HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Does My Husband Have Aspergers Too?

Question

My 15-year-old son was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 12. I have heard that this disorder is highly genetic and have thought for many years now that my husband, John, also has Aspergers. When I first met John, I thought he was just a little “weird” and was hurt by his lack of concern for my feelings. Although I love him dearly, he is somewhat of a “heartless freak” (he has told me that I am an “overemotional troublemaker”). Is there a way for me to know for sure whether or not he has Aspergers short of suggesting an assessment by a professional? He denies having a lot of the same characteristics as our son and has adamantly refused to get a formal diagnosis. It's important for me to know one way or the other so I can adjust my expectations accordingly.

Answer

Although not a replacement for a professional diagnosis, the following questionnaire will give you some insight into whether or not your spouse has this disorder. If you answer ‘yes’ to most of the following questions, then it is likely that you’re looking at true Aspergers:

1. Are their eyes extra sensitive to strong light and glare?
2. Are their views different from their peer group?
3. Are they bothered by clothes tags or light touch?
4. Are they easily distracted?
5. Are they easily offended by criticism, correction and direction?
6. Are they hypo- or hypersensitive to physical pain, or even enjoy some types of pain?
7. Are they impatient and have low frustration tolerance?
8. Are they naturally so honest and sincere themselves that they assume everyone should be?
9. Are they often surprised what people's motives are?
10. Are they or have they been hyperactive?
11. Are they poor at interpreting facial expressions?
12. Are they poor at returning social courtesies and gestures?
13. Are they prone to getting depression?
14. Are they sensitive to changes in humidity and air pressure?
15. Are they sometimes afraid in safe situations?
16. Are they somewhat of a daydreamer, often lost in their own thoughts?
17. Are they unsure when it is their turn to speak when talking on the phone?
18. Are they unsure when they are expected to offer an apology?
19. As a child, was their play more directed towards, for example, sorting, building, investigating or taking things apart than towards social games with other kids?
20. As a teenager, were they usually unaware of social rules & boundaries unless they were clearly spelled out?
21. Before doing something or going somewhere, do they need to have a picture in their mind of what's going to happen so as to be able to prepare themselves mentally first?
22. Do they often misunderstand other’s motives?
23. Do people comment on their unusual mannerisms and habits?
24. Do people often tell them that they keep going on and on about the same thing?
25. Do people sometimes think they are smiling at the wrong time?
26. Do people think they are aloof and distant?
27. Do recently heard tunes or rhythms tend to stick and replay repeatedly in their head?
28. Do their feelings cycle regularly between hopelessness and extremely high confidence?
29. Do they avoid meeting new people?
30. Do they avoid talking face to face with someone they don't know very well?
31. Do they avoid team sports?
32. Do they become frustrated if an activity that is important to them gets interrupted?
33. Do they bite their lip, cheek or tongue (e.g., when thinking, when anxious or nervous)?
34. Do they dislike being touched or hugged unless they're prepared or have asked for it?
35. Do they dislike it when people drop by to visit when uninvited?
36. Do they dislike it when people stamp their foot on the floor?
37. Do they dislike shaking hands with strangers?
38. Do they dislike when people walk behind them?
39. Do they dislike working while being observed?
40. Do they drop things when their attention is on other things?
41. Do they enjoy mimicking animal sounds?
42. Do they enjoy watching a spinning or blinking object?
43. Do they ever walk on their toes?
44. Do they expect other people to know their thoughts, experiences and opinions without having to tell them?
45. Do they feel an urge to correct people with accurate facts, numbers, spelling, grammar etc., when others get something wrong?
46. Do they feel an urge to peel flakes off themselves and/or others?
47. Do they fiddle with things?
48. Do they find it difficult to describe their feelings?
49. Do they find it difficult to do more than one thing at once?
50. Do they find it difficult to estimate the age of people?
51. Do they find it difficult to figure out how to behave in various situations?
52. Do they find it difficult to take messages on the telephone and pass them on correctly?
53. Do they find it difficult to take notes during lectures?
54. Do they find it disturbing or upsetting when others show up either later or sooner than agreed?
55. Do they find it easier to understand and communicate with odd & unusual people than with ordinary people?
56. Do they find it hard to be emotionally close to other people?
57. Do they find it hard to pick up on non-verbal cues of others?
58. Do they find it hard to recognize phone numbers when said in a different way?
59. Do they find it unnatural to wave or say 'hi' when they meet people?
60. Do they find it very hard to learn things that they are not interested in?
61. Do they find the norms of hygiene too strict?
62. Do they find themselves ill at ease in romantic situations?
63. Do they forget they are in a social situation when something gets their attention?
64. Do they get confused by several verbal instructions at the same time?
65. Do they get frustrated if they can't sit in their favorite seat?
66. Do they get very tired after socializing, and need to regenerate alone?
67. Do they hate gossip?
68. Do they have a fascination for slowly flowing water?
69. Do they have a monotonous voice?
70. Do they have a tendency to become stuck when asked questions in social situation?
71. Do they have an alternative view of what is attractive in the opposite sex?
72. Do they have an avid perseverance in gathering and filing information on a topic of interest?
73. Do they have atypical or irregular sleeping patterns that deviate from the 24-hour cycle?
74. Do they have certain routines which they need to follow?
75. Do they have difficulties filtering out background noise when talking to someone?
76. Do they have difficulties imitating & timing the movements of others, e.g., when learning new dance steps or in gym class?
77. Do they have difficulties judging distances, height, depth or speed?
78. Do they have difficulties with activities requiring manual precision, e.g., sewing, tying shoe-laces, fastening buttons or handling small objects?
79. Do they have difficulty accepting criticism, correction, and direction?
80. Do they have difficulty describing & summarizing things for example events, conversations or something they've read?
81. Do they have difficulty remembering verbal instructions?
82. Do they have extra sensitive hearing?
83. Do they have little sense for what is the right thing to do socially?
84. Do they have little sense of how much pressure to apply when doing things with their hands?
85. Do they have no interest for the current fashions?
86. Do they have one special talent which they have emphasized and worked on?
87. Do they have poor awareness or body control and a tendency to fall, stumble or bump into things?
88. Do they have problems filling out forms?
89. Do they have problems finding their way to new places?
90. Do they have problems recognizing faces?
91. Do they have problems starting or finishing projects?
92. Do they have problems with timing in conversations?
93. Do they have strong attachments to certain favorite objects?
94. Do they have trouble reading clocks?
95. Do they have trouble with authority?
96. Do they have unusual sexual preferences?
97. Do they instinctively become frightened by the sound of a motor-bike?
98. Do they make unusual facial expressions?
99. Do they misjudge how much time has passed when involved in interesting activities?
100. Do they mistake noises for voices?
101. Do they mix up digits in numbers like 95 and 59?
102. Do they need lists and schedules in order to get things done?
103. Do they need periods of contemplation?
104. Do they need to do things themselves in order to remember them?
105. Do they not really fit into the expected gender stereotypes?
106. Do they notice patterns in things all the time?
107. Do they often feel out-of-sync with others?
108. Do they often have lots of thoughts that they find hard to verbalize?
109. Do they often not know where to put their arms?
110. Do they or others think they have unconventional ways of solving problems?
111. Do they or others think they have unusual eating habits?
112. Do they pace (e.g. when thinking or anxious)?
113. Do they prefer to do things on their own even if they could use others' help or expertise?
114. Do they prefer to wear the same clothes or eat the same food many days in a row?
115. Do they repeat vocalizations made by others?
116. Do they rock back-&-forth or side-to-side (e.g., for comfort, to calm themselves, when excited or over stimulated)?
117. Do they see their own activities as more important than other people's?
118. Do they sometimes have an urge to jump over things?
119. Do they sometimes lie awake at night because of too many thoughts?
120. Do they sometimes mix up pronouns and, for example, say "they" or "we" when they mean "me" or vice versa?
121. Do they stutter when stressed?
122. Do they suddenly feel distracted by distant sounds?
123. Do they talk to themselves?
124. Do they tap their ears or press their eyes (e.g., when thinking, when stressed or distressed)?
125. Do they tend to become obsessed with a potential partner and cannot let go of him/her?
126. Do they tend to express their feelings in ways that may baffle others?
127. Do they tend to get so absorbed by their special interests that they forget or ignore everything else?
128. Do they tend to interpret things literally?
129. Do they tend to look a lot at people they like and little or not at all at people they dislike?
130. Do they tend to notice details that others do not?
131. Do they tend to say things that are considered socially inappropriate when they are tired, frustrated or when they act naturally?
132. Do they tend to shut down or have a meltdown when stressed or overwhelmed?
133. Do they tend to talk either too softly or too loudly?
134. Do they wring their hands, rub their hands together or twirl their fingers?
135. Does it feel vitally important to be left undisturbed when focusing on their special interests?
136. Has it been harder for them than for others to keep friends?
137. Has it been harder for them to make it on their own than it seems to be for most others of the same age?
138. Have others told them that they have an odd posture or gait?
139. Have they been accused of staring?
140. Have they been bullied, abused or taken advantage of?
141. Have they been fascinated about making traps?
142. Have they had long-lasting urges to take revenge?
143. Have they taken initiative only to find out it was not wanted?
144. If there is an interruption, is it difficult for them to quickly return to what they were doing before?
145. In a conversation, do they tend to focus on their own thoughts rather than on what their listener might be thinking?
146. In conversations, do they need extra time to carefully think out their reply, thus there may be a pause before they answer?
147. In conversations, do they use small sounds that others don't seem to use?
148. Is it hard for them to see why some things upset people so much?
149. Is their sense of humor different from mainstream or considered odd?
150. Is their sense of humor somewhat unconventional?

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