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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Aspergers Adults and Love

Some individuals with Aspergers (high functioning autism) will choose to stay single …others will marry … some will have kids …some will have happy marriages and families …and some will not. An important factor in determining their chances of happiness is “awareness” – awareness that there are two different languages of two different worlds being spoken in the home.

Anger, resentment, depression, grief, rejection, confusion ...all are experienced by both partners – unless they (a) come to the realization that each is speaking a different language AND (b) learn how to translate for each other.

Empathy and emotional intimacy are often lacking in a relationship with an Aspergers partner. This doesn't mean that love is lacking, though. People with Aspergers “love” just like anyone else, but they do not understand the need for expressing love, and they don't know when and how “expressions of love” should occur (unless their non-Aspergers partner is willing to teach them).

Teaching the “in-and-outs” of intimacy can be very helpful to an Aspie, and the “instruction” needs to be concise and concrete (no hinting or hoping he will just "pick up on it"). Aspies don't pick up on innuendos any more than color-blind people can see when a stop light turns to red.

Both partners may be in for far more than they had bargained for and certainly have had no real assistance from experts until just recently, as research has come to light.

A diagnosis of Aspergers may seem like “bad news” initially. But for the Aspie who has spent his life bumping up against misunderstandings, anger and rejection for reasons he couldn't begin to understand, such a diagnosis can bring a sense of liberation. And for their non-Aspergers partner, there is finally a sense of comfort and a knowing that she is sane after all. There was something different at play all through their relationship, and it had nothing to do with lack of love, selfishness, insensitivity, etc. Rather it had to do with a neurological disorder; a very real disconnect right in the middle of the relationship.

Now, thanks to the research and media attention, partners affected by Aspergers have a chance to bring new methods of communication and understanding to the relationship.

Living with an Aspergers Partner: Relationship Skills for Couples Affected by Aspergers

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

• I am married to a man with aspergers. We have been married for 45 years. He was only diagnosed 3 years ago. When we met most couples did not live together before marriage. If we had I do not think I would have married hemi also have 2 adult children with it. One has out going/assertive a/s [like her dad] with severe mental health problems. The other one has passive a/s. [like her paternal uncle and cousin.]SO YES A/S PEOPLE DO MARRY. Once you have a diagnosis things get a little easier. P.S. Most of my families have good careers they all have some connection to their obsessive hobby.

Anonymous said...

• I am an Aspie. I will be getting married to my Tenant and Roommate in January 2011.

Anonymous said...

I just have to tell you that this post really made me smile. It sounds like you are married to my husband! I can't tell you what a difference it has made to me to discover there are other women out there who are in the same situation... We may not be able to talk about it with our husbands or be able to talk to friends who wouldn't understand, but I'M glad you didn't "just shut up" thanks!

Anonymous said...

I too have noticed that there doesn't seem to be much on the web yet on this subject. I can only guess that it's because the research is all relatively new, really just a few decades. And most of it so far has been about AS children. Hopefully in time the research into other aspects of life with AS will increase and be easier to find. Meantime, I'm glad to do my bit.

Anonymous said...

My a/s husband just carries on in his own sweet aspergers way. He will not discuss it or read up on it. He is so stubborn. I think if he read up on it, he thinks he will lose face by admitting he has it. And of course they do not like change, and to make a move to change his behavior will mean change. Why should he change? He has the life he wants, it may make me happier, but that may mean I am more affectionate to him. And he can’t stand that. I think we have to change, not them.

Anonymous said...

My husband has AS and he's high functioning. We've been married since June 2007, and our son will be 7 months this weekend. My hubby is a wonderful father and husband. He's quite mature.

Anonymous said...

• Yes aspergers men can seem very young for their age, but my a/s husband was also great fun. To him life is fun. Also hate to spoil your therapy but he was very handsome also. So funny and handsome. How could I resist. The aspergers people in our family [many] are all good looking/clever/hard working and love the other sex [or own] so now you know a/s do have relationships, some are good looking and if they are immature, that adds to the fun.

Michael Coles said...

Sadly there doesn't seem to be much support in Australia, as I was diagnosed last year at 35, after my wife left me, and have had extreme difficulty finding new friends, as I have had to do it on my own with virtually no support. This needs to change very soon

Anonymous said...

I've been in a relationship with my partner for nearly 7 years now its only in the last few years that I have been told that he has had aspergers from a young age and obviously as I no and only a few that it doesn't just disappear when you get older however I'm finding it hard to cope with the pressure of this whilst also having two children one whom is 3 and my daughter has just turned 1 I have been doing some research and have found your page extremely useful however. I've also noticed that many aspergers sufferers have good talents and my partner doesn't seem to have any motivation at all. As I've just started looking this up I have realized and don't want to come across as nasty but he's not the person that I thought he was I love him very much and do want to spend the rest of my life with him but can't help that with some of the things he does and says will affect our children. I think I always new that there was something not quite right but never imagined how hard it would be as being a young mother anyway its extremely hard to live a normal day to day life as nobody seems to understand that when we do have a row he doesn't mean what he does that's just the only way that he can express himself as he doesn't seem to be able to sit and talk about frustrations he will physical break things to show what he feels and then within minutes he will say sorry as he nos its wrong and it shouldn't be done. I have tried to talk about this with his mother but it seems like she has tried to hide this for a very long time and doesn't want to talk about it. It just feels like a dirty little secret when I do bring it up. She says he only suffers from a small amount of the symptoms but as we go on it seems to be a lot more than what she has told me. I just don't no where else to turn as if I do tell people like family health visitors nobody seems to have a clue what I'm on about! I don't actually think my partner has ever been told what he has properly and the affects how do I go about doing all this without him thinking I'm interfering.

Anonymous said...

To the last comment- This sounds exactly like my life- My partner and i have only been together for aprox 3 years- we are both young and we have a 4month old son together. I was completely unaware of the fact that he had aspergers- i just thought when he would act out of normal character that he was selfish or just being a typical male, I know he loves me, and he loves his son. His father also has Aspergers and his sister has a Autism Spectrum disorder (so it runs in the family) When discovering the reality of Aspergers i tried to reach out to his mother- being married to a man with aspergers for 25 years>she did not want a bar of it. She told me they never talk about it and theres nothing to talk about. Which was devastating to me. Im hoping to seek counselling with my partner as we have fought hundreds of times and broken up nearly every two weeks-I went into a bout of depression during my pregnancy due to all our miss-haps and figure theres no way else i could cope without help from people who know about aspergers. My family and friends have no idea and simply cannot understand what it is like. I should know and trust that he does love me-but because he doesnt see WHY he should show me affection- i feel as if he doesnt. Along with this the chance is probably 50/50 that my son will develop some sort of mental illness as my family have a histor of depression & anxiety disorders from which i too suffer from (i have only been diagnosed recently). Any way its a little weight off my shoulders reading about other people and their experiences and how similar they are to mine!

chaz said...

I been with my boyfriend for a year and I get that it's harder than the average relationship,but to put up with each others crap is what shows the true meaning of love lol. I realized that being with him has helped me a lot and I help him a lot.Accepting what he has and loving him for who he is and willing to go ways for him is what I'm willing to do because I have love him.

lolly said...

We are mature. Lol. Immaturity is Not one of the traits. We may take longer getting to be fully emotionally mature but that depends on how much is done for us and how much we do for ourselves.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

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