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

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Relationships with Aspergers Men: 12 Tips for Women

Question

My boyfriend has Aspergers. We get along well most of the time; however, even though he is as smart as a college professor, he doesn’t get a lot of common sense things when it comes to romance and intimacy. Would you have any ideas on what I can do to help him in this area?


Answer

Social interaction is complicated for people with Aspergers (Aspies). Although they are thought to have high-functioning autism, they still have social problems (e.g., they don’t contribute as much socially; they have trouble understanding or interpreting nonverbal language; they tend not to share their emotions as frequently).

Interaction and emotional reciprocity are important in relationships, so it’s no wonder that it would be a challenge for an Aspie to be in a relationship. There are some things you will have to consider to help the relationship work. Here are a few tips:

1. Don’t assume he is uninterested, incapable of feeling love, or selfish just because he isn’t telling you he likes you or finds you attractive. Decide what you think of him and let him know. After he is aware of your attraction and becomes less confused about nonverbal gestures and flirtation, it will be easier for him to decide if he feels the same way.

2. Don’t be alarmed if he is confused by romantic gestures (e.g., hugging or kissing). Educate him by explaining what the gestures mean.

3. Don’t expect a relationship along normal lines. Whether you can get a suitable relationship going depends on a lot of things (e.g., patience, tolerance, clear thinking, knowledge, independence, strong self-confidence, adaptability).

4. Ease your Aspie man into large social situations (e.g., parties, group outings). Understand if he is overwhelmed or decides not to go with you, he might prefer being alone or with a smaller crowd.

5. If he has certain quirks (e.g., doesn’t like talking on the phone or sending emails), understand that it may be related to his disorder. Confront him about the issue if it bothers you, and explain why.

6. If your Aspie man talks in a confusing manner (e.g., talks in riddles or uses complex vocabulary, doesn’t answer your questions directly), ask him for more clarification.

7. Learn about Aspergers and how Aspies are different interpersonally.

8. Learn what his interests are, and try to engage in activities focusing on those interests. Go on a few dates where social interaction isn’t necessarily the focus.

9. Remember not to use riddles, jokes or sarcasm in the same way you would with someone who doesn’t have Aspergers (if you do, ask if he understood, and then explain what you meant – otherwise, he might be hurt by what you said or just be confused).

10. Romance can be puzzling to an Aspie man, but you will probably see improvement after explaining the meaning behind it, why it’s necessary, and that it makes you feel good.

11. Tell him how you are feeling, especially if you are angry, and why. He probably does not understand your emotions and why you are reacting a certain way.

12. Understand that some Aspies can be brutally honest (e.g., One young lady asked her Aspie man, “Does this dress make my butt look big?” ...and he replied, “No more than usual”).

Living With An Aspergers Partner: Help for Couples

3 comments:

Lydia said...

Total honesty. You have to become as brutally honest as he is - it will feel awkward but will open up all kinds of doors.

"Giving me a rose, every now and then, makes me happy..." and then explain the symboism.

Or, "when we are intimate - can you touch me here or kiss me there, it feels good."

"I know that it isnt something you would normally do, but when you do this - it reminds me that you love me."

Tyler said...

In response to 12 maybe he likes big butts. A lot of guys do. I am not trying to be a perv here its just that not all straight men are into the hollywood standard of what is attractive in women. I have aspergers and I have gotten in trouble for telling women they are not skinny but I mean it as sort of a compliment because I don't consider skinny to be beautiful

Conchscooter said...

Compliments are the hardest thing to give and to take. Call me an "Aspie" and any chance of me wanting to talk to you goes straight out the window. An asp (supposedly) killed Cleopatra. I am not an asp.

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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