we even doing it if we know the outcome? For us, I think it’s about closure. We’ve spent the last three years (since he was just turning 2) trying to figure out why none of the “traditional” parenting skills were particularly effective, why several of the things which should be easy to understand for a youngster are like throwing a glass of water at a forest fire, why we’ve had to be so unconventional and “work so hard” to get him to the functional level he’s at today. So, we don’t need a doctor to tell us that he’s got AS so that we can feel like we’re battling a known thing or so that we can feel like what we’ve done was “worth it” – we’re not trying to compartmentalize our youngster. We are more interested in using the resources which become available to us when he is indeed diagnosed to build upon the foundation we’ve tried to give him. It’s what any concerned/proud parent would do.
Of course, I will post the outcome of our visits. Even if AS is proven medically not to be officially AS, I will likely keep maintaining this blog as long as there are readers for it.
Posted in asperger, family, outreach | 4 Comments »
Aspergers Buys a House
What a wonderful experience it is to buy a house. It’s oh so painless, and every possible thing that can go right always does, especially on the selling end of making a move.
If you believe those 2 sentences, sorry; they’re meant to be a bit of cheek versus the deplorable tasks involved with selling and buying a new home. Combine those daunting chores with AS and, well, you’ve got a proverbial party for sure. In this post, I’ll describe some of my own experiences.
Our realtor’s name is Steve. I tell my AS son that “Mr. Steve is coming and we’re going to see new houses today”. How do you think that was interpreted? Well, first it was alleged that we were actually going to the doctor and he didn’t want to go because he didn’t want to get any shots today. When I explained that Mr. Steve is not a doctor, we were then subverting him into going to the dentist, which he also will not be attending today. Then, rather flatly, I was informed “I am going to the TV doctor, do you understand?” (the TV doctor is the eye doctor – different post)
Of course we understand; he has AS, so every new event is first catastrophic as the typical AS youngster first aims for the worst and then improves their outlook slowly as situations become less ambiguous.
Mr. Steve arrives – wailing tears ensue. It’s one of those uber-loud shrieking fits that’s normally equated to a harpy or pterodactyl. But – and lucky for us – when Mr. Steve whipped out pictures of houses instead of a blister pack full of syringes and vaccines, the wailing stopped. In fact, it didn’t just stop – it ceased to exist as if I’d pressed his mute button not a moment before. AS Moms/dads, we have all been in this situation.
So, as AS kids often do, our son found his comfort with Steve and proceeded to be his little helper for the rest of the day. By the time we visited our last house, he was running up to doors to show Steve where the lockbox is, and then showing Steve how to retrieve the key once the combination was entered. Yes, he’s 4, but he’s a pretty smart 4.
I wrote the above parts of this post in March and never finished it, so I’m here to finish it now. We are still house shopping, and we are still selling our place as well. Not much has changed there. AS has decided that when we have a showing, we’re going somewhere so “Mr. Steve can come play inside”.
The point of this post is to further demonstrate that typical AS kids are both rigid in their minds and also hugely in touch with their surroundings. Where we moms/dads find our center with our AS kids is when we can provide a pleasant blend of both form and opportunity.
There is no “mold” that can be broken on kids with AS; they won’t just wake up one morning and suddenly not be afraid of new stuff and be completely open-ended kids. If we moms/dads try to set that as a goal, we fail before we begin raising them.
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Aspergers and its Companions
Hello moms/dads. Today I want to talk about something a little less parent-focused and a little more diagnosis-based. I promise not to diverge from my own experiences and advice too often, but I will share some personal experiences in this post as well.
It’s commonly-held that Aspergers is rarely alone in the mind of a youngster. Often, AS is either mistaken for some other condition, or it is properly diagnosed and later discovered to also be symbiotic with another psychological/genetic/emotional/otherwise distressing condition. Briefly, I want to touch on what these are. Moms/dads, this isn’t to increase your level of paranoia; I’m going after awareness, I promise.
This information is transcluded from aspergers.com, a publicly-available website offering this information at no charge.
Aspergers Disorder may not be the only psychological condition affecting a certain individual. In fact, it is frequently together with other problems such as:
* Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
* Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
* Depression (Major Depressive Disorder or Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood)
* Bipolar Disorder
* Generalized Anxiety Disorder
* Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Most likely, you believe your AS youngster has ADHD or OCD unless their particular case makes them especially sedentary. I’ve believed that my AS son has ADHD for quite awhile, yet he has been successful in school once he learns the routines of attending. The truth is that it takes a medical professional (in many cases a developmental pediatrician specializing in psychological disorders) to accurately diagnose any of these conditions. The one exception to that statement is ODD, which is actually a behavioral condition rather than a psychological disorder.
What should we do as moms/dads? I recommend some research; use this Internet – that’s what it’s there for. Secondly, I recommend you discuss all of your concerns with your youngster’s pediatrician. Chances are that if you’re battling AS at home, you’ve already done this. After that, reach out and ask for others to share their experiences. That is the purpose of this blog, and I hope that others can benefit from what I place here. So you all know, I normally have my AS son with me when I am posting in this blog since he is infatuated with computers; he is a constant inspiration for me to provide genuine life experiences.
I’ll be posting about something more close to home next time.
Posted in asperger, behavior, behavioral psychology, family, outreach | Tagged: Aspergers, autism, kids, family, psychology | 1 Comment »
Aspergers and Changing a Routine
Oh no; it’s inevitable. Moms/dads realize the onset of an AS meltdown about 2 thoughts before the AS youngster self-realizes that their routine – their woobie – isn’t going to be there this time or beginning with this time through some course. One of the hardest things to do as an AS youngster’s parent is impart change. Yet, change happens all around us every second undeterred. What is it with this one routine which makes it an impossibly-hard challenge to adjust, even if the adjustment is a small one? Let’s think about this for a minute.
I’ve said this before – but I have a lot of new readers (and thanks for reading) – let’s consider the mind of a youngster with AS versus a “normal” youngster. A “normal” youngster’s mind is quite like a car; it drives on a road from point A to point B, and often realizes that there is more than one way to get from A to B, but chooses a preferred route understanding that other routes offer different opportunities along the way. If the preferred route is unavailable, a secondary route can be taken with minimal interruption and may prove to be better than the original. So, what about a youngster with AS? Their mind functions quite like a train; they are quite capable of getting from A to B in a timely fashion, but there is only one real path to accomplish it. Changing the route somewhere in the middle often causes a cascading effect if it is even possible; but, rarely the train is able to switch onto a different line and still arrive with little impact.
Let’s use this to discuss kid’s routines and use the start to finish of a routine as A to B. AS kids have one method that they will use for any activity, though in some milder cases adaptability is a moderately-developed skill and this is less true. AS kids do not want to comprehend change – they are stepping out of their safety zone into some vast unknown realm of chaos, much like a train jumping its line. How do we impart change as moms/dads?
I’ve talked to many moms/dads who have tried either brute force or bribery to no avail. I’m also guilty of trying the bribery approach with mildly-successful results. But in trying to be a parent who wins over the hindrances of AS, I wanted to find a way that’s both effective and not based in false-pretense. I’ve learned that demonstration is the best way for my Aspergers child to accept a change. What works for me is what I call the “watch papa” approach.
Ok, so that sounds well and good, but my kid’s already tuned me out and is melting down so I can’t try that. Yes, I hear you; yes, it happens. I deal with that all the time – using the method of small decisions I described in my last post, first I aim to get my youngster calmed down enough to listen to what I’m saying. If I am trying to enact something simple, I break down the changes themselves into the decision process and get it done that way. However, this is also effective in a proactive manner – and this is how I recommend doing it to prevent said meltdown. Moms/dads normally know in advance that they’ve got to make a change to a kid’s routine. The key here is to introduce it to the youngster before you actually need it to be accepted whenever that’s possible. A good time to do this is immediately after something that they enjoyed doing, or alternately whilst they are playing – you should always try to choose a happy time. Right when kids wake up is not normally a happy moment for them, so don’t try it then.
So, in review – change happens. Be proactive. Make kids make decisions if necessary. Don’t be fake.
Posted in asperger, behavior, behavioral psychology, family, outreach | Tagged: Aspergers, autism, kids, family | Leave a Comment »
Aspergers and the Power of Choices
Unruly. Undisciplined. Untameable. Unstoppable. Unbelievable. We all have our un- word to describe our aspie at their worst moments. AS moms/dads also know very well that we can often do little but make the situation worse by trying to actually be a parent in those times. If parenting skills are useless, what do we have left? Ah, but parenting skills are far from useless, at least in my case. What I find useful with AS in my house is the pure power of letting the kids make choices. Let me explain.
I should say up front that I’ve learned first-hand this technique is more powerful with AS kids than it is with synaptically normal kids. Why that is – Aspergers kids thrive on structure, rigidity and order. When they deluge into chaos, this technique is an effective method to insert those qualities which the average AS kid craves. Normal kids may or may not, depending on age and developmental capacity, be able to discern decision making from any other parenting technique because it may not be something they desire.
So, how do I do it such that it’s effective? I’m sure you’re wondering. I do have some tips and advice to share. First let’s set the mindset of the parent before attempting to use this technique.
• Maintain a level head and do not play the emotions of the youngster.
• You must, as a parent, abstract your personally-bound emotions from the situation and be an empathetic enabler.
• Your youngster is not weak, and in their own mind they are doing nothing improper. You should understand that very clearly so as not to dole out punishment unjustly. Chances are that the youngster will not understand the intent or basis of the punishment.
Now let’s talk about the actual decision process a little bit. Here are the things that work for me:
• Analyze what you’d like your youngster to do. Break down the end state into smaller tasks if necessary and present more than one set of choices. Here’s an example: kid likes but for some reason doesn’t want to eat broccoli and is having a meltdown because it’s on the plate. First question: “would you like to eat your broccoli or would you like to sit quietly and not eat?” notice that you have an out that’s enforcable. Second question: if the kid chooses to eat, “would you like to use your fork or spoon?” or something similar.
• As with all kids, tone of voice is critical – it is the most important element of the message you wish to deliver. If your voice is scornful, you will be ignored or feared, but not heard. If you are airy and hyper-gentle, your message will be heard but lost. Find a middle-ground here. I like to think of the Mister Rogers demeanor when framing my own voice. Something firm but soft, and gentle.
• Be sincere. This is especially true with kids over 5 who can deduce that they are being deceived. You must present your youngster with 2 truthful choices, else you will not be effective ever again with this method. AS kids often do not forget when they are wronged.
• Reward them if they fall back in line with your regular expectations, depending on the situation
I promise you this is an effective technique. It gets me through so many chores with both of my kids, but especially with AS. What techniques do you use? Have you tried the decision path method described here and had success? Had failures? I’d like to know.
Posted in asperger, behavior, behavioral psychology, discipline, family | Tagged: asperger, Aspergers, parenting | 2 Comments »
Aspergers Goes Out to Eat
Moms/dads, I empathize with you in writing this post. Yes, I’m talking this time about the sometimes-joyous, often-difficult experience of taking our AS children out of the house for a meal at a restaurant. Some moms/dads dread it, others are unphased by it, and I am somewhere on the low end of concerned by it, just to make a comparison.
In this episode, AS goes to a local dine-in Mexican restaurant. As Denver is very populated with a large Hispanic community, most of whom come up from Mexico, you can assume safely that there are some very, VERY good Mexican restaurants in most neighborhoods with reasonable prices. Most have 1 or 2 amazing dishes – at this restaurant, the speed of service is legendary and the food is wonderful. Nonetheless, I digress. So AS goes to a local restaurant. What’s the routine?
I find it very helpful to sit in the same family configuration used when we eat at home. AS sits to my right, his mother on his right, and our younger, non-AS son on her right/my left. We try to sit in booths at restaurants, so AS and mom sit in one seat and my younger son and I share the other, but we are in that same pattern. If we were playing bridge/hearts/spades then the kids would be partners, if that helps visualize.
Mexican places work especially well because they immediately have something to munch on at the table (chips/salsa). AS can’t wait when he sits down – it is always time to eat at that very moment. Generally, we order him something similar to our own food – we purposely avoid getting something childish from the kids’ menu, else he would be getting a burger everywhere we go and he’d grow up thinking all restaurants ever serve is burgers (they are all the same). It also helps him see that he is “a big boy” because he gets the same kind of food as mom and dad and he gets the same-sized fork and spoon as we do.
So what’s the struggle, you ask? Well, I’ll say up front that both of our sons are not very picky; they will eat anything we give them at least once – the range is from squid to spaghetti and all items in between. AS is particularly fond of cherry tomatoes, daikon radish, corn on the cob, red cabbage, and steamed rice (he’s half Japanese, after all). But imagine the woe when what he orders contains something he doesn’t want/like; imagine the woe when the food is too hot and he’s starving; imagine the woe when AS wants to eat something that the restaurant doesn’t serve. What do you do? What do we do? I’ll tell you.
First, because AS has a penchant for forgetting he is indoors and thus begins yelling, I remind him that we are not only not at home, but we are inside somewhere else. Second, in a very calm tone I deal in small, compartmentalized choices for him that he can understand. An example chain of this is, “AS, do you want to eat dinner or sit quietly by yourself?” (he always answers “eat”). Next -> “AS, do you want to eat A first, or B first?” sticking to items on his plate. (either answer). Next -> “AS, do you want a spoon or a fork to eat A/B?” and that usually settles it.
I really do recommend using choices with your AS youngster where possible. The key, which I think I’ve said in a previous post, is two-fold: your tone of voice must be calm, sincere, and gentle. Don’t be fake; don’t be angry; don’t be wishy-washy – kids are worth more than that. Just be a parent with a level head at this point. The second key is to make the choices realistic and obvious. By obvious I mean give them options for which they understand the meaning – don’t be abstract, kids don’t know that A means A, B and C until they are older. If you try this and it doesn’t work off the bat, don’t give up. You’re actually helping your youngster’s decision-making skills by doing this, and you’re helping yourself put a quick end to often difficult situations. Maybe this is worth a separate post; that’ll be the next one perhaps.
Wrapping up, let me hear your feedback. What do you do that works for you? How do you tackle outings at places like restaurants that are bound to fail for some miniscule reason? What advice can you give to other moms/dads? The comment lines are now open…
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Aspergers Goes Bowling
Well, it was MLK day in the US, so I was off work and the boys were out of school (only my Aspergers child goes to school on Mondays anyway). We decided that we’d go out to have a family lunch (another post unto itself) and then try our hand at bowling. The bowling outing, I must say, was much anticipated after my Aspergers child learned how to maneuver through Wii bowling (the Wii Sports version, not the full-on bowling game that’s out there). Though he lacks some actual technique, which I don’t expect him to have at 4 years old, he is actually pretty good at the game version and has beaten me a few times.
We chose an AMF bowling center near the house, mostly because it is near the house and if things went very badly, we didn’t have far to go to get home. I was more concerned with energy levels depleting in both of our boys than anything else since it was immediately after a large Mexican lunch. However, we didn’t have issues.
The hardest part of the bowling experience… well ok the most difficult of the difficult parts… was when we first arrived and had to endure a 20-minute wait to get a lane. All aspie moms/dads deal with impatience – I believe I deal with a severe case of impatience by comparison and I have a less stressful time in other areas typically troubling for autistic kids’ moms/dads. Fortunately, this center had a game room. At 4, my kids are still happy to be toying around with the games and not whimpering to shovel money into them to actually play; I’m thankful for that, because every game at this place was 50 cents or more and appeared to be pretty short games. Nonetheless, we got through this with minimal kicking and screaming.
Bowling itself was an amazing event. My Aspergers child is actually intelligent above age level in many functional areas, and severely deficient in a few others. For example, at 4 he can count to 100 and can multiply (yes, multiply) up to 5×5 in his head, but he can’t read very well (out of disinterest) and he has difficulty using logic to solve problems. He is bi-lingual in Japanese and English and knows age-appropriate ASL, but he has trouble with sentence structure. Anyway, off subject. Bowling was an amazing event, as I said. He’d never been to an actual bowling alley before, so the location itself was pretty high sensory overload. They were doing cosmic bowling or whatever where they turn on a bunch of blacklights and then strobe all these disco-esque things all over the lanes with party lights — it’s great for kids but if you actually want to bowl it’s hard.
The first time he went to bowl, I had to show him the proper way to hold and roll a ball. This didn’t go well. He has the coordination to perform the throwing motion, but the 6-pound ball was too heavy for his fingers to carry, so we went with the “granny shot” between-the-legs push instead. This was great — after 3 times of accompanying him to the foul line to ensure he didn’t fall on his face, he spent the rest of the time going through the entire routine by himself. When it was my turn, he was anxious enough to show me which ball was mine and how much it weighed so I would hurry up. I abstracted myself a little bit from the experience and saw a miniature rain man going through his routine from start to finish every time it was his turn. It was quite an experience. Plus he scored an 85 and nearly beat his mother, so it was fun for everyone.
I detail this account not out of pure desire to recollect a positive experience, but to provide some insight into the inner workings of my child. Every youngster with AS is different in their own way; I feel fortunate to have a son with full motor skills and strong academic capacity.
What I want to hear from those who read this blog are some of your own positive experiences, some types of activities that work well for your children, or some other things that you do to pass the time in a positive, successful way. Hopefully the things that are shared here create some ideas for other AS moms/dads who are searching for answers or options.
Posted in asperger, behavior, family | Tagged: Aspergers | 2 Comments »
The Economy of Aspergers
Here’s something that we do in my household with our kids. My older son has AS as my loyal readers know, so this exercise is mainly for him, but this is an effective tool for all kids; “synaptically normal” regular kids would hopefully catch on at least as quickly as an AS youngster and be able to be influenced by it.
We use a full-scale economy with our two boys – by this, I mean that we have a serious collection of fake money (that we got from the Lakeshore store at Park Meadows) that our boys can earn with their good behavior. By that same token, they can certainly be issued citations and lose money for poor behavior; yes, we actually write citations out (we also got them from Lakeshore) so that we have a written record of why each youngster lost some of their money. The point is, our kids can use their money to buy from our special prize vault.
Things in the prize vault aren’t always toys. Think of things that your kids like enough that they’d be motivated to earn money for buying them. These could be toys, but they may also be things like a trip to somewhere they like, or it may be some movie they want to see or even small prizes like candy – use your imagination but don’t spend a lot of money building up vault.
What I recommend to get something like this up and running are a few things:
1. Buy your prizes in advance.
2. Don’t spend a lot of money.
3. Keep the prize vault somewhere that kids cannot get to, for obvious reasons.
4. Let your kids help place a price on the items you’re buying. If you’re using currency-style fake money, you may choose to price items at their actual register price; but if you’re not spending much, that means they’re not earning much to get the things you’ve bought. In our house, the minimum is 4x cost for anything <$1 when the kids don’t place a higher value. 5. Let your kids see what you’re buying, and let them know that those things are going in the prize vault. By no means do you let them play with, open, or otherwise get accustomed to what you’re buying – that detracts from their motivation to “earn” it. The key to this system being effective is to enforce it. What we have done is made a very short list (our kids are very young) of tasks for which money will be lost. My recommendation is 1 list item per year of age, so that the list is easily remembered. This is where your parenting skills are tested — when it’s time to subtract money, don’t be rash, upset, scornful, or mean; all you must do is notify them that they’re losing money and then show them that you are taking it out of their storage bin. Once your kids begin to realize that they can’t buy the things they want, they begin to understand the value of their behavior. Granted, AS kids don’t deal well with failure; they don’t deal well with negation and they don’t often understand what about their behavior warranted the demerits. That’s where the list of bad actions is critical; that’s where the tone of your voice is critical; that’s where you need to show that you love your kids but that you also have to be fair. Sure, there might be some whimpering and some pent-up anger the first few times; in fact, there is likely to be some with any AS youngster regardless of the failure’s severity. Stay the course; this system is working wonderfully. My favorite book for AS parenting tips is still Brenda Boyd’s Parenting a Youngster with Aspergers; in this book there is a pretty detailed list of things that one family put in their prize vault – it includes a range of toys, sweets, and special visits/trips like what I described. What’s in our prize vault? Here’s my current list. As a side note, we are set up to let our boys earn about $1/day if there are no setbacks; more if they are especially good/helpful. For times when they are well above and beyond their years (I mean 3 and 4), we give them a blindfolded, free pick from the bucket-o-stuff. toys 8x hotwheels cars @ $5 2x tonka trucks @$15 3x Thomas train cars @$10 4x activity books @$5 1x (grand prize) hot wheels play city @$50 candy 12x charms blow-pops @ $1 dove milk chocolates @ $0.50 m&m fun packs @$0.50 ice cream drumsticks@$2 other 1x trip to chuck-e-cheese’s @$25 1x trip to cici’s @$20 1x family movie night (at the theater) @$20 1x mystery prize (it’s a coloring book) @ $10 2x lunch at papa’s office @$10 Posted in asperger, behavior, behavioral psychology, discipline, family | Tagged: asperger, Aspergers, kids, parenting | 1 Comment » Aspergers vs. Santa Claus Before I begin this post, I’d like to first state my personal position on this topic. I teach my kids an appropriate, truthful representation of how to think of Santa Claus; both my AS son and my younger son alike hear the same story. In my other blog, I go on a somewhat personal rant about this very topic. Now, my AS son is 4 and this is the holiday season where millions of kids are anxiously awaiting a visit from Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, or whatever name he may go by in other countries around the world. Naturally, my child is anxiously awaiting a similar thing, but only because he hears it at school, and what he hears at school differs from what I teach him at home. So there’s confusion with him, and as AS moms/dads we know that confusion is not a good thing for our kids. Every time we go shopping somewhere, there is a “mall santa” waiting to have pictures taken with all the sniveling kids in line with their soccer mom mothers drinking a mocha soy chai latte on their cell phones in their bone-white-goose-down vests with the faux-fur lined knee-high snow boots and completely oblivious to the fact that their kids are ripping up the fake landscape. My AS son always says, “What are they doing?” to which I always answer, “They are telling their kids that they don’t care about them.” And my AS son always looks like he doesn’t understand, but I know he does. He’s not tempted to go sit in the lap of some old, fat codger because he knows a different version of the Santa Claus legend. If he ever asks me who the person they’re waiting to see is, I say that someone “who represents Santa Claus for kids to give their wishes to”. See, I believe deceit is something which kids do not forgive so easily. What’s more is that AS kids may not have the ability to forgive – this is my child in some ways. Memory like an elephant, he will never forget situations where the expected outcome was not what he expected or if he was surprised [startled] while we were out. He is still talking about a visit to the zoo 2 summers ago (he was barely 3) where a roaming goose snapped at his hand for offering it a peanut. Ultimately, many AS moms/dads are often wondering the same thing with their young kids; do we tell them a story about Santa Claus which may make them happy for right now but we know will devastate them later? Or, do we tell them the truth and spin the truth in a positive manner so that everyone is happy? For me, there isn’t much of a choice. What is your Santa Claus story? Posted in asperger, family, outreach | Tagged: Aspergers, Christmas, holidays, Santa Claus | Leave a Comment » What is your AS youngster’s anthem? I’ve found that lots of AS kids have an affinity for music, specifically drumming, because it is a motor skill that they can be good at even by approximating movements. My AS son is a die-hard fan of the Blue Man Group – when their music is playing everyone has to be quiet so he can hear it well enough to air-drum along (the same is true with guitar hero 3 – he likes about 5 songs on that game that he will air-drum for the whole song). But BMG is by far his favorite music. If you’re not familiar with BMG, go onto youtube and look for a video of Tracy Bonham and/or BMG doing a song called “Up to the Roof”. This is a good one that’s live. Somehow, my child who is 4 years old understand this song, and it is now his “anthem”. Considering the challenge of being a kid with AS, I think it’s appropriate. The lyrics are below; what do you think? What is your AS youngster’s personal anthem? Aspergers Meets the Holidays What a great time to help work out some of the intracacies of your asperger youngster’s social eccentricity; or, if you’re like me, what a great time to see them at their worst as to set a barometer for my child. This Thanksgiving, my family and I have traveled to visit my mom’s half of our family in rural Georgia – such a twilight zone foreign land from the hustle and bustle of Denver where we live. Just this morning I stood on the deck of my mom’s house and watched a 12-point buck root through a pile of corn feed that they put out for them. Anyway, that’s off the subject. Your asperger youngster needs routine, and by that token they inherently fear change. Imagine (or recall) the horrors for your AS youngster when they are in a completely new place, meeting individuals whom they don’t know and, worse yet, having to play with other kids whose personalities and playstyles they haven’t had a chance to analyze yet. This is us this season, and we are managing just fine. Here’s a little bit of how we prepared. What most AS moms/dads will learn is that pictures are truly your best friend. We have pictures of all our family members, so we prepped our son for a visit with them by showing him their pictures and talking to him about them; we make sure to tell him their name and how old they are (these are his little quirks) and we try to tell him something about the person in the picture that he can recall when he sees them in person, just so that he won’t be terrified when they reach out to hug him or something. Individuals in rural Georgia hug a lot; it’s just what they do, more than they shake hands. Another thing that we do is that we try to bring one or two things from home so that he can stay in his element when times are really bad. The key to this technique is that you can’t tell the kid you’re bringing object A, else they’ll of course be asking for it and their ability to reach out is limited because they’re pigeonholing their energy into object A, which they know very well. Only when it’s absolutely the only way to provide consolation or to right the ship is when the youngster needs to be given access to object A. It may be hard to hide from them if it’s large, so keep it small. This works for us in a pinch and really helps him to calm down and/or get himself in check to continue participating in the family activities. What we really want to avoid is scolding or excessive discipline – remember that the youngster doesn’t believe that s/he is doing anything wrong when their behavior starts to do downhill or when their eccentricities begin to show. If you’re going to give them some discipline, your youngster appreciates it being in a very calm, firm tone of voice and also don’t do it at the top of your lungs. I’ve learned that there’s an inverse proportion between your voice volume and the actual effectiveness it has on the youngster. What’s better than having your youngster experience their extended family and soak up all those interactions with individuals who care about him? Posted in asperger, discipline, family, vacationing | Tagged: consolation, eccentricities, family gatherings, holidays, Thanksgiving | 1 Comment » Aspergers kids are inflexible; moms/dads must be hyperflexible One thing which many Asperger moms/dads usually learn the hard way is that AS kids are particularly inflexible and are deeply rooted in routine. Brenda Boyd describes this in her book Parenting a Youngster with Aspergers as a consideration of trains versus cars; whereby an aspie’s mind is much like a train on its rails compared to the average mind that is much more like a car driving on a road. This is really a great analogy, I’ll provide a little bit of context. The average (we’ll say “synaptically normal”) youngster has a mind much like a car going from point A to B. There are many possible routes, and various speeds which can be traveled along the way; often a car’s driver needn’t know where their precise destination is, because they can usually navigate to that point using several previously known points of reference and then using some discovery to get to point B. AS kids are much more like little mental trains. They require a specific route, a specific timetable, and often a specific set of rules for the journey from A to B. Unpredictability is not something that many aspies appreciate – it is widely suggested that the firm, repeatable structure and routine which AS kids form in their mind is what makes them secure/comfortable. Interjecting the hand of change for the sake of change is often, as moms/dads have found, a catastrophic event (queue the black hole sounds). AS kids often appear pig-headed, stubborn, down-right rude when they are faced with change. Let’s be honest; they don’t want to step outside their sandbox. Moms/dads in this situation not only need to understand that their aspie youngster is routine-based, but they need to proactively predict when their youngster will require a routine. What I’ve found of my own accord that works well with my 4-year old is to pigeonhole his entire day into a set of routines (I’m an IT engineer, so for me this is pretty easy). Not only do we take specific tasks and break them into checkpoints for him, but we take his entire day and break it into small pieces. When we want to introduce something new to him, usually it requires an obscene amount of enthusiasm on our part to get him started and an equally obscene amount of praise required to keep him focused and to allow him to believe he’s doing something correct. So, moms/dads, never forget that your aspie doesn’t believe that he/she is doing something wrong by presenting as stubborn towards change. They are merely trying to protect themselves — and that is not to say that AS kids don’t find protection in their moms/dads (quite the opposite is true), but merely that they want you to help them feel secure by allowing them to do things in their sturdy, structured way. Posted in asperger, behavior, behavioral psychology | 2 Comments » The Joys of Sign Language I hope that the title is clear; I’ve found something positive to teach my Aspergers child son. Sign Language is a big victory for my Aspergers child – while he is completely capable of well-structured speech (not all Aspies are) in multiple languages, I’m finding that teaching him ASL has been a great way for him to not only improve his overall communication skills, but also to help him grow his vocabulary and to allow him to convey ideas when he either doesn’t know what to say or when he goes into a non-verbal tantrum over something infinitely minor. Is anyone else with an aspie youngster doing this? I have been using the Signing Time video series by Rachel de Azevedo Coleman checked out from the local library in series. It’s been amazing to watch him learn so quickly. Like many aspies, he is particularly intelligent yet quite out of focus with his surroundings most of the time; however, he is able to tune in for these videos non-stop and he really gets a lot of enjoyment out of this series in particular. Moms/dads don’t neglect to watch the videos with your aspie long enough to learn the signs yourself. You’ll be surprised at how easy ASL is to learn, and how effective it can be for helping you reach your sometimes unreachable child(ren). Posted in asperger, behavior, outreach, sign language | 3 Comments » Battling with Preschool My Aspergers child son is 4, and is in his second year of preschool. We enrolled him in a preschool that is actually part of the elementary school in our district so that he could get used to going to an actual school instead of some other place that, once he gets to be kindergarten age, he wouldn’t go anymore. We were thinking at that time (which was before we learned about his condition) that it’d be a good thing to do, and so far that has been the case. Now that we’ve learned that our older son is an Aspergers child, we are glad that he is in the exact same preschool classroom as last year with a lot of the same kids as last year, and that next school year he will be going to the same school but in a (gasp!) different room. Last year, he was seemingly shy and a little bit detached from the rest of the class. Everyone thought that was just him exhibiting some shyness and some discomfort with being away from home and from his mother because it was truly his first time outside the care of a parent. This year, after spending a summer of growth in Japan, he is incessantly talkative and is actually communicating with the other students, albeit he often tries to talk to them in Japanese and they have no idea what he’s saying. The way Aspergers manifests itself in our son is that he is generally unaware of situational context. Now, a lot of 4-year olds are the same way to a degree, but with him it is a constant struggle for him to do such simple things as lower his voice, stop talking, stop playing when it’s time to be serious, or even listen when he’s being told what to do. It’s one of those things that is starting to wear thin at the preschool, where he is starting to develop a less-than-ideal pattern of behavior in class. So, we’ve gone from this bashful, quiet yet slightly inattentive 3-year old youngster to this rambunctious, randomly loud, excitable 4-year old with a penchant for blowing raspberries at the other kids when he either doesn’t know what to say (in English) or doesn’t like what they’re doing. And if someone tells him to stop what he’s doing too many times or in a too-strong voice, you might as well have just fried the side of his head on a griddle. Here in the Denver area, there’s outreach available. We’re fortunate to have a school district (Littleton Public Schools) that provides developmental screenings for *free* and then they provide guidance, coaching and referrals to appropriate counseling and developmental psychology folks as well as classes for the moms/dads to learn how to cope/handle/deal/manage/remain sane with an especially young Aspergers child. So, Aspie moms/dads, have you had the school battles? And what are you finding is effective to curb behavior which you want to reserve for at home or completely eliminate? You’re welcome to submit via the contact form below and I will post your submission once I moderate it. Posted in asperger, behavior, behavioral psychology, outreach, school | Leave a Comment » Are YOU an Asperger Parent? In my first post for this blog, I am out to capture experiences from moms/dads of kids with Aspergers (AS) from all over the world. If you are one such parent, be proud and say so in a comment for this post. Feel free to share an experience, advice or anything else you wish to share about being an Asperger parent, but please do so in a positive way. ________________________________________________________________________________ first name = Peruvian mother MyAspergersChild.com - comments = This response is specially for the heartbreaking dad.
I want to tell you I completely undestand how you feel.
I've been through many of the feelings you describe.
I could´nt stop thinking about your pain. I've also felt all this as a punishment. They say we should see the good side of it, but for us, because we are so tired its difficult.
I would like your email if possible. I have a 19 yrs. old aspie son.
I think we can help each other because we can have so many this in common.
A big hug.
Somebody told me that WrongPlanet had a discussion board for parents who have Asperger's themselves, because everytime I try to find something like that, I only finding parenting kids with asperger's. Did I just miss it somehow?
I think parents that HAVE aspergers just talk HERE.
Parents on the Spectrum topic
My three children are all NT. I am afraid I have nothing in common with the parents of Aspie kids. This does not mean my kids have no challenges, it is just that they are different from children with more pressing needs. I do not bother the Parent forum with my problems, as they are not relevant.
I usually keep my kids' lives private unless their experiences are relevant to a question or an issue from a member. I always mention that my kids are NT.
Thank you for noticing the parents. I did start a topic long ago entitles Aspie Mother-NT children and i got a few responses. Only one, Alexbeetle, was an Aspie parent with NT children. I think six people wrote back, all with interesting ideas, but this was not a sticky so there was no ongoing venting. I guess it was the NT parents that were the most in need, and as someone said I am almost "done" so I would not need to worry too much longer. In some ways he was right but you never cease being a parent as long as they are living they will be your children, albeit adult children. Thus my experience is rare. Except for Alexbeetle, all the Aspie parents said they had at least one Aspie child.
I have never parented an Aspie child.
Phuture Phounder of the Philosophy Phactory
I'm a parent and have Aspergers and so does one of my children so far.
Web site for varied neurological differences : Aspergers - Dyspraxia - Dyslexia - ADHD - Bipolar : http://www.asplanet.info/
"Believe in your self, we are who we are and it can feel like an endless task trying to be someone else!"
Some time last year some members wanted to start an Aspie Parent forum. I'm against it because I like the mix. There are some Aspie parents in the Parents' forum. We may not always appear aspie because we were raised without diagnosis and raised to be NT. So, we have feet in both doors, so to speak.
2ukenkerl and Kim J-I meant somewhere specific, like do they have their own forum because it seems like every other aspie issue has their own forum. For parents who do not have the diagnosis, I am sure you have come up with many coping mechanisms that I haven't had the chance to do yet, and I was hoping to hear from parents in my specific situation, because every other specific aspie situation gets their own forum.
sartreuse and asplanet--thank you!! I was hoping to hear from people like you, because I believe we have EXTREMELY different challenges than parents of aspies (not more difficult, just different.) It doesn't make sense to me to lump parents of aspies and parents who are aspies in one category because they are so, so different!!!
The reason I posted is because I am a first-time mom to a six-month old and was also just recently made aware that I am an aspie. I have been told many times that aspies make bad parents, and I do not believe this is true, but I needed some reassurance. I heard that unless your baby is your interest, than they will not get the attention they need and that they will always be embarassed by you (more so than normal kids), etc. etc. I read Liane's book and that helped, but I was just wondering about some of the certain challenges that other aspie parents have gone through, since I am new to this. I love my daughter so much and want to give her whatever she needs to thrive, and I am also curious if she will be aspie or NT. It would be nice to have an aspie daughter, because we would understand each other so well, but it would be nice to have an NT daughter, because we could explain our worlds to each other.
I was answering your question. We don't have an Aspie parents forum. Some people tried to get a separate one and it didn't happen. There are enough aspie parents in our parent forum that all you need to do is put it in your subject line.
Outside of WP, I don't know of any other Aspie Parent groups.
A few threads that may help -
One I started on WrongPlanet:
How do other aspies cope with babies, young children.. - Parents' Discussion
Web site for varied neurological differences : Aspergers - Dyspraxia - Dyslexia - ADHD - Bipolar : http://www.asplanet.info/
"Believe in your self, we are who we are and it can feel like an endless task trying to be someone else!"
asplanet--thank you soooo much!! That is exactly what I was looking for.
I've got aspergers and I've got a 7yo boy with it too.
I've also got a 4yo boy with high functioning autism (which I think will probably end up being just aspergers)
ask away... I'll post responses and discuss.
I'm in an odd situation where I have a mother (who is now 64) and is VERY likely an aspie, but has never had a formal diagnosis. My grandparents took care of her and raised me, and I never realized she had a problem until they died some 12 years ago. I also believe that my grandfather was an aspie as well, but my grandmother did a good job of taking care of all of us. I didn't come to this realization until I started teaching at a school that does inclusion and ended up working with several aspie teens. It seemed odd how I needed so little training to work with these kids. Little did I know that I'd been filtering the world for my mom my whole life.
Meanwhile, my mom's quality of life has plummeted and she doesn't allow me to do much to make the situation better. I am pretty much ready to jump ship - oddly enough I have an aspie boyfriend who got a job offer out of state and I'm moving with him as soon as the school year ends (I'm a teacher). I worry for her, because when I'm not around she forgets to pay bills, lets the house deteriorate, lets her health deteriorate and basically chooses to live in filth. Even when I'm around, at best I remind her to pay bills and have done some work in hiring people to repair the house. She doesn't let me clean and ignores me when I remind her to take care of her health - she's developed diabetes and high blood pressure and is going deaf.
I am looking for support as a child of an aspie parent but have yet to find it. I am also looking for support as a person who's in a relationship with an adult with aspergers. Any help is gladly appreciated!
Thanks for starting this thread. We do seem to be in the minority.
I'm not dealing too well with my role as a mother and wife because it does feel strange to me sometimes. A lot of times I will watch my family from a distance instead of participating and that bothers me. My interest is my children but I'm afraid I am a failure at this domestic thing. I'm a terrible wife.
Of course, that all sounds depressing. sorry all.
I would die for my children but I do have to detach every now and then or I just shut down.
We are Sabra
~A Sabra is a cactus native to Israel. It's fruit is thorny on the outside yet sweet within~
Joined: Dec 30, 2005
I'm an Aspie mom...I have one son with a mix of aspie & NT traits, and my mom (62) who is more than likely an aspie also.
*Normal* is just a setting on the dryer.
I was actually considering starting a blog/site/forum for Aspie parents! My husband and I will (hopefully) conceive soon (sorry, TMI) and we are both Aspie. It is a brave new world, this parenting thing. I know I would need some better insight than what I could garner from NT internet portals. Mainly, I would be afraid to ask questions that NT's would deem stupid or weird.
Do you all think this would be a valuable contribution to Aspie-dom?
Yes, says this Aspie mom of an Aspie daughter
I wonder if Homo Sapiens Sapiens called Neanderthals "NT"s too?
My spouse of five months is showing symptoms of being an Aspie. He says that a while back the doc labeled him with bi-polar, but my spouse doesn't feel that is the problem. He was put on meds for some time and he got off them. He said that he didn't feel normal with them, so he got off of them.
I am noticing that he fantasizes about his ex-wife. He tells me that they're still friends although she continues to cause him a lot of stress. She's taking him to court for a restraining order against him because he's harassing her, calling her, going by the house etc., and he doesn't feel that he's done anything wrong.
Re: all other females who may now realize their husband/partner or ex-husband/partner may have Asperger Syndrome. Over the past two days it has become clear (via school and concerned friends) that my eight year old son may have Asperger Syndrome.
Last night, I had that awful ah-ha experience of recognizing many, many incidents and situations in my past involving my ex-partner and (his family) that are now able to be explained and understood from an Aspergers framework.
My ex-partner (the dad of my eight year old boy) also pursued me for at least two to three years after I ended the relationship and moved to the next city. He simply carried on, and even stated that we were still in a relationship, but it was just that I now lived separately from him! He lived in his own fantasy/emotional world that was totally separate from the reality of the true emotional situation between us.
He has a history of domestic violence, exploding into a rage that no one ever sees coming (which I have always sensed comes from frustration that he cannot deal with).
He trained as a professional in the medical field but works as an admin officer. He has no friends, but will occasionally become associated with people through groups he engages with for support such as church groups. Dinner at Xmas with his family was bizarre: his brother would lecture you about topics that felt like a nobbish/ intellectual display of superiority and if I tried to be a natural, spontaneous person, I would promptly be cut off.
My thoughts were "where is the normal, natural relaxed banter and conversation (even fun) that 'normal' families have?". When our relationship finally broke down (permanently) I was very negative about him, thinking he was even a psychopath. E.g., when I was terribly sleep deprived when my boy was only weeks old, my ex-partner would wake me up in the morning from the luxury of (rare) sleep, simply to tell me that he was now off to work! Many things my ex-partner told me about his past when I first met him are now understandable.
My concern now is for my boy who is very attached to me and I know he loves me dearly. His behavior can be really difficult but at other times he is caring, considerate and loving. I have been aware for some time that his dad's behavior is setting up poor modeling of social skills: the lack of eye contact when (trying to) speaking) with him, allowing my efforts at speaking with him to be interrupted so that I feel I am speaking to a blank wall (or indeed myself).
My kid, at age six, even was able to tell me that he is "lonely" when he is with his dad, and that his dad often "does not answer" him. I wonder to what extent my son has learned these behaviors (lack of eye contact, not answering when spoken to by people other than me) or whether he will indeed also receive a diagnosis?
I take heart and thank all your contributions that give me hope that I can continue my loving relationship with him and give him everything he needs should he receive this diagnosis.
Aspergers individuals feel normal emotions, but we have a disability akin to dyslexia. We can't vocalize feelings, you need to accept that, and frankly you NTs forcing us to hate you.
I'm sure my husband is Aspie after reading articles in the past, and now through these posts.
He's an engineer in a highly technical industry, and everyone goes to him for his expertise. Trouble is, at 50, all his peers have risen up the company ranks. Due to his non-relational (lack of) skills, he's been left behind with no "reports" or managerial responsibilities. Maybe if he understood that it's due to AS, that would help.
Also, my issues with him concerning relational skills. He only smiles during sex - and that seems creepy! Our daughter is starting with a psychologist next month, whom I will try to ask (as an aside) suggest that she look for an indication of AS in him. Maybe she could bring it up, so that it wouldn't just be mean old critical wife griping again.
I know an Aspie security guard who hoarded over 60,000 dollars working as a security guard.
The diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome is totally misunderstood. For a good look at a mom with Asperger Syndrome who is raising a severely autistic son, there are some accounts online. The mom of this boy in these videos is clearly Asperger Syndrome or at least has major autistic tendencies, but it is something so subtle and overwhelmed by the situation she is in, few people have noticed this.
If you notice in one of her videos, while her autistic son is having self injurious behavior, she is bothered by the "commercials" and the "songs" on the radio. This is a tell tale sign of Asperger Syndrome at its highest functioning, as she appears to be very high functioning, but only exhibits Asperger Syndrome/autistic traits if you look at her life closely. Of supreme importance is the fact her son is severely autistic. This is no coincidence, my friends.
I've never been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. So I don't know if it have. But I can relate to most of the things I've heard about it. I think I have it.
What I want to know is, I was just watching this movie Magnificent 7 with Helena Bonham Carter. It's a good movie. It's about a woman with four boys who all have some form of autism. There's a boy in it that has Asperger Syndrome. He is getting tested and he's shown a picture of a piece of cardboard with a smiley face on it. I would at the age of 20 say there's a smiley face on it. But he at the age of 12 says it's just a piece of cardboard.
My mom thinks I have Asperger Syndrome. When she shared this with me I started reading about it and now I totally agree with her.
All my life, lullabies have made me cry. At 25, I'm now at the point where I hate them because of it. There is nothing in my life that happened to cause this.
Not only that, but I taught myself to read when I was 3. I was always years ahead of my peers when it came to reading. I had friends when I was in elementary school but after that, I got bullied and teased by everyone and was left with only a couple of people I could call friends, and others who would just talk to me in school.
I had things I became obsessed with. The weather, the Titanic, and I'm sure there were others but those were the two main things. I've outgrown my interest in weather and I still like the Titanic but I'm not obsessed like I once was.
I now find myself obsessed with TV shows and books. I can talk for hours about things I find interesting and bore people to death. Even my husband walks away from me sometimes. He still loves me, though!
I have an uncanny ability with math even though I hate it. Somehow I can ace math tests without even trying. I also play the piano by ear -- again that started when I was about two or three years old.
Oh, I remember another obsession: Cinderella. I think my mom wanted to burn that tape. LOL. I was always talking to adults, in a very adult like manner. Children my age thought I was weird (hence the bullying and teasing).
How do you differentiate an anti-social disorder from Asperger Syndrome? I think I'm weird so I'm going to go and look up a neurological disease so I can be at ease. Pharmaceutical companies have their greedy paws so deep into the medical doctors' pockets that they are pulling diseases out of said pockets.
According to the list of symptoms, over half the people I know could be diagnosed as having Asperger Syndrome. People are such hypochondriacs now days. Hell, I could easily say I have it. I'm the most awkward person I know. But, no, I embrace my weirdness and move along with life.
I have Aspergers syndrome and I have to laugh at a comment posted at the top of the list where a religious fanatic said that they were praying for us. Haha. This person believes in magical cartoon characters to 'help' us through praying and we are the ones who are considered mentally ill? Use your brain please. I think I speak for most of us when I say to keep your prayers to yourself.
I'd never heard of Aspergers until I'd been in an Aspie relationship for 15 years. I found out by accident when discussing a neighbor's autistic grandson with him. My husband's behavior was similar. One thing led to another and I discovered AS. It was a relief to finally know the reasons for my husband's odd behavior. To those in love with Aspergers people, I pray you will have the strength to deal with the issues you face each and every day. God bless you.
Wow. Reading these posts has opened by eyes to the true reality of Aspergers - not just what they say in textbooks, but how it affects people's lives. I am convinced I have many traits of it, as does my boyfriend.
I am, of all things, a journalist, which has been difficult socially if I have to conduct an interview on a day I'm feeling socially awkward or slow. Some days are better than others, no?
It's amazing how many of us spent years, even decades, living in solitude without realizing that it wasn't, technically, our fault for feeling socially awkward.
After reading all the posts on Aspergers Syndrome, I cried and cried for God's mercy so that all of our loved ones could be cured. Today, I know my prayers have been heard and God will touch you all with his love and mercy. Amen.
I'm a 30 year old woman and I believe I have AS. I've always felt odd and different from everyone else. I used to think that my shyness and my inability to make friends was due to lack of socialization as a kid. I was not around anyone except for family until I was in kindergarten.
The older I get, the worse it seems to have gotten. I still live in the same city I grew up in, yet I only have one friend. I've always envied other females who seemed to make friends so easily and were likable. I find it almost impossible now to form a friendship.
I've read through lists of symptoms of AS and I have quite a few of them. I tend to go on and on about subjects without realizing the other people are bored. My coworkers will abruptly change the subject with me. People have just walked off as I was speaking. I don't really listen to what they are saying.
I've had people tell me that I am way too intense and I scare others off.
I also seem to have no filter on what I think and what comes out of my mouth. I say inappropriate things a lot. I do have issues with control and anxiety. I cannot stand to have someone in my home (like a family member who is visiting from out of town) when I am not there. I get very anxious when my husband's son is at our house. I dislike the interruption to our daily routine.
I hate myself for feeling that way too. I try not to let my anxiety show and make him feel unwelcome.
I've always longed to live out in the middle of Alaska, far away from civilization. I just dislike people in general. The only people I can tolerate are my husband, daughter and my best friend.
I don't have the extreme intelligence in math (it was my worst subject) or music (I'm tone deaf). I've always loved English, literature and I'm addicted to reading. I read magazines, books, and blogs for hours every day.
I got married for the second time at 26, but before then I was in one failed relationship after another. I had the same issues with every man I was with. I've finally improved in that department and am able to be a better partner.
My husband once referred to me as a hermit to a marriage counselor. At that time I hadn't heard of AS or I would have told him I thought I had it and got his opinion.
I have read most the posts here, but none have addressed my concerns about AS. I have a son, 44, with AS. He has diagnosed himself and I agree. I love him so much, but he doesn't want anything to do with me. We haven't talked for months, he won't return my calls. What have I done to upset him?
It is difficult to talk with him as he takes everything I say to heart, that it's to him about him when in reality I have been referring to a TV show or another person. He blames me for his inability to socialize with females. In fact, he blames me for his life being what it is.
His dad also had AS and used alcohol to compensate for his lack of social skills. When confronted with a "get sober or a divorce", he chose to keep drinking as he could fit into the world much easier when he was drinking. He died at 47 from acute alcoholism.
I miss my son and am concerned with his well-being. He prefers to be alone, as he has all his life. He has only one friend, an ex-wife that he could not stand up to, and a teenage daughter that he has tried to be a dad to. He wants nothing to do with his sister and often calls her terrible names. Although he has AS, he has never missed a bi-monthly visitation with his daughter in her 17 years. This situation is difficult for her, too.
I wish someone would respond to this post regarding parental relationships with AS grown kids.
I work for a man who is a right pain in the butt. Then I suddenly got a thought he might have Asperger Syndrome. I read up and he ticks off all the boxes. Now I have more empathy and will try not to think he is such a jerk anymore. Information and knowledge helps.
I am the mom of a young woman with Aspergers. I am also a special education teacher and got into this field because of what I learned as a parent. I have read every post on this site and feel incredible empathy for some of the people who have expressed how difficult their lives are. My daughter is now 20 (2010) and if there is anything that I have learned either as a parent or as a teacher, I thought I would share my thoughts in case it helps someone:
Diagnosis can be really difficult. Twenty years ago, Aspergers wasn't well known and it took us a long time to get a diagnosis. My daughter was 15 by the time she was diagnosed, even though she was seeing several specialists.
We are all individuals, and two people with Aspergers can appear quite different. My daughter is extremely kind, empathic and interested in how other people feel. Nonetheless, she has Aspergers.
Although most people who have Aspergers have a special, intense interest, not everyone does. Some people have shifting intense interests.
My daughter struggles with social cues, talking too much, depression, irritability and appropriate, mature behavior. She also cannot determine when something is important. She often will demand attention for the smallest, inconsequential issues at the most inappropriate times.
I think it's helpful to get a "label" as early as possible to share with your family and the school because that way you can learn about the diagnosis and find resources. Get your kid on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to get special education services in school. Your kid may or may not need special help academically, but certainly your kid should get social pragmatic training or social skills. This is now done in schools. For any IEP which identifies a student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, the federal law requires that the school identify what social skill training the school is giving the student.
Whether kid or adult, try to get involved in a non-competitive activity. Martial arts has helped many. Music, the arts.
Square dancing! No kidding, square dancing is great exercise and appeals to many "math or engineer" types, probably because of the various patterns which are formed by eight people in a square. You have to take lessons and learn the calls, but square dancers are known as very accepting people. My husband and I like to dance and have recently started to take square dancing classes. We have observed it to be a very accepting community and have seen how people who struggle to be accepted are respected and welcomed in the square dance community.
While there are no medications specifically for Aspergers, if you have intense irritability or depression, you may benefit from mood stabilizers and or anti-depressants. Get a doctor who is really a specialist in treating people with ASD or Aspergers.
Try to go into a field where you do not have to rely so heavily on social skills. Has anyone read any of Temple Grandin's books? She is someone who has done amazing things with animals and is an inspiration to many. My daughter is studying animal care at our local community college because she is passionate about animals. She will not have to read social cues with animals. See if you can use your interest to earn a living and thereby love your job.
Get support from a church, temple or synagogue. Didn't work the first time? Try again. Unitarian Universalists (UU's) are an incredibly accepting community. UU's are committed to the belief that everyone should be accepted for who they are. UUs have long had gay/lesbian and transgendered ministers, long before it was fashionable. My daughter and many other people I know with disabilities have received great support at UU churches.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the therapy which is highly recommended for people with Aspergers. Find a therapist who really is a specialist at working with patients who have ASD or Aspergers. Together, you and your therapist target specific behaviors which are causing you the most difficulty. The therapist will then assign certain "homework", in which you practice new responses and new behaviors. Practicing, with a therapist's support and advice, will help you develop new strategies.
I suggest coming up with a clear explanation of Aspergers as it applies to you. Use it when you meet new people or are experiencing difficulty somewhere. Explain to the person you are dealing with that you have Aspergers and you have difficulty with social cues. Although you may not respond in the same way others might, you mean no offense and would appreciate it if people could try to make their concerns clear to you.
Finally, if you are having trouble with employment, go to your state's Rehabilitation Commission. It is the Rehab Commission's mission to help you find employment that you can keep. They will talk to employers and explain your situation and needs. Many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Aspergers qualify for rehab services. They can be extremely helpful. If you're a hard worker, there should be no reason why you experience continual job loss if you have the right support.
I've finally found a home. I am a secretary at an engineering firm, surrounded by rocket scientists and other geeks all day long. And now I understand why I fit in so well.
While reading "The Big Short," I discovered one of the architects of the most recent financial collapse was a member of this club. As I was reading the description of his symptoms I thought they sounded vaguely familiar, then someone at work the next week mentioned that most engineers were AS. It was then that I realized why I felt so comfortable working there.
I have always been criticized for being too analytical, too literal and I never understood what was wrong with that. My hobbies are music and languages and mostly because they are mysteries to me that need to be fathomed. I like to spend my weekends locked in my home, recuperating from the social interaction at work.
Shyness dogged me for decades, then I learned to act. Now I have some acquaintances but no true friends, other than my sisters who are not always pleased to hear from me and rarely contact me.
My second husband was AS I now believe, although originally I thought we both had ADD. I have a warm relationship with both of my grown daughters, but only hear from them occasionally. I live alone now and love it and hate it.
My uncle suggested that my mom may have Asperger Syndrome. after reading up on it, I think she just might. she also has epilepsy, which may have hidden or covered a lot of the clues.
She has no friends her age, and the few people she hangs out with are my friends who she has been like a mom to. occasional outbursts of rage, depression when she feels she has messed up, a serious lack of social skills, and repetitive hand motions when she is having small seizures.
My daughter is marrying a aspie. I was married to a manic-depressive for 22 years and am trying to come to terms with the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. from the Harvard School of Medicine. The hardest part for me has been separating the aspie symptoms from the person.
Life makes us accountable for our actions and decisions and I feel sympathy for those who have personality disorders that create havoc with the realities of life.
I have Aspergers, and like post no. 5 I have a family member that I am almost positive has AS, but it's not my brother -- it's my dad.
He is over 60 years old and we are in an eastern developing country, where seeing shrinks is not really a welcomed idea and not accepted for some like the west. Also, education and reaching information is not easily accessible for him. He is not an internet user.
I am certain he has no idea that he has AS, as well as other symptoms like social anxiety and mild attention deficit disorder.
I can feel him wondering what's going on with him and I'm torn and wish to give him a hint/little information.
When I knew about myself having AS only this year and I'm 25, I was happy that I knew what's going on with me but at the same time I was very sad, cried and felt hurt very deep inside me. I don't know the reaction of a dad receiving this information from his kid, since he is over 60 years old.
I am afraid that something bad might happen to him, like severe depression or something else. Also I don't think that I can approach a friend of his if this is a suggestion, as he has no friends.
Do you think I could approach him with the idea that he might have AS (He is my dad and over 60 years old), and if so, how?
Or better not shock him after all these years?
I have been reading these posts and really feel that this is me! I am a 38 year old woman who has been living with these symptoms since childhood. I always felt out of place and unaccepted by my peers and family. I was always bullied in school and never spoke up for myself.
I am deathly afraid of failure. I have never found my niche in life. I have above average intelligence but cannot complete my undergraduate degree. I love science and play many instruments.
I struggle with stable employment and was diagnosed with bipolar depression. I never knew how to feel or how to respond to everyday situations. I always doubt my feelings and beat myself up when things go wrong.
Recently, my mom revealed to me that when I was younger the doctor diagnosed me with mild autism, which I now know is Asperger Syndrome. My mom ignored the diagnosis and pushed me even harder. I wish she hadn't done that because maybe I would have a better quality of life today. I am always so confused and torn by how to react to situations and fearful that if I react wrong I will be punished in some sort of way.
I am a loner and never had many friends. I prefer to be alone in my own world. I feel safe when I am by myself.
I struggle every day with the normal routine of life. I cannot seem to have an uneventful day ever.
I become overwhelmed when I have to be in social situations and will normally opt out. I avoid crowds and have had few romantic relationships and do not recognize when the opposite sex shows interest. You must verbally express your feelings to me for me to get it. I do not respond to non verbal communication.
To all of you who have posted prior: God is watching you and knows your difficulties and will never put you through something you don't have the skills or strength to handle. Yes I have religion, but it is a hell of a lot better than being in the basement with no hope.
I wanted to encourage all of those spouses who live with a diagnosed or undiagnosed Aspergian. I agree with post number 20 and his sarcasm in some aspects. I don't believe that the diagnostic knowing that you are "labeled" is the cure.
Sure. it helps get you into areas of help from the community you couldn't otherwise access. But, it’s not a rug you can sweep your problems under or blame for all of you personality flaws.
Since most of you are extremely intelligent and can mimic better than any actor it isn’t a my glass is half empty, but a my glass is half full; let's go see where we can get to be in the “normal of society” Which there isn’t but we won’t go there today.
Learning to communicate on a bigger scale with any Aspergian is a good start. One dear person wrote that you just have to tell them in more detail. If you over communicate then all is usually smooth! For example, with most of the AS people in my family circle, you just pleasantly tell them they need to this, this, this, and this. Don't nag, make a game of it. The more positive you are, the less stubbornness you see from them on the cooperation scale.
My hubby and I had struggled for quite a few years with our relationship. We have just learned to dance around the bad times and go on. Aren't you married under the saying for better or worse in good and bad times? With the diagnosis of our eight year old this year it has so improved how we as a couple deal with our emotional mess of a family. I'll tell you more about us later.
I have to tell you about my son. Unlike a lot of the information I’ve gleaned about social interaction, he is a social butterfly most of the time, he just doesn't know where other people’s spaces are. He misses his hugs and gives them to everyone. He will often invade your space to the point of help, I need a breath.
What put him in the AS category was the following:
1. Extreme knowledge/Intelligence. This kid carries out conversations as if he were an adult. In fact, he would rather function in the adult world than in his own. He has a vocabulary that overwhelms me and he knows the meaning of each word and if he doesn't he asks.
A true walking encyclopedia as Aspergers people are often labeled. But when he started second grade this year he couldn't even read on a Kindergarten basis.
2. Memory retention beyond scale. It is phenomenal what he remembers. But it is always in an area that is pertinent to him. Don’t expect any Aspie kid to like memorizing their spelling words. But put this knowledge to work for you -- it makes a fun mental game for them. When you can't remember where you put something in the house such as keys, phone, remember a grocery item at the grocery store or a specific date or number, they are more than willing to help you.
3. Tunnel vision in things mechanical (a little engineer). my son loves anything that can be designed into something else. Legos, string and a stick, tinker toys, connects, old boxes, etc. Provide them with things to challenge their design skills. In our family it is helicopters and they are designed from everything.
4. Extreme anger outbursts. These come from frustration of not being able to communicate through the “wall” of their knowledge to the outside.
Being a supportive mother is my ultimate goal so that said, I set out to find ways I could help him with any problems he might encounter. We have found a lot of help online. The other help has come from an unexpected resource - his school. I had a very low opinion of public schools, but this one is out of this world in their teaching and caring skills. My son is not a number in the hallway.
I’m excited to say that at the end of the school year, my son is passing his second grade with flying colors along with the others and at their academic skill level!
Because of all of this, my husband is one of those cases who can finally realize where his tendencies toward eccentricity come from and deal with them. Me, myself and I took the path towards Bi-Polar, ADHD with symptoms becoming more pronounced with age. With all of these labels I just remember one thing: we are perfect in God’s eyes!
I have AS. In no way is it a "condition" and I don't suffer with it. It is just something you develop.
They may say it is part of the autism spectrum but there is a hell of a difference between AS and autism. Most people with autism can't carry on a conversation but people with AS can and provide eye contact as well.
Though I may have it, I believe I am growing out of it. I wasn't as shy as I was six or seven years ago, I can look people in the eye, and though I'm not that social I am trying to be. So there you go. That is all I will provide.
This is incredible. I think I just inadvertently realized my husband may have Asperger Syndrome. I've got a 2 1/2 year-old son who doesn't have an official diagnosis yet, but looks to be at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
He's in an intensive early intervention program: 25 hours/week of ABA Therapy (adaptive behavioral analysis). He's doing really well and is finally starting to talk. But I definitely see areas where he's not developing -- mainly in the social/emotional and ability to communicate. He also lacks the ability to 'pretend play', a key milestone.
I was reading up on Asperger Syndrome and read this site and these postings. This is my husband to a tee -- and his dad, my dad-in-law, as well. In fact, it explains so much about his family who I've always described as less of a family and more a group of preoccupied, absorbed individuals. None of my husband's siblings -- all in their 40's and 50's -- have ever been ever to find partners and seem to struggle with relationships.
I've always worked hard to connect with his brother, whose conversations are totally one-sided. They all tend toward long one-sided monologues where the patient listener is dragged along for the ride and rarely reciprocated. That's three generations, and from what I've gathered, great-granddad seemed to struggle with some difficult issues and had a job that required intense focus.
My life has taken and unexpected turn with my son's Autism/Asperger Syndrome. But he is my gift, and I pray that I have the grace to understand him, support him and help him unfold and develop into a wonderful, resilient, happy and fulfilled person.
I have no idea whether this insight might help or hurt his family at this point. A lot of healing and understanding could come from it, but good intentions can carry unintended consequences. This is a journey I'm on. But we're all on a journey of some sort, aren't we?
To the person who asked whether anyone else walks around with their head down: yes. I am like that, my grandpa was like that, and his brother was like that.
After seeing the symptoms and behaviors of Asperger Syndrome in adults, I am certain that the man I love and broke up with has it. Inability and unwillingness to communicate, extremely rigid in ideas, way of thinking, frighteningly afraid of any kind of change no matter how small. Obsessed with traffic patterns and how roads are built.
I came to the conclusion he was just a jerk and I loved the wrong man and now I am very sure this is what he has. I love him very much but apparently I scare him because I ask him to communicate and talk and open his mind to new ideas and this is too much for him.
I am a 41 year old married woman with two boys (both Aspergers people!) a girl (probably an Aspie!) and my husband is an Aspie as well! I've been reading all these posts and can say that my heart goes out to all of you!
Personally I grew up with an Aspie (my dad) and always had a difficult time with understanding others because they were not like my Dad. I always attracted the geeks, nerds and weirdos because I seemed to be able to understand them when others couldn't. I am very outgoing and have a lot of empathy and caring for others. I think this gives me the ability to understand people who have AS.
My husband and I have been together for over 21 years, (married 14!) and have had many ups and downs and I also thought of getting a divorce. Finally I got my husband to read the book “Freaks, Geeks and Aspergers” by Luke Jackson and he finally realized that he probably had AS. Our relationship changed for the better and now I understand him better and he also understands himself better.
Our oldest son is 13 and was finally diagnosed when he was six. I've done a lot of research and will tell you some of the things that we did for him that might help you too.
First: See if you can go to a local college and take a social skills class. These are normally offered through the speech department.
Second: See if you can find an occupational therapist that does sensory integration.
Third: Take a martial arts class.
Fourth: Also learn how to do yoga or another relaxation art form.
Fifth: Try to unplug from the TV or Computer and go outside in nature! Find a stream, river or creek and play and listen to the water. My husband and children are all fascinated by water!
Sixth: Try not to be so hard on yourself!
Seventh: Use a timer when working on your passion. Tell yourself you have 15-30 minutes and then go on to something else.
Eighth: Try to practice smiling in front of the mirror. When in conversation and you have to smile (like when saying hello and goodbye). Try to think of something that makes you laugh and then your smile looks normal and not so stiff and fake.
Ninth: Unless you have another diagnosis, (like bipolar) get off your meds! Most meds do not work for Aspergers people! None of my children or husband are on drugs (except for like asthma and blood pressure).
Last: Go on the wheat-free, gluten free, and casein-free diet! This means anything that has wheat, oats, barley, rye or milk in it. Our oldest son was non-verbal, wouldn't look you in the eye, stemmed a lot, had horrible tantrums and was very hyper until we put him on this diet. He is now almost "normal" and is very human and not so robot like. In fact, most people don't realize he has AS! It doesn't fix all the problems, but does help with most of them.
The best way to go about this diet is to visit a Celiac website and follow the instructions for a wheat free and gluten free and casein free diet. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that this has made the biggest difference in my kids’ lives. We also went dye free, preservative free, hormone free, and sugar free and organic as well! We use rice milk, rice flours for cooking and baking and rice or corn pasta, lots of veggies and hormone free meats. We have done a lot of experimenting over the years with what worked and what didn't and watched our children get "high" off of wheat foods and not get "high" on rice and corn.
They are all very healthy and have met or exceeded their growth charts. They don't seem to have the wild and crazy mood swings, they all have friends and participate in sports and music. All of them received at least a perfect score on their SOLs (Standards of Learning) and our youngest received all perfect scores on all his SOL's. I am able to help them with their social problems and to help them understand social and body cues better than when they were eating wheat and milk.
I could write a book on everything that I have learned by having an Aspie family (one of my goals, if I can find the time!) and what a wonderful journey it has been!
Wow. I am in like company for sure. I just broke up with my girlfriend b/c of many of the more challenging aspects of Aspergers.
Her oldest son was diagnosed with AS but my ex-gf has not come to terms with her own unique behaviors. Biggest problems have been: aggressiveness, inappropriate behaviors, obsession with single topics, not picking up on social cues, and taking things inappropriately - not really stealing but seeming greedy.
We go out mostly with my friends, and she never contributes to the meal, no BYOB at parties, no gifts for the host. When we go for dinner at a friend's, she eats and drinks excessively.
I truly think that she sees all this 'free stuff' as really good value and wants to maximize her consumption.
I gave this relationship two years and after some break up/make up incidents, I finally packed it in altogether.
I think my husband has AS. Whenever I've mentioned anything to him in the past that me might be a little "different", he is completely offended! Any suggestions on how to get a professional evaluation without completely offending someone?
GracieJoy-: As is the case for anything in life, you need to weigh the positives vs. the negatives on continuing with an Asperger partner.
I have chronic but mild depression and my husband is an undiagnosed Aspie (I like this spelling better than "Aspey"). Following are some thoughts to get you started:
Positives - 1) Aspergers individuals are loyal to a fault and as my therapist says, "He is all but incapable of cheating on you. It is not even a blip within his cognitive framework in regards to your relationship."
2) You know where he is at night; watching baseball or a movie. Not out spending money, meeting females, drinking, etc.
3)Any social functions you go to will be of your choosing, with people you like. He does not have the relationships, invites, social skills, nor desire to draw you into them with his friends (if he even has any), family nor coworkers.
Family gatherings usually only occur if and because you arrange them with his mom.
4)If and when you have children, he would rather take care of them than go "out and about" with you. This allows you to get some much needed and deserved alone time.
5) He will usually do whatever you tell him to, in terms of cleaning, fixing things, bathing the kids, etc.
Negatives - 1) You will never feel like he is your "soul mate" as it is extremely difficult to form intensely intimate emotional bonds with a man who is incapable and/or uninterested of/in such.
2) You will often have to deal with at least an initial struggle/adult "tantrum" when trying to get him to go out and experience life with you. 3) You will probably have to receive most of your emotional stimulation from your girl friends and family.
4) You have to tell him what to do, show him how to do it, and repeat this process forever, before he finally "gets it" and it becomes part of his routine.
5) There is nothing "obvious" about Aspergers people. Say you're standing there with several bags of groceries, a kid on your hip and are about to topple over in your work high-heels. He will just stand there and stare at you with a dumb founded look on his face. You have to tell him to come help you. This includes exactly what to do to, like, please take the groceries and put them on the counter, then go back outside and get the rest of the groceries from the trunk and put them away.
Please note that most of what I get irritated over and I blame on my husband's Aspergers is common to the male genetic code and the success of your relationship will be to "pick your battles" and be grateful that, although you have to instruct him as you would when scripting computer code, at least he is willing to do it. Many "normal" men aren't.
I think my boyfriend has AS. I feel sad for him because he has no friends except me, is socially awkward, doesn't always make eye contact, is unable to express physical affection or express his emotions, walks hunched over and is so obsessed with baseball and watching movies on TV.
He lives in his own world, like a bubble and doesn't engage in conversations about anything that isn't a die-hard interest to him. He rarely seems to care about what I have to say.
When we first got together I was heavily engaged is using prescription medication and never noticed these symptoms. But now that I am sober they are glaring.
He recently moved out, just across the street because I was going through a bad depression for which I am now medicated. We still remain "together" and he spends weekends at my apartment and we talk every day.
I love him so much and he hasn't been diagnosed and I can't just come out and tell him that I've been reading up on AS and I think he has it. He is the sweetest person and I really feel that if things don't change I'll just have to be his friend, not girlfriend, which I don't think he'll seem to mind because he's seems disinterested. But I want to give it a chance.
Our sex life is weird because he sexually expresses himself in a very domineering way (hair pulling, spanking) and then afterward he's right back to his regular self. Do people with AS express their pent up anger sexually?
thank you all for sharing part of your lives with me. my daughter is 30 years old this month and has all the symptoms of Aspergers syndrome.
this was diagnosed as many things over the years at different times by different doctors who saw various symptoms. at the times she was being treated for one or the other of her symptoms, she was beating on me and sometimes I feel like running away but at least now these tantrums have a name and I am learning how to handle her aggression better.
I've only known about this disorder seven days but knowing gives me hope. she is a very bright girl and she is beautiful. I mean outwardly, especially, and inwardly when she is at herself, but on some of her bad days any little thing can throw her into a rage. She gets depressed a lot, mostly over things she brings on herself because of how she handles situations with others. It tears me apart seeing her suffer daily. Rarely is there a day that goes by without turmoil or upsets.
As a mother it so scares me to even leave her side this year because she has no insurance. the ones treating her for these past symptoms have mostly been emergency room physicians due to self medicating. they tend to totally misunderstand how sick she really has been. they are not hearing what I am saying and have had her put in jail for her behavior. She is in the one-third group who have seizures with this disorder and she has been in i.c.u. three times for the seizures and has regular seizure activity.
I love her so much but doors keep closing. if there is anyone out there who can help, keep in mind before you answer I am a mom who has been trying. She has been denied her disability three times and has had this condition, or signs of it, since a very young age and was treated by psychiatrist until she was 18. Then she decided she wouldn't listen to them (and they were of little assistance ) or me so I have just prayed a lot and try to let her have her independence and watch after her daily by either being with her myself or making sure someone is, because without even realizing it, she can be a danger to herself and others.
There have been a few desperate times her family stepped in to place her in a state hospital through a judge's order but they only would keep her for 24 hours because she can convince anyone she's fine and get home and the tantrums start back before her feet hit the room.
I will greatly appreciate any help and advice that is sincere. thank you all once more. --loving mom
I am currently in a six-month relationship with a 24 year old whom I totally and completely love. He has Aspergers.
We have had many issues lately, but it was not until I came here and read some of the postings from people who have the syndrome that I now understand some of the problems we are having are totally and completely normal.
As someone who loves him, I need to know how to handle some of the problems with being in public, and handle the difficulty in talking about things.
I saw Mozart and the Whale. It could have done without the girl wanting to have sex with Hartnett's character, but I guess those raped in youth can become that way, due to a loss of self-esteem (they can feel some need to pleasure men for the self-esteem, but we know pleasures of the flesh never fulfills a soul; but only God can)--so sad a mindset she had.
I guess his mindset, or maybe emptiness, didn't allow him to see he was taking advantage of her sexual disorder by consenting. Hopefully, they completed each other, as it's based on a true story.
There were others in Hartnett's Aspie group, who show other symptoms.
I couldn't find "Adam" online.
Maybe there is an alternative to Asperger Syndrome. I've read Rev. Conrad Hock's "The Four Temperaments" and Art and Lorraine Bennett's, "The Temperament God Gave You," which is more extensive and much better, and no less psychological (the Catholic references are for examples, but the information is religious), than Keirsey's 16 temperaments model.
I believe I am about 50/50 melancholic/phlegmatic. I am shy around a room of strangers, but I can be social around those with whom I am comfortable.
I can be fussy and critical, but not as much or as near as frequently in-person as a pure melancholic. I am an idealist, but also not as much as a pure melancholic. I do fear failure and big projects, like a pure melancholic, but I can do big things, if my back is against the wall (I don't plan big vacations, but if something goes wrong, I make do).
I can't decide what I should do in life. I get many sarcastic and non-verbal signs, I think, though likely less than my more extroverted siblings and peers.
There are other similar to temperaments things about me. Some are like Aspergers.
Maybe the Aspergers test and a temperament test can tell complimentary things about an introvert.
I am no trained psychologist, but I am an introvert and I wonder if family dynamics and peer dynamics may play a part in how socially one behaves. If you're shouted at for not finding something, you might become anxious in life and not develop correctly socially speaking.
If peers make fun of you for being an introvert, you may not develop like most, either. In these times, avoiding the mainstream often may be a good thing.
Some become religious hermits and the mystics amongst them can be fussy at those who act stupidly.
I have a friend who says he's an Asp, though, despite being drawn to logic, match, music chords, he seems to get play on words humor, as well. He adapts better than I do to not let his weak points get the best of him. I can be subconsciously reticent, by becoming half-assed about what my heart isn't into, though; I can complain if I feel I can't succeed, but that could be some of a melancholic temperament.
By the way, Kingdom Hall is Jehovah's Witnesses and not Christian, even (if their baptism is not the shared Christian trinitarian with water kind, it's not Christian). They mean well, I'm sure, and have a fine healthcare system, I think, but they do not have the way, the truth and the life, Christ brought us via the church and priesthood established in the New Testament, the Catholic Church.
The Apostles made personal mistakes, but God revealed his Dad's pastoral direction and truths he was ready to reveal to us through them, anyway, so don't let the scandals make you indifferent about a true church, which I said what it is.
We even have a Guardian Angel and a patron saint or two (can't do well to leave out Christ's mom and foster-dad) for certain petitions, through whom you can offer up to God your praise, penitence, petition and anything else, as they lived heroic lives of grace and can make our prayers from our sinful selves more positively answered. St. Dymphna can, for example, help with mental troubles.
They can help us strengthen what are the weak points of our psychology. Praise God!
So many questions, and I am almost afraid to go and get the answers. I was bullied in school, and I don't even want to go into how bad that was for me. Worse than that was the fear that if I had tried to fight back I would have been punished at home for getting in trouble in school. Seems there was nothing wrong with me that a beating wouldn't take care of.
I was always told how self centered I was. I have no real self esteem. I always wanted to be able to do something that would be special so that others would like me more. Cars -- I've always been fascinated with cars; in fact I ended up being a mechanic and almost never stop studying about them.
I have not been diagnosed. I continually try to hide my shortcomings. I even hid the fact that I got beat up at school all of the time. I never wrote anything in school or elsewhere if I could avoid it.
All but a couple of the educators somehow realized that there was no sense in expecting to get homework turned in from me. From them I'd get good grades, just from what I did in the classroom. The others all came close to failing me.
Truth is I almost cannot write by hand, never could. Today, typing on the computer allows me to write. I actually see most of the mistakes, and of course simply letting the computer check the spelling and grammar really lets me do something that I never could have done by hand. Yet hardly a day goes by where I don't spend a lot of time alone.
I opened my own repair shop and work all by myself except for a little help from my wife. I think I yell at her all of the time, and she is just about the only person that likes me. Why am I the way that I am?
When it's just me all by myself and I am working on someone’s car I'm OK. I can fix the cars, but I can't keep the people happy. I've had people say that I'm odd, some use the word different.
One person recently asked me if I have heard of Asperger Syndrome so I have been reading and found this site. I'm really wondering about this, and am really apprehensive about posting this now that I wrote it.
I wonder how Asperger Syndrome may be different than a melancholic temperament, with maybe some of the phlegmatic (for those more social and less tidy melancholics)--see "The 4 Temperaments" by Rev Conrad Hock, which can be read online, or the more extensive: "The Temperament God Gave You" by Art and Laraine Bennett (though with Catholic things mentioned as context or sometimes examples, the reads are not theological in themselves) to see what I'm talking about. Many psychologists may use the 16 temperament model by another author, but none of those explained me as well as melancholic-phlegmatic (about 50/50%) mix from the Bennett's book about the 4 temperaments. The two sets of authors (Hock and the Bennetts) differ on whether there could be a melancholic-sanguine, because the more psychologically-trained (I think, but could be wrong) second authors see no mix of an introverted and extroverted temperament. The Aspie tests may make the difference between Asperger Syndrome and a temperament or temperament mix, but the psychologist may be hooked on a particular method. Who knows? Maybe the two methods are complimentary.
Though I have smiled when criticized by one who's not threatening to me, I am into sanitizer, can't stand my room getting looked in upon by a parent, run off most all, but conservative pro-lifers, on Facebook and am not good in interviews, I am not anywhere near interested in math and I get subtle humor and sarcasm, though likely not as keenly as extroverts. A friend, who says he has Asperger Syndrome, can get dorky jokes, as well. He doesn't like being around more than a loved one or two or a friend, but he makes himself adapt, which I rarely can do. I have trouble doing what I don't want to do, often because I fear failure and not obstinacy.
Below is a possibility I thought of (I'm not a trained psychologist, but I'm introverted and don't relate, in many ways, to most my peers) for socially-challenged introverted behavior.
Some may be in their own shell, just for being shy or maybe because of a hyper-critical or kneejerk shouter parent, who shouts at an sensitive kid inconsistently or whose shouting unnerves a sensitive kid and may affect bolder siblings in a different way. Maybe none of that happened, but the kid got teased and deep-down, had no connection made with his/her peers.
These post are so me, I cannot believe all the people who feel and act just as I do. I always was so depressed for being "abnormal".
I have another possible symptom I want to ask if anyone else has. I always walk around with my head down. I almost run into things that are not at ground level because I am always looking down, like I am ashamed. But maybe it's to avoid eye contact.
I always thought my avoidance of eye contact was due to my drug and alcohol use, not wanting people to see my eyes.
I have had terrible bouts with substance abuse. I have abused just about everything except heroin. Nearly died like six times, plus one suicide attempt.
Anyway, back to my original question,(my aspie got me off track) do you walk around with your head down?
God help us and those who love us all.
I just came across this site and am desperate to talk to someone. I know this is anon, but I just read this woman's post and realized she was describing the way my boyfriend behaves. I am posting today in the hopes of either contacting her or finding someone else in similar situation. I just really want to somehow contact her because I have some questions which I want to compare with my boyfriend's symptoms. she goes by the handle -anon78631 and the post number is 121. anon78631, if you see my post, I would so appreciate in learning more about your experience with your ex husband. If you'd rather not, I at least wanted to thank you for completely altering my outlook which thereby has forced me to now feel mercy and compassion to someone I was certain was selfish and callous. Your words just made an aspie get a second chance he so desperately deserves.
I feel so horrible for being so harsh with my boyfriend and exacerbating his symptoms with my hurtful words. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as I have, but I've always been skeptical about his bp symptoms since they are so different from mine. I've seen him depressed, but never manic in the euphoric/social sense which is why the bpd diagnosis didn't sit right with me. See, I am classic textbook b minus the psychotic part which is why I can easily recognize the typical symptoms.
Of, I'll try to be brief. Here's the scoop. This past year we both found a new psychiatrist who was great and just a few months ago the doctor told my boyfriend that he suspected my boyfriend had Aspergers. Sadly, this same doctor died suddenly and unexpectedly a week ago.
My boyfriend was just admitted into a psych ward for depression. He had already started feeling depression for some time, but I, in my ignorance, exploded on him due to my growing resentments and hurt (with regards to what I interpreted as selfishness, self absorption, disinterest in hearing "my stories", but has no problem going on and on about his.)
His social problems have been a great source of conflict between us and just before he went into the hospital, I said and did some pretty hurtful things because I felt so rejected, unloved and unappreciated. I'm not at all that type of vindictive cruel sort of person, but my reaction was partly due to past ex-boyfriend hurt projections and my wanting to "shake him up" for an emotional response. Part of my thinking was sort of along the lines of: "if I get him to cry, (which he never has), then I'd know there are signs of life".
I broke up with him before he left and told him I couldn't marry him. I even took out the engagement ring he had hidden from me (which he didn't know I knew about) and I put on a pretty dramatic show. I know I am extremely broken from my own past wounds and mood disorder which had much to do with what drove me to those lengths, but after reading this woman's story, it made me take my former doctor's recent diagnosis seriously.
I knew a bit about Aspergers syndrome before and did see common traits in my boyfriend, but they didn't seem "strong" enough to fit the bill (from what I understood about the syndrome) and thought that maybe the doctor misdiagnosed him or that my boyfriend may have wanted to use it as an excuse for what I interpreted as "coldness" even though he can also be very sweet and warm and romantic.
The romantic part was mostly expressed in written form before we met in person, so I had these very high expectations and hence, my drama.
So, all this to say, my boyfriend doesn't seem to have the extremes of asp. I see here, but he hates the phone, avoids social events/crowds and even one on one time with anyone else but me or a therapist who will allow him to talk about himself forever.
He is highly intelligent, creative, hates talking on the phone, is detached from most people including his family, comes across as aloof and rude in company due to his lack of expression and natural social responses and seems irritated his space has been invaded.
Oh, and he also shows some signs/routines he and I have always thought of as ocd. Oh and yeah, he was a loner in school growing up, thin skinned and bullied. Bottled up rage because he didn't "speak up" for himself.
Ok, I'm done. Sorry for the length. I'm in manic mode. Is there a way that someone could help me by putting me in touch with wives of husbands with asp. so I can learn to better cope and understand his symptoms? I would love it if this woman (anon78631) would see my post and respond to me here on this site.
Thanks for listening, monica
People with Aspergers Syndrome do not lack emotion. People with Aspergers Syndrome have the same emotions as everyone else, there is just a barrier in communication which prevents them from realizing the emotional tone of the situation, and prevents them from expressing their emotions sufficiently to the rest of the world.
If a person with Aspergers Syndrome seems indifferent to your pain, it's because they were not able to determine from you that you were in pain. It is not that they do not have an ability to empathize with you.
If a person with Aspergers Syndrome says they love you, but does not act in a way which you feel really drives the point home (why would you marry someone who you thought really doesn't love you anyway?), it's because they feel they are expressing it sufficiently.
You should take the words over non-verbal cues with someone with Aspergers Syndrome.
Always felt I didn't fit in. Few if any jokes are funny. I am not interested in your personal life stories. Tell me something I don't know or tell me nothing.
I hate team sports and group efforts -- just a way to take advantage of my efforts for someone else's gain.
Very few friends and rarely in contact. People generally bother me. I don't like talking on the phone, unless it's business or to save time.
I hated school. It wasn't a social event, more like prison.
My teenage years were spent drinking or drugs to compensate for my social awkwardness.
I can work with the public effectively but have problems one on one.
I do not discuss my personal feelings with anyone including my wife. I can provide financial support for my family but emotionally I am blank. The Omega Man or I am Legend style of living has a certain appeal (was it supposed to be scary?)
I don't get Moms Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.
The older I get the less satisfaction I get out of things I used to enjoy.
I am not interested in sharing experiences with others. Social events are hell, and I am ready to leave five minutes after arriving.
These are just some of the feelings of having Asperger Syndrome.
My wife gets upset and emotional with me. I do not know how to respond so I just go quiet. Her complaints are valid. I do not, nor know how to, provide the emotional and social interactions that my family deserves.
My oldest boy has mild autism. My younger son is my clone, with Asperger Syndrome. And my daughter has mild Aspergers.
I dated a man (47) for three months who drove me crazy. He was very interested in me at first and pursued me but then he would say he would call, then wouldn't and this pattern kept repeating itself, as well as breaking dates. He was very unreliable. After a while I got tired of it and broke up with him.
Recently we started seeing each other, but his behavior is all over the place. He'll seem very interested but I notice that lack of eye contact, the inability to make plans and a failure to connect and really communicate. Sometimes he really makes me laugh and makes me feel he really wants me; other times he's very impulsive and detached.
I am a 50 year old male who only recently suspects that I may have AS. Early in my childhood I never seemed to fit into social circles. I was often talking over the heads of my peers and was absolutely incapable of feeling anything towards others.
As I entered second grade, my teacher suspected I was more intelligent than other children and tested me. I scored an I.Q. of 149 and was entered into the M.G.M. program in the 1960's, however this only exacerbated my emotional problems by isolating me even further from the friends and relationships I so desperately needed in my life. I quit the M.G.M. later that year.
During school I would typically hang out with the social outcast groups - the nerds and geeks, although I desperately tried to fit in with more popular and "normal" social enclaves.
I excelled at science, drafting, drawing and music, but unlike other AS sufferers, I did not do well at math. I understood and mastered finite mathematics extremely well, but dealing with abstracts and unknowns was difficult for me.
In frustration I would occasionally lash out emotionally and become angry and despondent. I attempted suicide once. My parents sent me to a psychologist for a short time, but as AS was still not completely understood or even recognized at that time, this diagnosis eluded my counselors.
My symptoms continued into young adulthood and I would become extremely and intensely focused on certain things and completely indifferent to others. This continues even today, and I have to fight the urge to become obsessed in areas of my life.
My coping mechanism has been to mimic other people's facial expressions, speech, tone and even quotes. I frequently go to movies and read books to gather information, which I can use to function and sound normal with. I have built a series of pat responses to people based on phrases I've taken from the media and some of my lifetime encounters. I still cannot feel true empathy, however I've learned to imitate it pretty well. And, as females from my various relationships have pointed out, I am not intuitive at all either – something you don't miss, not ever having had it.
Although I can feel sadness, loneliness and other emotions, feeling sad for other people's pain or loss is completely foreign to me.
My desire for knowledge and trivia has led me to a career working at a library, where I am comfortable, capable and happy. I have worked myself into a position where I don't have to interact with the public much and have the freedom to direct most of my own activities.
Previously, I worked in the sciences, such as in geophysics, chemistry and water treatment. Working by myself either outdoors or in a laboratory suited me well for much of my life, but I became burned out, even with those things.
For those who have similar experiences to mine, you need to know that there are others like you and you are not alone. Lacking empathy doesn't mean you are insensitive or unfeeling. Coping by using rote memorization doesn't mean you are not genuine or phony. Thinking logically and rationally doesn't mean you are a robot. We are people who struggle with the same things other people face: love, acceptance, understanding, rejection, hurt, loss, goals, dreams, and ambitions.
While there may not be a cure for this condition, we not only survive in this world but add to it greatly. I hope sharing my experiences briefly has given someone hope today. Thanks.
I'm a 35 year old lady with Asperger Syndrome. I had an appalling first 18 years due to ignorance, bullying and abuse. I left high school with my self esteem in tatters and found it hard to cope in the adult world afterward.
Despite my high intelligence, I've pretty well let down my family by not being able to go into a white collar career that matches my IQ. Currently, I work in a restaurant. It's ok and pays quite well. My relationships ended in failure because none of the men were suitable. They had issues of their own. I'll never have kids and find that quite uncomfortable, especially when I see young moms pushing prams.
The condition has been costly. I've missed many opportunities because of it. I have many passions, though, have travelled widely and my family are supportive of my quirkiness, as I'm the only one in my family with this.
The accounts I've read here brought back a lot of memories. My wife and I are both college-educated, been married over 10 years and have a family together. I have a lifelong physical disability aggravated by an accident that has made it necessary for me to move to where I can train for a new career.
I'm not sure if I have this or not. I have other autoimmune problems, and I suspect that what is at the root of autoimmune diseases is also at the root of some of these ambiguous mental syndromes.
I don't tend to get caught up in details and technical tasks. In fact, I'm not sure I actually have any in depth knowledge about anything.
I am interested in many subjects, mostly the biological sciences and music, but I am terrible at math and have a pretty poor memory. It used to be better when I was younger, but it's getting more sluggish. I'm 29. I was an above average student but never excellent.
I think the things that stand out to me the most about these posts and the descriptions online and on this site is the lack of innate understanding of social cues in AS sufferers. I feel like I need an instruction manual on what people expect me to do and say in society, because I have no idea.
I always seem to misjudge situations and say or do the wrong thing and unintentionally offend someone. I've often wondered if I should start doing the opposite of what my instincts are.
I often feel as though my intentions are misunderstood. Sometimes people laugh at things I say when humor was not intended, and sometimes when humor is intended, nobody laughs.
I also talk too much. I engage in lengthy, one-sided monologues about the same things over and over. My career goals, an experimental autoimmune disease treatment I'm trying to do, promoting my singer/songwriter project. Over and over and over. I am surprised my boyfriend hasn't dumped me yet over it.
I really need to stop talking about these things so much. I am very verbose, too. I hear it coming out of my mouth and feel helpless to control it. I also can't answer people's questions well. People want a short, specific answer and I often give a rambling, wordy response instead that is really inefficient. Then later, I think back about how a better way to word it would have been.
When I am under pressure, I screw up. When I'm in an environment where I know mistakes are not easily tolerated, I make every mistake. I am a social disaster.
I do have empathy, though. I volunteer on a crisis hotline. I can show love and support to others who are sick, because I am sick and I know what it feels like.
I am very self centered, though, and sometimes forget to tone down the sharing of personal experiences with friends. We are forbidden to do that on the crisis hotline so I get some practice using something called "reflective listening" in that setting.
My dad is probably also Aspergers. He's an engineer. Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I get freaked out because I feel like I look like him. I'm trying to have a performing career and it's failing miserably because there is just something "not quite right about me" that makes my image really hard to market.
That's all from my self-absorbed self. I wish all of you the best of luck in your recovery path. We are not alone!
I have recently been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and believe my older brother has it too, so I believe it is genetic.
I have felt different for years now and have finally arrived at a diagnosis. I was self-diagnosed before being officially diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome a couple of months ago. I have finally put a name to why I have felt different for 29 years of my life.
As a kid I was always very shy and still am today. I never had any real friends at school. My brother and I were constantly bullied at school. I remember being 12 years old and everyone in my form class turned on me -- even the girls I thought were my friends and just made me cry.
I walked around the playground on my breaks by myself. I was such a loner. This continued all through primary and intermediate school.
I learned to read and write and never had a problem spelling but was not very good at school. I hated maths and science and struggled with English.
I have always hated social functions and have never been into the bar or party scene. I have this anxiety and nervousness if I have to go out to do things socially. I just do not know how to interact with people. I prefer to be alone at home.
I have been told so many times that you need to meet people and make friends. It has not been a piece of cake. I only have one friend other than that and I live a few hours from my family.
I am close to my parents and my brothers but not my sister. She does not acknowledge me and we have never been close. Even relatives that I have in the city where I live never contact me anymore.
I have had very few relationships. Never dated in high school as I never had a desire to date guys. I had a boyfriend at 19 but had never had a sexual relationship until my early twenties. I am in a casual relationship at the moment.
I have struggled in the workplace. I have had a few unpleasant experiences in some of the jobs I have had. I could never understand why people treated me harshly.
People have treated me harshly and criticized me and talked down to me and have been called names by a lot of people. I feel like am nine years old not 29 years old. My own relatives treat me like that too, because I am so quiet and shy. I have had this most of my life.
I struggle to have converse with people. What comes easily to most people does not come easily to me. Since I don't recognize emotions I can come across as aloof and rude.
I basically have no social skills. The friendships I have had have never lasted. I am so socially awkward that I am becoming a recluse. I just want to be by myself.
I am currently employed full time but would like to return home to my family. In the city I live in I am only close to my one friend and my boyfriend, so at least I have people that I see.
I wish in a way that I had been diagnosed as a kid, but like so many others who have Asperger Syndrome who have been diagnosed, I am realizing what it is like to see the world differently.
I really hope you get this. I have sons and a husband who have Aspergers Syndrome.
I really feel for you and what you are going through, and want you to know that there are things you can do! I also pray that you will come to realize that having Asperger Syndrome is not a curse - it is a blessing to you and to your family. I know that may sound nuts to you right now, but I'd really like to help you to see things differently.
I love my "Aspie" family!
I also know of things that have helped them which may also help you. No I don't sell anything. I'm just in love with my family, and may be the answer to the prayers of those who love you - yes you are loved!).
I am also starting a blog soon about how Asperger Syndrome blesses our family.
I am a 46 year old male. Well, I find it hard to believe I am writing here. I don't usually participate in forums like this, hell I don't even read them. Why would I -- it did not affect my life in anyway. I was recently diagnosed with AS, like a week ago. Excuse the grammar and spelling; I did not do well in school.
My wife (third) thought I should feel "happy" and "relieved" to know what I have. Nope, don't feel that at all. It makes me sad. But then again everything makes me sad. Since the is no cure, or medication to relieve symptoms, I find it hard to be excited I have this diagnosis. At least with my mental disorders, I have hoped that we will eventually hit that right med combo that will "fix" me (although I've been trying different med combos for 30 years with no success).
I am very pessimistic. I always think the worst in everything and everybody. Nothing is ever going to go right.
I have a ton of people I know, but not even one friend. I feel like everyone is just going to use me. I feel like a burden. I have asked people over and when they get there I am like "when are they going to leave?" They are invading my space and time. They talk about things going on in their lives and I am like, why are you wasting my time with this? It has no relevance in my being.
I was bullied in school. Now I feel like everybody takes advantage of me. People overcharge me for services because they know I won't fuss about it. People do unacceptable work, like on my boat, that others would throw a fit over, but they know I won't say anything, and then I have to take it back and instead of arguing that they did not fix it right the first time, they charge me again and I pay, again. I do not want to be a burden or confrontational. It's the same everywhere.
I have no emotions except sadness for myself. Like a couple of months ago my daughter gave birth to a 23 week old 1 pound 4 oz baby. He lived only 14 days. Everyone was sad and crying. I was thinking what a lucky guy he is. He does not have to live in this horrible world, and gets a free pass to heaven. I think since I have no emotions I am damned, even possessed and will go straight to hell. At the memorial I had to try real hard to look sad, but I really felt nothing, except there was a crowd and I don't like crowds. And I wanted to be at home playing poker online.
That's what I do. I play online poker almost from the time I get home until midnight most nights. Then I get up go to work (24 years same job) but I have my own office and don't have to interact with others much. And since they invented e-mail I hardly have to talk on the phone with anybody.
Every day I think "tonight I am not going to play poker, I am going to spend quality time with my wife and step children" but when I get home there I go into my cocoon. Thinking all right, I will start tomorrow. But...
Well I guess I will end here, don't want to waste any of your time.
Hopefully I will find some resources to teach me how to cope with this.
I am 32, a mom of a six year old very energetic and lovable daughter. I live with my boyfriend who is also 32 and has six year old autistic kid. The four of us live together.
Although we have so much in common and have very similar pasts, from reading all this, I feel that we both may have AS and just never knew about it.
I've always felt like the outsider while I was growing up, and I was very shy as well. I was never bullied by anyone at school, but never really had a true friend (at least that's how I feel).
I was married once and the ex-mom-in-law made my life miserable. She insulted me and always put me down. We eventually ended up getting divorced. I then dated a police officer, who manipulated me, cheated on me, beat me and even tried convincing me to leave my daughter. That relationship made me lose a lot of my family including siblings.
My boyfriend is very kind hearted. He was very quiet as a kid and educators could not get him to speak in class. Outside of school he was very outgoing with his friends and at times he would do what a normal teenager would do: get in trouble.
He married once and is currently going through a divorce. He obviously has his son living with us, and mom is living with her mom and boyfriend.
We both seem to have communication issues. He doesn't express much in words but at times can be very affectionate. When he is I try to hold on to those moments as much as I can. I had no idea what autism meant until he told me about his son.
When he first brought him around, it was so amazing to me; this kid is so smart and intelligent, only he is non-verbal. I seem to get along better with him, and it seems like my daughter gets along better with my boyfriend. This all seems so weird to me, but I am finally reading something that fits in so well to what I've been living my whole life. Could it be possible that we both have AS?
I think my brother has Aspergers syndrome. He now has a son with autism and only now recognizes some of the symptoms in himself.
He's 44 now and I hardly ever have contact with him. He was awful to live with as a kid/teenager and his behavior destroyed our relationship. He didn't even come to my wedding because he was on a course at work!
I've come to live with the fact that we don't have a relationship. I know from my mom, aged 73 (when my brother usually rings her at midnight till 2 a.m.) that he never speaks about me and I guess it's never occurred to him how he's affected me or the rest of the family.
He was very difficult to relate to (violent, rude, selfish, mean) and I try to forget about him. I'm a teacher now and amazingly seem to get the best out of kids with Asperger Syndrome and autism.
Now I understand the condition better I feel I can relate and help them. It's difficult to forgive things that happen in childhood and my brother was never diagnosed; he was just the way he was.
I believe my eldest son has Aspergers syndrome. He doesn't show any emotion and I cannot remember him ever hugging me even as a toddler.
He went overseas to see his dad and with the information written out precisely for him he managed to get five connecting flights without being fazed.
He is fine when everything is organized and in order but cannot change plans or do anything on the spur of the moment. Next year he wants to go to university and study information and technology as this is the only real interest he has.
I am a 50 year old divorced woman who met the love of my life and after an emotional roller coaster with him, decided to end it three months ago after much heartache. I am a health care professional and was convinced that he had ADHD. Three months ago, I found this awesome therapist who just today recognized by what I was telling him, that my ex boyfriend probably has Asperger Syndrome.
I am so sad because if I'd known then, what I know now, I would have possibly been able to deal with him emotionally, but maybe not. I am trying to maintain a friendship with him, knowing that we will never be a permanent item because I was married to a multiple personality disordered male (yes I don't have much luck) and I can't deal with another complexity.
However, I have compassion, care and love for this man that won't go away. I plan to see him again as we haven't had much contact, and treat him with the kindness and love that I did before. I want to be his friend but know that I must move on.
I am a very passionate and emotionally centered woman who needs an emotionally centered and stable man. He cannot provide that for me and refuses to go for help. He knows there's something "off" but he is too afraid to face it. His 21 year old son is a mess too, and hates me because he uses me as a scapegoat for the anger towards his detached dad. What a mess but I still want to maintain contact.
Your comment about living as an Aspie is extremely well-written and informative and your suggestions for learning how to communicate with us is right on. Those reading this site would do well to take your advice to heart. Kudos!
My son was just formally and clinically diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Since I was told that it mostly occurs in males I went on a search and read up on this weird thing et voila! Yep, it described my life experiences to a tee!
Two failed marriages, strings of jobs, repeatedly 'in-comprehended' and labeled as 'weird. Extremely creative, it goes on. OK fine.
Talking to my boy has taken on a whole new light. I shall call him 'Mini-me', and we can feel relaxed to converse on the same level.
People with Aspergers Syndrome do not lack emotion. People with Aspergers Syndrome have the same emotions as everyone else, there is just a barrier in communication which prevents them from realizing the emotional tone of the situation, and prevents them from expressing their emotions sufficiently to the rest of the world.
If a person with Aspergers Syndrome seems indifferent to your pain, it's because they were not able to determine from you that you were in pain. It is not that they do not have an ability to empathize with you.
If a person with Aspergers Syndrome says they love you, but does not act in a way which you feel really drives the point home (why would you marry someone who you thought really doesn't love you anyway?), it's because they feel they are expressing it sufficiently.
You should take the words over non-verbal cues with someone with Aspergers Syndrome.
Well, I just found out that my ex-husband might have AS. In fact I'm sure he does -- he even has the finger/thumb habit. Like the rest of you, I just thought he was self-centered and unfeeling even though he said he loved me.
Now I know that the absence of "feelings" is not his fault, and I feel really badly that he had to live and still has to live with this. Now that a few of us know he might have it, it's so much easier to accept and love him for who he is, not what he does or doesn't do.
I truly believe that he and others with AS try to love in the only way they know, but, don't get some of the emotional part that they seem to be lacking in themselves.
I am a self diagnosed Aspie. My wife teaches at a special ed facility and has had lots of interaction with student with different diagnoses throughout the years.
She has worked with kids with autism. One day I approached her and told her I thought I had a lot of the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. I heard the term used a lot throughout my wife's career in special ed. She agreed with me and informed me that she didn't want to bring it up because she didn't know how I would respond.
I feel that I finally have a word that can express exactly how I'm feeling. I wasn't aware how to verbalize my emotions until I learned of Asperger Syndrome. Never fitting in (awkward in social situations), trouble with eye contact, extreme interest in particular subjects with intense detail, awkward walk, weird posture, people find humor with my responses when no humor was meant, and I have trouble accepting change.
Thank you all for this information. I have recently gotten involved with a 46 year old man who has AS. Well, it's my diagnosis, but I knew there was something different about him.
I love him and the time we spend together but I'm sure he will not commit. Should I continue this relationship or will it continue to be unsatisfying?
When I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome I did a lot of research about it and through that I discovered why it is the way I am and how difficult it has been to stay in full time work with employers not giving me a chance.
I don't know if I have Asperger Syndrome, but I have always felt "different" and that I don't fit in.
I have felt so unloved, alone, lonely and socially inept all my life.
I'm 60 years old, and contrary to some of the unpleasant posts, I am not seeking a tag to excuse any of my behavior.
I too was bullied all through primary school and during my 20 year career in a government job. I had terrible nightmares as a kid.
In my quest for answers and understanding, I have read many of Dr Phil's books, "Depression, The way out of your prison" by Dorothy Rowe, "What does everybody else know that I don't" by Michele Novotni (about ADD), and "Momless Daughters" by Hope Edelman. My only grandmom and mom died when I was 15 and 16 respectively.
I often would have a lot of the symptoms of things such as bipolar, etc., but didn't feel that any one fit like a glove.
I continually get some vicious responses from people. Sometimes I haven't even opened my mouth, much less had time to do anything wrong.
I don't have any friends and I don't get on well with my kids. My daughter absolutely hates me and seems to be still trying to exact a revenge for something.
She doesn't want to discuss anything or try to get on any better. I have the biggest, kindest heart you could imagine, so this stuff wounds me terribly. I love animals so much because they give you something back and don't treat you the way humans do.
I contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after two very nasty viruses, and if there was any positive in that, it was that I looked at how I operated because I really struggled to survive in the early stages.
I was a person who could obsess over every little detail and a perfectionist, and I didn't have the energy to keep being that way.
The depression I have lived with since the death of my mom and grandmom deepened with the CFS.
I could not socialize when I was younger as I felt so shy and weird and had always been criticized so much that my confidence was zilch.
Over the years I have tried to work on my social skills but have felt it to be of no avail judging by the responses. I have virtually given up and just stay at home by myself.
I have two failed marriages behind me, but I don't think I can be solely blamed for those. I seem to attract the selfish, the manipulators and the abusers. I ended up thinking; I don't want another relationship if it's not a quality one.
My post is probably all over the place, but reading a lot of these posts brought my emotions to the surface. Unlike what appears to be the case with Aspergers, I have an overabundance of emotion and struggle to hide it.
I do feel that I talk in shorthand.
I have a 40 year old son and daughter-in-law who both seem to have Aspergers. My wife and I don't know what we can and should do. They lack the skills to deal with each other and their relationship or lack thereof has led him to depression and her to violent anger.
"All Cats have Aspergers" is a must read if you have or know someone with Asperger Syndrome.
I am 43 been with my husband for 21 years and after a long stay with a family member, he believes has just found the link which bonds this family member, me, my nephew, my brother, two aunts, my mom and possibly my daughter.
I always knew there was something different (him as well) yet thought it was just "the way we were". That of course being Aspergers. I am not positive yet, as my daughter and I do need to get tested.
I was diagnosed for bipolar though it could be a misdiagnosis. As it is all so clear now and seems to have many more ayes than no's in the question boxes. The main reason I am so interested in it now is not just for me but mainly for my daughter.
We have been seeing the signs, yet it seems that you need to march in to your doctor’s office with multiple choice answers rather than completely oblivious.
My boyfriend is 44 and has been on antidepressant meds for years. The problem is that I knew he didn't fit the bi-polar profile. From everything I have been reading, Aspergers is an almost perfect fit.
I am so relieved to have found this information. It has been really difficult for the past two years because he always says he loves me but doesn't "show" it. Now I know that it isn't because he doesn't care. He's just wired different.
He is a good man and I love him dearly. I just wasn't sure if I could live with his lack of caring.
I do have a question. Now that I have my suspicions, how do we get him diagnosed? He is not under psychiatric care -- just his regular physician. Any advice would be appreciated. And for those of you who have written about how alone you feel, my heart truly goes out to you.
I am 42. It dawned on me yesterday that my husband has AS. We have a daughter who is three.
I love him but I get nothing back. I shouldn't have married him. But then again, he shouldn't have married me. He knew he was different. Eccentric, withdrawn, etc. He can't change and I understand that. But what do I do?
I love him. We have a family. Where do I go from here? I got close to suicide last year. I have had an affair, neither of which got a reaction or bothered him, though that was not their purpose. I have constantly confronted his behavior and I thought it would change. Now I know it never can.
I'm 39 years old and desperately want a diagnosis (of any kind) to explain why I'm the way I am. It's too easy to self-diagnose and attach myself to one particular explanation/disability. People need to be cautious.
I've almost completed my graduate degree in special education, and am convinced that there are a bunch of misdiagnosed people out there. A misdiagnosis can be just as hurtful and destructive as knowing you have an honest to goodness "disability." Just saying...
About those of you who are lost and lonely, I know from experience that when you allow yourself to get to know Jesus and find a good church -- and then faithfully attend that church, no matter what -- you will grow, change, and find peace.
It's hard socializing. I have almost no friends and have never been married. I've gone through so many jobs and lots of indecision about what to do with my life. I moved in with my parents a few years ago to help me stabilize.
Read that again: I'm 39 years old and recently lived with my parents for a good year and a half. Talk about humbling.
I am very intelligent, highly intuitive, capable of a multitude of careers (but have none), college educated, own a car (for the first time in my life), have a wonderful family of three cats and I'm told I seem "normal" and social. But I can feel anxious and very uncomfortable in the checkout line at the grocery store. Sometimes I'll avoid getting groceries because of this problem.
I used to have anxiety attacks in school and would leave class short of breath and walk the hallways, pains shooting into my left shoulder. My mom and sister would yell at me because I didn't have any friends. Recently someone told me that I struggle with eye contact. I've learned to be good with eye contact, but it depends on the situation.
I've learned to be a chameleon and adapt or blend in depending on the situation. But I still just want to be off on my own somewhere, observing people perhaps, but interacting with them only when I feel like it.
There's so much I could share, like how I struggle every single day with getting out of bed because it's just so safe underneath the warm sheets; how I attempted suicide in 1998, not really wanting death but also not really wanting life; how I can happily spend days on my own with no contact with people but that I've learned to interact with others and speak directly and -- well, I'll just stop there.
I'm not convinced that I have Asperger Syndrome, but I do have some of the symptoms and have had them my entire life. Depression can mimic Asperger Syndrome, but an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis is much more accepted by society than that of depression.
Oh my goodness. I had no idea this condition existed, and I have it. I can relate to every post on this site, but don't have any contact information for anyone on here. I'm wondering what I should do? How can I get help?
I am so happy I ran across this website, as now I got the answer to a weird behavior of person I truly love who probably has not yet been diagnosed.
Just like someone else said before, this behavior has been very much a problem for me at times making me question myself so much and thought that his mood swings and behavior patterns had something to do with me, but now I realize that I was wrong and probably hurting him as much.
Thank you very much.
I have just spent an hour reading all these posts. Most are depressing and lack all hope. Some are rather enlightening. I have an adult son, 29, who I truly believe has Asperger Syndrome.
He is extremely intelligent, knows more than some experts on recording music and speakers. Has developed a computer program for music, but seldom leaves the room he set up as a studio.
Obsessed is putting it mildly. He claims to contact people to show his program but backs out at the last minute. I have tried to set him up with people I have met in the music field but makes excuses for not meeting with them.
He becomes upset and throws tantrums and blames me and becomes extremely depressed. He is socially isolated. I must make him come out to work at my business (restaurant and catering) so he will have a job.
I need to find him a therapist to help him but he claims he will not go. I have even shifted the blame to myself and told him I need him to go because the therapist is for me.
I just do not know what to do. I am afraid for him. He is so lonely and sometimes cries about this. I have tried so many different ways to help him but it all ends so terribly wrong.
Thank you for all you wrote. I love a man who apparently has AS, but it has never been mentioned by him.
All I can read in your posts confirms my impression. It helps to understand better and not to misunderstand certain situations, although there have been a lot of painful moments when I got it wrong, but I simply did not know the real reasons.
With my new awareness I feel better prepared to cope - and am happy to have him in my life. He has enriched my life so much - in so many aspects. And his AS has been a challenge for me to grow, too.
It's so wonderful to read things from people that deal with the same sorts of things I deal with day to day.
I'm a diagnosed Aspergian, and just knowing that there are others out there that deal with the same feelings of loneliness and not fitting in, makes me feel a little better about not fitting in myself. It allows me to relax the standards of perfection.
I have learned how to mimic people, and have turned into quite a good actress. But I still have trouble with people I don't know.
Like, for example, eye contact. I will make pretty good eye contact with people I see on a day to day basis, like professors and my family and friends. However, put me in a restaurant and I'll never ever make eye-contact with the unknown waiter or waitress except accidentally or if I'm trying to be courteous after asking a question.
Although, even with people I know, sometimes I'll half listen to the conversation, and half wonder why everyone is so set on eyes and looking at them during conversations.
Several people that have posted have wondered about the benefits of actually getting an official diagnosis. If you are on an Asperger site, you are better off than I was. The official diagnosis gave me a term to research.
I had heard the term before, but because it didn't relate to me or my area of expertise, I didn't look into it. I was too busy with my area that I was researching.
Another benefit of having an official diagnosis just knows. I know Aspergers individuals who have self-diagnosed themselves and they are constantly working to prove to themselves and others that their self-diagnosis is as valid as any professionals.
I'd rather spend my energy on figuring out how to function in this world better and how to learn that.
Researching has given me such self-confidence. There are people out there that deal with Asperger Syndrome. There are successful people. Well-liked people. People who have learned to use the strengths of the Aspergian nature and still fit in well enough to communicate.
I would like to explain my situation and qualities in hopes that another touched by this syndrome can have the same uplifting hope that I have experienced with this.
I have never had more than two real friends my age. In fact, it was usually my church friend and my school friend. Everyone else to me were acquaintances and I felt they should be treated as such. hehe. I probably just couldn't handle the social nature of any more friends than that. However, since being diagnosed, I'm trying to stretch myself.
I moved twice while I was in elementary school, and I separated myself more from the people around me with each move. Afraid to get close. Afraid to get hurt.
About age nine or ten, I found more enjoyment of acting out one particular story with myself and my barbies repetitively than I felt I could have with any friends. Besides, any of my friends couldn't know exactly how I wanted them to play their part in my games. I didn't know how they wanted me to play mine in theirs.
One of my clearest memories of sixth grade was wandering the field during recess, playing with my own shadow and the flowers instead of with the other children.
It wasn't that I sought my solitude; I actually was trying my hardest to figure out relationships and the people around me.
I find it so much easier to listen and learn, than to participate in talking and miss so much of the conversation. I could be those stony faced Aspergers people that are out to sea, except I do understand the humor eventually.
I love to watch sarcasm and wit being played out; I love to read the comics and other works that use word play and subtlety.
By the way, I know stony faced means "no expression showing" I suppose like a stone has no expression, but really, how did some of these confusing metaphors get started? Does anyone really know?
Let me see, I'm about as cuddly as a cat. I need to decide that I want to cuddle or I'll be standoffish. I believe it stems from not knowing what is acceptable in different situations with different people. It is too hard to keep track of all those variables.
Different people have different notions about what personal space boundaries are for them. And I tend to err on the side of caution.
Do you want me to respond in a certain way? Tell me. Do you want me to hug you back when I am being hugged by you? Remind me. I may not be able to process your touch as fast as a normal person would. I may not know what you expect of me as a response to various stimuli.
Please, remind me that the subject you are talking to me about is just as important to you at that moment as my latest project is to me.
I may listen better if you find a creative way to insert my latest project into what you are talking about. I may also listen better if you remind me of the importance of the subject to me or to you.
And I've talked of reminding. Please don't nag, just set the stage for the conversation you wish to have. If it's a conversation like I have with my friends about "everything and nothing," expect me to bring in my latest project several times.
It is what is on my mind.
If you want a conversation with little to no tangents, I'll listen to you talk a great deal more than I'll participate, but you will still get your conversation and perhaps you'll even enlighten me about a new topic to investigate.
It's not that I'll lie to you with my actions if you tell me a proper response, I'll just be more likely to consider the response you suggested first. If it makes sense to me, I might use the typical response, but I'll still choose my own responses. It just broadens my knowledge of what other people would consider a normal response to this situation and conversation.
And if I bring up a conversation that doesn't work well in the time or place, please give me a specific time or place that I can bring it up again and it be okay. Not just "let's not talk about that right now," but "I want to talk about that too, just can we do that when we sit down to a meal rather than when I'm waiting for a ride?"
The second is better because one, you reinforce that you actually do want to talk to me, two, you suggest an appropriate location or time when it would be socially acceptable, and three, you remind me why your mind might not be able to handle the conversation at the moment.
I tend to reread books a lot, but the one that I absolutely loved in relation to this subject is called "look me in the eye" by John Elder Robison. This is a book written by an Aspergian, about growing up undiagnosed until he was forty.
I have never related to an author more than when I read this book. If you're looking to bring up the subject of possibly being Aspergian with a loved one, I'd suggest you let them read that book first.
I read voraciously, but that is the first time my thought structure matched the sentence structure. And my feelings matched those described by the author. (*note: the paperback has less profanity than the hardbound. Choose the one you prefer.) It is an excellent memoir, and echoes many of the things that have been mentioned on this board.
I am 56. My husband has cancer that has spread to his nodes and maybe worse. Twenty-five years ago I had nearly three years of intense inter-personal therapy and know I have AS even though the doctor would not tell me my diagnosis (he said he didn't like labels and I was too stupid to realize I needed a documented diagnosis to get support).
I got a Master's degree and went on to work on a PhD and another MS but kept breaking down. My psychiatrist said every time I forced myself to go back and keep striving, I would come back out with less of myself until one day there might be nothing left. I was working three jobs and nearly had a stroke from the stress.
He said I might be able to work 15 hours a week. I wouldn't listen. Gradually I became unable to teach, then I got a job in a Wal-Mart, then I couldn't do that anymore and got a job delivering the paper over a tri-county rural area. I loved that job. But I never got earned enough quarters to get Medicare. Now I am unable to make my own way, to earn my own living, to get those quarters and worst of all, I am unable to take care of my husband if he ends up needing me to provide our living.
I have a primal terror of personal interaction and face blindness. I used to be a pretty successful writer and because I could not stand up to people I let them tell me how to revise it and that I should change my style, etc. I lost my ability to write because I was unable to be strong and be true to myself and could not say "No!" to people. I am a doormat.
People criticize me all the time and say rude things to me and use me. I must wear a sign that says "I am not as good as you are so exploit me and diminish me."
First my beloved mom and now my beloved husband have taken care of me all my life. I have questions on the tiniest things, even though I do a really good job at so many things at home. I have an eye for detail and work like a pack-mule. I am honest and care deeply about quality and integrity.
I always regret every word I say to other people. They can say anything -- outrageous things -- and they are accepted, but no matter what I say, I get attacked. I wish we could move into the wilderness where we could live in peace in nature with the forest and wildlife.
What on earth will I do if my husband dies? How will I get out of bed without him to help me through the day? How will I ever get to sleep again without his breathing beside me and his soft flannel pajamas?
Who will answer my questions? How will I not die from the grief, yearning for him and missing him? Will I end up on the street and be mugged all the time?
I pray hard and try to be responsible and am searching even now for employment, knowing as I search that even if someone gives me a chance, I will not last long.
Thank you for letting me get all this out. It is so hard to hold in. I feel like I have lived with so many secrets all my life and so much shame.
I am ashamed. I feel like a burden. At the same time, in my heart, this is my only gift, this difference.
When I used to write, what was written was better than me; it came from God and it felt good that I was good for something for a while, and people received something that they hadn't been able to get any place else.
I'm 42 years old and was recently diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. And I'm glad I found this web page. I always knew that I was different from everyone else when I was a teenager. Now I know why.
I'm 21 years old. I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when I was 12 years old. Even before I was diagnosed I always knew I was different from everyone else.
From elementary school through high school I was bullied constantly, middle school was the worst for me. The bullying got so bad in middle school that I would fake sick so I could stay home to escape it. I also struggled academically and failed eighth grade. I also had no friends and still don't have any friends. After I graduated high school I went to a local community college, but dropped out after two semesters because I was failing all my classes.
Since I first started working three years ago I've had four different jobs and I hated them all. The worst was my latest job as a delivery driver at Papa John's. The managers there even knew I had Aspergers Syndrome because my mom told them, but they still treated me like crap and none of the employees liked me because they thought I was weird.
I've also been battling with depression since I was in my early teens as well as severe anxiety attacks, which led me to quit working at Papa John's and I've been unemployed since then which was a month ago. I'm really lost in life, I still live with my parents and I just don't know what to do.
There are a lot of Aspergers communities out there, and for someone who hasn't yet been clinically diagnosed with AS, but is just about positive s/he has it, it can be unnerving and extremely disheartening to join a community that treats them with distrust and ostracism, when they only want to understand more about themselves.
I was afraid of joining the Autism Support Network for that reason, but since I've joined, I have personally found it to be a caring community of members both officially diagnosed and self-diagnosed ASD, as well as members who have loved ones with ASD, where I can both give and receive support. It was the help I needed, and I hope anyone who reads this will find the help they need, as well.
For those not professionally diagnosed, please don't jump to conclusions. You could simply have a slight introvert tendency - nothing wrong with that. I love people, but always have to push myself to go to any gatherings. Three or four hours later, I'm on my way home.
I see a lot of comments here about AS but no solutions as to how to help someone with it or deal with it.
I am 44 years old and was recently married to a man with AS. After 2 1/2 years of marriage I was terribly worn down and becoming depressed. I felt like he didn't "care" about me. He was not able to understand my side of issues and was continually holding secrets from me.
I felt like I was in a bad dream most of the time. I am a very emotional, creative, sensitive woman and I became very closed down and confused. I was very "alone" in my marriage. I felt like I was married to a robot.
His dad and his son from his first failed marriage also have AS. He did not tell me; I discovered it after we were married. We are divorced now and he still continues to contact me and "act" like we are still friends.
I am happy to be divorced and out of the whirlwind of crazy-making. Even when our counselor worked with us he still denied things he had done and would redefine things to suit his way of seeing things.
He would omit truths to make it look like I was crazy. I really did find myself going crazy being married to him. I finally had to consult a lawyer to get him from continuing to contact me time and time again after our divorce was final.
I'm 23 and was diagnosed about a year ago. Something that has always bothered me about these articles (and I'm not alone on this from what I'm gathered off aspie support sites) is the whole "unable to comprehend others emotions" thing. Yes in some situations what someone else is feeling is just beyond me, but everyone runs into that whether they have AS or not.
I think more accurately it's that we do comprehend it, it's just we have no idea what to do with that information once we have it. Say I know someone is upset with me and why. I never have a clue how to word and apology without coming off as not caring or false.
I am 44 years old and female too. I think younger folk have it better cause of non-bullying programs at school and the advantages of diversity in society thanks to open forums about learning disabilities.
Today, it’s ok to be different, but back then it was not so much. I did not learn about my having Aspergers until recently. My son was diagnosed at eight years old, nine years ago.
My daughter, now 21 is normal, so I thought I was a bad parent to my son until he was diagnosed. In that time I read twenty-two parenting books. I followed all the common themes to the letter. In my marriage, I read about eight or nine books on how to be a good wife, the bible cover to cover, and the entire Betty Crocker cookbook.
I listened to every Dr. Dobson radio show and would apply that. I took note of mistakes other people made and noted the consequences. I read every book there is on philosophy, sex, and physiology of the mind. I have a book on "How To Say It" that I read just before doctor's visits or meetings, when I need to correspond and this way people react to me as though I am normal.
My husband is madly in love with me because I am above it all, loyal. Plus because thanks to reading those books, I'm a good cook, a good mom, and good in bed. But beneath it all, I am play acting. My mind is so vast I cannot put it into words, people get weirded out. I taught myself to play piano, and memorized hundreds of songs. I do not play for people, ever. I play because I always wanted to.
I memorized all nine million words of the tax code, but do not share that because people, normal people do not want to know nerdy stuff like that. I could never keep a job. I would memorize the codes to the cash register and tell the manager how to reset it and she didn't trust me after that.
At the factory I memorized the OSHA standards and mentioned the machine I was to operate exceeded acceptable sound decibels and was put on a "watch" list, later terminated. I was let go as a bartender because I didn't "socialize" well enough, and the guy at the frame shop fired me because I gave him bad vibes.
I'm too afraid to work for anyone else, so I grow vegetables for the food bank. It's in the tax code 526 page 12. I average $25 an hour over the 16 week growing season. Thank you Uncle Sam. I do like people, though. I try to be liked, too.
I have found that success is found in the fruits of one's labor, in that everyone respects me, even if they don't "get" me! My advice to you is to read books on your areas of weakness, never give up on people, and never ever feel you are meant to be alone. According to the Bible, we as humans are not supposed to be.
Ah. Now I know what's been wrong with me all this time. I have been put on ADD and ADHD prescriptions all throughout my younger days. I went from kindergarten to the end of high school as someone alone. I felt alone for, I guess all that I can remember have the 22 years I've been alive.
I can't concentrate on paperwork and I'm bad at grammar and can't always give a clear definite answers to scenarios and questions. Like when someone asks, "Why did you do that?" all that comes out is non-understandable gibberish that I look back on an hour later and said I should have said that and think long and hard about that one thing the rest of the day, feeling anxiety about the messed up answer I gave the person who asked the question.
I always got bad grades because I never did my homework but science and math came easy during tests and that is the only reason I was able to pass the classes. If a teacher wrote a hundred pages worth of notes, I had to write it word for word. I could not distinguish the important parts that I should remember.
It always upset me that I had to go to special education classes for the mentally challenged and I was correcting the educators (I feel looking back on it that they did not like me) on math problems.
Most of my math skills I am afraid disappeared due to being too lazy to read it back up. I am 22 and have no friends or even had a girlfriend. I am so alone, so very alone.
Sometimes I question this life of loneliness and sometimes hope or logically think of ways to make it better. It's easier thought than done.
I feel that I ( a very smart and logical thinker at one time) am becoming stupid due to the fact that I can't move forward in my plan that I established with myself since the beginning of high school because I believe I am too nice and always think or know that my family needs me to help financially even when they say they can handle it on their own.
Oh no, I created a wall of bad grammar without realizing it, like all my other rants about stuff when I get in the mood. the only place I can talk normally is in text. and also, I think I am so Aspie that I can't even decide the exact location of the pain of anything or tell him/her the exact systems or what really happened when an emergency happens to me.
When I am almost to the point of crawling to place to place, sick, I still hesitate to go to the doctor. Like right now, I will probably never come to a conclusion with myself to get a doctor to look at me and diagnose me with Aspergers Syndrome because I have an unknown fear of all my answers or conclusions. What if I am wrong, what if I do get diagnosis, then an employer can say he found someone else.
I’ve been pushed down for many years for my answers and behavior so all I do now is listening and barely speak to those I do not know very well.
My sense of humor is that which no one gets but laughs anyway due to the fact that it makes no sense and I laugh. That is it for me.
Please read this! My younger brother has Aspergers syndrome and he gets picked on a lot and has virtually no friends. It kills me inside. But anyone who suffers from asperger syndrome will get relief by doing one simple thing: attending a kingdom hall.
I understand that people with Asperger Syndrome are shy, but this is the best thing you can do. If you don't know what a kingdom hall is, it is a place for people to worship God. People there are very nice and caring and they don't judge anyone! Even if you are very shy, they don't mind!
Wow! You all are amazing! I finally feel like I'm part of a club! I'm also recently self-diagnosed AS. I cried through grade school and although a large male, was scared of everyone through high school. I've had a successful construction business for 25 years now and thank my AS tendencies for that.
Unlike most, I've overcome my fear of looking others in the eye and instead have learned to use my creative/artsy side to hear the communication of others like music, then tear it down and rebuild it to fit in my head. It’s a curse, but it works for me.
I still can't spell, hate paperwork and have trouble in a party atmosphere, but as most of you have said I have trained my intelligence to compensate for my shortcomings.
What really stinks is being 52 and still either bullied or ostracized. I am so tired of being alone. So tired of being so sad. So tired of feeling useless when I know I'm not.
I'm just very tired of not being 'accepted' or 'acceptable.' I have no family, no friends -- not one person I can call and say "Hey, can we talk?" or "can we get together for coffee?" No one.
After I watched the movie "Adam" I felt something of this man was who I am also. his mind was in an another orbit altogether, concerned with science and galaxies but inept socially and afraid to make social interactions. *example when she knocks on his door and he really wants to go out with her but sits in his room panicking.
That may be a lot of people but the resemblance in all ways is uncanny. As for me though, I am definitely no rocket scientist.
I'm 52. AS is me. I have always suspected it. Every symptom is me. Three marriages. All failures, and, saddest of all, now that I understand, I can spot an AS kid a mile away. The mom always looks so harried.
To say anything would be inappropriate (I've learned the hard way, of course). I know what that kid is going to go through, soon.
I'm a 25 year old female and it's interesting to me, the concept of Aspergers, and the comments here which list symptoms and life experiences similar to my own.
I tend to be more of a loner and have trouble in certain social situations, but other times find me completely confident, charming and secure. Deep down, I don't feel that I truly need anybody. I often feel like I am a shell of a person, going through the expected-of-me motions of everyday life without regard for the meaning or emotion behind them.
I've often felt a strange lacking of empathy or feeling toward catastrophic or particularly emotional events not only in the lives of those around me, but also in my own.
On the whole, I function quite well, with occasional depressive spells, the cause of which I usually attributed to PMS/hormones. I'm not opposed to "labeling" myself anything, least of all mild Aspergers, but I don't feel it's entirely necessary if I can lead a mostly "normal" life. Just a few thoughts.
Does anyone know whether being Aspergers affects the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's in later life? I read somewhere that both affect the same areas of the brain, albeit in different ways.
My 20 year old son is in rehab for substance addiction and they have just diagnosed him with Aspergers.
Reading the checklist, he scores positive on every one of them. His childhood was extremely difficult and he turned to drugs as a teenager as a way of fitting in. He has extreme depression and is now fighting addiction. Is there a correlation between substance abuse and Aspergers?
Al Gore has Asperger Syndrome? Oh, please. The guy is a narcissistic personality disorder case study. As for the others mentioned? Yea, Gates perhaps, but Bob Dylan? Try drug induced personality changes there. My goodness.
Aspergers... I knew I was different from the very beginning. Now I know why I was always alone, and had (and still do) trouble making conversation. It's not my fault. I was just born this way. Sigh. I wish I didn't have Aspergers.
I was 45 years old before I first learned about Aspergers. of course I knew I was different. I was raised in a foster family who always found me weird. I learned to hide and fake it well enough, I suppose, but sometimes I am stubbornly rude or taking things literally just for a laugh.
with a lot of research and reading, a lot of ideas to help the Aspergers person can be implemented.
Well, I recently just found out about Asperger Syndrome. I'm 28 years old and I dropped out of school when I was 15 (9th grade). I would always feel like out of the whole school, all eyes were on me! It was like that for as far back as I could remember.
I've always felt the only emotion I could feel was depression. I've always looked way too deep into everything. I like to think about things with extreme points of view. It helps me break it down in my head, and it helps me be able to relate to others as well.
After I dropped out, I got my G.E.D. It took me about a week. I was always a failing student, but never stupid. I just needed someone who would explain the subject in a way that I could understand.
When I was a young boy the doctors told me I had ADHD, and I've been taking meds for it most of my life. It never really helped with my focus, but more it sped me up so I could get more done faster, which in turned I supposed looked like it was doing the job.
After my G.E.D. I went to college for computer network technology. I was 19 and had never touched a computer, yet I've always had some obsession with them. I made it out top of my class. Then joined the Navy!
The navy for me was one big never ending nightmare. It was the best thing that could have happened to me in so many ways, but I was suicidal every day! When I'd mention this to my supervisors, they'd just tell me to "Grow up!" While I was in the navy I got married, had two children, then got out after five years of hell.
Don't get me wrong. The navy was great for many, but I never understood why I was always the odd one out. I made it to 2nd class P.O. (E-5) in a little less than three years. But I found it difficult to give orders to other people. I hated being the guy who had to give orders and make people hate me. This just made everything in life way worse.
I've still to this day never been in a fight before in my life, and I refuse to unless it comes to my children, then I'll be out for blood. Still not a fighter though. After the navy I went on to work in the oil and gas industry in the Golf of Mexico. (Surprised I made it out alive) I got laid off after only nine months of being out of the navy. I had a wife and two small kids depending on me and I didn't know which way to turn.
Sometimes I felt like suicide was an answer because I thought my family deserved someone better that could actually take care of them. I felt like my whole life all I've ever done was fail. Shortly after I got laid off both of my cars got repossessed, and I filed bankruptcy (at age 28) and started over in college again.
This time for something I love. Music! I'm getting my B.S. at Full Sail (paid for by uncle Sam. *This being one of the reasons the Navy turned out not so bad) After that I plan to get my masters in entertainment business.
Maybe it was all because I didn't understand anything about myself until just a few days ago, but after being married five years, we both decided to call it quits. So now I'm single, in college, and on my own for the first time in my life. It's scary as hell, I tell you!
Last week my son (age three) got officially diagnosed with Aspergers. I've been told that even I showed symptoms before, but I didn't know anything about it, and I always denied due to the fact that I didn't want to stick out even more, or have a "label".
Last Friday when my ex-wife came back from the doctor, she was reading all of the things my son may experience in his life, and I swear it was like someone was going down a checklist of my life! I felt a little worried about me, but relived for my son.
I have still not been tested for Aspergers, due to the lack of transportation which resulted from my ex and me splitting. But I do plan on going to the VA ASAP to get checked out.
The reason I felt so relived for my kid was because of this: There appears to be a very strong possibility that I may have Aspergers, and I've made it through college once already, the U.S. Navy, been to 46 other countries, was married, (and had we understood why I was the way I was, maybe it would have worked) had two of the greatest children in the world, and now I'm back to chasing my dreams in music and back in college.
I did all of this without knowing a thing about why I was the way I was.
I think that because my ex caught on to my son's condition early on he stands a much greater chance to go way further in life then I could ever imagine going myself! Well, thank you for taking the time to read this. It is the first time I've ever talked so much about myself, and it's a relief.
I am 20 years old and I can relate to just about everyone who has commented on this. I am not sure what I have though because I am too afraid to talk to a professional.
As a kid I was very odd (I sucked my thumb until I was 11 years old). I had trouble making friends but I was fortunate enough to be born a twin so my twin and I spent a lot of time together.
I can never keep a conversation going and I feel awkward whenever I am around people. It stresses me out and when I speak I end up mumbling or stuttering. I'm afraid that what I say will be the wrong thing to say and think people are judging me. I prefer to be alone. When at work I chose I job that had very little social interaction.
In school, I would often work by myself even if I was supposed to be working in a group. I cannot make eye contact when I'm talking to someone, and if I try to make eye contact, I will not hear what they are saying but play it off like I heard.
I was made fun of a lot as a kid and often I would come home, go to my room and cry. My parents talked to the parents of the kids who had made fun of me but that only made it worse because their parents thought it was funny.
I tried committing suicide several times when I was 10 years old because I did not understand why people were being mean to me and why I was so weird. I did not think I was weird until other people began telling me I was. A 10 year old should not feel that way and want to die.
If your kid is making fun of another kid, do not encourage them. It does not matter if making fun of someone makes them the cool kid or not.
This is me. I'm 41 years old. throughout my life, I've managed to pull off social situations, but the anxiety can get ridiculous.
I had a birthday party for the first time since I was a kid last month. I think it went well, but the emotional backlash was so unpleasant I don't know if I can do it again.
I have a few friends I spend time with, and now there are other people who want to be friends, and I find this so stressful.
I always knew I was different from others but as I grew to my older teens, I thought I self diagnosed myself with autism but in my mind really knew I only had symptoms of autism not the full blown autism.
Then after my mom committed suicide I went into some therapy for many reasons and the doc pinpointed my diagnoses as Asperger Syndrome. I am 38 years old and I have done a lot of self evaluating to help myself figure out what makes me who I am.
My traits like many above me are as follows: I don't like change, I am very routine-oriented, do not like crowds or to mingle in a group. I despise it. in general I hate people; I just tolerate them to do my job, etc. I love to be alone and many times have classified myself as a loner before I knew the term Asperger Syndrome. I do better one on one with people but I have to trust them. I don't waste time on people in general. I could really care less if my coworker has three children! I know that's bad but that's the way I'm wired.
Once you understand yourself and what makes you happy you will really enjoy life more. Like many above me I am gifted in numbers, not like in high end math, just like adding numbers up etc., and I thrive at my job because of it. I count money all day at a bank.
At home everything has a place; it must be in order and I am not married. I hope that helps some folks. I am older and have learned myself and what makes me happy and what doesn't. Keep in mind, though, I did get professional help at one point to help me compare notes with what I knew.
You describe many of my behaviors.
Others seem to converse so easily, back in forth in the rhythm of appropriate talk, while I come out with too much information or not enough.
or I'm using well rehearsed lines of vintage dialog, feeling like an impersonator like I want to get the hell out of there.
Believe it or not, for many years I was a bartender. Can you believe it? How did I pull it off? Grass. when I was high I was very sociable, open, and did well.
today I've changed my life, and only smoke once in a great while. I think back how I was acting out a role. today I am still struggling and feel like some kind of new behavior must be coming soon. I can't go on like this. not suicidal, but...
I think my boyfriend may have AS. I always thought he was a little "odd" but I always cared about him anyway. The idea didn't occur to me that he may have it until he told me himself he thought so. So my question is what are the AS symptoms with people in a relationship?
What should I understand/know?
I know he cares about me a lot when I think about the things he does for me, but a lot of times I feel like he's not expressive enough. For instance, he'll tell me he cares about me but he says it so matter-of-factly that I start doubting it.
I believe he really is a good guy but he seems so unemotional and inexpressive. I've never seen him cry even when we talk about upsetting things. I have dated the "strong and silent" type of men before, but even at some point I've seen them cry and get emotional (maybe not as much as me or the "typical" female) but with my current bf, I just find it so weird.
I am 20 years old and I have Asperger Syndrome. I do drive, but I still have no license, already took segment 1 and 2. I just need to do the road test, but my timing is slow and I don't think fast or quick enough, which is hard for me when I drive. I sometimes have a hard time making a decision my own. My brain is holding me back, which hurts me a lot.
Your last paragraph was right on, and while this has been one of the best "one pager's" I've found describing adult Aspergers, perhaps some of the language could be tweaked so that the article does not make the condition seems so much disease-like.
Hi there. I was diagnosed with Aspergers back in 2005 and to know that there is a name to what I have is such a relief. It is only now though that I am doing more research into the condition and it feels good to know that these problems are not my fault.
That does not mean that I should not try to behave acceptably in social situations but at least I feel reassured. Although I am now 27 years old with few friends to count I am now free from much of the torment and bullying from when I was a teenager and a kid and am living happily on my own.
I have a strong interest in anthropomorphic animal art and animal spirituality, which also ties in with my interest in the furry fandom. My interests and abilities in art are probably above average. I remember watching this documentary about someone with Asperger Syndrome who is really good with math and he was saying how he could see the numbers in front of him. I find that for me it is visualizing furry art such as animal heads of wolves or felines.
I will sometimes stare at terrazzo concrete floors on subway stations or blotched color patterns on vinyl subway car flooring and I can also visualize furry art. I also find that my mood can go up or down sometimes not due to external factors and this can affect my rational line of thought.
I can be feeling lousy and I'll start ranting about how much my life sucks but with all things it passes. I admit that waiting four years after being diagnosed to do some research into Asperger Syndrome is a little bit of time but initially I felt afraid that I would feel highly embarrassed to look myself in the mirror so to speak. I've also read that Aspergers individuals have a hard time holding a job and I am happy that I've managed to hold the same job for seven years now. Fortunately the job is mostly independent of other team members and all through my childhood years my educators would say how often I would work alone (although there were many a times I worked on school projects as a kid and the others wouldn't put in their fair share so I just decided to have total control of my work).
I'm probably going on a bit. If a parent reading this has a kid who thinks he or she has Asperger Syndrome, rest assured that they are not alone in this world. I find that I get along very well with other people with AS so introducing them to an Asperger Syndrome social club might very well be the best route to take.
I work in EMS and have always been told even before EMS I am rude. I never understood what anyone was talking about and I still don't, yet the accusations of being rude do affect my job.
Which once again I don't get it. If you call 911, my job is to come find the issue, assist in some
relief of that issue and transport you all within standing orders and what your condition is with appropriate treatment! I do this and I am rude? What? I do the job!
It is not about flair, which I have none! I am not going to be a kiss butt because I don't get it! You're sick and I help you and take you to the closest appropriate ER. Don't call 911 if you want a hostess!
My wife who is a 41 year old Aspie informed me the other day that she read about a mom who was giving her young son marijuana to help control his behavior. She makes it in a brownie and gives it to him either every day or every other day.
I'm not sure if I have Aspergers or not, though I do match a majority of the symptoms and had more of them when I was younger. I've gotten better over the years but I think it was mostly because I didn't even know about it, though I've always known I was different. My imagination is very good and I have always had higher intelligence though very little social understanding. I'm 21 now and all of my life I've always simply hated people. I have never understood their actions or their emotions. I know I'm human but I also knew that I was different and didn't feel the same things that others did. However, I also didn't want to get close to people.
I've been slightly paranoid of others because I've tried to blend in, something I'm very good at now. I learned how to fake my emotions so that now I feel whatever they are feeling and can help them feel better about them. I don't actually feel sorry or sad for them however, it's just what I know I'm supposed to do. I've always been very logical and have used this logic to explain many things, though I have honestly never met someone with AS. It's hard to think how alone and empty I felt growing up. There were times I thought I was actually crazy because I didn't have any problems saying goodbye to people. I just never had the desire for attachment and could honestly give up everyone that's close to me. I like to be alone and hate being surrounded by many people.
When it's one on one, I can talk fine and mimic many of their personal traits so that I can get along great with them. I do this naturally now and probably couldn't stop it even if I wanted to. When I'm around many people however, I can't do that. There are too many personalities and differences and I end up being very quiet and wishing I could just get away. I end up feeling very anxious and don't like the idea of being there because I'm afraid that it will show in my attitude.
I wonder whether or not I should be looked at though I also don't want to. I have no real problems with my job or life (at least none that I see) and enjoy being by myself the majority of time because it keeps me out of trouble. I'm a very good person and people often say that I'm very nice. That's only because they don't know what I keep hidden from them. Not even my family members know because I've had to hide it away and I don't want them to find out my secret. All the information I've looked up about AS just says that if I do have it, that I'm going to have to deal with it, so perhaps it's all right not to get it looked at. At least then, I could avoid the label.
As someone who is likely AS myself, and has a son with it who is seventeen, I moved in with a roommate who also has it.
I started getting to know a wonderful man, who's working on a PHD in a form of biology, and have recently become nearly positive he has it too. it explains his lack of communication, and his occasional but not complete aversion to physical affection.
He does tend to get obsessive in his interests, but this man has been spending a lot of his very rare free time with me and seems very content to do so. It's hard to tell whether he is looking to build a relationship or a friendship due to the nature of AS. Anyone have any suggestions for ways to know? I'm afraid being too direct will cost me the friendship, if he's not interested in more --and that not being direct enough will cost me a chance at more. Ugh!
I always suspected it, but now I am convinced.
I have a seven year old grandson that has AS (diagnosed at three or four years.) My 57 year old brother was diagnosed bipolar, stage I, at about 20 years of age. After learning about AS, I feel my brother also has AS. I heard there's a connection.
I'm 41 and female and I've been recently diagnosed with AS. I'm told my being pretty much unable to hold down most jobs because of a lack of suitability, or not enough suitability, is due primarily to AS. However, I can honestly say I'm responsible for getting myself fired due to a bad attitude, which I've stopped doing on the job.
Most people my age are out of their parents' home. However, as much as I've tried to better myself and find higher wage jobs that I believe I could do, and go back to vo/tech school, it simply isn't going to happen.
A good bit of the time lately I've been feeling quite inadequate. I've heard "Trust in God via your parents, read up on it, apply for Social Security, take your antidepressants, look on the bright side" and I have done all this, but I still feel like my life is coming to a close.
The other meds I'm on are for petit mal seizures. (without having epilepsy) The response I had was "that's the depression talking" and yeah, I'll agree with that, plus when I look at my own present personal reality that's exactly what I see: a brick wall blocking out a path to success I've all too frequently walked down and stumbled along the way!
And just to clarify, I'm being as factual and realistic as I can, not overly negative. I'm very frustrated and I wish there was an affordable cure for this, but there isn't. Having AS, depression, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and sometimes petit mal seizures may very well get me on SSI or SSDI. My dad has dementia. His mom had Alzheimer's. I hope to God I don't get one of those as well.
My boyfriend and I broke up about eight months ago and his sister just told me he had Aspergers syndrome. This explains so much.
It started off as a joke. As soon as I turned 18 a few years ago, my best friend and I decided that we would start a small full service media production company together. He did photography, digital editing, etc. and I just received my cosmetology license and had some experience styling photo shoots. He and I got along too good, to the point where everyone thought we were married, although our love for each other was strictly platonic. I couldn't help but ponder this and he jokingly said it's because we are both autistic.
I never really thought about it until he joked about it but he was very right. I started looking up symptoms for it and found Aspergers. I was floored. Everything I read was about me and him. Then I figured out that my dad, who supposedly absolutely loves his family (so our hundreds of relatives claim) had been so cold to us growing up. He couldn't help it -- and I'm led to believe that people with AS attract others with AS because I'm pretty sure my strange mom has it too. they're pretty average people, incredibly loved by many people and my dad has more friends than anybody I know but none of them are close.
I'm kind of like that too. I can instantly start talking to people and although it's usually really awkward, people seem to be really into it for whatever reason even though it's just nervous chatter. I have a huge vocabulary and I think I'm a gifted writer. I am always working on like five stupid art projects at a time. The only things that keeps me at these projects is validation. People really like my style and I am incredibly thankful for this because there is no way I could ever survive in the real world based on social interaction.
Everything thinks I am so clever and so smart but I can't comprehend much really. It takes me a really long time to dissect what people really mean and I rarely ever pick up on social cues and body language. I get so nervous and anxious around people and this has forced me to leave the cosmetology industry. I even assisted a celebrity hairdresser for over a year and I kept messing up, even on the silliest of tasks but I never thought it was my fault.
Usually, I pretend to be thinking hard about something all the time just so people don't approach me. I am also hard of hearing so that makes me look dumber. I hate when people consider me to be an actual important person in their lives because that kind of dependency frightens me. I don't need anybody in my life and I can't understand why people need me in theirs. I am perfectly happy by myself, relying on myself, and I can't comprehend sharing love with another person, let alone making it (ew) and living with somebody else and being committed! In fact I think that people that rely on others are really needy even though society makes it seem normal. I mean, I think of people from a utilitarian point of view and everybody I consider a friend is some kind of use to me but it goes both ways. I feel like I always need to be good at everything I try because it makes me a more valuable person, so I can have more friends because I can offer more.
But somehow I'm a really social and emotionally sensitive person and my feelings are pretty much almost hurt. I don't have a realistic perspective of the world around me at all and it is starting to become a huge problem. Now I'm a college student engaging in many art classes and nothing is more fulfilling than being completely surrounded by all these shiny tools and paints. I feel at peace, but then I also feel so horrified knowing that this feeling will end. It's probably how alcoholics feel. I feel dependent on wasting time and preoccupying my mind. I hate things that aren't really difficult and unchallenging, so I come off as really lazy and I change my mind a lot because I am genuinely interested in everything creative or artistic or having to do with people and society, so focusing in school is so hard and it's only getting worse.
I'm trying to figure out how to rearrange my thoughts so I can be in more control because if I don't, I feel like I'm going to go insane one day and not even think twice about it.
I went to see a therapist and she had to teach me how to think in terms of emotion. She would ask me how I felt about something and I would say, "I don’t know." Then she would talk about the subject with me and maybe offer a couple of suggestions and only then could I accurately say how I felt.
My friends are all starting to get married and I feel left behind. To me it is unnatural to have someone else in your life like that. I am completely whole on my own. We start off on our own, why do we need someone else? I think I hurt a good friend of mine when she told me she was engaged and I didn’t react. I felt like I was losing her and she would embark on a journey of wedding planning that I couldn’t really be involved in because it all seems so fake to me. I don’t enjoy weddings, I don’t really understand them. I can love, but to me, love is meeting someone I really enjoy being around, but don't ever seem to be able to have. I know when I have feelings for someone, but I don't know how to express it and then I lose them.
I'm not very good at forming friendships either. I like people and I know a lot of people like me, but I don't really know how to connect with them. I don't know if I should drop by and visit people. That seems like something I should do, but I don't know what I would say when I was there and how I ought to behave. So I don't visit unless asked. I think this can be misinterpreted as not caring.
I smiled like crazy when my dog died that I loved dearly. I smile when I am reprimanded. Even though I feel horrible inside. It is like I cannot express horror. It is not horrible if I am here and alive and this is just one little thing and crying on the job is very unprofessional, so is back talking and why would I frown? I don't know why I smile it just happens. And if I don't look people in the eye it is not because I do not think I am pretty. I do think I am okay looking and no it is not because I think you are ugly. It is because when I look at someone while they are speaking it is very difficult to hear them. I see all the moving mouth and eyes moving and chin nodding and gesturing and what the heck do you say?
Please I don't want to see your eyelids wincing or pulling apart. If you speak it is so I can hear and I am listening to you the best way I can. When I respond I am responding to your questions or comments the best way I can. Please do not accuse me of being cold or unconcerned or mean. I do like people but why do I have to look at a person's face? I like people's faces when they are not talking. Then I can look at them and sometimes I love looking at a face so much, or looking at a way a person is using their face and I cannot stop looking. It feels good to stare, like eating or drinking something. When I stare I feel as if I am filling up. It is a strong steady comfortable feeling and I cannot bear to be interrupted while I am looking at something in this way. I feel refreshed after that moment is over and ready to move on. I sleep under many heavy blankets. Even in summertime I need that weight on me all the way up to my ears. Completely. I cannot bear it if a part of my body is unevenly weighted at night. I must be all buried evenly to fall asleep. My daughter has many friends. I always have one or two close ones. Usually though the friendship will end because I am declared selfish and thoughtless. I cannot answer things properly. I speak too much or too little and it is always like the tip of a high diving board trying to know how much to say, when to say it and whether or not I have put enough of the correct sound into my words to make a person believe that yes I do care and I want to have a conversation.
Please don't tell me my top is pretty or ask me how my children are. I have no clue what the appropriate response, length of response, and tone should be. I must know the end of movies and books before embarking upon reading or viewing. I do not care about the ending. It is why things happen and how that I find interesting. Who cares who won a war, or who got married and had a baby, or which person came into political power? Who and when and where seem to me to be very trivial questions. It is the what and how that interests.
Names are hard because there are always so many and we don't wear them on ourselves like the service industry. If your name is Keith and I forget and call you Kirk or Kyle more than once you might behave as if I have said that I hate you. Why is this? I see the form of this short name with a K and I remember K with red truck and family. I see your whole family, what you drive and how you told me you came into your chosen profession in one picture under that K. I don't know why I cannot remember the letters after the first. It is not because I dislike you or do not respect you. When I picture the alphabet or the calendar year it has a particular shape and path. I know the colors of all my letters -- even though supposedly letters do not have colors. The months and numbers have colors too.
This is what they are: a is red b is orange c is yellow d is green e is blue f is purple g is red h is orange I is yellow j is green k is blue l is purple. See? It makes sense. And there is January green, February purple, March blue, April red, May blue, June green, July green, August red, September red, October yellow, November orange and December green. The year is a rounded rectangle, kind of like a square clock in my head with January and February covering numbers two and three sloping down to March at 4 and April May like 5, 6 and up to June at 7 on the clock and then July is 8 (those written vertically with their J's down), going up to and august 9 and September at space 10 and October November are horizontally written across 11 and 12 and December continues across at 1 o clock and the last letters trickle down to meet the top of January beginning at 2 again at New Year's Eve. Maybe I have this. Maybe I have something else. I just wish I could see how others think so I will understand better and not be so irritating to others.
Want to learn about Aspergers? Do some research. I think many of those who have posted their opinions are actually looking for an excuse to be found as 'poor misunderstood angelic beings' secretly blessed with far higher-than-normal intelligence and uncommon beauty. Aspergers is not about whining but about learning to live and cope with our difficulties.
My 21 year old daughter was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 12. I am sure I also have it. I am 53 and have struggled all my life having many of the experiences people here have described. I have a question. How many of you have trouble remembering/telling jokes? I have a sense of humor and when I hear a joke I will laugh at it but later on I can't remember the joke, and I don't think I have ever told a joke in my life. I just can't do it. Just wondering...
I know someone who has been diagnosed with AS. Based on everything I've read, I'm fairly certain that I too have AS. I do not consider it "suffering" with a disease. I'm married, I have kids. My son is probably another ASer. I'm a computer programmer, everyone called me weird in high school. I think we all are different and psychologists can describe pretty much every behavior as a "syndrome" that people "suffer". I like me, I like the way I can block out the rest of the world and concentrate. I'd say the most important discoveries in the world were made by fellow ASers. Treat it as a blessing, not a curse! You or your kids may be the discoverer of a cure for cancer, a real disease.
I just don't know about all these new-fangled disorders. My grandson's preschool teacher had concerns about him relative to Aspergers syndrome. I asked her to give me an example of something that gave her concern. She said the kids were in a circle, saying what they'd had for dinner the night before. The kid before my grandson said he'd had chicken and peas. It was then my grandson's turn: He said that for dinner the night before he had chicken and peas. This, I gather, was an example of a symptom of Aspergers. guess what he'd had for dinner the night before! You got it - chicken and peas. We want to be careful, I know, and get our kids any and all help they might need, but some of this is just "different strokes." My grandson is a *very* happy, enthusiastic, sociable, affectionate, expressive, happy eight year old. Should I have worried?
Hey everyone, I'm new to understanding Aspergers. I took the diagnostic test to see how I compare to someone with Asperger Syndrome and scored a 5. This means I really have very little personal experience with what is hard for someone with AS. Here's the deal, though. I live in a very tight knit community. There is a woman here with AS. I recently got involved with a man who was close to her (never romantically involved, but a friend). For the last five months, she has been screaming at us on a semi-regular basis. She is so angry that I "took him away" from her, and now it seems like all I have to do is be in the same room with her for her to get really angry at me. She also frequently yells at him and other members of his family. Because of the AS, I've tried really hard to be patient and non-reactive when she starts screaming. But I'm running out of tolerance. I feel like there is someone in my life who hates me for reasons I don't understand, and I'm always afraid I'm about to get yelled at any minute. Sometimes, we go for weeks without any blow ups, and sometimes it is a full week of constant tension. I want to be compassionate and empathetic and not expect her to behave in ways that she can't. But I also can't handle the yelling. I like this person. I've always enjoyed her quirky sense of the world and she cares so much about similar things that I do. Help!
my parents think I have AS but I have not been tested by a doctor. we have been doing research and they think it fits me. my mom called an autism phone line and they gave us some very helpful information. if I do it's going to be hard to deal with because I work with autistic children at a special needs school and I would also have to figure out how to tell my co-workers, so I’m hoping to get tested soon so we know and we can deal with it.
My son is 25 and lives at home with us. He does not drive or work. He is on the computer all day and night. He would love to find a girlfriend and I want to help him somehow. I would like to find other parents who would like to help their daughter find simple companionship. My son is nice looking but kind of small. He's 5 ft. 5 in. He has never had a date and is very lonely. If any parent out there would like to talk to me about their daughter with similar problems I would love to.
hello, I am a 48 year old female. I have had problems with social interaction my entire life. I have been too many counselors, doctors, psychologists, you name it. I have been so angry at the fact that because I can talk to people that these "professionals" tell me that I have no problem. I been listening to this for 25 years or more. recently, I found out about Asperger Syndrome. I demanded to be tested and scored in the high/probable range a lot of the problems I have now could have been avoided if someone would have just simply listened to what I was saying to them instead of trying to tell me what my life is like and basically calling me a liar. I feel like they think they know more about my life that I do. I just hope this does not happen to anyone else.
I too wish I knew that I had Aspergers Syndrome more than 40 years ago. I am 53 years old and have had a terrible life with chronic unemployment; over 200 jobs - I never fit it. People tell me my work is excellent. I have two degrees; one a recent Masters. I cannot work with people and their facial expressions and emotions - I find it all too confusing. I am not sure what on earth is going on; so I just get on in my own little world and this upsets people no end because I miss what's going on. I detest the use of anything but straight forward grammatically correct language - that is things like 'two birds in the bush equal one in the hand' is just plain stupid to me. Recently, I had a great job paying $80K a year and my boss went away. She told me to report to the director, so I did. Then this woman decided that she was going to micromanage me - I would not take any notice of her, for as far as I was concerned she had nothing whatsoever to do with me or my work - even though she did the job before I did. Got into terrible trouble. I talk far too much (a common sign) and this has lost me so many job interviews. I do not focus. I want to cover everything - to me it all matters. I had a special interest until poverty meant I could not keep up with the technology to follow it.
I am 100 percent sure I have Aspergers syndrome. I am a 64 year old female and how I've made this long through life I’ll never know. My grandson was diagnosed with Aspergers and that is how I found out about it. After studying the symptoms I slowly came to the realization that I might have it. I took the Simon Baren-Cohen test several times using different answers on some questions I might have fudged on. I consistently came up with a 32 to 40 score. I was bullied and teased as a kid. Never made eye contact. It was hard for me to fall asleep. I would wake up at the slightest noise. I cannot stand the ticking of a clock and I get agitated if I feel even the rhythm of someone else's music.
I never had any friends growing up and was considered a wall flower at dances even though I've been told I was very pretty by a lot of people. I hate social gatherings to this day and find it very difficult to deal with more than one person at a time. I've been told I'm very compassionate. I work for the state blind center and I love to help people and I am a very kind person even though my coworkers can be very rude and abusive to me. I am very sensitive and try to treat other people the way I would like to be treated. I was often taken advantage of by men. I've been married five times. I've had about 30 sexual encounters before I was 30. Some I would call forced or rape which I hate using that term. I've had things stolen from me. I give away a lot of things.
Some things have been expensive. I live by myself now and feel like for the first time I have some peace. I was told by one person that she didn't want to be my friend anymore because people knew what I was as soon as I opened my mouth. This was some years ago before I knew what Aspergers was and I didn't know what she meant. I only know that it hurt very much for her to say this. I had a boss years ago who said I intimidated people so he put me in a room with nothing but men technicians. I had a teacher in church one time write me a letter saying that I never talked. I had another person at where I worked one time tell me I was mousy. I was always very focused on work and excelled in everything I did but it was my personality that was my downfall. I tried so hard to fit in and wanted friends so bad but I realize now that it will never happen and I'm content to be by myself. I'm not even close to my own family. Does this sound like Aspergers? Please feel free to comment.
I've never felt the desire to post in any kind of online discussion before, but I started reading and all I could think was: "This is me." But, as is apparently typical, knowing that I am not alone is no comfort. There's a thrill of recognition, a sort of feeling of accomplishment, but no comfort. The thing is that I don't want to be "cured". I understand how gay people feel when they are treated as if they have a sickness, even if the intent is well meaning and sympathetic. I don't feel sick, it's the rest of the world that's sick. And yet, underneath, I'm jealous. I've known since early childhood that I just don't feel what other individuals seem to: the anger, the joy, the love, emotion is second hand for me. I've learned to act the right way in the appropriate situation, most of the time, but that's all it is. I am suspicious of any pleasurable activity that requires the cooperation of other people because they are not reliable. The driving force of my life, the only thing that has kept me from being totally dysfunctional in society is a powerful sense of responsibility, and that causes problems as well, because I react badly if I feel that someone I trusted has let me down, even in a small thing. I have been describing myself, since I was a small kid, as selfish and lazy. Knowing that I have a "syndrome" doesn't change that assessment.
I’m a 23 year-old female who started hearing more and more about ASC a couple months ago. the more I looked into it, things from my childhood started to make much more sense- which I find extremely encouraging. I’m also an artist, amateur chef, and karaoke addict... and I love beer.
I still think back, "I knew there must have been something going on!"
-started talking at 6 mo. I was a weird little kid- particularly curious about sexuality, practicing with a pretty sweet barbie collection. elaborate soap opera spectacles...
-had a lot of trouble making friends. when I was 3, I started going to daycare in the city I’ve grown up in. I would cry and cry every single day when my mom would take me in before she went to work. sometimes she'd have to leave me home; it was uncontrollable. I’d dress up in my mom's old nightgown and tie a scarf around my waist to look good for Michael Jackson on TV. I had a crush on my dad.
and it wasn't tantrum-throwing, I was frozen terrified sometimes. as I learned to deal with the separation over that first year, making friends with children my age was difficult. getting made fun of for silly things, "weirdo", keeping to myself- usually drawing fantasy pictures of birds in rich, Elizabethan gowns with 20s style fancy shoes, bustles, slips, intricate patterns, lacy hats. I always had my homework turned in first, because it was easy.
after a brief stint with LSD between the ages of 17 and 18, I worked my way through family issues, four days in rehab (you go there and realize 'I’m not crazy!'), sexual promiscuity, and the concept of employment.
I waited tables and short ordered at a diner for a couple years. people and the mind have been a favorite hobby of mine since I can remember.
I struggle with discerning proper and improper conversation. lucky for me, most situations put me in the comedian's position. when something inappropriate strikes me as amusing, I can't control whether or not I laugh.
until a year ago, I’d never been willing or able to sustain a long term relationship- getting fed up with being so close to someone else. I guess I’ve just become more focused, mellow, and secure with, well, reality.
Well, my brilliant, wonderful, pain in the "bleep" husband has Aspergers or he is from another dimension. I must say AS has allowed him to put up with me (Border Line Personality Disorder) so, for that I am grateful! Who else would be so single-minded in his thoughts to not get annoyed by my quirks? I wish I could show him the list of behavioral characteristics for AS but he would say, "I don't have every single one of these traits listed here. So therefore you are wrong. I am going to go wax my boat." (again) I am being cavalier because if I am not I will cry. It is not easy, what we go through. I am concerned that we will not "make it". He speaks at me, the other night he had been talking to his mom on the phone. After about an hour and a half (she listens to him well) he came inside and at 11 p.m. (I was sleeping in bed lights off etc.) my ever loving husband regales me with a tirade on his 89 year old grandmom's concerns over Obama's health care plan and how it actually should work! I sat there bleary eyed and dumbstruck! Clueless doesn't even scratch the surface of what I think of his behavior sometimes. I love him but I need some advice on how to communicate to him when he is in AS mode. Please help before I throttle him! Thank you for any assistance.
hi all. I am a new entrant in this field. I am a 40 yrs old female married to self diagnosed aspie husband of 41 years of age. For the first 13 years of married life, I waited for miracle to happen -- to see him behaving normally and responsibly and then found out about asperger thing and was shocked to observe that he had almost all the signs. We have still to officially get him checked but I believe he has a 99 percent chance of having it.
Though it has become bit easier to understand him after knowing, I am still to learn to cope with it in major issues such as he loses big money because of some nonsense reason which he can get back but won’t even try, And major issue is involving our children aged 13 and 10 (with very high IQ). He shows the withdrawal symptoms after he is angry or frustrated with something and doesn't even care about those two getting emotionally hurt. Our son, 13, too understands and tries his best to bring peace with dad but to no avail. My husband just wouldn't talk or understand. As long as he is ignoring me or not understanding me, it still works to a certain extent but with a kid it’s a different ball game. He can’t recognize the reason for tears in my son's eyes, despite explaining to him. Can someone tell me how to deal with this issue?
I have tried to commit suicide earlier not knowing why he behaved abnormally even though he is in a management position and is earning sufficient to provide us with small luxuries as well, like education in expensive schools, providing me my personal vehicle etc. and he feels happy for us. The children are doing extremely well in academics and other activities too. please help me. I want to have more control over my desire of seeing him like a normal husband. jj.
Sometimes it seems like the only one who appreciates me is our family dog! My husband constantly calls me weird, complains that I don’t fit into social situations, doesn't even want me around when he's with other individuals. I'm a nice person! I'm an honest person. I'm never going to hurt anyone. But why don't people trust me? I can't believe I act as strange as he says. I try to find out from him specifically what I do so that I can fix it, but he won't or can't give me specific examples. But if we're alone together he's affectionate to me and we usually have fun, joke around.
I have a high intelligence, and I can and do use it for our family's benefit. My ability to think well has allowed us to be pretty successful, but it isn't what people notice about me unless they get to know me well, and it isn't something my family recognizes as important. That hurts.
I have to study how individuals stand, walk, smile and do things naturally, then try to imitate it, acting casual. I have to copy gestures people make to learn them. But still, there must be something “off” in my performance. I seldom get angry, and I appreciate beauty and love, but often it needs to be called to my attention. I often intentionally say funny things, which individuals say Aspergers people generally do by accident.
As post number 32 and 33 say, a rolling stone gathers no moss, means exactly that to me. When someone says that phrase I have to stop the mental image in my mind. I actually see a moldy rock come to a screeching halt. I have to imagine it with brakes, or let it crash into a cartoon wall. Then I began to wonder how on earth it began to roll away anyhow. By that time I have lost track of what the person is saying, and I need to interrupt for clarification. This is always annoying to them.
Metaphors are never easy for me. Each one must be learned, although I can cope and even use them artfully now and even make some up. I need to put them through a translation process, to make them meaningful. And what about individuals who live in glass houses! That’s a terrible one for a modest, prudish Aspie like me! What fool would build a house out of glass anyway? Oh, and “what comes around, goes around,” which is always spoken with a warning hush, and then the subject of the conversation is quickly changed by someone who does know exactly what it means. A merry-go-round? A prostitute? I still don’t know, but have figured out it is not either of those, even though they do!
I really like the phase “Individuals won't care how much you know until they know how much you care.” People just don’t know how much I care. I'm not as unemotional and detached as many Aspergers individuals here are describing themselves. I could not, as did commenter #17, watch an SUV spinning and just count the rolls. But I would not be impeded with emotion and hysteria while trying to help in the situation. I would snap into action, and do what needed to be done for the people involved. It is interesting to note, and exemplifies the commenter’s AS, that he misuses the word “empathy” when “apathy” is the appropriate word for the feeling.
I hope that poster #21 reads this, or at least people who share that view. Some of us do care deeply about our close relationships, but are washed away in a tsunami of implicit and innuendo. Besides that, I would like to respectfully respond that individuals often don't like people just based on our quirkiness, not only because of the time consuming special interests which interfere with bonding. I dress just a little oddly I've been told. I wear comfortable shoes, and don’t use make up or expensive clothes. So what? On very hot days if I'm at home I might drag the fan into the back yard in the shade, sit in front of it wearing a wet shirt and shorts, and work on a robot I'm building. Strange, sure, but why would anyone not like me because of that? Einstein used to hard boil eggs in the same pot with his soup, and wear his slippers outside of his home. So? There are a lot of people whose personalities are just naturally idiosyncratic or solitary, but why not accept us as we are, whether attributed to Aspergers or not?
Think Tank (# 25) I agree with all you said.
No matter how I try to be clear in communication, I am misunderstood more often than anyone else I know. My thoughts are qualified by conditionals and contingencies, relevant ifs and buts. Even when I edit these all out, even by coming directly to the point or conclusion, well, people still misunderstand.
I have to try very hard to pay attention to what individuals actually mean when they are talking, not just their verbal statements. I take a few seconds longer to respond when someone says something to me, even something pretty simple if the context is at all vague. Apparently it is easy for most other people to “get it,” to match up spoken words with body language to fully understand a conversation. Worse, it is more difficult for me to suspect I’m being lied to.
I don't know if it is something separate, but I have difficulty recognizing people who I don't know very well. Whenever I meet someone I try to keep looking at their face for two main reasons: to remember them in case we meet again, and to follow their expressions to see if it supports their words. But the impulse to look away is almost impossible to resist.
It's also important to understand that many people are just more loner types anyway. We are Spockish. We are nerdy. This stereotype isn't new. It doesn’t mean everyone who is not well adjusted is an Aspie, or feels the need to wear the tag. I hope this doesn’t turn out like the ADD/ ADHD fad. People attributing all aspects of their character to ADD, making excuses for their children' misbehaviors, Often they really didn’t have ADD, but oppositional defiance disorder or other problems. I think ADD is over diagnosed. Genuine ADD cases often have difficulty receiving medicine now. Just because you don't know what's wrong with you doesn't mean that that “whatever it is” is Asperger Syndrome.
A man by the name of Asperger diagnosed personality traits in 1944 and now just because some people are introverted, preferring to spend time with meaningful things such as nature, studies, art, sciences, etc., rather than make small talk and learn the nuances of a sick society in order to fit in, it's a syndrome? I think that those diagnosed with "Aspergers" are the "normal" ones.
ok I have myself under control now. I have just spent the last few minutes scanning around the 'net, looking into this disorder. suddenly, I’m reading about individuals who think like me, feel the way I do, *act* the way I do. all my life I have felt as if I was always falling short of what those around me expected me to be able to do. always a failure, but never really caring enough about that to actually change it. wondering what the joke was when I had been paying attention to the conversation the whole time, or so I thought. feeling nothing when I see someone that I like in pain- almost like I’m second guessing my own feelings for someone at the worst possible time. I have never been able to keep a job for longer than a couple of years, but I have had some jobs that I just love, and in another scenario I’d still be working them. I have always felt false, like I’m faking anything and everything I do- I even told my ex-wife once that I don't feel emotion, just act in the manner that I have learned makes the most sense in the situation. I still don't understand the look on her face, as if I was a horrible person. She asked why I was so thoughtful, and I told her what had just occurred to me, that's all.
I'm a smart person. my IQ is up in the 170-180 range on the Stanford-Binet Scale. I am an accomplished musician who plays drums with a rock band, although I have been wondering why I bother with that lately. I have made a shambles of all but the most casual relationships in my life, even telling my dad that I hate people in general, but none specifically. I destroyed my marriage because I just couldn't -- engage -- with my wife in matters of finance, child raising, or other things like that. she'd reach to me for comfort and I’d get uncomfortable and want her to leave me alone, and I *know* I loved her!
I have destroyed my health with the drugs I took in my teens and 20's trying to feel anything but fear and loneliness. 2 heart attacks, 5 bypasses, and now I have debts piled up, no future, no life, and all this time I have just accepted that I have no ability to be a normal person with a normal drive to succeed.
then I decided to read up on something that my daughter may have, according to her mom. it was just curiosity, just wondering what it was all about. suddenly I’m crying. and now I’m leaking again, because now I’m reading an explanation for *my* life- and what chance did I have? my parents had no clue, my counselors had no clue. I have been treated by one of the most respected child psychiatrists around, Dr. Alex Panio of AFIC in Denver, and neither he nor his staff had a clue. they diagnosed oppositional defiance disorder (actually, they tricked me into diagnosing myself in order to make me believe it) and acted accordingly.
it's like being told you have a terminal illness after your arms have been amputated. my life is a wreck, practically unrecoverable. I find myself wanting to die, because the thought of fighting this fight is just overwhelming. I’ve been just dying little by little, wanting to go because the alternative was just too much damn work- and now I have a word for all my problems: Aspergers.
I am a 47 year old male Aspie. I would not wish this condition on anyone. I learned at an early age that I was different and that I would never "fit in." Although I finally married, I cannot tell you how many females were completely uninterested in dating me. I have a young daughter and I pray that she will escape this curse. From the outside, I appear to be very successful. Single minded pursuits lead to great achievements but happiness tends to be elusive. My nephew has now been diagnosed as an Aspie as well. I hope that society will be more tolerant of him.
Wow! I recently fell in love with a guy who I now feel, after reading these post, in all likelihood is an "Aspie". Especially the comments from 32 and 33 about their partner being socially 'out to sea' and sitting there stony faced while everyone else is laughing and having to use direct speech and not speak in subtleties. It made especially sad to read the most recent post from #35 who felt everyone thought her to be strange. It's not unusual for my Aspie boyfriend to think every person he meets hates him. He is also alienated from everyone at work, and I notice his family somewhat does the same. My own family even had an 'intervention' with me about him. I've come to the point where I somewhat echo the sentiments of #21's apprehensions in undertaking the challenges of being involved with an Aspie.
The confusion about whether to stay or go is overwhelming and our relationship has therefore become cyclical. On the one hand he is so very intriguing to me; his wit is outrageous and I never know what is going to come out of his mouth. And like #15's post, the constant unanticipated laughter is so very refreshing and special to me. He is also a sweetheart who wants nothing more than for people to feel good about them but has trouble expressing it, and his attempts most often come out as an insults or just plain rudeness. It makes me so sad for him because I know that's not his intention at all. He is very misread by others. But on the other hand, I am an extremely social person with lots of friends, and true to Aspie traits, he admittedly has no friends that he himself sees regularly. If I could live my life with just him, it would be a very content one; but I just know that is not possible and I will always be bringing him into social situations that I now know make him extremely uncomfortable and cause me great anxiety worrying about how he will act. I have approached the subject with him, and although his response is 'tough, this is who I am', I am praying he can come around to the same thinking as #21's post -- that he will have to give it 90 percent to turn the relationship around. And even though he took an initial hard stance, he proudly told me that just yesterday he attempted conversations with everyone at work.
What's more likely that this can work is that I, too, am willing to give it 90 percent along with him, by researching, going to support groups, and just being supportive to him. He is worth it. And with our combined 180 percent, we should make it.
Hi, I'm a 43 year old female and I am pretty sure I have AS, although I still need to do more research.
I've been terrible at making friends. Other than the man I'm in a relationship with, I really don't have any. I can't seem to get past the awkward stage of getting to know someone. I'm terrible at small talk and trying to fit into social situations is pretty much impossible and stressful for me. I feel everyone is looking at me and thinking what a strange person she is.
To all that are posting here, particularly if you have family members with Aspergers Syndrome, please also be tested for Tuberous Sclerosis. I am particularly interested in these comments posted, as I am having my 26 year old son tested for Aspergers. I have a grandson who has TS (Tuberous Sclerosis). TS *is a genetic disorder, often passed on throughout generations, without ever being diagnosed until the more severe type of TS pops up in family member. My grandson has white spots on his skin (although hard to see because he is so fair complexioned). He also has moderate autism. The spots on the skin are easily seen under a special light. Tuberous Sclerosis, in its most severe form, causes severe mental retardation. TS in its lesser form, can cause no symptoms.
However, parents pass on the gene to their offspring (all it takes is the right combination to produce the wrong type of TS). The second type of TS (the more severe) also causes subtle to severe autism. I am curious if medical examiners have cross referenced these two disorders to see if some genetic patterning is there. Could Aspergers be Tuberous Sclerosis? Note again, some people with TS have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever and can live happy productive lives. I do believe that Asperger Syndrome does indeed have a genetic link, although medical professionals say otherwise. Just wanted to put this out there. Individuals with TS, whether showing symptoms or not, often have watery tumors inside their body, non malignant, that can grow on their organs. I believe if a doctor is not educated on TS, these types of tumors can be misdiagnosed. Again, as I stated before, white spots on skin are generally indicative of TS. My son is being tested for Aspergers, and he also has white spots all over his skin.
I have been married for 10 years. Firstly, I am not a psychologist but talk from many years living with someone who clearly has Asperger Syndrome. I posted 39325. Our partners share striking similarities. The anger issues are very familiar - zero to anger in seconds over issues that are not of any consequence. The endless lists of things to do. The endless note taking. Things are done this way because they have always been done this way. Not letting go of a subject or issue for hours no matter how minor. A phone call I didn’t make, she will go on and on about it until I make it, even if it has nothing to do with her. The strange contorted posture and yes disappearing for hours in her office. Craving to be alone, to be by her. Hiding away from your friends. And, and yes never saying sorry when she has totally destroyed you with her words. She has no concept of the hurt. No regular person would ever say such things. An example of one of the things that totally devastated me was she once said that she had no concept of ever being happy, she said she did not know what happiness was.
Conversation’s can often turn in to proclamations and statements not two way chit chat. A ‘fork in the road’ is a piece of cutlery in the road, what’s it doing there? This is a person with a very high IQ. I am lucky our daughter is NT but my partner’s dad is Asperger Syndrome. Our daughter has more empathy in her little finger than my partner has ever had. I have learnt to identify the triggers that cause her stress, steer clear of the things that will generate these emotional outbursts. My life is simpler than yours but that is my advice. Yes you may think why I should, I’ve been wronged or she is wrong but it is clear people with Asperger Syndrome don’t think like you and I and there lies reality of our situation.
My partner has no concept of her connectedness to others. It seems like a one-way stream of stuff going in but she cannot regulate or relate to what comes out, if that makes sense. I always get the feeling that she is isolated from what is around her, incapable of collective appreciation of the world or her place in it, if she does her never says so. I have learnt to talk in direct speech. No subtleties, no metaphors, no word play. I have learnt that if I say I’m going to do something I will do it. I don’t surprise her. We plan. I try my best not to put her in novel situations – big stress generator. These are my thoughts on a smooth life.
I am the partner of a wonderful woman who has undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome. She's gifted at math and music. A pure logic mind, a marvel to witness. To her everything is black and white, no grey. An amazing problem solver. An amazing person. I marvel at her intelligence. Obsessive with facts, she will research and research for weeks a single point or question. She runs rings around specialists in their fields as she absorbs the facts and spews them out. Its breath taking. Socially my sweet and lovely person is out to sea. Incapable of reading others emotions. When everybody is laughing at the dinner table, she sits there stony faced not knowing what's going on. Twisting her fingers and sitting stiffly, eyes darting all over the room. She's incapable of understanding metaphor. She's wonderfully creative but incapable of creative writing. I've learnt to talk in direct speech. A rolling stone gathers no moss is a rolling stone that gathers no moss - to her it’s a factual statement.
I've learnt not to expect her to point out beauty, even though she must see it all around. I've learnt not to be upset when I hug her and she stands there unresponsive and stiff. I've learnt to accept her eccentric behaviors. I've learnt that within her lies a hyper-sensitive person who can be destroyed by another's careless words.
Unlike others' posts, she organizes and makes endless lists to keep her day under control. She is incapable of spontaneous actions, if it's not on her today's to do list it cannot be done today.
We have been together for many years, we have a daughter and I love her very much. Asperger Syndrome is but a label, she is far more than a label.
Hello. I have been searching all of my life to find out why I feel the way I feel sometimes. After reading the data on this website, I have gained the knowledge to understand myself better. I thought I could label myself a Highly Sensitive Person, but my feelings toward life is much deeper than sensitivity.
I have trained myself to manage the pain I can feel from another person’s words, behavior or feelings.
Usually I find relief via gospel music or prayer, reading, writing, separating myself, using the constitution to confirm my thoughts, silence, recharging my energy levels, at least 8 hours of sleep per night, music, and talking with someone else who I feel will cool the boiling blood running through my body to my volcanic heart.
My whole outlook on life is to make it better or perfect, even for my one friend or my whole family or the whole world. In doing that I may feel better, but I can totally be unsatisfied if even one of my surroundings are below perfect standards.
Suppose I go to a funeral and it turned out to be sad in my eyes; my whole day is ruined maybe even two days. I do not have to know the situation, person or the people grieving....I will cry because I become the emotion through my own private thoughts.
Me knowing that people misunderstand my feelings; I would eternally overreact if someone did not warn me about the criticism they wanted to give me.
Would say in a calm or disapproving tone:
Why are you crying? Don't cry! Why are you smiling?
Should say in the calmest sweetest tone:
May I say something?
I know you must feel awful from the crying flying around this room; and you can cry all you want. You have my deepest sympathy, here is some tissue.
I would stop crying or at least feel a little better if the person was truly sincere; I am temporarily relieved.
Would say in a calm or disapproving tone:
When are you going to quit smoking?
Should say in the calmest sweetest tone: This might hurt a little but I have something to tell you. Is it ok?
I know you don't want to stink or become sick; so I am going to help you quit smoking starting next Monday. Get ready because I know it is going to be hard for you to quit.
That line can work if you mean it.
I also have the most strongest crave to feel optimism from others, heard, unhurt, understood, and judged without any prejudice; because I can instantly feel all emotions a person feels while we communicate: Good or Bad: Mom or Wife: Work or Community: Dog or cat: Toddler or newborn.
I have this condition and I love it; because it makes me different.
If everyone was like me I would be dead and If I was like everyone else I would still be dead; so I have to live.
Unfortunately, my own survival is the feelings, wishes and dreams to make my surroundings in the light of the definition of happiness.
My husband is a self diagnosed Aspie. He will not take care of important issues and not only that but he will not tell me about them so I can take care of them. How should I approach this? When I finally find out, I blow up because not taking care of whatever it is, i.e., getting his car inspected, ends up costing us more money (tickets for an expired inspection). I had to find out from my neighbors that he had gotten a ticket. We both work full-time (he's a software engineer) and have two young kids so it's exhausting following behind him to make sure the minimum has been handled. My sister says to just do *everything* myself. Do any of you Aspergers individuals just not take care of important tasks b/c of the way your brain is wired? Any tips on how a spouse should handle this?
I have been married for 10 years to a 40 year old woman who recently found out that she has Asperger Syndrome. I love her dearly and am looking to help her be as happy and contented as possible. She is at times irritable, is very much in to routine or planned activities, is reluctant to be around others she is unfamiliar with and she reacts to stimuli in an aversive way. When things do not go as planned or if the routine is disrupted she can act out in a loud mean way. She becomes upset and can be distant for a day or two and even longer. She is never one to come and patch things up it is always me to give in apologizing for upsetting her. She is very sensitive to the things I say and do and can appear to be unforgiving at times. She never says I am sorry for any of her outbursts and can be mean and cutting with her words.
I have always known I was "different" but could never pinpoint why. I am a 44 year old woman and just recently learned about Aspergers Syndrome. I believe I have it but I also admit I need to do more research on this strange syndrome. What I have read about it describes me quite accurately, hence the self-diagnosis.
I have seven siblings and none of them have ever exhibited any of the symptoms I have. During my school years and through college I never felt like I fit in. I was terrified of any social gatherings so I never attended any school functions (dances, prom's, etc.) I did join band and choir because of my love of music. However, I *hated* any out-of-town functions because I had to be with so many people and at the time I hadn't learned how to cope with others so I was a "wallflower", preferring my own company because I was too terrified to try and talk with anyone thinking I would say or do something stupid. I'm sure I was thought of as "stuck up" by my peers. I usually stayed at home and did my school work so I got straight A's.
I had my first panic attack at the age of sixteen (oh god it was horrible!) My parents had (finally) gotten divorced at the beginning of my Junior year of high school and my mom moved me and my three remaining siblings to another town. I'd had two good friends in my previous high school but at the new high school I just kept to myself. After I graduated I discovered alcohol which changed my life for about a year. Suddenly I wasn't painfully shy anymore, I was the life of the party!!! I realized, rather sheepishly, that alcohol wasn't the answer after several rather frightening experiences so I went to college.
By this time I had learned to mimic how others reacted in certain social situations so I was able to maintain a job. I don't want to bore anyone with my life story so I will just say that up to now I have always preferred to remain alone (after two failed marriages). I'm a perfectionist and I have odd eating habits and routines. I have great empathy for others but have such difficulty expressing it. I am told I am a beautiful woman but I have a terrible time accepting compliments. Everyone who knows me can't understand why I prefer to live a life of solitude, why I don't want to go out and *do* things.
If anyone out there would like to respond to my commentary and give any specific information I should know about I would greatly appreciate it. Meanwhile, I will continue to research AS.
We knew something was different about my niece by the time she was a toddler. She's now 6 years old and has been diagnosed with just about everything along the entire autism spectrum, from sensory integration dysfunction to autism (which is her current diagnosis), and including Aspergers. Interestingly, many of the symptoms she has exhibited since infanthood would inspire my mom tell stories about my own infanthood. The running joke in my family is that my niece is more like me than her own mom, even the way she looks! Of course, I have had my suspicions about myself since my niece first became symptomatic, but I didn't want to make this about me, and I certainly didn't want a label. But curiosity got the best of me... So here I am at the age of 35, and I hopped on the internet to research sensory integration dysfunction in adults. I ran across a questionnaire and filled it out, ranking disconcertingly high in the emotional/social areas. So I called my sister, who knows so much about this from my niece's trials, and she suggested that I have Aspergers. And that's what led me here today.
The thing is, I have lived my life in this situational analysis, memorizing every detail, finding logic in everything, solving problems from dusk until dawn, stepping back and asking myself if the world would fall off its axis if I don't do something to the degree of perfection that I desire - the whole time knowing that there is something different about me, but not sure how to put it into words... and then I read this article and your comments and I feel like I am on the verge of something ground-breaking to my life, my niece's life, and my son's life... I can't describe it other than to say that to non-aspie's, finding their own thoughts and feelings written on the internet by complete strangers would not generally be considered a relief, and yet I am relieved.
I believe I was diagnosed with this condition at around age 9, because my parents had to remove me from public school because of excessive teasing. Of course, there was no official diagnosis at that time, and as a matter of fact autism was relatively unknown until the "Rain Man" movie of the late 1980's. I was raised primarily in boarding school, where the headmistress was super critical and seemed like everything I did was wrong. I rebelled against the confinement, and got a two-week stint in a funny farm as the result.
I am now 64 and have fought this demon my entire life. Opposite sex relationships tend to be extremely difficult, and have many times been victimized by those who at first were my friends but backed away. I wonder if AS is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as I was recently fired from a job because someone apparently thought I was making advances toward her. I am in the mood to fight for my rights, but as a result I am right now being denied unemployment benefits and the case is in appeal. Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated.
I have a notion or two.
In doing research after suspecting I had AS (after being misdiagnosed for Manic-D), I knew it was true when I read that one of the symptoms is 'wanting to save the world.'
Can't explain it in genetic terms, but I start 'problem solving' the minute someone communicates with me. I listen well, but can't stop the wheels from turning. Think Mr. Spock. It's like taking a conversation so literally - and these days everyone is whining about something - and processing it through until I have an answer. Problem is that it isn't always appropriate to resolve people's issues. But if you apply it to the world, it works great.
Relationships aren't that hard to master. Artful Aspergers individuals tend to master things they pursue - cooking, building, etc. There are a lot of attractive things about their 'wiring' - like never being bored - always a project.
For me, relationships that are merely interactive are childish - when a lot of time is spent on assumption of why the other acts a certain way, then time spent talking about feelings, then shortcomings... but then there is the kind of relationship where you are standing at the edge of the abyss; you hold hands, then leap into the unknown. If you can find that kind of trust, look no farther.
When I started doing my serious ‘save the world’ work, I found I didn’t want or need a partner. I still enjoy people, though. So I bought a farm with which to make a permaculture model with organic produce, greywater systems, etc. It has 5 little units on it. I am thinking about making it an Aspie Oasis, inviting others like me to live on it.
I'm pretty sure people think Keanu Reeves is an Aspergers person because he's very limited in the facial expression department and barely emotes. His speaking voice is lacking in recognizable inflection, and he seems to keep to himself. I've privately considered that he may be an aspie, but since I don't know him personally, I will only speculate. I won't label.
I'm not sure what the obsession with "outing" famous Aspergers individuals is all about. Is it a fitting-in kind of thing, a coolness-by-proxy thing? I don't get it.
If you suspect that someone close to you has Aspergers, pick up a copy of "Look Me In The Eye", by John Elder Robison. It's a good read about his life from drop-out social outcast to KISS band technician then corporate executive engineer and beyond. What makes it more interesting is that he has Aspergers and identifies his condition from the onset in his book. The book was intended for others with Aspergers to connect with him and learn how to deal with it. Aspergers is not an embarrassing condition and there are ways to benefit from it... if identified and dealt with.
Reading the book myself, (it was recommended by a friend who suspected I have Aspergers), I was not insulted but rather touched that my friend gave me that much thought and consideration and felt I could learn from it.
I would not be surprised at all if the most secretive society in America turned out to be the Aspie's husbands and wives support group. I am sure Melinda and other Aspie wives have needed help many a time dealing with their brilliant Aspie husbands, but of course, publicizing the name of the group and its participants is no option. Certainly not in Silicon Valley or some Seattle neighborhood.
This said, I feel for, and admire Melinda. Looking at recent pictures of her in the press, I think that she looks drained. I would not say that she is aging well. Living with Bill has its rewards, but there comes a time where fatigue outweighs the rewards.
Two things elude me: why would a "successful" Aspie, a high achiever, especially one to whom humankind or a significant segment of the community is indebted (or at least should be) want to reach out to the rest? Their Aspiness has worked wonders for them and others in the general public. Why bother at all? Why go through the agony of trying to deal with the rest of society when you actively seek and enjoy your solitude? If it has worked for you until now, why fix it? Your agony trying to reach out (for what exactly?)could turn into another unwary friend's agony (not quite the desired result), which brings me to my other point.
I do not mean to sound harsh or judgmental ---I really am not-but an Aspie who enjoys his or her solitude, who is set in his or her routine and ways of communicating, or not communicating, who is inflexible is going to have to do 90% of the work if he or she sincerely seeks to reach out to the rest. To expect that the other-especially a potential romantic interest-is going to do a serious share of the work toward that end is unrealistic. If one AS wants to change things because deep down inside there is that unbearable sense of void, you will have to do the work. I have no doubt it can be done provided there is a clear understanding the onus is on the one seeking to reach out or change his or her life. It's one thing for a partner to understand and empathize; it's an entirely different thing for that other to find it in him/herself to be with one who is, after all, more comfortable in his or her world and had serious difficulties stepping out of it. There may be a tendency for an Aspie to want to mold the other into his/her closed world, bring him/her in, removed him/her when the mood strikes, hence the high failure risk. Again, I am not being judgmental, I am not trying to discourage, but I am realistic.
The good thing about knowing what the truth is most helpful in the sense the other won't feel offended or resentful for an otherwise socially odd conduct.
To undertake the challenge of sharing life or parts of it on an intimate level with one with AS requires youth and enthusiasm as well a certain deal of freshness and idealism. I humbly confess that having reached my mature years and having gone through the grinds of life including a difficult marriage with one with ADHD, I could not find it in me to take on the challenge. At this stage in my life, neither my (utmost) admiration nor (intense) attraction (or the possibility I could fall in love) could provide the necessary strength to pursue a romantic interest or close friendship with one so deeply set in his/her world, as I know that I would most likely have to bear the cross of the unending compromises such a relationship would demand of me. And I've been there, done that already in life...
I suspect that a more mature Melinda would have serious reservations about marrying Bill today.
Sometimes, we just have to accept life as it is. Sometimes we just have to accept that we do not have it all. Sometimes, we just have to accept that the timing is not right. We're only humans after all.
One of the secrets to my contentedness lies in the fact I do not delude myself and can recognize a mirage-however sublime-when I see it.
But again, if being AS has helped to achieve great things and placed one at the top, why bother to upset the status quo at all? That's a question which answer keeps eluding me.
I am a programmer and the VA thinks I have Asperger. The reason to get tested is so you know and can deal with it.
I am a programmer and in the last two years I have had so many difficulties that I almost lost my job. The VA suggested Asperger. Now I know, now I can read up on it and recognize the symptoms. Now I can take steps to limit the damage. For me I was able to cope for however long I've had it, but as I grow older it is more difficult and started affecting my job. Now I and my employer can see the issue and not see me as lazy or goofing off.
Why do people want to be tested/diagnosed as there is no cure or meds for it? My son is ADD diagnosed and we have medication which helps but he sounds like a little aspie too. But what is the point of getting tested? He's smart and unusual and I can accept that.
I am a self-diagnosed Aspie. I have always been thought of by others as being weird and hard to get alone with. I have absolutely no friends or relatives that can tolerate me and that does lead to some lonely feelings.
I've learned to cope with it though. I find it unbelievably difficult to try and make eye contact for more than a few seconds. I have such a hard time understanding comical word play and body language. I've learned to approximate appropriate facial and body gestures as responses to conversation, but it’s a constant mental workout to do that.
I feel absolute empathy towards everyone. I don't choose to be this way but there is nothing I can do about it except pretend to be like everyone else.
It is tough, being of a species that desires social interaction; yet being so different, as to not fit in Socially.
My adult nephew has Asperger Syndrome. Life as a kid was difficult for him - however, adult life is treating him well. He is bright and cool and quirky. He tends to be more empathetic - his eyes show his concern and sadness, but the words sometimes don't match. But his off-the-wall responses often make for some unanticipated laughter! I absolutely love my nephew and believe that the Asperger Syndrome is part of what makes him special.
I'm an 'Aspie', self diagnosed. I'm almost certainly on the higher functioning end of the spectrum, but Aspie nonetheless.
Yes, I'm eccentric as hell. No, I don't have many friends, but those I do have are probably Aspergers individuals too. In the end, I'd say that for me, Asperger Syndrome has been more of a blessing than a curse. It gated me into unaware career choices years ago. The ability to concentrate and focus on problem solving and a wonderfully 'paranoid approach' to software development made me rich, if not famous. I'm a very lucky fellow. It is true: Living well is the best revenge.
I figured out I had Aspergers Syndrome in my fifties. It was nice to know I wasn't simply odd, but, hell, I'd lived with it for a half century without it killing me, and I was going to continue to live with it. My concentration on a specialized subject has generated a number of scholarly articles on English literary history in well-regarded learned journals. I guess I'll just have to resign myself to not having the potential to be a neurosurgeon or a backslapping used car salesman.
Hoping to help answer the person who questioned about their brother possibly having AS. I grew up with AS and had to make extreme changes in how I deal with people and intense situations. I find that I have a desire for people to explain things bluntly and obviously to me about how they feel. Those afflicted with AS tend to miss subtle nuances in body language and other forms of communication. I excelled by mimicking those around me and remembering how people reacted to similar situations. Yeah, it's kind of like lying, but it is one of those things we can't address at all times. Just as such if someone is in a wheelchair, you just ignore the wheelchair after awhile.
I would just talk to him and explain your concern and express how you want help. You could also print out one of these articles and just plain show it to him. If he's got AS, he'll figure it out on his own just by reading it. We're good at that kind of stuff. Best of luck.-Justin
Life is better when you know what you're dealing with.
Greetings, I have AS. I met this guy years ago. We are together with a kid now. Would be married if I had not gotten preg. Anyways, I wanted him to learn more about me and my probs. so he could understand me more. So, I did research on the net about AS. He was reading it, realized that it answered some things about him he was wondering about because he just thought he was weird. He realized he too has AS. I told my mom about it, she let me borrow a book about AS (She does research on my probs, has for many years.) Anyways, when I got the book from her she had already highlighted the section he follows under. Lol. She too thought he had it. The more and more he read it the more he thought he had it. He said she wanted to get checked out to find out if he had it. Well, when we were talking to his sister on the phone he told her he thought he had it. And that I had it(Heh we never told her that I had AS until then) well we come to find out at that time his sister too has AS. She was raised in a foster home and had failed to mention to her mom or brother that she had AS until then. Heh go figure that proves that we are prob right about him having AS. It is a good possibility he does have AS. We are going to have to have him checked out when we get a chance.(Kinda hard when you have no car and it is hard enough to see a psychiatrist.. as it is. You need referrals and a whole lot of mess.. it is so frustrating.)
I had a student in my first grade class who has Asperger Syndrome. After lots of observations at school, I noticed things about my spouse that were similar to this student. I think my spouse has Asperger Syndrome. He shows a lot of the symptoms, but I'm not sure how to bring it up. Any ideas?
Hi. I am almost positive that my brother has AS. It explains so much. He is depressed a lot, has sought counseling for depression, but still is isolated since he can't make friends. How do I approach him with the idea that he might have Asperger Syndrome? Thanks.
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