Vote for My Blog

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What is Aspergers? -A Comprehensive List

A friend posted this list on my Facebook group over the weekend.  I forwarded it to my husband as a reminder of exactly what Aspergers is.  I think that sometimes when we live in the spectrum each day...when it hits us so close to home with our children, we can forget that they are not always simply trying to be difficult.  Many of their personality characteristics and behaviors are indeed a part of the diagnosis.  As much as we would like to magically change some of their behaviors through discipline, education and therapy...many things come from their different way of thinking.  Some things may never change, no matter how much we bang our heads against the wall trying to control them and get them to fit in to the norms of society.

What is Aspergers?
Image Courtesy of RabbiPaul.blogspot.com

Below is a fairly exhaustive list of Aspergers characteristics; however, keep in mind that no two Aspies are the exactly the same, and no single Aspie has ALL these traits. If you suspect your child or partner has Aspergers, the best thing you can do, as a parent or spouse, is arm yourself with information about this disorder.

Personal / Physical—

• Being "in their own world"
• Can engage in tasks (sometimes mundane ones) for hours and hours
• Can spend hours in the library researching, loves learning and information
• Clumsiness
• Collects things
• Doesn't always recognize faces right away (even close loved ones)
• Early in life they often have a speech impediment
• Eccentric personality
• Excellent rote memory
• Flat, or blank expression much of the time
• Highly gifted in one or more areas (e.g., math, music, etc.)
• Idiosyncratic attachment to inanimate objects
• Intense focus on one or two subjects
• Likes and dislikes can be very rigid
• Limited interests
• May have difficulty staying in college despite a high level of intelligence
• Non-verbal communication problems
• Difficulty reading body language, facial expression and tone
• Preoccupied with their own agenda
• Repetitive routines or rituals
• Sensitivity to the texture of foods
• Single-mindedness
• Speech and language peculiarities (hyperlexia)
• Strong sensitivity to sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell (e.g., fabrics, won’t wear certain things, fluorescent lights)
• Uncoordinated motor movements
• Unusual preoccupations
• Word repetition (they may frequently repeat what you've just said)

Social Interactions—

• Can obsess about having friends to prove they’re “normal”
• Desire for friendships and social contact but difficulty acquiring and maintaining them
• Difficulty understanding others’ feelings
• Great difficulty with small-talk and chatter
• Has an urge to inform that can result in being blunt or insulting
• Lack of empathy at times
• Lack of interest in other people
• May avoid social gatherings
• Preoccupied with their own agenda
• Rigid social behavior due to an inability to spontaneously adapt to variations in social situations
• Shuts down in social situations
• Social withdrawal

In Relationships (mainly pertains to Aspergers men)—

• Can often be distant physically and/or emotionally
• Can stop putting any effort into relationship after a time, and doesn’t understand why she then stops giving too
• He can be very critical and takes it personally if she won’t wear something he likes, or wears something he dislikes
• He can become quite defensive when she asks for clarification or a little sympathy; the defensiveness can turn into verbal abuse (usually not physical abuse) as the man attempts to control the communication to suit his view of the world
• He has a hard time saying “I love you,” showing physical affection; as a result it is difficult to find out if they do love you
• He will do what he thinks is best for the both of them but seldom talks to her about her feelings or opinions
• His attention is narrowly focused on his own interests
• If she tries to share her love for him, he may find her need to “connect” smothering
• Men with undiagnosed Aspergers often feel as if their partner is being ungrateful or “bitchy” when she complains he is uncaring or never listens to her
• Often are attracted to another purely because they are attracted to him
• Often times they will make no motions to keep a relationship going (be it friendship, or something more)
• They won't call, and you might not see them for days; that doesn't mean they don't care

Positive Aspergers Traits—

1. Attention to detail – sometimes with painstaking perfection.

2. Focus and diligence – has an ability to focus on tasks for a long period of time without needing supervision or incentive is legendary.

3. Higher fluid intelligence – scientists in Japan have recently discovered that Aspergers kids have a higher “fluid intelligence” than non-Aspergers kids. Fluid intelligence is the ability to find meaning in confusion and solve new problems. It is the ability to draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge. Experts say that those with Aspergers have a higher than average general IQ as well.

4. Honesty – the value of being able to say “the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.”

5. Independent, unique thinking – people with Aspergers tend to spend a lot of time alone and will likely have developed their own unique thoughts as opposed to a ‘herd’ mentality.

6. Internal motivation – as opposed to being motivated by praise, money, bills or acceptance. This ensures a job done with conscience, with personal pride.

7. Logic over emotion – although people with Aspergers are very emotional at times, they spend so much time ‘computing’ in our minds that they get quite good at it. They can be very logical in their approach to problem-solving.

8. Visual, three-dimensional thinking – some with Aspergers are very visual in their thought processes, which lends itself to countless useful and creative applications.

The source of this information is written by Mark Hutten, M.A, and can be found in the link below.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook