Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Adults with Asperger's and the People Who Love Them

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Another outstanding article by Jody Smith.
"Asperger's Syndrome" (AS) is a term that's fairly new to many of us. "Neurotypical" (NT) is another one. A neurotypical individual is simply one who doesn't have Asperger's Syndrome, a neurological condition related to autism. Asperger's affects the lives of those who have it and the lives of those around them.

Some people with Asperger's Syndrome choose to stay single. Others will marry, and some will have children. Some will have happy marriages and families. And some will not. One important factor in determining their chances of happiness is ... awareness. Awareness that there are two different languages of two different worlds being spoken (or not spoken) in the household.

Anger, resentment,
depression, grief, rejection ... all are experienced on both sides of the great neurological divide. That is, unless the spouses have the chance to realize that this divide exists. And learn how to translate for each other.

Due to the nature of this neurological condition, empathy and emotional intimacy are lacking in a relationship with an Aspie. This doesn't mean that love is lacking however. Aspies love just like anyone else. But they do not grasp the need of having this love expressed, and they don't know when and how it should be done. Unless their neurotypical spouse is willing to teach them. Verbally, concisely, specifically. Not depending on hints, or hoping he or she will just "pick up on it". Aspies don't pick up on it. Like color-blind people can't tell when the stop light turns to green.

The neurotypical spouse has their hands full. So does their Aspie partner. Both may be in for far more than they'd bargained for and certainly have had no real help until just recently, as research has come to light.

A diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome may not sound appealing to most of us. But for the AS individual who has spent their life bumping up against misunderstandings and anger and rejection for reasons they couldn't begin to understand, such a diagnosis can bring relief.

And for their NT spouse, there is reassurance that they are sane after all. There was something different at play all through their relationship. They weren't being oversensitive, being unreasonable. There was a very real disconnect right in the middle of their relationship.

And now, due to the research and media attention, these couples have a chance to bring new methods of communication and understanding to their relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions on Asperger Syndrome
Learning Discoveries Psychological Services: What is Asperger's?
Families of Adults Affected by
Asperger's Syndrome
Adults with Asperger's Syndrome often go undiagnosed
Please, Learn About Asperger Syndrome And Give Hope to Non-AS Spouses
Adults with Asperger's Syndrome (from ASpar)
Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Please click below, and read the comments that others left, and leave your own.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

How exciting to see how science and the medical field has FINALLY "come out" about Asperger's and to discuss just how it affects those of you with it and to help those of us who do not to help and understand you. This has been such a long time coming and I just wish there could have been more wisdom and knowledge about it when you were young so that you didn't have to suffer as you did. I still think you have learned to cope and make your way in this world admirably! I'm just sorry you have had to feel so separate or different for as long as you have because no one understood. I'm also very glad there is information about this now. You have been very successful and I'm so very proud of you. Thank you for sharing this information with me. I appreciate it and wish you the very best always!