Non-verbal communication is particularly problematic in that these individuals have difficulty understanding the appropriate distance to stand from another person when talking, how to tell when someone does not want to listen any longer, and how to interpret facial expressions. Also, they tend to be highly aware of right and wrong – and will bluntly announce what is wrong. They often recognize the shortcomings of others, but not their own. Thus, some of their behavior seems rude or inappropriate (through no fault of their own, in most cases).
- They notice details, rather than the “whole” picture. The importance of the detail prevents them from understanding the bigger picture, so instructions may get lost in their focus on a single detail.
- They are not able to access their frontal cortex or prefrontal lobe efficiently, so they must call on social skills from their memories. If a particular social skill was not taught when they were younger, they won’t have it. Thus, imagination, conversation, and other people’s points of view cause great difficulty.
- Anger often occurs due to over-stimulation of the senses or a change in routine. It is often the only response they know. Anger-control presents problems, because these individuals only see things in black and white, which can result in offensive behavior when they don’t get their own way or when they feel threatened or overwhelmed. Some bottle-up anger and turn it inward, never revealing where the trouble is.
- One of the most difficult thinking patterns for people with Asperger’s is mind-blindness, which is the lack of ability to understand the emotions, feelings, motivations, and logic of others – and not care that they don’t understand! Therefore, they sometimes behave without regard to the welfare of others. The only way some will ever change their thinking or behavior is if it is in their own interest to do so. Even then, convincing them to change their mind may turn out to be an uphill battle.
- respect authority
- gentle and somewhat passive
- especially talented in a particular area
- amazingly loyal friends
- able to adhere unvaryingly to routines
- perfectly capable of entertaining themselves
- able to remember a lot of information and facts
- able to notice fine details that others miss
One NT husband states, "All Aspies are different. If you want to understand the real person you are married to you must work together to identify the way you both interact and communicate the specifics of your mental functioning and hers. It is not a one way street. Her Aspie traits are highly individual as your non-Aspie traits. Lots of reading and help from counsellors can help both of you work this out."