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...

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Why Your Partner on the Autism Spectrum Drifts Away from the Relationship


The reason your partner on the autism spectrum has tended to drift away from the relationship is multifactorial, but the main reason is as follows:

Due to mind-blindness, alexithymia, anxiety, excessive need for routine and structure, rituals and obsessions - and a few other comorbid conditions associated with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism - the person on the autism spectrum has difficulty connecting to his neurotypical (NT) spouse in a way that is satisfying to her. His attempts at meaningful connection are low in empathy, emotional reciprocity, and active listening, just to name a few.

Thus, the NT has registered numerous complaints over the years (with the best of intentions), and she has advised him numerous times what he could be doing to improve the relationship, but her attempts at repairing the relationship often fall short. Why?

Because the ASD partner tries to meet his wife's expectations, but his attempts to "do better" are still coming from the same place of mind-blindness, alexithymia, low emotional/social intelligence, an excessive logical way of thinking, etc. Trying harder with the same deficits in place doesn’t improve the situation - and in many cases, makes a bad problem worse, because he gets to a point of extreme frustration and gives up.

After repeated failures, the man with ASD begins to believe that meeting his wife’s needs, wants and expectations is simply impossible. He may even think, "It doesn’t matter what I say or do, it’s never good enough." Which unfortunately is true, because many things he’s trying to do or say to make things better are still coming from the same "deficits" that existed when the first sign of problems became manifest.

Thus, all the problem-solving strategies and effective communication techniques that are explored will usually be fairly useless until some of the comorbid conditions mentioned earlier are addressed first. The good news is that there are social skills that can be learned that will significantly help the ASD individual to work around some of these areas of deficits.

==> In the next coaching group for NT women (in a relationship with ASD men), we will look at strategies to deal with these comorbid conditions that will greatly increase the likelihood of effective communication and emotional reciprocity. Also, it would be important for your ASD husband to join the men’s group. See the link below the video for more information on both groups...


Comprehensive List of Traits That You’re Likely to See in Your Partner/Spouse on the Autism Spectrum




This is an informal assessment for neurotypicals (NTs) to investigate whether or not their romantic partner may have Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism:

1.    Abrupt and strong expression of likes and dislikes
2.    An apparent lack of “common sense”
3.    Anxiety
4.    Apparent absence of relaxation, recreational, or “time out” activities OUTSIDE of his/her "special interest"
5.    Avoids socializing or small talk, on and off the job
6.    Bad or unusual personal hygiene
7.    Balance difficulties
8.    Bizarre sense of humor (often stemming from a “private” internal thread of humor being inserted in public conversation without preparation or warming others up to the reason for the “punchline”)
9.    Bluntness in emotional expression
10.    Clumsiness

11.    Compelling need to finish one task completely before starting another
12.    Concrete thinking
13.    Constant anxiety about performance and acceptance, despite recognition and commendation
14.    Deliberate withholding of peak performance due to belief that one’s best efforts may remain unrecognized, unrewarded, or appropriated by others
15.    Dependence on step-by-step learning procedures (note: disorientation occurs when a step is assumed, deleted, or otherwise overlooked in instruction)
16.    Depression
17.    Difficulty in starting a project
18.    Difficulty with unstructured time
19.    Difficulty expressing anger (i.e., either excessive or “bottled up”)
20.    Difficulty in accepting compliments, often responding with quizzical or self-deprecatory language


21.    Difficulty in accepting criticism or correction
22.    Difficulty in assessing cause and effect relationships (e.g., behaviors and consequences)
23.    Difficulty in assessing relative importance of details (an aspect of the trees/forest problem)
24.    Difficulty in distinguishing between acquaintance and friendship
25.    Difficulty in drawing relationships between an activity or event and ideas
26.    Difficulty in estimating time to complete tasks
27.    Difficulty in expressing emotions
28.    Difficulty in forming friendships and intimate relationships
29.    Difficulty in generalizing
30.    Difficulty in handling relationships with authority figures

31.    Difficulty in imagining others’ thoughts in a similar or identical event or circumstance that are different from one’s own (“theory of mind” issues)
32.    Difficulty in interpreting meaning to others’ activities
33.    Difficulty in judging distances, height, depth
34.    Difficulty in learning self-monitoring techniques
35.    Difficulty in negotiating either in conflict situations or as a self-advocate
36.    Difficulty in offering correction or criticism without appearing harsh, pedantic or insensitive
37.    Difficulty in perceiving and applying unwritten social rules or protocols
38.    Difficulty in recognizing others’ faces (i.e., prosopagnosia)
39.    Difficulty in understanding rules for games of social entertainment
40.    Difficulty judging others’ personal space

41.    Difficulty with “teamwork”
42.    Difficulty with adopting a social mask to obscure real feelings, moods, reactions
43.    Difficulty with initiating or maintaining eye contact
44.    Difficulty with organizing and sequencing (i.e., planning and execution; successful performance of tasks in a logical order)
45.    Difficulty with reciprocal displays of pleasantries and greetings46.    Difficulty with writing and reports
47.    Discomfort manipulating or “playing games” with others
48.    Discomfort with competition
49.    Disinclination to produce expected results in an orthodox manner
50.    Distractibility due to focus on external or internal sensations, thoughts, and/or sensory input (e.g., appearing to be in a world of one’s own or day-dreaming)

51.    Elevated voice volume during periods of stress and frustration
52.    Excessive questions
53.    Excessive talk
54.    Exquisite attention to detail, principally visual, or details which can be visualized (“thinking in pictures”) or cognitive details (often those learned by rote)
55.    Extreme reaction to changes in routine, surroundings, people
56.    Failure to distinguish between private and public personal care habits (e.g., brushing, public attention to skin problems, nose picking, teeth picking, ear canal cleaning, clothing arrangement)
57.    Flash temper
58.    Flat affect
59.    Flat or monotone vocal expression (i.e., limited range of inflection)
60.    Generalized confusion during periods of stress

61.    Great concern about order and appearance of personal work area
62.    Gross or fine motor coordination problems
63.    Immature manners
64.    Impulsiveness
65.    Insensitivity to the non-verbal cues of others (e.g., stance, posture, facial expressions)
66.    Intense pride in expertise or performance, often perceived by others as “flouting behavior”
67.    Interpreting words and phrases literally (e.g., problem with colloquialisms, clich├ęs, neologism, turns of phrase, common humorous expressions)
68.    Known for single-mindedness
69.    Lack of trust in others
70.    Limited by intensely pursued interests


71.    Limited clothing preference (e.g., discomfort with formal attire or uniforms)
72.    Literal interpretation of instructions (e.g., failure to read between the lines)
73.    Low apparent sexual interest
74.    Low motivation to perform tasks of no immediate personal interest
75.    Low or no conversational participation in group meetings or conferences
76.    Low sensitivity to risks in the environment to self and/or others
77.    Low to medium level of paranoia
78.    Low to no apparent sense of humor
79.    Low understanding of the reciprocal rules of conversation (e.g., interrupting, dominating, minimum participation, difficult in shifting topics, problem with initiating or terminating conversation, subject perseveration)
80.    Mental shutdown response to conflicting demands and multi-tasking

81.    Missing or misconstruing others’ agendas, priorities, preferences
82.    Nail-biting
83.    Often perceived as “being in their own world”
84.    Often viewed as vulnerable or less able to resist harassment and badgering by others
85.    Out-of-scale reactions to losing
86.    Oversight or forgetting of tasks without formal reminders (e.g., lists or schedules)
87.    Perfectionism
88.    Perseveration best characterized by the term “bulldog tenacity”
89.    Poor judgment of when a task is finished (often attributable to perfectionism or an apparent unwillingness to follow differential standards for quality)
90.    Pouting frequently

91.    Preference for bland or bare environments in living arrangements
92.    Preference for repetitive, often simple routines
93.    Preference for visually oriented instruction and training
94.    Problems expressing empathy or comfort to/with others (e.g., sadness, condolence, congratulations)
95.    Psychometric testing shows great deviance between verbal and performance results
96.    Punctual and conscientious
97.    Rage, tantrum, shutdown, self-isolating reactions appearing “out of nowhere”
98.    Relaxation techniques and developing recreational “release” interest may require formal instruction
99.    Reliance on internal speech process to “talk” oneself through a task or procedure
100.    Reluctance to accept positions of authority or supervision

101.    Reluctance to ask for help or seek comfort
102.    Resistance to or failure to respond to talk therapy
103.    Rigid adherence to rules and routines
104.    Rigid adherence to social conventions where flexibility is desirable
105.    Ruminating (i.e., fixating on bad experiences with people or events for an inordinate length of time)
106.    Sarcasm, negativism, criticism
107.    Scrupulous honesty, often expressed in an apparently disarming or inappropriate manner or setting
108.    Self-injurious or disfiguring behaviors
109.    Serious all the time
110.    Shyness

111.    Sleep difficulties
112.    Slow performance
113.    Social isolation and intense concern for privacy
114.    Stilted, pedantic conversational style (“the little professor” concept)
115.    Stims (i.e., self-stimulatory behavior serving to reduce anxiety, stress, or to express pleasure)
116.    Stress, frustration and anger reaction to interruptions
117.    Strong desire to coach or mentor newcomers
118.    Strong food preferences and aversions
119.    Strong sensory sensitivities (e.g., touch and tactile sensations, sounds, lighting and colors, odors, taste
120.    Substantial hidden self-anger, anger towards others, and resentment

121.    Susceptibility to distraction
122.    Tantrums
123.    Tendency to “lose it” during sensory overload, multitask demands, or when contradictory and confusing priorities have been set
124.    Unmodulated reaction in being manipulated, patronized, or “handled” by others
125.    Unusual and rigidly adhered to eating behaviors
126.    Unusual gait, stance, posture
127.    Verbosity
128.    Very low level of assertiveness

 ==> Learn more about your AS partner's way of thinking, feeling and behaving...


=>  Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

=> Skype Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and HFA
 

When You Want to "Talk" and Your Spouse with ASD Wants to Leave

“My husband with Asperger syndrome was so affectionate and loving in the first few years of our marriage. But over the years he has drifted away from where we started. I still love this man, but now I find that most days I feel so alone in my own house. We live like college roommates at this point, we just coexist with no real exchange of intimacy. When I try to talk to him, he just leaves – walks out, and that’s the end of it. PERIOD! Is this common for a man with Asperger syndrome? Could he be cheating on me? Do they just fall out of love as their spouse ages? Do they change their mind about their commitment level when children enter the picture? I have so many questions I don’t know where to begin.”

It’s such a paradox when the neurotypical wife gets to the point where she has numerous unresolved issues that relate to her ASD husband that she feels compelled (for good reason) to complain loudly and angrily in a desperate attempt to simply get her point across and to get him connected to her - and to be a team player in the relationship! 

There was a “team spirit” back in the day in the early going of the relationship, but through the years, the team spirit got lost. Now it’s like, “I’m here, and you are over there. What happened to ‘us’?”

But here is where it becomes a paradox: The more she expresses emotion, especially troubling emotions, and gets loud, assertive - and even aggressive and demanding, the more he shuts down and withdraws both cognitively and emotionally. This, in turn, exacerbates the problem and extends the period of time that any resolve to the relationship problems can occur.

The wife, by nature, is the nurturer and wants the relationship to grow and deepen with increasing intimacy and bonding over time. The ASD husband, who is not as interested in a deeper social and emotional connection due to his developmental disorder, and whose social-emotional brain is less developed compared to his logical brain, often finds that “going deeper” into the relationship requires skills that he does not have.

I hear this phrase so often from these men: “I really try to make her happy, but it doesn’t matter what I do, it’s never enough. I’m always in trouble with her.” This mind-set creates a negative cycle that looks similar to this:
  • he feels like he is always in the doghouse
  • this causes him to feel highly unsafe in the relationship
  • this in turn raises his anxiety
  • which then increases his search for anxiety-reduction techniques
  • and unfortunately, the techniques include disconnection, detachment, and often isolation; in many cases, his wife has become his major source of stress

Of course, this cycle results in the neurotypical wife feeling unloved and abandoned, which then increases her sense of desperation - and an even stronger drive to reestablish the connection and bond with her husband. And it’s at this point the cycle just starts all over again.

So now the question becomes, “What can be done?”

In working with couples over the years, I’m finding that there is no “magic bullet” when the division between the two parties has reached this level of severity. However, a good “first start” in healing the relationship involves teaching the husband on the spectrum some simple social skills, as well as devising a tailored communication strategy for the couple that is (a) sensitive to the ASD husband’s anxiety, and (b) sensitive to the NT wife’s need for emotional reciprocity. 

Every couple is unique though, and as such, there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to creating an effective communication style or problem-solving method.

Examples of some simple, yet super effective social skills that can be taught include:
  • The art of paraphrasing what was heard
  • Reflective listening
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Learning how to pay attention to body language
  • Identifying and replacing negative thoughts and self-talk
  • Assertiveness
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • and other general conversation skills …just to name a few.

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

To All the Neurotypical Wives Who Are About To Strangle Their Asperger's/High-Functioning Autistic Spouse


WATCH THESE BEFORE YOU TOTALLY LOOSE YOUR SANITY:

==> Relationships and Mindblindness in Men with Asperger's:
https://youtu.be/bXSwGBQxW8s

==> Why Your Asperger's Partner Seems Unable to Understand How You Feel (mindblindness and alexithymia): https://youtu.be/_-dNIdpJMX4

==> Why Your Asperger's Partner Is So Sensitive To Criticism: https://youtu.be/8LNPnhCmbSw

==> Why the NT Wife and the AS Husband Have Great Difficulty Reconciling Differences: https://youtu.be/7iwiAuCdveQ

==> Why Your Partner with Asperger's is So Logical and Unemotional: https://youtu.be/5AH1I9wdjl0

==> Why the Behavior of an Individual with Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism Can Appear "Childish": https://youtu.be/sRv0s0880H8

==> Why Your AS Partner Blames You For The Relationship Problems: https://youtu.be/xluTrgTll6U

==> Traits In Your Asperger's Partner That Are "Hard-Wired" and Unlikely To Change: https://youtu.be/QUMFzkegimg

==> Cassandra Syndrome and Relationships with Partners on the Autism Spectrum: https://youtu.be/MKMqaY38Z5U

Why Your Asperger's Partner Has Difficulty Meeting Your Emotional Needs: https://youtu.be/MC9XrjL89PY

Why Your ASD Partner Has Difficulty Understanding How the Social World Works


Your Asperger's or high-functioning autistic partner has a neuro-cognitive disorder that affects many areas of functioning. This includes a difficulty with the basic understanding of the hidden (i.e., unspoken) rules of social behavior – especially if they are not obvious. Life has many of these rules. Some are written, some are spoken, and some are learned through observation and intuition (and intuition is not a strong point for people on the autism spectrum).

In trying to understand how the social world works, your AS or HFA partner will try to make sense of your explanations, but sometimes is not able to do this. As a result, your efforts at trying to “fix” the relationship difficulties will often fall short. This occurs because your “reasoning” has no meaning. He can usually only understand things for which he has a frame of reference (i.e., a picture or idea about this from other sources or from prior discussions).

For example, your partner is not able to sit in a room, observe what is happening, and understand social cues, implied directions, or how to "read between the lines." Instead, he learns facts. He does not "take in" what is happening around him that involves the rest of the social world, only what directly impacts him. And you have probably had the thought that he is “overly-logical,” only living in his head with few true expressions coming from the heart.


Many of the conversations you have had with your AS partner or spouse have generally been about knowledge and facts – not about feelings, opinions, and interactions. This occurs because he does not really know how the social world works and what one is supposed to do in various situations. This can apply to even the smallest situations you might take for granted. Not knowing the unspoken rules of situations causes anxiety and confusion. This leads to many of the behavioral issues that appear as he tries to impose his own sense of order on a “mysterious” world he doesn't fully understand.

Thus, your partner creates his own set of rules for everyday functioning to keep things from changing - and thereby minimize his anxiety. Sometimes, he may even make up some rules when it is convenient. Other times, he may attempt to make them up by looking for patterns, rules, or the logic of a situation to make it less chaotic for him and more predictable and understandable.

If there are no rules for an event or situation, he may create them from his own experiences based on what he has read, seen, or heard. He will usually have a great deal of information to use in reaching his conclusions and forming his opinions. As a result, some of his conclusions are correct - and some are incorrect. And we will likely argue with you until the cows come home if you disagree with him or have a different point of view.

He will rarely consider your point of view if he does not consider you to be an "expert." The more he views you as an illogical and overly-emotional “amateur” on the topic in question – the more stubbornness you will see. He will argue with you about your opinions if different from his own, because he views his truth as THE truth!

He thinks that his opinion is as good as yours, so he chooses his. This represents his rigid thinking. He finds it difficult to be flexible and consider alternate views, especially if he has already reached a conclusion. New ideas can be difficult to accept ("I'd rather do it the way I've always done it"). Being forced to think differently causes a lot of anxiety. And the more anxious he becomes, the more he tries to squelch this uncomfortable emotion by “resisting change” even more – sometimes resulting in a meltdown or shutdown.

NOTE: The above statements are in no way intended to be criticisms, rather to simply explain why it is often difficult for NT spouses/partners to work on the relationship problems. Living in - and trying to cope with - a very confusing social world of results in rigid behavior that can look like insensitivity, narcissism,  and even cruel disregard for others.





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

Interpersonal Relationship Skills for Ladies on the Autism Spectrum

Ladies with ASD [High-Functioning Autism] face a unique set of challenges. They may have a more difficult time with relationships, career, college, and other aspects of their life than their "typical" counterparts. It may also be more difficult for these ladies to get the help and support they need than ASD men, because many females on the spectrum  were not diagnosed as kids, and the disorder is stereotyped as affecting males more often - and to a greater degree. If you're a woman with ASD and find yourself struggling with interpersonal relationships, then read on...

Relationship tips for women on the autism spectrum:

1. Ask questions of your non-autistic partner. Gather as much information as you can about the situation you're facing together. Faced with having to operate without an intuitive understanding of how your partner feels and thinks, you may rely on your logic and assumptions. This can be dangerous!

Remember, your mind works differently than your partner's. A great strategy can be simply asking questions. For instance, instead of assuming that your partner is ready to end the relationship over a fight, ask for clarification. Good questions can include, "I'm wondering if you feel…" – or - "Can you tell me more about that?"

2. Decide how you would like to pursue and operate in relationships. This takes thought. Do you want to connect with others? Do you experience loneliness? Do you want to increase your ability to talk about your inner world or negotiate problems? Not everyone aspires to these ways of relating. Decide for yourself if you do.

If you decide to work to strengthen your connections, you may benefit from learning to monitor your "togetherness tolerance." Aspergers women often are helped by frequent breaks, shorter visits, etc. Your level of need in connecting with others may differ vastly from that of your non-autistic partner. This is fine, and may serve as a great balance for your relationship.

3. Don't give in to feelings of hopelessness or futility. Women with ASD can at times feel overwhelmed by frustration. There are times they can feel that no amount of effort on their part can ever change their ability to understand how their non-autistic partner operates. This is sometimes true. No adult can ever really become an expert on their partner's perceptions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The best strategy may be becoming an expert on yourself. This can serve as a foundation for learning new skills, having compassion for yourself and even learning to laugh at how different you and your partner may approach problems and issues.

4. Find help. There is no substitute for consulting an expert, a communication coach, a therapist, or a well-written manual. Remember that though you may have not received the understanding of relationship nuance through osmosis, like most adults, you can learn skills that can close the gap you may feel between your ability to relate and the abilities of others.

5. Hold tight to the truth that your thoughts and emotions matter. Though they may be expressed differently (or not at all!), your feelings and perceptions are valid, and are worth just as much as your partner's feelings and thoughts. This can be a difficult perspective to maintain, especially if your partner is articulate and quick. Remember, working out a problem is not a verbal jousting competition, though it can sometimes feel like one.

6. Don't be too quick to judge yourself harshly. Women on the spectrum often provide wonderful advantages to their relationships, such as:
  • heightened desire to do the right or moral thing
  • refusal to become violent or aggressive
  • inability to participate in the emotional "games" so many adults struggle with in relationships
  • being grounded
  • being logical and rational

As always, self-acceptance is the best position to take as you navigate the wonderful – and sometimes terrifying – frontiers of intimacy.

If You Have ASD [level 1], You May Be Smarter Than The Average Neurotypical


There are several signs that could mean you’re smarter, as proven by science. What’s even more amazing is that many of these signs seem like some of the traits of ASD-Level 1 and Aspergers.

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.

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

 ==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

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”).

COMMENT: 

The NT world is actually perfectly logical, if you can accept that communication is not just I say something and you hear it. It is actually even more logical, like chess -- If I say this, you will hear it as this, so I should adjust and say this, so you will hear it better as this, and then you will react in this fashion, so I will feel this way... It's a dysfunction that they are blaming on other people. What aspies should be taught to understand is that complexity is a further exercise in logic. Understanding context and emotion and action-reaction are skills that underpin most normal human interaction, and if lacking in such skill, that's a dysfunction or underdevelopment of empathy. 

5 Types of Male Autistics: Tips for NT Women

If you are a neurotypical (NT) woman considering getting into a relationship with a man known to have Asperger’s (high-functioning autism), you may want to be aware of the following types:

1. Routines Are Paramount— This individual finds great comfort in routine and will be very disappointed if his partner tries to surprise him or change him in anyway. His day-to-day schedule always looks the same – eats the same food, goes to bed at the same time, has the same (few) friends, etc.

If you try to spice things up a bit, you may find that he gets very anxious and angry. He HATES change of any kind, which often makes for a very boring life for his partner. This guy is prone to rage and meltdowns.



2. Other People Can Pick Up the Slack— This man is initially fun and alive - and oh so sweet. He carries his share of the load in the relationship (e.g., with chores, paying bills, raising the kids, etc.). But, after a few years, he regresses into lazy teenager, glued to the computer and leaving you to pick up the slack. This usually causes his partner to become very frustrated and bitter. She also goes through the years feeling very alone.

Unfortunately, when she confronts him, he puts a negative spin on her complaints and attempts to make her look like the “bad guy.” His refusal to look at his contribution to the relations problems often brings out the worst in the woman (she can’t fix the problem, and efforts to fix it makes it worse).

3. Logic Over Emotion— This individual never talks about his inner feelings. Instead, he’s overly logical. He’s very biased to his values and belief system – and finds it extremely difficult to empathize and to understand other’s point of view. He may appear highly self-centered and is always absorbed in his own activities, thoughts and challenges, which often makes his woman feel neglected and unloved.

4. Hot, Then Cold— Unfortunately, this guy gives no clues up front that his commitment-level will wane over time. In the early stages of the relationship, you may find that he is literally obsessed with you – texting you all the time, saying all the right things, wanting to spend A LOT of time with you, etc. However, after a few months (or years), he loses interest and instead focuses on work or one of his other (new) obsessions. In addition, his sex drive may diminish drastically.

His early passion for you was indeed genuine, but once the newness of the relationship wears off, he feels the need to find a new passion rather than keeping the former passion alive and pumping.

5. Goals 1st and Relationships 2nd— This individual may come across as utterly heartless. He is mainly goal-oriented and has zero tolerance for mistakes. Break his trust once, and you may pay the price for several weeks – if not months. He will likely be the type of partner that is very stubborn and immovable about many matters (e.g., you suggest that the two of you go on a 4-day cruise, and he says, “No way in hell!”).

Don’t try to argue with this guy, because he is NEVER wrong. On the upside, he is usually very successful, financially independent, and educated (e.g., an engineer or accountant).

It likely that many men with ASD have varying degrees of all (or most) of the traits listed above, but tend to exhibit one or two types predominately.

Now that we’ve looked at these 5 types of ASD men, NT partners need to understand that relationships don’t really thrive on love. Rather, they thrive on acceptance, compassion and understanding.

Some woman can find it in the heart to accept the things they can’t change and to stay in a relationship that didn’t turn out the way they thought it would. Others may feel the need to move on and build a relationship that’s more in line with their expectations. Either way is acceptable – and nobody has the right to judge! 
 
(Note: There would be a third option, and a very sad one indeed. And that would be for the NT woman to simply tough it out, never accepting things for what they are, and living a life that she may deem "miserable" and unsatisfying.) 

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

 ==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

 

Help for Adults with Asperger's (high-functioning autism) and Their Partners/Spouses

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