Anyone here have Asperger's?

  1. People with this neurological condition have trouble in relationships because they were born that way...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. What is your point. Many "normal" folk have trouble in relationships too.
     
  4. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    People with true aspergers have problems understanding emotions, some can't make eye contact, they can't read facial expressions, they tend to take things literally, will be afraid of meeting in person, etc... I have attempted dating two men with asperger's. :frown:
     
  5. My understanding is that someone who does not have this mental structure cannot comprehend what it is like to function with this completely different world view. I feel that it is not a disease or ‘syndrome’ as much as having different tools to analyze and interact with reality. There are advantages that more than make up for the difficulty in communication.
    One aspect is to build compensating behavioral interaction patterns to match accepted norms. This is done naturally thru adolescent development, and leads to a feeling of ‘faking’ emotion but also enables the person to understand how people work rather than just reacting to stimuli.

    Here are some useful sites for this subset of humanity…
    http://newideas.net/aspergers-syndrome
    http://www.aspergers.com/
    http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551
     
  6. This seems to be a typical neuro-typical's (NT) view of such things.

    From my experience, it is a judgemental view, because it seems to me that relationship problems are associated with the neurotypical types, not the Asperger's types:

    NT+NT -> relationship issues are common. (Both sides may have their own ideas on relationships = unbalanced = problems to overcome)
    NT+Asperger -> relationship issues are usual. (One side will likely have their own ideas on how the relationship should go = unbalanced = problems to overcome)
    Asperger+Asperger -> relationship issues are uncommon. (Neither has a clue = balanced = no expectations therefore no problems to overcome)
     
  7. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Where are you getting this information?

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551/DSECTION=symptoms

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12212919
     
  8. You are asking where I am getting this information when I have said it is from my experience!?

    Through my eyes, ears and other senses.... it's where most people get the information of their experiences from (well, not my eyes and ears, that is to say).
     
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, I didn't realize your entire post was anecdotal. Have you've been diagnosed with aspergers? I am very close to 2 men with asperger's and I keep forgetting that they can't get humor or metaphors or jokes most of the time. As I said they can't make eye contact, they're afraid of meeting people or being in situations they are not familar with. They don't get emotions, as one guy told me, Ok, this is another "deer in the headlights" moment, meaning he's not able to understand the emotional event I am describing.
     
  10. Medical people have regarded me as 'having Asperger's', in a clinical setting. Actually, I think it's more a case of outright autism, albeit an extremely highly functional version of it, to the point of apparently overcoming any 'disability'. I can't quite tell for myself anymore, as I have gotten so good at pretending to be NT when I need to be, and to avoid making NT's feel too uncomfortable.

    By the time I was around 10 I was bright enough to recognise other people 'did stuff very differently' and clearly approached their lives in a wholly different way to myself [actually, this realisation at least in part stemmed from people commenting that I was a truly horrible child, which seemed odd as I felt I was doing exactly what was logical for any given scenario]. So, like the poster above has said already, I set about choosing people whose behaviour I felt was worth copying, to accomplish the task of progressing in life, and then copying their behaviour.

    But enough about me (!), what about you. If you think my description of relationships is in error, let me ask you this (if I may); these guys you were seeing - who had the problem 'with' the relationship. Was it they that thought the relationship wasn't working out, or you? Who was it who actually 'had' (/has) the relationship problem?
     
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    There was no problem with the relationships. Their aspergers made it impossible to date. One guy would select a location, then he'd have to map the place out and have his getaway planned if he got too overwhelmed, then end up canceling anyway because he was too afraid he'd flop. He's in his 40's and still can't date.

    There are different levels of severity.
     
  12. This is the point of my comment above. Sure, I understand that it wasn't the relationship* you wanted, but was it a problem for you that he was like that, or that he felt his behaviour was a problem for the relationship?

    *(I'm talking generally - acquaintances, friends, colleagues, spouses, &c...)

    This is how, *in my experience*, NT's typically see this. They say; "This Asperger person has a problem with relationships because they do [or don't do] things the way I'd like them to do it."

    D'you see what I am getting at? How is it that they get the 'blame' for not being good in relationships when it's actually because the other isn't prepared to accept them for who they are and how they act? It is illogical to critique another person for your reaction to a given scenario.

    If there were two such people, they'd not get upset much about the behaviour of the other 'Asperger type', in the scenario you describe. They'd just let the other get on with whatever, whilst they do likewise. If they happen to do something at roughly the same time, in roughly the same place, they might decide to call that a relationship and aim to repeat the experience. If a planned event didn't work out, for whatever reason, they'd just either a) try it again sometime later [relationship continues], or b) not try it again [relationship ends]. Why get all upset about it? NT's like to analyse 'feelings about stuff' to the nth degree, yet feelings are subjective so are beyond rational analysis, so why bother?

    I'm not trying to suggest that relationships should proceed without any regard for how the other person may react. Of course, these are things I have observed and internalised - NT's typically feel 'hurt' if they are not given some level of attention they think is appropriate that makes them feel special and cared for. But my point is that this, and other NT traits, are usually why relationships fail. If such traits and behaviours are absent in a relationship on both sides, such as in an Asperger-on-Asperger relationship, then it'd not be a possible cause of the relationship failing.
     
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    No, I had no problem, I was willing to do whatever was needed to make them comfortable. They were the ones that decided they were incapable of ever having a relationship with anyone. No matter how encouraging I was, they were too afraid. They are both still alone.
     
  14. Sounds like you did what you could to make it work, under the circumstances. I'm not saying every 'Aspie' is perfect once you get deep enough under 'the shell', they have problems too - just that the problems will tend to be 'different' and less likely to originate from personal feelings, which is usually what causes relationships to fail. Looks like it didn't even get started for it to fail, for you. Sorry to hear it - I do recognise it can be an emotionally 'expensive' effort for NT's to deal with 'Aspies'.
     
  15. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Asperger's folks have a spectrum of behaviors/symptoms, from mild to extreme, and in fact each person, like normal folk, is unique. Asperger's syndrome is one of the conditions found on the autism spectrum.

    This might help - http://www.aspergerssyndrome.org/

    It works for me. :biggrin:
     
  16. I'm afraid I don't follow at all. Let's give a counterexample: suppose that I'm in a relationship and this person cheats on me. I'm hurt about this, but I can't blame that hurt on the other person's actions?
     
  17. I don't know that much about Asperger's, but my son is on the Autistic Spectrum. From my experience with him and his classmates I find that there is as much variation in the ASD spectrum as there is in the general population. It's easy to get a distorted picture of what these kids are like by what you read in the media and especially from the internet. No description is going to cover a wide selection of the ASD population.
     
  18. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The main thing these two people had in common was that they were brilliant, and they were more open and honest than most people.

    I know people that have very mild cases of aspergers, it is a very wide range, like all neurological problems.
     
  19. I have a son with Aspergers and have done a lot of research as well. As mentioned, its a form of autism, but at the far end of the spectrum from the kids on TV who sit and spin a plate all day and don't notice people around them.

    My son for example can't filter stimuli OUT well. He has no choice but to process the TV, the radio, and a nearby conversation at the same time he's reading a magazine article...but if someone turns on the vacuum cleaner for example, that might overwhelm his limits, and he might explode, but if perhaps he had only the magazine, TV and vacuum cleaner he'd be ok.

    He experiences life in a magnified way. Everything is larger to him. If you might feel a little anxious about having an interview, he's feeling abject terror at the thought. If you feel a little nervous about meeting a girl for a date, he might run and hide. If you got that job you applied for, you might do a fist pump or smile, etc...he might dance around the house singing Halleluiah.

    He might also say he can't look for a job because he has a doctor's appointment next month, and if he asked for the time off to go to it, they'd probably fire him, so why look for a job until after the appointment (The idea of the potential conflict is overwhelming).

    He might not be able to find the typical word for something...if he falls and skins his palms on the pavement, he might say his hands feel spicy. If he picks up a feather, he might exclaim that he's found a birdie leaf. When he's dancing around singing Halleluiah, he's actually saying Honolulu! Honolulu!

    Its not easy being him, but, he's bright, he did get through college with a BS in Business, knows sport statistics and who's in what league/position down to the college level, has learned to "get along" with people, actually has a fair number of close friends who have grown to appreciate him and his intelligence, brutal honesty, and that he doesn't chase them down the street with a baseball bat, anymore.

    He's 29, has girl friends, but has never had a girlfriend. If he continues to grow and mature, etc, I think its possible one day, but she would need to be a saint.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  20. I have a nephew and a friend "diagnosed" with asperger

    I understand that autism and asperger are considered the same scale with different intensities. I wonder however if, say-the sensory intensity of Asperger- is related to the social deficiencies of Autism. Could it be two dimensions, unrelated? Can somebody with intense sensory issues have a very high social EQ, totally non-autistic? In that case, could it be that behavior, due to the intense feelings, can be misinterpreted as social deficient?
     
  21. Its not so much the intensity, as the end of the scale parameters they are on.

    If you think of their consciousness as analogous to a telescope, those on one end of the spectrum are seeing life through the view finder.....a tightly focused attention on a very narrow target, with nothing else in the field of view....

    ..and those on the other end of the spectrum are viewing life through the opposite end, blown up larger, with a wide field of view, but with blurs and distortions due to the "fish eye" effect, etc.

    Its part of the same disorder, but there are two ends. For some, their telescope has a larger or smaller field of view...more like a spotting scope or opera glasses perhaps, and the distortions are less severe, from either end.

    As people with Aspergers tend to be highly intelligent, and classically focused on a particular interest....they can become experts in a field, or incredible at pinball, or other specialized pursuit for example

    Because of that focus though, the rest of the world doesn't register well. If you see through a telescope, and you are into dinosaurs as your focus...you are looking for dinosaur related opportunities so to speak, and ignoring the other topics.

    A normal person will notice others yawning, or chewing their arms off to escape a dinosaur related discussion...and take appropriate actions, perhaps changing the subject for example. The Asperger sufferer will tend to be so into the dinosaur discussion, and so happy to be talking about dinosaurs to people, that he will fail to notice/register that those people are trying to escape, looking at their watches, yawning, feigning death, etc. HE'S having a great time.

    The Asperger sufferer tends not to see himself reflected by others, self awareness can be very limited. Comments along the lines of "doesn't he see what he looks like?" would be more common, as they might be too focused on their particular interest, or anxiety, etc, to look at themselves, or on others' reaction to them. They tend to interact more with people as opposed to those with the narrow spectrum autism conditions, but to misinterpret the interactions.

    The sufferers at the other end of the spectrum may not even acknowledge the existence of others, or of dinosaurs, but may be so tightly focused that all they are aware of is a spinning plate or a button, etc....and this is a much harder transition point socially, as other people are potentially not on their radar.

    The autism is therefore present in different degrees and spectrum ends, and how that leaves the person with resources to compensate therefore varies greatly. Some can develop genuine and deep empathy for others, and eventually notice and redirect conversations or behavioral patterns accordingly, and others have less success, but, its always a question of degree.

    What comes naturally to a normal person might take decades for a person with mild Aspergers, and never happen for a severe case.

    So as to if the intense feelings can be misinterpreted by others as a social deficiency, well, its the expression mode of the intense feelings that lead to the interpretations.

    IE: We might all get excited at a party if physics or one of our topics of interest is broached, but, most of us will tone down our responses based upon our perception of the others present, and allow the conversation to go where the group is interested naturally....and we might even have other interests we would be happy to converse about as well, etc....just like everyone else....

    ...but the Aspy might have trouble letting it go, or letting someone else talk, and might over react to the opportunity. You or I may feel a bit wistful if the topics we're most interested in seem to have been a merely passing mention, but the Aspy might get really angry or upset, and react as if he'd been attacked or affronted, perhaps insisting that the topic he's interested in be the one we all must discuss now. This will be interpreted as a social deficiency, as the actions will seem out of scale to the supposed infraction/issue.

    As the medical problem itself impairs how one views and interprets others, its very nature reduces the ability to interact as easily.
     
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