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

Problems with Empathy: Tips for Adults on the Autism Spectrum

As people with ASD (high-functioning autism), we are often blamed for lacking empathy. Empathy, as you know, is the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand his or her emotions and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.

Empathy is NOT agreement, commiseration, endorsement, pity or sympathy. Instead, it is getting into another person's world and connecting with him or her – both emotionally and compassionately. 
We don't have to agree with other people or fully understand them to be able to empathize, and we don't even need to be able to relate to what they are experiencing specifically (although sometimes that can help). We just need to be present, connect with others where they are, and acknowledge what they are experiencing.

Is it possible for anyone on the autism spectrum to become more empathic given that “lack of displayed empathy” is one of the major traits of ASD?  I believe the answer is “yes.” But we must make the effort to “learn” this skill since it does not come naturally or instinctively to us. 
The best way to learn to show more empathy is to look at – and copy – the traits of those individuals who are already doing a good job in this area. Below is a list of such traits.

People who empathize – spontaneously and consistently – exhibit many of the following traits:
  1. adopt the Native American proverb, “Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins before you criticize him”
  2. ask others how they are feeling – and really listen to what they say
  3. ask themselves where empathy is missing, taking inventory of their life and relationships and noticing where empathy may be wanted, needed, or simply absent
  4. challenge their own preconceptions and prejudices by searching for what they share with people rather than what divides them
  5. develop an ambitious imagination
  6. develop the ability to be present to what’s really going on within—to the unique feelings and needs the other person is experiencing in that very moment
  7. embrace lifestyles and worldviews very different from their own
  8. empathize with people whose beliefs they don’t share or who may be “enemies” in some way
  9. find other people more interesting than themselves, but do not interrogate them
  10. have an insatiable curiosity about strangers
  11. listen hard to others and do all they can to grasp their emotional state and needs
  12. make themselves vulnerable, removing their masks and revealing their true feelings
  13. master the art of radical listening
  14. realize that empathy doesn’t just make you good—it’s good for you, too
  15. realize that they may have an apology to give, an acknowledgement to make, or simply an admission that they want to bring more compassion to a particular relationship
  16. talk to people outside their usual social circle
  17. tend to be an “interested inquirer”
  18. try to understand the world inside the head of the other person
  19. understand that all genuine education comes about through experience
  20. will talk to the person next to them on the bus or in the check-out line at the grocery, for example

Obviously, it would be an impossible task for you to dive-in and employ all 20 of the traits listed above. However, it would be within your reach to pick one or two of these traits, and make an agreement with yourself to implement them on a consistent basis. You can do it! I have faith in you!!! It just takes practice.

Resources for couples affected by ASD: 

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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


•    I do believe we learn how to communicate better ND understand others better but I don't see the above list of 20 being helpful. I don't think the fake until you make it will really be the road to better understand in this case especially since many of the trait listed involve a different method of internal hard wiring. The secret is to get to the same end result using your internal hard wiring. Case in point I have gone through a lot of assertiveness training, business related, collage courses and with private therapy. On the conscious level I understand what was being taught. I can see the difference in the behavior response discussed. But internally it just doesn't make sense to me. I can really wrap my mind around it enough to effectively us it. I end up feeling like I am being dishonest and manipultive. This results in be giving off the wrong body lqnguage nd tone. So what was to be an assertive action end up coming off as sarcatic or passive aggressive or other wrong message. Why because in the end i am still speaking a different language. It ike talking louder and putting on a heavy accent and assuming the other person will now understand you.

•    I'm kind of half way between your sentiment and the article. For me, I over-empathize. I find people overwhelming. But I can't seem to use that understanding of a person to effectively communicate and connect with them. I often see something in them they don't want to acknowledge. Combine that with being overly logical and blunt and knowing but not understanding social norms, and I can just come across as being very hurtful, when my goal is to help. I have a hard time navigating that. The biggest challenge for me, though, is turning all this into a solid connection with a person. It's like reading a book you just can't get into, not because you don't understand what's going on, it just doesn't grab you. That's how I feel with other people. Although I do have a strong desire to help people when concrete (usually physical) acion can be taken.

•    This question is for NT partners married to an Aspie spouse - what are the reason(s) to stay with them? Here is a bit about my wife and I and why I am asking. I ask this because I seem to "have" Aspergers, and I see the pain my wife goes through. As I continue to gain a deeper understanding (albeit a conceptual understanding) of what it means to be in a relationship as an NT, the sadder it seems. It appears to me that if the goal of the relationship is partnership it cannot be found with someone with Aspergers. We do not have children, we have no deeply functional reason to be together other than love and partnership. I very much like and appreciate this about our relationship, but she appears to be a better partner and seems like she is getting short changed in a sense. To an outside observer, I imagine that I appear like a good partner. I support her goals, I respect her in multiple ways, I encourage her to do things that make her happy, I don't care about social norms, I happen to make a substantial income relative to most people and therefore pay for everything so she doesn't have to work, happy to help out and do the chores and whatever else is helpful, I am loving towards out cats, people see us and consistently tell her "he loves you so much". Etc. Etc. But I don't know how to respond to her emotions (on multiple occasions, I have walked away from her while she was crying), I seem to really only understand what she is saying when it is laid out in an argumentative/logical format (and even then I rarely seem to feel what she is saying), I don't communicate well, I don't listen well, I am often swirling around in my own head (sometimes during serious conversations I will trace geometrical shapes in my head when we talk - and the more I try to stop it the stronger it goes). I love my wife - I care for her and I want her to be happy. However, after several years of trying to change, I see that she is now looking for happiness in changing her expectations of a partner. Perhaps this is the "appropriate" thing to do, but logically I cannot understand why. It seems the proposition is to spend a life with someone that cannot deliver emotional understanding and comfort and in exchange one receives...? I want her to be happy, and I would like for that to be with me, but I worry that I am holding her back from finding a person who can make her happy (or be alone, but not with someone who consistently disappoints her). Thank you for any insights you may be willing to share.

•    This is empathy. Empathy is the understanding of what another is going through. Expression of empathy is what I think a better term would be. I most certainly have empathy and can understand what others are going through. My problem is how to express it in a way that can convey that I understand rather than overtaking and making their emotions my own towards them. But this can also be an issue for our own emotions and how to appropriately express them in a NT world. As far as empathy within the relationship, as an aspie in a very good relationship with my partner and with kids, I have found communication even what either of us think is redundant to be key.

Making Sense of “Odd” Behaviors in People with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Adults with ASD [High-Functioning Autism] often display advanced abilities in language, reading, mathematics, spatial skills, and music (just to name a few) – sometimes into the "gifted" range. But, this is often offset by significant problems in other areas – especially in the social realm.

This combination of strengths and weaknesses can lead to problems with spouses, and even employees. People on the spectrum appear perfectly “normal” (for the lack of a better term); however, on closer inspection, several problematic issues related to the traits associated with disorder reveal themselves. 

Here are a few of the misunderstandings associated with ASD:

Misunderstanding #1—

The autistic employee may be regarded by employers as a "poor performer." The employee’s low tolerance for what he perceives to be boring and mundane tasks can easily become frustrating for him, resulting in his refusal to complete certain tasks (or do them slowly). 
Consequently, employers may well consider the person with ASD to be lazy, arrogant and/or insubordinate. This “misunderstanding” often results in a “power-struggle” between the person with ASD  and his boss, and in combination with the autism-related anxieties, can result in problematic behaviors (e.g., angry outbursts, withdrawal, absenteeism, walking out on the job, etc.).

Misunderstanding #2—

Two traits often found in adults on the spectrum are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the person’s ability to empathize with others. As a result, he may be perceived by partners/spouses and fellow employees as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Misunderstanding #3—

An issue related to alexithymia involves the inability to identify and control strong emotions (e.g., sadness, anger, etc.). This leaves the individual prone to sudden emotional outbursts (e.g., meltdowns), or bouts of withdrawal (e.g., shutdowns). 
The inability to express feelings using words may also predispose the autistic individual to use physical acts (e.g., destruction of property) to articulate his mood and release “emotional energy.” All of these traits may give others the impression that the person is emotionally unstable, rude, self-centered, or simply unwilling to work on relationship problems in a respectful and rational manner.

Misunderstanding #4—

People on the autism spectrum often report a feeling of being “unwillingly detached” from the environment (e.g., at home, work, school, etc.). They often have difficulty making friends due to poor social skills. The complexity and inconsistency of the social world can pose an extreme challenge for these individuals. Accordingly, feeling incapable of winning and keeping friends, they prefer to engage in solitary activities. As a result, partners/spouses and fellow employees often view the autistic individual as “self-absorbed” and “narcissistic.”

Misunderstanding #5—

People with ASD may be overly literal and may have difficulty interpreting and responding to sarcasm, banter, or metaphorical speech. Difficulties with social interaction may also be manifest in a lack of small talk and humor. These problems can be severe or mild depending on the person. 
Due to their idiosyncratic behavior, precise language, unusual interests, and impaired ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues – particularly in interpersonal conflict – they are often the target of bullying in the workplace and branded as "odd.”

Making sense of “odd” behavior:

The obsessive-compulsive approach to life results in the narrow range of interests and insistence on set routines typical of adults on the spectrum. However, it usually starts as a cognitive (i.e., thinking) issue before it becomes a behavioral one. 
Cognitive issues, such as the inability to take someone else's perspective (i.e., mindblindness) and the lack of cognitive flexibility (e.g., black-and-white thinking) can cause many of the behaviors we see in these individuals. We know there is a cognitive element by looking at the autistic person's behaviors. There is always some distress, anxiety, or obsession manifested in every “inappropriate” behavior.

The ASD individual's cognitive difficulties may lead to inaccurate interpretations and understanding of the world. How someone interprets a situation determines how he will respond to it. Many times the interpretation of an event is either not an accurate one, or not one that leads to positive or prosocial actions. 
If the event can be reinterpreted for the person with ASD, it can lead to a more productive outcome. In doing this, partners/spouses and employees must first try to understand how the "autistic" interprets a situation. All of his behaviors are filtered through his perception of the way the world works.

More resources for couples affected by ASD: 

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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


•    I agree with everything that is mentioned above although some of the traits don't apply to me. At least I don't think they do but my employer and family may differ. I just appreciate that these traits have been identified. My employer's reaction may be, you're an adult...recognize these problems and get over them if you want to work here...if you have issues...find another job!
•    The biggest problem for me is metaphorical speech. While I take things literally at first, as soon as I realize a certain common phrase is metaphorical, I adapt quickly and from that point forward use and understand the phrase as metaphorical. Where the issue comes in is when people use a common metaphorical idiom as being literal and then scoff at me for not understanding the literal interpretation. Sigh.
•    My son, 22, has aspergers. Was diagnosed at 4 and been under the care of a physician ever since. He has trouble with all of the issues mentioned in this article. He's been trying to make a business out of his interest which requires being on social media but has encountered a mob of bullies that have been relentless for the past 2 years. It's really affecting him triggering a really bad meltdown recently. I don't know how or the best way to help the situation. When or if do I step in and help? They have already been informed he has aspergers and choose to insist that he be "normal" because he is an adult. Any advice would be awesome. 

Traits of ASD that “Soon-to-be” Neurotypical Spouses Need to Be Aware Of

“Would there be a list of traits associated with autism spectrum disorder that I could share with my sister (engaged to a man w/ASD) to help her understand him more? He really is a good guy, but sometimes he’s ‘difficult’ to understand.”  

Below are some of the most prevalent features of ASD observed in relationships and other social situations. These traits are just that – TRAITS. They are not “personality flaws” or behavior designed to be purposefully offensive.

The following are traits that can cause confusion for the NT partner. The individual with ASD:

  • may have only one approach to a problem
  • may have signs of Tourette syndrome (motor, vocal or behavioral)
  • can be confused by the emotions of others and have difficulty expressing their own feelings
  • can be very sensitive to particular sounds and forms of touch, yet lack sensitivity to low levels of pain
  • may have difficulty conceptualizing and appreciating the thoughts and feelings of others
  • may have difficulty establishing and coping with the changing patterns and expectations in daily life
  • may not seem to be aware of the unwritten rules of social conduct, and will inadvertently say or do things that may offend or annoy other people
  • may find that eye contact breaks their concentration
  • often fails to comprehend that the eyes convey information on a person’s mental state or feelings
  • may exhibit inappropriate laughter 
  • lacks ‘central drive for coherence’ (i.e., an inability to see the relevance of different types of knowledge to a particular problem)
  • lacks subtlety in retaliating when threatened; may not have sufficient empathy and self-control to moderate the degree of expressed anger
  • may be less able to learn from mistakes
  • is less aware of the concept of personal space
  • may be lost for words due to a high level of anxiety 
  • may become aware of their isolation and, in time, are genuinely motivated to socialize with others, but their social skills are immature and rigid - and others often reject them
  • may talk to themselves or “vocalize their thoughts” 
  • may talk too much or too little, lack cohesion to the conversation, and have an idiosyncratic use of words and patterns of speech
  • is often aware of the poor quality of their handwriting and may be reluctant to engage in activities that involve extensive writing
  • often has the inability to ‘give messages with their eyes’
  • is often very stoic, enduring pain with little evidence in their body language and speech that they may actually be experience agony
  • once their mind is on a particular track, they appear unable to change (even if the track is clearly wrong or going nowhere)
  • uses predominantly a visual style of thinking (and learning)
  • prefers factual, nonfiction reading
  • prefers to be left alone to continue their activity uninterrupted
  • routine is imposed to make life predictable and to impose order, because novelty, chaos or uncertainty are intolerable 
  • may seem to evoke the maternal or predatory instinct in others
  • social contact is tolerated as long as the other people talk about facts and figures – and not emotions
  • has a strong desire not to appear ‘stupid’
  • has a strong preference to interact with people who are far more interesting, knowledgeable, and more tolerant and accommodating of their lack of social awareness
  • has a tendency to interrupt; has difficulty identifying the cues for when to start talking
  • exhibits the tendency to make irrelevant comments
  • may appear “lost in their own little world” – staring off into space
  • may avoid “team playing” at work or in the marriage because they know they lack competence, or are deliberately excluded because they are a liability 
  • may be detached from - or having difficulty sensing - the feelings of others

ASD is primarily characterized by impaired social interaction and limited social-emotional reciprocity. This impairment may go well beyond poor social skills and being socially awkward, depending on the individual’s current anxiety-level. Partners of the autism spectrum tend to have a disconnection in their responses to others if a high-level of emotional intelligence is needed for the interactions. However, as stated previously, this tendency has no malicious intent.

Resources for couples affected by ASD: 


==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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

Adults with ASD: Enough with the Negativity!

“I’m so tired of hearing all the negatives about Asperger’s. Those of us with the disorder are often on the receiving end of prejudice – and often misunderstood. It would be nice to hear something positive for a change!”

I agree wholeheartedly. There are significantly more positives associated with ASD (high-functioning autism) than negatives. And the general public does seem to focus on the negative stuff.

For example, people on the spectrum allegedly (a) talk forever without pause about their favorite topic; (b) say things in conversation that are inappropriate, divergent or tactless; (c) respond violently to frustrating situations; (d) fail to read others’ standard body language; (e) are not good at small talk, especially intimate bantering; (f) dislike establishing eye contact; and (g) can’t do things that require social interaction …just to name a few.

The truth is that SOME people on the spectrum have SOME of these traits. To say that ALL "spectrumites" have ALL these traits is just plain stereotyping.

Indeed, there are certain features of ASD (level one) that people with the disorder can use to their advantage. Here are just a few (and there are many more that I could add to the list):

1. Exceptional Global Insights: Many people with ASD possess the knack for finding unique connections among multidisciplinary facts/ideas that allows them to create novel, rational, and important insights that other people would not have reached without them.

2. Rational Decision Making: Their ability to make logical decisions and stick to their course of action without being influenced by impulse or emotional responses enables them to navigate effectively through tough situations without being yanked off-course.
==> Living with ASD: eBook and Audio Instruction for Neurodiverse Couples

3. Internal Drive: Rather than being swayed by social pressure or fears, social convention, or the opinions of others, they can hold firm to their own purpose. Their exceptional ideas often thrive – despite the pessimism of others.

4. Self-Governing Thinking: Their willingness to consider unpopular or strange possibilities creates new options and opportunities that can pave the way for others.

5. Ability to Live in the Moment: The “typical” individual often fails to notice what's in front of his eyes because he’s distracted by social cues or random chitchat. However, the person with ASD tends to truly focus on the sensory input that surrounds him (e.g., he may see the beauty that others miss). In other words, he has achieved the ideal of mindfulness.

6. Intense Focus: Many people with ASD have the ability to focus on one objective over long periods of time without getting sidetracked, which enables them to accomplish large and demanding tasks.

7. Seeing Past the Bullshit: Their ability to recognize and speak the truth that is being "conveniently" ignored by other people is often crucial to the success of a project or business venture.

8. Passion: Many are truly enthusiastic about the things and ideas in their lives. They often take the time, imagination, and energy necessary to master their area of interest – and they persevere even when the going gets tough.

9. Attention to Detail: Their ability to remember and process small details without getting lost or overwhelmed gives them a unique advantage when solving multifaceted problems.

10. 3-Dimensional Visioning: Their ability to employ 3-dimensional thinking gives them a distinctive perspective when designing and creating solutions.

Having a person with Asperger’s in your life can have a profound and positive impact on your beliefs, perceptions and expectations. The person's unique way of thinking is often both refreshing and enlightening.

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


•    Anonymous said…  My 20 yr old son is the MOST amazing person I've ever known. It has been my greatest pleasure, guiding him through life. He makes me laugh, teaches me so many things (ridiculously intelligent) and is always there for me, when I need help (very kind) He's the best guy to hang out with (witty & cool) I wish life was easier for him, and that he could see himself through my eyes, and know how utterly incredible he is.  I adore him, just the way he is...  :)
•    Anonymous said…  My grand girl is amazing ,I love having conversations with her  ❤she always tells me exactly how she feels . and loves a joke or a laugh
•    Anonymous said… Aspergers is not a disability, it's a gift.. Everyone with Aspergers is CONNECTED... Autism was discovered in 1944, around the same time 6 million Jews were slaughtered... Aspergers was discovered in 1981, the same year I was born.
•    Anonymous said… Being married only half a year, you might want to save your post and read it again 40 years from now. Then I think you might have greater understanding of what others have shared. Just a thought...
•    Anonymous said… Boy get this a lot. I'm a mum and drive and been a carer for mum but still get negativities back at me. My children grown fine 2 are autisic and my daughter not. I no I done my self proud but only my kids seen that. I'm aspie.
•    Anonymous said… Having an Aspie in your life may be positive IF they aren’t your spouse or child. The traits that make them special also destroy the soul of the people closest to them. 28 years married to one.
•    Anonymous said… I agree! My 11 yr old is fine his diagnosis Also! But when it's meeting time at school I hear nothing but negativity... 😠
•    Anonymous said… I agree, my 12 year old daughter is fine with her diagnosis!! It does always seem to be the negatives people focus on in life in general. It’s sad.
•    Anonymous said… I am so proud of my daughter. She worked really hard to overcome the obstacles that were preventing her from being able to read and when it finally clicked with her she took off running. Her teachers all brag on her and tell me what an amazing influence she is on the other kids because she actively participates and shows a true joy of learning. She is a natural artist and when given free reign to express herself on her chosen medium (her skin) she makes the most beautiful drawings! She sings, draws, computes, writes stories, wants to be a leader and an activist. She may have some obstacles, but she has many more strengths.
•    Anonymous said… I feel them, especially with all this streotype culture going around while most being so busy therefore not having enough time even for a second subsequently which gets worse there are people poorly educated about people with Autism because they fail to understand that people with Autism have a mind of their own!
•    Anonymous said… I know that my boyfriend is the first man I’ve dated that can communicate with me in a way that really registers with me more than anyone else. When there is an issue, he is direct, spells it out in no uncertain terms and makes sure that I understand what is going on. As I sometimes have difficulties with relationships and communication due to my own psychological issues, I am grateful to him for this blunt honesty each and every time.
•    Anonymous said… I see Aspergers as a blessing and a gift that I wouldn't trade for anything. I love that I'm a Aspie and glad to finally have been diagnosed (at age 53). I have only one purpose in calling my Aspergers a disability and that is to get the medical, mental, and financial, help I need (which I can't get if there is "nothing wrong with me"). The only reason for that is having finally fallen apart (long long term Autism burnout) from having been forced into the life of a neurotypical since my birth.
•    Anonymous said… I see patterns where others see only chaos.
•    Anonymous said… I️ tell no one, and nobody even notices, yet everyone loves my personality and says how funny I️ am to be around. I️ excel at work and have never been reprimanded, The sad truth of it is that had they seen the label instead of the person their opinions would have changed
•    Anonymous said… I truly feel you. I hope in the future there is a dating site strictly for aspies. I think my wasband would sign up.
•    Anonymous said… I'm the same. I struggle in the social side of life (and therefore to get jobs) but once there I ignore all the banter in the staffroom and just get on with the job.
•    Anonymous said… IMO, our world needs people with aspergers. My son is so smart and pragmatic. He's a natural problem solver. Thank God for people like him, because we surely have plenty of problems that need solved.
•    Anonymous said… January 26, 2016. I met the man of my dreams. He definitely has aspergers and was diagnosed at a young age. In his heart he cares about people, wants to be a wonderful, providing husband/stepfather, and he is doing just that. We were married June 4th of this year, he is amazing. I really hate when people stereo type and categorize based on a diagnosis. Everyone is different, just because you had a shitty experience doesn't mean everyone else will and that you should preach that no one should date an aspie.
•    Anonymous said… Like most things in life, I find it's a very mixed thing. On one hand I have frequent nightmares and can get overwhelmed by too much perception coming in all at once.
•    Anonymous said… lol my son is so unique and interesting!
•    Anonymous said… Memory stronger than an elephant
•    Anonymous said… My 12 yr old often astounds me with his knowledge of odd facts and trivia he's absorbed goodness knows where. He also loves the cats and is so loving with them. He has fantastic hand/eye co-ordination. I'm always learning something about their view and take on the world, and their quirks. I feel like I've just scratched the surface and yet I know them the best.
•    Anonymous said… My 17 year old son is amazing! He's our gentle giant!
•    Anonymous said… My 23 yr old is funny, and loves her cats like they were her children. She's really good at ordering bookcases full of books. She can be blunt but very perceptive. Her problem solving often comes in totally from left field, I love that about her.
•    Anonymous said… My DS 12 has an excellent eye for detail. And different ways of solving problems.
•    Anonymous said… My husband has the benefits and I wish I were more like him in some ways. His Aspie traits are minimal but just enough to cause me occasional frustration and loneliness. I only wish he had as much interest in understanding me as I do him.
•    Anonymous said… My husband is amazing! I love him to pieces and think he and my daughter are the greatest things since sliced bread. There are times when it isn't perfect, but what the heck is? Contrast is what makes it all worth it in the end. So many people questioned how I could be with him, given I'm super spiritual and he's a progressive humanist, I tell them plain and simple, "He's the greatest man I've ever met." My aspie has all the traits listed in the second half of the article. I just wish he could apply that single-minded focus to cleaning the house. Lol
•    Anonymous said… My partner displays only 1 out of 10 of your positive traits but displays all of the stereotypical negative traits.
•    Anonymous said… My partner has Asperger's and yes it can be frustrating at times as I'm sure I can be. I wouldn't change a thing about him. To me, he's perfect. I've read some really awful things about how people treat their Aspie partners. My partner doesn't like being bought presents and I was originally offended but why should I or others try to impose their cultural values on him? I think people need to be kinder. 12 years and still going strong!
•    Anonymous said… Negativity comes mostly from people who are in relationship with some one with Asperger...We are on receiving end of it. Maybe it's a gift to the person that has it, but for those around them , I would say that 70-80% of the experience is negative.
•    Anonymous said… People on the outside are quick to notice what is perceived as a difficulty. Try living on the inside.
•    Anonymous said… Same. Mine is 14 and he's determined, clever, thoughtful, pragmatic, money-concious and polite.
•    Anonymous said… Similar for me - once I realised I didn't have to follow the social norms with my partner, I found I liked being free of them myself! We buy each othrr gifts when we want to, we never have to. And the gifts have more meaning now. It's just one positive example.
•    Anonymous said… This is similar to what I said recently, if I had the choice I would choose to be an aspie every time
•    Anonymous said… This proud Aspie can understand my students because I've been therre! And I'm therre every day!
•    Anonymous said… Um, I’m 24 years in, 5 children and yes, some of that has been really hard. But, a definitive diagnosis a few years ago, the right type of counseling and I have come to see that my husbands traits both positive and negative have changed me for the better.
•    Anonymous said… Ummm....There's many wonderful things i can and do say in regard to my friend but nothing positive comes to mind re the moments i understand as Aspergers...but will stay tuned to this post in hope that there is something.

Post your comment below…

"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

Crucial Interventions for Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Here you will find important information (in alphabetical order) for those experiencing relationship problems associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder:


§  Anger to Meltdown to Guilt to Self-Punishment: An ...

§  Anger-Control Problems in Adults on the Autism Spe...

§  Asperger’s Adults and Blue Mood

§  Asperger’s Adults and Problems with Social Imagina...

§  AS and Attention Deficit Disorder

§  Asperger's and Problems with Prediction

§  Asperger's and That Damn Anxiety Problem

§  Boyfriend Doesn't Like To Be Touched?

§  Boyfriend Has a Computer Addiction?

§  Challenges Facing Wives Who Are Married to Asperge...

§  Conversation Starters: Advice from a Guy with Aspe...

§  Denying the Diagnosis of Asperger's

§  Discouraged "Neurotypical" Wife Speaks Out

§  Does My New "Friend" Have Asperger’s?

§  Does Your Man Have Asperger’s?

§  Drug/Alcohol Abuse and Asperger Syndrome

§   Feeling "Out of Place" in the World

§  Feeling Like a “Bad” Partner or Spouse in a Relati...

§  Having a Positive Attitude with Asperger's

§  Help for Adults with Asperger's (high-functioning ...

§  How Aspie Husbands Can Avoid Arguments With NT Wives

§  How I Live with Asperger’s: Tips from a 52-Year-Ol...

§  How to Avoid Meltdowns: Calming Strategies for Adu...

§  How to Deal with Me: An Aspergers Man’s Note to Hi...

§  How to Improve Relationships with Women: Help for ...

§  How to Make it Through the Holiday Season: Tips fo...

§  How to Stay Out of the Doghouse with Your Neurotyp...

§  Inflexibility

§  Is it Sadness or Full-Blown Depression: Tips for A...

§  Is Your Asperger’s Partner a Jerk – or is it a Def...

§  It’s Asperger’s! Should You Share the News?

§  Lack of "Displays of Affection" in Adults with Asp...

§  Making Sense of “Odd” Asperger’s Behavior

§  Medications That Help with Asperger’s Symptoms

§  Men Who Won't "Work" On Their Relations...

§  Men with Asperger's: Summary of Traits that Affect...

§  Men With Asperger's: What Potential Partners Need ...

§  Message to Aspies: Are you afraid to take an hones...

§   Poor Time-Management Skills

§  Positive Traits of Asperger’s Men as Reported by T...

§  Problems with Empathy

§  Relationship Difficulties Due to Deficits in "Theo...

§  Resentment in the Neurotypical Wife

§  Rituals and Obsessions in Adults with Aspergers an...

§  Rules of Effective Listening: Tips for Men on the ...

§  Ruminations in People with Asperger's and High-Fun...

§  Self-Management of Angry Outbursts for Men with As...

§  Should You Disclose Your Diagnosis to Others?

§  Should You Try to Act "Normal?" – Tips for People ...

§  Shutdowns in Spouses/Partners with Asperger’s

§  Signs That Your Neurotypical Wife Is Becoming Bitt...

§  Social Skills 101: Tips for Aspies

§  Suicidal Thinking in People with Asperger's and Hi...

§  Taking Things Too Personally: Tips for Adults on t...

§  Telling Others That You Have Asperger's

§  The 3 Anger Styles of Adults with Asperger’s and HFA

§  The 3 Types of Aspies

§  The Angry Aspie: Tips for Adults on the Autism Spe...

§  The Bullying of People with Asperger’s: Long-Term ...

§  The Easily Frustrated Aspie

§  The Fear of Being Diagnosed with an Autism Spectru...

§  The Hidden Curriculum: Tips for Dummies

§  The Risks Associated with an “Asperger’s” Label

§  Tics in Adults with Asperger Syndrome

§  Tips for Discouraged Neurotypical Spouses: Are You...

§  Traits That Contribute to Relationship ...

§  Traits That Get Misinterpreted As "Inap...

§  Understanding the Mind of Your Asperger’s Mate

§  Understanding the Mind of Your Partner with Asperg...

§  Understanding Your Asperger's Boyfriend: 12 Tips f...

§  What I Do to Cope with Asperger's: My Personal Story

§  What I’ve Learned About Me: Self-Confessions of an...

§  What To Do After a Big Fight With Your Neurotypica...

§  What To Do When Your "Aspie" Man Fails To Empathize

§  What To Do When Your "Neurotypical" Wife Resents You

§  When Your Asperger's Man is a Reluctant Talker: Ti...

§  Why “Neurotypical” Wives Are Unhappy in Their Marr...

§  Why Adults with Asperger’s Are Prone to "Meltdowns"

§  Why Adults with Asperger's May Seem Inflexible

§  Why Do Some Adults with Asperger’s Get Labeled as ...

§  Why I Am Glad I Got Diagnosed

§  Why Some Asperger's Men Fall Out of Love - Seeming...

§  Why the NT Partner's Attempts to Fix the Relations...

§  Why Your Asperger's Husband or Partner Refuses to ...

§  Wife's Account of the Ups and Downs of an Asperger...

§  Women in Relationships with Asperger's Men -- Our ...

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