Are you an adult with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's? Are you in a relationship with someone on the autism spectrum? Are you struggling emotionally, socially, spiritually or otherwise? Then you've come to the right place. We are here to help you in any way we can. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile...

Search This Blog

Showing posts sorted by date for query anxiety. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query anxiety. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Anxiety to Meltdown to Guilt to Self-Punishment in the ASD Individual


 

Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

 ==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

==> Living with ASD: eBook and Audio Instruction for Neurodiverse Couples 

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for Couples Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

==> ASD Men's MasterClass: Social-Skills Training and Emotional-Literacy Development

==> Pressed for time? Watch these "less-than-one-minute" videos for on the go.

----------

Parenting resources:

 

"My husband was recently diagnosed with ASD. Now what?"

Many "newbie” neurotypical (NT) spouses can learn to cope with the demands of being married to a spouse with autism once they learn about the emotions with which they are dealing with – and how to address them. Not all NTs experience all of the feelings listed below. However, it is helpful for them to be aware of the various emotions involved – and to realize that their experiences and feelings are normal.

Sorrow:

Loss of hopes and plans for the future

Loss of the "perfect marriage" that was anticipated prior to meeting her autistic spouse

Resentment:

Long-standing lack of emotional reciprocity from the autistic spouse

Long-standing lack of empathy 

Remorse:

Over her autistic husband's suffering

Less focus on self

Unable to help her autistic spouse in the social and emotional sense

Feelings of Loneliness:

No one else understands what the NT wife  is going through

Avoids having to explain the disorder and answer questions

Can sense that others are uncomfortable around her husband at times

Depressed

Not wanting to interact with others as a couple

Resentment toward others with "typical husbands"

Worries:

The children's future

The children's emotional safety

Keeping a stable relationship with her spouse

Her own mental health

Next crisis

Anxiety:

Advocating for accommodations

Attempting to do all the relationship work

Balancing career and family

Dealing with other's reactions and opinions

Lack of exercise

Lack of prior medical or advocacy experiences

Learning details of spouse's disorder and about related treatment

Making choices regarding treatment

Managing time

Poor eating habits

Sleep deprivation

Feeling Isolated:

Detachment in other areas of life due to focus on the autistic spouse's needs

Feelings of despair and hopelessness


Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

==> Living with ASD: eBook and Audio Instruction for Neurodiverse Couples 

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for Couples Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

==> ASD Men's MasterClass: Social-Skills Training and Emotional-Literacy Development

==> Pressed for time? Watch these "less-than-one-minute" videos for on the go.

What exactly is Cassandra Syndrome?



 


What exactly is Cassandra Syndrome?

The term Cassandra Syndrome is given to neurotypical spouses experiencing distress as a result of their emotional needs not being met by their autistic spouse. The effects include:

-- low self esteem
-- loss of self-identity
-- feelings of anger and guilt
-- anxiety
-- depression 

Cassandra Syndrome does not arise as a result of any intent by the autistic partner - but even without "intent," damage can be done.

Cassandra Syndrome depicts a state of confusion, self-doubt, and inner turmoil that is all too familiar among neurotypical spouses. They often feel discounted, ignored, and even rejected by friends and family members, who may have a hard time believing the severity of the emotional deprivation as described by the NT spouse.


Traits of ASD that can lead to the NT spouse's suffering:

1. Because emotions make them uncomfortable, spectrumites (i.e., people on the autism spectrum) tend to intellectualize subjects (e.g., refer to books and studies), which may make them come across as cold and unfeeling.

2. Having sexual intercourse can present challenges due to sensory sensitivities.

3. Many have difficulties in their transition into young adulthood and professional environments, because many jobs involve playing corporate politics and navigating social interactions.

4. Many spectrumites have often been accused of “not having a filter.”

5. Many will reject therapy as they find it conceptually difficult to leave behind their world of logic into unchartered emotional territory.

6. Most are hypersensitive to criticism because they are expending a lot of mental energy trying to act “normal”.

7. Since there is no internal dialogue helping them read social cues for answers, spectrumites rely on facts and prompts from others to make sure they have control of the situation. 

8. Spectrumites don’t have much patience for small talk - and may find marital bonding events (e.g., "date night" with their wife) torturous. 

9. They have a difficulty anticipating the needs of others because of something called “mind-blindness,” an inability to place oneself in the shoes of others and anticipate their emotional state.

10. Spectrumites have a tendency to go into long boring monologues on their special interests or opinions.

11. They love information (of non-social nature).

12. They prefer facts, numbers, and statistics instead of discussions structured around “emotion.” 

13. Spectrumites suffer from “alexithymia,” which is an inability to place, identify the source, and distinguish one’s feelings. 

14. They have sensory issues. Bright lights, loud noises, and even touch (especially light touch) can be hard to them to handle.

15. They love routines. 

16. They only have one or two interests that they are extremely passionate about.

17. Without an internal social meter to tell them they are not being well-received or are going on too long in their monologues – spectrumites have a tendency to come across as one-sided and holier-than-thou.

Severe Mood Swings in Your ASD Partner

“Is it common for a person with ASD to experience frequent mood swings? My boyfriend will be fine one moment, but if something changes (that I’m unaware of most of the time), he gets instantly upset and somewhat verbally abusive.”

It is common for people with autism spectrum disorder to exhibit mood swings. (i.e., an emotional response that is poorly modulated and does not fall within the conventionally accepted range of emotive response). Overwhelming emotions can take over, and the affected individual will use some type of coping mechanism (at an unconscious level) to deal with them.

The trigger for a mood swing might be the result of a very minor incident (e.g., sensory sensitivity) or something much more upsetting (e.g., an argument with you). Also, many mood swings last until the person is completely drained of his negative emotions (in worst case scenarios, this could last for days in the form of a shutdown).
 
==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

In my practice, one frequently asked question by NT partners is: “What do I do when my ASD partner can’t control his emotions?” When severe mood swings occur, the first response is to ensure the safety of all concerned.

Of course, mood swings are not planned, but instead are most often caused by elusive and puzzling environmental triggers. When the “shift in mood” happens, everyone in its path feels pain – including the ASD partner.
 
 


 
As a neurotypical girlfriend, you can expect your boyfriend to experience both minor and major mood swings over incidents that are part of daily life. Many NTs have a hard time knowing how their ASD partner is going to react in certain situations. However, there are many ways to help your boyfriend to keep from escalating to an “out-of-control level. 
 

Let’s look at just three:

1. Don’t throw gas on the fire: Avoid confronting your boyfriend in the heat of the moment. The moment you attempt to control him with hopes of getting him to calm down quickly, you are raising his anxiety – not lowering it.

2. Give a signal: Ask him if he would be willing to respond to your "signal" (e.g., a hand motion) to stay composed. Give that signal as soon as he starts "fuming " about something.

3. This is not about you (the NT): As difficult as it may be in the heat of the moment, don’t take your boyfriend’s strong feelings personally. You may justifiably feel aggravated and personally attacked when he explodes. But, save discussion about your feelings on the matter for later (when he has calmed down).
 
 

 

==> More articles on dealing with an angry ASD partner can be found here

How the Symptoms of ASD [level 1] Differ in Women Compared to Men

RE: "How are the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder different in women as compared to men?"

The symptoms of ASD in ladies are not hugely different from those in guys. However, females on the autism spectrum are more likely to camouflage their symptoms. 
 
Common forms of camouflaging include preparing jokes or phrases ahead of time to use in conversation, mimicking the social behavior of others, imitating expressions and gestures, and forcing themselves to make eye contact during conversations.

While both men and women with ASD can camouflage their symptoms, it appears to be more common with the ladies. This could explain why they’re less likely to be diagnosed. Studies suggests that, compared to guys, ladies with ASD have less of a tendency to become hyper-focused on a subject or activity, but have more emotional problems (e.g., depression, anxiety).

Generally speaking, females who have ASD are different, not in the core traits of the disorder, but in how they react to the disorder. They tend to mask their social and communication problems in specific ways that are different from the guys on the spectrum. As a result, ladies are often under-diagnosed, or diagnosed with a different disorder. In either case, many of them struggle to cope with their symptoms without the benefit of needed resources and support.

Studies show that ladies with ASD are different from female NTs in how their brains analyze social information. Amazingly, the brain of a woman with ASD is more like the brain of an NT male than that of an autistic male.

Early in life, females with ASD show a greater desire to connect with others. Their interests are more similar to those of NTs. They are more likely to engage in pretend play (characteristic of girls, in general). Also, they are less drawn to repetitive behaviors. Even though they may not be as socially active as NT girls, they often have intense friendships with girls who provide compassion and guidance in social situations.

Girls, and later grown women, often develop coping strategies that cover-up the trouble they have “fitting-in.” They often use imitation or imagination, identifying with other female role-models in an effort to learn how to “act” socially. They figure out the best way to remain undetected by studying social situations and practicing appropriate ways of behaving.

Being well behaved and compliant at school furthers the development and refinement of social skills for these young girls. As a result, they stand out less than boys with ASD. Girls on the spectrum tend to overcome or hide their deficits. As they develop and mature, such deficits appear less pronounced and cause less difficulty for them, in general.

Unlike many autistic guys, ladies with ASD tend to prefer one-on-one social interactions and single friendships (often close and intimate). Although they may have difficulty in group situations, they can be very good at relating directly to one person. They tend to be less solitary than guys with ASD, and are more likely to seek out relationships with the opposite sex, moving towards long-term romantic relationships.

Women on the autism spectrum are more sensitive to emotions in others than guys with ASD. Ironically, the desire in autistic ladies to connect is frequently painful as they encounter ASD-related social and communication problems. 

Loneliness is a common complaint amongst these women. More than 65% of adults with ASD report suicidal thoughts - of this percentage, 77% are females. Clearly, ladies on the spectrum think, feel and act differently than their male counterparts. But it’s different - not necessarily better.

Women are often under-represented in individuals who have a diagnosis of ASD when higher IQ is factored in. This means that of those with a higher intelligence level, women are less likely to be given a diagnosis of ASD. This may be because women with higher intelligence can use their intelligence to develop coping strategies and to learn ways to navigate their life experiences despite their ASD symptoms.

Even within the range of average intelligence, autistic women are often able to display more socially acceptable and functional skills in their social interactions as compared to autistic men. This may be due to how these women can learn to imitate those around them - even when social skills don’t come naturally.

One theory of the differences between autistic men and women (related to restrictive and repetitive behaviors) is that women often have “fewer” of these types of behaviors – and they have “different” types of these behaviors. The restrictive or repetitive behaviors of women may not be noticed as much – and may appear more “socially appropriate.” Autistic women also have limited interests, but these interests appear to be socially acceptable, and therefore are less noticed as a symptom of ASD.

In summary, men and women on the autism spectrum differ in the following areas:

  • as IQ increases, women are less likely to be diagnosed with ASD, which may have to do with their ability to develop coping strategies to manage their life experiences despite having the disorder 
  • at a young age, women on the spectrum seem to have more motor deficits, but fewer communication deficits 
  • men are diagnosed at a 4:1 ratio when compared to women 
  • autistic women often display fewer - and different - types of restrictive or repetitive behaviors as compared to men, and these behaviors are less noticeable to others

 
Emotional, Social, Physical, Behavioral, and Cognitive Traits that Women with ASD May Exhibit:


1.    Abused or taken advantage of as a little girl, but didn’t think to tell anyone
2.    Allergies and food sensitivities
3.    An emotional incident can determine the mood for the day
4.    Analyze existence and the meaning of life
5.    Appearance of hearing problems, but hearing has been checked and is fine
6.    As a little girl, it was hard to know when it was her turn to talk
7.    Aversion to answering questions about themselves
8.    Becomes overwhelmed with too much verbal direction
9.    Calmed by external stimulation (e.g., soothing sound, brushing, rotating object, constant pressure)
10.    Can’t relax or rest without many thoughts

11.    Chronic fatigue
12.    Come across at times as narcissistic
13.    Confused by tone of voice, proximity of body, body stance, the rules of accurate eye contact, posture in conversation, etc.
14.    Constipation
15.    Conversations are often exhausting
16.    Daydream a lot
17.    Deep thinkers
18.    Desires comfort items (e.g., blankets, teddy, rock, string)
19.    Diagnosed with a mental illness
20.    Didn’t participate in class

21.    Difficulty:
•    filtering out background noise when talking to others
•    making and keeping friends
•    transitioning from one activity to another   
•    understanding directional terms (e.g., north, south)   
•    understanding group interactions
•    with fine motor activities (e.g., coloring, printing, using scissors, gluing)
•    with loud or sudden sounds

22.    Dislike being in a crowded mall, crowded gym, and/or crowded theater
23.    Don’t simplify
24.    Don’t take things for granted
25.    Dreams are anxiety-ridden and vivid
26.    Easily fooled and conned
27.    Eating disorders
28.    Emotions can pass very suddenly or are drawn out for a long period of time

29.    Escape:
•    by playing the same music over and over
•    into other rooms at parties
•    regularly through fixations and obsessions
•    routinely through imagination, fantasy
•    through a relationship (imagined or real)
•    through counting, categorizing, organizing, etc.
•    through mental processing
•    through the rhythm of words

30.    Everything has a purpose
31.    Everything is complex
32.    Excellent rote memory
33.    Exceptionally high skills in some areas and very low in others
34.    Experience multiple physical symptoms
35.    Experience trouble with lying
36.    Extreme anxiety for no apparent reason
37.    Feel as if missing a thought-filter
38.    Feel extreme relief when they don’t have to go anywhere or talk to anyone

39.    Feelings:
•    of being misplaced and/or from another planet
•    of confusion and being overwhelmed
•    of dread about upcoming events and appointments
•    of isolation
•    of polar extremes (e.g., sad/happy)

40.    Feels the need to fix or rearrange things
41.    Find it difficult to understand manipulation and disloyalty
42.    Find it difficult to understand vindictive behavior and retaliation
43.    Find norms of conversation confusing
44.    Find unwritten and unspoken rules difficult to grasp, remember, and apply
45.    Food obsessions
46.    Frustration is expressed in unusual ways
47.    Generalized Anxiety
48.    Had imaginary friends as a little girl
49.    Have a continuous dialogue in mind that tells them what to say and how to act when in a social situation

50.    Have had bouts of depression
51.    Highly intelligent
52.    Hold a lot of thoughts, ideas, and feelings inside
53.    Honest
54.    Imitate friends or peers in style, dress, attitude, etc.
55.    Imitate people on television or in movies
56.    Immune challenges
57.    Intolerance to certain food textures, colors or the way they are presented on the plate (e.g., one food can’t touch another)
58.    Irregular sleep patterns
59.    Irritable bowel

60.    Knowing they have to leave the house causes anxiety
61.    Lack in coordination
62.    Little impulse control with speaking
63.    Make friends with older or younger females
64.    Many and varied collections
65.    Mastered imitation
66.    May have a very high vocabulary
67.    May need to be left alone to release tension and frustration
68.    Misdiagnosed
69.    Monopolize conversations

70.    Na├»ve
71.    Numbers are calming (e.g., numbers associated with patterns, calculations, lists, etc.)
72.    Obsess about the potentiality of a relationship with someone
73.    Obsessively collect and organize objects
74.    OCD
75.    Often drop small objects
76.    Often get lost in their own thoughts and “checks out”
77.    Often sound eager and over-zealous or apathetic and disinterested
78.    Often harbor guilt for “hibernating” and not doing “what everyone else is doing”
79.    Over-interest in certain subjects

80.    Perfectionism in certain areas
81.    Philosophize
82.    Poor muscle tone, double-jointed
83.    Practice/rehearse in mind what they will say to another before entering the room
84.    Prepares themselves mentally for outings and appointments, often days before a scheduled event
85.    Prolific writers drawn to poetry
86.    Question place in the world
87.    Question the actions and behaviors of themselves and others
88.    Reveals intimate details to strangers
89.    Search for right and wrong

90.    See things at multiple levels, including their own thinking processes
91.    Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or inappropriate
92.    Sense of pending danger or doom
93.    Sensory Issues
94.    Serious and matter-of-fact in nature
95.    Share in order to reach out
96.    Survive overwhelming emotions and senses by escaping in thought or action
97.    Tendency to overshare
98.    Tends to either tune out or break down when being criticized
99.    Tics

100.    Trained themselves in social interactions through readings and studying of others
101.    Transitioning from one activity to another is difficult
102.    Uncomfortable in public bathrooms
103.    Unusually high or low pain tolerance
104.    Visualize and practice how they will act around others
105.    Walks without swinging arms freely
106.    Wonder who they are and what is expected of them
107.    Worry about what is eaten

Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples 

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism  

==> Online Group Therapy for Couples and Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

Adults with ASD: What Other Family Members Need To Know

ASD level 1 (high functioning autism) is typically first diagnosed in children. In contrast to those with ASD level 3, people at level 1 acquire language skills normally, develop appropriately in cognitive abilities, and tend to have higher-than-average verbal skills. The most significant feature of ASD is the inability to interact appropriately on a social basis. If untreated, many difficulties continue into adulthood.

Eccentric people have always existed, but ASD isn't always recognized as a possible cause of strange adult behavior. ASD level 1, one of the neurological disorders on the autism spectrum, can be mild, causing only somewhat unusual behavior - or severe, causing an inability to function in society without some assistance (e.g., from a neurotypical spouse). Adults with ASD, like kids with the disorder, have trouble deciphering the normal rules of society, which impacts their home, work and social lives.

Grown-ups on the autism spectrum have high intellectual functioning, but diminished social abilities. An adult on the spectrum may:
  • appear clumsy
  • follow repetitive routines
  • have limited or unusual interests
  • lack social skills
  • lack the ability to read non-verbal cues
  • seem egocentric
  • use peculiar speech and language

Typical adult symptoms include:
  • "black and white" thinking
  • a tendency to be "in their own world"
  • appear overly concerned with their own agenda
  • difficulty managing appropriate social conduct
  • difficulty regulating emotions
  • follow strict routines
  • great musical ability
  • highly focused in specific fields of interest often to the exclusion of other pursuits
  • inability to empathize
  • inability to understand other perspectives
  • intense interest in one or two subjects
  • outstanding memory

Let’s go into greater detail regarding ASD in adults:

1. Assessment—ASD is a clinical diagnosis versus medical. Neurological and organic causes remain mostly unknown. Psychological interviewing that includes medical, psychiatric and childhood history contributes to an ASD diagnosis, which may coexist with other mood and behavior disorders.

2. Behavior— Grown-ups on the spectrum usually prefer structured lives with well-defined routines and may become agitated or upset when these routines are broken. If, for example, your spouse normally eats breakfast at 9 a.m. and becomes stressed out when asked to eat at an earlier time, this may be indicative of ASD. Unlike adults with level 3 autism, however, an individual at level 1 will probably be able to keep his frustration in check. 
 
Grown-ups with ASD may also be reluctant to initiate conversation and require prodding to talk to you at all, especially if that individual is already engaged in a favored activity when you try to initiate conversation. Eye contact may be rare. An individual with ASD may have obsessive tendencies that manifest in such ways as insisting all of his books be lined up in a certain order on the shelf or that the clothes in his closet are categorized by color, style or season. Reliance on routine, obsession with categories and patterns and limited conversation are all symptoms of ASD that may be observed at home.

3. Cognitive Symptoms— While grown-ups with ASD are often of above-average intelligence, they may process information more slowly than normal, making it difficult to participate in discussions or activities that require quick thinking. These individuals may have trouble with organization and seeing the "big picture," often focusing on one aspect of a project or task. Most are rigid and inflexible, making transitions of any type difficult.
 

4. Common Careers— Adults on the spectrum have sophisticated skills in certain areas, such as those dealing with numbers or art. Most often, these skills do not exist together. Careers that do not rely on short-term memory are better suited for an individual on the spectrum. Appropriate careers include computer and video game design, drafting, commercial art, photography, mechanic, appliance repair, handcraft artisan, engineering and journalism.

5. Communication— Grown-ups with ASD may demonstrate unusual non-verbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, limited facial expressions or awkward body posturing. They may speak in a voice that is monotonous or flat. They may engage in one-sided conversations without regard to whether anyone is listening to them. They are often of high intelligence and may specialize in one area or interest. This leads to a lack of interest in alternate topics and the unwillingness to listen when others are speaking. 
 
Such poor communication skills can lead to problems finding a job or interacting effectively in a workplace environment. Grown-ups with ASD often communicate poorly with others. Many talk incessantly, often about topics that others have no interest in. Their thought patterns may be scattered and difficult to follow and never come to a point. Speech patterns may have a strange cadence or lack the proper inflections. An individual on the spectrum may have difficulty understanding humor and may take what's said too literally.

6. Diagnosis— Most grown-ups with ASD are able to live relatively normal lives. They are often regarded as shy, reserved or even snobbish by others. As these are not considered abnormal behaviors, a real diagnosis may come late in life, or not at all. You can get a more accurate picture of whether your partner has ASD by talking to the people who know him, such as co-workers, college professors, other relatives and friends (though an individual with ASD may have a very limited social circle). 
 
Ask whether your partner initiates conversation, if he seems awkward and unsure of himself during social interactions, and whether he has any strange behaviors his peers may have noticed. If the answers you get make you suspect ASD, you can encourage your partner to seek therapeutic attention to manage the condition better.

7. Emotional Symptoms— Unlike adults with autism level 3, people at level 1 want to fit in with others. Their social and work-related difficulties can cause anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, obsessive compulsive behaviors and depression. They may feel disconnected and distant from the rest of the world, a feeling called "wrong planet" syndrome.

8. Imagination— Grown-ups with ASD may be unable to think in abstract ways. They may be inflexible in their thinking, unable to imagine a different outcome to a given situation than the one they perceive. Such rigid thinking patterns may make predicting outcomes of situations difficult. These individuals may develop strict lifestyle routines and experience anxiety and distress if that routine is disrupted. To avoid such disruption, some adults may keep extensive written to-do lists or keep a mental checklist of their plans.

9. Physical Symptoms— Grown-ups with ASD are often physically awkward. Many have a peculiar walk, poor posture or general clumsiness or difficulty with physical tasks.
 

10. Preoccupations and Obsessions— One of the diagnostic criteria for ASD is an "encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus." A grown-up with the disorder may obsessively latch on to a single hobby or area of interest, often memorizing facts to the smallest detail. Some individuals are successful in their work environment because of their attention to detail and ability to retain information. An inability to be flexible or to deal with changes in routine is also a trait. An adult with the disorder may have difficulties in his home life, often demanding little or no change in routines or schedules.

11. Prognosis— ASD is a continuous and lifelong condition. Individuals on the spectrum should be able to function with the disorder with proper coping skills in place. Adapting their environment to their condition is especially critical. Finding a work environment that de-emphasizes social interactions may be appropriate. In addition, having a regular work routine and schedule may be beneficial. Interventions, such as social skills training, education and/or psychotherapy, may be necessary to better manage symptoms.

12. Relationships— Because grown-ups with ASD struggle to understand emotions in others, they miss subtle cues such as facial expression, eye contact and body language. As a result, an adult on the spectrum appears aloof, selfish or uncaring. Neurologically, adults with ASD are unable to understand other people's emotional states. They are usually surprised, upset and show remorse when informed of the hurtful or inappropriate effect of their actions. 
 
Affected adults show as much interest as others do in intimate relationships. However, most ASD adults lack the social or empathetic skills to effectively manage romantic relationships. An individual with the disorder behaves at younger developmental age in relationships. The subtleties of courtship are unfamiliar and sometimes inappropriate physical contact results.
 

13. Social Interaction— Grown-ups with ASD may have difficulty interacting in social groups. For example, they may choose inappropriate topics to discuss in a group setting or find making small talk difficult or even annoying. As they tend to be literal thinkers, they may have trouble understanding social metaphors, teasing or irony. They may lack empathy or find it hard to relate to other people. Some adults on the spectrum have anger management problems and may lash out in a social setting without regard to another's feelings. They may report feeling detached from the world and having trouble finding and maintaining relationships.

An individual with the disorder lacks the ability to display appropriate non-verbal behaviors, such as eye contact, facial expressions, body postures and gestures. He may have difficulties in initiating and maintaining friendships because of inappropriate social behaviors. He may appear rude or obnoxious to others and at times is left out of social encounters. Unlike adults with autism level 3, who withdraw from other people, adults level 1 often want to fit in but don't know how. The inability to "read" other people's social signals or to display empathy for other's problems leads to awkward social encounters.

14. Speech Patterns— Another feature of ASD is impaired speech. The individual with this disorder may speak in a monotone voice or may speak too loudly and out of place. He may interpret everyday phrases literally. The commonly used phrase "break a leg" will be taken literally to injure one's self. Subtle humor or sarcasm may not be understood or may be misinterpreted. Some individuals display highly developed vocabulary, often sounding overly formal and stilted.

15. Stereotypical Behavior— Grown-ups with this condition often are preoccupied with something to the extreme level. For example, if he likes football, that is all he will talk about--all the time and with everyone. These individuals are also often obsessed with parts of objects. 
 
On another note, they need routines to help them function. They do not like changes in routines, and find them difficult. Other stereotypical behavior in which they engage is body movements; they often flap their fingers, or make complex body movements (e.g., tics).





COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Did you know your spouse had AS? In many of our cases we did not nor did they. It is a relatively new and ever expanding diagnosis and understanding and every case is slightly different. The things that drew me like a magnet to my husband were and still are the things that make him special. I am no slouch and at the time of meeting my husband I was dating several college young men and they pailed in comparison to his whit, intellect and attention to detail. I was also very glad he was not so stuck on himself like many of the people I was dating. he did not care if he wore the latest fashion, etc. I still am intrigued by his ability to comprehend complex thoughts and frankly living with a "normal" person must be quite boring. Marriage is a 2 way street but not every street has level surfaces and some roads have bumps and pot holes. I am not saying that life is easy living with a spouse with AS but it could be much worse. We have never been without a home, vehicles, jobs, or our needs met. He works hard to provide for his family and himself. He knows his limitations but also knows that he can try and make up for it in other ways. Keep researching and trying to find out if a life with your spouse is right for you. Not everyone can be the strong one or the one who has t take care of the finer details of life. But, be encouraged, at least you now know what is going on and can take whatever steps you both desire to achieve your outcome.
•    Anonymous said… Good luck. Keep trying. Pregnancy was not a big deal for my ASH either. On the good side, It was all about me smile emoticon And... I took care of the children by myself and in my younger years I was resentful but when we had our son I actually was thankful. My children have wonderful memories I made for them. We had bonding time that was ours and ours alone and that is okay by me. My ASH could not nurse the babies anyway, LOL. One good thing is they take things literally. You can say exactly what you need. If I want to celebrate a holiday, I say, "it is important to me to celebrate. I want,,," and say specifically what I want, go out to dinner, gift, party, etc. I had a significant birthday last year. I got exactly what I asked for, like a hand written love note at least 3 sentences. It was beautiful!
•    Anonymous said… I also feel like I'm nagging some, not as much as I used to. I finally got over having my house look a certain way. When I want it neat for more than a few minutes and get frustrated, I have to stop and think of all the things I love about him. We separated for about 9 months. It really helped us both see what was important, and he realized that making a habit of a few chores was important to me.
•    Anonymous said… I find that it is really helpful to communicate with my partner with AS via emails and texts especially about important things to do with our relationship but even about things that I need help with for our baby daughter and around the house. It allows him the emotional and mental space he needs to absorb the information and takes away the feelings of frustration that usually arise for me when I can't seem to get through to him.
•    Anonymous said… I simply can't imagine why anyone would knowingly marry into this. I felt conned. Bait and switch. Three years later and two kids later im so burnt out. All advice is for how the NT partner should walk on eggshells. This is BS. Marriage takes TWO. Where are the articles and advice for the work the aspie partner has to do?
•    Anonymous said… I think my biggest challenge is that my spouse needs constant reminding of what needs to be done. He is not the orderly type of AS, but a really messy one. He just does not notice what needs to be done, because it is not important to him. I do have to state what I feel is the obvious, like please take out the trash, because it really does not bother him if it's setting in his path and he has to walk over it or around it. The constant reminding, which I feel is nagging, gets really old to me. I feel like I am the only responsible one a lot, although less than I used to feel. On the other hand, my husband is very honest and communicative. He does not like tension between us, so he makes sure that we are good and I am not upset with him. We have been married for 21 years and he has matured greatly. I have to say that at the time I married him, AS was not a term, he was just quirky. My friends and family were slow to warm to him, and he to them, so sometimes that was uncomfortable for me, too. He is much more social than he used to be. He has more of a sensor now, so he doesn't blurt out intimate details of our life to everybody anymore, which is nice. He has really great friends and is a really great friend. If you are his friend, he will be your friend for life. He is maybe the most caring individual I have ever met. I have to say that our first 5 years were very trying at times, but I had to change my mindset that an argument wasn't about winning, but it was about understanding where the other person is at. I guess we have both really matured over these years. Now we are parenting two kids, one with AS and the other NT. I am so glad that he is my partner for this ride because he really gets our AS child and is such a great dad to both of our children.
•    Anonymous said… The AS realization came only about two months ago. It explains everything of the past three years. Truthfully, it has been terrible. He did enough at the beginning, and then switched off once I got pregnant. He's blowing off going to therapy of any kind. Thats what gets me most angry. He needs to try. And he should. What I liked about him at the beginning was like an illusion. He's not that person at all. Your words give a glimmer of hope though. Thank you again.
•    Anonymous said… The non AS partner does often reach the point of feeling lonely and neglected, without their partner noticing, which adds to the downward spiral. I am looking forward to hearing of any strategies that couples have found helpful in addressing this. On a positive note, this is a second marriage for both of us, and it has lasted longer than both previous relationships partly because we are aware of AS!
•    Anonymous said… This is so very new to me. I just found out my husband has aspergers and we just got married. I am really struggling with this. On one hand I am very glad I finally understand why I do not have this emotional connection with him but on the other hand I am a person who loves affection and I was just thinking if he could get some counceling from the abuse he had when he was a child then maybe I could get it and now I feel like I will never have it. Though my ex husband cheated on me left and right indo know for a fact my husband would never ever cheat so that is a relief. How did you deal w the loss of affection?

Post your comment below…

Popular Posts

Chat for Adults with HFA and Aspergers