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The "Female Version" of Aspergers

Aspergers is a disorder similar to, but considered milder than, autism. Individuals with Aspergers have obsessive interests or behaviors and difficulty with social communication. As a youngster, the Aspie may reach motor skill milestones at a later age than peers while intelligence is normal or above average. The disorder is much more prevalent in males. Symptoms in females are often milder, clouding recognition of the disorder.

Aspergers affects behavior, personality and the way a person interacts with others. As female kids with Aspergers become adults, they may often feel isolated because they react differently to situations with which they are presented. Their comments may seem mean and uncaring, when in reality, they don't understand the concept of empathy. Adult females with Aspergers look for companionship with other adult females who have the same behavior patterns and outlook, and they are doubly affected by the stigma of autism because, being females, they have emotions with which they don't know how to cope.

The symptoms of Aspergers in adult females and girls are usually displayed in a more subtle manner, which results in missed or incorrect professional diagnoses, a lack of access to special education services and provisions in school, and a greater chance of social and emotional problems in adulthood. Several distinct differences exist in regard to the ways that female kids and male kids with Aspergers behave.

Female kids with Aspergers are not often aggressive when they get frustrated; rather, they tend to be withdrawn and can easily "fly under the radar" in classrooms and other social environments. Girls with Aspergers are also able to express their emotions in a calmer way than their male counterparts. Female kids with Aspergers are often protected and nurtured by their “non-Aspergers” friends, who help them cope with difficult social situations. Acceptance from peers can sometimes mask the issues that these kids have so that they are not recognized by educators and moms/dads. As a result, adults are less likely to suggest psychological and social evaluations for young female Aspies.

There are certain personality traits and symptoms that moms and dads, educators, and professionals can look for if they suspect that a young girl or woman may have Aspergers. Female kids with the disorder often display obsessive tendencies in regard to animals, dolls, and other female-oriented interests. While “non-Aspergers” females will play with dolls by pretending that they are interacting socially, female kids with Aspergers may collect dolls and not use them to engage socially with other kids. Their fascination with certain subjects can lead to them lagging behind their peers in terms of maturity and age-appropriate behavior. For example, a pre-teen with Aspergers may be fascinated with stuffed animals or cartoons long after other peers her age have outgrown these things.

Female Aspies may be mistakenly assumed to have a personality disorder because they mimic typical kids, but use phrases inappropriately. They tend to be bored with others their age and have difficulty empathizing with their peers' worries or problems. While their behaviors are more passive than those typical of males with Aspergers, adults who pay close attention to female kids with social and emotional delays can ensure that proper diagnosis and treatment will take place. The younger a child is when she begins to receive the appropriate speech, occupational, and psychological services for Aspergers kids, the greater likelihood she will have of living an independent and functional adult life. Aspergers in adult females is most successfully addressed through consistent professional support.

Other Aspergers symptoms if females include:

• Communication Difficulties— A girl with Aspergers finds that social communication does not come easily. She must struggle to find topics to talk about that will interest her peers. She often attempts to mimic the interests, behavior and body language of others in an attempt to fit in. Many female Aspies become quite adept at this mimicking, causing them to elude diagnosis and treatment throughout life. A girl with Aspergers who does not mimic others appears shy and socially awkward. Her body language is different from her peers and she seems oblivious to the body language of others. Her voice may lack inflection, and she may show no happiness at the good fortune of others.

• Emotional Outbursts— It may be easier to identify males as having Aspergers because they express their feelings and frustrations through emotional outbursts, which are more obvious to the observer, whereas female kids with Aspergers may be more likely to internalize their emotions and feelings, and experience inward or passive signs of aggression. These certain gender-related behaviors might be part of the reason that fewer female kids are diagnosed with Aspergers.

• Fantasy— Female Aspies are intrigued with fantasies that include magical kingdoms, princesses and other fairy tale elements. It is possible that the princess fantasies are given little notice because female kids are more prone to this type of imaginary fantasy and play; therefore, these fantasies are not used as criteria in diagnosing Aspie girls.

• Highly Intelligent— Girls with Aspergers may be less talkative than other females their age. Asperger kids are highly intelligent, but like their autistic counterparts, possess poor language skills. Communication and interaction with other kids may be difficult. Female Aspies may strive to learn as much as they can, even though social interaction is limited. Most kids who are socially active have no problem learning in a group setting, whereas Aspie girls may want to study and learn on their own. The desire to learn continues through adolescence and into adulthood.

• Inflexibility— An girl with Aspergers may be inflexible about her daily routine. She may want to eat the same meal each day and avoid food that has touched other food on her plate. She may arrange her toys a certain way on the shelf, perform the same grooming ritual each day and become upset by any change in her schedule.

• Obsessional Interests— Obsessional interests are another indicator of Aspergers. The child may talk incessantly about her topic of interest or spend the majority of her free time studying it or playing with it. A girl with Aspergers is more likely to have interests that are common to healthy females, whereas a male is more likely to have an unusual interest. For example, a girl may be obsessed with horses, while a boy may be obsessed with AAA batteries. This highly focused interest can prove helpful or harmful. For example, a strong interest in math can help a girl function well in school, while an interest in dolls may cause her to not focus on schoolwork and to eventually bore her friends.

• Repetitive Behaviors— The girl with Aspergers may exhibit repetitive behaviors such as hand-flapping, pacing, stomping, blinking or finger-tapping. These may become more obvious when she is stressed. Even when she is made aware of these behaviors, she is unable to control them.

• Socially Awkward— Inability to communicate and physical clumsiness will put young Aspies at a disadvantage from the very beginning. They may seem disinterested and aloof. Asperger kids have difficulty understanding slang and humor. They may seem out of place and will not make friends easily. As Asperger kids grow into teens, many find ways to adapt, and their differences don't seem as pronounced.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

38 comments:

Bulldogma said...

Great article! Very well done!

Monica said...

As the Mom of an Aspie girl who is 7, and was diagnosed at age 4, this article is right on! We kept getting the brush off from her preschool. She was considered shy, withdrawn, etc. We pursued this due to her emotional outbursts, and lack of empathy shown, and finally got her a diagnosis. She has made remarkable progress in social situations and is now getting help from OT, which is helping with sensory issues. I plan to share this with everyone who knows my daughter. Thank you!!!

Spouse and Mother to an Aspie said...

Very well said! I am still waiting for my 11yr old daughter to be formally diagnosed, and it is so true, she is able to internalize so much so that so far all of her teachers have missed it.

Bonnie said...

I have a 10 yr old, who was diagnosed at 4. Preschool did notice issues but
thought it was a family dynamics thing. She does meltdown, but it has gotten better with all the services we have provided. She is bright but not a whiz at anything in particular. Her inflexibility is what works most against her. She wants to choose the activity and how the activity is carried out. Unfortunately even with years of speech, and social skills, she does not have any real friends, even mother hens.

thredd said...

im the daughter of a mom of someone never properly diaged as someone with aspergers. i am 39. im tired. i lived a huge life and a terrible one. and "other stuff did happen"/ and my husband just totally absolutely outlasted a subarrachnoidal hemorraghe and craniotomy.[over the holidays-new years]. today he is 37. i am 39. i have created languages for every single person i have ever met so i could have a friend i never knew wot was wrong/ the "normal stuff" which was pretty wack/ seemed "ez" i ve never seen anyone work this hard for me/except of course my folks and husband. i finally resorted to just calling myself retarded. i know this isnt true. i was telling other people there is a difference between boys and girls who have aspergers just to practice so my close friends/family who would not understand the "shape" of any conflicts which had happened or would happen actually DO destroy my "ducks in a row"[adapting] but its something noone can understand just as i do not understand manythings people without asprgers go thru? and ive been doing this since like the 70's/ i love yer article i cant believe i found this i found it thru a friend. i hope this time its better. yu wont know wot that means. i count abnormal recurrant events. but this is not very abnormal. this is so spot on i cant believe it. thank you so much. to lovingly raise yer kidd/s and also help others is so SO SO SO SO GOLDEN. i am alive because of my folks. and they didnt have ANY HELP AT ALL. i came out of my cave over and over again. it WAS WORTH IT.im still so messed up. WE HAD NO HELP FOR THIS. the help came from some OTHER PLACE. xo.eternal please be well.I HAVE NEVER BEEN FORMALLY DIAGNOSED if yu know YOU KNOW. structure is KEY. and COMPROMISES. and letting anger or agitation out safely in safe ways at home so SOME SEMBLANCE OF HEALTHY ADAPTATING can happen not weird attatchments but it is okay to be creative and WE ARE ALL human and unique. creativiy and the brilliance inside each human is the key and celebrating who we are as beautiful humans and iwill add for my own benefit/ my opinion/ "created"/ xo.eternal sorry to be verbose and for my opinions i may or may not be correct but thatnkyou so so much. and i have aquired some form of dyslkesia thru this stress. i do not like it. its just stress.

Valarie said...

I am the mother of a beautiful 11 year old little girl with Asperger's. She was diagnosed at age 7 and we are fortunate enough to live in an area that has a very supportive and comprehensive school system. My daughter just recently made the transition from elementary to middle school and, as she usually has difficulty with change, I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised to find that she adapted quite easily. She had an IEP which carried over from elementary to middle and keep all her mew teachers in the know and up to date on my child's strengths and weaknesses. My daughter is a bit socially behind and that isn't always a bad thing...while some girls are talking about Justin Bieber and makeup while having C's and D's...my daughter is taking about the distinguishing characteristics of cats and pokemon and getting A's and B+'s. She may not be the most popular girl in her school but she DOES have friends and as I always tell her...it's not how many friends you have it's how good of friends they are to you and you are to them. My daughter is getting along just fine in this life and I wouldn't change her for anything in this world. For those of you who have girl's with this condition I encourage you to advocate for your child and get her an IEP and keep her confidence level up...if you believe in her and tell her that often she will believe in herself!!!

leyakatrina@comcast.net said...

I'm 38 and was diagnosed about 2 years ago. I never read this article until now but it is so me!! I was diagnosed after a popular tv show (dateline)? Maybe? did a special about the difference. thank you so much for getting the word out!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is three and we just found out thats she has aspergers,,,What can i do to help her in life? She cant talk, but she still makes baby sounds,,,Im worried that she will never have a normal life....

Anonymous said...

im 12 years of age but i do everything like aspergers but i dont tend to be agressive !??

Anonymous said...

I'm 14, and a female Aspie who was diagnosed around age 6. I am actually more flexible about my schedule now that I am older. I do have some obsessive tendencies, am smart for my age, and a bit socially awkward. I have a few friends that I hang out with at school, but only 1 or 2 are really close. This

Anonymous said...

I am a 32 year old Aspi female that was not properly diagnosed until I was 28....when my 2 year old son was diagnosed with Classic Autism. This article is dead on. Growing up my mother described me as painfully shy, hyper sensitive, and a touch me not. Without knowing she was raising a special needs child, she did a fantastic job of helping me adjust. I was also very blessed to meet my lifelong best friend at seven years old. Even as children she picked up on my quirks and helped me through them. More articles like this needs to be written. Girls so often get overlooked and misdiagnosed. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Aspie girls can be highly verbal and articulate-they dropped the ball on that one. Also, interest in fantasy, princesses, dragons, and the like is not an associated factor with AS and the training criteria for AS testing tells practitioners not to include those interests as specific to identifying AS.

Ivy said...

I'm sixteen and was recently formally diagnosed with Aspergers though I'd pretty well known it for years. I personally find most of this to be true, but I have always consciously rejected 'female' interests and patterns of interaction. I resent the idea that girls are limited to fantasies centered on princesses and such or that their splinter interests would be as banal as doll collection.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the sept 12th girl. Otherwise, well written. I've worked as a behavior therapist for special needs kids for over 8 years and suspect my 4 year old as being an aspie, however, only time will tell as she is very mild.

Jebes Lemon said...

You may be the mother of a girl with aspergers but speaking as a female aspergers none of us are alike, were normal which no one seems to understand. If you expect us to do something explain in bullet form don't be cryptic that really pisses us off. I we offend you tell us bluntly then we won't do it again don't try to break it down for us gently that doesn't work because then we feel your not serious. Yes we love fantasy but thats because normal life is crapper than the films and books were expected to read and watch

Melodysherrice said...

I am 17. My brother was recently diagnosed with Aspergers and I have a lot of the same symptoms so I am getting checked soon. I am more like a boy aspie though. I get very aggressive and don't control my emotions well. I don't make friends easily, and im horribly shy. I tap my feet and grind my teeth constantly. Especially when I'km upset. I hate things being out of order, and I absolutely hate change. I am obsessed with a lot of things, and I am a straight A student. I'm pretty sure what the doctor is going to say...

JL said...

Took me a very long time to realize my older sister had a mild form of aspergers. It explains a lot about the difficult and aloof social interactions. We have now had "family" issues regarding the care of our mother. I was deeply affected by this for awhile. Now I understand so much more about why she reacts the way she does. She has a family, husband and mostly lots of animals she spends her time with. Her home is a wreck. She paces when she's angry, flies off the handle fiercely, and has very few friends outside of her immediate sphere. Her behaviors are covered up because she is such a hard worker. I love her and thank goodness I finally understand the black and white thinking and lack of empathy for humans. Unfortunately this had ruined our relationship. I wish her love and hope we can connect again in the future. I didn't realize for the longest that I had been one of the only people she reached out to in times of deep depression. Anyways, thanks for helping me learn about this disorder. It runs deeply in both sides of our family but mostly in males. Now I can understand and let go of her hurtful behaviors. She doesn't know any better. I will continue to take care of my elderly mom on my own.

JL said...

Took me a very long time to realize my older sister had a mild form of aspergers. It explains a lot about the difficult and aloof social interactions. We have now had "family" issues regarding the care of our mother. I was deeply affected by this for awhile. Now I understand so much more about why she reacts the way she does. She has a family, husband and mostly lots of animals she spends her time with. Her home is a wreck. She paces when she's angry, flies off the handle fiercely, and has very few friends outside of her immediate sphere. Her behaviors are covered up because she is such a hard worker. I love her and thank goodness I finally understand the black and white thinking and lack of empathy for humans. Unfortunately this had ruined our relationship. I wish her love and hope we can connect again in the future. I didn't realize for the longest that I had been one of the only people she reached out to in times of deep depression. Anyways, thanks for helping me learn about this disorder. It runs deeply in both sides of our family but mostly in males. Now I can understand and let go of her hurtful behaviors. She doesn't know any better. I will continue to take care of my elderly mom on my own.

The McGraws said...

My dd was diagnosed as being almost on the spectrum with Non-Verbal Learning Disability. Two years down the road, at 14, there are more red flags, and she is being assessed a second time. Her older brother is an Aspie, and I think she may well be one, too. Appreciated the Sept. 12 comment, and it fits with my dd who will babble endlessly, totally unaware people aren't interested. Teachers have noted social deficits, and she does group social skills therapy but is considered on par with 10 or 11 yr olds. Academically she scores as gifted but is on academic probation with her high school (have to audition to be accepted).

TruthSeeker9412 said...

As an Aspie woman, I must say that we do feel empathy and understand it, but many of us wither lack the ability to or have difficulties expressing it. To the point where without being in our heads you may not even realize it

Social Drinker 51 said...

My daughter is 31 years old and just in the process of being formally diagnosed with Asperger's, although, I have known since she was born that she was struggling (and it has been a struggle) with something that caused her to appear uncaring, selfish, and unable to make and keep friends. The only friends that she has ever had, as stated in this article, were the girls that were very protective of her and always loved her no matter what. Men have used her and thrown her to the side. She is very high functioning and can hold a job but if the "rules change" in the work place, it rocks her world. She has been very verbal, when she decides to be, however, the conversation always revolves around her and her interests. It's a very tough road for the Aspie girl and her family, especially for the girls who were never diagnosed, like these 30 somethings. Thank goodness there is now some recognition that it is not just a male disorder.

Jebes Lemon said...

It's hard having aspergers specially when you have a parent is constantly pointing out how self obsessed you are, I don't go out much, I find it difficult to socialise, I have a boyfriend but I still struggle sometimes there's nothing more I'd like to do than runaway. obsessions are a nightmare, my head is constantly buzzing its a constant inner monologue. It's not easy for loved ones but for those who have it find it 10x harder, if your annoyed don't yell tell them bluntly.

BunnyBunBun said...

We adult Aspies tend to mistrust parents of child Aspies and "experts" who tell us who we are. Now that we have GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnerships: online and face-to-face meetings all over the US and in Canada) and other groups run BY AND FOR adult (and teen) Aspies, we have a group-consciousness and we KNOW we are OK just the way we are. This mother (what's her name?) who wrote "The Female Version of Aspergers" is pretty good, I think. She's trying to understand someone (her daughter) who sees things much differently than she does. The only problem here is that she sees us Aspies as having many disabilities. And we Aspies see NTs (non-autistics; Neuro-typicals) as having many disabilities.

BunnyBunBun said...

Also, (P.S.), we are empathetic. We just don't always WANT to express it, at least not in conventional ways. We prefer logic.

Sonia Joubert said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Well, it seems that me and my daughter need to be diagnosed professionally. I will do anything to help my daughter-I know how she feels, I've been there. But then they said it was ADD, but I know we are both Aspies and proud to be so! Always look on the bright side of life!:-D

Sonia Joubert said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Well, me and my daughter should get a professional diagnosis, but we both are definitely Aspies and proud to be! I will do anything for my daughter, I know how she feels-I've been there. But then they said it was ADD, now we know its Asperger Syndrome. Always look on the bright side of life! :-D

M said...

My daughter is now 11 years old. She was assessed as having Aspergers traits when she was 4, but not enough for the diagnosis.
Recently, I have been quite concerned that it (Aspergers traits) have developed further.
In the last 2-3 months she has been enormously distracted at home, school, extra curricular... tothe point of being unaware of what is going on around her. Her fantasy world has encroached more on what is reality, displaying close to total denial. Her interest in stuffed toy rabbits is complete and obsessive involving a total parallel world. And the more toy rabbits she can add to her ever expanding collection, the better!
Yet, in all of this her teacher reports she is very bright and quite capable. She has been assessed by two separate and independent education psychologists, 5 years apart - both results came back with her having "Very Superior"intelligences.
Lately she has become more and more disorganised being unable to get ready on time for school and I have heard from her teacher that her friends ( there are only two) are helping her compensate for her inability to be organised.
And then there is what I can only describe as exclusion of her by her peers in general. Her dance teacher also had noticed her social exclusion and the nasty comments in reference to her.
She seeks out the company of younger children indeed, her best friend is 4 years younger than her. My general opinion is that her maturity level is very juvenile and at least 3 years behind her peers.
There is so much more I could write here.
I am planning to take her to the doctor for a more comprehensive/specific assessment. I am afraid she will be diagnosed with Asperhers and more afraid, she won't.

M said...

My daughter is now 11 years old. She was assessed as having Aspergers traits when she was 4, but not enough for the diagnosis.
Recently, I have been quite concerned that it (Aspergers traits) have developed further.
In the last 2-3 months she has been enormously distracted at home, school, extra curricular... tothe point of being unaware of what is going on around her. Her fantasy world has encroached more on what is reality, displaying close to total denial. Her interest in stuffed toy rabbits is complete and obsessive involving a total parallel world. And the more toy rabbits she can add to her ever expanding collection, the better!
Yet, in all of this her teacher reports she is very bright and quite capable. She has been assessed by two separate and independent education psychologists, 5 years apart - both results came back with her having "Very Superior"intelligences.
Lately she has become more and more disorganised being unable to get ready on time for school and I have heard from her teacher that her friends ( there are only two) are helping her compensate for her inability to be organised.
And then there is what I can only describe as exclusion of her by her peers in general. Her dance teacher also had noticed her social exclusion and the nasty comments in reference to her.
She seeks out the company of younger children indeed, her best friend is 4 years younger than her. My general opinion is that her maturity level is very juvenile and at least 3 years behind her peers.
There is so much more I could write here.
I am planning to take her to the doctor for a more comprehensive/specific assessment. I am afraid she will be diagnosed with Asperhers and more afraid, she won't.

Sonia Joubert said...

You are so lucky and blessed! Sounds just like my 7 year old daughter. Tried to homeschool her, but it seems she would do better in school. So she's going back. I would not worry about anything if I were you. Sounds like your daughter has already found herself and is doing incredibly well! I so wish we were there yet with our daughter. She still needs to learn how to read and write even though she's very intelligent. I hope and pray that the routine at school and her good manners and help from me will have her reading in no time!

Sarah Gaskins said...

I'm 35 and a female. I have 3 sons - 15, 13 & 9. Youngest 2 both dx'd with classic autism (they have different dads so yup, I'm the common link). Been 12yrs since the 1st diagnosis and about 5-7 yrs since I realized my oldest son and myself are most likely aspies. It makes a LOT of sense!!! The sensory overload, feeling different than everyone else, poor coping skills, easily distracted and disorganized, intense desire for knowledge, etc, etc.
I was socially awkward but thought it was because of the town/people I grew up in/with. I always got good grades. And unlike what most "experts" say, I was/am quite empathetic!! And can express it!!! That part always makes me mad.... For my younger sons too. Finally, finally, some are realizing that autism ISN'T a lack of emotion; if anything, it's strong emotion to the point where it has to be "turned off" due to the overwhelmingness of it, or the inability to communicate compassion well. (Obviously I know we're all different so I dont presume that's always the case but I see it more often than not.) Sometimes it's easier to ignore others, sometimes we're stuck in our own stuff and sometimes we just dont know how to respond. But I digress... ;-)
I've never been officially dx'd but have had some in professional areas agree that it's likely. I often wonder what my life would've been like if I'd been dx'd younger. I see pluses and minuses. Because I didn't know, I learned to adapt. My sons have had so many accommodations that they have a hard time "adapting" without support or someone to hold their hand or do it for them. They are genius smart and usually quite capable so this frustrates me. For me, this is a plus of not being dx'd in school -- what if I had learned that I need something/someone to do anything? Or to use that label as a convenient excuse when I didn't want to do something? (PLEASE dont get offended! I'm sure some will be but I'm sure there are also some who know exactly what I mean... My sons' teachers are finally catching on to them, thank God!) Because mine wasn't caught, because I wasn't labeled, I can function in the world. I have issues that this knowledge is helpful for now...but I wouldn't have made it this far if I'd been told my whole life that something was "wrong" with me. I'm very fearful for my sons' abilities to survive as adults once the 1-on-1's and accommodations get yanked.
In all this I've learned that it's up to us. To change perceptions (from cant do to can do). We can dwell in it and be defined and limited by it. Or we can see it as a PART of ourselves (like eye color) and acknowledge it without letting it BE us or limit us. I appreciate knowing now and can use that knowledge to help myself in areas I struggle, such as sensory overload, without being consumed by it. Cuz life does go on and we have to as well.
The thing that probably helped me the most with my social awkwardness is working retail and being forced to talk to people. Oh it was so hard at first! But has paid off exponentially :-) You would have to spend more than a minute with me to "see" the autism.
One last point I want to make. Off the subject but hopefully helpful to some. I found that when I was talking to my kids' doctors, teachers, therapists; that I would do so as if my kids didn't hear, and they did. Just food for thought. The emotional state is fragile enough at times. I cringe to think what I said in the past that they heard. For what it's worth...
Love, compassion, sympathy and hope to all :-)

Jenny Kelly-Jeffrey said...

I stumbled upon your blog as I have an almost 11 yr old daughter that I believe has Asperger's. She has an IQ of 157 and many of the classic signs of Asp. I would like to know how many of you moms got help? I feel like I am hitting my head against a brick wall to get someone, anyone to listen to me about my daughter. Help

Erin Earnest said...

I am a 43 year old mother of a 14 year old Aspie girl. I had always felt "alone in a crowd of people" and had definite trust issues that I now feel are a product of my parents inability to understand me. I now know that I too have Asperger's. About 4 years ago I became concerned that my daughter was having some of the same problems I had when I was a child. Her obsessive interests in Japanese Anime, lack of concern about "girly things", and self-imposed social isolation became truly alarming when she told me last summer that she felt worthless and depressed. She wasn't sleeping or taking care of herself. I took her to the pediatrician, and fortunately saw another physician in the office who said something magical. She asked me if I knew that she had High-Functioning Autism. The doctor directed me to a local counselor who counseled Aspie children. I wasn't looking for something "wrong" with my child. I was just looking for help. I didn't want her to become me, which I felt she easily could do as she and I had so many of the same traits. When I told the counselor this she very bluntly told me that as a Mother with Asperger's I had compensated for her differences, and though it had helped her it had hindered her also. I had taken her to another counselor 3 or so years ago who told us that she had a personality disorder due to her high intelligence (her IQ is 189), and that we should push her harder to become more independent and social. It almost destroyed her self confidence. I now think that it was my own ability to compensate and her ability to adapt that led up to last summer, but I can say that I am grateful to find out. I am a Nurse (hated every minute of school), and in a way I felt like I had totally failed, but I thought I was just weird and never looked for a diagnosis of either myself or my daughter. I now trust people, and that I will always have to step back when I feel uncomfortable. There are well over 2,000,000 of us in the U.S. and I am proud to be an Aspie.

laura polito said...

Hi monica! Please email me if you can. I am desperately looking for a mom to an aspie girl, for friendship and support. My four year old daughter was just diagnos ed. And I would love to be able to talk to another mom.

Email: La7music@yahoo.com

kevin said...

Erin Earnest. I feel for you mate. My aspie daughter is 4 years and 1 month old. She is also very superior IQ (99th percentile, 160 I think). Im sure I have a lot of this to come. How is she now? Erin has started playing up at preschool, boredom, I imagine. I would appreciate incredibly, any insights of what you would have done different/same. How can we discipline such children, who as the Psychologist said have the potential to see beyond known facts and theoroies. I am at my wits end.

Jenny said...

very informative from a girls point of view! thank you

Gretchen said...

One issue with above article. Empathy. I am an adult female with Aspergers. My 14 year old son has it as well. I can tell you with great certainty that we both feel a great deal of empathy towards others, but we don't always express it. One very important thing about children with autism...stress. Despite appearing to not feel or understand others, I, personally, can feel the ill intentions of another, usually after the fact, not in the moment. This can cause a great deal of stress without me realizing it for some time. I have learned to exit from abusive people and we advocate for our son against abuse by teachers and peers. We are military and have had many moves. My son has been unduly targeted because of his uniqueness. I as well. I don't communicate with confidence and I can forget or not feel myself when talking to another. Humans scare me, a lot. They are mean, unbelievably idiotic at times, the priority systems of others, hair, clothes, status...I find unfathomable. One other important thing. outbursts and tantrums are unfortunately a normal part of growing up and being aspie or autistic. Stress can build to very high levels in us. Being loving and patient with this and finding an outlet for your child, nature, music, horseback riding (non competitive), reading, dance.. all very good ones. Pressure is scary. Be aware and tolerant of your child. Try to get them outside their comfort zone, but only with support..Help them learn skills early such as cleaning up after themselves, good eating habits and etiquette, using a reward system, not punishment, if possible. We are worthy and worth it :)

Cath said...

I'd love some advice. I have always struggled with my 14 year old. She's scored in the 96th percentile on IQ but I put that down to her dyslexia. She was a very shy, timid child, which we've worked hard to improve for her happiness, she has friends but is socially awkward and withdrawn in the girly circles and tends to play with boys and one girl. Everyone says she's the sweetest thing. However at home she shows no empathy for her younger siblings at all and has fostered a real lack of love between all three of them, even though each of the children has a loving relationship with me. I have often felt that she has mimicked my emotions and I've suspected she has callous unemotional traits. She is by far my most demanding child and will say cutting things to me when she doesn't get her way. She hasn't been spoilt, she works and covers the cost of anything above 'basics' that she wants to buy. She's obsessed with shark conservation and loves reading home styling magazines and redecorating her room in dry grown up ways. No food problems, she loves cooking and eating the most expensive, exotic foods. My psych suggested she might have Aspergers, like my dad and sister, but I had no idea about the variants in signs for girls. If she did, I would think it's very mild but her verbal attacks on her siblings and me are daily and exhausting for us all. In normal conversation she is beautifully spoken but slow to respond. Any ideas?

Unknown said...

I am a 15 year old girl. I think I might be autistic but I don't know. I also have cerebral palsy and I know that the way I view the world because of that definitely affected my personality big time. I'm still figuring out how just how I was affected by my CP, I feel if I could even get a diagnosis it wouldn't be accurate. What do I do?

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content