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Asperger's Syndrome in Adults

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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Adults with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) were once children with Asperger's Syndrome. This seems a simple straightforward observation. But it is neither simple nor straightforward.

This disorder first surfaced about 70 yrs ago. Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician, studied patients who were intelligent and verbal, but socially stilted with poor communication skills. During WWII his research was lost and has only come to light again in the 1980's.

Since the research is so new, it stands to reason that for most of their lives, adults with AS didn't know they had it. And it stands to reason that the problems that come with Asperger's have dogged them all their lives, with no explanation other than the one hurled by kids at school — "You're weird." All their lives they've wondered how people successfully relate to others. Because the Aspie can't.

They embrace an all-engrossing world of a few passions. These passions are all they think about, or talk about. They can't tell if they've talked too long for a listener's comfort. The Aspie can't read the signs. They didn't know there were any signs.

Spouses may feel unloved and ignored. Their children may battle with depression, having never felt known as an individual, or loved in a discernible way by their AS parent.

Changes in habits and schedules and daily life are upsetting to the Aspie, and may prompt scenes or withdrawal. Lights may be too bright and blinding, and sounds may be too loud and penetrating. Their skin is often hypersensitive to whatever it touches. They avoid eye contact with others. Tight control over their routines creates a sense of order, keeping at arm's length a world that threatens to move in too closely.

Finally, often after years of withdrawal, the adult with Asperger's Syndrome now hears that there are reasons, other than the old school-yard taunt — "You're weird." Reasons that can be understood, and that help remove the stigma of disapproval. It's possible to learn how to deal with some issues that raise like sores for many with AS. The adult with Asperger's Syndrome can learn how to have healthy relationships.

Add a Comment5 Comments

Andrew Lerner

I am an Aspie. I married on 2/2/10. She loves me and very much wanted to marry me. We both divorced our previous spouses, and were waiting for the right person. My first marriage was 1992-2004. I helped her start and graduate with a BA Suma Cum Laude, and become a CPA. I have returned to college for the first time since my last degree in 1987, to start a new career. I previously was in Customer Service and in Sales. I recommend the 2009 movie "Adam" on DVD. Visit my blog to search more information on Aspies.

March 6, 2010 - 4:34pm
Jody Smith HERWriter

Hi Drew,

I'm glad to hear you think the article hits the right notes.

Not being an Aspie myself, I appreciate the feedback from you to let me know. :-)

October 1, 2009 - 6:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Jody Smith)

I am glad. Thank you. - Andrew Lerner

October 1, 2009 - 7:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Consise, acurate assesment touching upon the most important aspects of an Aspie. Well written, and excellent job. I am an Aspie, and it speaks very accurate of me. - &rew Lerner http://andrewlerner.blogspot.com/

October 1, 2009 - 4:37pm
Andrew Lerner (reply to Anonymous)

My name is Andrew Lerner, and I am a member of this site.

October 8, 2009 - 4:17pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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