Understanding Aspergers

Understanding Aspergers
By Dr. Nanette Bowles

What do you get when you cross the mildest and highest functioning form of autism and attention deficit disorder? Asperger’s.  According to Autism United, Asperger’s Syndrome is a “neurologically-based disorder of development”.

Dr Bret Wilson

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Those with Asperger’s usually show significant problems with:

  • Socializing with others – When a person has a difficult time understanding social cues, it’s not surprising that they then have a difficult time socializing with others.
  • Thinking – Taking things too literal is not uncommon.  A person may hear something as an example but take it on as truth and have a difficult time moving beyond it.  For example, if you say you are going in to get “a few items”, the person may have a difficult time getting more than 2 items.
  • Emotions – A person with Asperger’s may have a difficult time expressing their emotions and/or empathizing with others.
  • Intense preoccupation with one or two topics – A person may become preoccupied with animals, insects, etc.
  • Speech and language – There may be a lack of understanding that language is a tool for conveying information.  Small talk can also be difficult.

Some may look at this information and make assumptions about what a person with “Aspies” can and cannot do.  Tools for success include:

  •   Know your strengths and areas you need more assistance.
  •  Listen to trusted family and friends.
  •   Work with a Life Coach to help process and learn new tools.
  •   Spend time with other’s with Asperger’s to listen to and support each other.
  •   Keep a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to keep track of your what you learn.
  •   Use a “Pro’s and Con’s” list to help research and make effective choices.

Individuals with Asperger’s tend to be very bright and have a great attention to detail.  It’s suspected that the following individuals has Asperger’s:  Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Mozart, etc.  To learn more, go to http://www.autismunited.org/articles/aspergers-syndrome.php.