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 People with ASD Can Be Very STUBBORN!

“Why is my boyfriend [with ASD] so stubborn and closed-minded?”

Realizing that your boyfriend on the autism spectrum will not be a good observer of his own behavior is your first step in understanding him. ASD-like behavior is often a result of anxiety that accompanies mind-blindness.

On way for the person on the spectrum to reduce anxiety is to have rules, strict routines, and lots of structure in his life. This often appears to others as very rigid behavior. This rigidity is the most common reason for relationships problems.

Reasons for rigidity include the following:

  • anxiety about a current or upcoming event, no matter how trivial it might appear to you 
  • any violation of a rule or ritual (changing something from the way it is “supposed” to be)
  • immediate gratification of a need
  • misunderstanding or misinterpretation of other's actions
  • OCD
  • perfectionism 
  • sensory sensitivities
  • the need to avoid or escape from a non-preferred activity (e.g., chit chat)
  • need to control a situation
  • need to engage in or continue a preferred activity, usually an obsessive action or fantasy
  • transitioning from one activity to another (this is usually a problem because it may mean ending an activity before he is finished with it)

Understanding your boyfriend involves knowing the traits of the disorder - and how they manifest themselves in everyday behaviors. How does he view the world, think about things, and react to what is going on in his environment? 

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples 

==> Online Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder Have More Strengths Than Weaknesses?

“Mark, I hear so many negatives about people with autism spectrum disorder [level 1]. You say there are many more strengths than weaknesses! What are they?”

Even though there are a number of deficits associated with ASD, there are numerous positives as well. For example, most people of the autism spectrum have the following strengths:

1.    are independent and unique thinkers

2.    are internally motivated (as opposed to being motivated by praise, money, acceptance, etc.)

3.    have the ability to focus on tasks for a long period of time without needing supervision or incentive
4.    are more logical than emotional, spending a lot of time “computing” in their minds

5.    are often passionately devoted to -and eager to expound on- topics of particular interest to them

6.    are visual, 3-dimensional thinkers, which lends itself to countless creative applications

7.    have a higher “fluid intelligence” than “typical” people (i.e., the ability to find meaning in confusion, solve new problems, and draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge)

8.    have strong rote skills

9.    have terrific memories and are able to memorize large amounts of information

10.    pay attention to detail, sometimes with painstaking perfection

11.    are not restricted to any social expectations that they have to meet

12.    are not as concerned about their external appearance in comparison to “typical” people

13.    rarely judge other people based on who is smarter, richer or faster

14.    usually have a higher than average general IQ

15.    are often precocious in speaking and reading and tend to use sophisticated or formal language

…and this is my short list!

Mark Hutten, M.A.

More resources:


==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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

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