Aspergers Behavior Designed To Irritate Parents?

Question

Is there anything I can do to help me remember that my aspergers son’s behaviors are not designed to irritate me and that to him they are needful or make sense?

Answer

I know! It is so hard to deal with this, especially as people with Aspergers (high functioning autism) get older. We expect them to stop doing things that irritate us as they mature! But, they can't and they won't. Their behaviors make sense to them, even when we explain why they don't make sense "in the real world," as we think of it. Some of this is due to the fact that they "need" the behaviors, for whatever reason. Some of it is due to mindblindness, the lack of ability to understand the emotions, feelings, motivations, and logic of others and not care that they don't understand! Their mindblindness makes us feel as though they don't care about us.

Let me describe a perfect example of mindblindness. The mother of someone that I know has Aspergers, does not like sour cream. She is quite adamant about not liking it, either plain or in any dishes. However, when I make a fruit salad with pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut, baby marshmallows, and sour cream, she eats it like crazy! But, she only eats it if I tell her it is made with whipped sweet cream. If I even mention sour cream, she has a meltdown. Why? Who knows? In her mind, she hates sour cream, but she loves the fruit salad, therefore, the fruit salad cannot be made with sour cream. This is how people with Aspergers think. She has a belief and it can stand no challenge. Under no circumstances will she ever change her mind. This is mindblindness. This is the kind of thing that makes us throw up our hands in defeat!

It helps to have a sense of humor. It's easier to laugh about such things when you don't have to live with them though. In all seriousness, I recommend that you find someone you can pour your heart out to, perhaps a good counselor. It does help to talk to someone who will understand and maybe even make some good suggestions. Joining a group in the community or online to talk with others who care for people with Aspergers might help, too.

It also helps to have relatives who will take over and give you a break once in a while. Pamper yourself when you can. Take a hot bath, read a good book, eat a chocolate sundae. Get out of the house alone occasionally. Go to a movie. Visit a friend. Take one day at a time. Try to get eight hours of sleep per night.

When your son's behaviors start to drive you up the wall, duck into the bathroom, throw up your hands, and say, "Aspergers!!!!"

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