Are you an adult with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's? Are you struggling emotionally, socially, spiritually or otherwise?
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If You Have Asperger’s, You Might Be A Genius

There are several signs that could mean you’re a genius, as proven by science. What’s even more amazing is that many of these signs seem like some of the traits of Asperger’s.

There are 9 different types of intelligence:

  1. Bodily-kinesthetic (body smart)
  2. Existential (life smart)
  3. Interpersonal (people smart)
  4. Intra-personal (self-smart)
  5. Linguistic (word smart)
  6. Logical-mathematical (number/reasoning smart)
  7. Musical (sound smart)
  8. Naturalist (nature smart)
  9. Spatial (picture smart)

Believe it or not (do your own research if you’re skeptical), very smart people have the following traits. They are:

•    Messy
•    Lazy
•    Cat lovers
•    Chocolate lovers
•    Shy
•    Likely to talk to themselves
•    Worriers and over-thinkers
•    Very inquisitive
•    Sarcastic
•    Not interested in fashion
•    Cognitively hyperactive
•    Night owls
•    Forgetful
•    Avid readers

Let’s look at each of these traits further. If this sounds like you, you may just be smarter than you’re giving yourself credit for:

1. Are you a slob? Were you taught to feel bad about yourself for being messy, disorganized or unkempt? Studies suggest that the messy desk (for example) of geniuses is linked to their intelligence. Smart people don’t spend much time cleaning and organizing everything; thus, their mind is occupied with more important stuff.

2. Are you lazy? People with high IQ are less active than average people. Do you often get bored if not given a challenging task? Then you just might be a genius. Some of the greatest invention were made out of laziness (e.g., a remote control).

3. Do you favor cats over dogs? Cat lovers are more introverted, open-minded, and more likely to be non-conformists.

4. Do you crave chocolate? People who eat chocolate at least once a week perform better in a range of mental tests involving memory and abstract thinking as compared to the general population.

5. Do you have social anxiety? People who have anxiety are constantly analyzing their environment. Do you often reflect on what is happening, formulate ideas, and process a lot of information at once? This requires a lot of intelligence. Studies support the idea that socially anxious people are generally more intelligent.

6. Do you talk to yourself? Then you might be a genius, or at least you’re an intelligent human being, studies have found.

7. Do you over-think shit? People who over-think a lot are more creative. Worrying comes from an innate ability to imagine vividly. When you catch yourself over-thinking, utilize your creative imagination to discover solutions.

8. Are you highly inquisitive? Smart people are always interested in the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ behind everything. They find themselves asking a lot of questions, reading a lot, and observing everything with curiosity.  Do you have a childlike zeal to learn and consume new information? Then you just might be a genius.

9. Are you a smart-ass? Smart people are sarcastic. Smart-ass individuals have a certain wit that implies intelligence. Studies suggest a link between sarcasm and creativity. People who use sarcastic humor are more likely to be intelligent, because it requires more thought.

10. Could you give a shit less about fashion? Smart people don’t care much about fashion. Do you want to spend your time and thinking abilities on bigger issues than fashion? Then you just might be a genius.

11. Are you hyperactive? Smart people have very hyperactive brains. Are you often “stuck” in your own ideas and philosophies? It’s just a sign that you are smarter than the average bear.

12. Are you a night owl? Smart people like to stay up late.  Studies show that people who are more intelligent are more nocturnal than their less intelligent counterparts. Recent technological advances make your brain reach for expertise in areas of special interest, and to search for stimulation at night, ignoring the impulse to rise and fall with the sun like your ancestors.

13. Are you scatterbrained? Is your mind preoccupied with thinking about several things at a time? Do you often forget about basic things (e.g., where you put your phone or keys)? Then you just might be a genius. You’re spending your mental energy on the larger things in life.

14. Are you obsessed with reading? Smart people read a lot.  Do you love learning about how things work and expanding your horizons? Then you just might be a genius.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

20 Signs You Are Overly-Critical of Yourself

Overly-criticizing myself dramatically affects my self-confidence and causes me to think poorly of yourself – and others. It sways my thoughts to be even more cynical, which eventually prevents me from enjoying the things that once brought me pleasure.

Self-criticism is an automatic thought (sometimes at an unconscious level) that creates negative feelings, which eventually leads to behaviors that cause major problems in my relationships. I became so good at criticizing ‘me’ that doing it to others was an easy habit to engage in. I have to stop and notice what I’m thinking on a regular basis, or my negative/automatic thoughts take over quickly (usually within 5 seconds or so).

Are you overly-critical of yourself? In case you need a reality check, here are 20 ways to know if you're constantly sabotaging yourself:
  1. At some level, you believe that you deserve negative situations (e.g., getting fired, having your lover leave you).
  2. Compliments are hard to take (because you don’t believe them); when someone compliments you, it usually sounds ridiculous. 
  3. Nothing is good enough for you.
  4. There are few things you truly enjoy in life.
  5. You always second-guess yourself (e.g., "Did I do that right?”).
  6. You are fully aware of your own perceived flaws (and those of others).
  7. You are your own worst enemy.
  8. You complain a lot, and you often voice these thoughts and opinions to your friends and family.
  9. You focus a lot on what's going wrong – and minimize or over-look the things that are going right.
  10. You get the sense that some of your friends and family avoid you. 
  11. You have a very low level of frustration-tolerance (i.e., little things really set you off).
  12. You have been accused of being a pessimist.
  13. You look at the world from a place of scarcity.
  14. You pick others apart.
  15. You pick yourself apart.
  16. You take life too seriously. 
  17. You take others’ behavior too personally.
  18. You truly don’t trust yourself. 
  19. You usually look for the worst in others and automatically expect that things won’t turn out the way you would like.
  20. Your relationships suffer from constant complaining and negativity.

As one young man with Asperger's stated, "On a scale of one to ten, when I beat up on myself at a level ten, I feel justified in beating up on others at a level eight or nine."

When I’m overly-critical of myself and others, I allow myself to operate in a negative mental environment. If you find yourself thinking a lot of these signs, start to change your “thought-habits.”

As soon as one of these signs pop in your head, quickly replace it – WITHIN 5 SECONDS – with a more positive thought (e.g., “There I go again. Beating up on myself. I’m my own worst enemy. It’s my responsibility to begin to love myself and come to believe that I am worthy of good things in life!).

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

I think my boyfriend may have Asperger's...

“I’m currently dating a guy who is a very quiet and gentle person, but a bit odd in some ways. I’ve told some of my friends about how he acts, and a couple have suggested he has Asperger syndrome. What are some of the traits? How does it affect relationships? I would like to make this work, so I want to learn more about what to expect (and not expect). Thanks in advance!”

Although there are many possible symptoms related to Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism in adulthood, the main symptom is usually “difficulty with social situations” regardless of the age of the individual. The individual may have mild to severe symptoms, or have a few or many symptoms. Because of the wide variety of symptoms, no two people with the disorder are alike.

Symptoms in adulthood may include the following:
  • sometimes have an inability to see another person's point of view
  • often lack of emotional control, particularly with anger, depression, and anxiety
  • often excel because of being very detail-oriented
  • may have problems engaging in "small talk"
  • may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to socialize
  • may feel "different" from others
  • may be naive and too trusting, which can lead to workplace teasing/bullying
  • may appear immature for their age
  • have difficulty with high-level language skills (e.g., reasoning, problem solving, being too literal, etc.)
  • are typically uninterested in following social norms, fads, or conventional thinking, allowing creative thinking and the pursuit of original interests and goals
  • are focused and goal-driven
  • have a preference for rules and honesty may lead them to excel in their job
  • talk a lot about a favorite subject
  • speech may be flat and difficult to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent
  • one-sided conversations are common
  • most are very honest, sometimes to the point of rudeness
  • may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally
  • may have an awkward walk
  • are unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech
  • are preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about
  • are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities (e.g., designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, studying astronomy, etc.)
  • internal thoughts are often verbalized
  • may have an unusual facial expression or posture
  • have heightened sensitivity and becomes over-stimulated by loud noises, lights, strong tastes, certain textures, etc.
  • have a formal style of speaking (e.g., may use the word "beckon" instead of "call" or the word "return" instead of "come back")
  • do not pick up on social cues (e.g., being able to read others' body language, start or maintain a conversation, taking turns talking, etc.)
  • dislikes any changes in routines
  • have difficulty with transitions
  • difficulty regulating social/emotional responses involving anger, or excessive anxiety
  • difficulties associated with this disorder can cause them to become withdrawn and socially isolated and to have depression or anxiety
  • may avoid eye contact or stare at others
  • may appear to lack empathy
  • may appear to be "in his/her own world"

Many of these individuals find their way to psychiatrists and other mental health providers where the true, developmental nature of their problems may go unrecognized or misdiagnosed (30-50% of all adults with Asperger’s are never evaluated or correctly diagnosed).

Many adults with Asperger’s have been able to utilize their skills, often with support from loved ones, to achieve a high level of function, personally and professionally – and some represent a unique resource for society, having the single mindedness and consuming interest to advance our knowledge in various areas of science, math, etc.

Their rigidity of style and idiosyncratic perspective on the world can make interactions difficult, both in and out of the family. There is a risk for mood problems (e.g., depression, anxiety). They are often viewed by others as eccentric, and they can be challenged by the social and emotional demands of marriage (although many do marry). 

Many also have coexisting conditions, such as anxiety disorder, ADD or ADHD, depression, OCD, and social anxiety disorder.

Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Self-Test

Many adults on the autism spectrum have received an incorrect diagnosis (e.g., schizophrenia, depression, a personality disorder, etc.).

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

Self-Help Strategies for Adults with Asperger's and ASD-Level 1

Here are our Top 10 self-help books for people with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism:

"Aspie-Pride" - Walter's Story

Unconventional people have always existed, but I have taken unconventionality to a whole new level, and maybe you have to. It's called "Asperger's," and this is my story. I am proud of many of my traits associated with the condition (others, not so much). I call this "Aspie-Pride."

Asperger's isn't always recognized as a possible cause of strange behavior. It can be mild (causing only somewhat unusual behavior) or severe, causing almost complete inability to function in society without assistance. Personally, I have always had trouble deciphering the normal rules of social behavior. These rules have no rhythm or reason in my opinion. I prefer a structured life with well-defined rules and routines.

I do seem to process information more slowly than normal, making it difficult to participate in discussions or activities that require quick thinking. I also have trouble with organization and seeing the "big picture," often focusing on one aspect of a task. 

In any event, I have been able to live a relatively normal life. I'm often regarded as shy, reserved or even snobbish by others. But, that's not my intent at any level. Because I am misunderstood on many occasions, I sometimes feel disconnected and distant from the rest of the world, a feeling called "wrong planet" syndrome. So, I have learned to enjoy my own company.

I do struggle to understand emotions in others, and I miss subtle cues such as facial expression, eye contact and body language. As a result, I may appear aloof, selfish or uncaring to others. Again, this is not me. I believe I am a very caring person, especially when it comes to animals. Also, I am usually surprised when informed of the "supposed" hurtful or inappropriate effect of my actions toward someone, because hurting that person was the furthest thing from my mind.

I find making small talk difficult and even annoying. If you want to talk about Hollywood, politics, or the weather, I'm not interested. And if I don't look at you while you're talking, that doesn't mean I'm not listening or uninterested.

Those of us with Asperger's are often preoccupied with something to the extreme level. At times, we may only talk about our special interest. But that's what makes us special. We have a lot of traits that work to our benefit. For example, we are...
  • able to adhere unvaryingly to routines and stay on task for extended periods of time
  • perfectly capable of entertaining ourselves
  • not likely to discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, age, etc.
  • not likely to launch unprovoked attacks, verbal or otherwise
  • able to avoid playing head games
  • not interested in taking advantage of other’s weaknesses
  • equipped with exceptional memories
  • able to notice fine details that others miss
  • more likely to talk about significant things that will enhance our knowledge-base rather than “shooting the bullshit”

Too often, we are told, “Something is wrong with you.” And sooner than later, we may unconsciously absorbs this negative statement and begin to believe it. We are vulnerable people who will face certain difficulties, and these are often highlighted by people who see only the negatives rather than the positives such differences can represent. This lack of positive awareness, combined with an inconsistency of knowledge, leads to inaccurate stereotyping.

Maybe we need to take another look and see what kind of positive traits are found. I believe there are a lot of traits in the Asperger's personality that the non-Asperger's person can afford to implement into his or her own life. Like everyone on the face of the earth, we are people with a mix of strengths and weaknesses. We are different, but not defective. The world needs all different kinds of minds, including the Asperger's minds.

Thanks for reading,

Walter C.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

How to Cope with an Arrogant Asperger's Partner: Tips for Neurotypicals

An arrogant partner can make you feel insignificant, discouraged, and depressed. If your partner acts "superior" to you - either in private or in front of others - this behavior should be dealt with and changed in order for you to keep your sanity and self-esteem intact. A relationship can't survive if one partner is always critical of the other, so address the behavior quickly and find ways to make a change. 

Here are 15 tips to get you started:

1. Avoid saying that your partner "makes" you feel inferior, because this term may put him or her on the defensive. Also, nobody can "make" you feel a particular way unless you give them permission to do so. He/she does not have that much power over you.

2. Tactfully confront the problem soon after the arrogant behavior occurs, but do so after your partner has had time to relax and unwind from work [and the kids are in bed].

3. Determine the best time and place to tactfully confront your partner (e.g., while watching TV in the evening, while in the car driving somewhere, on the weekend, while dining out at a restaurant, etc.). During the "heat of the moment" is the worst time to confront. Tempers are flaring and either of you may say something you regret.

4. Don’t take the blame for your partner's behavior, but try to communicate how you feel in a calm way (i.e., use "I" statements).

5. Find a safe setting where you two can be alone. Presenting your case in front of others will make you look "hurt" and your partner look like an asshole.

6. If you allow too much time to pass after an incident, it may be forgotten and the details will become fuzzy.

7. Always present your case in a diplomatic tone (i.e., think in terms of problem-solving as opposed to blaming).

8. Provide specific examples when you talk to your partner about his or her behavior. Choose a recent event and be specific about what was done or said.

9. Set some boundaries. Make it clear that arrogant behavior is not acceptable and that you will not tolerate it. Stand your ground and do not change your mind if your partner further criticizes you or tries to minimize the situation. Your self-image is at stake, because if you are on the receiving end of condescension long enough, you may come to believe the so-called "flaws" that your partner accuses you of having.

10. Stop your partner's arrogant remarks in their tracks by turning the spotlight onto him or her (e.g., "How would you do it better?" or "Where's the evidence for doing it the way you think it should be done?").

11. Try asking your partner to tell you what is really going on by saying something such as "Is it possible that you are mad about something other than me. What's really going on?"

12. Try to learn the motivation for your partner's haughty behavior. This will make it easier for you to empathize with your partner and get him/her to start behaving in a more considerate manner.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

What Your Negative Self-Talk Looks Like: Tips for People with AS and High-Functioning Autism

Do you have an inner critic? Is this little voice often more harmful than helpful, particularly when it gets into the realm of excessive negativity about yourself?

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

Why People on the Autism Spectrum Are Confused by Neurotypicals

Individuals with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) see the world from a different point of view. They think that NT or “neurotypical” people (i.e., those without an autism spectrum disorder) speak in riddles (e.g., Why use non-verbal signs like body language instead of just telling something like it is? Why don’t they say what they mean? Why are relationships so messy? How come they are not interested in details like me?).

People on the autism spectrum think their world is more logical then NT’s. They have to adjust to NT’s “strange” way of relating to each other and ways of communication. It’s very hard for them to adjust to something so far off from logic. Most of the time, they are truly unable to do so.

People with AS and HFA usually have three basic impairments: (1) communication (both verbal and non-verbal), (2) social imagination (combined with inflexible thinking and repetitive behavior), and (3) social interaction (e.g., being unable to make and keep friends).

These are the most obvious symptoms of the disorder, and they ALWAYS occur together. There is no random combination possible; one can’t be there without the others. These three impairments have a huge impact on every aspect of life when one is diagnosed with AS or HFA, and they all relate to an overly-logical brain (as opposed to a brain that is more in-tune with emotions and relationships).

The brain is not a single-working organism. It has different parts to it, with each part controlling different parts of the body, thought, and emotions. We have a higher thought plane than other animals due to the development of the “neocortex,” which is responsible for problem solving, conscious thought, and language. Before this area of the brain developed, we were like every other type of animal, acting mostly on instinct instead of logic.

Before the neocortex, there was the mammalian part of your brain, which acted on emotions, feelings, and instinct (i.e., the “emotional brain”). This part of the brain is responsible for attraction to beauty, preparing your body to deal with fears and dangers, etc.

Then there is the social brain. This part of the brain is responsible for the following:
  • evaluating human voices
  • assigning the emotional value of different stimuli (e.g., deciding when something is disgusting) 
  • attaching an incoming signal with an emotional value
  • deciding whether a social signal really matters
  • deciphering prosody, the additional tones and ways that people add layers of meaning to their spoken words
  • generating an initial emotional response to social stimuli (e.g., Should someone’s tone really impact me as much as it does? What does someone’s look really mean, and am I overreacting?)
  • generating reactions in response to different situations
  • helping control basic visual information
  • helping us notice where someone else is looking
  • selecting which of the myriad incoming social signals are the most important
  • allowing us to observe other human bodies
  • allowing us to know when incoming social signals are rewarding
  • helping us to not just listen to what people say, but HOW it is said
  • observing minute details of facial expression and body language
  • perceiving important social cues
  • regulating strong human emotions

In a way, you can say that people with AS and HFA have an overly-developed rational brain, and an under-developed social brain.

People with an overly-logical brain (think of Spock from Star Trek) often have the following traits:
  • appear to only be concerned with their own needs and wants
  • experience a delay in the development of the idea that the self is equal in importance to that of others
  • have difficulty understanding that others have their own mind, point of view, feelings, and priorities
  • problems attributing mental states to others or to be able to describe what others might be feeling in a given situation (the ability to guess others’ states of mind is related to one’s ability to effectively practice introspection on one’s own)
  • the inability to guess others’ mental states often results in (a) “social mistakes” (e.g., unintentionally saying something highly offensive), and (b) attributing negative intentions in others that aren’t there
  • a lack of developed private self-consciousness, which is a predictor of paranoia (the ability to know one’s self in some way relates to the skill in attributing feelings and motivations to others)
  • will take statements by others in a more concrete and literal fashion
  • they have to work harder than NTs at theorizing what others are experiencing
  • are more concerned with facts, figures, and data than relating to people
  • they need more time than others to understand social subtleties in language (e.g., irony, sarcasm, some forms of humor)
  • difficulty linking behavior of others to their inner feelings, and as a result, can’t understand or predict someone’s behavior 
  • difficulty linking their own behavior to the feelings of others, thus they are unable to anticipate or predict such a response

The overly-logical brain and the absence of the ability to intuit what others may think or feel, what motivates them, how they’re likely to respond in certain situations, etc. may be the root of most difficulties people with AS and HFA have in communication and social interaction.

When attempting to relate better to people with an AS or HFA brain:
  • put more weight on words or actions
  • put less weight on body language, facial expressions, and physical appearances
  • don’t put them in a position where they have to decipher hints, innuendos, subtext, or passive-aggressive behavior – instead, use plain speech
  • don’t assume that their lack of normal eye contact means that they are sneaky, lying, or undependable
  • talk about what you “think” about a particular topic, rather than how to “feel” about it (e.g., “I think a conservative political viewpoint contributes to the individual becoming more self-sufficient and less reliant on government” … instead of, “How do feel about conservatism”).

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

30 Common Issues that Partners of Asperger’s and HFA Adults Experience

If you are an NT or “neurotypical” (i.e., non-autistic) partner or spouse of an individual with Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism (HFA), you may feel as though you are the only one in the world who is experiencing significant and ongoing relationship problems. You may have even asked yourself, “Are these issues my fault somehow?!” You are not alone.

Below are some very common traits of the disorder that may contribute to relationship problems. Some (and I say ‘some’ – not all) of these traits have nothing to do with your Asperger’s or HFA partner being an insensitive jerk, rather they are symptoms of the disorder that the affected person may have little control over:
  1. a common marital problem is unfair distribution of responsibilities (e.g., the partner of a person with Asperger’s or HFA may be used to doing everything in the relationship)
  2. “Aspies” (i.e., people on the autism spectrum) are known for their adherence to routines and schedules, and they can become highly anxious if the expected routine is disrupted
  3. they experience difficulties in empathizing with their NT partner
  4. after accepting that their Asperger’s of HFA partner's disorder won't get better, common emotions include guilt, despair and disappointment
  5. “Aspies” are often mistaken as being ignorant and vain individuals
  6. they are very literal in what they say
  7. have difficulty comprehending complex words, phrases and expressions (e.g., metaphors and jokes)
  8. have difficulty in maintaining friendships
  9. many partners of “Aspies” state that there is a failure to have their own needs met
  10. "Aspies" have difficulty knowing when to start or stop a conversation
  11. do not take very well to a sudden change in their daily time table
  12. fail to interpret change of voice-tone of others
  13. find it difficult to express themselves
  14. follow routines and rituals religiously
  15. are usually more interested in tasks (or objects) than people
  16. frustration, since problems in the relationship don't seem to improve despite great efforts, is a common reaction in NT partners
  17. “Aspies” usually have an intense or obsessive interest or hobby
  18. many NT partners feel overly responsible for their “Aspie”
  19. people on the autism spectrum may be confused at the way other people behave, because they are unable to understand social ways of conduct
  20. may lose interest in people and appear aloof most of the time
  21. partners of the people on the spectrum often feel a sense of isolation, because the challenges of their relationship are different and not easily understood by others
  22. people with Asperger’s and HFA have problems controlling feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety
  23. some NT partners state that they frequently wonder about whether or not to end the relationship
  24. subtle messages that are sent by facial expression, eye contact and body language are often missed by people on the spectrum
  25. they have problems understanding another person's emotions and/or point of view
  26. difficulty managing appropriate social conduct
  27. difficulty with thinking in abstract ways
  28. there is often a lack of emotional support from family members and friends who don't fully understand or appreciate the extra strains placed on a relationship affected by Asperger’s or HFA
  29. “Aspies” have difficulty imagining alternatives to social incidents (i.e., can’t predict a normal course of action according to social norms)
  30. they are usually at a loss in choosing a topic to speak on, unless it’s their special interest

People with Asperger’s and HFA usually experience and mixed bag of successes and tribulations. They may function very well in some arenas - and not well in others. An “Aspie” may do quite well at work because he or she is extremely bright and well-suited to the job, but this same person may not have or know how to create or maintain a satisfying life outside of work.

There are others who don’t function well in a work environment, but can maintain one or a few friendships or acquaintances. And then there are those who can’t maintain employment or sustain friendships, but can create software programs or produce beautiful art, for example. There are numerous combinations, and all could be considered part of the disorder, depending on how you look at it. 

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

Recent Poll on the Divorce Rate Among NT Women and AS Men

We polled 40 “neurotypical” women who are (or where) in a marriage with an Asperger’s husband and asked the following question: “Were you married to man with Asperger’s and are now divorced?”

Their responses fell into 4 general categories: (1) married with no plans for divorce; (2) married, but one or both spouses are making plans for divorce; (3) divorced; and (4) married, but separated.

Here’s the statistical outcome of the survey:
  • 28 women stated: Married with no plans for divorce (70%)
  • 6 women stated: Married, but one or both spouses are making plans for divorce (15%)
  • 4 women stated: Divorced (10%)
  • 2 women stated: Married, but separated (5%)

In summary:
  • In this survey, the divorce rate was only 10%.
  • 70% of these women are married (many of which stated they are “hanging in there,” but “dissatisfied” with the marriage). 
  • 30% are in some state of marital difficulty, or have already divorced. 

We also did a related poll in which we asked both men and women (43 participants total) in which one partner is affected by Asperger's or high-functioning autism the following question:

What is the current status of your relationship with your partner?
  1. Still together and mostly happy with the relationship
  2. Still together but mostly unhappy with the relationship
  3. Still together but considering separation or divorce
  4. Planning for separation or divorce
  5. Already separated or divorced 
  6. Other

Here are their answers (anonymously):
  1. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy in large part due to weekly couples counseling with a therapist who specializes in Adults with Asperger's
  2. Anonymous said…Still together after 29 years but considering therapy to combat loneliness and frustration in the marriage.
  3.  Anonymous said… Married 18 years and happy but sometimes lonely.
  4. Anonymous said… Not happy. 20 years. Considering separation.
  5. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship
  6. Anonymous said… Still together as roommates and companions. Serious thought to divorce
  7. Anonymous said… Haven't had a partner for 5 years and very happy with that
  8. Anonymous said… Divorced for many years and very happy with my relationship with him now after many years.
  9. Anonymous said… Been together 1 year and happy 98% of the time
  10. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. We are engaged and have been dating for 5 1/2 years.
  11. Anonymous said… Married for better or worse 26 years ago. Many rough patches but still together and mostly happy 😊
  12. Anonymous said… Happily together since 1992, married since 2007. For the most part things are good but we have major work/life balance issues. We are DINKS (Dual Income, No Kids)
  13. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship xx
  14. Anonymous said… ` Still together and mostly happy with the relationship
  15. Anonymous said… Celebrated 21 years of marriage two weeks ago. Mostly happy after at least 10+ years of very hard work and two separations, one for 2 months and the second 2 years later for 9 months. There were years I wished desperately I had left.
  16. Anonymous said… Still together - separated, but not legally.
  17. Anonymous said… was married for 16 years and now divorced for almost 10 years.
  18. Anonymous said… Still together 34 years and 75% happy?
  19. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. I have learned how to deal with all his quirks and when to just let things go. We have been married 23 years. It is just a "different kind of relationship" that works for both of us! I think most NT's would have divorced one another.
  20. Anonymous said… Still together 15 yrs married and 5 knowing him. Mostly happy. Sex isn’t there. But he’s fine with an open relationship. So I have options.
  21. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. *WITH SHORT BURSTS OF ABSOLUTE HIDEOUSNESS
  22. Anonymous said… Still together. Happy for almost 7 years. The last year has been a roller coaster.
  23. Anonymous said… Still together (married a little over a year), planning to stay together & find a way to be mostly happy, but not quite sure how yet . . .
  24. Anonymous said… Still together but mostly unhappy with the relationship,together 11years with 4 children
  25. Anonymous said… Seperated, after 13yrs of marriage.
  26. Anonymous said… 33 years married and miserable.
  27. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. 27 years and counting.
  28. Anonymous said… Married 18 years, divorced
  29. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy we have our struggles but I love is pulling us through where patience fails
  30. Anonymous said… 6 months married and mostly happy 💜
  31. Anonymous said… Still together and very happy
  32. Anonymous said… Still together and been married nearly 31 years. Mostly happy now but certainly had some challenges like all relationships and tend to feel lonely now and again.
  33. Anonymous said… Married 37 years to a wonderful man who tries very hard to be present, loving and considerate.
  34. Anonymous said… 30yrs. Still together and mostly happy with the relationship.
  35. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy. 16 years and going strong ❤️
  36. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly deliriously happy, sometimes miserable. 😄
  37. Anonymous said… Still together but somewhat unhappy with the relationship, still trying though. I'm neurotypical and he's hfa
  38. Anonymous said… Separated but still in specialized therapy so we can co-habitats and co-parent together. Thank god we have a little guest house out back. I no longer feel like a hostage in my own home. This took 4 years for me to get to. Both of us committed to making this work for the kids. 8 more years to go!!!
  39. Anonymous said… Already divorced but not due to the autism issue - that was diagnosed afterwards for the child
  40. Anonymous said… Still together but mostly unhappy with the relationship.
  41. Anonymous said… Divorced and trying to coparent
  42. Anonymous said… Still together and mostly happy with the relationship. (13 years
  43. Anonymous said... other

==> Relationship Skills for Couples Affected by Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Adults: What Partners/Spouses Need to Know

Is it possible that your partner or spouse who has Asperger's (or high-functioning autism) also has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)? The answer is: Yes!

As many parents can attest to, ODD is not an uncommon comorbid disorder in children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Most kids with ODD outgrow the disorder by age eight or nine. But, about half of them continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. These people report feeling angry most of the time, and about 40% of them become progressively worse and develop antisocial personality disorder.

Adults with ODD often feel mad at the world, and lose their temper regularly (e.g., verbal abuse, road rage.) Constant opposition to authority figures makes it difficult for them to keep jobs and to maintain relationships and marriages. They are particularly quick to anger, are impatient, and have a low tolerance for frustration. They usually feel misunderstood and disliked, hemmed in, and pushed around. Also, they often defend themselves relentlessly when someone says they’ve said or done something wrong.

Signs of ODD that may be apparent at work include:
  • Commonly feeling oppressed by office rules
  • Has meltdowns during meetings or annual reviews after receiving constructive criticism
  • Near constant arguments with a boss or coworkers
  • Previously fired for inappropriate behavior toward coworkers in heated moments
  • Purposely engaging in behaviors that irritate coworkers
  • Sanctioned by human resources for violating company policies
  • Passive-aggressive behaviors

Signs of ODD that may be apparent at home include:
  • Leaves his dirty clothes on the floor just because he knows it annoys his partner or spouse
  • Involved in physical altercations in public
  • Has a hair-trigger temper (the littlest thing can set him off)
  • Continues to fight against authority figures and society
  • Cited for disorderly conduct by police
  • Always needs to win the argument with a parent or spouse
  • Passive-aggressive behaviors

Are some ODD behaviors more serious or severe than others?

Any behaviors which would cause an adult to move from job to job or have serious difficulty in relationships with others (especially spouses) could have strong, negative consequences.

Are there any other conditions that can be associated with ODD?

Yes there are. Sometimes conditions like diabetes, ADD, serious health conditions or learning disabilities create a “hiding” place for oppositionality and defiance. In these cases, ODD behaviors “hide” behind the primary condition, which provides an “excuse” for noncompliance. (Example: an ODD spouse refuses to work, continually claiming he is being treated unfairly by his boss.)

Can an ODD adult be diagnosed as both ODD and ADHD?


Exactly what is ODD?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a diagnosed condition of negativistic, hostile and defiant behavior that includes symptoms of low frustration tolerance, argumentativeness, defiance, noncompliance, oppositionality, provocation, blaming, spitefulness, irritability, resentment, anger or vindictiveness. (Not all of these symptoms need to apply for a diagnosis to be made.)

How is ODD diagnosed?

ODD is diagnosed by an appropriately certified or licensed health service professional that assesses a client and makes the diagnosis as it pertains to established criteria. The most commonly used criteria are found in the most current edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

How much do external events and circumstances play into ODD?

They can easily make the ODD much better or much worse.

I find my husband is defiant toward some people, but not others. Why is this?

ODD behavior is highly reactive to the environmental situations and circumstances. This certainly includes differences in authority figures, how they relate to the ODD adult, and how they "package" their expectations.

My ODD husband went to a counselor and was told after one visit that there was nothing wrong with him. I was totally frustrated about the whole thing. Why would a counselor say this?

The ODD adult, for awhile, can look perfectly fine in every regard. This is why a good therapist or counselor puts more stock in the “hard” facts about the client, not what the client is saying or doing in early visits.

If my ODD husband is depressed, what can be done to help him?

The depression needs to be evaluated and treated. It is common for oppositional and defiant behaviors to lessen as the depression is addressed. Sometimes medication helps.

Is lying a typical behavior of ODD?

It certainly can be. Usually, behaviors like lying differ from one individual to another as they become more severe in their behaviors. Many professionals believe that lying and stealing often go together.

Is ODD inherited?

Although there probably isn't an "ODD gene," characteristics like disposition and temperament can probably be inherited.

Is there any connection between ODD and the use or abuse of drugs and alcohol?

There probably is a connection, but not necessarily a direct one. ODD behaviors can occur in adults who are unhappy. Alcohol and drugs are one kind of "self" medication.

I've heard that many ODD adults are depressed? Is this true?

Yes. About half of them also met the criteria for depression.

My husband walks half a block down the street to help a senior citizen bring in her groceries, but he won't ever take out the trash at OUR house? Why is this?

First of all, he wants to look like a good, kind and caring man. But consider that the job of helping the lady with her groceries is essentially a one-shot deal. Taking out the trash at home could last for years, not to mention the fact that we are much more direct in our behaviors of resistance and refusal with those who already know us well.

Sometimes it seems to me that my husband actually enjoys it when I become upset with him. Why is this?

He has gotten the satisfaction of knowing he has gotten to you. This “trap” is one of the toughest ones for spouses to deal with.

What about "passive-aggressive" behavior? Is that the same as oppositional defiant?

“Passive-aggressive” behavior is a term that was used to describe both children and adults before there ever was a classification of ODD. Specifically, passive-aggressive behavior is but one type of oppositional and defiant behavior. Persistent and problematic passive-aggressive behavior in adults is more properly diagnosed using adult classifications, often falling under the general category of "personality disorders."

What are some of the signs that a child might become Conduct Disordered?

Things like family history, especially parents and siblings having trouble with the law, the activities of a child's "friends," a history of abuse or severe neglect in the home, use of alcohol and drugs, and a youngster's level of regard for others could all be indications.

What happens when ODD children become adults?

They can take their problems with them, causing difficulty in their relationships, marriage and work. The divorce rate, employment difficulties, and the abuse of alcohol or drugs is usually higher in this population of young adults.

What is the difference between an ODD adult and one who is just stubborn?

Stubborn people know when to give it up. They don't continue with their stubbornness to the degree and point that it creates serious hardships for them. Stubbornness can even be an attribute, such as a resolve that can shine through in tough times. Not so with ODD, which, by nature of being a disorder, works against the person's best interest.

What is the difference between ODD and ADD?

ODD is a psychological condition that, favorably or not, is responsive to external situations and circumstances. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is brain-related, a neurological condition or immaturity that causes a person to have difficulty focusing on tasks. The condition of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) states that the person is additionally hyperactive and impulsive.

What is the likelihood that an ODD adult will become more severe in his or her behaviors (aggressive and anti-social)?

Here we're talking about serious, acting-out behaviors that could involve the law. Current data indicates about one in three ODD people will move on into a more serious disorder.

What would happen if an ODD adult is depressed, but the depression goes unaddressed or untreated?

Both the ODD and the depression will continue to worsen to the detriment of the individual. Self-injury or even suicidal attempts are a possibility.

Is there any hope if my husband has this disorder called ODD?

Most wives of ODD husbands find that the parenting strategies used with ODD children ALSO work with ODD husbands. Why? Because ODD adults are very immature for their age. You may have a husband who is chronologically 35-years-old, but emotionally more like a 21-year-old. So, yes there is hope!

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples


•    Anonymous said...  I am also wondering this. Married 25 years and have had enough as it seems so much worse now such a rollercoaster. I dread waking up now as it all starts again day in day out. Tried a few times of asking him to leave but always feel so guilty so we are still carrying on. Friends say i have Stockholm :(
•    Anonymous said...  this sounds just like my AS husband. Only we're still married with a two yr old. I wish I could leave. I'm miserable.
•    Anonymous said... Hmm, I'm dealing with somebody like this. I was looking for how pyrroles treatment is tricky in people with Tourette's, and my eye was drawn to this term as one of the conditions often associated with pyrroles. Sure enough, it seems it applies to my freind. He is nearly 80 and since gotten more well is back to this stuff. Oppositional to reason when it doesn't suite him, and difficulties in accessing things. He opposes authority in a way he is not content unless he is expressing authority/superiority over other people. His history is like what has been described here. The thing about ODD ending abruptly when you are 18: As the term doesn't mention childhood, it should persist throughout life.
•    Anonymous said... I can't leave because I am on social security. Life is upsetting wirh him every minute if everyday. No cooperatiin the blaming nme fir stupid made up stuff in hus mind. Belittling me . I say blue he says green. Can't have an adult conversation discuss solutions to problems with him. He thinks he is right about everything.
•    Anonymous said... I have a boyfriend he has all the signs and symptoms of O.D.D. he told me he has ADHD. We were at a restaurant he got upset and started rage yelling the manager was going to call the cops.I was so embarrassed and ashamed. I have tried to end our relationship he always begs me not to leave. We love each other it's very exhausting. I told him he needs to get help If this relationship will work. He says he wants to change. He needs to show me. I've caught him in so many lies.
•    Anonymous said... I have an aspie husband I think has odd… my child has odd just diagnosed I'm about to throw in the towel I can't handle it double dosed. What support can I find for me to cope better and not get overwhelmed
•    Anonymous said... I have been living with an aspergers spouse with undiagnosed ODD for 26 yrs. Is it possible that the condition worsens with age?
•    Anonymous said... I have had enough of being an ODD parent to my husband - I am exhausted!
•    Anonymous said... I was told recently by my current mental health RNP that ODD is only a kid thing, and that I couldn't possibly have it because I am an adult. SO FRUSTRATING.
•    Anonymous said... last few days our class held a similar talk about this subject and you point out something we have not covered yet, thanks.
•    Anonymous said... My adult son has ODD. A Lifetime of struggles. Refuses therapy, self meditates with weed, unable and unwilling to live on any kind if budget, spends all his money on good times and weed, puts no priority into meeting his financial obligations first, always pressuring me into helping him financially. Always angry, emotional outbursts on a regular basis, he is a Terrible Son,also a terrible Father, drove wife away and 2 years later continues to obsess about her, refusing to accept it's over and blames everyone else for his plight. My feelings for him go from love to hate and wanting him to go away forever....but he won't, and no hope for change because he refuses to accept his condition or get any therapy. Went to family counseling for 8 years as a kid and never got help because HE REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE. Finally letting him move into a house I own 2000 miles away in hope that our relationship might improve. I'm over 60 years old and I'm exhausted with this.....dont I have a right to some peace and happiness without having some guilt trip put on me or some havoc being created to prevent me from living my life????? HELP!!!!!

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