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What are the Main Symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome in Adults?

Dana Hinders
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Asperger's syndrome is a neurobiological disorder considered to be part of the autism spectrum. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, although many experts believe there is a hereditary component. Asperger's syndrome can affect people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, although it is three to four times more common among men. The condition is sometimes called Asperger's disorder, Asperger's, or AS in medical texts.

People with Asperger’s syndrome may show symptoms throughout their entire lives, but most are not diagnosed until adulthood. People with Asperger’s syndrome were often bullied as children or mocked for their highly unusual interests. However, since many children experience these difficulties, the extent of the problem is seldom recognized until much later.

Essentially, Asperger's syndrome causes behavior that can best be described as “quirky.” Bill Gates, Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Keanu Reeves, Al Gore, and Garrison Keillor are some of the many notable public figures who experts believe show symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. There is also some evidence to suggest that Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton exhibited the condition as well.

Impaired social reactions are a key component of Asperger's syndrome. People who suffer from this condition find it difficult to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. They struggle to understand the subtleties of communicating through eye contact, body language, or facial expressions and seldom show affection towards others. They are often accused of being disrespectful and rude, since they find they can’t comprehend expectations of appropriate social behavior and are often unable to determine the feelings of those around them. People suffering from Asperger's syndrome can be said to lack both social and emotional reciprocity.

Although Asperger's syndrome is related to autism, people who suffer from this condition do not have other developmental delays. They have normal to above average intelligence and fail to meet the diagnostic criteria for any other pervasive developmental disorder. In fact, people with Asperger's syndrome often show intense focus, highly logical thinking, and exceptional abilities in math or science.

There is no cure for Asperger's syndrome, but cognitive behavioral therapy, specialized speech therapy and counseling can help alleviate many of the condition’s more troubling symptoms. If they learn to develop the appropriate coping mechanisms, people with Asperger's syndrome are quite capable of getting married, having children, becoming gainfully employed, and leading independent lives.

In recent years, many of the people who have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome have come to call themselves “aspies” or “Aspergians” in an attempt to reduce the stigma associated with their condition. In fact, there are a growing number of websites dedicated to celebrating Asperger's syndrome as an example of neurodiversity instead of an illness in need of treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders , Writer
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the The Health Board team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.

Discussion Comments

By anon143555 — On Jan 16, 2011

I am 33 and just starting to unravel the mystery that is my Father. He is 80 this year and has never mentioned the word Asperger's in relation to himself, although he is very well read and would not be naive to the subject.

By anon143214 — On Jan 15, 2011

I am 58, currently a software engineer, happily married for 35 years, with Asperger's Syndrome all my life. As a child my parents did not understand me. I had friends. Often they would come to see me and I would tell my mother I did not want to see them.

When I would play with them we would always have to be building something. I was a polymath, and assembled my own chemistry lab at the age of 7. At age 8 I began collecting slime molds and had racks of glassware all over my room. When I was ten I became obsessed with ants and had dozens of handmade ant farms all over my room until my brother knocked over my fire ants and my Mom made me get rid of it all.

Then I moved onto marine biology, mycology, and software engineering. I have always been able to develop relationships one on one, but have a very hard time dealing with groups of people, and when I have had to speak in public, or teach a class, it is always a horrible experience for everyone involved, especially me.

As a child, we moved a lot, and each time we moved, I had to start over, socially. I gradually learned that the humans around me behaved emotionally on a scale that was strongly correlated to what I perceived to be 'protocols'. I found that if I figured out and followed the protocols carefully, I would get cooperative results--when the protocols were not adhered to, the other person became difficult. This made me a student of human behavior and the protocols that determine social interaction. This is something I had to study as a scientist would study insect life.

Human beings are strange to me, but their behavior is highly predictable once you map their patterns of stimulus and response reactions. I have always felt like a creature from another world--with my parents, my siblings, everyone. I was voted the most intellectual member of my senior class in high school, but I dropped out of college after one semester because college was too slow a method of learning, and I believed I already knew more that the professors I encountered and found no teachers there whose guidance I trusted.

I have always been auto-didactic. I was fortunate to find a life partner who appreciated my unique character, and was willing to help me with my lack of social talent. I helped her get an education, undergraduate, graduate degrees and she became a teacher of AP World History. As a child, I was regarded a genius, and treated with very high expectations that were completely wrong for my strengths and weaknesses.

I am intelligent, yes, but that was never my great strength; it was my spontaneous creativity--I simply cannot be governed by repetitive patterns of behavior--I have to find creative ways to speak, act, construct. I am a musical genius. I compose 2 or 3 songs every day. I practice the guitar and have composed almost every day since I was a child--but I always play for myself alone--I never even play for my wife or family and would never play in public.

I play the piano, guitar, and banjo for the past 40 years. I will play with other people, but never in front of other people.

It is very rare that I find someone who I feel I can really communicate with, but I have known several people in my life with whom I could talk. This has been enormously helpful to me. One was the founder of neural net technology, another has been a research fellow at a think tank for the past 25 years, another leads experimental research into new weaponry, another graduated Magna Cum Laude from MIT. With these people, I have been able to be fully myself, and there was nothing we could not discuss--with most people, however,

I have had to moderate my behavior according to the protocols which are most important to them. This is very boring, but I realize I need to be able to collaborate with other people whose neurological orientations are different from my own.

I have been obsessed with matrices of color, and texture, and fragrance since I was a child--with a compulsive fascination with certain combinations of color texture and smell, and an instinctive disgust towards others. These positive/negative cathexis factors have changed over my lifetime--things I hated as a child, such as geraniums and hibiscus, for instance, are now sensory patterns that I love.

I cannot go into places like shopping malls or cafeterias--my senses are overwhelmed and I become disoriented. I cannot tolerate aromas like perfumes which is annoying to my children.

My main point is that we Aspergians need to be understood and appreciated for who and what we are. I have learned to develop relationships with all kinds of people and have worked in all kinds of jobs, but I have very, very few friends -- not that that bothers me -- it bothers my wife, but most people think of me as eccentric, and my social weaknesses can be very off putting for most people.

The world can be challenging for Aspergians to adapt to, but adaptation is possible, when you bring your capacity for observation to bear. I still prefer solitude and working on complex problems on my own, but I know that other people exist and have rights and needs, and I have learned somewhat how to navigate that. It helps, I think, if you explain your situation a little, but for many people, it is easy to become a stereotype with them, and they adjust their expectations accordingly. This is horribly unfair and generally incorrect, and limits the creative possibilities. I find most humans are afraid of the unfamiliar. It's called misoneism.

By ls2010 — On Jan 14, 2011

LuvAS Thank you. And you too are wonderful. It's rough out there.

@anon142460: Are you married and alone, or are you living alone? Even those without Aspergers are troubled people; like I said, we all need help. Tell us about one aspect of your condition. Maybe we can help you unriddle it. You're on the "inside" and us on the "outside," maybe we can figure out what to do. Truly.

By LuvAS — On Jan 13, 2011

anon142460: don't ever say that it's too late for you. It's not. I am sorry that you have been lonely and I am sure that you are a wonderfully eccentric and cool person! Keep posting here where we can all talk to each other.

Is2010, I wish that Wisegeek would let us share links because there have been so many times I've wanted to share information from the web that I've found or even just send you a thought here and there. Just know that I relate to just about all of your posts and I'm praying that you and your husband are doing OK.

By ls2010 — On Jan 13, 2011

Thanks to everyone who wrote in this blog. Everyone's comments have gotten us this far. I'm noticing that now, some of you are bringing out the importance of being selfless.

In this world of "me first," we find too many selfish people who just want their own needs filled. We can't expect to jump into a relationship and just get, get.

But for all those including me, who came here to vent, it's not a sin. I'm sure that all those here are doing extensive research of all kinds, even in our own hearts. It's not about who's right or wrong. Nobody is perfect. We all need help.

By anon142460 — On Jan 13, 2011

It's too late for me now. I'm 64, and I only found out last year that I am very high on the "Asperger's index". This knowledge could have saved me years of being regarded as "weird" or "eccentric" if I had been exposed to coping mechanisms. I have had a lonely life.

By anon141923 — On Jan 11, 2011

To #292. I read your post and your plight touched my heart. How old are you? Your mindset seems very much like mine when I was first with my husband.

I was open-minded and was very drawn to him, he was handsome, seemingly-stable, devoted to me, and didn't ask for anything in return. I felt beautiful because he loved me with such an intensity I had never seen in anyone but myself (I'm an Aspie woman). Reading and hearing about his condition is one thing, but living it is a very different story. Your boyfriend has learned a way of blending in and learning how to interact with people, to "mimic". It is a facade, it's fake, it's a coping mechanism that is common for all Aspies who want to fit into society but can't.

You are relatively new. He won't let down his walls for at least a year or more, maybe never. But you can't expect anyone to keep pretending simply because you want them to. And when the wall does come down, simply telling him is not going to change the fact that he can't keep faking it; it takes too much energy. Demanding what you want will only make him resentful and will make him wonder why he should keep acting for someone who doesn't see, accept or is willing to live with the real him.

Reading your post, I saw how much you expect him to change. Having expectations like that for someone will only set you up for heartbreak. Love is not about how the other person makes you feel. Love isn't about you at all, not one little bit. Love is about him. It's always about the other person. Love is about personal sacrifice. Love is about learning and growing and changing the parts about you that are damaging to the relationship so that you are the woman that he wants to come home to.

Love is not getting what you asked for and still giving him what he needs. Love is accepting him for him, without his "mimics".

Love doesn't make you a doormat. You can still tell him what you cannot live without and he can decide whether you are worth the effort. You both need to decide that together. You both need to stop looking at it as an "illness". It is simply a neurological difference from the rest of society. And his child doesn't need to be "introduced to human nature." They need to be introduced to self-love, self-esteem and adults who help them feel like they are not abnormal in being different and he doesn't need to pretend to be someone different to be understood and valued.

By anon141838 — On Jan 11, 2011

Oh, where to start? Let's see. I was married five years ago to a man who only had recently found out he had aspergers.

When he was a child, no doctors knew what to make of such a quiet child, with blank expressions and a tendency to not ever smile. He was alienated by society, family, his own parents even. He grew up, locked inside his head, unable to communicate with the world around him, desperately wishing he could. Often, the only way for him to escape from his own head and express his needs was to boil over and the anger would force it all out.

For all the women posting on here with men that exasperate them, let me give you a little bit of wisdom. For all of you who feel that you don't get enough emotional closeness, for those of you who are fed up with the strange emotional outbursts, for those of you who are ready to throw up your hands and give you a piece of your minds, please, stop and breathe. If you don't already know, people don't do anything at random; we all have unseen forces that drive us. Many people, myself previously included, are lost.

When you don't know what drives you, how can you learn to alter your behavior it or stop it? Most people with aspergers don't realize that people don't see, feel and experience the world in the way that they do. Just like a neurologically average individual cannot comprehend what it is like to live with Aspergers.

But you will find yourself with one of two choices. One, you really look deep into the man you are with and decide that you really don't feel like you are in a marriage with the right person anyway and you get out of it (sincerely, don't beat yourself up, it happens all the time and it takes bravery to admit to such a situation). Or two, you see the man you fell in love with inside him, he has so many quirks you might feel overwhelmed, but you see and feel love for the beautiful, wonderful soul that you found and realize that he is very unique and worth every bit of hard work and sacrifice and love you have to give. At that point, it's time you get over yourself and think about what you can do for him. Don't mistake this with making yourself into a doormat. You still need to be assertive, not argumentative, about your own needs. You should realize that you will suffer, and he will too; it is unavoidable, even in a "normal" relationship, but he doesn't do what he does to intentionally hurt or irritate you.

You need to learn how to be the best communicator you can be, get in touch with your own feelings and learn how to be assertive with what you need and how to verbalize in a non-combative way.

Now, you might say, "who me? I'm great at communication, why on earth should I do anything? He's the one with the problem!" Here's the thing, and please try to look at this with an open mind and heart. If you were a fantastic communicator and assertive and non-combative, then why is it that you feel the need to vent your frustrations online to a bunch of strangers? I understand. I used to do stuff like that too. I had so much frustration built up and instead of doing the healthy thing and discussing it with him, I let it out elsewhere because I was intimidated and I was to put it bluntly, a chicken. Unseen fear was driving me.

He and I were more alike than I had previously anticipated. I took a hard look at myself and decided that nothing would ever progress if we both didn't give 100 percent of ourselves. If he confuses you, go to him with love when something happens and ask him questions so you might understand more. You might get an idea of what other people go through on here, but only he can show you a glimpse of what an amazingly complex and wonderfully loving and feeling person he is, despite his indifferent or callous exterior.

I know for a fact he has felt misunderstood, misread, looked over, unloved and lonely all his life. Even if you can't walk in his shoes and can't see inside his heart yet and have a true understanding and compassion, you can still look inside yourself and find a way to push aside your own anger and frustration and get back in touch with your love.

If you come to him with that love and sympathy and compassion, he will respond in kind.You must practice patience and be tenacious. If you fail, get up, take a lesson from it and try again. Remember when you said for better or worse. Worse can be beyond your worst nightmares. For better will be like a little glimpse of heaven on Earth.

Follow your heart, not your head, which will make you second guess yourself and make you scared. Don't worry about looking like a fool to other people. Learn to be optimistic and find some little nugget of gold and wisdom from each bad experience.

If you are not the one to go the distance with him, and to be the one to understand him, love him, and be the woman he wants to come home to, gracefully and kindly bow out and step aside so he can find the one who will.

By anon140858 — On Jan 08, 2011

From the parent of an asperger's child, now 21, who was adopted at age five.

Our child was diagnosed at age five. (God bless the therapist who asked the right questions)

Is she sensitive to smells? Our child would smell literally every spoon full of food, every book we read, everything she touched had to be smelled before we could move on with it.

Is she sensitive to rough textures? She would not wear jeans until she was 18 years old. Even today, will not wear a regular pair of shoes – only soft slip ons. Also would not sleep between sheets – only on a bare mattress with a blanket.

We were confused for many years in trying to separate adoption issues from asperger's issues. Now that asperger's is more well known and identified as more common than originally thought, I hope that others will benefit from my comments.

By LuvAS — On Dec 30, 2010

#293, this sounds a lot like my friend. He is that way. Loving to his dog but not me or people in general, it seems, goes away for days and doesn't want to talk or see me, rude and then shocked that anyone thinks he's rude, correcting grammar even though I taught grammar, obsessed with certain movies and wants me to watch them over and over, not interested in sex and won't talk about sex and so on.

He wants me to say affectionate things to him but won't respond in kind. I guess he just likes to listen. I wish I had answers for you but all I can say is that again, it could be AS with another pre-existing condition like in my friend's case.

It's so hard to tell but it's all familiar to me and I'm sure many other women and men on here.

By anon138093 — On Dec 30, 2010

re: post 293, #1. I just have a small correction. I did not tell him not to *ever* contact me. The point is, he took what I said very literally and actually waited five years to reconnect with me.

Let me also add that he cannot deal with being around people. I didn't grow up with him and do not know his family, but one day when his brother was visiting the city where we live, he called me and gave the phone to his brother so I could say hello to him. I said, "Maybe next time xxxxx will invite me to meet you." His brother replied, "I hope so, but I am sure you know my brother well enough to know that he doesn't do very well in social situations."

By anon137782 — On Dec 29, 2010

I have a friend, on-again off-again pseudo-boyfriend who is different. Until I read these posts, I was convinced that he has Asperger’s syndrome. Now I am not so sure. I would like to post some anecdotes so that those of you who are familiar with Asperger’s can give me your opinion. It is important for me to know if he is an insensitive jerk with low self-esteem or can’t help it.

Let me start by saying that he is really smart. He speaks five languages and got a law degree recently because he was interested in law, but he works in the cell phone technology industry. I mention this because he doesn’t have an interest in math or science as far as I can tell.

1. I got angry at him in 2005 for his insensitivity and told him, “Don’t call me again. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, not five years from now.” Exactly five years later, he contacted me on Facebook. I have always thought that was bizarre.

2. Before we got together in person, he was calling me incessantly even though I didn’t answer his calls. It was borderline harassment. He didn’t take any hints, and in fact, as the examples below will show, it seems uncharacteristic of someone like him.

3. On Facebook, he used to do/say obnoxious things like correct my grammar and even my Persian grammar when he saw me talking to my Iranian friends in Persian. He doesn’t do it anymore because I told him that my sister commented on his rudeness. He was sincerely upset at the idea that he had done anything rude even though it was clear to everyone that he was being a jerk.

4. He lives alone and has never married. The longest relationship he has been in was three years long (he is 38 years old). He likes being alone and even though now and then he wants me to visit him, I can’t see him more often than once every four days.

I saw him one night last week and the next day I sent him an email asking if I could bring him some Christmas cookies. He replied, “Please wait a few days.”

5. Once he met this woman who told him that he didn’t make enough money to date her but they could be friends. I said, “What? Why would you want to befriend someone like that?” He replied, “She is just being honest. Maybe she needs money for travel or something.”

6. Now and then, when I am talking to him, he says, “uh hu, uh hu, uh huh” very quickly as though he is waiting for me to shut up.

7. He has a dog that he loves more than anything. It is clear that he loves the dog, yet he is not very affectionate towards me. So I know he is capable of affection.

8. When I visit him, he makes me watch several episodes of Glee back-to-back that he has already seen. In fact, he is kind of obsessed with Glee. This precedes sex.

9. He is painfully shy, always very very kind to me in person, but it is obvious that he doesn’t like to be touched unless it was his idea. He doesn't like to kiss at all.

10. If I tell him that I love him, it annoys him. If I send him any text messages in which I share my feelings about him, (even if just sexual) he will text me back saying, “Please stop.” This is the most hurtful thing he has done to me. I am guessing that this is atypical.

I get the impression that someone with Asperger’s would be apathetic to something like that and not necessarily annoyed by it.

11. Once he had a date with another woman. I asked him how it was, and he went on and on about the food and wine as though I had asked about the restaurant.

12. He sent me a static-cling advertisement once just because I asked him if I could visit him when I had just seen him the day before. It was weird, but I know that Asperger's individuals have difficulty with metaphor, so this makes me wonder.

By anon137714 — On Dec 28, 2010

I have just started dating someone who has told me from the beginning that he has Asperger's. The first thing I did was research this condition and found out all I could about it. He is 52 and we have had many discussions on his 'condition'.

He says that he has learned to deal with and cope with this illness and he learns things by watching people interact. From the research I have done, I know that he has Asperger's, however he is the nicest person I have met. He is not making me promises he can't keep. He is not giving me any false hopes. He has always been honest and genuine about everything.

I get the repetitive conversation and he can't always look me straight in the eye. He has compulsive behavior and needs routine and everything, but as he has learned how to 'behave' and interact over the years, I believe we can have a normal relationship.

I may have to teach him some things along the way, however he's the only man who makes me feel beautiful or does things that make me feel special.

Some of you have said this only lasts a little while, but I will let him know if he slackens off on these things and hopefully he will find this helpful. His 14 year old son also has Asperger's and I am looking forward to helping him learn human nature.

At this stage, I don't have a problem with my new love. In fact, as I said, he is the only man in my life who has truly made me feel beautiful, even though he points out all my faults! I am also looking forward to developing a really close relationship with him.

By LuvAS — On Dec 28, 2010

@sadintheCity: There is a group getting started, but I am not sure that Wisegeek allows us to post other web addresses. I personally find it unfair as we are trying to support and help each other. If you look up Asperger's support, you should be able to find something.

I relate to everything that you said in your post and I'm sorry that you are feeling hurt. I know the feeling all too well.

To the Aspie who said you do not suffer, I understand how you feel too, because as much as my Aspie friend hurts me and others, I realize the majority of it is because we NT's think differently. I don't believe Aspies shut us out or are cold with malicious intent, but I do believe that if an NT and an Aspie are going to be in a relationship that both people need to compromise and make adjustments (if possible) to help each other.

Of course, I wouldn't expect my AS friend to change something that he can't help doing, but I would like it if maybe he would acknowledge how I felt about it and then I would be more than happy to do the adjusting.

By anon137626 — On Dec 28, 2010

In response to post 270 and others like it. I have been dating an undiagnosed Aspie for over three years now. I have felt so alone at times that I have been sick over it. It helps so much to see that I am not the only one out there going through this, my boyfriend would like me to think.

He has all of the symptoms and tells me that every therapist, doctor, etc. have told him that he is not an Aspie. I have to disagree because I work in the autism field and see children with Aspergers every day. He is very manipulative he lies constantly to cover up for his wrongs.

He is very intelligent, a senior computer programmer. He has one friend whom he speaks at length to on the same topic and doesn't understand it when people don't engage him in conversation.

It has come to the point where I have to warn people ahead of time before they meet him that he may be offensive. He comes off to others as annoying and rude. Like I have read with others, he is always right.

Our sex is "robotic." He tells me that he loves me and cares for me but never touches me or kisses me. This makes me feel so very undesirable and unloved. He often will pick fights that he knows he will win just for fun.

Please someone, give me some advice. I am really thinking of leaving him since he is unable to move on in his life. He has a routine and will not deviate from that path.

He lacks empathy for everyone, especially children and my family, which is very upsetting. I do love him and see that this might not be all his fault but all of the therapy in the world is not helping him and I need to move on with my life.

Does anyone have any suggestions about support groups online that I could join? --Sadinthecity

By anon137452 — On Dec 27, 2010

Wisegeek, you should definitely change the wording of this article. Nobody "suffers" from Aspergers. Asperger's is simply a different way of experiencing the world. It has its advantages and disadvantages, but the majority of Aspies wouldn't have it any other way.

By LuvAS — On Dec 27, 2010

@anon137146: When I first came to Wisegeek I was so confused and hurt. I didn't know what to think about my male friend. I will tell you this though: if Asperger's Syndrome is the only problem then you are lucky and let me tell you why. My friend has Asperger's and a mental disorder along with it. I will tell you that it makes everything so much worse.

I find AS very hard to cope with, but in comparing AS to the mental illness, I choose the AS. lol. From what I've learned, the majority of Aspies have another condition along with it -- called "comorbidity". Does your husband seem to have any other problems? I'm telling you all of this just to make sure that you look into other things before labeling him with Asperger's Syndrome.

The routine and the same thing day in and day out, like topics of conversation etc., are symptoms of AS, and as for the gas in the car, well, did you not putting the gas in somehow mess up his schedule? Maybe that's why he was angry? My friend never admits that he's angry even though it is so completely obvious.

This post could go on for miles so I'm going to stop now, but thought I'd suggest to you that, before you tell your husband that he is Asperger's, that you may want to look at the big picture and do more research before you do. Good luck!

By anon137146 — On Dec 26, 2010

I can’t believe what I’m reading! My husband is exactly like most of your husbands. I’m married for 21 years and never really understood why he is the way is he. He’s very loyal, however, but does not like to socialize and when he does, he never looks at the person in their eyes. He’ll look at me while talking to that person. It’s extremely embarrassing for me because I know that the person is aware of this.

He also is extremely over the top, routine-oriented. It’s the same thing every day and night. Talks about the same things over and over again. It’s really amazing. Just this evening, I came home and didn’t fill the car up with gas and I told him I would. Well, you would think I put a flame to my house and set it afire. He stormed upstairs and was so mad. When I asked him I did something wrong or was it because I didn’t fill the car up he said, “I told you I wasn’t mad. I just wanted to come upstairs.” It’s really driving me and my family crazy. I just don’t know what to do. Should I tell him he has Aspergers? I’m losing my mind.

By anon135752 — On Dec 20, 2010

My friends have always told me that I tell my jokes in a very flat, monotone voice, so they can't always tell whether I'm serious or sarcastic. I've always had trouble reading subtle facial and body cues, I can only "read" people for sure if it's very obvious.

When I'm not sure, and I feel like I'm expected to say something, it's usually off topic and I get strange looks. The most common words my friends describe me with are "weird" and "quirky", with "oddball" coming in a close third.

I've always found it hard to connect with people, but when I do I make good friends and I am a pretty good friend in return. I'm sure I could be more giving emotionally, but I've just never been able to talk about my feelings, not without joking. Usually I will do anything to get in a good sarcastic comment to diffuse an emotionally serious moment.

When a friend calls to ask me to go somewhere, two out of three times I make some excuse, because I dread being in crowds of people. After a few hours spent in a bar or a club, I am mentally and emotionally exhausted from constant interaction with people, whether I know them well or not, at the end of those few hours I'm ready to go home and be by myself.

I connect better with animals, especially dogs. I love dogs because all they want is my attention, or food. I don't have to guess with them.

I'm not good at math, but I am interested in science, I like to read about all different kinds of science, genetics, paleontology, astronomy, archeaology. But my real interests are art, history, photography, and writing.

When I was a kid I spent countless hours drawing, copying comic book figures and cartoon characters. I loved making geometric patterns on graph paper. In fifth grade I wrote a 12 page short story when the teacher told us we only had to do three. In sixth grade I tested at a 12th grade reading level.

I had remedial math, but advanced English, literature, and creative writing classes.

I did not, and still do not, enjoy sustained loud noises or bright lights. I had periods of depression as a teenager, and I get them as an adult, mostly because I do sometimes feel intense loneliness. I need to be with other people, but I also have a great need to be alone. It's hard to find a balance between the two.

I also have a hearing problem. I can't hear whispers, and if there is any background noise when a person is talking to me, I will not be able to make out what they are saying.

I listen intently to people, because the content of what they say gives me more clues than their face and body language. When someone talks to me, I can't just sit and look at them, and listen to their conversation. I have to do something else too. I figured out a long time ago that when I do that, the person talking thinks I'm not listening, so I frequently remind them that I am listening by repeating the last sentence or two of conversation.

I can point out every place I've ever parked in a large parking lot surrounding the mall, I can remember every license plate on every car my family has owned.

When I was a kid I was picked on pretty badly, and I could never figure out what I had done to make the other kids be cruel to me. It only started to get really bad in fifth grade, and ended in ninth grade. I had a horrible time in middle school, but high school was very fun for me.

Someone suggested Asperger's syndrome to me a while ago. After reading numerous descriptions of it, it sounds like it might apply to me, but I don't know.

By anon135426 — On Dec 18, 2010

I believe I have mild asperger syndrome. When I was a child it was severe and forced me to withdraw and I developed selective mutism as a result. Then as I grew older and became a teenager it became more moderate and I still had social anxiety. It made high school a difficult experience for me.

Now that I'm 24, I feel that it's become mild right now as I can socialize with people, but it takes effort to get my body language, tone of voice, and social skills right. I think it's possible for people with asperger syndrome to adapt into society to a different extent. It just takes hard work and practice.

As for women complaining about husbands with AS that don't care for them. I'm kind of in the middle of this, I think with any relationship it's about compromising half way.

The husband needs to learn that some of his odd behaviors are unacceptable and can irritate her. However, on the other hand, the wife needs to learn to be more tolerable with some insignificant habits that her husband has.

By anon134989 — On Dec 16, 2010

Hello there, neurotypical earthlings. I am an alien from the planet Aspergera. I am 23 years old and a friendly, helpful, loyal friend. I am very sensitive to the things neurotypical earthings like some people reading this blog say and do and can appear to be unforgiving at times.

Do not kill us, earthlings! You need us. I sometimes see things differently. I am sensitive to touch. It can be good or bad depending on if i am ready for it.

The point that my people would like to make is that if we had never been allowed to be born, then humans would be still living in caves and eating raw meat. If you make a test and allow people like my people to be killed before birth then your people will not be a fair society and you may cause untold war.

Where does it end? When everyone alive is normal, then the human race is extinct. Because you kill one group then another until only one group exists. Then that group kills its weakest members until only one person lives. Alone. Because normal doesn't exist in that way. Everyone is human. Logical!

To be a fair society, everyone must be allowed to play their part and have respect for everyone else even if you don't see the same things we do.

Respect the differences. They make us earthings too. We are alien because you make us alien. We are not aliens, really! We were born on planet earth. Take us into society! And let us help you!

Fellow neurotypical earthings, (and i am going to tell you what I think of the word neurotypical). The word neurotypical makes me sound like a robot. Robots are human. I am human. Robots think logically. I think logically. If robots take over the world, people with Aspergers are less likely to be killed by the robots. Neurotypicals? Not so lucky! Robots don't speak neurotypical speech. They speak my people's speech. Logic! Farewell people and hope for friendly robots.

By ls2010 — On Dec 15, 2010

I'm sorry for all you women out there, not for the men. They do know how to take care of themselves. They will be all right. If they're not taking care of you, well then, you have to do what ever you have to, to stay afloat. Protect yourselves. I know it feels as if you're a single person because they're not interested in us. Take advantage of those moments to do something for yourself.

My husband too is obsessed with money. Ever since we got married, he hasn't contributed to the household. I still continue to pay for the bills that I had prior to the marriage. I keep asking him to step up and take the lead but he doesn't. He doesn't even want to discuss it. I told him last month that I wasn't going to pay the house mortgage for two months because of my daughters wedding. He said OK. But this month is along the way out and he hasn't paid or given me any money to pay for it.

I think that these two months I'm not going to pay the house nor utility bills. If they turn off the power well, too bad. I'm going to freeze.

By anon134352 — On Dec 14, 2010

Re: 280 comment. I'm sure my husband is Aspie. In fact, I'm positive his Dad is too. I stumbled upon this some time ago, and all the comments, and personal stories here below, especially 280 ring a bell for me. Thanks for sharing your stories. Not sure what I can do to survive this in my marriage. I've got two kids.

What is worse, is that he often bestows huge affection on the kids but refuses it for me. But the kids are small yet, I wonder will this continue when they grow up and challenge him. Can I stick this all my married life. I too had cancer, like a previous contributor to this section, but he showed no support whatsoever. That was very hurtful.

Also, he is obsessed with his work. Highly specialised. Very popular in the community, would go any lengths to help others because he knows its a good thing to do, but when it comes to home life, would die before he'd do something to please or suit me.

Also accused me of bullying him (as I have a strong personality, and don't take much crap). But now, I see the bigger picture, question is, do I want to live with this forever or do I need (esp. for the sake of the kids) to move onwards and upwards? Only one life to live, etc. Did say it to him before about AS, but he dismissed it, think I'm going to raise it again as the more I read about it, the more I'm certain he has it. It might help me or even us to cope with his odd social behaviors and lack of interest in me, my work, my life, my career, or me as a person, as for giving social ques when talking, it's akin to talking to a teenager, because all you get is 'hum' at the best of times.

Sees no point in holidays, seeing current affairs and what goes on elsewhere in the world; and is freakish about controlling money. It all adds up for me anyhow. Thing now is, what do I do from now on, how do I cope. What is the best course of action? I will seek further professional help and assistance and see. Thanks. CRGF8

By anon133478 — On Dec 10, 2010

Would someone please freaking help me or just leave me alone, let me just be me.

By anon132928 — On Dec 08, 2010

I truly wish more counseling professionals were trained to recognize this condition. I feel that my marriage could have been saved if my therapist or marriage counselor had zeroed in on a diagnosis of my husband. As it was, I so often felt lonely and rejected. There was no parity in sharing everyday life experiences with each other. He would not share. There was no sex or physical affection for years, and any overture in that direction I made was rebuffed.

I felt unattractive and unloved. When I expressed these things to him he would be completely silent, look down in his lap, or leave. If pressed, he would become angry and lay the blame at my feet. My husband is brilliant, and could be sweet and kind. I loved him and wanted to try whatever it took to salvage our family. But he also has a passive-aggressive side that can be very hurtful.

We have a 12-year old son who thankfully, is very in touch with his feelings, intuitive and communicative. My husband was a wonderful father to him when he was little, but as he grew and increasingly became his own person, their relationship became more and more strained. I felt as if I was always playing peacekeeper between them. I would try and take my husband aside and explain how his curt, impatient behavior was affecting our son and pushing him away.

When my husband got a very high profile job, it became his life, his new obsession, (he had other intense "special interests" before). He got all his satisfaction from his job and withdrew more and more from the family. His intellect has enabled him to learn how to navigate the world and he's personable with casual colleagues, but has no friends. He saved all his aggression for me and my son.

He moved out suddenly a year and a half ago and I am coming to terms with the dissolution of our family, but my son wants nothing to do with him. My husband blames my son's alienation on me, because everything is my fault. When a friend suggested to me that he thought my husband had Aspergers, I had never heard of it before.

When I read an account of an AS/Non AS marriage on the website Aspires, it was if they were describing my life. When I asked my husband to read the article and asked him if he saw parallels to us, he got very upset and yelled, "I don't have Aspergers."

I believe if my son and he could meet this possibility head on, they could salvage their relationship through honest counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. Sadly, for our marriage, I feel too damaged, emotionally abused and depressed. I'm struggling to reconnect with the person I feel I used to be.

I have to say to the people out there contemplating marriage and family to someone with AS, you have to ask yourself how important emotional support and intimacy is to you. Don't take it on without some professional support.

By ls2010 — On Dec 07, 2010

Well, everyone has to choose to stay or run from it. No one should tell anyone what to do. If you ran and if that was good for you, well then wonderful. But some of us choose to stick it out for different reasons. As for me, I married him for bad or good. He hasn't committed adultery, which is the only reason I'd leave him.

I have also tried to play his own game and true, it doesn't work. He seems to shut down even more when I act like him. I think that is why he married me -- because I'm a stronghold, something he just might need in his life. Unfortunately, I'm like his mother.

By anon132514 — On Dec 07, 2010

I was married to an aspie for 14 years who never said my name, never said I love you, never looked directly at me.

I thought I was ugly, unattractive, stupid and undeserving of love. For a long time, his idea of playing with me was hitting large insects with darts and chasing me around the house with them. He never understood why I didn't enjoy his "game' until I caught a bug and chased him with it. He didn't find it funny.

I thought from that experience that the way to make him understand how I felt was to do the same things to him that he did to me, but it didn't work.

First of all, I couldn't possibly bring myself to show total indifference to him and everybody else in the world.

Secondly, he didn't seem to notice if I ignored him. If anything, he may have been relieved. Anyway, I have been divorced from him for more than 20 years, but the emotional scars have never healed, partly because I have to watch as my adult children have to endure the pain of his indifference.

My advice is: if your aspie doesn't recognize his condition and want to understand and change his behavior, at least so that you are not hurt, drop him like a bad habit, get counseling and move on. It may not be his fault, but the rest of us need emotional interaction and a feeling of being loved and he can't or won't provide it. I wish this forum had been around 30 years ago. Thanks to all for your posts.

By anon130738 — On Nov 29, 2010

Wow, reading some of the comments is just amazing. My dad, I've just realized must have Asperger's. I see in your stories so many reflections in him. He never appreciated her, always put her down, never helped her with anything and everything was always her fault. Once, we all had food poisoning, and he pretended to as well so he didn't have to look after us.

He would spend hours on the computer or the toilet reading, going to bed at 3 or 4 in the morning. Thankfully after 30 years they split up but now my brother and myself find that we are the ones that have to counsel him but he never takes any of our advice.

He's got subjects that he talks non-stop about (boxing, maths, certain music composers, war history) and you just sit there while he just talks. He's unable to take any social cues for inappropriate subjects (talking about BJ's and S&M with your daughter?) or when people try to change the subject.

I can spend all day with him and we only do what he wants to do, and he won't ask me how I am or what is going on in my life. Presents that he's given me over the years are always ones that he has interest in. He craves company, but not to actually connect with people, it's more just a distraction from his life. He just wants to talk about his interests and that's it, making it difficult to make friends.

He hates doing mundane tasks such as simple cleaning or collecting the post. If two days go by and he hasn't gotten his mail, he freaks out because it starts to pile up.

I always thought that was just my dad, but it's comforting to know there are others out there dealing with the same things. I still love him, but I've learned that I have to look after myself. I spend time with him, but I don't emotionally engage with him, because I'd constantly be let down.

By anon130644 — On Nov 29, 2010

I can SO relate to many of these posts! Poster 270 remarked that reminders to get things done around the house are met with anger - so true. And robotic sex. After an unwarranted tirade, or more commonly, the continued harping about my many infractions - how can he expect a wife would be inclined to get close? Especially when we never touch throughout the day?

Another poster mentioned how anything that goes wrong is her fault. My husband invents wrongs. When the garage door goes up in the evening, I steel myself against what he will find to criticize.

Returning home from a 10 day visit out of state with family, I was greeted with accusations of being a spendthrift and a being racist for finding a cool vintage cement lawn jockey for the backyard garden - for $25. Control of my spending is always an issue - and I shop Goodwill and garage sales a lot.

He's in the top 2 percent of earners with a secure job, so what gives? Another poster mentioned sense of humor, but with a goal to annoy - oh yeah.

An Asperger's diagnosis could hit him in the head and he'd deny he had any of the characteristics. According to him, our marriage troubles are strictly due to my mental health problems and he has no issues. In any case, our daughters tell me they'd never marry a man like their father, and that's sad. Hang in there, ladies!

By anon129992 — On Nov 26, 2010

I am pretty sure my husband has Aspergers. Lack of physical affection, sitting constantly with his nose in his laptop and sticking to the subject for a long time.. right now it's recipes and how many he can "collect."

He is 66 years old and has had one failed marriage and one wife died. I honestly question my own sanity for marrying him, as we dated for two years and had some very tough scenes. His grandson has been diagnosed from a very young age with Asperger's. His son seems "normal." Does it skip generations?

By LuvAS — On Nov 25, 2010

anon129585, I know exactly what you mean. My friend/boyfriend is undiagnosed too as far as I know. I have no idea if ever in his life he was diagnosed, because he refuses to admit that anything is wrong.

I haven't mentioned AS to him because to be honest, I'm afraid to. I don't know if it would make him feel better or put him into a depression or make him even more passive-aggressive. Some people say that all Aspies are the same in that they cannot socialize. Well, my Aspie socializes but he makes everyone annoyed!

Like you said and others have mentioned the talking about the same things, repeating things over and over. There is hardly ever a two way conversation. It's like he monopolizes the whole talk and then if I say something he doesn't agree with he criticizes and becomes frustrated. It is so stressful!

Like Is2010 mentioned, no gifts for her in only seven months of marriage. I have noticed the very same thing. My friend never gets me anything and has only recently suggested giving me a gift. I find that the stress is with the lack of affection, compliments and just telling me that he cares. I tell him every day that I wish he would, but he changes the subject. It's like he is afraid to talk about feelings and emotions. The only ones he talks about are anger, frustration or happiness and only pertaining to his interests.

Like you said also, he is never wrong. Nothing is ever his fault and he seems to not understand my feelings whatsoever, no matter how many times I've tried to explain the pain I feel or the neglect. The other night he did finally show some feelings. It was like Christmas! Then the next day he acted like the night before never happened. Here we are celebrating Thanksgiving today and he hasn't called or contacted me in any way. I have left him about six messages and he hasn't responded.

We have talked about him doing that too. He gets so wrapped up in his things that he can't seem to see, hear or care about anything else. Another big issue for us is that he misunderstands 90 percent of what is being said due to taking things literally so he ends up frustrated or upset because he takes things the wrong way. It seems I spend much of my time explaining to him what things mean. He can't read peoples emotions and when he does, he reads them all wrong.

I am very patient with him, kind and loving so to have a place like this to come to talk to you guys is great support. Some people get annoyed on here thinking that we are being mean to our Aspies but the truth is that we need support too.

I think it's better to come here to blow off steam or talk about our pain than to take it out on our significant others, so at least we are taking a healthy approach to helping each other keep our sanity in a very stressful and lonely situation.

By anon129585 — On Nov 24, 2010

Thank god i have found a place that I can relate to. I have been married for 25 years to a man whom I believe has AS (undiagnosed). I am never right, e.g., if i were to have a argument with someone, he would immediately blame me. Anything that went wrong with the children growing up, it was my parenting, because in his eyes he was the bread winner. Did i mention that I have worked for most of my married life?

If there is ever a mishap, it's my fault. E.g., my teenage son drove my old ute, and a couple of days later it had a leak from the radiator. Well my husband immediately said that my son had been dropping howlys in the ute and that's why it had a leak, which is not true.

Life is very stressful living with an AS person. No emotion or understanding of my feelings. Some typical examples of behavior are repeating the same stories over and over, always talking about his family, not me and our two children, but his parents and brothers and sisters. Whenever we go anywhere there is always stress prior to leaving to the point of a family argument. It is becoming almost unbearable.

By ls2010 — On Nov 22, 2010

Don't feel so bad. I've just been married seven months and my husband hasn't bought me a single gift of any sort.

He loves plants and when he buys a plant of whatever sort, he plants it and he says its mine and that the flowers it gives are my gift. Sounds romantic, but I know he really bought them for himself.

I asked him the other day why he has never bought me a gift and he said, "You wouldn't like it." Then he never talked about it again.

As far as flirting, I don't have that problem but I am beginning to notice that he pays extra attention to women. He says he's not jealous and so figures I should feel as he does. I don't.

By LuvAS — On Nov 21, 2010

Thank you for the post Chip, and welcome to the conversation!

I have a question for everyone. My undiagnosed Aspie friend doesn't flirt. I may have mentioned this before. When we first met he would tell me that I'm beautiful and would very lightly say flirtatious things but since he "got me" so to speak those days are over. I have asked him many times to pay me compliments or show some sort of I guess you could call it man-woman interaction, you know like with words but he says no and that it's weird.

He is almost 40 so I can't understand why he would say it's weird. I can't understand this. Does anyone have anything to say that might give me a clue as to what this means and if it's an Aspie trait for some?

By anon128988 — On Nov 21, 2010

Help! I don't know what to say. I believe my husband has something. Anti-Social, passive aggressive, Aspergers. High intelligence. But he literally is out of touch. He says he has been living inside his head. What does that mean? We have been married 20 years. The last ten have been awful. I have two boys, now teenagers. They are both bright, but have empathy, eye contact and laugh.

He has bullied me. Won't look me in the eye. Makes me write things down. I can't tell him if something needs to get done. Ex. Cutting the lawn for Mother's Day. He got so made at me and didn't talk to me for the rest of the night. I have been going to a domestic violence shelter for 2 years now. Abusive? I don't know. Lack of affection, won't even kiss me, even when I ask! Literally pushes me away. He says he loves me and that I am beautiful, but his actions say something else. I have gotten my affection and love from my sons for the last 10 years. However, they are now teenagers. Kids get older, and so did I. Time for them to lead their own lives. College soon.

Sex is robotic. I have stopped that for the last year. It feels like I am being used. Almost abusive. Someone actually had to tell me this behavior towards me is abusive and harming me. I had breast cancer and he was not supportive. I couldn't even talk to him about it.

I feel so alone. I have been to the lawyer, but I couldn't understand until I came to this section. I think this is what he has. Highly intelligent. Programmer. Excels at his job. He works at home and doesn't leave the house for days. Doesn't bother him. Malls and grocery stores cause anxiety for him. I have been sending him out on small trips to get him out of the house and be more independent. I have asked him to stop coaching my sons in baseball. But he sneaks in behind my back. This has been going on for seven years. He promises he won't, but then does it anyway. He is passive-aggressive. Has severe psoriasis. He is a control freak. I don't know. My counselors say he has odd behaviors.

Thank you for listening. Being on the other side is difficult. He shows no emotion. Even when his mom died and when his brother died. He is okay with kids and animals. I used to be jealous of the dog! No manners. Never opens the door. Barely says thank you. Walks ahead of women. I have to constantly remind him.

Thanks, everyone. I am just confused. I am also emotionally drained and exhausted. Horrible migraine headaches weekly. Aches and pains I cannot describe. Stress is tearing me up.

I am just trying to understand this disorder. He won't get tested. I did an online one with him and he fibbed. When I did it pretending I was him. He was on the spectrum. Any advice? Lonely and Heartbroken

By Chip Cooper — On Nov 21, 2010

As an adult, 56 year old Aspie (BTW, first time I'm using that moniker) I feel I've been fortunate to have been married for 30+ years to a fairly tolerant woman. I'm high functioning with a high IQ (you guessed it, the SQ, not so much); however, when I began to realize my difference I felt liberated, especially when I saw first attempts by scientific community at definition.

I have always turned to books to learn just about any subject I chose, having been blessed with an ability to handle a steep learning curve. I chose two books and obsessed on one subject that changed my life forever. Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people." (Although the influence side seems to somewhat elude me) and Emily Post's book on manners. What had come naturally to others was available in book form: a formula for talking to others, and public behavior.

That alone may have been enough, but I so wanted to understand how to pass for a non-Aspie, I started to obsess on Hollywood's best actors and actresses. The advent of the pause and VCR and now DVRs enabled me (to my wife's exhaustion) to focus on speech intonation, facial expression and slow visuals down to a snails pace to observe the more subtle nuances.

For example, a good actor/actress might display five or more emotions in a single second, or less than the blink of an eye. Ironically, I seemed to shortly thereafter develop an uncanny ability to "almost" read minds.

Thanks to my wife, I eventually learned how to determine the difference between what a person "wanted" me to see, what they were "hiding" and what they "actually" were saying. Some are very good at hiding what they're thinking, but I can tell them because, except for Aspies, most don't have the same intonation and expression for both what they're thinking and wanting you to see. When I see that, if they're not an Aspie. (sigh) OK, this whole study is my favorite subject, but let me move on.

I think I'm more fortunate than many Aspies as I can form emotional attachments, especially if and when I can by rote remember to move outside of myself. But, even that doesn't quite describe it. I had a unique religious experience (too complicated to write here) and felt pure joy and bliss which I call love.

Ever since then I find some people whom I think of as special in that I feel the same joy with them. My wife has been very patient with me as I moved from being the "Mr Spock" as she called me when we first got married, to someone more considerate of her needs, although she might say they don't come often enough for her.

I've learned to know when I'm beating dead horses, how not to dominate conversations, and after studying (stuff) she says I make an excellent intimate partner. Again, I focus on her like when watching actors and actresses to observe her responses. I mean, I guess, everyone does a lot of this maybe naturally, but I do process a lot of information to move around and get along.

I talk a lot and lately I seem to be getting worse as I'm fighting diabetes, and a back injury with medication and blood pressure, and a whole host of other things with the medications affecting me to the point where I can't seem to stop talking, a lot almost on random subjects. LOL. I get confused a lot.

Facebook and others let me socialize in snippets. My wife says I can do really well with most people as long as they don't live with me. Jobs are too much, as my co-workers eventually see through something. I've lost most jobs because "I'm just not a right fit for the team." and when I ask for specifics, they don't seem to have any concrete examples or reasons, but apologize and fire me anyway.

But, I've been very happy most of my life after 25, and I owe my obsession with wanting to be understood as the key to my selection of study that taught me what I know now on communication. I naturally filter what comes out of me now, but I've tried hard here not to filter things (a lot).

I love meeting other people with AS and find they're easy to recognize. Most have it worse than me, but even I have trouble having a strong relationship with them. lol -- unless we share a favored subject, of course. But isn't everyone like that? LOL. And my wife would say, "Yes, but most people know when to shut up." (sigh) It's true. Unfortunately that's when I'm most vulnerable, less filtering and self centered.

It's fun covering 20+ years of subject matter in a matter of minutes, and then reach the current state of technology and discuss recent developments (if they follow me that far) lol. Thanks for your time.

By anon128692 — On Nov 20, 2010

I am a senior citizen who may have undiagnosed asperger's. Everything I have read makes sense. Where can I get a definitive diagnosis? I need to be treated for OCD also.

By anon128006 — On Nov 18, 2010

I'm an adult Aspie who, like many, remain undiagnosed though it was clear as can be. After plenty of failed relationships -- bad at picking partners -- started dating a psych who's an Aspie expert and picked it up immediately.

It's amazing nobody caught this before. Her colleagues figure it out in a minute or two without telling them and that's even without knowing about a family history of Autism.

Asperger's is a lot easier to manage if the Aspie understands it. Common signs: an unusually deep knowledge on some subjects, no interest or outright contempt for opinions not well researched, disdain for incompetence, monotone speech, distress about loud noises or lights, no interest or an unwillingness in things that do not lead to tangible goals (ex: dressing appropriately), talking to oneself, seeing leisure as a "waste of time," performing like a super-human at a small number of specific tasks with no interest in other tasks, a perception by others as arrogant or intimidating (with a response by the Aspie of confusion or indifference) and confused psych professionals. They may want to diagnose an Aspie as bi-polar without the episodes of depression or the cycles, dislike of hugging or other feel-good activities, a family history of Autism or Asperger's.

If you have an Aspie at work and want to keep him or her -- which is common, we're good at what we do -- but don't know how to deal with "disruptive" behavior and bad feelings here's some advice.

1) keep him/her in small teams (really small: 2-4 people), 2) if they are tuned out at a meeting give up, 3) encourage the Aspie to explain the condition to co-workers and ask questions. Team members must not try to read an Aspie's body language or speech, or expect an Aspie to read theirs -- co-workers and supervisors should just bluntly explain how they're feeling and what they're thinking (it's hard to insult an Aspie).

By JCAnnie — On Nov 16, 2010

Hang in there Is2010.

By ls2010 — On Nov 16, 2010

Before I entered into this relationship, I never experienced anything in my life like this before. It is different. There are quite a lot of symptoms that I read for this illness that I see in my aspie partners. None of us are diagnosing them. We do see that they have a problem and it affects us deeply. It is negative in that it is unhealthy for the other person. I don't think any of us are saying that we hate them; we are truly trying to learn to live with their condition.

It's a challenge, and a life-long way of life we will have to endure -- for those who stick it out. But most of us are just expressing ourselves and getting it out of our systems. We need to know that we're not alone and that helps.

If we hurt those who are aspies and posting their point, we really appreciate it. Most of us don't know the other side. Please keep posting.

By anon127516 — On Nov 16, 2010

When I was 15, I was told that I 'might' have Asperger's Syndrome, and about a year later my therapist said this was quite unlikely. I was going through a tough time fitting in at school at that age (my best friend moved away and my other friends began to exclude me), and this false information just added to the internal pressure I was under at the time, and undermined my social confidence. I thought I would never connect with anyone again.

I'm 18 now and am quite contented. There seems to be a gap between me and others in college. For example, I don't bother drinking (which is very popular here) and I don't have a girlfriend. I don't get on well with young children, because I was an only child and rarely had experience with them. But I get on well with most people at college in general and am quite satisfied with my life.

My point is that people shouldn't rely on unreliable 'diagnoses'. If it takes a long time for a professional psychologist to ascertain that a patient has the syndrome, how can an unqualified (but well-meaning) parent/spouse read something on the internet, and in a snap, with absolute certainty say "that's my husband", "That's Albert Einstein"(who probably never met a psychologist who knew anything about the Syndrome) or "that's my child", etc?

Some posters here seem to be harsh on their spouses about something that might not even be true. Wouldn't you expect most separating spouses to say "Oh, my husband never cared about me", "He was completely self-interested", "He was never able to do anything" anyway? With Non-Aspergers people, relationship issues can obviously occur too. You should read post number 221, which is short but makes a good point.

Please also try not to focus too much on the negatives. Although the negatives are profound, sometimes the focused interests of those with Asperger's Syndrome bring profound benefits too. This might not be true in all cases, of course.

I suppose that's a laundry list of things to do for people who already seem to be under a lot of pressure in their lives, but if you try to understand people your relationship might improve. (I mean that in the best possible way.)

By ls2010 — On Nov 16, 2010

He's not talking to me today. Sad.

By JCAnnie — On Nov 15, 2010

@LuvAS: Yep, you hit the nail on the head, all right. He doesn't like touch at all. Not to say that he hates my touch, just touch in general. If I touch him and he is "unprepared" for it, it really bothers him and he pretty much jumps off the bed, couch, chair.

He has always said from the get-go that he is not sexual. Not to say that he doesn't like it or that he doesn't want it, but that he doesn't really think about it.

He doesn't like to be pressured into talking about it. I learned that a long time ago. Hopefully this counselor, who recognized it from the beginning can help me to adjust.

Bottom line is that I would do anything for him. He is such a gentle and kind spirit and I believe my soulmate. He provides me with so much being him with his AS.

Thanks for your support you guys! This is great!

P.S. He hates loud noises -- even noises that I don't find loud!

By anon127279 — On Nov 15, 2010

@Kieran: Well, when I was young I was terrible with women. That was too much additional pressure on top of my social deficits. In my early to mid 20s I intentionally exposed myself to more intense social situations and surprised myself by developing some charm over the course of a couple of years. It still might be a little "active but odd" but it can get the job done in terms of women.

My advice would be that no matter how socially inept you believe you are (you cannot be worse that I was, I just don't believe that's possible), practice, practice, practice. You'll never be Alec Baldwin smooth but you'll get good enough to g4et a woman. If it were truly that hard, none of us would be here.

One great place to start would be to take some vacations and just hang out for a few weeks. People on vacation are very open to striking up conversations with strangers. It's nothing like home, trust me. It's a fantastic way to practice with women because there are no consequences to failure. You'll absolutely never see them again and that takes some pressure off.

But first, just practice shmoozing and being laid back around women. It's a skill like any other and it will come.

By LuvAS — On Nov 15, 2010

JCAnnie: I'm glad someone brought up the sex subject! I can't tell you how many times I have wondered if my Aspie friend is gay or asexual, because he flirts only on occasion and he never wants to discuss anything related to sex. I have never experienced a man acting like that before.

At first, I thought it was very nice and different and that he was showing a tremendous amount of respect for me, but after a while a girl starts to wonder, "what is wrong with this picture?"

In that book I mentioned in my other post, there was a woman who said that she asked her Aspie husband why they never have sex and his response was something like "we already have kids. why would we have sex?" I don't think all people with AS are like that but I have read that quite a few are and it seems to get even less and less as they age. Remember, some are very sensitive to touch so perhaps it's just too uncomfortable for them.

@ls2010: Yes it's difficult sometimes to hear about the same topic over and over but I am OK with it when my friend does it because I know he can't help it. I don't have it in me to hurt his feelings by telling him to stop. I will admit there have been times when I just wanted to run away screaming "no more!!" lol.

We have been talking about the same subjects for a year now and I smiled a little at the mention of banks because mine is very wrapped up in that sort of thing right now too.

I'm not making fun of my Aspie friend. I think he can be a wonderful man and one that I would marry tomorrow if he would get some sort of treatment and not so much for the Aspergers but for whatever condition he has along with it. I am learning that it is that condition that is causing the problems and making his AS worse.

Does anyone else have this going on with their significant other and if not, have you considered that something else might be going on too?

By anon127242 — On Nov 15, 2010

I have Aspergers but remain undiagnosed. I figured it out at age 40 but to me getting diagnosed would be pointless. It's like a guy with a missing arm going to get diagnosed as an amputee. It's completely obvious.

I would say my symptoms have been at the 11 of 10 level in most cases. heh. But I'm older so I've learned how to deal with it. I wish I had known earlier, though.

I still have rage outbursts from time to time over noise or interruptions but I can sometimes see them for what they are, which does help.

In school I also had that "selective mutism" thing as well where I wouldn't speak. My few friends and parents didn't notice it much because I would speak to them. It was not a subtle thing and I knew something was wrong from an early age. Others would say I was shy, which I believed.

I don't think I would trade it for being normal, though. I like the fact that I am extremely honest and loyal. It's a point of pride that I can offer that to people.

I like my interests and ability to drill down until I find the underlying truth that I am searching for. But, like anything else, there is a price to pay. Everyone pays it one way or another.

By ls2010 — On Nov 15, 2010

Ha, ha. My husband's obsession is the Masons. Everything is connected to them. Every time he sees a symbol of such he points to it and he gets so excited.

Last week while we were driving out of town (20 min.) I said to him, "OK, go for it. Tell me everything you want to say about the Masons. My ears are yours." And he went on and on and on.

It didn't make much sense to me because he was just rambling.

Intimacy: It's good, when I feel ready. He can be ready any time.

By JCAnnie — On Nov 15, 2010

@Is2010: Hang in there. This weekend we went to visit his mother and his sister came up with us in the same vehicle. I haven't mentioned AS to his family members, but I feel they know his quirks well and accept and love him for who he is.

Anyway, we were driving back on a three hour drive and sis and I were having a great conversation. My husband started in on something that seemed related and must have talked for about 30 minutes about this other topic that we thought he was relating to our topic, but at the end, sis just said "OK..interesting, but how is this related to this?" Anyway, he does that quite a lot. He connects his current favorite topic to almost all conversations.

His current obsession is how the banks are controlling everything in the economy. Anyone talking about anything dealing with "current hard times" of the US or economy and they will get a lecture about banks.

There are times when I do get really upset and annoyed because I feel that he isn't really conversing, he's just talking, but then I remember that he is trying in his own way to have those social relationships as normal as possible.

At least he talks about things I am interested in as well. Although, after months and years of the same subjects, I sometimes can't wait for a new one.

So, I have to ask you all: for those of you married or in a relationship, how often are you intimate? (sorry if this is too personal) We hardly ever do, but he claims his attraction and undying love to me is there and everlasting. *Sigh*.

By ls2010 — On Nov 15, 2010

Luvas, I'm hanging in there. We went to Lake Tahoe this weekend (first time we went anywhere after our honeymoon). It was weird. He hardly talked about nature. He just got excited every time he saw a vanagan. Oh, I'm so tired of those things. That's all he talks about.

He seemed so bored being there and was rude most of the time, just like a child who doesn't know how to communicate his feelings so just uses gestures to get his point across. It wasn't romantic at all.

I had fun during my daughter's bridal shower. It was a blast. Driving back home was so very boring. He wouldn't speak to me. Every once in a while I had to ask him if he was getting sleepy or what. He would just say, "I'm concentrating on my driving." Yuck!

By LuvAS — On Nov 11, 2010

Jeannie: I have been reading "Aspergers in Love" by Maxine Aston. It's a great book. The book and your tantrum remark made me think about my friend and how he reacts to getting upset with me.

He shuts me out but nobody else it seems and then he won't admit that he is angry or upset he only behaves as if he is angry and upset. He shuts down, to me, completely and then comes back around as if nothing happened.

I mentioned this in several previous posts. I keep going back every time he comes back thinking and believing he won't do it again and then he does it again. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind.

By JCAnnie — On Nov 11, 2010

LuvAS: It is a number of things. He shuts down completely, but then I look at him and its almost as if steam is going to come out his ears!

If I try to approach him about why he is upset (this is over something I find a very small matter that no one has control over really), he is very rude and very angry towards me.

If I don't leave him alone, he then starts to yell and shout and just gets in a panic almost.

His way of dealing with something that upsets him is to almost totally shut down to the world on all other things and be obsessed by this one thing until he can communicate again, in short.

By LuvAS — On Nov 10, 2010

JCAnnie, when you say tantrums, can you describe what he does during these times? Does he give you the silent treatment like so many people with an Aspie partner seem to talk about?

Hi ls2010. Are you doing all right?

By JCAnnie — On Nov 10, 2010

@Is2010: Your husband and my husband sound very similar. He drives so crazy sometimes, isn't really afraid of "dangerous" things, loves to cut down trees (who doesn't!)

Just this morning I put more things together that make me realize that this is what he has. He has never been tested and like I said, the therapist only mentioned it to me, but you are right. He is just like a child sometimes with certain things. I know people can say that "most men are," but this is different.

I think the most difficult hump of all of this will be getting used to his temper tantrums (not too bad most of the time) and then the rudeness.

It's good to know that I can come here for support and vent.

By ls2010 — On Nov 10, 2010

Yes, he did a good thing marrying you. While they may have the illness that they can't really see for themselves, it doesn't mean that they aren't looking for someone in their lives to make life easier for them. They too, need to be loved and cared for.

But the true fact of the matter is that they require a lot more carrying. They're like little children when it comes to dealing with certain adult situations. This week, my husband admitted that he is "high strung" and said that there isn't anything wrong with that. That that's the way God made him. He also said that driving really fast and not braking completely at the stop signs is no issue for him.

He wants to bring down this big annoying tree from the next door neighbors' yard while the neighbors are gone for three months vacation, and tell the man that some big truck ran into it.

He doesn't see anything wrong in doing that. I tell him to just ask him if its OK to bring it down because of the problem.

He doesn't think that way though. He has his own way of viewing life and situations. See you later.

By JCAnnie — On Nov 09, 2010

Recently my husband I went to marriage counseling. She has only seen us both separately, and when I talked with her to set up a joint appointment she mentioned that she thinks my husband has Asperger's Syndrome. I have been reading a lot about it and I think I going to have to agree with her.

He has the strange fits out of nowhere. Rage for no reason. Can't handle things not working the way he thought they would. Doesn't make much eye contact with me. Is extremely awkward in social situations. Focuses intensely on one subject, topic or activity for weeks, months or even years.

He doesn't understand why something he just said was so hurtful. (really, completely oblivious) Isn't affectionate.

However, with all these things, he has found good coping methods and is still able to be in social situations and interact. That is, until someone asks him about his favorite topic at the time, and then the conversation ends. We listen to him lecture.

Many times I found myself so frustrated that he wasn't having a conversation with me. That what I just pointed out was, in fact, connected to the subject of conversation.

I am giggling while writing this because my husband does love me. He is a very sensitive guy and has done well with trying to sort out why someone may be upset, or having a difficult time with their feelings.

If this is what he has, I am hoping I can find it within myself to make both our lives together full and fruitful. I love him with all my heart and just want to know how to work with this and not against it. He has done great so far. He married me!

Thanks for everyone posting their stories on here. It helps me a lot.

By anon124468 — On Nov 05, 2010

Questions re: shutdown - There isn't anything you can do to get him to "come around." and You have to let him be in control of him. You be in control of you.

Go on with your life and when he comes out of the dark corner, be there to greet him. I am constantly asserting my own independence. For instance, I will schedule a scuba-diving vacation and if he wants to come, come, if not, see ya when I get back.

It helps if you don't live with them. I don't think I could take it if I did. I see my guy once a week and I don't call him the rest of the week and that is fine with me and when I do see him, I'm happy to see him and I'm perfectly happy when he leaves.

When he has a fit, I ignore him and finish doing exactly what I was starting to do. And he completely freaked out when he thought I got into a difficult situation backing my boat into a hotel parking spot. and he was supposed to "guide" me, but he was too busy having a tantrum, so I ignored him. I maneuvered the boat just fine without him, unhooked it from my car and said, you got the hotel room key? He had no choice but to calm down because the situation he was upset about no longer existed. This kind of stuff happens over and over again and it amazes me that he keeps doing it. Now that I think I've figured out what may be wrong with him, I probably should not be surprised.

As far as him trying to blame me for his problems, well, first, he doesn't think he has any and second, if he did try to blame me I think he knows I would not put up with it. I would go on a two-week vacation Hmm. maybe Fiji. --K.

By anon123956 — On Nov 03, 2010

Being in my mid 30′s I've always suspected that something may have been a little “off” going back to as young as five years old. I never really related to people my own age and tended to trust people older than myself even to this day.

Since I graduated HS in the early 90′s, there was no clinical name (believe 1994 was when Asperger’s became a clinical condition in the US). I used it to my advantage, believe it or not, although in antisocial ways. I was an all state swimmer who earned an athletic scholarship to college. However, my motivations were for all the wrong reasons.

Being so tall at such a young age, I was a target for mocking comments from other students. Once I grew into my 6’6, 230 pound frame at age 15, my athletic career took off and made headlines in the newspapers. Again though, my motivation for success was strictly to stick it to anyone who had ever disrespected me.

I, like most Aspies, had narrow, intense focuses. Mine was swimming and maintaining good grades. However, as soon as I turned 16 and got my drivers license, a whole new world opened up. Getting alcohol at bars as a 6’6, 16 year old who didn't get along with kids my own age was my “new drug.” Despite being a decent looking athlete, the chicks my age found me odd and made fun of my quirky personality and monotone voice. I never dated a girl my age nor went to any proms. I did lose my virginity at 16 in a one night stand with a 35 year old drunk however, who I met at the local bar.

At the bars, the alcohol enabled me to carry on well with conversations and hooked up with chicks in their 20′s, 30′ and even 40′s. To me, I thought I conquered my hatred with guys and girls my age.

However, despite eventually earning a BS in Finance at a very decent college, finding decent employment was tough. Job interviews were an SOB even though I knew I was qualified. I dove deeper into alcohol and meaningless one nighters throughout my 20′s. However, I stumbled upon a career in my 30′s that I didn’t need college for, but suits an Aspie: debt collection. The job involves skip tracing deadbeats who are in default and negotiating payment arrangements over the phone.

The job obviously isn’t face to face, but my deep intensities for competitiveness and winning (as a swimmer too) feed off of me in tracking people down and negotiating. Since I have somewhat “formal speech” which is common in Aspies, I come across as very “professional” in the eyes of debtors I speak with. I speak to them with respect and sophisticated speech and I have had great success with my commissions. Base pay generally is only around 30K in most states, but the unlimited commission potential can make one easily make 50K plus (resulting from monthly bonuses).

It's not what my goal was as a profession but given the stresses of getting “disqualified” from jobs prior that I knew I could do because of how I came off in interviews (subjective), this field met my needs. No face to face interaction and are basically an “independent contractor”.

My math skills have always been a strength and it allows me to negotiate settlements and payment plans without having dead air when negotiating and it has worked out well. Good luck to all and will answer any responses to my post.

By anon123863 — On Nov 03, 2010

I've been in a relationship with a man for about 10 years now. We broke up for about two years in there. I found out last night that his sister has Asperger's and I began to think maybe he has it too. Does this sound like Asperger's?

He accuses me of changing the subject because there is no connection to what he was talking about. However, there is. It just wasn't the direction he was heading with the subject matter.

He can talk non-stop for long periods of time about the most incredibly boring subjects, for instance, computer 3-D modeling. Doesn't notice that I barely participate.

If I do something he does not like in public, he can have a fit and does not notice that people are staring at him, thinking what an ass he is being.

I do some of the things he likes to do, such as watch boxing matches but he never asks about what I would like to do. If I asked him to do something he wasn't interested in, he would not do it.

The word "love" or "I love you" has never come out of his mouth, but he has written "love" on a birthday or X-Mas card - like a greeting. He is loyal.

Claims that there is something wrong with most people because you cannot have "expectations" from a relationship and says he has felt that way since he was a child.

Attempted conversations about "feelings" always ended in disaster and the reason for the two-year break-up. For example, he said that because I said that I "missed him," that meant that I was dependent on other people for my happiness and he would never allow me to make him co-dependent.

He is a hoarder and never lifts a finger to clean anything. His bathroom off his master bedroom looks like it belongs in a condemned building. Currently, he is laid up from back surgery and needs assistance. I managed to clean up his kitchen and bathroom. I asked him if I could clean up the other areas and he freaks out if I attempt to so much as touch an empty box.

Does not like parties, but was a musician for years playing in bars.

A different sister explained that their family was never very "affectionate."

We don't live together and we never will. I've long accepted that he will never be able to respond emotionally the way I would like him to. However, once in a while he will do something I never expect and it is a complete surprise. Like after nine years, he brought me flowers for Valentine's Day. He fits my lifestyle at this point in my life.

We are both avid scuba divers, underwater photographers, former musicians and technically-inclined. I find him very attractive and the chemistry is right, if you know what I mean.

I was married for 16 years and I am not eager to do that again. I might find someone who is capable of "love," but I'm cynical that I would wind up with someone with worse problems like my ex-husband who couldn't handle money and had to go bankrupt. My life is on track for a healthy retirement in ten years and I don't want anyone to mess that up. I think your priorities change as you grow older.

By ls2010 — On Oct 26, 2010

I have been working very hard to keep afloat with my aspie husband. It's very difficult to humble myself and almost pretend everything is OK between us.

I don't know about you guys but to me, I find that I can talk freely with my close friends and sisters about certain situations, but with my husband, I almost have to blanket every conversation and watch every word I say. I just can't have regular conversation with him.

Like this. What I'm writing now is what every sane person should talk like. But with him, I'm walking on egg shells. I'm not totally myself or comfortable because he doesn't reason like a normal person. I can say something to him and expect helpful feedback, but I don't get anything.

I hope you all are surviving. See you later.

By LuvAS — On Oct 26, 2010

@Ls2010, hello. Remember when I said I was giving up? Well, he came back and is being that side of him that I can't seem to let go of!

anon121906 Post #243: Sorry to hear that you are going through this, but I have to tell you I'm not surprised. I've made previous posts on here and you will probably notice how I am learning more and more the longer I am friends with my Aspie male.

The friends thing is a hard one, mine says the same thing and I have read on quite a few websites that this is very common for Aspies to say that they want to be friends and yet, the relationship is so much more than friendship.

At first, I was so confused by his behavior but now I am getting used to it and wondering, would I want to be married to a man who shows so little emotion and understanding of my feelings? I thought I could and thought I wanted to but now I'm just not sure. He's a wonderful person and I love him and I want to be with him but it's so lonely being with an Aspie.

Some people say their Asperger's mates are demonstrative of their emotions but the only emotions mine seems to demonstrate are anger, frustration, hyperactivity and that sort of thing. No loving feelings, but towards his pets.

He also, like yours, knows no boundaries. He says and does things that hurt my feelings and is shocked to find out that it bothered me so how do you get angry with him or stay angry if he has no idea he's doing it? It's very confusing but, if it's any comfort to you, you get used to it, but it's lonely.

My friend is sweet and innocent under all of this other stuff and a lot of times yes, it feels like I'm a mother. I also read on an Asperger's site that some of them want a mother figure for a wife. I wish I knew what else to say to you.

Just stay strong and try not to take things personally.

By anon121982 — On Oct 26, 2010

I wanted to reply to Billie way up at the top of this thread. I have PKU, and have had so many problems since adulthood (and not being on the PKU diet from age 13).

My problems are so vague, and I know that Aspergers/Autism can be related to PKU and so I stumbled upon this thread. Billie, reading your comment was like reading something I might have written. It really struck a chord with me and I'm now looking into whether you can have Asperger's without the high IQ, because I know I don't have that.

I am independent though, and have been called 'high functioning' in other aspects.

By anon121906 — On Oct 25, 2010

Help! I live with a guy who possibly has it. It's been a strange relationship (which is what I usually attract). He doesn't have any boundaries. We have a lot of fun together though and he has been there for me in ways that most of my family and friends have not. He's told me he just wanted friendship but has not been completely platonic with me.

It's like he's acting out the worst side of what women say about men. He's objectified women and said some pretty trashy things but then been sweet with me and taken care of me when I need him without asking anything in return.

I needed a roommate a while back and he moved in. He told me several things: that he wouldn't want a relationship with another person since he doesn't connect anyway etc. Well, all of that changed. I thought eventually he would see what a special relationship we have together. Instead, with my support and his newly growing ego (it's huge now) any attention he's gotten from women he has grasped onto.

He was trying to be a player recently and has suddenly gotten into a relationship he was only using for casual non-commitment sex.

Now I have to see him share with her all of the habits and routines that I've gotten used to: same t.v. shows, same entertainments etc.

I admit I'm horribly jealous. If it were any regular guy he'd be on the curb.

Most recently I told him how bad it made me feel to have told him how I felt about him and see him and his new girlfriend together. Within just a few sentences he was telling me about how she had bragged to her friends about how sexy he was, etc.

He has referred to me as his best friend. Have I actually been his mother this whole time?

There are a lot of regular life things he just doesn't get, like taking care of property etc. He's told me that although he's in this relationship that he'd always intend to live with me.

I know this is complicated. I don't want to kick him out of my life, I love him, but sometimes his inadequacy in knowing where the boundaries are (even after I've told him) hurt me deeply.

I've grown very resentful, but don't want to abandon him. Help!

By LuvAS — On Oct 22, 2010

anon120777 Billie: You sound almost exactly like my friend. Some of the things you've said sound as though he could have written it.

I would give you websites to go to, but I don't think we are allowed to do that on here.

My friend is undiagnosed but I do believe he is an Aspie.

By anon120870 — On Oct 22, 2010

I have aspergers. It was diagnosed in my teens after I had a seizure. I am now in my thirties.

I managed to go to university and hold down a couple of jobs. I now go to grad school part-time.

I've lived with my parents almost all my life and I am now looking after my mum who has lung cancer. This may sound very selfish but I worry about the future. I have some acquaintances but no friends or girlfriend. People say I'm nice and polite but I can't seem to get beyond acquaintances.

Maybe someone could post some advice? --Kieran

By anon120777 — On Oct 22, 2010

As I’m reading through these posts, well it’s like I’ve written them.

These things describe both my mother and me down to the wire.

I was always a fairly withdrawn child, and would go through some weird ups and downs that ‘normal’ children may not have. After being yelled at or slapped on the wrist I would hide away for hours (once up a tree.)

I was always closer to my dog than I was my friends until about the age of 10 or 11. When I was seven or eight, my mother was bucked off a horse, fell, and was knocked out cold. As my father rushed over to tend to her, freaking out, I remember saying, “Dad calm down. She’ll be OK” and having zero emotion. I recall repeatedly saying “what about the horse?” as it was running around the paddock with the reins hanging down and I was concerned it was going to trip.

My father tried to get me to call an ambulance but I kept asking why and he finally took the phone from me to do it himself. There was no need for it. Mom came to. Her first words, “What happened? Calm down, I’ll be fine. Go take care of the horse.” Cool as a cucumber.

At the age of 10, I dropped out of school after having to lie to the principal about my age in order to get into an advanced math class. I found this perfectly normal, telling my teacher ‘I quit.’ At the age of three or four I was referred to as ‘a real little person.’ I was more likely to order the salmon platter with capers, olives, and crackers at five then I was to order chicken fingers.

At 13, I had finished high school senior math. Between 12 and 14 I studied house plans from the library, reworking them because I was convinced I was going to be an architect. I also memorized the names of several philosophers and studied them rigorously. I would constantly pat people on the head (and have done that more recently too) and just not feel quite right in my skin.

When something ends badly, I always take it personally and consider it my fault, even though it may just have been the circumstances, or the other person’s decision.

I have had panic attacks, mainly during a change in routine or when someone doesn’t follow through with something they’ve said they would. I rarely stand up for myself, and have a tendency to cut people out of my life for no solid reason other than my own guilt or discomfort with their feelings. I do not get what is and isn’t socially acceptable.

My trust for people goes above and beyond that of a normal person. I basically trust people with all my personal information right off the bat and do not understand if people are bored or feel awkward about what I’m saying. I sometimes get the feeling of tunnel vision.

I feel more at ease around people with self confidence, as it tends to make me more self confident.

I have had several lies come out based on not really thinking about what it is I’m saying, and I think people can especially tell when I’m lying because I can’t match facial expressions to words.

I have given people money or spent it like crazy on other people not just to fit in, because if someone said they needed something, and they were in my house, I would just give it to them without second thought and I would never expect anything in return.

I tend to find more value in people telling me how they feel rather than in their actions, although I have had some people down things for me that floored me (why are you doing this for me? I haven’t done anything for you.)

For about a year I had been pretty much on top of the world, and through this can now see how much of a fool I have made myself look like. I’m not in high school, but through the ages of about 17-20 have definitely acted as such.

I don’t like people, but I crave that long term companionship of friends. I moved around a lot (23 moves and counting! Although I would’ve loved to stay in the same spot forever if I could have), and I have noticed that I would more likely spend hours on the phone talking to people overseas or in another state than actually getting to know people where I live. I can have deeper conversations or at least listen when I’m not physically there.

Recently, I had a pretty big emotional upheaval in my life, and it’s caused me to lose a lot, but also in the search for an answer to why I always feel so out of touch with my age group or people in general, I found this and I at least feel a little more positive.

Does any of this sound like aspergers?

I’ve taken some basic check list type things online and was grouped into it, but I do feel like I could use some insight from people who have been around or who they themselves are aspies. I’ve barely talked to anyone from what I call ‘my past’ as it’s just easier not to, but I’m starting to see just what a lonely existence it could be. I do and don’t want that.

I have messed up relationships based on what I call my own personal ‘emotional connectivity.’ I have had people crying in front of me, and really have no idea why I could possibly have made them so upset, or why it wouldn’t be acceptable for me to continue to try to be someone’s friend when I’ve broken their heart. I see myself as so extremely selfish, and selfless at the same time. I will work my tail off just to continue to pay for things for others, and generally end up doing damage to those that trust me by being untrustworthy, but it also kills me to have anyone consider me flaky or untrustworthy. I wish they could understand that I feel like I can’t say no to anyone, which stresses me, so I just avoid the people I have been trying to say no to, so they won’t get a chance to ask me.

Don’t ask me how I feel. I don’t know and this confuses me, and so I’ll generally cry, which is going to make you think I’m sad when really I may just be mad or frustrated or upset, and not necessarily at you.

I have poor judgment, and will generally assume that people know what I’m thinking. I am extremely unsubtle, will most likely make jokes at inappropriate times, will over overreact, will be completely oblivious to hints, will have an air of a God on a holiday (overly confident and all-knowing, yet clearly not there) and if you don’t say “Hey, doing this, this and this will equal you losing your jobs, friends, and self respect” then I won’t get it.

I can talk and talk and talk, without really having a conversation. It is mainly about me.

I try to do nice things for people, but constantly say, no it’s nothing, don’t worry about it, because I hate people making a fuss over it. I leave everything to the last minute, some extremely important things, too. It goes above normal procrastination, and I have a tendency to try to fix everything at once.

I have had moments where I was somewhat convinced that things happening on tv were about me or talking about me. I find it easier to understand people when I’m not looking them in the eye. I don’t really like sex, unless someone shows an effort to constantly wanting me and expresses it verbally.

I’ve ranted and raved enough. If anyone thinks this sounds like aspergers, or has any sites that have other check lists or ideas on how I should go about getting a professional opinion I would like the input. Thank you. -Billie

By LuvAS — On Oct 16, 2010

@anon118814: You're not a bad person if you break it off with him, but I do know exactly how you feel. If you look back in the posts you will see where I had decided to end my friendship with an Aspie man because of a few reasons but the lack of emotional involvement is definitely one of them. The way he shuts me out is what has caused me the most pain and confusion however, it's so hard to feel like you're the only one with feelings.

Last night he called me and I sat telling him how much he meant to me, etc., and he didn't seem to know how to respond. It made it all feel one-sided. When I tell him I'm hurt he says things like "no you're not." One time I told him that I felt jealous and he said I wasn't jealous because I didn't act a certain way. I guess in his mind he has certain reactions he looks for so he will know how another person feels.

Just typing this response is confusing because when I think about this particular topic I get overwhelmed with confusion. I hope this post is making sense! haha. Anyway, it does feel very lonely and at times I wonder if he is asexual, that is how bad it gets sometimes. He has an underlying mental illness though too, along with Asperger's so perhaps that is the cause.

I honestly don't know but I do understand how you're feeling, because several times I have decided to end it, but then he comes back and that Asperger's sweet child-like way he gets about himself sometimes just draws me right back in and I feel like I need to take care of him.

By anon118968 — On Oct 16, 2010

My husband of eight years has finally admitted that he has aspergers. My six year old son has just been diagnosed, and it looks like our two year old son is heading that way too, not talking yet and fierce tantrums, just like his brother.

I have been feeling extremely low the past few years, and I have stopped trying to talk to my husband, as he listens but doesn't hear. His reaction is always "deal with it," which I cannot do any longer.

Knowing that he has AS makes it a bit easier though. at least I understand why he never ever looks at me or asks me how I'm doing. I've been reading a lot about AS and came across a paper about Affective Deprivation Disorder, also known as Cassandra syndrome. If you look up Maxine Aston you will find the info.

I am convinced I have ADD, but don't even know where to start to address it, as I don't want my husband to feel responsible. He already doubts that I still love him. Anyway, just wanted to share the info I found as it is clear that a lot of the partners commenting here are feeling like this.

By anon118814 — On Oct 15, 2010

I have been in a relationship with an Aspie for five years now. It's hard. I feel lonely and that I don't really have him there as someone that takes interest in my thoughts and goals and ideas and emotions and it hurts.

I can't be upset because it's nothing he can control but I feel to get love and to be heard I always have to beg for it like pulling he teeth he just doesn't pick up on it on his own. He wants to get married and I'm not sure I can do this forever. It's asking a lot of me but yet I feel like a bad person if I do break up.

By ls2010 — On Oct 15, 2010

I was just quoting what another page on aspergers said when it listed the symptoms of it. One was the lack of emotion. I live with a man with lots of emotions when it comes to what's affecting him. He just doesn't seem to connect when others are in need of emotional support. But then, nobody really knows the exact need of a person when they're down. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

By anon118532 — On Oct 14, 2010

@231 - Not all of us are incapable of detecting emotion. We just need to be trained to detect certain emotions. And we can empathize with others. It's just, well, we are more likely to go, "What's the big deal? It's just x," instead of feeling bad.

If we were incapable of empathy, then why am I so easy to guilt, and why do I feel sad if someone else is incredibly sad? Mind you, I was diagnosed in Kindergarten or Grade 1, not sure, so I have had time and support to build up such things.

By anon117854 — On Oct 12, 2010

After recently trying to find answers to my father’s life-long ‘attitudes’ (he’s now 83!) of emotional and behavioral actions, I found out that there are ASers in the family line. I have a cousin with it and two cousins’ children have been diagnosed.

Trying further to understand AS, I have been searching the net (my latest compulsion!). I was very surprised to also find that many behaviors are also very particular to me!

I have now found the answers to my inability to cope with changes very well and dependence on routine and things that match my “strange” interests as a child with anything to do with animals and bugs, that also included reading everything I could on them (that started at 18 months!), my above average intelligence as a child and very early walking (at nine months), talking and reading (by three years fluently) and the gift to turn any conversation, I have been told, into a lecture!

Although I am not as antisocial behaviorally as my father, it has given me reasons why I have always preferred my own company (or that of pets) or the limited company of others and pursued my own interests all my life, rather than group activities.

I now have answers as to why, when stressed, I have to color coordinate my pegs when doing the washing, or check around the house to make sure my environment is as tidy as it should be! This also extends into my garden! Needless to say, I have an exemplary tidy house and garden!

My swings into bad temper/moodiness now also have a reason in the perceived inadequacies of the world -- for not behaving as I think they should, when seeing very simple and logical solutions when others can’t!

There are a myriad of my personal oddities that I always thought myself were odd, let alone being referred to as an “odd child” for a girl!

Now, as an adult at 56 years old, I can see where I have utilized my strange knowledge and behaviors and guess what? I don’t care! I have attained high levels of education, if not in the "system," but by myself! I have attained many business and personal experiences, that without having some degree of AS, I know I would never have done or experienced!

To all adult ASers, I say, “Look at what you have attained” (as I’m sure most of you are high achievers like me) and to the young ASers, look forward to what you will do, not what you can’t do at the moment!

By anon117716 — On Oct 11, 2010

i have been in an off and on relationship with an as (not confirmed) for 10 years. We've been apart this time for nearly a year. i love him with all my heart. i tried so hard to calm his rages. he had so many arguments with many he met. he was so hateful to them and at other times could be so friendly.

i shared his obsessions with him for hour after hour. life with him was hell. he had well above average intelligence with a good job, but because of depression no longer works. his brother once said to live with his moods more than a day was impossible. without his as he would not have been special person he is. i miss this special man so much. --Rose

By ls2010 — On Oct 11, 2010

@No. 230: You also made a choice to leave. She may have left you emotionally by losing all trust in you in that she accuses you of having an affair. But you also left her because you couldn't handle the ill-treatment, that as a result of your aspergers problem and as you say, she has it too.

But I wanted to comment to you that to leave all your work and social status is, of course, also your choice, but are you doing it so that another aspie (your wife) will understand? Because she won't. Remember, aspies don't feel the emotions of others.

Are you hoping that your close friends and family will notice? Because strangers will notice you, but to them you're just another street person and we don't know your circumstances nor your habits. Some people don't like to give money to strangers on the streets because sometimes we presume that you will use the funds for drugs, etc. And we can't condone it nor support it.

You, on the other hand, say you don't do that stuff, but who reads this page? Not many people. What are you going to write on your cardboard so people will see you're different? I really hope you get a grip of life. Study the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses. They can help you. Sincerely.

By anon117366 — On Oct 10, 2010

Im 47 and just discovered I have aspergers. It's a terrible thing at first to realize, but i quickly saw through a lot of my anxiety being due to house noises and background sounds. My ex mrs of ten years is gutted as am i.

two years ago i told her that to continue in this keep loving relationship would kill me and I tried to explain to her that after ten years she's never believed what i keep telling her: that i can't understand time, calendars, anxiety to noises, have severe pains in legs, phobic about changing clothes/water, need of patterns, patterns, patterns.

Instead she's treated me like I've PTSD. She couldn't believe that i wanted to leave and is convinced I'm having an affair, etc.

After leaving I'm now homeless but understand why aspies/aunties really love to get out the house. i have nearly every day had at least the thought of living in the trees near water and away from busy human contact. I have lost everything again: business, paperwork, possessions, etc. and am now a tramp, a very clean, non-alcoholic, homeless person.

My main problem is that the homeless/health agencies think I'm intelligent. The biggest simplest mistake we make with aspergers is to assume that the person's intellectual capacity automatically would generate basic simple common sense. it may be positive to point out that aspies can be 'gifted' but it feels like a curse to me and we should treat aspies as dumbo songs on the simple matters, as mostly incapable of operating multiple daily, weekly patterns and in need of observation and supervision. We are mongs. Forget all that clever stuff.

I'm a mechanic/electrician,artist/musician/filmmaker/studio stage engineer, yet as i explained to the ex before i left for good (when i didn't know i was an aspie and she was treated me like a nazi survivalist backwoodsman) all these gifts/skills are just obsessional occupational therapy to distract me from the noises in the house and the environment where i work and live.

aspies are morons on the simple stuff because it's autism, not aspergers.

By anon117256 — On Oct 09, 2010

I think of AS as a special sense that allows people to acutely feel/read the energy of others. That is why we are so sensitive and react so strongly. We are not any crazier than the rest of you, we just have less bandwidth and tolerance for the psychological torture that is called normal human behavior. Society is a clown-pig show. I'm much happier being anti-social. The A-types should all be committed.

By ls2010 — On Oct 04, 2010

@LuvAS: pop in once in a while and let us know how you're doing without your aspie friend. Tell us how your mind has cleared up and how you are feeling wonderful. I'm sure others will appreciate your comments.

I made a lifetime commitment to my husband and I can't just pack up and leave. Unless he cheats on me. I hope he never does -- or else I'll give him the boot. Hee, hee.

By LuvAS — On Oct 04, 2010

ls2010: what a yard sale that was huh? I can relate to your story. My "friend" acts like that too and he makes things up. I wonder, could ADHD ever present itself as Bipolar? In other words, could one be mistaken for the other? I ask because I am trying to determine what other problem my friend has along with the Asperger's Syndrome.

Sadly, I decided last night to call it quits on the friendship, because of a choice he has made that I simply cannot tolerate. I asked him to please reconsider his course of action on a certain circumstance in his life, because I can't handle it and it scares me too much. He was talkative up to the point where I said that and I haven't heard from him since last night. So, I took him out of my phone contacts, I guess hoping somehow that will make it easier. Such a simple thing to do, removing him from my phone, but I am desperate to not be heartbroken over this so I guess I'll try just about anything.

By ls2010 — On Oct 04, 2010

You know what's so sad? I planned a huge yard sale this past weekend to get rid of his junk that's all over the back yard. Well, during my prep time he acted very weird. Every day he'd come home from work he was very agitated. He just couldn't do enough. He even told me that he had so much energy and needed something to do.

I even asked him if he had ADHD, and he responded "Maybe I do." Wow! To me it seemed as if he was having a separation anxiety attack. I don't think he could see all his stuff going away. But then, on the other hand, he kept causing problems every time I would put an item on the tables for sale - "You can't sell this, it's worth $1000. (a tonka van from 2006, really?) He makes up stuff.

Well, after exchanging a few words he said, "You know, I'm just going to rent a u-haul and take all of this stuff to the dump." Wow again. To think that he would rather toss it all away rather than allow me, his wife to get rid of it in a yard sale, shows that he has a monster issue with me. I don't know what it is.

Well the sale day came and he was there when he should have been at work. I guess he wanted to make sure that I didn't sell certain things of his (and I wouldn't).

Nothing of his sold because it's all junk, real junk. It also rained and not too many folks came by. Well, after all was said and done, you know where he went? Into his dark place. He's still there. I figure he got mentally exhausted from the whole ordeal.

By anon115321 — On Oct 01, 2010

I'm so happy to have stumbled across this article. I now have no doubt in my mind now that my boyfriend is an Aspie. He's 47 and a scientist working at a major US University. Both his children from his previous marriage are autistic, one moderately so and one with Asperger's.

It was during my research to better understand the condition so I could understand his children better that I began to wonder if he, too, was an Aspie. Now, after reading the posts from others who are in relationships with an Aspie, I know he is. I think he knows as well but comes from a time when very little was known about it and I don't think he was ever diagnosed.

I'm trying to get up the nerve to ask him but hesitate because I cherish the moments when he is happy and dread it when I do or say something that takes him to his "dark place". I myself started to go to a therapist a month ago as I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. He would get upset at me for the oddest things, never understood when I was just trying to be funny or sarcastic and always, always takes everything that anyone says or does to heart. And his mood can change from sweet and loving to moody, depressed and angry in just a matter of minutes.

In the last six months he has stormed out of the house on three occasions and not returned until the next morning, once sleeping in his car. I really didn't understand this behavior but now it is beginning to make sense. I'm trying to get the nerve to ask him tonight and then I'm going to suggest he go to a therapist (something I've already discussed with my therapist pending the outcome of his answer) to maybe learn better coping skills.

He very often comes home from work so stressed out over something he has no control over and will not let anything go. His last bad episode was a couple of weekends ago when he got upset at me because I was upset at something he had done (and I know think he really doesn't understand why i was upset) - he ended up sleeping in the guest bedroom and when I got up the next morning he had left me a note saying he was going to spend the weekend away to sort his head out. I didn't know where he was or if he was OK and it was the hardest weekend. He finally did come home that Sunday evening and looked like he hadn't slept or eaten in the two days he was gone. He was extremely emotional and kept saying everything was his fault. And then he said that his kids were the way they were because of him.

I didn't want to press him at that time given his mental state but I do believe he was trying to tell me in his own way that he does have Aspergers but doesn't know how to tell me. It won't make any difference to me as far as how I feel about him. It will make a difference in our relationship as I plan on reading as much as I can on the submit and will try very hard to make his life as easy as I can.

Hopefully he will agree to either be tested and/or go for therapy to learn how to deal with life's stresses more effectively. But my just knowing that I am not alone and I am not to blame has made all the difference in the world. I just wish he could have told me earlier in our relationship and maybe a lot of heartache over the last year wouldn't have happened. But nothing I can do about that now - must move forward and make the best of it for both of our sakes.

By ls2010 — On Sep 29, 2010

I'm sorry about your son. But sons, whether they have aspergers or not, are tough to handle, especially in their teens. You're just having a double whammy of it.

But as far as the world embarrassing him, be careful. Some who say they are friends can also be treacherous. The kind of fun people have nowadays isn't what we as parents pray for our children.

The world is so corrupt and misguided. If you really want help for him, search out the truth. In your diligent prayers, ask for specific things and don't turn down what ever sort of help the true God sends you.

By anon114377 — On Sep 28, 2010

I have a son suffering from Asperger's Syndrome with high IQ. After reading all the posts here, previously I thought I know him, now I know I know him little. Now, I really understand how hard is is for him facing this world.

He is now 20 and was always misunderstood by people. He has no friends, nor he is really happy. I wish I could help him, even though I encourage him all the time, but it seems not to be enough.

I wish someone could guide him or help him. You see, we stay in a country in which 99.99 percent of people do not understand people who suffer from this syndrome.

I pray very hard each day to God to guide him and show him the way to meet friends and to be embraced by this world. I hope He will reply.

By anon113556 — On Sep 24, 2010

Wow! This message board has turned into "complain about your friends and spouses". I feel sorry for everyone who has a hard time living with an Aspie. I must be the luckiest person on this board because my boyfriend never treats me that way. They may have AS but they may also have anger, control and manipulation issues too.

By ls2010 — On Sep 24, 2010

Yup! they do that. About 10 days ago mine admitted to having ignored me on purpose. He even has trouble managing his money. I can't get him to make a budget so we won't have money issues. I told him to give me $300 for food and that I'd buy good stuff and be frugal about it, but he said he likes to buy the better quality food because his body requires the best because he burns it off too quickly, he's really thin.

Yet, when I told him that how could that be when every single day he eats out at fast food restaurants two or three times per day during his work and that food is junk, he just looks at me dazed. He just can't admit to anything.

He's always right. Yeah.

By anon113127 — On Sep 23, 2010

Regarding intentionally driving us crazy: One example (that he even admitted to), years ago when I finally had to complain that I can't understand his speaking at times, in a quiet, monotone with no inflection or modulation (an Aspie characteristic according to books on the subject), out of spite he began intentionally not understanding me. And I'm a former radio broadcaster who understands how to speak better than most!

By ls2010 — On Sep 21, 2010

Many are passive-aggressive, it's true. And no matter what, they're always right. Even if they've done something wrong that day, they can't see their error. There's a block in there somewhere.

Mine lies a lot and when I confront him about a certain lie, he denies to my face. It's almost like he's trying to drive me crazy and as if he knows it. But does he? We shouldn't have to excuse mean treatment. Because we know that they're capable of living a productive life at work, with their acquaintances, only they treat their mate bad. And that is not fair or excusable.

By anon112630 — On Sep 21, 2010

@post 201: I'm hitting a wall over how to get my husband to recognize his issue. I even rented Adam (a great movie featuring an Aspie trying to have a relationship with a NT woman). He instead is convinced that I'm bi-polar, which my mother was. This is his fall back for anytime I object to his outbursts, or lack of being involved in the marriage or attentive to my feelings.

Sometimes, you just know what you know, and that's as far as it's going to get you. Some people are certainly dead-set resistant to having any label applied to them.

By LuvAS — On Sep 20, 2010

To post #215, it sounds like my Aspie friend. The thing about shopping and not putting things back exactly right, but he is OCD.

In that book I mentioned in my last post, there was a story from a mother dealing with her son who is in his late 20's and his money and spending stories were unbelievable. I also read somewhere, maybe here, where one woman said her husband didn't want her spending money but it was OK for him to spend it if it was for his hobbies/obsessions.

By anon112474 — On Sep 20, 2010

I'm hearing posters mention angry outbursts. But what about continual, low-grade complaints and accusations over partially melted butter in the microwave, whether something was put back exactly where it was supposed to be, a purchase at Goodwill (for crying out loud!) what brand of toothpaste or shampoo was purchased (it has to have baking powder/only the cheapest Suave is allowed).

I could go on, but it's daily and there's no way to anticipate what the infraction might be. Is this Aspie behavior, or just a mean, controlling aspect of someone who happens to be Aspie?

By anon112422 — On Sep 20, 2010

For you woman contemplating "riding it out" and remaining in your relationships - good luck. But, hallmark events is your lives, such as a miscarriage, the wedding night, breast cancer scare (and other serious medical concerns), will not be met with empathy/kindness when you need it most. Don't count on having many couples as friends, since he's not great friendship material to begin with.

You need to be firm about who you are, because so often the Aspie will turn their frustration into blaming you, and deny they even have an issue. After 20 years, it's no fun -- actually very depressing.

By GracieJoy — On Sep 19, 2010

I finally asked my boyfriend if he was ever diagnosed with Aspergers. He said no, and asked why I wanted to know. Whatever flew out of my mouth at that moment were positive qualities about him and it was never brought up again.

I believe that his mother knows and never told him. She's a teacher for special needs children. I know her and think she's afraid he'll lose it if he knows. Which he probably would. It would upset him and put him in the dark space for God knows how long. I think it is extremely unfair not to tell an adult or child they're an Aspie.

I know he feels different from other people and it probably baffles him as to why he is different. It's like being a blind person and being in a group of people who can see and are told to swing a bat and hit a baseball. All of the people with sight hit the ball but the blind person (the Aspie) can't hit it and he doesn't understand why he's different.

I think it's cruel that he was never told. But I'm not going to be the one to tell him. A therapist should tell him. We went to couples counseling and maybe I'll ask my therapist how she would feel about telling him, since she picked up on his Aspergers over our 20+ sessions. Then I picked up on it and asked her and she said, "you hit the nail on the head." We'll see.

It's been difficult lately but what stinks is that when he's down, I'm down and want to protect and mother him. But I refuse to live my life as someone's mother (I don't have kids nor do I want them) and I also can't continue to live with the outbursts, followed by the dark period and then back to happy.

It hurts so much to go through this and he'll be moving in the next year and wants me to go with him. I feel sad every day because I'm so conflicted if I want to go or not.

By ls2010 — On Sep 18, 2010

@Anon111322. Join the club. I fear and feel for you. It's tough. You're not married to him; you can walk away if you want to be happy and find someone normal to love you. But you know, many men are struggling with themselves nowadays. Women too. It's difficult for everyone. Can't say that you will be better off with someone else. Yet it is your choice. If you choose to try and work it out...you're fooling yourself. When you live with an aspy, its safer to say: If you choose to stick it out well then, you need to get educated on aspies. Yes, read the book.

But you know there isn't any cure for it. He plans and hopes to live a long life like you. No one is perfect and always up and happy. We all have our ups and downs. And yet aspies mostly always bring us down with them. Learn how to live with it for a long time by using skills and loving-kindness to keep the peace. You just have to work harder than normal to keep afloat.

I finally talked to my husband about him getting help for what evercondition he may think he has. I didn't mention aspergers. Again, he just looked at me weird. I told him he needed professional help. He put all the blame for our unhappiness on me. I decided to only get involved in spiritual conversations with him and while in that subject, so I plan to keep my lips in check and only talk about good and uplifting things. I'm hoping to help him see that while in such a state of spiritual uplifting conversations and activities, he can find some kind of comfort and maybe engage in those subjects, he may feel restful and at peace with himself and I. The day may come when the majority of his time is well spent and he'll start feeling better about himself.

By LuvAS — On Sep 16, 2010

I found this book and wanted to give you the title, "Asperger's Syndrome and Adults...is anyone listening?" I read this book in a day. That's how interesting it was!

It is stories from loved ones (like us) of people with spouses and adult children with AS. It is a book strictly for us, the families and what we go through.

Some of the stories in this book were so much like the situation I am going through with a possibly undiagnosed Aspie friend that I was stunned! If you haven't read it, you have to go get it.

By anon111322 — On Sep 16, 2010

All these posts has very much opened my eyes. I have been together with my boyfriend for two years. We connected instantly, and more or less lived together since day one.

All I could see was this amazing man in front of me (we are both in our mid thirties). But I understood quite quickly that there is something not right about him.

Well, first of all, he kept me away from him, like he wanted to shield me, by keeping me away from him. He said "he has the ability to destroy the people he love", etc. We have an extreme love for each other but it's now two years and our life is getting stable, and I am starting to feel absolutely exhausted of always looking after his needs and always putting myself aside. 90 percent of our time is about him. His work. Or his muscle pains etc.

He has a very stressful job, mostly away for 13 to 14 hours a day, so that does not help. He is an md and successful in his job. he therefore has a natural way to lead professionally but also personally. And this goes way beyond nature.

I could go on forever because it feels I have so much to say. I am feeling helpless, lost, confused. He is putting his behavior on me. I get all the blame for why he feels so lost, depressed, out of space, not human. For the last few months, he has been having huge outbreaks on me, in the morning and night. I sometimes have to go out, to leave him alone, until he has calmed down. He is doing this in front of other people as well, like his family or workers in our flat.

He cannot see how everyone else is feeling totally embarrassed by his outrageous behavior. I try to be calm, to talk with a quiet voice, to listen to him, but it has made me feel totally useless, with no energy, and no self esteem. He puts me down all the time, with the smallest thing, to mayor.

I am depressed and of course, can't ask for his support as he freaks out to see me weak. It's like we have this real relationship but at the same time everything is unreal. I have been looking up a few counselors for him, and hope he will go. But I can't talk to him about that right now. he needs to go into his calm period before I do that.

Right now, I can't communicate with him at all, and I have no strength to take up more fights as he will basically destroy me. I think he manipulates himself into thinking that I am the one causing all his outbreaks. He often forgets about conversations we have been having, important ones, about life etc., that he says I am imagining. One day he wants to have children, the other he says he don't, because I am damaging our relationship by not being supportive and lovable to him. Believe me I am.

But when it comes to children, I do have difficulties to understand his changes of opinion every second month. It can even change from day to day. For me, being 37 and wanting children, that is quite hard to deal with emotionally. And all I can do is to be quiet.

Sometimes we can communicate better by writing emails to each other, even if we live together, but it does help! He told me recently that he was diagnosed with bipolar when he was a child, and as late as a few days ago, he did say "guys like me often have some kind of Asperger's syndrome."

That was when i started googling and

find it scary as it describes him perfectly. He would never seek help. He always blames it on his work hours, he gives everything at work, but nothing at home. We would never have been together this long if it was not for me, trying to keep it together.

His mood swings are very difficult to deal with, after his huge outbreaks with me, he can turn in a second and be happy, relaxed. And that is when the hard bit comes in to follow that from my side.

I do want to help him, I love him so much and want him to be happy, but it is hugely hard having to deal with him at the same time. Does anyone recognize himself? --Upfe

By GracieJoy — On Sep 09, 2010

Is2010: I totally get your confession story. My boyfriend may not says he has to "confess", but it's that whole "feeling about something" that can get him in a weird space.

He's also very nervous during the work week and can only clam down and relax on weekends. Usually. Right now, this second, he's at his job interview and was very upbeat for the past two days on the phone, but if one little thing rubs him wrong during the interview he'll go back into his dark space.

I was on the phone with his mother last night and she was concerned about the bad space he was in before he flew out of town and asked me how I thought he was. I was "this close" to asking her if he was ever diagnosed, but I lost my courage and she has enough on her plate with his father having Alzheimer's. She must know something's wrong. But I want to know if they're keeping it from me because either he or she are afraid I'll leave him if I know.

I just want to know or tell him I think he has it. I know there are therapists in the DC area that work with adults with AS and perhaps can help him deal with things a little better. Kind of like training someone's mind to not always see black or white. I've heard success stories about this but I just don't have the guts to ask him.

By ls2010 — On Sep 08, 2010

I'm sorry Luv that its gone that long. And Grace I'm sorry about your situation as well. During this weekend I swallowed my pride and hugged him even thought he was not talking to me. I made small conversation with him about the things I know he enjoys talking about such as work.

Well, he told me that his work mate just had a stroke this weekend and that company doesn't have insurance so he didn't go to the doctor since the guy said it was a mild one and he's had them before. Well, my husband, being that he is a nervous type, he got a panic attack at work and came home early and i nursed him even though I myself came home early from work as well because I have a head cold. I took care of him and rubbed his "tummy" and he felt better.

After a while I took the courage to ask him is he was nervous for some reason. He said his head, or rather his brain, felt like it was being squished and then he said, "Like when you do something bad and you get head pressure because you know it's wrong and you have to confess."

Wow. I asked him, do you need to confess something? He said "No." He then explained that it was just that kind of feeling. But I just haven't found the time to ask him about aspergers.

He still is quiet but all I have to do now is start up a conversation and he'll then talk. We're not suppose to feel sorry for men, they're men and they can take care of themselves; yet, he's so pathetic at times. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but it's true.

Well, anyhow, we're talking. Hopefully today he will be feeling even better and I will be able to ask him.

I guess we all need to be a little more understanding of their illness and do some sorts of kind deeds toward them because I don't believe that they're happy where they are when they're down.

By LuvAS — On Sep 07, 2010

GracieJoy, I wish we had only week long dark periods in our relationship. My friend hasn't talked to me in a month because of his stress issues. He talks to other people, just not me. I feel terrible right now.

I am very sorry that you are going through this with your boyfriend. Maybe it's time that the two of you have a talk about this but wait until he is down from this stress he's going through now. Talk to him when he is feeling better about how he behaves when something goes wrong and work from there. Have you tried that yet?

By GracieJoy — On Sep 07, 2010

I just hit a "dark period" tonight with my boyfriend, which I am sure will last all week. He found out that one of the two positions he is applying for in Texas, was already filled. He said he feels personally insulted that no one told him because he's flying down at his own cost to apply for this job. When I said it wasn't personal and he still has a chance at getting the other job, the rage started and the "I can't talk right now" began.

He leaves Wednesday and I expect this dark period will go on until at least Friday. I so don't want to give up on our relationship but I guess this happens in a much milder form to other non-AS couples. Now I know this is not the time to ask him about his having AS. I'm so sad. And also sad that he cannot see the gray area in the situation.

By anon108941 — On Sep 05, 2010

In reply to GracieJoy, I am going to really pay attention to his behavior now that I have a little more information about this. He has said on occasion that he is "wired" differently from other people and maybe he does has AS. I always put it down as a cop out for "bad" behavior - the shutting down, the arrogance, bad manners etc although these are not always present when he is in a good space - and that's more often than not thank goodness.

I get sick of walking on egg shells. So I will bide my time before asking him to be tested -if he mentions his "wiring" again, that may be the perfect opportunity.

By GracieJoy — On Sep 04, 2010

@Is2010: My boyfriend forgets conversations so I don't think you're going crazy. He mainly forgets when he's in that "super-focused" zone. Like when he's on the computer. Sometimes he'll be surfing the net, watching a Yankees game or typing and I'll start a conversation and I'll ask him if he's listening to me and he swears he can type or watch TV and and listen at the same time. So not true!

Please tell me how it goes if you ask him. I'm afraid it will either cause one of his outbursts or he'll withdraw from me for a long time -- or forever.

And to LuvAS: In my three years with him he always comes back. I've learned how to talk him down from his outbursts by using a really calm voice and repeating the same things over and over to get him calm. Sometimes it can take an hour or more but it works. It took me a while to figure out how to deal specifically with him but I can do it.

Recently he got turned down from a job interview and didn't talk to me for days. I called him at work twice a day like I always do and he'd say, "I have nothing to talk about, I gotta go." Same thing when I called at night to say goodnight. He didn't want to see me for three days either but he came back. He just needed time to get over the rejection which is an issue he cannot handle.

He's going on two job interviews next week and I don't know what's worse, him not getting the jobs, or him having to move for the job. He wants me to go with him and I'm so torn as to what to do. I love where I live and my friends and job are here.

I know I can make new friends because I'm very outgoing and I know I can get another job in my field but I'm scared the move with send him into all kinds of darkness because of the stress he'll be under. He's moving because his dad has Alzheimer's and he wants to be near him before he forgets who he is.

Does anyone know if neurologically Alzheimer's and autism are connected? Probably a dumb question because I don't think they are but I'm not sure.

My psychiatrist diagnosed him when we were in couples therapy a year ago and now I see her alone which is how I found out. I asked her what she thought and she said she most definitely thinks he's an Aspie but didn't want to tell me unless I asked. I'll ask her this Tuesday how and if she thinks I should approach it and I'll let you guys know.

By ls2010 — On Sep 04, 2010

OK, I'm going to ask him this weekend. I need to muster up the nerve first. I'll let you all know how it turned out after the weekend or sooner. I feel the same as you, LuvAS. He's starting to give me that revenge look. And it seems as if he's getting further and further from me.

Do you try to talk to him in a kind of out of your way manner? I can't do that because as it is I have a deep voice and trying to sound like Merilyn Monroe's voice is just not me. I do try to use nice words at times but other times I'm blunt. I hope you all have a nice weekend with your families. I will try.

By LuvAS — On Sep 04, 2010

I think it's a good idea to ask them and put our responses together, but I don't know if mine is coming back. Do you guys ever feel like your boyfriends or husbands will not return when they disappear?

As for other conditions other than Asperger's, well, my friend has anxiety, depression, ocd and i believe ptsd. Sometimes he shows signs of schizophrenia and bipolar, but it's tough to make that call without proper diagnoses by a professional.

I know that those conditions I've mentioned can often look like each other. Does that make sense to you guys?

By ls2010 — On Sep 04, 2010

I think I'm going to ask my husband if he's willing to get diagnosed. I will ask him tomorrow. But I've got to confess to you guys one thing: two months ago, I told my husband that I had a form of autism, (I fibbed) just to get him to feel a little comfortable with me and open up his problems. Well, it backfired on me.

The reason I found this site is because he was the one looking into autism in its different forms because he thinks I am the one with the problem. Actually, he pinpointed to the tee his own problem. Yet, he still thinks I am the one with the problem of aspie, if that's a word.

Tonight, he got on the computer and found another site on aspies and it was talking about women with the problem. Yikes. They don't think that they have a problem. He even told my son two days ago that he was doing research on aspergers because he remembers me telling him about two months ago that I had a form of it. How did he remember that? He seems to forget so, so many things and conversations we have had in the last five months. Wow, that is scary.

I wonder if he has other sick problems along with aspie. What do you guys think? Or am I going crazy? Well, anyway, we should all ask our mates if they are willing to get tested and put our responses together and see if we could make sense of it. What do you all say?

By GracieJoy — On Sep 03, 2010

One more thing: does anyone else want to ask their partners if they've ever been diagnosed? I have a feeling my boyfriend knows but we never discuss it because I'm afraid to ask.

By GracieJoy — On Sep 03, 2010

Flossie made a great point when mentioning the importance of having friends to reach out to during the hard times.

I have surrounded myself with wonderful women in my life who I can talk to about situations with my boyfriend. Without that support I would be lonely as a stone. And yes, the good times with us outweigh the bad. But the bad is bad and when he's in a dark place, or having an outburst, I feel like I want out right that very second. But after he comes around it's great. So confusing!

By flossie — On Sep 03, 2010

It's 2010 and I don't feel so alone now knowing that I can come here and see what's happening in other people's situations.

It's weird, but we are not alone in our loneliness when the "shutdown" is on. I guess if we decide to stay with them - and the good times far outweigh the bad in my situation - then we have some place to come to and honor ourselves during this process.

LuvAS, my night last night was just like yours. That's when friends are so important.

By LuvAS — On Sep 03, 2010

I'm so glad we have this place too. It's hard finding other forums where the women with Aspie partners respond so quickly and all are going through the same things. It's really cool that we found this place!

That being said, it's now been a little over three weeks and not a single word from him. I'm worrying that he has decided to end the relationship. He has done this before but this time feels different somehow, unless it's just my emotions talking/thinking.

Either way, I'm sad tonight, confused and lonely. I miss my Aspie friend.

By ls2010 — On Sep 03, 2010

I'm sorry too that he has been shut down for so long. Mine is still there even though we did talk yesterday about his court appearance which he apparently forgot to go to on Wednesday. All turned out OK for him since his ex also forgot to appear.

After I got it out from him to tell me about it, he shut down again. It's as if he has nothing to talk to me about. If it is your choice to stay with him don't give up on hope. He's not a hermit right? When things in his life start coming up again he just might snap out of it.

You have a good group for support in this page, so use us to vent if you must. You guys are also helping me. We all need to talk at times. Don't feel bad. You guys are really great.

By anon108656 — On Sep 03, 2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been turning my head inside out wondering what the hell is going on with my partner and I have finally found the answer. Thank you to the partners for sharing their experiences re the "shutdown" aspect of AS.

Reading those posts blew me away. It was like I had written them myself. My partner is not diagnosed but his son has many AS traits and reading all of these posts has pretty much confirmed it for me that he too may have AS.

I am the opposite of my partner, very open with my emotions and how I feel, so I am so glad it is not "about me" as I work hard at balancing this relationship. It is very difficult to try and understand how they can "lock" you out without taking it personally.

I haven't seen my partner for a week. He sometimes sends an email or txt - trivial content just to maintain some contact. When I get to see him is anyone's guess. We don't live together - he is my next door neighbor - which makes it more difficult.

I would like to hear from an AS person with any advice they could give me, a non-AS person on how I can better deal with the "shutdown" phase.

Like what you go through during that time away from your loved ones, just to give us a better understanding. I am so grateful I have found this website - I may get some tools to assist both of us when this situation occurs.

By ls2010 — On Sep 03, 2010

I'm sorry for all of your sadnesses. We are all writing about these feelings and concerns we have and are neglecting our own happiness. We need to get out of that zone of depression that is creeping into our own lives all because we don't understand aspies.

If it is an abnormal disorder then, really, there is nothing we can do about it. We just need to learn to adjust our own lives while at the same time keep our own sanity. We can do it.

And if some of us decide to stick it out with them, then that's good too. But we should try and be happy and find things that will keep us built up. Tell me something you like to do that makes you happy. Then maybe we can chat over our own success. I love to write stories and lyrics. Maybe we can join together and write stories or song lyrics. I've been thinking of writing a song about aspies. Can anyone help me? Hope to hear from you.

By LuvAS — On Sep 01, 2010

GracieJoy, thanks for responding. I understand how you feel about not being sure if you can do this for the rest of your life. As for you talking him through these shutdown times, I would happily do that, if he would let me.

He won't speak to me when he is like this. It hurts even more because he talks to a few others during these shutdowns and pretends like nothing is wrong but with me, it's dark and cold and I don't know how to get him to talk to me. Maybe this time he isn't coming back.

This is the longest so far that he has shut me out so, and I'm trying to emotionally detach myself but still be there for him when or if he does return. I'm at a loss.

I have lots of love and caring to offer and will, and would, if he would just let me. Thanks again and I wish you the best with your situation.

By GracieJoy — On Sep 01, 2010

@LuvAS: My boyfriend often shuts down for days. I just try to keep the conversation light and go about my business. He just has to get through that dark period on his own.

Sometimes we are powerless to do anything and it is incredibly sad, lonely and uncomfortable. We don't live together. We used to but he moved out because he needed his own space, which makes it easier to deal with because he's not around me when he's like that. But I call him every day through these periods and talk to him about his favorite obsession -baseball - and he seems to cheer up a bit.

Sometimes all we can do is tell them we love and care about them and wait it out. It's tough. Right now, I'm deciding if I should follow him to another state for a job but I have to decide if I want to continue being in a relationship which has such an emotional void.

I love him to death but I'm just not sure I can spend the rest of my life with him. This is nothing against Aspies but more like my own personal choice. I don't mean to offend.

By LuvAS — On Sep 01, 2010

@ls2010: Now that I realize my friend is most likely an Aspie, I know that I can handle things differently with him. I see all of the things that I did wrong prior to realizing this disorder.

Now that he has shut down for these few weeks, I don't know how to get him to open back up and start talking again. What really hurts is seeing him talk to a few others and acting like nothing at all is wrong but being stone cold with me.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can get him to come back around? I'm trying to do the thing where I act like nothing is wrong, but even that isn't working.

He has so much other stress going on right now. I often wonder if he even realizes how much time has passed.

By ls2010 — On Sep 01, 2010

We've been married five months. This round I haven't tried talking to him. But all the other times I had to be the one to break him out of it, just by talking to him about anything and I guess pretending there's nothing wrong for the moment.

I want to let it go on and on to see what happens but that's not healthy.

He's in his own world and in order to communicate with him you have to jump into his world. It's a lonely place for me.

By LuvAS — On Aug 31, 2010

ls2010, mine is on his third week tomorrow. Do you try to talk to him, does he just ignore you and walk away? How long have you been married?

By ls2010 — On Aug 31, 2010

He shuts down quite often because, in our recent marriage I'm trying to communicate everything that is a problem that really needs to be addressed because it's bad, and every time I do try to talk to him about such issues, he shuts down. It's like he's giving me the silent treatment and he is. Once I waited to see how far he would go, and he's still going, going, going. It seems as if he'd rather not talk to me so that I wouldn't confuse his mentality or something like that.

When he gets into this mood, he also gets into a strict routine as if to show me that he is shut down. He comes from work, checks the garden, changes his clothes, sits on the love seat and watches tv until he falls asleep watching it, and when I come in at around 11 p.m. and shut down the tv, he jumps as if he gets startled and then he turns his back to the tv and then after a few minutes, he gets up and goes to his isolated room to sleep.

He's been doing this for three weeks straight now. Spooky.

By LuvAS — On Aug 31, 2010

Question: Are any of you involved with or were you involved with an Aspie who shut down and wouldn't return calls, texts, e-mails, etc. when feeling highly stressed? It makes you feel like you no longer exist and causes a lot of confusion for the person on the receiving end of this behavior.

It causes a lot of fear and people think: did I do something wrong, will he/she ever come back? Each time my friend has come back but this is the fourth time and I am feeling very discouraged. Why do they do this and how can you get them to open back up rather than waiting for the stress to be resolved?

By anon107659 — On Aug 31, 2010

I have a question.

My friend, undiagnosed AS, disappears from our friendship when ever he is under stress. He doesn't completely ignore everyone but it seems most everyone.

Once his stress dies down, he shows back up in my life after weeks of not returning calls, emails, texts, nothing. Then he acts surprised that his acting like I no longer exist has hurt my feelings. He says I'm weird for being hurt.

My question is: is this common, is this a shutdown? Will he always come back? I love him and don't want to lose him when he gets like this. I feel so bad because he misunderstands almost everything I express to him and takes everything so so so literally. I want to make this work.

By ls2010 — On Aug 30, 2010

My husband of five months is showing symptoms of being an Aspie. He says that a while back the doc labeled him with bi-polar, but my husband doesn't feel that is the problem. He was put on meds for some time and he got off them. He said that he didn't feel normal with them, so he got off of them.

I am noticing that he fantasizes about his ex-wife. He tells me that they're still friends although she continues to cause him a lot of stress. She's taking him to court for a restraining order against him because he's harassing her, calling her, going by the house etc., and he doesn't feel that he's done anything wrong.

I try to reason with him about it and he just stares into the air and gets quiet as though he doesn't comprehend what is happening. That scares me.

By anon106926 — On Aug 27, 2010

Re Post 97 (68465) and to all other women who may now realize their husband/partner or ex-husband/partner may have Aspergers. Over the past two days it has become clear (via school and concerned friends) that my eight year old son may have Aspergers.

Last night, I had that awful ah-ha experience of recognizing many, many incidents and situations in my past involving my ex-partner and (his family) that are now able to be explained and understood from an Asperger's framework.

My ex-partner (the father of my eight year old boy) also pursued me for at least two to three years after I ended the relationship and moved to the next city. He simply carried on, and even stated that we were still in a relationship, but it was just that I now lived separately from him! He lived in his own fantasy/emotional world that was totally separate from the reality of the true emotional situation between us.

He has a history of domestic violence, exploding into a rage that no one ever sees coming (which I have always sensed comes from frustration that he cannot deal with).

He trained as a professional in the medical field but works as an admin officer. He has no friends, but will occasionally become associated with people through groups he engages with for support such as church groups. Dinner at Xmas with his family was bizaare: his brother would lecture you about topics that felt like a nobbish/ intellectual display of superiority and if I tried to be a natural, spontaneous person, I would promptly be cut off.

My thoughts were "where is the normal, natural relaxed banter and conversation (even fun) that 'normal' families have?". When our relationship finally broke down (permanently) I was very negative about him, thinking he was even a psychopath. E.g., when I was terribly sleep deprived when my boy was only weeks old, my ex-partner would wake me up in the morning from the luxury of (rare) sleep, simply to tell me that he was now off to work! Many things my ex-partner told me about his past when I first met him are now understandable.

My concern now is for my boy who is very attached to me and I know he loves me dearly. His behavior can be really difficult but at other times he is caring, considerate and loving. I have been aware for sometime that his father's behavior is setting up poor modeling of social skills: the lack of eye contact when (trying to) speaking) with him, allowing my efforts at speaking with him to be interrupted so that I feel I am speaking to a blank wall (or indeed myself).

My child, at age six, even was able to tell me that he is "lonely" when he is with his dad, and that his dad often "does not answer" him. I wonder to what extent my son has learned these behaviors (lack of eye contact, not answering when spoken to by people other than me) or whether he will indeed also receive a diagnosis?

I take heart and thank all your contributions that give me hope that I can continue my loving relationship with him and give him everything he needs should he receive this diagnosis.

By anon105704 — On Aug 22, 2010

@146: Yes - Don't! Aspies feel normal emotions, but we have a disability akin to dyslexia. We can't vocalise feelings, you need to accept that, and frankly you NTs forcing us to hate you.

My girlfriend does it in spite of knowing how painful it is for me, and why. It's akin to me forcing her (a diabetic) to eat a box of chocolates with me, or forcing a disabled person in a wheelchair to come bushwalking with me. I wouldn't treat her disability with such disrespect but she knowingly taunts mine over and over. (And horrible stuff like pulling hair on my wrists or touching my throat - watch "Something About Mary" for an indication of how much I enjoy that.)

By anon104812 — On Aug 18, 2010

I'm sure my husband is Aspie after reading articles in the past, and now through these posts.

He's an engineer in a highly technical industry, and everyone goes to him for his expertise. Trouble is, at 50, all his peers have risen up the company ranks. Due to his non-relational (lack of) skills, he's been left behind with no "reports" or managerial responsibilities. Maybe if he understood that it's due to AS, that would help.

Also, my issues with him concerning relational skills. He only smiles during sex - and that seems creepy! Our daughter is starting with a psychologist next month, whom I will try to ask (as an aside) suggest that she look for an indication of AS in him. Maybe she could bring it up, so that it wouldn't just be mean old critical wife griping again.

He refuses to consider he might have an issue with anger, or go to marriage counseling.

By anon104580 — On Aug 17, 2010

I know an Aspie security guard who hoarded over 60,000 dollars working as a security guard.

By anon104088 — On Aug 15, 2010

The diagnosis of aspergers is totally misunderstood. For a good look at a mother with aspergers who is raising a severely autistic son, there are some accounts online. The mother of this boy in these videos is clearly aspergers or at least has major autistic tendencies, but it is something so subtle and overwhelmed by the situation she is in, few people have noticed this.

If you notice in one of her videos, while her autistic son is having self injurious behavior, she is bothered by the "commercials" and the "songs" on the radio. This is a tell tale sign of aspergers at its highest functioning, as she appears to be very high functioning, but only exhibits aspergers/autistic traits if you look at her life closely. Of supreme importance is the fact her son is severely autistic. This is no coincidence, my friends.

Researchers still don't understand the connection of high functioning aspergers parents and autism, even low functioning autistic children.

By anon103596 — On Aug 12, 2010

I've never been diagnosed with aspergers. So i don't know if have it. But i can relate to most of the things I've heard about it. i think i have it.

What i want to know is, i was just watching this movie Magnificent 7 with Helena Bonham Carter. It's a good movie. It's about a woman with four boys who all have some form of autism. There's a boy in it that has aspergers. He is getting tested and he's shown a picture of a piece of cardboard with a smiley face on it. I would at the age of 20 say there's a smiley face on it. But he at the age of 12 says it's just a piece of cardboard.

What i want to know is, is it possible that i have aspergers even though i would notice the smiley face? Does that sound like aspergers to people. To notice the smiley face or not? That's what i want to know. If you have aspergers are you more likely to notice the smiley face? Or more likely to not?

By anon103459 — On Aug 12, 2010

My mom thinks I have Aspergers. When she shared this with me I started reading about it and now I totally agree with her.

All my life, lullabies have made me cry. At 25, I'm now at the point where I hate them because of it. There is nothing in my life that happened to cause this.

Not only that, but I taught myself to read when I was 3. I was always years ahead of my peers when it came to reading. I had friends when I was in elementary school but after that, I got bullied and teased by everyone and was left with only a couple of people I could call friends, and others who would just talk to me in school.

I had things I became obsessed with. The weather, the Titanic, and I'm sure there were others but those were the two main things. I've outgrown my interest in weather and I still like the Titanic but I'm not obsessed like I once was.

I now find myself obsessed with TV shows and books. I can talk for hours about things I find interesting and bore people to death. Even my husband walks away from me sometimes. He still loves me, though!

I have an uncanny ability with math even though I hate it. Somehow I can ace math tests without even trying. I also play the piano by ear -- again that started when I was about two or three years old.

Oh, I remember another obsession: Cinderella. I think my mom wanted to burn that tape. LOL. I was always talking to adults, in a very adult like manner. Kids my age thought I was weird (hence the bullying and teasing).

I have anxiety issues, too. The list goes on. The more I read, the more I see myself and finally feel like I know where I'm coming from. I'm not just weird. There is something that's causing all this!

By anon103300 — On Aug 11, 2010

How do you differentiate an anti-social disorder from Aspergers? I think I'm weird so I'm going to go and look up a neurological disease so I can be at ease. Pharmaceutical companies have their greedy paws so deep into the medical doctors' pockets that they are pulling diseases out of said pockets.

According to the list of symptoms, over half the people I know could be diagnosed as having Aspergers. People are such hypochondriacs now days. Hell, I could easily say I have it. I'm the most awkward person I know. But, no, I embrace my weirdness and move along with life.

By anon102648 — On Aug 09, 2010

I have asperger's syndrome and I have to laugh at a comment posted at the top of the list where a religious fanatic said that they were praying for us. Haha. This person believes in magical cartoon characters to 'help' us through praying and we are the ones who are considered mentally ill? Use your brain please. I think I speak for most of us when I say to keep your prayers to yourself.

By anon100923 — On Aug 01, 2010

I'd never heard of Asperger's until I'd been in an Aspie relationship for 15 years. I found out by accident when discussing a neighbor's autistic grandson with him. My husband's behavior was similar. One thing led to another and I discovered AS. It was a relief to finally know the reasons for my husband's odd behavior. To those in love with Aspies, I pray you will have the strength to deal with the issues you face each and every day. God bless you.

By anon100118 — On Jul 28, 2010

Wow. Reading these posts has opened by eyes to the true reality of Asperger's - not just what they say in textbooks, but how it affects people's lives. I am convinced I have many traits of it, as does my boyfriend.

I am, of all things, a journalist, which has been difficult socially if I have to conduct an interview on a day I'm feeling socially awkward or slow. Some days are better than others, no?

It's amazing how many of us spent years, even decades, living in solitude without realizing that it wasn't, technically, our fault for feeling socially awkward.

I hope that everyone can find the peace and self-acceptance that I seek, now that I know who I am. It feels good.

By anon99175 — On Jul 25, 2010

After reading all the posts on Asperger's Syndrome, I cried and cried for God's mercy so that all of our loved ones could be cured. Today, I know my prayers have been heard and God will touch you all with his love and mercy. Amen.

By anon97604 — On Jul 20, 2010

I'm a 30 year old woman and I believe I have AS. I've always felt odd and different from everyone else. I used to think that my shyness and my inability to make friends was due to lack of socialization as a child. I was not around anyone except for family until I was in kindergarten.

The older I get, the worse it seems to have gotten. I still live in the same city I grew up in, yet I only have one friend. I've always envied other women who seemed to make friends so easily and were likable. I find it almost impossible now to form a friendship.

I've read through lists of symptoms of AS and I have quite a few of them. I tend to go on and on about subjects without realizing the other people are bored. My coworkers will abruptly change the subject with me. People have just walked off as I was speaking. I don't really listen to what they are saying.

I've had people tell me that I am way too intense and I scare others off.

I also seem to have no filter on what I think and what comes out of my mouth. I say inappropriate things a lot. I do have issues with control and anxiety. I cannot stand to have someone in my home (like a family member who is visiting from out of town) when I am not there. I get very anxious when my husband's son is at our house. I dislike the interruption to our daily routine.

I hate myself for feeling that way too. I try not to let my anxiety show and make him feel unwelcome.

I've always longed to live out in the middle of Alaska, far away from civilization. I just dislike people in general. The only people I can tolerate are my husband, daughter and my best friend.

I don't have the extreme intelligence in math (it was my worst subject) or music (I'm tone deaf). I've always loved English, literature and I'm addicted to reading. I read magazines, books, and blogs for hours every day.

I got married for the second time at 26, but before then I was in one failed relationship after another. I had the same issues with every man I was with. I've finally improved in that department and am able to be a better partner.

My husband once referred to me as a hermit to a marriage counselor. At that time I hadn't heard of AS or I would have told him I thought I had it and got his opinion.

Since there is nothing that can be done for it, I don't think I will seek treatment. Right now I get along fine. I work in a small office and have only one part time coworker that I have to deal with directly. In the future when it comes time to change jobs, I might have issues.

By anon96895 — On Jul 17, 2010

I have read most the posts here, but none have addressed my concerns about AS. I have a son, 44, with AS. He has diagnosed himself and I agree. I love him so much, but he doesn't want anything to do with me. We haven't talked for months, he won't return my calls. What have I done to upset him?

It is difficult to talk with him as he takes everything I say to heart, that it's to him about him when in reality I have been referring to a TV show or another person. He blames me for his inability to socialize with women. In fact, he blames me for his life being what it is.

His father also had AS and used alcohol to compensate for his lack of social skills. When confronted with a "get sober or a divorce", he chose to keep drinking as he could fit into the world much easier when he was drinking. He died at 47 from acute alcoholism.

I miss my son and am concerned with his well-being. He prefers to be alone, as he has all his life. He has only one friend, an ex-wife that he could not stand up to, and a teenage daughter that he has tried to be a father to. He wants nothing to do with his sister and often calls her terrible names. Although he has AS, he has never missed a bi-monthly visitation with his daughter in her 17 years. This situation is difficult for her, too.

I wish someone would respond to this post regarding parental relationships with AS grown children.

It hurts to think that our relationship is over and done.

By anon95941 — On Jul 14, 2010

I work for a man who is a right pain in the butt. Then I suddenly got a thought he might have Aspergers. I read up and he ticks off all the boxes. Now I have more empathy and will try not to think he is such a jerk anymore. Information and knowledge helps.

By anon93789 — On Jul 05, 2010

I am the mother of a young woman with Asperger's. I am also a special education teacher and got into this field because of what I learned as a parent. I have read every post on this site and feel incredible empathy for some of the people who have have expressed how difficult their lives are. My daughter is now 20 (2010) and if there is anything that I have learned either as a parent or as a teacher, I thought I would share my thoughts in case it helps someone:

Diagnosis can be really difficult. Twenty years ago, Asperger's wasn't well known and it took us a long time to get a diagnosis. My daughter was 15 by the time she was diagnosed, even though she was seeing several specialists.

We are all individuals, and two people with Asperger's can appear quite different. My daughter is extremely kind, empathic and interested in how other people feel. Nonetheless, she has Asperger's.

Although most people who have Asperger's have a special, intense interest, not everyone does. Some people have shifting intense interests.

My daughter struggles with social cues, talking too much, depression, irritability and appropriate, mature behavior. She also cannot determine when something is important. She often will demand attention for the smallest, inconsequential issues at the most inappropriate times.

I think it's helpful to get a "label" as early as possible to share with your family and the school because that way you can learn about the diagnosis and find resources. Get your child on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to get special education services in school. Your child may or may not need special help academically, but certainly your child should get social pragmatic training or social skills. This is now done in schools. For any IEP which identifies a student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, the federal law requires that the school identify what social skill training the school is giving the student.

Whether child or adult, try to get involved in a non-competitive activity. Martial arts has helped many. Music, the arts.

Square dancing! No kidding, square dancing is great exercise and appeals to many "math or engineer" types, probably because of the various patterns which are formed by eight people in a square. You have to take lessons and learn the calls, but square dancers are known as very accepting people. My husband and I like to dance and have recently started to take square dancing classes. We have observed it to be a very accepting community and have seen how people who struggle to be accepted are respected and welcomed in the square dance community.

While there are no medications specifically for Asperger's, if you have intense irritability or depression, you may benefit from mood stabilizers and or anti-depressants. Get a doctor who is really a specialist in treating people with ASD or Asperger's.

Try to go into a field where you do not have to rely so heavily on social skills. Has anyone read any of Temple Grandin's books? She is someone who has done amazing things with animals and is an inspiration to many. My daughter is studying animal care at our local community college because she is passionate about animals. She will not have to read social cues with animals. See if you can use your interest to earn a living and thereby love your job.

Get support from a church, temple or synagogue. Didn't work the first time? Try again. Unitarian Universalists (UU's) are an incredibly accepting community. UU's are committed to the belief that everyone should be accepted for who they are. UUs have long had gay/lesbian and transgendered ministers, long before it was fashionable. My daughter and many other people I know with disabilities have received great support at UU churches.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the therapy which is highly recommended for people with Asperger's. Find a therapist who really is a specialist at working with patients who have ASD or Asperger's. Together, you and your therapist target specific behaviors which are causing you the most difficulty. The therapist will then assign certain "homework", in which you practice new responses and new behaviors. Practicing, with a therapist's support and advice, will help you develop new strategies.

I suggest coming up with a clear explanation of Asperger's as it applies to you. Use it when you meet new people or are experiencing difficulty somewhere. Explain to the person you are dealing with that you have Asperger's and you have difficulty with social cues. Although you may not respond in the same way others might, you mean no offense and would appreciate it if people could try to make their concerns clear to you.

Finally, if you are having trouble with employment, go to your state's Rehabilitation Commission. It is the Rehab Commission's mission to help you find employment that you can keep. They will talk to employers and explain your situation and needs. Many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger's qualify for rehab services. They can be extremely helpful. If you're a hard worker, there should be no reason why you experience continual job loss if you have the right support.

I really hope this helps even a little.

By anon93721 — On Jul 05, 2010

I've finally found a home. I am a secretary at an engineering firm, surrounded by rocket scientists and other geeks all day long. And now I understand why I fit in so well.

While reading "The Big Short," I discovered one of the architects of the most recent financial collapse was a member of this club. As I was reading the description of his symptoms I thought they sounded vaguely familiar, then someone at work the next week mentioned that most engineers were AS. It was then that I realized why I felt so comfortable working there.

I have always been criticized for being too analytical, too literal and I never understood what was wrong with that. My hobbies are music and languages and mostly because they are mysteries to me that need to be fathomed. I like to spend my weekends locked in my home, recuperating from the social interaction at work.

Shyness dogged me for decades, then I learned to act. Now I have some acquaintances but no true friends, other than my sisters who are not always pleased to hear from me and rarely contact me.

My second husband was AS I now believe, although originally I thought we both had ADD. I have a warm relationship with both of my grown daughters, but only hear from them occasionally. I live alone now and love it and hate it.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

By anon93442 — On Jul 04, 2010

My uncle suggested that my mom may have aspergers. after reading up on it, i think she just might. she also has epilepsy, which may have hidden or covered a lot of the clues.

She has no friends her age, and the few people she hangs out with are my friends who she has been like a mom to. occasional outbursts of rage, depression when she feels she has messed up, a serious lack of social skills,and repetitive hand motions when she is having small seizures.

i see that a gluten/lactose free diet seems to help. she decided about two years ago that she is lactose intolerant. guess it's time to talk to mom about aspergers.

By anon91887 — On Jun 24, 2010

My daughter is marrying a aspie. I was married to a manic-depressive for 22 years and am trying to come to terms with the symptoms of aspergers.

I have read all 163 posts here and several case studies from the Harvard School of Medicine. The hardest part for me has been separating the aspie symptoms from the person.

Life makes us accountable for our actions and decisions and I feel sympathy for those who have personality disorders that create havoc with the realities of life.

My experience with a Bi-polar wife of 22 years helps some, but my experience is that eventually love is overwhelmed by the non functionality of the loved one and their disorder. Sad but true. my heart goes out to the aspies and their spouses and I am proud of my daughter's determination to make her relationship work, yet I have sadness knowing the probable outcome.

By anon91388 — On Jun 21, 2010

I have asperger's, and like post no. 5 i have a family member that i am almost positive has AS, but it's not my brother -- it's my father.

He is over 60 years old and we are in an eastern developing country, where seeing shrinks is not really a welcomed idea and not accepted for some like the west. Also, education and reaching information is not easily accessible for him. He is not an internet user.

I am certain he has no idea that he has AS, as well as other symptoms like social anxiety and mild attention deficit disorder.

i can feel him wondering what's going on with him and I'm torn and wish to give him a hint/little information.

When i knew about myself having AS only this year and I'm 25, i was happy that i knew what's going on with me but at the same time i was very sad, cried and felt hurt very deep inside me. i don't know the reaction of a father receiving this information from his child, since he is over 60 years old.

I am afraid that something bad might happen to him, like severe depression or something else. Also i don't think that i can approach a friend of his if this is a suggestion, as he has no friends.

Do you think i could approach him with the idea that he might have AS (He is my father and over 60 years old), and if so,how?

Or better not shock him after all these years?

I desperately need your opinion. Thank you.

By anon91083 — On Jun 19, 2010

I have been reading these posts and really feel that this is me! I am a 38 year old woman who has been living with these symptoms since childhood. I always felt out of place and unaccepted by my peers and family. I was always bullied in school and never spoke up for myself.

I am deathly afraid of failure. I have never found my niche in life.I have above average intelligence but cannot complete my undergraduate degree. I love science and play many instruments.

I struggle with stable employment and was diagnosed with bipolar depression. I never knew how to feel or how to respond to everyday situations. I always doubt my feelings and beat myself up when things go wrong.

Recently, my mother revealed to me that when I was younger the doctor diagnosed me with mild autism, which I now know is aspergers. My mother ignored the diagnosis and pushed me even harder. I wish she hadn't done that because maybe I would have a better quality of life today. I am always so confused and torn by how to react to situations and fearful that if I react wrong I will be punished in some sort of way.

I am a loner and never had many friends. I prefer to be alone in my own world. I feel safe when I am by myself.

I struggle every day with the normal routine of life. I cannot seem to have an uneventful day ever.

I become overwhelmed when I have to be in social situations and will normally opt out. I avoid crowds and have had few romantic relationships and do not recognize when the opposite sex shows interest. You must verbally express your feelings to me for me to get it. I do not respond to non verbal communication.

I am glad to know that there are others like me. It is a great relief to now know why I respond the way that I do and to know that I am not crazy!

By anon91057 — On Jun 19, 2010

To all of you who have posted prior: God is watching you and knows your difficulties and will never put you through something you don't have the skills or strength to handle. Yes I have religion, but it is a hell of a lot better than being in the basement with no hope.

I wanted to encourage all of those spouses who live with a diagnosed or undiagnosed Aspergian. I agree with post number 20 and his sarcasm in some aspects. I don't believe that the diagnostic knowing that you are "labeled" is the cure.

Sure. it helps get you into areas of help from the community you couldn't otherwise access. But, it’s not a rug you can sweep your problems under or blame for all of you personality flaws.

Since most of you are extremely intelligent and can mimic better than any actor it isn’t a my glass is half empty, but a my glass is half full; let's go see where we can get to be in the “normal of society” Which there isn’t but we won’t go there today.

Learning to communicate on a bigger scale with any Aspergian is a good start. One dear person wrote that you just have to tell them in more detail. If you over communicate then all is usually smooth! For example, with most of the AS people in my family circle, you just pleasantly tell them they need to this, this, this, and this. Don't nag, make a game of it. The more positive you are, the less stubbornness you see from them on the cooperation scale.

My hubby and I had struggled for quite a few years with our relationship. We have just learned to dance around the bad times and go on. Aren't you married under the saying for better or worse in good and bad times? With the diagnosis of our eight year old this year it has so improved how we as a couple deal with our emotional mess of a family. I'll tell you more about us later.

I have to tell you about my son. Unlike a lot of the information I’ve gleaned about social interaction, he is a social butterfly most of the time, he just doesn't know where other people’s spaces are. He misses his hugs and gives them to everyone. He will often invade your space to the point of help, I need a breath.

What put him in the AS category was the following:

1. Extreme knowledge/Intelligence. This child carries out conversations as if he were an adult. In fact, he would rather function in the adult world than in his own. He has a vocabulary that overwhelms me and he knows the meaning of each word and if he doesn't he asks.

A true walking encyclopedia as Aspies are often labeled. But when he started second grade this year he couldn't even read on a Kindergarten basis.

2. Memory retention beyond scale. It is phenomenal what he remembers. But it is always in an area that is pertinent to him. Don’t expect any Aspie child to like memorizing their spelling words. But put this knowledge to work for you -- it makes a fun mental game for them. When you can't remember where you put something in the house such as keys, phone, remember a grocery item at the grocery store or a specific date or number, they are more than willing to help you.

3. Tunnel vision in things mechanical (a little engineer). my son loves anything that can be designed into something else. Legos, string and a stick, tinker toys, connects, old boxes, etc. Provide them with things to challenge their design skills. In our family it is helicopters and they are designed from everything.

4. Extreme anger outbursts. These come from frustration of not being able to communicate through the “wall” of their knowledge to the outside.

Being a supportive parent is my ultimate goal so that said, I set out to find ways I could help him with any problems he might encounter. We have found a lot of help online. The other help has come from an unexpected resource - his school. I had a very low opinion of public schools, but this one is out of this world in their teaching and caring skills. My son is not a number in the hallway.

I’m excited to say that at the end of the school year, my son is passing his second grade with flying colors along with the others and at their academic skill level!

Because of all of this, my husband is one of those cases who can finally realize where his tendencies toward eccentricity come from and deal with them. Me, myself and I took the path towards Bi-Polar, ADHD with symptoms becoming more pronounced with age. With all of these labels I just remember one thing: we are perfect in God’s eyes!

By anon90761 — On Jun 17, 2010

I have AS. In no way is it a "condition" and I don't suffer with it. It is just something you develop.

They may say it is part of the autism spectrum but there is a hell of a difference between AS and autism. Most people with autism can't carry on a conversation but people with AS can and provide eye contact as well.

Though I may have it, I believe I am growing out of it. I wasn't as shy as I was six or seven years ago, I can look people in the eye, and though I'm not that social I am trying to be. So there you go. That is all I will provide.

By anon90737 — On Jun 17, 2010

This is incredible. I think I just inadvertently realized my husband may have Aspergers. I've got a 2 1/2 year-old son who doesn't have an official diagnosis yet, but looks to be at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.

He's in an intensive early intervention program: 25 hours/week of ABA Therapy (adaptive behavioral analysis). He's doing really well and is finally starting to talk. But I definitely see areas where he's not developing -- mainly in the social/emotional and ability to communicate. He also lacks the ability to 'pretend play', a key milestone.

I was reading up on Aspergers and read this site and these postings. This is my husband to a tee -- and his father, my father-in-law, as well. In fact, it explains so much about his family who I've always described as less of a family and more a group of preoccupied, absorbed individuals. None of my husband's siblings -- all in their 40's and 50's -- have ever been ever to find partners and seem to struggle with relationships.

I've always worked hard to connect with his brother, whose conversations are totally one-sided. They all tend toward long one-sided monologues where the patient listener is dragged along for the ride and rarely reciprocated. That's three generations, and from what I've gathered, great-grandfather seemed to struggle with some difficult issues and had a job that required intense focus.

My life has taken and unexpected turn with my son's Autism/Aspergers. But he is my gift, and I pray that I have the grace to understand him, support him and help him unfold and develop into a wonderful, resilient, happy and fulfilled person.

I have no idea whether this insight might help or hurt his family at this point. A lot of healing and understanding could come from it, but good intentions can carry unintended consequences. This is a journey I'm on. But we're all on a journey of some sort, aren't we?

By anon90546 — On Jun 16, 2010

To the person who asked whether anyone else walks around with their head down: yes. I am like that, my grandpa was like that, his brother was like that.

The joke in our family was about the time a tornado took the barn away and Grandpa didn't know it until the next day, when he got to where the barn should be and looked up and it wasn't there.

By anon89829 — On Jun 12, 2010

After seeing the symptoms and behaviors of Aspergers in adults, I am certain that the man I love and broke up with has it. Inability and unwillingness to communicate, extremely rigid in ideas, way of thinking, frighteningly afraid of any kind of change no matter how small. Obsessed with traffic patterns and how roads are built.

I came to the conclusion he was just a jerk and I loved the wrong man and now I am very sure this is what he has. I love him very very much but apparently I scare him because I ask him to communicate and talk and open his mind to new ideas and this is too much for him.

He tells me he loves me very much too, but for these reasons we do not fit and are not right for each other. What a shame.

By anon89477 — On Jun 10, 2010

I am a 41 year old married woman with two boys (both Aspies!) a girl (probably an Aspie!) and my husband is an Aspie as well! I've been reading all these posts and can say that my heart goes out to all of you!

Personally I grew up with an Aspie (my father) and always had a difficult time with understanding others because they were not like my Dad. I always attracted the geeks, nerds and weirdos because I seemed to be able to understand them when others couldn't. I am very outgoing and have a lot of empathy and caring for others. I think this gives me the ability to understand people who have AS.

My husband and I have been together for over 21 years, (married 14!) and have had many ups and downs and I also thought of getting a divorce. Finally I got my husband to read the book “Freaks, Geeks and Asperger's” by Luke Jackson and he finally realized that he probably had AS. Our relationship changed for the better and now I understand him better and he also understands himself better.

Our oldest son is 13 and was finally diagnosed when he was six. I've done a lot of research and will tell you some of the things that we did for him that might help you too.

First: See if you can go to a local college and take a social skills class. These are normally offered through the speech department.

Second: See if you can find an occupational therapist who does sensory integration.

Third: Take a martial arts class.

Fourth: Also learn how to do yoga or another relaxation art form.

Fifth: Try to unplug from the TV or Computer and go outside in nature! Find a stream, river or creek and play and listen to the water. My husband and kids are all fascinated by water!

Sixth: Try not to be so hard on yourself!

Seventh: Use a timer when working on your passion. Tell yourself you have 15-30 minutes and then go on to something else.

Eighth: Try to practice smiling in front of the mirror. When in conversation and you have to smile (like when saying hello and goodbye). Try to think of something that makes you laugh and then your smile looks normal and not so stiff and fake.

Ninth: Unless you have another diagnosis, (like bipolar) get off your meds! Most meds do not work for Aspies! None of my kids or husband are on drugs (except for like asthma and blood pressure).

Last: Go on the wheat-free, gluten free, and casein-free diet! This means anything that has wheat, oats, barley, rye or milk in it. Our oldest son was non-verbal, wouldn't look you in the eye, stimmed a lot, had horrible tantrums and was very hyper until we put him on this diet. He is now almost "normal" and is very human and not so robot like. In fact, most people don't realize he has AS! It doesn't fix all the problems, but does help with most of them.

The best way to go about this diet is to visit a Celiac website and follow the instructions for a wheat free and gluten free and casein free diet. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that this has made the biggest difference in my children's lives. We also went dye free, preservative free, hormone free, sugar free and organic as well! We use rice milk, rice flours for cooking and baking and rice or corn pasta, lots of veggies and hormone free meats. We have done a lot of experimenting over the years with what worked and what didn't and watched our kids get "high" off of wheat foods and not get "high" on rice and corn.

They are all very healthy and have met or exceeded their growth charts. They don't seem to have the wild and crazy mood swings, they all have friends and participate in sports and music. All of them received at least a perfect score on their SOLs (Standards of Learning) and our youngest received all perfect scores on all his SOL's. I am able to help them with their social problems and to help them understand social and body cues better than when they were eating wheat and milk.

I could write a book on everything that I have learned by having an Aspie family (one of my goals, if I can find the time!) and what a wonderful journey it has been!

Don't get me wrong. It hasn't all been a walk in the park, but it has been a bed of roses, thorns and all! I hope this helps all of you and please feel free to comment back! Take care and know that there are people like me out there who do understand you and love you! Dawn

By anon89302 — On Jun 09, 2010

Wow. I am in like company for sure. I just broke up with my girlfriend b/c of many of the more challenging aspects of Asperger's.

Her oldest son was diagnosed with AS but my ex-girlfriend has not come to terms with her own unique behaviors. Biggest problems have been: aggressiveness, inappropriate behaviors, obsession with single topics, not picking up on social cues, and taking things inappropriately - not really stealing but seeming greedy.

We go out mostly with my friends, and she never contributes to the meal, no BYOB at parties, no gifts for the host. When we go for dinner at a friend's, she eats and drinks excessively.

I truly think that she sees all this 'free stuff' as really good value and wants to maximize her consumption.

I gave this relationship two years and after some break up/make up incidents, I finally packed it in altogether.

Here's what I miss: I was never bored. My ex is incredibly intelligent. She has a large personality -interesting, engaging. She doesn't do anything half way. And when she falls on her face, she gets right back up again. But she can only talk about herself and has little awareness of how inappropriate she is socially. I miss her. --HHWI

By anon89300 — On Jun 09, 2010

I think my husband has AS. Whenever I've mentioned anything to him in the past that me might be a little "different", he is completely offended! Any suggestions on how to get a professional evaluation without completely offending someone?

By anon88616 — On Jun 06, 2010

GracieJoy-: As is the case for anything in life, you need to weigh the positives vs. the negatives on continuing with an Asperger partner.

I have chronic but mild depression and my husband is an undiagnosed Aspie (I like this spelling better than "Aspey"). Following are some thoughts to get you started:

Positives - 1) Aspies are loyal to a fault and as my therapist says, "He is all but incapable of cheating on you. It is not even a blip within his cognitive framework in regards to your relationship."

2) You know where he is at night; watching baseball or a movie. Not out spending money, meeting women, drinking, etc.

3)Any social functions you go to will be of your choosing, with people you like. He does not have the relationships, invites, social skills, nor desire to draw you into them with his friends (if he even has any), family nor coworkers.

Family gatherings usually only occur if and because you arrange them with his mother.

4)If and when you have kids, he would rather take care of them than go "out and about" with you. This allows you to get some much needed and deserved alone time.

5) He will usually do whatever you tell him to, in terms of cleaning, fixing things, bathing the children, etc.

Negatives - 1) You will never feel like he is your "soul mate" as it is extremely difficult to form intensely intimate emotional bonds with a man who is incapable and/or uninterested of/in such.

2) You will often have to deal with at least an initial struggle/adult "tantrum" when trying to get him to go out and experience life with you. 3) You will probably have to receive most of your emotional stimulation from your girl friends and family.

4) You have to tell him what to do, show him how to do it, and repeat this process forever, before he finally "gets it" and it becomes part of his routine.

5) There is nothing "obvious" about Aspies. Say you're standing there with several bags of groceries, a kid on your hip and are about to topple over in your work high-heels. He will just stand there and stare at you with a dumb founded look on his face. You have to tell him to come help you. This includes exactly what to do to, like, please take the groceries and put them on the counter, then go back outside and get the rest of the groceries from the trunk and put them away.

Please note that most of what I get irritated over and I blame on my husband's Asperger's is common to the male genetic code and the success of your relationship will be to "pick your battles" and be grateful that, although you have to instruct him as you would when scripting computer code, at least he is willing to do it. Many "normal" men aren't.

Also, much of his inconsiderate behavior is not intentional. He is just completely unaware and not trying to be malicious, even passively.

By GracieJoy — On Jun 05, 2010

I think my boyfriend has AS. I feel sad for him because he has no friends except me, is socially awkward, doesn't always make eye contact, is unable to express physical affection or express his emotions, walks hunched over and is so obsessed with baseball and watching movies on TV.

He lives in his own world, like a bubble and doesn't engage in conversations about anything that isn't a die-hard interest to him. He rarely seems to care about what I have to say.

When we first got together I was heavily engaged is using prescription medication and never noticed these symptoms. But now that I am sober they are glaring.

He recently moved out, just across the street because I was going through a bad depression for which I am now medicated. We still remain "together" and he spends weekends at my apartment and we talk every day.

I love him so much and he hasn't been diagnosed and I can't just come out and tell him that I've been reading up on AS and I think he has it. He is the sweetest person and I really feel that if things don't change I'll just have to be his friend, not girlfriend, which I don't think he'll seem to mind because he's seems disinterested. But I want to give it a chance.

Our sex life is weird because he sexually expresses himself in a very domineering way (hair pulling, spanking) and then afterward he's right back to his regular self. Do people with AS express their pent up anger sexually?

I don't know what to do. Any suggestions? Can adults with AS get help with their social skills? I think I'll have to buy a book. I'm so confused.

By lovinmother — On Jun 03, 2010

thank you all for sharing part of your lives with me. my daughter is 30 years old this month and has all the symptoms of asperger's syndrome.

this was diagnosed as many things over the years at different times by different doctors who saw various symptoms. at the times she was being treated for one or the other of her symptoms, she was beating on me and sometimes i feel like running away but at least now these tantrums have a name and i am learning how to handle her aggression better.

I've only known about this disorder seven days but knowing gives me hope. she is a very bright girl and she is beautiful. i mean outwardly, especially, and inwardly when she is at herself, but on some of her bad days any little thing can throw her into a rage. She gets depressed a lot, mostly over things she brings on herself because of how she handles situations with others. It tears me apart seeing her suffer daily. Rarely is there a day that goes by without turmoil or upsets.

As a parent it so scares me to even leave her side this year because she has no insurance. the ones treating her for these past symptoms have mostly been emergency room physicians due to self medicating. they tend to totally misunderstand how sick she really has been. they are not hearing what i am saying and have had her put in jail for her behavior. She is in the one-third group who have seizures with this disorder and she has been in i.c.u. three times for the seizures and has regular seizure activity.

I love her so much but doors keep closing. if there is any one out there who can help, keep in mind before you answer i am a mother who has been trying. She has been denied her disability three times and has had this condition, or signs of it, since a very young age and was treated by psychiatrist until she was 18. Then she decided she wouldn't listen to them (and they were of little assistance ) or me so i have just prayed a lot and try to let her have her independence and watch after her daily by either being with her myself or making sure someone is, because without even realizing it, she can be a danger to herself and others.

There have been a few desperate times her family stepped in to place her in a state hospital through a judge's order but they only would keep her for 24 hours because she can convince anyone she's fine and get home and the tantrums start back before her feet hit the room.

i will greatly appreciate any help and advice that is sincere. thank you all once more. --loving mother

By anon87784 — On Jun 01, 2010

I am currently in a sic-month relationship with a 24 year old whom I totally and completely love. He has Asperger's.

We have had many issues lately, but it was not until I came here and read some of the postings from people who have the syndrome that I now understand some of the problems we are having are totally and completely normal.

As someone who loves him, I need to know how to handle some of the problems with being in public, and handle the difficulty in talking about things.

He is very very loving and affectionate, but hates to "really" discuss what he is feeling. Anyone have any ideas/comments/hints?

By psieve2 — On May 29, 2010

I saw Mozart and the Whale. It could have done without the girl wanting to have sex with Hartnett's character, but i guess those raped in youth can become that way, due to a loss of self-esteem (they can feel some need to pleasure men for the self-esteem, but we know pleasures of the flesh never fulfills a soul; but only God can)--so sad a mindset she had.

I guess his mindset, or maybe emptiness, didn't allow him to see he was taking advantage of her sexual disorder by consenting. Hopefully, they completed each other, as it's based on a true story.

There were others in Hartnett's Aspie group, who show other symptoms.

I couldn't find "Adam" online.

If Aspergers could get me disability or a job easier, I'd consider being tested, but otherwise, if there's no cure, I can only see adapting as the solution.

By psieve2 — On May 29, 2010

Maybe there is an alternative to Aspergers. I've read Rev. Conrad Hock's "The Four Temperaments" and Art and Lorraine Bennett's, "The Temperament God Gave You," which is more extensive and much better, and no less psychological (the Catholic references are for examples, but the information is religious), than Keirsey's 16 temperaments model.

I believe I am about 50/50 melancholic/phlegmatic. I am shy around a room of strangers, but I can be social around those with whom I am comfortable.

I can be fussy and critical, but not as much or as near as frequently in-person as a pure melancholic. I am an idealist, but also not as much as a pure melancholic. I do fear failure and big projects, like a pure melancholic, but I can do big things, if my back is against the wall (I don't plan big vacations, but if something goes wrong, I make do).

I can't decide what I should do in life. I get many sarcastic and non-verbal signs, I think, though likely less than my more extroverted siblings and peers.

There are other similar to temperaments things about me. Some are like Asperger's.

Maybe the Asperger's test and a temperament test can tell complimentary things about an introvert.

I am no trained psychologist, but I am an introvert and I wonder if family dynamics and peer dynamics may play a part in how socially one behaves. If you're shouted at for not finding something, you might become anxious in life and not develop correctly socially speaking.

If peers make fun of you for being an introvert, you may not develop like most, either. In these times, avoiding the mainstream often may be a good thing.

Some become religious hermits and the mystics amongst them can be fussy at those who act stupidly.

I have a friend who says he's an Aspy, though, despite being drawn to logic, match, music chords, he seems to get play on words humor, as well. He adapts better than I do to not let his weak points get the best of him. I can be subconsciously reticent, by becoming half-assed about what my heart isn't into, though; I can complain if I feel I can't succeed, but that could be some of a melancholic temperament.

By the way, Kingdom Hall is Jehovah's Witnesses and not Christian, even (if their baptism is not the shared Christian trinitarian with water kind, it's not Christian). They mean well, I'm sure, and have a fine healthcare system, I think, but they do not have the way, the truth and the life, Christ brought us via the church and priesthood established in the New Testament, the Catholic Church.

The Apostles made personal mistakes, but God revealed his Father's pastoral direction and truths he was ready to reveal to us through them, anyway, so don't let the scandals make you indifferent about a true church, which I said what it is.

We even have a Guardian Angel and a patron saint or two (can't do well to leave out Christ's mother and foster-father) for certain petitions, through whom you can offer up to God your praise, penitence, petition and anything else, as they lived heroic lives of grace and can make our prayers from our sinful selves more positively answered. St. Dymphna can, for example, help with mental troubles.

They can help us strengthen what are the weak points of our psychology. Praise God!

By anon87353 — On May 29, 2010

So many questions, and I am almost afraid to go and get the answers. I was bullied in school, and I don't even want to go into how bad that was for me. Worse than that was the fear that if I had tried to fight back I would have been punished at home for getting in trouble in school. Seems there was nothing wrong with me that a beating wouldn't take care of.

I was always told how self centered I was. I have no real self esteem. I always wanted to be able to do something that would be special so that others would like me more. Cars -- I've always been fascinated with cars; in fact I ended up being a mechanic and almost never stop studying about them.

I have not been diagnosed. I continually try to hide my shortcomings. I even hid the fact that I got beat up at school all of the time. I never wrote anything in school or elsewhere if I could avoid it.

All but a couple of the teachers somehow realized that there was no sense in expecting to get homework turned in from me. From them I'd get good grades, just from what I did in the classroom. The others all came close to failing me.

Truth is I almost cannot write by hand, never could. Today, typing on the computer allows me to write. I actually see most of the mistakes, and of course simply letting the computer check the spelling and grammar really lets me do something that I never could have done by hand. Yet hardly a day goes by where I don't spend a lot of time alone.

I opened my own repair shop and work all by myself except for a little help from my wife. I think I yell at her all of the time, and she is just about the only person that likes me. Why am I the way that I am?

When it's just me all by myself and I am working on someones car I'm OK. I can fix the cars, but I can't keep the people happy. I've had people say that I'm odd, some use the word different.

One person recently asked me if I have heard of Aspergers so I have been reading and found this site. I'm really wondering about this, and am really apprehensive about posting this now that I wrote it.

Something is wrong. Always being alone isn't normal yet it's better that way.

By anon87351 — On May 29, 2010

I wonder how Aspergers may be different than a melancholic temperament, with maybe some of the phlegmatic (for those more social and less tidy melancholics)--see "The 4 Temperaments" by Rev Conrad Hock, which can be read online, or the more extensive: "The Temperament God Gave You" by Art and Laraine Bennett (though with Catholic things mentioned as context or sometimes examples, the reads are not theological in themselves) to see what I'm talking about. Many psychologists may use the 16 temperament model by another author, but none of those explained me as well as melancholic-phlegmatic (about 50/50%) mix from the Bennett's book about the 4 temperaments. The two sets of authors (Hock and the Bennetts) differ on whether there could be a melancholic-sanguine, because the more psychologically-trained (I think, but could be wrong) second authors see no mix of an introverted and extroverted temperament. The Aspie tests may make the difference between Aspergers and a temperament or temperament mix, but the psychologist may be hooked on a particular method. Who knows? Maybe the two methods are complimentary.

Though I have smiled when criticized by one who's not threatening to me, I am into sanitizer, can't stand my room getting looked in upon by a parent, run off most all, but conservative pro-lifers, on Facebook and am not good in interviews, I am not anywhere near interested in math and I get subtle humor and sarcasm, though likely not as keenly as extroverts. A friend, who says he has Aspergers, can get dorky jokes, as well. He doesn't like being around more than a loved one or two or a friend, but he makes himself adapt, which I rarely can do. I have trouble doing what I don't want to do, often because I fear failure and not obstinacy.

Below is a possibility I thought of (I'm not a trained psychologist, but I'm introverted and don't relate, in many ways, to most my peers) for socially-challenged introverted behavior.

Some may be in their own shell, just for being shy or maybe because of a hyper-critical or kneejerk shouter parent, who shouts at an sensitive kid inconsistently or whose shouting unnerves a sensitive child and may affect bolder siblings in a different way. Maybe none of that happened, but the kid got teased and deep-down, had no connection made with his/her peers.

BTW Kingdom Hall is of the Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm sure they mean well and they have fine nursing homes, but they do not have the truth that could set you free whatever your affliction may be. Aspergers may not have a cure, but faith with the full truth of the Catholic Church (focus on official documents, as even the Apostles were weak, but brought us Christ's teachings). Adapting is good too (and the Bennetts promote improving upon the weaker areas of our temperament). Ask God for that. St, Dymphna is one of the human helpers in Heaven for the mentally afflicted, who can make our offerings of thanks, petition, penitence and praise to God more pleasing by her life lived so much for God--the same with Christ's mother.

By wftxlaker — On May 25, 2010

These post are so me, I cannot believe all the people who feel and act just as I do. I always was so depressed for being "abnormal".

I have another possible symptom I want to ask if anyone else has. I always walk around with my head down. I almost run into things that are not at ground level because I am always looking down, like I am ashamed. But maybe it's to avoid eye contact.

I always thought my avoidance of eye contact was due to my drug and alcohol use, not wanting people to see my eyes.

I have had terrible bouts with substance abuse. I have abused just about everything except heroin. Nearly died like six times, plus one suicide attempt.

Anyway, back to my original question,(my aspie got me off track) do you walk around with your head down?

God help us and those who love us all.

By anon86418 — On May 25, 2010

i just came across this site and am desperate to talk to someone. I know this is anon, but i just read this woman's post and realized she was describing the way my boyfriend behaves. I am posting today in the hopes of either contacting her or finding someone else in similar situation. I just really want to somehow contact her because i have some questions which i want to compare with my boyfriend's symptoms. she goes by the handle -anon78631 and the post number is 121. anon78631, if you see my post, i would so appreciate in learning more about your experience with your ex husband. If you'd rather not, i at least wanted to thank you for completely altering my outlook which thereby has forced me to now feel mercy and compassion to someone i was certain was selfish and callous. Your words just made an aspie get a second chance he so desperately deserves.

I feel so horrible for being so harsh with my boyfriend and exacerbating his symptoms with my hurtful words. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as i have, but I've always been skeptical about his bp symptoms since they are so different from mine. I've seen him depressed, but never manic in the euphoric/social sense which is why the bpd diagnosis didn't sit right with me. See, i am classic textbook b minus the psychotic part which is why i can easily recognize the typical symptoms.

Of, I'll try to be brief. Here's the scoop. This past year we both found a new psychiatrist who was great and just a few months ago the doctor told my boyfriend that he suspected my boyfriend had asperger's. Sadly, this same doctor died suddenly and unexpectedly a week ago.

My boyfriend was just admitted into a psych ward for depression. He had already started feeling depression for some time, but I, in my ignorance, exploded on him due to my growing resentments and hurt (with regards to what i interpreted as selfishness, self absorption, disinterest in hearing "my stories", but has no problem going on and on about his.)

His social problems have been a great source of conflict between us and just before he went into the hospital, i said and did some pretty hurtful things because i felt so rejected, unloved and unappreciated. I'm not at all that type of vindictive cruel sort of person, but my reaction was partly due to past ex-boyfriend hurt projections and my wanting to "shake him up" for an emotional response. Part of my thinking was sort of along the lines of: "if i get him to cry, (which he never has), then I'd know there are signs of life".

I broke up with him before he left and told him i couldn't marry him. I even took out the engagement ring he had hidden from me (which he didn't know i knew about) and i put on a pretty dramatic show. I know i am extremely broken from my own past wounds and mood disorder which had much to do with what drove me to those lengths, but after reading this woman's story, it made me take my former doctor's recent diagnosis seriously.

I knew a bit about asperger's syndrome before and did see common traits in my boyfriend, but they didn't seem "strong" enough to fit the bill (from what i understood about the syndrome) and thought that maybe the doctor misdiagnosed him or that my boyfriend may have wanted to use it as an excuse for what i interpreted as "coldness" even though he can also be very very sweet and warm and romantic.

The romantic part was mostly expressed in written form before we met in person, so i had these very high expectations and hence, my drama.

So, all this to say, my boyfriend doesn't seem to have the extremes of asp. i see here, but he hates the phone, avoids social events/crowds and even one on one time with anyone else but me or a therapist who will allow him to talk about himself forever.

He is highly intelligent, creative, hates talking on the phone, is detached from most people including his family, comes across as aloof and rude in company due to his lack of expression and natural social responses and seems irritated his space has been invaded.

Oh, and he also shows some signs/routines he and i have always thought of as ocd. Oh and yeah, he was a loner in school growing up, thin skinned and bullied. Bottled up rage because he didn't "speak up" for himself.

OK, I'm done. Sorry for the length. I'm in manic mode. Is there a way that someone could help me by putting me in touch with wives of husbands with asp. so i can learn to better cope and understand his symptoms? I would love it if this woman (anon78631) would see my post and respond to me here on this site.

Thanks for listening, monica

By anon86406 — On May 25, 2010

121: People with Asperger's Syndrome do not lack emotion. People with Asperger's Syndrome have the same emotions as everyone else, there is just a barrier in communication which prevents them from realizing the emotional tone of the situation, and prevents them from expressing their emotions sufficiently to the rest of the world.

If a person with Asperger's Syndrome seems indifferent to your pain, it's because they were not able to determine from you that you were in pain. It is not that they do not have an ability to empathize with you.

If a person with Asperger's Syndrome says they love you, but does not act in a way which you feel really drives the point home (why would you marry someone who you thought really doesn't love you anyway?), it's because they feel they are expressing it sufficiently.

You should take the words over non-verbal cues with someone with Asperger's Syndrome.

- anon78631

By anon86369 — On May 24, 2010

Always felt I didn't fit in. Few if any jokes are funny. I am not interested in your personal life stories. Tell me something I don't know or tell me nothing.

I hate team sports and group efforts -- just a way to take advantage of my efforts for someone else's gain.

Very few friends and rarely in contact. People generally bother me. I don't like talking on the phone, unless it's business or to save time.

I hated school. It wasn't a social event, more like prison.

My teenage years were spent drinking or drugs to compensate for my social awkwardness.

I can work with the public effectively but have problems one on one.

I do not discuss my personal feelings with anyone including my wife. I can provide financial support for my family but emotionally I am blank. The Omega Man or I am Legend style of living has a certain appeal (was it supposed to be scary?)

I don't get Mothers Day, Valentines Day, etc.

The older I get the less satisfaction I get out of things I used to enjoy.

I am not interested in sharing experiences with others. Social events are hell, and I am ready to leave five minutes after arriving.

These are just some of the feelings of having Aspergers.

My wife gets upset and emotional with me. I do not know how to respond so I just go quiet. Her complaints are valid. I do not, nor know how to, provide the emotional and social interactions that my family deserves.

My oldest boy has mild autism. My younger son is my clone, with aspergers. And my daughter has mild asperger's.

And oh yes another trait. Stubbornness.

By anon86236 — On May 24, 2010

I dated a man (47) for three months who drove me crazy. He was very interested in me at first and pursued me but then he would say he would call, then wouldn't and this pattern kept repeating itself, as well as breaking dates. He was very unreliable. After a while I got tired of it and broke up with him.

Recently we started seeing each other, but his behavior is all over the place. He'll seem very interested but I notice that lack of eye contact, the inability to make plans and a failure to connect and really communicate. Sometimes he really makes me laugh and makes me feel he really wants me; other times he's very impulsive and detached.

He talks about wanting to do fun things in the future yet can barely make plans to go to dinner. Last night I decided I'd had enough and didn't want to put myself out at all for him anymore. Reading these comments gives me the idea that maybe he has AS. It makes my heart go out to him because then I know he really can't help it. My nephew was diagnosed with it.

By anon86204 — On May 24, 2010

I am a 50 year old male who only recently suspects that I may have AS. Early in my childhood I never seemed to fit into social circles. I was often talking over the heads of my peers and was absolutely incapable of feeling anything towards others.

As I entered second grade, my teacher suspected I was more intelligent than other kids and tested me. I scored an I.Q. of 149 and was entered into the M.G.M. program in the 1960's, however this only exacerbated my emotional problems by isolating me even further from the friends and relationships I so desperately needed in my life. I quit the M.G.M. later that year.

During school I would typically hang out with the social outcast groups - the nerds and geeks, although I desperately tried to fit in with more popular and "normal" social enclaves.

I excelled at science, drafting, drawing and music, but unlike other AS sufferers, I did not do well at math. I understood and mastered finite mathematics extremely well, but dealing with abstracts and unknowns was difficult for me.

In frustration I would occasionally lash out emotionally and become angry and despondent. I attempted suicide once. My parents sent me to a psychologist for a short time, but as AS was still not completely understood or even recognized at that time, this diagnosis eluded my counselors.

My symptoms continued into young adulthood and I would become extremely and intensely focused on certain things and completely indifferent to others. This continues even today, and I have to fight the urge to become obsessed in areas of my life.

My coping mechanism has been to mimic other people's facial expressions, speech, tone and even quotes. I frequently go to movies and read books to gather information, which I can use to function and sound normal with. I have built a series of pat responses to people based on phrases I've taken from the media and some of my lifetime encounters. I still cannot feel true empathy, however I've learned to imitate it pretty well. And, as women from my various relationships have pointed out, I am not intuitive at all either – something you don't miss, not ever having had it.

Although I can feel sadness, loneliness and other emotions, feeling sad for other people's pain or loss is completely foreign to me.

My desire for knowledge and trivia has led me to a career working at a library, where I am comfortable, capable and happy. I have worked myself into a position where I don't have to interact with the public much and have the freedom to direct most of my own activities.

Previously, I worked in the sciences, such as in geophysics, chemistry and water treatment. Working by myself either outdoors or in a laboratory suited me well for much of my life, but I became burned out, even with those things.

For those who have similar experiences to mine, you need to know that there are others like you and you are not alone. Lacking empathy doesn't mean you are insensitive or unfeeling. Coping by using rote memorization doesn't mean you are not genuine or phony. Thinking logically and rationally doesn't mean you are a robot. We are people who struggle with the same things other people face: love, acceptance, understanding, rejection, hurt, loss, goals, dreams, ambitions.

While there may not be a cure for this condition, we not only survive in this world but add to it greatly. I hope sharing my experiences briefly has given someone hope today. Thanks.

By anon84629 — On May 17, 2010

I'm a 35 year old lady with Aspergers. I had an appalling first 18 years due to ignorance, bullying and abuse. I left high school with my self esteem in tatters and found it hard to cope in the adult world afterward.

Despite my high intelligence, I've pretty well let down my family by not being able to go into a white collar career that matches my IQ. Currently, I work in a restaurant. It's OK and pays quite well. My relationships ended in failure because none of the men were suitable. They had issues of their own. I'll never have children and find that quite uncomfortable, especially when I see young mothers pushing prams.

The condition has been costly. I've missed many opportunities because of it. I have many passions, though, have travelled widely and my family are supportive of my quirkiness, as I'm the only one in my family with this.

By anon84448 — On May 15, 2010

The accounts I've read here brought back a lot of memories. My wife and I are both college-educated, been married over 10 years and have a family together. I have a lifelong physical disability aggravated by an accident that has made it necessary for me to move to where I can train for a new career.

My wife was diagnosed with AS after college. We tried "cognitive retraining" several times so she would (hopefully) have an easier time deciphering non-verbal cues. Her work history included four positions in six years, largely because she just didn't fit in with the larger culture.

By anon84175 — On May 14, 2010

I'm not sure if I have this or not. I have other autoimmune problems, and I suspect that what is at the root of autoimmune diseases is also at the root of some of these ambiguous mental syndromes.

I don't tend to get caught up in details and technical tasks. In fact, I'm not sure I actually have any in depth knowledge about anything.

I am interested in many subjects, mostly the biological sciences and music, but I am terrible at math and have a pretty poor memory. It used to be better when I was younger, but it's getting more sluggish. I'm 29. I was an above average student but never excellent.

I think the things that stand out to me the most about these posts and the descriptions online and on this site is the lack of innate understanding of social cues in AS sufferers. I feel like I need an instruction manual on what people expect me to do and say in society, because I have no idea.

I always seem to misjudge situations and say or do the wrong thing and unintentionally offend someone. I've often wondered if I should start doing the opposite of what my instincts are.

I often feel as though my intentions are misunderstood. Sometimes people laugh at things I say when humor was not intended, and sometimes when humor is intended, nobody laughs.

I also talk too much. I engage in lengthy, one-sided monologues about the same things over and over. My career goals, an experimental autoimmune disease treatment I'm trying to do, promoting my singer/songwriter project. Over and over and over. I am surprised my boyfriend hasn't dumped me yet over it.

I really need to stop talking about these things so much. I am very verbose, too. I hear it coming out of my mouth and feel helpless to control it. I also can't answer people's questions well. People want a short, specific answer and I often give a rambling, wordy response instead that is really inefficient. Then later, I think back about how a better way to word it would have been.

When I am under pressure, I screw up. When I'm in an environment where I know mistakes are not easily tolerated, I make every mistake. I am a social disaster.

I do have empathy, though. I volunteer on a crisis hotline. I can show love and support to others who are sick, because I am sick and I know what it feels like.

I am very self centered, though, and sometimes forget to tone down the sharing of personal experiences with friends. We are forbidden to do that on the crisis hotline so I get some practice using something called "reflective listening" in that setting.

My dad is probably also Asperger's. He's an engineer. Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I get freaked out because I feel like I look like him. I'm trying to have a performing career and it's failing miserably because there is just something "not quite right about me" that makes my image really hard to market.

That's all from my self-absorbed self. I wish all of you the best of luck in your recovery path. We are not alone!

By anon83987 — On May 13, 2010

I have recently been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and believe my older brother has it too, so I believe it is genetic.

I have felt different for years now and have finally arrived at a diagnosis. I was self-diagnosed before being officially diagnosed with Aspergers a couple of months ago. I have finally put a name to why I have felt different for 29 years of my life.

As a child I was always very shy and still am today. I never had any real friends at school. My brother and I were constantly bullied at school. I remember being 12 years old and everyone in my form class turned on me -- even the girls I thought were my friends and just made me cry.

I walked around the playground on my breaks by myself. I was such a loner. This continued all through primary and intermediate school.

I learned to read and write and never had a problem spelling but was not very good at school. I hated maths and science and struggled with English.

I have always hated social functions and have never been into the bar or party scene. I have this anxiety and nervousness if I have to go out to do things socially. I just do not know how to interact with people. I prefer to be alone at home.

I have been told so many times that you need to meet people and make friends. It has not been a piece of cake. I only have one friend other than that and I live a few hours from my family.

I am close to my parents and my brothers but not my sister. She does not acknowledge me and we have never been close. Even relatives that I have in the city where I live never contact me anymore.

I have had very few relationships. Never dated in high school as I never had a desire to date guys. I had a boyfriend at 19 but had never had a sexual relationship until my early twenties. I am in a casual relationship at the moment.

I have struggled in the workplace. I have had a few unpleasant experiences in some of the jobs I have had. I could never understand why people treated me harshly.

People have treated me harshly and criticized me and talked down to me and have been called names by a lot of people. I feel like am nine years old not 29 years old. My own relatives treat me like that too, because I am so quiet and shy. I have had this most of my life.

I struggle to have converse with people. What comes easily to most people does not come easily to me. Since I don't recognize emotions I can come across as aloof and rude.

I basically have no social skills. The friendships I have had have never lasted. I am so socially awkward that I am becoming a recluse. I just want to be by myself.

I am currently employed full time but would like to return home to my family. In the city I live in I am only close to my one friend and my boyfriend, so at least I have people that I see.

I wish in a way that I had been diagnosed as a child, but like so many others who have Aspergers who have been diagnosed, I am realizing what it is like to see the world differently.

By anon82998 — On May 08, 2010

@anon82359. (comment #128)

I really hope you get this. I have sons and a husband who have Asperger's Syndrome.

I really feel for you and what you are going through, and want you to know that there are things you can do! I also pray that you will come to realize that having Aspergers is not a curse - it is a blessing to you and to your family. I know that may sound nuts to you right now, but I'd really like to help you to see things differently.

I love my "Aspie" family!

I also know of things that have helped them which may also help you. No I don't sell anything. I'm just in love with my family, and may be the answer to the prayers of those who love you - yes you are loved!).

I am also starting a blog soon about how Aspergers blesses our family.

Good luck on your journey. Corine

By wftxlaker — On May 05, 2010

I just wrote about recently being diagnosed with AS. Now I feel like I am wasting people's time to read about my problems. Why can't I be "normal"?

By anon82359 — On May 05, 2010

I am a 46 year old male. Well, I find it hard to believe I am writing here. I don't usually participate in forums like this, hell I don't even read them. Why would I -- it did not affect my life in anyway. I was recently diagnosed with AS, like a week ago. Excuse the grammar and spelling; I did not do well in school.

My wife (third) thought I should feel "happy" and "relieved" to know what I have. Nope, don't feel that at all. It makes me sad. But then again everything makes me sad. Since the is no cure, or medication to relieve symptoms, I find it hard to be excited I have this diagnosis. At least with my mental disorders, I have hope that we will eventually hit that right med combo, that will "fix" me (although I've been trying different med combos for 30 years with no success).

I am very pessimistic. I always think the worst in everything and everybody. Nothing is ever going to go right.

I have a ton of people I know, but not even one friend. I feel like everyone is just going to use me. I feel like a burden. I have asked people over and when they get there I am like "when are they going to leave?" They are invading my space and time. They talk about things going on in their lives and I am like, why are you wasting my time with this? It has no relevance in my being.

I was bullied in school. Now I feel like everybody takes advantage of me. People overcharge me for services because they know I won't fuss about it. People do unacceptable work, like on my boat, that others would throw a fit over, but they know I won't say anything, and then I have to take it back and instead of arguing that they did not fix it right the first time, they charge me again and I pay, again. I do not want to be a burden or confrontational. It's the same everywhere.

I have no emotions except sadness for myself. Like a couple of months ago my daughter gave birth to a 23 week old 1 pound 4 oz baby. He lived only 14 days. Everyone was sad and crying. I was thinking what a lucky guy he is. He does not have to live in this horrible world, and gets a free pass to heaven. I think since I have no emotions I am damned, even possessed and will go straight to hell. At the memorial I had to try real hard to look sad, but I really felt nothing, except there was a crowd and I don't like crowds. And I wanted to be at home playing poker online.

That's what I do. I play online poker almost from the time I get home until midnight most nights. Then I get up go to work (24 years same job) but I have my own office and don't have to interact with others much. And since they invented e-mail I hardly have to talk on the phone with anybody.

Every day I think "tonight I am not going to play poker, I am going to spend quality time with my wife and step kids" but when I get home there I go into my cocoon. Thinking all right, I will start tomorrow. But...

Well I guess I will end here, don't want to waste any of your time.

Hopefully I will find some resources to teach me how to cope with this.

The best thing I have is wife who loves me very much and is very understanding of all my "disorders."

By anon81854 — On May 03, 2010

I am 32, a mother of a six year old very energetic and lovable daughter. I live with my boyfriend who is also 32 and has six six year old autistic child. The four of us live together.

Although we have so much in common and have very similar pasts, from reading all this, I feel that we both may have AS and just never knew about it.

I've always felt like the outsider while I was growing up, and I was very shy as well. I was never bullied by anyone at school, but never really had a true friend (at least that's how I feel).

I was married once and the ex-mother-in-law made my life miserable. She insulted me and always put me down. We eventually ended up getting divorced. I then dated a police officer, who manipulated me, cheated on me, beat me and even tried convincing me to leave my daughter. That relationship made me lose a lot of my family including siblings.

My boyfriend is very kind hearted. He was very quiet as a child and teachers could not get him to speak in class. Outside of school he was very outgoing with his friends and at times he would do what a normal teenager would do: get in trouble.

He married once and is currently going through a divorce. He obviously has his son living with us, and mom is living with her mom and boyfriend.

We both seem to have communication issues. He doesn't express much in words but at times can be very affectionate. When he is I try to hold on to those moments as much as I can. I had no idea what autism meant until he told me about his son.

When he first brought him around, it was so amazing to me, this child is so smart and intelligent, only he is non-verbal. I seem to get along better with him, and it seems like my daughter gets along better with my boyfriend. This all seems so weird to me, but I am finally reading something that fits in so well to what I've been living my whole life. Could it be possible that we both have AS?

Along with this there are also many symptoms that we have. I have severe anxiety, he is very mellow. I'd rather be at home watching tv, he would rather be out all day. I stress myself about whether this relationship is even going to work? --"ASADELJD"

By anon81600 — On May 02, 2010

i think my brother has asperger's syndrome. He now has a son with autism and only now recognises some of the symptoms in himself.

He's 44 now and I hardly ever have contact with him. He was awful to live with as a child/teenager and his behavior destroyed our relationship. He didn't even come to my wedding because he was on a course at work!

I've come to live with the fact that we don't have a relationship. I know from my mother, aged 73 (when my brother usually rings her at midnight till 2 a.m.) that he never speaks about me and I guess it's never occurred to him how he's affected me or the rest of the family.

He was very difficult to relate to (violent, rude, selfish, mean) and I try to forget about him. I'm a teacher now and amazingly seem to get the best out of children with aspergers and autism.

Now I understand the condition better I feel I can relate and help them. It's difficult to forgive things that happen in childhood and my brother was never diagnosed; he was just the way he was.

I guess there must be millions of siblings my age who had difficult brothers/sisters and just learned to 'deal' with it.

By anon81154 — On Apr 30, 2010

I believe my eldest son has asperger's syndrome. He doesn't show any emotion and i cannot remember him ever hugging me even as a toddler.

He went overseas to see his father and with the information written out precisely for him he managed to get five connecting flights without being fazed.

He is fine when everything is organized and in order but cannot change plans or do anything on the spur of the moment. Next year he wants to go to university and study information and technology as this is the only real interest he has.

He goes to a large school and seems to have found a couple of friends like himself. I worry how he is going to cope in the real world.

By anon81089 — On Apr 29, 2010

I am a 50 year old divorced woman who met the love of my life and after an emotional roller coaster with him, decided to end it three months ago after much heartache. I am a health care professional and was convinced that he had ADHD. Three months ago, I found this awesome therapist who just today recognized by what I was telling him, that my ex boyfriend probably has Aspergers.

I am so sad because if I'd known then, what I know now, I would have possibly been able to deal with him emotionally, but maybe not. I am trying to maintain a friendship with him, knowing that we will never be a permanent item because I was married to a multiple personality disordered male (yes I don't have much luck) and I can't deal with another complexity.

However, I have compassion, care and love for this man that won't go away. I plan to see him again as we haven't had much contact, and treat him with the kindness and love that I did before. I want to be his friend but know that I must move on.

I am a very passionate and emotionally centered woman who needs an emotionally centered and stable man. He cannot provide that for me and refuses to go for help. He knows there's something "off" but he is too afraid to face it. His 21 year old son is a mess too, and hates me because he uses me as a scapegoat for the anger towards his detached dad. What a mess but I still want to maintain contact.

By anon80986 — On Apr 29, 2010

to anon71752, post 105: Your comment about living as an Aspie is extremely well-written and informative, and your suggestions for learning how to communicate with us is right on. Those reading this site would do well to take your advice to heart. Kudos!

By anon80595 — On Apr 28, 2010

My son was just formally and clinically diagnosed with Aspergers. Since I was told that it mostly occurs in males I went on a search and read up on this weird thing et voila! Yep, it described my life experiences to a tee!

Two failed marriages, strings of jobs, repeatedly 'in-comprehended' and labeled as 'weird. Extremely creative, it goes on. OK fine.

Talking to my boy has taken on a whole new light. I shall call him 'Mini-me', and we can feel relaxed to converse on the same level.

On a slightly different note - Looking at the wavelengths of Trekkers, it would be more definitive to call them Aspekkers! Think about it.

By anon78631 — On Apr 19, 2010

People with Asperger's Syndrome do not lack emotion. People with Asperger's Syndrome have the same emotions as everyone else, there is just a barrier in communication which prevents them from realizing the emotional tone of the situation, and prevents them from expressing their emotions sufficiently to the rest of the world.

If a person with Asperger's Syndrome seems indifferent to your pain, it's because they were not able to determine from you that you were in pain. It is not that they do not have an ability to empathize with you.

If a person with Asperger's Syndrome says they love you, but does not act in a way which you feel really drives the point home (why would you marry someone who you thought really doesn't love you anyway?), it's because they feel they are expressing it sufficiently.

You should take the words over non-verbal cues with someone with Asperger's Syndrome.

By anon78004 — On Apr 16, 2010

Well, I just found out that my ex-husband might have AS. In fact I'm sure he does -- he even has the finger/thumb habit. Like the rest of you, I just thought he was self-centered and unfeeling even though he said he loved me.

Now I know that the absence of "feelings" is not his fault, and I feel really badly that he had to live and still has to live with this. Now that a few of us know he might have it, it's so much easier to accept and love him for who he is, not what he does or doesn't do.

I truly believe that he and others with AS try to love in the only way they know, but, don't get some of the emotional part that they seem to be lacking in themselves.

As per usual, he is brilliant and loves to work. Has most of the symptoms that we all just thought were habits associated with OCD etc., so, we go from here and will try to react with more caring and understanding from now on. Good luck to all.

By anon77901 — On Apr 15, 2010

I am a self diagnosed Aspie. My wife teaches at a special ed facility and has had lots of interaction with student with different diagnoses throughout the years.

She has worked with children with autism. One day I approached her and told her I thought I had a lot of the symptoms of aspergers. I heard the term used a lot throughout my wife's career in special ed. She agreed with me and informed me that she didn't want to bring it up because she didn't know how I would respond.

I feel that I finally have a word that can express exactly how I'm feeling. I wasn't aware how to verbalize my emotions until I learned of aspergers. Never fitting in (awkward in social situations), trouble with eye contact, extreme interest in particular subjects with intense detail, awkward walk, weird posture, people find humor with my responses when no humor was meant, and I have trouble accepting change.

It all adds up now and I'm OK with it. I'm 35 years old and for the first time in my life I am comfortable with myself. I thank God for aspergers.

By anon77293 — On Apr 13, 2010

Thank you all for this information. I have recently gotten involved with a 46 year old man who has AS. Well, it's my diagnosis, but I knew there was something different about him.

I love him and the time we spend together but I'm sure he will not commit. Should I continue this relationship or will it continue to be unsatisfying?

I read that it takes a special person to partner with an AS person. What does one have to be like?

By anon76916 — On Apr 12, 2010

When i was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome i did a lot of research about it and through that i discovered why it is the way i am and how difficult it has been to stay in full time work with employers not giving me a chance.

i have always been told that i was always too slow or couldn't get the hang of new things quickly as employers wanted me too. i have been out of paid work now for almost five years. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

By anon76532 — On Apr 10, 2010

I don't know if I have Aspergers, but I have always felt "different" and that I don't fit in.

I have felt so unloved, alone, lonely and socially inept all my life.

I'm 60 years old, and contrary to some of the unpleasant posts, I am not seeking a tag to excuse any of my behavior.

I too was bullied all through primary school and during my 20 year career in a government job. I had terrible nightmares as a child.

In my quest for answers and understanding, I have read many of Dr Phil's books, "Depression, The way out of your prison" by Dorothy Rowe, "What does everybody else know that I don't" by Michele Novotni (about ADD), and "Motherless Daughters" by Hope Edelman. My only grandmother and mother died when I was 15 and 16 respectively.

I often would have a lot of the symptoms of things such as bipolar, etc., but didn't feel that any one fit like a glove.

I continually get some vicious responses from people. Sometimes I haven't even opened my mouth, much less had time to do anything wrong.

I don't have any friends and I don't get on well with my children. My daughter absolutely hates me and seems to be still trying to exact a revenge for something.

She doesn't want to discuss anything or try to get on any better. I have the biggest, kindest heart you could imagine, so this stuff wounds me terribly. I love animals so much because they give you something back and don't treat you the way humans do.

I contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after two very nasty viruses, and if there was any positive in that, it was that I looked at how I operated because I really struggled to survive in the early stages.

I was a person who could obsess over every little detail and a perfectionist, and I didn't have the energy to keep being that way.

The depression I have lived with since the death of my mother and grandmother deepened with the CFS.

I could not socialise when I was younger as I felt so shy and weird and had always been criticized so much that my confidence was zilch.

Over the years I have tried to work on my social skills but have felt it to be of no avail judging by the responses. I have virtually given up and just stay at home by myself.

I have two failed marriages behind me, but I don't think I can be solely blamed for those. I seem to attract the selfish, the manipulators and the abusers. I ended up thinking, I don't want another relationship if it's not a quality one.

My post is probably all over the place, but reading a lot of these posts brought my emotions to the surface. Unlike what appears to be the case with Asperger's, I have an overabundance of emotion and struggle to hide it.

I do feel that I talk in shorthand.

It's a pity that we can't communicate with one another, as I really related to three or four of the posts and wished I could correspond.

By dad101 — On Apr 09, 2010

I have a 40 year old son and daughter-in-law who both seem to have Asperger's. My wife and I don't know what we can and should do. They lack the skills to deal with each other and their relationship or lack thereof has led him to depression and her to violent anger.

Any suggestions about intervention? We feel compelled to do something to help them out of their downward spiral that is hurting them, their children and, quite frankly, us as well.

By anon74902 — On Apr 04, 2010

"All Cats have Asperger's" is a must read if you have or know someone with Aspergers.

By anon74834 — On Apr 04, 2010

I am 43 been with my husband for 21 years and after a long stay with a family member, he believes has just found the link which bonds this family member, me, my nephew, my brother, two aunts, my mother and possibly my daughter.

I always knew there was something different (him as well) yet thought it was just "the way we were". That of course being Asperger's. I am not positive yet, as my daughter and I do need to get tested.

I was diagnosed for bipolar though it could be a misdiagnosis. As it is all so clear now and seems to have many more ayes than no's in the question boxes. The main reason I am so interested in it now is not just for me but mainly for my daughter.

We have been seeing the signs, yet it seems that you need to march in to your doctors office with multiple choice answers rather than completely oblivious.

Seeing signs and possibly recognizing this as a noted syndrome in my daughter is in one way heart wrenching yet in another way makes it all so identifiable and that much easier to contend with.

By anon74355 — On Apr 01, 2010

My boyfriend is 44 and has been on antidepressant meds for years. The problem is that I knew he didn't fit the bi-polar profile. From everything I have been reading, Asperger's is an almost perfect fit.

I am so relieved to have found this information. It has been really difficult for the past two years because he always says he loves me but doesn't "show" it. Now I know that it isn't because he doesn't care. He's just wired different.

He is a good man and I love him dearly. I just wasn't sure if I could live with his lack of caring.

I do have a question. Now that I have my suspicions, how do we get him diagnosed? He is not under psychiatric care -- just his regular physician. Any advice would be appreciated. And for those of you who have written about how alone you feel, my heart truly goes out to you.

But know there are people out there who are capable of understanding and caring about you. It is just a matter of finding them.

By anon73713 — On Mar 29, 2010

I am 42. It dawned on me yesterday that my husband has AS. We have a daughter who is three.

I love him but I get nothing back. I shouldn't have married him. But then again, he shouldn't have married me. He knew he was different. Eccentric, withdrawn, etc. He can't change and I understand that. But what do I do?

I love him. We have a family. Where do I go from here? I got close to suicide last year. I have had an affair, neither of which got a reaction or bothered him, though that was not their purpose. I have constantly confronted his behavior and I thought it would change. Now I know it never can.

Where do i go and what do I do? I told him my ideas last night. He listened and nodded and went to sleep. Off to work as normal today. He is a brilliant engineer. Surprise, surprise.

By anon73174 — On Mar 25, 2010

I'm 39 years old and desperately want a diagnosis (of any kind) to explain why I'm the way I am. It's too easy to self-diagnose and attach myself to one particular explanation/disability. People need to be cautious.

I've almost completed my graduate degree in special education, and am convinced that there are a bunch of misdiagnosed people out there. A misdiagnosis can be just as hurtful and destructive as knowing you have an honest to goodness "disability." Just saying...

About those of you who are lost and lonely, I know from experience that when you allow yourself to get to know Jesus and find a good church -- and then faithfully attend that church, no matter what -- you will grow, change, and find peace.

It's hard socializing. I have almost no friends and have never been married. I've gone through so many jobs and lots of indecision about what to do with my life. I moved in with my parents a few years ago to help me stabilize.

Read that again: I'm 39 years old and recently lived with my parents for a good year and a half. Talk about humbling.

I am very intelligent, highly intuitive, capable of a multitude of careers (but have none), college educated, own a car (for the first time in my life), have a wonderful family of three cats and I'm told I seem "normal" and social. But I can feel anxious and very uncomfortable in the checkout line at the grocery store. Sometimes I'll avoid getting groceries because of this problem.

I used to have anxiety attacks in school and would leave class short of breath and walk the hallways, pains shooting into my left shoulder. My mom and sister would yell at me because I didn't have any friends. Recently someone told me that I struggle with eye contact. I've learned to be good with eye contact, but it depends on the situation.

I've learned to be a chameleon and adapt or blend in depending on the situation. But I still just want to be off on my own somewhere, observing people perhaps, but interacting with them only when I feel like it.

There's so much I could share, like how I struggle every single day with getting out of bed because it's just so safe underneath the warm sheets; how I attempted suicide in 1998, not really wanting death but also not really wanting life; how I can happily spend days on my own with no contact with people but that I've learned to interact with others and speak directly and -- well, I'll just stop there.

I'm not convinced that I have Aspergers, but I do have some of the symptoms and have had them my entire life. Depression can mimic Aspergers, but an Aspergers diagnosis is much more accepted by society than that of depression.

Doesn't really matter for me, though, since I don't have health insurance and have no resources for a diagnosis.

By anon72923 — On Mar 24, 2010

Oh my goodness. I had no idea this condition existed, and I have it. I can relate to every post on this site, but don't have any contact information for anyone on here. I'm wondering what I should do? How can I get help?

By anon72709 — On Mar 24, 2010

I am so happy i ran across this website, as now i got the answer to a weird behavior of person i truly love who probably has not yet been diagnosed.

Just like someone else said before,this behavior has been very much a problem for me at times making me question myself so much and thought that his mood swings and behavior patterns had something to do with me, but now i realize that i was wrong and probably hurting him as much.

Thank you very much.

By anon72126 — On Mar 21, 2010

I have just spent an hour reading all these posts. Most are depressing and lack all hope. Some are rather enlightening. I have an adult son, 29, who I truly believe has Aspergers.

He is extremely intelligent, knows more than some experts on recording music and speakers. Has developed a computer program for music, but seldom leaves the room he set up as a studio.

Obsessed is putting it mildly. He claims to contact people to show his program but backs out at the last minute. I have tried to set him up with people I have met in the music field but makes excuses for not meeting with them.

He becomes upset and throws tantrums and blames me and becomes extremely depressed. He is socially isolated. I must make him come out to work at my business (restaurant and catering) so he will have a job.

I need to find him a therapist to help him but he claims he will not go. I have even shifted the blame to myself and told him I need him to go because the therapist is for me.

I just do not know what to do. I am afraid for him. He is so lonely and sometimes cries about this. I have tried so many different ways to help him but it all ends so terribly wrong.

I have read so many books on the subject in the last year that I am becoming obsessed with the subject. If anyone has any suggestions, Please pass it on to me. - confused

By anon72013 — On Mar 21, 2010

Thank you for all you wrote. I love a man who apparently has AS, but it has never been mentioned by him.

All I can read in your posts confirms my impression. It helps to understand better and not to misunderstand certain situations, although there have been a lot of painful moments when I got it wrong, but I simply did not know the real reasons.

With my new awareness I feel better prepared to cope - and am happy to have him in my life. He has enriched my life so much - in so many aspects. And his AS has been a challenge for me to grow, too.

I wish we could talk about it all one day.

By anon71752 — On Mar 19, 2010

It's so wonderful to read things from people that deal with the same sorts of things I deal with day to day.

I'm a diagnosed Aspergian, and just knowing that there are others out there that deal with the same feelings of loneliness and not fitting in, makes me feel a little better about not fitting in myself. It allows me to relax the standards of perfection.

I have learned how to mimic people, and have turned into quite a good actress. But I still have trouble with people I don't know.

Like, for example, eye contact. I will make pretty good eye contact with people I see on a day to day basis, like professors and my family and friends. However, put me in a restaurant and I'll never ever make eye-contact with the unknown waiter or waitress except accidentally or if I'm trying to be courteous after asking a question.

Although, even with people I know, sometimes I'll half listen to the conversation, and half wonder why everyone is so set on eyes and looking at them during conversations.

Several people that have posted have wondered about the benefits of actually getting an official diagnosis. If you are on an Asperger site, you are better off than I was. The official diagnosis gave me a term to research.

I had heard the term before, but because it didn't relate to me or my area of expertise, I didn't look into it. I was too busy with my area that I was researching.

Another benefit of having an official diagnosis is just knowing. I know Aspies who have self-diagnosed themselves and they are constantly working to prove to themselves and others that their self-diagnosis is as valid as any professionals.

I'd rather spend my energy on figuring out how to function in this world better and how to learn that.

Researching has given me such self-confidence. There are people out there that deal with Aspergers. There are successful people. Well-liked people. People who have learned to use the strengths of the Aspergian nature and still fit in well enough to communicate.

I would like to explain my situation and qualities in hopes that another touched by this syndrome can have the same uplifting hope that I have experienced with this.

I have never had more than two real friends my age. In fact, it was usually my church friend and my school friend. Everyone else to me were acquaintances and I felt they should be treated as such. hehe. I probably just couldn't handle the social nature of any more friends than that. However, since being diagnosed, I'm trying to stretch myself.

I moved twice while I was in elementary school, and I separated myself more from the people around me with each move. Afraid to get close. Afraid to get hurt.

About age nine or ten, I found more enjoyment of acting out one particular story with myself and my barbies repetitively than I felt I could have with any friends. Besides, any of my friends couldn't know exactly how I wanted them to play their part in my games. I didn't know how they wanted me to play mine in theirs.

One of my clearest memories of sixth grade was wandering the field during recess, playing with my own shadow and the flowers instead of with the other kids.

It wasn't that I sought my solitude; I actually was trying my hardest to figure out relationships and the people around me.

I find it so much easier to listen and learn, than to participate in talking and miss so much of the conversation. I could be those stony faced Aspies that are out to sea, except I do understand the humor eventually.

I love to watch sarcasm and wit being played out; I love to read the comics and other works that use word play and subtlety.

By the way, I know stony faced means "no expression showing" I suppose like a stone has no expression, but really, how did some of these confusing metaphors get started? Does anyone really know?

Let me see, I'm about as cuddly as a cat. I need to decide that I want to cuddle or I'll be standoffish. I believe it stems from not knowing what is acceptable in different situations with different people. It is too hard to keep track of all those variables.

Different people have different notions about what personal space boundaries are for them. And I tend to err on the side of caution.

Do you want me to respond in a certain way? Tell me. Do you want me to hug you back when I am being hugged by you? Remind me. I may not be able to process your touch as fast as a normal person would. I may not know what you expect of me as a response to various stimuli.

Please, remind me that the subject you are talking to me about is just as important to you at that moment as my latest project is to me.

I may listen better if you find a creative way to insert my latest project into what you are talking about. I may also listen better if you remind me of the importance of the subject to me or to you.

And I've talked of reminding. Please don't nag, just set the stage for the conversation you wish to have. If it's a conversation like I have with my friends about "everything and nothing," expect me to bring in my latest project several times.

It is what is on my mind.

If you want a conversation with little to no tangents, I'll listen to you talk a great deal more than I'll participate, but you will still get your conversation and perhaps you'll even enlighten me about a new topic to investigate.

It's not that I'll lie to you with my actions if you tell me a proper response, I'll just be more likely to consider the response you suggested first. If it makes sense to me, I might use the typical response, but I'll still choose my own responses. It just broadens my knowledge of what other people would consider a normal response to this situation and conversation.

And if I bring up a conversation that doesn't work well in the time or place, please give me a specific time or place that I can bring it up again and it be okay. Not just "let's not talk about that right now," but "I want to talk about that too, just can we do that when we sit down to a meal rather than when I'm waiting for a ride?"

The second is better because one, you reinforce that you actually do want to talk to me, two, you suggest an appropriate location or time when it would be socially acceptable, and three, you remind me why your mind might not be able to handle the conversation at the moment.

I tend to reread books a lot, but the one that I absolutely loved in relation to this subject is called "look me in the eye" by John Elder Robison. This is a book written by an Aspergian, about growing up undiagnosed until he was forty.

I have never related to an author more than when I read this book. If you're looking to bring up the subject of possibly being Aspergian with a loved one, I'd suggest you let them read that book first.

I read voraciously, but that is the first time my thought structure matched the sentence structure. And my feelings matched those described by the author. (*note: the paperback has less profanity than the hardbound. Choose the one you prefer.) It is an excellent memoir, and echoes many of the things that have been mentioned on this board.

I'd love to go on, but I expect you'll want to hear from someone else soon enough. hehe. Good luck and good wishes to all from me.

By amypollick — On Mar 18, 2010

Post No. 103: You and your husband are in my prayers.

By anon71471 — On Mar 18, 2010

I am 56. My husband has cancer that has spread to his nodes and maybe worse. Twenty-five years ago I had nearly three years of intense inter-personal therapy and know I have AS even though the doctor would not tell me my diagnosis (he said he didn't like labels and I was too stupid to realize I needed a documented diagnosis to get support).

I got a Master's degree and went on to work on a PhD and another MS but kept breaking down. My psychiatrist said every time I forced myself to go back and keep striving, I would come back out with less of myself until one day there might be nothing left. I was working three jobs and nearly had a stroke from the stress.

He said I might be able to work 15 hours a week. I wouldn't listen. Gradually I became unable to teach, then I got a job in a Wal-Mart, then I couldn't do that any more and got a job delivering the paper over a tri-county rural area. I loved that job. But I never got earned enough quarters to get Medicare. Now I am unable to make my own way, to earn my own living, to get those quarters and worst of all, I am unable to take care of my husband if he ends up needing me to provide our living.

I have a primal terror of personal interaction and face blindness. I used to be a pretty successful writer and because I could not stand up to people I let them tell me how to revise it and that I should change my style, etc. I lost my ability to write because I was unable to be strong and be true to myself and could not say "No!" to people. I am a doormat.

People criticize me all the time and say rude things to me and use me. I must wear a sign that says "I am not as good as you are so exploit me and diminish me."

First my beloved mother and now my beloved husband have taken care of me all my life. I have questions on the tiniest things, even though I do a really good job at so many things at home. I have an eye for detail and work like a pack-mule. I am honest and care deeply about quality and integrity.

I always regret every word I say to other people. They can say anything -- outrageous things -- and they are accepted, but no matter what I say, I get attacked. I wish we could move into the wilderness where we could live in peace in nature with the forest and wildlife.

What on earth will I do if my husband dies? How will I get out of bed without him to help me through the day? How will I ever get to sleep again without his breathing beside me and his soft flannel pajamas?

Who will answer my questions? How will I not die from the grief, yearning for him and missing him? Will I end up on the street and be mugged all the time?

i pray hard and try to be responsible and am searching even now for employment, knowing as I search that even if someone gives me a chance, I will not last long.

Thank you for letting me get all this out. It is so hard to hold in. I feel like I have lived with so many secrets all my life and so much shame.

I am ashamed. I feel like a burden. At the same time, in my heart, this is my only gift, this difference.

When I used to write, what was written was better than me; it came from God and it felt good that I was good for something for a while, and people received something that they hadn't been able to get any place else.

AS and Autism are good. True, we suffer at the hands of others who aren't like us. But we are valuable, and our differences are needed.

By anon71204 — On Mar 17, 2010

I'm 42 years old and was recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. And I'm glad i found this web page.I always knew that i was different from everyone else when I was a teenager. Now I know why.

By anon70911 — On Mar 16, 2010

I'm 21 years old. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was 12 years old. Even before I was diagnosed I always knew I was different from everyone else.

From elementary school through high school I was bullied constantly, middle school was the worst for me. The bullying got so bad in middle school that I would fake sick so I could stay home to escape it. I also struggled academically and failed eighth grade. I also had no friends and still don't have any friends. After I graduated high school I went to a local community college, but dropped out after two semesters because I was failing all my classes.

Since I first started working three years ago I've had four different jobs and I hated them all. The worst was my latest job as a delivery driver at Papa John's. The managers there even knew I had Asperger's Syndrome because my mom told them, but they still treated me like crap and none of the employees liked me because they thought I was weird.

I've also been battling with depression since I was in my early teens as well as severe anxiety attacks, which led me to quit working at Papa John's and I've been unemployed since then which was a month ago. I'm really lost in life, I still live with my parents and I just don't know what to do.

By anon70120 — On Mar 12, 2010

There are a lot of Asperger's communities out there, and for someone who hasn't yet been clinically diagnosed with AS, but is just about positive s/he has it, it can be unnerving and extremely disheartening to join a community that treats them with distrust amd ostracism, when they only want to understand more about themselves.

I was afraid of joining the Autism Support Network for that reason, but since I've joined, I have personally found it to be a caring community of members both officially diagnosed and self-diagnosed ASD, as well as members who have loved ones with ASD, where I can both give and receive support. It was the help I needed, and I hope anyone who reads this will find the help they need, as well.

Sincerely, Kerenina

By anon69946 — On Mar 11, 2010

For those not professionally diagnosed, please don't jump to conclusions. You could simply have a slight introvert tendency - nothing wrong with that. I love people, but always have to push myself to go to any gatherings. Three or four hours later, I'm on my way home.

By anon69561 — On Mar 09, 2010

I see a lot of comments here about AS but no solutions as to how to help someone with it or deal with it.

Maybe some of you who found ways to help those dealing with it or living with someone with it could share. That would be great.

By anon68465 — On Mar 02, 2010

I am 44 years old and was recently married to a man with AS. After 2 1/2 years of marriage I was terribly worn down and becoming depressed. I felt like he didn't "care" about me. He was not able to understand my side of issues and was continually holding secrets from me.

I felt like I was in a bad dream most of the time. I am a very emotional, creative, sensitive woman and I became very closed down and confused. I was very "alone" in my marriage. I felt like I was married to a robot.

His father and his son from his first failed marriage also have AS. He did not tell me; I discovered it after we were married. We are divorced now and he still continues to contact me and "act" like we are still friends.

I am happy to be divorced and out of the whirlwind of crazy-making. Even when our counselor worked with us he still denied things he had done and would redefine things to suit his way of seeing things.

He would omit truths to make it look like I was crazy. I really did find myself going crazy being married to him. I finally had to consult a lawyer to get him from continuing to contact me time and time again after our divorce was final.

He is now in a new relationship with another woman and he is her problem now.

By anon67942 — On Feb 27, 2010

I'm 23 and was diagnosed about a year ago. Something that has always bothered me about these articles (and I'm not alone on this from what I'm gathered off aspie support sites) is the whole "unable to comprehend others emotions" thing. Yes in some situations what someone else is feeling is just beyond me, but everyone runs into that whether they have AS or not.

I think more accurately it's that we do comprehend it, it's just we have no idea what to do with that information once we have it. Say I know someone is upset with me and why. I never have a clue how to word and apology without coming off as not caring or false.

I've often wondered if there is something tonal that differs in the way an aspie speaks compared to others, not just wording and body language that always seems to cause this reaction. I wonder if there's been a study on that yet, because tone does affect so much of what a person conveys when they speak.

By anon65857 — On Feb 16, 2010

This is to posting number 28. I am 44 years old and female too. I think younger folk have it better cause of non-bullying programs at school and the advantages of diversity in society thanks to open forums about learning disabilities.

Today, its OK to be different, but back then it was not so much. I did not learn about my having Asperger's until recently. My son was diagnosed at eight years old, nine years ago.

My daughter, now 21 is normal, so I thought I was a bad parent to my son until he was diagnosed. In that time I read twenty-two parenting books. I followed all the common themes to the letter. In my marriage, I read about eight or nine books on how to be a good wife, the bible cover to cover, and the entire Betty Crocker cookbook.

I listened to every Dr. Dobson radio show and would apply that. I took note of mistakes other people made and noted the consequences. I read every book there is on philosophy, sex, and physiology of the mind. I have a book on "How To Say It" that I read just before doctor's visits or meetings, when I need to correspond and this way people react to me as though I am normal.

My husband is madly in love with me cause I am above it all, loyal. Plus because thanks to reading those books, I'm a good cook, a good mom, and good in bed. But beneath it all, I am play acting. My mind is so vast I cannot put it into words, people get weirded out. I taught myself to play piano, and memorized hundreds of songs. I do not play for people, ever. I play because I always wanted to.

I memorized all nine million words of the tax code, but do not share that because people, normal people do not want to know nerdy stuff like that. I could never keep a job. I would memorize the codes to the cash register and tell the manager how to reset it and she didn't trust me after that.

At the factory I memorized the OSHA standards and mentioned the machine I was to operate exceeded acceptable sound decibels and was put on a "watch" list, later terminated. I was let go as a bartender because I didn't "socialize" well enough, and the guy at the frame shop fired me because I gave him bad vibes.

I'm too afraid to work for anyone else, so I grow vegetables for the food bank. It's in the tax code 526 page 12. I average $25 an hour over the 16 week growing season. Thank you Uncle Sam. I do like people, though. I try to be liked, too.

I have found that success is found in the fruits of one's labor, in that everyone respects me, even if they don't "get" me! My advice to you is to read books on your areas of weakness, never give up on people, and never ever feel you are meant to be alone. According to the Bible, we as humans are not supposed to be.

By anon65799 — On Feb 16, 2010

Ah. Now I know what's been wrong with me all this time. I have been put on ADD and ADHD prescriptions all throughout my younger days. I went from kindergarten to the end of high school as someone alone. I felt alone for, I guess all that I can remember of the 22 years I've been alive.

I can't concentrate on paperwork and I'm bad at grammar and can't always give a clear definite answers to scenarios and questions. Like when someone asks, "Why did you do that?" all that comes out is non-understandable gibberish that i look back on an hour later and said I should have said that and think long and hard about that one thing the rest of the day, feeling anxiety about the messed up answer I gave the person who asked the question.

I always got bad grades because I never did my homework but science and math came easy during tests and that is the only reason I was able to pass the classes. If a teacher wrote a hundred pages worth of notes, I had to write it word for word. I could not distinguish the important parts that i should remember.

It always upset me that I had to go to special education classes for the mentally challenged and I was correcting the teachers (i feel looking back on it that they did not like me) on math problems.

Most of my math skills i am afraid disappeared due to being too lazy to read it back up. I am 22 and have no friends or even had a girlfriend. I am so alone, so very alone.

Sometimes I question this life of loneliness and sometimes hope or logically think of ways to make it better. It's easier thought than done.

I feel that I ( a very smart and logical thinker at on time) am becoming stupid due to the fact that I can't move forward in my plan that i established with myself since the beginning of high school because i believe i am too nice and always think or know that my family needs me to help financially even when they say they can handle it on their own.

Oh no, I created a wall of bad grammar without realizing it, like all my other rants about stuff when I get in the mood. the only place I can talk normally is in text. and also, I think i am so Aspie that i can't even decide the exact location of the pain of anything or tell him/her the exact systems or what really happened when an emergency happens to me.

When i am almost to the point of crawling to place to place, sick, i still hesitate to go to the doctor. Like right now, i will probably never came to a conclusion with myself to get a doctor to look at me and diagnose me with Asperger's Syndrome because I have an unknown fear of all my answers or conclusions. What if i am wrong, what if i do get diagnosis, then an employer can say he found someone else.

i've been pushed down for many years for my answers and behavior so all i do now is listen and barely speak to those i do not know very well.

My sense of humor is that which no one gets but laughs anyway due to the fact that it makes no sense and i laugh. That is it for me.

By anon65369 — On Feb 12, 2010

Please read this! My younger brother has asperger's syndrome and he gets picked on a lot and has virtually no friends. It kills me inside. But anyone who suffers from asperger syndrome will get relief by doing one simple thing: attending a kingdom hall.

I understand that people with aspergers are shy, but this is the best thing you can do. If you don't know what a kingdom hall is, it is a place for people to worship God. People there are very nice and caring and they don't judge anyone! Even if you are very shy, they don't mind!

There is a kingdom hall in almost every area and if you can't get to one, one of the people from there will pick you up. All you have to do is just type in kingdom halls and call the number.

By anon64950 — On Feb 10, 2010

Wow! You all are amazing! I finally feel like I'm part of a club! I'm also recently self-diagnosed AS. I cried through grade school and although a large male, was scared of everyone through high school. I've had a successful construction business for 25 years now and thank my AS tendencies for that.

Unlike most, I've overcome my fear of looking others in the eye and instead have learned to use my creative/artsy side to hear the communication of others like music, then tear it down and rebuild it to fit in my head. Its a curse, but it works for me.

I still can't spell, hate paperwork and have trouble in a party atmosphere, but as most of you have said I have trained my intelligence to compensate for my shortcomings.

Thanks for all the postings that have helped me understand myself better!

By anon64606 — On Feb 08, 2010

What really stinks is being 52 and still either bullied or ostracized. I am so tired of being alone. So tired of being so sad. So tired of feeling useless when I know I'm not.

I'm just very tired of not being 'accepted' or 'acceptable.' I have no family, no friends -- not one person I can call and say "Hey, can we talk?" or "can we get together for coffee?" No one.

Waste of a good brain, waste of flesh and still when I suck in I get air, and who gives a crap?

By anon64398 — On Feb 07, 2010

After I watched the movie "adam" I felt something of this man was who I am also. his mind was in an another orbit altogether, concerned with science and galaxies but inept socially and afraid to make social interactions. *example when she knocks on his door and he really wants to go out with her but sits in his room panicking.

That may be a lot of people but the resemblance in all ways is uncanny. As for me though, I am definitely no rocket scientist.

By anon64341 — On Feb 06, 2010

I'm 52. AS is me. I have always suspected it. Every symptom is me. Three marriages. All failures, and, saddest of all, now that i understand, i can spot an AS kid a mile away. The mother always looks so harried.

To say anything would be inappropriate (I've learned the hard way, of course). I know what that kid is going to go through, soon.

By anon64195 — On Feb 05, 2010

I'm a 25 year old female and it's interesting to me, the concept of Asperger's, and the comments here which list symptoms and life experiences similar to my own.

I tend to be more of a loner and have trouble in certain social situations, but other times find myself completely confident, charming and secure. Deep down, I don't feel that I truly need anybody. I often feel like I am a shell of a person, going through the expected-of-me motions of everyday life without regard for the meaning or emotion behind them.

I've often felt a strange lacking of empathy or feeling toward catastrophic or particularly emotional events not only in the lives of those around me, but also in my own.

On the whole, I function quite well, with occasional depressive spells, the cause of which I usually attributed to PMS/hormones. I'm not opposed to "labeling" myself anything, least of all mild Asperger's, but I don't feel it's entirely necessary if I can lead a mostly "normal" life. Just a few thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

By anon64086 — On Feb 05, 2010

Does anyone know whether being Asperger's affects the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's in later life? I read somewhere that both affect the same areas of the brain, albeit in different ways.

By anon64004 — On Feb 04, 2010

My 20 year old son is in rehab for substance addiction and they have just diagnosed him with Asperger's.

Reading the checklist, he scores positive on every one of them. His childhood was extremely difficult and he turned to drugs as a teenager as a way of fitting in. He has extreme depression and is now fighting addiction. Is there a correlation between substance abuse and Asperger's?

By anon63971 — On Feb 04, 2010

Al Gore has Aspergers? Oh, please. The guy is a narcissistic personality disorder case study. As for the others mentioned? Yea, Gates perhaps, but Bob Dylan? Try drug induced personality changes there. My goodness.

By anon62505 — On Jan 27, 2010

Asperger's... I knew I was different from the very beginning. Now I know why I was always alone, and had (and still do) trouble making conversation. It's not my fault. I was just born this way. Sigh. I wish I didn't have Asperger's.

By anon62361 — On Jan 26, 2010

i was 45 years old before i first learned about asperger's. of course i knew i was different. i was raised in a foster family who always found me weird. i learned to hide and fake it well enough, i suppose, but sometimes i am stubbornly rude or taking things literally just for a laugh.

i think it makes me angry that i must change to fit in. I've had many relationships but no one ever knew me. now I'm alone but not lonely.

By anon62164 — On Jan 25, 2010

with a lot of research and reading, a lot of ideas to help the Asperger's person can be implemented.

The CFGF diet will often help the person feel more comfortable as well, as it has done for my child. Also, OT and PT are helpful. Yoga stretches (there are DVDs for Yoga) are excellent!

By anon62133 — On Jan 25, 2010

Well, I recently just found out about Aspergers. I'm 28 years old and I dropped out of school when I was 15 (9th grade). I would always feel like out of the whole school, all eyes were on me! It was like that for as far back as I could remember.

I've always felt the only emotion I could feel was depression. I've always looked way too deep into everything. I like to think about things with extreme points of view. It helps me break it down in my head, and it helps me be able to relate to others as well.

After I dropped out, I got my G.E.D. It took me about a week. I was always a failing student, but never stupid. I just needed someone who would explain the subject in a way that I could understand.

When I was a young boy the doctors told me I had ADHD, and I've been taking meds for it most of my life. It never really helped with my focus, but more it sped me up so I could get more done faster, which in turned I supposed looked like it was doing the job.

After my G.E.D. I went to college for computer network technology. I was 19 and had never touched a computer, yet I've always had some obsession with them. I made it out top of my class. Then joined the Navy!

The navy for me was one big never ending nightmare. It was the best thing that could have happened to me in so many ways, but I was suicidal every day! When I'd mention this to my supervisors, they'd just tell me to "Grow up!" While I was in the navy I got married, had two kids, then got out after five years of hell.

Don't get me wrong. The navy was great for many, but I never understood why I was always the odd one out. I made it to 2nd class P.O. (E-5) in a little under three years. But I found it difficult to give orders to other people. I hated being the guy who had to give orders and make people hate me. This just made everything in life way worse.

I've still to this day never been in a fight before in my life, and I refuse to unless it comes to my kids, then I'll be out for blood. Still not a fighter though. After the navy I went on to work in the oil and gas industry in the Golf of Mexico. (Surprised I made it out alive) I got laid off after only nine months of being out of the navy. I had a wife and two small children depending on me and I didn't know which way to turn.

Sometimes I felt like suicide was an answer because I thought my family deserved someone better that could actually take care of them. I felt like my whole life all I've ever done was fail. Shortly after I got laid off both of my cars got repossessed, and I filed bankruptcy (at age 28) and started over in college again.

This time for something I love. Music! I'm getting my B.S. at Full Sail (paid for by uncle sam. *This being one of the reasons the Navy turned out not so bad) After that I plan to get my masters in entertainment business.

Maybe it was all because I didn't understand anything about myself until just a few days ago, but after being married five years, we both decided to call it quits. So now I'm single, in college, and on my own for the first time in my life. It's scary as hell, I tell you!

Last week my son (age three) got officially diagnosed with asperger's. I've been told that even I showed symptoms before, but I didn't know anything about it, and I always denied due to the fact that I didn't want to stick out even more, or have a "label".

Last Friday when my ex-wife came back from the doctor, she was reading all of the things my son may experience in his life, and I swear it was like someone was going down a checklist of my life! I felt a little worried about me, but relived for my son.

I have still not been tested for asperger's, due to the lack of transportation which resulted from my ex and I splitting. But I do plan on going to the VA ASAP to get checked out.

The reason I felt so relived for my child was because of this: There appears to be a very strong possibility that I may have asperger's, and I've made it through college once already, the U.S. Navy, been to 46 other countries, was married, (and had we understood why I was the way I was, maybe it would have worked) had two of the greatest kids in the world, and now I'm back to chasing my dreams in music and back in college.

I did all of this without knowing a thing about why I was the way I was.

I think that because my ex caught on to my son's condition early on he stands a much greater chance to go way further in life then I could ever imagine going myself! Well, thank you for taking the time to read this. It is the first time I've ever talked so much about myself, and it's a relief.

I'm still struggling with everyday life, but now that I can link a possible reason why I am the way I am, life just seemed to get a lot brighter to me! Thank you all for your time and efforts. -HNH

By anon61568 — On Jan 20, 2010

I am 20 years old and I can relate to just about everyone who has commented on this. I am not sure what I have though because I am too afraid to talk to a professional.

As a child I was very odd (I sucked my thumb until I was 11 years old). I had trouble making friends but I was fortunate enough to be born a twin so my twin and I spent a lot of time together.

I can never keep a conversation going and I feel awkward whenever I am around people. It stresses me out and when I speak I end up mumbling or stuttering. I'm afraid that what I say will be the wrong thing to say and think people are judging me. I prefer to be alone. When at work I chose I job that had very little social interaction.

In school, I would often work by myself even if I was supposed to be working in a group. I cannot make eye contact when I'm talking to someone, and if I try to make eye contact, I will not hear what they are saying but play it off like I heard.

I was made fun of a lot as a child and often I would come home, go to my room and cry. My parents talked to the parents of the children who had made fun of me but that only made it worse because their parents thought it was funny.

I tried committing suicide several times when I was 10 years old because I did not understand why people were being mean to me and why I was so weird. I did not think I was weird until other people began telling me I was. A 10 year old should not feel that way and want to die.

If your child is making fun of another child, do not encourage them. It does not matter if making fun of someone makes them the cool kid or not.

By anon61552 — On Jan 20, 2010

This is me. I'm 41 years old. throughout my life, I've managed to pull off social situations, but the anxiety can get ridiculous.

i had a birthday party for the first time since i was a kid last month. i think it went well, but the emotional backlash was so unpleasant i don't know if i can do it again.

i have a few friends I spend time with, and now there are other people who want to be friends, and i find this so stressful.

i wonder if my teachers knew i had this. i was such a miserable child and have always had difficulty as an adult.

By anon61119 — On Jan 18, 2010

I always knew i was different from others but as i grew to my older teens, i thought i self diagnosed myself with autism but in my mind really knew i only had symptoms of autism not the full blown autism.

Then after my mom committed suicide i went into some therapy for many reasons and the doc pinpointed my diagnoses as aspergers. I am 38 years old and i have done a lot of self evaluating to help myself figure out what makes me who i am.

My traits like many above me are as follows: i don't like change, I am very routine-oriented, do not like crowds or to mingle in a group. i despise it. in general i hate people; i just tolerate them to do my job, etc. I love to be alone and many times have classified myself as a loner before i knew the term aspergers. I do better one on one with people but i have to trust them. i don't waste time on people in general. i could really care less if my coworker has three kids! i know that's bad but that's the way I'm wired.

Once you understand yourself and what makes you happy you will really enjoy life more. Like many above me i am gifted in numbers, not like in high end math, just like adding numbers up etc., and i thrive at my job because of it. i count money all day at a bank.

At home everything has a place; it must be in order and i am not married. I hope that helps some folks. i am older and have learned myself and what makes me happy and what doesn't. Keep in mind, though, i did get professional help at one point to help me compare notes with what i knew.

By anon59754 — On Jan 10, 2010

- anon54377: You describe many of my behaviors.

Others seem to converse so easily, back in forth in the rhythm of appropriate talk, while I come out with too much information or not enough.

or I'm using well rehearsed lines of vintage dialog, feeling like an impersonator like I want to get the hell out of there.

By anon59314 — On Jan 07, 2010

Believe it or not, for many years I was a bartender. Can you believe it? How did I pull it off? Grass. when I was high I was very sociable, open, and did well.

today I've changed my life, and only smoke once in a great while. I think back how I was acting out a role. today I am still struggling and feel like some kind of new behavior must be coming soon. I can't go on like this. not suicidal, but...

By anon58544 — On Jan 02, 2010

I think my boyfriend may have AS. I always thought he was a little "odd" but I always cared about him anyway. The idea didn't occur to me that he may have it until he told me himself he thought so. So my question is what are the AS symptoms with people in a relationship?

What should I understand/know?

I know he cares about me a lot when I think about the things he does for me, but a lot of times I feel like he's not expressive enough. For instance, he'll tell me he cares about me but he says it so matter-of-factly that I start doubting it.

I believe he really is a good guy but he seems so unemotional and inexpressive. I've never seen him cry even when we talk about upsetting things. I have dated the "strong and silent" type of men before, but even at some point I've seen them cry and get emotional (maybe not as much as me or the "typical" female) but with my current boyfriend, I just find it so weird.

I really would like to be enlightened by people who know first hand. Thank you.

By anon57733 — On Dec 26, 2009

I am 20 years old and I have aspergers. i do drive, but i still have no license, already took segment 1 and 2. I just need to do the road test, but my timing is slow and i don't think fast or quick enough, which is hard for me when i drive. i sometimes have a hard time making a decision my own. My brain is holding me back, which hurts me a lot.

when i was little i was weak couldn't work out, couldn't get out of a pool, or had a hard time giving eye contact to people. Living with Aspergers can be so miserable and stressful. sometimes i hate it and sometimes i accept it, but i did make lots of friends in HS.

By anon57564 — On Dec 24, 2009

Your last paragraph was right on, and while this has been one of the best "one pager's" I've found describing adult Asperger's, perhaps some of the language could be tweaked so that the article does not make the condition seems so much disease-like.

By anon57420 — On Dec 22, 2009

Hi there. I was diagnosed with Asperger's back in 2005 and to know that there is a name to what I have is such a relief. It is only now though that I am doing more research into the condition and it feels good to know that these problems are not my fault.

That does not mean that I should not try to behave acceptably in social situations but at least I feel reassured. Although I am now 27 years old with few friends to count I am now free from much of the torment and bullying from when I was a teenager and a child and am living happily on my own.

I have a strong interest in anthropomorphic animal art and animal spirituality, which also ties in with my interest in the furry fandom. My interests and abilities in art are probably above average. I remember watching this documentary about someone with aspergers who is really good with math and he was saying how he could see the numbers in front of him. I find that for me it is visualising furry art such as animal heads of wolves or felines.

I will sometimes stare at terrazzo concrete floors on subway stations or blotched color patterns on vinyl subway car flooring and I can also visualise furry art. I also find that my mood can go up or down sometimes not due to external factors and this can affect my rational line of thought.

I can be feeling lousy and I'll start ranting about how much my life sucks but with all things it passes. I admit that waiting four years after being diagnosed to do some research into aspergers is a little bit of time but initially I felt afraid that I would feel highly embarrassed to look myself in the mirror so to speak. I've also read that aspies have a hard time holding a job and I am happy that I've managed to hold the same job for seven years now. Fortunately the job is mostly independent of other team members and all through my childhood years my teachers would say how often I would work alone (although there were many a times I worked on school projects as a child and the others wouldn't put in their fair share so I just decided to have total control of my work).

I'm probably going on a bit. If a parent reading this has a child who thinks he or she has aspergers, rest assured that they are not alone in this world. I find that I get along very well with other people with AS so introducing them to an aspergers social club might very well be the best route to take.

Here in Toronto our public school board already has an afrocentric school and an alternative school for lgbt youth. With the right lobbying, perhaps creating schools specialising in accommodating students with AS could be achieved and help make the early years of those with AS more enjoyable.

By anon56217 — On Dec 13, 2009

I work in EMS and have always been told even before EMS I am rude. I never understood what anyone was talking about and I still don't, yet the accusations of being rude do affect my job.

Which once again I don't get it. If you call 911, my job is to come find the issue, assist in some relief of that issue and transport you all within standing orders and what your condition is with appropriate treatment! I do this and I am rude? What? I do the job!

It is not about flair, which I have none! I am not going to be a kiss butt because I don't get it! You're sick and I help you and take you to the closest appropriate ER. Don't call 911 if you want a hostess!

I do my job and do feel for the illness or injury -- that is why I do the job. Just because I don't put on a stage show!

By anon54411 — On Nov 30, 2009

My wife who is a 41 year old Aspie informed me the other day that she read about a mother who was giving her young son marijuana to help control his behavior. She makes it in a brownie and gives it to him either every day or every other day.

She swears by it, saying that she had him on medications and therapy but was unable to control his outbursts. Is anyone aware of this therapy? We are interested since we have a 13 year old Aspie son as well. Joethebomber

By anon54377 — On Nov 29, 2009

I'm not sure if I have Asperger's or not, though I do match a majority of the symptoms and had more of them when I was younger. I've gotten better over the years but I think it was mostly because I didn't even know about it, though I've always known I was different. My imagination is very good and I have always had higher intelligence though very little social understanding. I'm 21 now and all of my life I've always simply hated people. I have never understood their actions or their emotions. I know I'm human but I also knew that I was different and didn't feel the same things that others did. However, I also didn't want to get close to people.

I've been slightly paranoid of others because I've tried to blend in, something I'm very good at now. I learned how to fake my emotions so that now I feel whatever they are feeling and can help them feel better about themselves. I don't actually feel sorry or sad for them however, it's just what I know I'm supposed to do. I've always been very logical and have used this logic to explain many things, though I have honestly never met someone with AS. It's hard to think how alone and empty I felt growing up. There were times I thought I was actually crazy because I didn't have any problems saying goodbye to people. I just never had the desire for attachment and could honestly give up everyone that's close to me. I like to be alone and hate being surrounded by many people.

When it's one on one, I can talk fine and mimic many of their personal traits so that I can get along great with them. I do this naturally now and probably couldn't stop it even if I wanted to. When I'm around many people however, I can't do that. There are too many personalities and differences and I end up being very quiet and wishing I could just get away. I end up feeling very anxious and don't like the idea of being there because I'm afraid that it will show in my attitude.

I wonder whether or not I should be looked at though I also don't want to. I have no real problems with my job or life (at least none that I see) and enjoy being by myself the majority of time because it keeps me out of trouble. I'm a very good person and people often say that I'm very nice. That's only because they don't know what I keep hidden from them. Not even my family members know because I've had to hide it away and I don't want them to find out my secret. All the information I've looked up about AS just says that if I do have it, that I'm going to have to deal with it, so perhaps it's all right not to get it looked at. At least then, I could avoid the label.

The only reason I know about this is because a doctor believes my niece might have it and asked if anyone in my family had it. My sister read about and discovered that I when I was little I was exactly what the book described and told me. My parents have always known something was different about me but never got it looked at because they wanted to avoid me being labeled.

By anon54318 — On Nov 29, 2009

As someone who is likely AS myself, and has a son with it who is seventeen, I moved in with a roommate who also has it.

I started getting to know a wonderful man, who's working on a PHD in a form of biology, and have recently become nearly positive he has it too. it explains his lack of communication, and his occasional but not complete aversion to physical affection.

He does tend to get obsessive in his interests, but this man has been spending a lot of his very rare free time with me and seems very content to do so. It's hard to tell whether he is looking to build a relationship or a friendship due to the nature of AS. Anyone have any suggestions for ways to know? I'm afraid being too direct will cost me the friendship, if he's not interested in more --and that not being direct enough will cost me a chance at more. Ugh!

I love being smart and geeky and different, but not knowing what to do, especially in a situation with a potential relationship partner who is more socially backward than I am, is exceedingly frustrating.

By anon53745 — On Nov 24, 2009

I always suspected it, but now I am convinced.

What a strange disorder. My first instinct is to want to join a support group. I really do want to connect with people. How?

By anon53664 — On Nov 23, 2009

I have a seven year old grandson that has AS (diagnosed at three or four years.) My 57 year old brother was diagnosed bipolar, stage I, at about 20 years of age. After learning about AS, I feel my brother also has AS. I heard there's a connection.

Also, I haven't read about hand flapping when excited. My adult brother did as a child (as does my grandson )and admits to trying to contain himself from rubbing his hands together really fast when excited, as an adult.

By anon53547 — On Nov 22, 2009

I'm 41 and female and I've been recently diagnosed with AS. I'm told my being pretty much unable to hold down most jobs because of a lack of suitability, or not enough suitability, is due primarily to AS. However, I can honestly say I'm responsible for getting myself fired due to a bad attitude, which I've stopped doing on the job.

Most people my age are out of their parents' home. However, as much as I've tried to better myself and find higher wage jobs that I believe I could do, and go back to vo/tech school, it simply isn't going to happen.

A good bit of the time lately I've been feeling quite inadequate. I've heard "Trust in God via your parents, read up on it, apply for Social Security, take your antidepressants, look on the bright side" and I have done all this, but I still feel like my life is coming to a close.

The other meds I'm on are for petit mal seizures. (without having epilepsy) The response I had was "that's the depression talking" and yeah, I'll agree with that, plus when I look at my own present personal reality that's exactly what I see: a brick wall blocking out a path to success I've all too frequently walked down and stumbled along the way!

And just to clarify, I'm being as factual and realistic as I can, not overly negative. I'm very frustrated and I wish there was an affordable cure for this, but there isn't. Having AS, depression, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and sometimes petit mal seizures may very well get me on SSI or SSDI. My dad has dementia. His mother had Alzheimer's. I hope to God I don't get one of those as well.

Dear God: could you do a miraculous healing for me? I am not sure what to think or do about this AS thing. Back in the 1960's, there was a Broadway play titled "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off". That's how I feel 40 percent of the time!

By anon52645 — On Nov 16, 2009

My boyfriend and I broke up about eight months ago and his sister just told me he had asperger's syndrome. This explains so much.

By anon50604 — On Oct 30, 2009

It started off as a joke. As soon as I turned 18 a few years ago, my best friend and I decided that we would start a small full service media production company together. He did photography, digital editing, etc. and I just received my cosmetology license and had some experience styling photo shoots. He and I got along too good, to the point where everyone thought we were married, although our love for each other was strictly platonic. I couldn't help but ponder this and he jokingly said it's because we are both autistic.

I never really thought about it until he joked about it but he was very right. I started looking up symptoms for it and found Asperger's. I was floored. Everything I read was about me and him. Then I figured out that my dad, who supposedly absolutely loves his family (so our hundreds of relatives claim) had been so cold to us growing up. He couldn't help it -- and I'm led to believe that people with AS attract others with AS because I'm pretty sure my strange mother has it too. they're pretty average people, incredibly loved by many people and my dad has more friends than anybody I know but none of them are close.

I'm kind of like that too. I can instantly start talking to people and although it's usually really awkward, people seem to be really into it for whatever reason even though it's just nervous chatter. I have a huge vocabulary and I think I'm a gifted writer. I am always working on like five stupid art projects at a time. The only things that keeps me at these projects is validation. People really like my style and I am incredibly thankful for this because there is no way I could ever ever ever survive in the real world based on social interaction.

Everything thinks I am so clever and so smart but I can't comprehend much really. It takes me a really long time to dissect what people really mean and I rarely ever pick up on social cues and body language. I get so nervous and anxious around people and this has forced me to leave the cosmetology industry. I even assisted a celebrity hairdresser for over a year and I kept messing up, even on the silliest of tasks but I never thought it was my fault.

Usually, I pretend to be thinking hard about something all the time just so people don't approach me. I am also hard of hearing so that makes me look dumber. I hate when people consider me to be an actual important person in their lives because that kind of dependency frightens me. I don't need anybody in my life and I can't understand why people need me in theirs. I am perfectly happy by myself, relying on myself, and I can't comprehend sharing love with another person, let alone making it (ew) and living with somebody else and being committed! In fact I think that people that rely on others are really needy even though society makes it seem normal. I mean, I think of people from a utilitarian point of view and everybody I consider a friend is some kind of use to me but it goes both ways. I feel like I always need to be good at everything I try because it makes me a more valuable person, so I can have more friends because I can offer more.

But somehow I'm a really social and emotionally sensitive person and my feelings are pretty much almost hurt. I don't have a realistic perspective of the world around me at all and it is starting to become a huge problem. Now I'm a college student engaging in many art classes and nothing is more fulfilling than being completely surrounded by all these shiny tools and paints. I feel at peace, but then I also feel so horrified knowing that this feeling will end. It's probably how alcoholics feel. I feel dependent on wasting time and preoccupying my mind. I hate things that aren't really difficult and unchallenging, so I come off as really lazy and I change my mind a lot because I am genuinely interested in everything creative or artistic or having to do with people and society, so focusing in school is so so hard and it's only getting worse.

I'm trying to figure out how to rearrange my thoughts so I can be in more control because if I don't, I feel like I'm going to go insane one day and not even think twice about it.

I know it's a blessing to be different because there are in fact two sides to every coin, but it's really frustrating and discouraging to think about your potential (even though you know you are talented in many ways) when you can't get past your bathroom in the morning without having a panic attack. It's such a complicated process for me to get ready in the morning. I have to actively think about what to do next: brush my teeth, flat iron my hair, decide on what shoes to wear. I'm nearly exhausted by the time I am ready to leave my house! And the small tiny details about day to day things exhaust me too, like today I saw this girl in my class bending over to get something and her undershirt stayed perfectly tucked in, but I know that if that were me, it would have been hanging out and came undone. Like, who thinks or even notices these things? I am constantly worried about how I look to other people because I usually look hollow and empty and distant and sometimes I do feel that way but I don't like other people to see it because I'm very expressive and it scares people off. It's just maintenance. It's so much easier to just stay locked in my room all day and not have to worry about anything. Life is hard man.

By anon50532 — On Oct 29, 2009

I went to see a therapist and she had to teach me how to think in terms of emotion. She would ask me how I felt about something and I would say, "I don’t know." Then she would talk about the subject with me and maybe offer a couple of suggestions and only then could I accurately say how I felt.

My friends are all starting to get married and I feel left behind. To me it is unnatural to have someone else in your life like that. I am completely whole on my own. We start off on our own, why do we need someone else? I think I hurt a good friend of mine when she told me she was engaged and I didn’t react. I felt like I was losing her and she would embark on a journey of wedding planning that I couldn’t really be involved in because it all seems so fake to me. I don’t enjoy weddings, I don’t really understand them. I can love, but to me, love is meeting someone I really enjoy being around, but don't ever seem to be able to have. I know when I have feelings for someone, but I don't know how to express it and then I lose them.

I'm not very good at forming friendships either. I like people and I know a lot of people like me, but I don't really know how to connect with them. I don't know if I should drop by and visit people. That seems like something I should do, but I don't know what I would say when I was there and how I ought to behave. So I don't visit unless asked. I think this can be misinterpreted as not caring.

I'm not good at small talk. Parties frighten me because I feel lost and if I don't know someone well, I don’t know how to continue on with a conversation past, "hello, how are you?" Once I've said that to everyone it's either time to go home, or time to spend an excruciating few hours wondering what to do with myself. I want to enjoy it, but I can't. So I don't get invites, because I don't enjoy it, but I also don't want to be alone. It's a bit of a dilemma. - Gen

By jennymar — On Oct 16, 2009

I smiled like crazy when my dog died that I loved dearly. I smile when I am reprimanded. Even though I feel horrible inside. It is like I cannot express horror. It is not horrible if I am here and alive and this is just one little thing and crying on the job is very unprofessional, so is back talking and why would I frown? I don't know why I smile it just happens. And if I don't look people in the eye it is not because I do not think I am pretty. I do think I am okay looking and no it is not because I think you are ugly. It is because when I look at someone while they are speaking it is very difficult to hear them. I see all the moving mouth and eyes moving and chin nodding and gesturing and what the heck do you say? Please I don't want to see your eyelids wincing or pulling apart. If you speak it is so I can hear and I am listening to you the best way I can. When I respond I am responding to your questions or comments the best way I can. Please do not accuse me of being cold or unconcerned or mean. I do like people but why do I have to look at a person's face? I like people's faces when they are not talking. Then I can look at them and sometimes I love looking at a face so much, or looking at a way a person is using their face and I cannot stop looking. It feels good to stare, like eating or drinking something. When I stare I feel as if I am filling up. It is a strong steady comfortable feeling and I cannot bear to be interrupted while I am looking at something in this way. I feel refreshed after that moment is over and ready to move on. I sleep under many heavy blankets. Even in summertime I need that weight on me all the way up to my ears. Completely. I cannot bear it if a part of my body is unevenly weighted at night. I must be all buried evenly to fall asleep. My daughter has many friends. I always have one or two close ones. Usually though the friendship will end because I am declared selfish and thoughtless. I cannot answer things properly. I speak too much or too little and it is always like the tip of a high diving board trying to know how much to say, when to say it and whether or not I have put enough of the correct sound into my words to make a person believe that yes I do care and I want to have a conversation. Please don't tell me my top is pretty or ask me how my kids are. I have no clue what the appropriate response, length of response, and tone should be. I must know the end of movies and books before embarking upon reading or viewing. I do not care about the ending. It is why things happen and how that I find interesting. Who cares who won a war, or who got married and had a baby, or which person came into political power? Who and when and where seem to me to be very trivial questions. It is the what and how that interests. Names are hard because there are always so many and we don't wear them on ourselves like the service industry. If your name is Keith and I forget and call you Kirk or Kyle more than once you might behave as if I have said that I hate you. Why is this? I see the form of this short name with a K and I remember K with red truck and family. I see your whole family, what you drive and how you told me you came into your chosen profession in one picture under that K. I don't know why I cannot remember the letters after the first. It is not because I dislike you or do not respect you. When I picture the alphabet or the calendar year it has a particular shape and path. I know the colors of all my letters -- even though supposedly letters do not have colors. The months and numbers have colors too. This is what they are: a is red b is orange c is yellow d is green e is blue f is purple g is red h is orange i is yellow j is green k is blue l is purple. See? It makes sense. And there is January green, February purple, March blue, April red, May blue, June green, July green, August red, September red, October yellow, November orange and December green. The year is a rounded rectangle, kind of like a square clock in my head with January and February covering numbers two and three sloping down to March at 4 and April May like 5, 6 and up to June at 7 on the clock and then July is 8 (those written vertically with their J's down), going up to and august 9 and september at space 10 and October November are horizontally written across 11 and 12 and December continues across at 1 o'clock and the last letters trickle down to meet the top of January beginning at 2 again at New Year's Eve. Maybe I have this. Maybe I have something else. I just wish I could see how others think so I will understand better and not be so irritating to others.

By anon48619 — On Oct 13, 2009

My 12 year old son has just been diagnosed with AS. This led to me finding out I had it too.(I am currently diagnosed with schizophrenia & panic attacks, I am also ADD. Talk about comorbidity) Wow what a awesome thing it is to find out there are reasons why we have been "just weird" and dysfunctional all our lives. By most accounts I've always been told I've got way above normal intelligence but I've always had a heck of a time in school and have a even more interesting (read dysfunctional) time in the working world. I have a loving wife of 18 years and three awesome children. What I am building up to is this. Take responsibility for the quality of your life and your world. Understand and accept your shortcomings, learn to laugh about them, then find ways to work around them and go for your dreams. If you fail 50 times, get back up 51. Always push your limits in creative ways, learn to love god and to love your self. Don't suffer from insanity, enjoy it. That all.

By anon47694 — On Oct 06, 2009

Want to learn about Asperger's? Do some research. I think many of those who have posted their opinions are actually looking for an excuse to be found as 'poor misunderstood angelic beings' secretly blessed with far higher-than-normal intelligence and uncommon beauty. Asperger's is not about whining but about learning to live and cope with our difficulties.

By anon47660 — On Oct 06, 2009

My 21 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 12. I am sure I also have it. I am 53 and have struggled all my life having many of the experiences people here have described. I have a question. How many of you have trouble remembering/telling jokes? I have a sense of humor and when I hear a joke I will laugh at it but later on I can't remember the joke, and I don't think I have ever told a joke in my life. I just can't do it. Just wondering...

By anon47512 — On Oct 05, 2009

I know someone who has been diagnosed with AS. Based on everything I've read, I'm fairly certain that I too have AS. I do not consider it "suffering" with a disease. I'm married, I have children. My son is probably another ASer. I'm a computer programmer, everyone called me weird in high school. I think we all are different and psychologists can describe pretty much every behavior as a "syndrome" that people "suffer". I like me, I like the way I can block out the rest of the world and concentrate. I'd say the most important discoveries in the world were made by fellow ASers. Treat it as a blessing, not a curse! You or your children may be the discoverer of a cure for cancer, a real disease.

By anon46783 — On Sep 28, 2009

I just don't know about all these new-fangled disorders. My grandson's preschool teacher had concerns about him relative to Asperger's syndrome. I asked her to give me an example of something that gave her concern. She said the children were in a circle, saying what they'd had for dinner the night before. The child before my grandson said he'd had chicken and peas. It was then my grandson's turn: He said that for dinner the night before he had chicken and peas. This, I gather, was an example of a symptom of Asperger's. guess what he'd had for dinner the night before! You got it - chicken and peas. We want to be careful, I know, and get our children any and all help they might need, but some of this is just "different strokes." My grandson is a *very* happy, enthusiastic, sociable, affectionate, expressive, happy eight year old. Should I have worried?

By anon46586 — On Sep 27, 2009

Hey everyone, I'm new to understanding asperger's. I took the diagnostic test to see how I compare to someone with aspergers and scored a 5. This means I really have very little personal experience with what is hard for someone with AS. Here's the deal, though. I live in a very tight knit community. There is a woman here with AS. I recently got involved with a man who who was close to her (never romantically involved, but a friend). For the last five months, she has been screaming at us on a semi-regular basis. She is so angry that I "took him away" from her, and now it seems like all I have to do is be in the same room with her for her to get really angry at me. She also frequently yells at him and other members of his family. Because of the AS, I've tried really hard to be patient and non-reactive when she starts screaming. But I'm running out of tolerance. I feel like there is someone in my life who hates me for reasons I don't understand, and I'm always afraid I'm about to get yelled at at any minute. Sometimes, we go for weeks without any blow ups, and sometimes it is a full week of constant tension. I want to be compassionate and empathetic and not expect her to behave in ways that she can't. But I also can't handle the yelling. I like this person. I've always enjoyed her quirky sense of the world and she cares so much about similar things that I do. Help!

By leftygrl022 — On Sep 26, 2009

my parents think i have AS but i have not been tested by a doctor. we have been doing research and they think it fits me. my mom called an autism phone line and they gave us some very helpful information. if i do it's going to be hard to deal with because i work with autistic kids at a special needs school and i would also have to figure out how to tell my co-workers, so i'm hoping to get tested soon so we know and we can deal with it.

By anon46276 — On Sep 24, 2009

I fear that I might also have AS. I don't know, and have never been diagnosed, but many of the symptoms are there. My father also had a hot temper, and would go into these tirades over little things. I loved him, but could never seem to please him. He had other symptoms listed here, but was never diagnosed. I fear that I might also be AS, for I find that I am having some of his frustrations, and symptoms myself lately. I didn't always, but my stressors have increased to the point that I now see myself exhibiting some of his mannerisms, and it scares me. I also had been picked on, and deemed weird when younger, as well as my little sister. But, neither of us are truly adept at math and science. Her english skills are off the chart though, and mine are adequate. I tend to be more art oriented, and although I struggle with some of the more complex mechanics in its advanced forms, tend to be quite a perfectionist - like my mother. I tend to notice, and be embarrassed by the flaws present in my works, rather than proud of what I did accomplish. I also tend to really let what others think, or what I think they are thinking affect me and my performance - both on the job, and later at home and vice versa. I hate to say this, but I also notice a strong tendency in some of us, including myself, to do some self diagnosis, which I have always been told is a dangerous thing to do, for even if you may not truly be that, you can make it a self fulfilling prophecy, in that you may convince yourself that you are. But, I am no expert either. I am just looking for answers. I think like the rest.

By anon45839 — On Sep 20, 2009

My son is 25 and lives at home with us. He does not drive or work. He is on the computer all day and night. He would love to find a girlfriend and I want to help him somehow. I would like to find other parents who would like to help their daughter find simple companionship. My son is nice looking but kind of small. He's 5 ft. 5 in. He has never had a date and is very lonely. If any parent out there would like to talk to me about their daughter with similar problems I would love to.

By jmar — On Sep 20, 2009

hello, i am a 48 year old female. i have had problems with social interaction my entire life. i have been to many counselors, doctors, psychologists, you name it. i have been so angry at the fact that because i can talk to people that these "professionals" tell me that i have no problem. i been listening to this for 25 years or more. recently, i found out about aspergers. i demanded to be tested and scored in the high/probable range a lot of the problems i have now could have been avoided if someone would have just simply listened to what i was saying to them instead of trying to tell me what my life is like and basically calling me a liar. i feel like they think they know more about my life that i do. i just hope this does not happen to anyone else.

By anon45579 — On Sep 18, 2009

I too wish I knew that I had Asperger's Syndrome more than 40 years ago. I am 53 years old and have had a terrible life with chronic unemployment; over 200 jobs - I never fit it. People tell me my work is excellent. I have two degrees; one a recent Masters. I cannot work with people and their facial expressions and emotions - I find it all too confusing. I am not sure what on earth is going on; so I just get on in my own little world and this upsets people no end becaue I miss what's going on. I detest the use of anything but straight forward grammatically correct language - that is things like 'two birds in the bush equal one in the hand' is just plain stupid to me. Recently, I had a great job paying $80K a year and my boss went away. She told me to report to the director, so I did. Then this woman decided that she was going to micromanage me - I would not take any notice of her, for as far as I was concerned she had nothing whatsoever to do with me or my work - even though she did the job before I did. Got into terrible trouble. I talk far too much (a common sign) and this has lost me so many job interviews. I do not focus. I want to cover everything - to me it all matters. I had a special interest until poverty meant I could not keep up with the technology to follow it. As a child my brother and mother called me weird, stupid, dumb, and my mother was very violent. When I was between 1 and 2 1/2 I used to rock back and forwards. My nasty mother said that she did not want a child like that, so she belted me every time I did it. I hate parties, I am just lost. I do not even like social gatherings of any kind. I have never even been on a date. Now I am so poor that my gas, phone and electricity has been turned off. I even got kicked out of a church group for being weird - no one liked me. As a kid I never had any friends. When I did make a friend in grade 8 I told her that she had a face that was all pushed in and you could tell she was a preemie baby; made perfect sense to me. She never spoke to me again. Now I have been turned out of my job as a network provider - the only support I had. The only people I saw regularly. I liked going in because it was human contact; but apparently I did not take the hint and the manager turned me out because I complained he had not provided the service he was supposed to - nicely and pleasantly. He just never spoke to me again and got Job Services Australia (the supervisors of the Job Network) to move me to another site. I have no money, no friends, cannot manage money, cannot get a job, and have not had any type of Xmas, birthday or similar celebration for about 25 years - just home by myself. I would not wish Asperger's on anyone. I cannot afford to go for any diganosis to get a piece of paper to do a course.

By anon45392 — On Sep 16, 2009

I am 100 percent sure I have asperger's syndrome. I am a 64 year old female and how I've made this long through life i'll never know. My grandson was diagnosed with asperger's and that is how I found out about it. After studying the symptons I slowly came to the realization that I might have it. I took the Simon Baren-Cohen test several times using different answers on some questions i might have fudged on. I consistently came up with a 32 to 40 score. I was bullied and teased as a child. Never made eye contact. It was hard for me to fall asleep. I would wake up at the slightest noise. I cannot stand the ticking of a clock and I get agitated if I feel even the rhythm of someone else's music. I never had any friends growing up and was considered a wall flower at dances even though I've been told I was very pretty by a lot of people. I hate social gatherings to this day and find it very difficult to deal with more than one person at a time. I've been told I'm very compassionate. I work for the state blind center and I love to help people and I am a very kind person even though my coworkers can be very rude and abusive to me. I am very sensitive and try to treat other people the way I would like to be treated. I was often taken advantage of by men. I've been married five times. I've had about 30 sexual encounters before I was 30. Some I would call forced or rape which I hate using that term. I've had things stolen from me. I give away a lot of things. Some things have been expensive. I live by myself now and feel like for the first time I have some peace. I was told by one person that she didn't want to be my friend anymore because people knew what I was as soon as I opened my mouth. This was some years ago before I knew what asperger's was and I didn't know what she meant. I only know that it hurt very much for her to say this. I had a boss years ago who said I intimidated people so he put me in a room with nothing but men technicians. I had a teacher in church one time write me a letter saying that I never talked. I had another person at where I worked one time tell me I was mousy. I was always very focused on work and excelled in everything I did but it was my personality that was my downfall. I tried so hard to fit in and wanted friends so bad but I realize now that it will never happen and I'm content to be by myself. I'm not even close to my own family. Does this sound like Asperger's? Please feel free to comment.

By anon43389 — On Aug 28, 2009

I've never felt the desire to post in any kind of online discussion before, but I started reading and all I could think was: "This is me." But, as is apparently typical, knowing that I am not alone is no comfort. There's a thrill of recognition, a sort of feeling of accomplishment, but no comfort. The thing is that I don't want to be "cured". I understand how gay people feel when they are treated as if they have a sickness, even if the intent is well meaning and sympathetic. I don't feel sick, it's the rest of the world that's sick. And yet, underneath, I'm jealous. I've known since early childhood that I just don't feel what other people seem to: the anger, the joy, the love, emotion is second hand for me. I've learned to act the right way in the appropriate situation, most of the time, but that's all it is. I am suspicious of any pleasurable activity that requires the cooperation of other people because they are not reliable. The driving force of my life, the only thing that has kept me from being totally dysfunctional in society is a powerful sense of responsibility, and that causes problems as well, because I react badly if I feel that someone I trusted has let me down, even in a small thing. I have been describing myself, since I was a small child, as selfish and lazy. Knowing that I have a "syndrome" doesn't change that assessment.

By anon42628 — On Aug 22, 2009

i'm a 23 year-old female who started hearing more and more about ASC a couple months ago. the more i looked into it, things from my childhood started to make much more sense- which i find extremely encouraging. i'm also an artist, amateur chef, and karaoke addict... and i love beer.

i still think back, "i knew there must have been something going on!"

-started talking at 6 mo. i was a weird little kid- particularly curious about sexuality, practicing with a pretty sweet barbie collection. elaborate soap opera spectacles...

-had a lot of trouble making friends. when i was 3, i started going to daycare in the city i've grown up in. i would cry and cry every single day when my mother would take me in before she went to work. sometimes she'd have to leave me home; it was uncontrollable. i'd dress up in my mother's old nightgown and tie a scarf around my waist to look good for michael jackson on tv. i had a crush on my dad.

and it wasn't tantrum-throwing, i was frozen terrified sometimes. as i learned to deal with the separation over that first year, making friends with kids my age was difficult. getting made fun of for silly things, "weirdo", keeping to myself- usually drawing fantasy pictures of birds in rich, elizabethan gowns with 20s style fancy shoes, bustles, slips, intricate patterns, lacy hats. I always had my homework turned in first, because it was easy.

after a brief stint with LSD between the ages of 17 and 18, i worked my way through family issues, four days in rehab (you go there and realize 'i'm not crazy!'), sexual promiscuity, and the concept of employment.

i waited tables and short ordered at a diner for a couple years. people and the mind have been a favorite hobby of mine since i can remember.

i struggle with discerning proper and improper conversation. lucky for me, most situations put me in the comedian's position. when something inappropriate strikes me as amusing, i can't control whether or not i laugh.

until a year ago, i'd never been willing or able to sustain a long term relationship- getting fed up with being so close to someone else. i guess i've just become more focused, mellow, and secure with, well, reality.

so i guess i was thinking about seeing a professional to see if perhaps the tension and desperation of my childhood had something to do with this?

By anon42534 — On Aug 21, 2009

Well, my brilliant, wonderful, pain in the "bleep" husband has asperger's or he is from another dimension. I must say AS has allowed him to put up with me (Border Line Personality Disorder) so, for that I am grateful! Who else would be so single-minded in his thoughts to not get annoyed by my quirks? I wish I could show him the list of behavioral characteristics for AS but he would say, "I don't have every single one of these traits listed here. So therefore you are wrong. I am going to go wax my boat." (again) I am being cavalier because if I am not I will cry. It is not easy, what we go through. I am concerned that we will not "make it". He speaks at me, the other night he had been talking to his mother on the phone. After about an hour and a half (she listens to him well) he came inside and at 11 p.m. (I was sleeping in bed lights off etc.) my ever loving husband regales me with a tirade on his 89 year old grandmother's concerns over Obama's health care plan and how it actually should work! I sat there bleary eyed and dumbstruck! Clueless doesn't even scratch the surface of what I think of his behavior sometimes. I love him but I need some advice on how to communicate to him when he is in AS mode. Please help before I throttle him! Thank you for any assistance.

By anon41567 — On Aug 16, 2009

hi all. I am a new entrant in this field. I am a 40 years old female married to self diagnosed aspie husband of 41 years of age. For the first 13 years of married life, I waited for miracle to happen -- to see him behaving normally and responsibly and then found out about asperger thing and was shocked to observed that he had almost all the signs. We have still to officially get him checked but I believe he has a 99 percent chance of having it.

Though it has become bit easier to understand him after knowing, I am still to learn to cope with it in major issues such as he loses big money because of some nonsense reason which he can get back but won’t even try, And major issue is involving our kids aged 13 and 10 (with very high IQ). He shows the withdrawal symptoms after he is angry or frustrated with something and doesn't even care about those two getting emotionally hurt. Our son, 13, is too understanding and tries his best to bring peace with father but to no avail. My husband just wouldn't talk or understand. As long as he is ignoring me or not understanding me, it still works to a certain extent but with a child it’s a different ball game. He can’t recognize the reason for tears in my son's eyes, despite explaining to him. Can someone tell me how to deal with this issue?

I have tried to commit suicide earlier not knowing why he behaved abnormally even though he is in a management position and is earning sufficient to provide us with small luxuries as well, like education in expensive schools, providing me my personal vehicle etc. and he feels happy for us. The kids are doing extremely well in academics and other activities too. please help me. I want to have more control over my desire of seeing him like a normal husband. jj.

By anon41097 — On Aug 12, 2009

Sometimes it seems like the only one who appreciates me is our family dog! My husband constantly calls me weird, complains that I don’t fit into social situations, doesn't even want me around when he's with other people. I'm a nice person! I'm an honest person. I'm never going to hurt anyone. But why don't people trust me? I can't believe I act as strange as he says. I try to find out from him specifically what I do so that I can fix it, but he won't or can't give me specific examples. But if we're alone together he's affectionate to me and we usually have fun, joke around.

I have a high intelligence, and I can and do use it for our family's benefit. My ability to think well has allowed us to be pretty successful, but it isn't what people notice about me unless they get to know me well, and it isn't something my family recognises as important. That hurts.

I have to study how people stand, walk, smile and do things naturally, then try to imitate it, acting casual. I have to copy gestures people make to learn them. But still, there must be something “off” in my performance. I seldom get angry, and I appreciate beauty and love, but often it needs to be called to my attention. I often intentionally say funny things, which people say Aspies generally do by accident.

As post number 32 and 33 say, a rolling stone gathers no moss, means exactly that to me. When someone says that phrase I have to stop the mental image in my mind. I actually see a moldy rock come to a screeching halt. I have to imagine it with brakes, or let it crash into a cartoon wall. Then I began to wonder how on earth it began to roll away anyhow. By that time I have lost track of what the person is saying, and I need to interrupt for clarification. Which is always annoying to them.

Metaphors are never easy for me. Each one must be learned, although I can cope and even use them artfully now and even make some up. I need to put them through a translation process, to make them meaningful. And what about people who live in glass houses! That’s a terrible one for a modest, prudish Aspie like me! What fool would build a house out of glass anyway? Oh, and “what comes around, goes around,” which is always spoken with a warning hush, and then the subject of the conversation is quickly changed by someone who does know exactly what it means. A merry-go-round? A prostitute? I still don’t know, but have figured out it is not either of those, even though they do!

I really like the phase “People won't care how much you know until they know how much you care.” People just don’t know how much I care. I'm not as unemotional and detached as many Aspies here are describing themselves. I could not, as did commenter #17, watch an SUV spinning and just count the rolls. But I would not be impeded with emotion and hysteria while trying to help in the situation. I would snap into action, and do what needed to be done for the people involved. It is interesting to note, and exemplifies the commenter’s AS, that he misuses the word “empathy” when “apathy” is the appropriate word for the feeling.

I hope that poster #21 reads this, or at least people who share that view. Some of us do care deeply about our close relationships, but are washed away in a tsunami of implicit and innuendo. Besides that, I would like to respectfully respond that people often don't like people just based on our quirkiness, not only because of the time consuming special interests which interfere with bonding. I dress just a little oddly I've been told. I wear comfortable shoes, and don't use make up or expensive clothes. So what? On very hot days if I'm at home I might drag the fan into the back yard in the shade, sit in front of it wearing a wet shirt and shorts, and work on a robot I'm building. Strange, sure, but why would anyone not like me because of that? Einstein used to hard boil eggs in the same pot with his soup, and wear his slippers outside of his home. So? There are a lot of people whose personalities are just naturally idiosyncratic or solitary, but why not accept us as we are, whether attributed to Asperger's or not?

Think Tank (# 25) I agree with all you said.

No matter how I try to be clear in communication, I am misunderstood more often than anyone else I know. My thoughts are qualified by conditionals and contingencies, relevant ifs and buts. Even when I edit these all out, even by coming directly to the point or conclusion, well, people still misunderstand.

I have to try very hard to pay attention to what people actually mean when they are talking, not just their verbal statements. I take a few seconds longer to respond when someone says something to me, even something pretty simple if the context is at all vague. Apparently it is easy for most other people to “get it,” to match up spoken words with body language to fully understand a conversation. Worse, it is more difficult for me to suspect I’m being lied to.

I don't know if it is something separate, but I have difficulty recognizing people who I don't know very well. Whenever I meet someone I try to keep looking at their face for two main reasons: to remember them in case we meet again, and to follow their expressions to see if it supports their words. But the impulse to look away is almost impossible to resist.

It's also important to understand that many people are just more loner types anyway. We are Spockish. We are nerdy. This stereotype isn't new. It doesn’t mean everyone who is not well adjusted is an Aspie, or feels the need to wear the tag. I hope this doesn’t turn out like the ADD/ ADHD fad. People attributing all aspects of their character to ADD, making excuses for their kids' misbehaviors, Often they really didn’t have ADD, but oppositional defiance disorder or other problems. I think ADD is over diagnosed. Genuine ADD cases often have difficulty receiving medicine now. Just because you don't know what's wrong with you doesn't mean that that “whatever it is” is Aspergers.

It is really a disappointment yet also a relief to finally realize that I’m an Aspie, not a freak. I have suspected Aspergers for a long time, but I wanted to avoid really knowing. It makes me want to find other Aspies, just to have a community of friends where I would belong, other people who wouldn't reject me, wouldn't think I‘m strange, but would accept my special qualities.

By anon40649 — On Aug 10, 2009

A man by the name of Asperger diagnosed personality traits in 1944 and now just because some people are introverted, preferring to spend time with meaningful things such as nature, studies, art,

sciences, etc., rather than make small talk and learn the nuances of a sick society in order to fit in, it's a syndrome? I think

that those diagnosed with "Asperger's" are the "normal" ones.

By anon40601 — On Aug 09, 2009

OK i have myself under control now. i have just spent the last few minutes scanning around the 'net, looking into this disorder. suddenly, i'm reading about people who think like me, feel the way i do, *act* the way i do. all my life i have felt as if i was always falling short of what those around me expected me to be able to do. always a failure, but never really caring enough about that to actually change it. wondering what the joke was when i had been paying attention to the conversation the whole time, or so i thought. feeling nothing when i see someone that i like in pain- almost like i'm second guessing my own feelings for someone at the worst possible time. i have never been able to keep a job for longer than a couple of years, but i have had some jobs that i just love, and in another scenario i'd still be working them. i have always felt false, like i'm faking anything and everything i do- i even told my ex-wife once that i don't feel emotion, just act in the manner that i have learned makes the most sense in the situation. i still don't understand the look on her face, as if i was a horrible person. She asked why i was so thoughtful, and i told her what had just occurred to me, that's all.

I'm a smart person. my IQ is up in the 170-180 range on the Stanford-Binet Scale. i am an accomplished musician who plays drums with a rock band, although i have been wondering why i bother with that lately. i have made a shambles of all but the most casual relationships in my life, even telling my father that i hate people in general, but none specifically. i destroyed my marriage because i just couldn't -- engage -- with my wife in matters of finance, child raising, or other things like that. she'd reach to me for comfort and i'd get uncomfortable and want her to leave me alone, and i *know* i loved her!

i have destroyed my health with the drugs i took in my teens and 20's trying to feel anything but fear and loneliness. 2 heart attacks, 5 bypasses, and now i have debts piled up, no future, no life, and all this time i have just accepted that i have no ability to be a normal person with a normal drive to succeed.

then i decided to read up on something that my daughter may have, according to her mother. it was just curiosity, just wondering what it was all about. suddenly i'm crying. and now i'm leaking again, because now i'm reading an explanation for *my* life- and what chance did i have? my parents had no clue, my counselors had no clue. i have been treated by one of the most respected child psychiatrists around, Dr. Alex Panio of AFIC in Denver, and neither he nor his staff had a clue. they diagnosed oppositional defiance disorder (actually, they tricked me into diagnosing myself in order to make me believe it) and acted accordingly.

it's like being told you have a terminal illness after your arms have been amputated. my life is a wreck, practically unrecoverable. i find myself wanting to die, because the thought of fighting this fight is just overwhelming. i've been just dying little by little, wanting to go because the alternative was just too much damn work- and now i have a word for all my problems: Asperger's.

It's too late for me now, i'm too far gone, haven't taken my meds for my heart for so long that it's got to be starting to break down. if you think someone has this, find out, because i assure you, they are wondering what is wrong with themselves, why they can't seem to get into step with the world at large. knowing helps, i can tell you that.

By anon40486 — On Aug 08, 2009

I am a 47 year old male Aspie. I would not wish this condition on anyone. I learned at an early age that I was different and that I would never "fit in." Although I finally married, I cannot tell you how many women were completely uninterested in dating me. I have a young daughter and I pray that she will escape this curse. From the outside, I appear to be very successful. Single minded pursuits lead to great achievements but happiness tends to be elusive. My nephew has now been diagnosed as an Aspie as well. I hope that society will be more tolerant of him.

By anon40010 — On Aug 05, 2009

Wow! I recently fell in love with a guy who I now feel, after reading these post, in all likelihood is an "Aspie". Especially the comments from 32 and 33 about their partner being socially 'out to sea' and sitting there stony faced while everyone else is laughing and having to use direct speech and not speak in subtleties. It made especially sad to read the most recent post from #35 who felt everyone thought her to be strange. It's not unusual for my Aspie boyfriend to think every person he meets hates him. He is also alienated from everyone at work, and I notice his family somewhat does the same. My own family even had an 'intervention' with me about him. I've come to the point where I somewhat echo the sentiments of #21's apprehensions in undertaking the challenges of being involved with an Aspie. The confusion about whether to stay or go is overwhelming and our relationship has therefore become cyclical. On the one hand he is so very intriguing to me; his wit is outrageous and I never know what is going to come out of his mouth. And like #15's post, the constant unanticipated laughter is so very refreshing and special to me. He is also a sweetheart who wants nothing more than for people to feel good about themselves but has trouble expressing it, and his attempts most often come out as an insults or just plain rudeness. It makes me so sad for him because I know that's not his intention at all. He is very misread by others. But on the other hand, I am an extremely social person with lots of friends, and true to Aspie traits, he admittedly has no friends that he himself sees regularly. If I could live my life with just him, it would be a very content one; but I just know that is not possible and I will always be bringing him into social situations that I now know make him extremely uncomfortable and cause me great anxiety worrying about how he will act. I have approached the subject with him, and although his response is 'tough, this is who I am', I am praying he can come around to the same thinking as #21's post -- that he will have to give it 90 percent to turn the relationship around. And even though he took an initial hard stance, he proudly told me that just yesterday he attempted conversations with everyone at work.

What's more likely that this can work is that I, too, am willing to give it 90 percent along with him, by researching, going to support groups, and just being supportive to him. He is worth it. And with our combined 180 percent, we should make it.

By anon39773 — On Aug 04, 2009

Hi, I'm a 43 year old female and I am pretty sure I have AS, although I still need to do more research.

I've been terrible at making friends. Other than the man I'm in a relationship with, I really don't have any. I can't seem to get past the awkward stage of getting to know someone. I'm terrible at small talk and trying to fit into social situations is pretty much impossible and stressful for me. I feel everyone is looking at me and thinking what a strange person she is.

At the same time, I'm very sad and depressed that I don't have friends. The few I've had over the years never last.

By anon39507 — On Aug 02, 2009

To all that are posting here, particularly if you have family members with Asperger's Syndrome, please also be tested for Tuberous Sclerosis. I am particularly interested in these comments posted, as I am having my 26 year old son tested for Asperger's. I have a grandson who has TS (Tuberous Sclerosis). TS *is a genetic disorder, often passed on throughout generations, without ever being diagnosed until the more severe type of TS pops up in family member. My grandson has white spots on his skin (although hard to see because he is so fair complexioned). He also has moderate autism. The spots on the skin are easily seen under a special light. Tuberous Sclerosis, in its most severe form, causes severe mental retardation. TS in its lesser form, can cause no symptoms. However, parents pass on the gene to their offspring (all it takes is the right combination to produce the wrong type of TS). The second type of TS (the more severe) also causes subtle to severe autism. I am curious if medical examiners have cross referenced these two disorders to see if some genetic patterning is there. Could Asperger's be Tuberous Sclerosis? Note again, some people with TS have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever and can live happy productive lives. I do believe that Aspergers does indeed have a genetic link, although medical professionals say otherwise. Just wanted to put this out there. People with TS, whether showing symptoms or not, often have watery tumors inside their body, non malignant, that can grow on their organs. I believe if a doctor is not educated on TS, these types of tumors can be misdiagnosed. Again, as I stated before, white spots on skin are generally indicative of TS. My son is being tested for Asperger's, and he also has white spots all over his skin.

By anon39397 — On Aug 01, 2009

This is a response to 29 – I have been married for 10 years.

Firstly, I am not a psychologist but talk from many years living with someone who clearly has Aspergers. I posted 39325. Our partners share striking similarities. The anger issues are very familiar - zero to anger in seconds over issues that are not of any consequence. The endless lists of things to do. The endless note taking. Things are done this way because they have always been done this way. Not letting go of a subject or issue for hours no matter how minor. A phone call I didn’t make, she will go on and on about it until I make it, even if it has nothing to do with her. The strange contorted posture and yes disappearing for hours in her office. Craving to be alone, to be by herself. Hiding away from your friends. And, and yes never saying sorry when she has totally destroyed you with her words. She has no concept of the hurt. No regular person would ever say such things. An example of one of the things that totally devastated me was she once said that she had no concept of ever being happy, she said she did not know what happiness was.

Conversation’s can often turn in to proclamations and statements not two way chit chat. A ‘fork in the road’ is a piece of cutlery in the road, what’s it doing there? This is a person with a very high IQ. I am lucky our daughter is NT but my partner’s father is Aspergers. Our daughter has more empathy in her little finger than my partner has ever had. I have learned to identify the triggers that cause her stress, steer clear of the things that will generate these emotional outbursts. My life is simpler than yours but that is my advice. Yes you may think why should I, I’ve been wronged or she is wrong but it is clear people with Aspergers don’t think like you and I and there lies reality of our situation.

My partner has no concept of her connectedness to others. It seems like a one-way stream of stuff going in but she cannot regulate or relate to what comes out, if that makes sense. I always get the feeling that she is isolated from what is around her, incapable of collective appreciation of the world or her place in it, if she does she never says so. I have learned to talk in direct speech. No subtleties, no metaphors, no word play. I have learned that if I say I’m going to do something I will do it. I don’t surprise her. We plan. I try my best not to put her in novel situations – big stress generator. These are my thoughts on a smooth life.

Of course everyone is different, and there seems to be different levels of Aspergers but these are my own observations living with an adult Aspergers.

By anon39325 — On Jul 31, 2009

I am the partner of a wonderful woman who has undiagnosed Aspergers. She's gifted at math and music. A pure logic mind, a marvel to witness. To her everything is black and white, no grey. An amazing problem solver. An amazing person. I marvel at her intelligence. Obessive with facts, she will research and research for weeks a single point or question. She runs rings around specialists in their fields as she absorbs the facts and spews them out. Its breath taking. Socially my sweet and lovely person is out to sea. Incapable of reading others emotions. When everybody is laughing at the dinner table, she sits there stony faced not knowing what's going on. Twisting her fingers and sitting stiffly, eyes darting all over the room. She's incapable of understanding metaphor. She's wonderfully creative but incapable of creative writing. I've learned to talk in direct speech. A rolling stone gathers no moss is a rolling stone that gathers no moss - to her its a factual statement.

I've learned not to expect her to point out beauty, even though she must see it all around. I've learned not to be upset when I hug her and she stands there unresponsive and stiff. I've learned to accept her eccentric behavious. I've learned that within her lies a hyper-sensitive person who can be destroyed by another's careless words.

Unlike others' posts, she organizes and makes endless lists to keep her day under control. She is incapable of spontaneous actions, if it's not on her today's to do list it cannot be done today.

We have been together for many years, we have a daughter and I love her very much. Aspergers is but a label, she is far far more than a label.

By anon35249 — On Jul 03, 2009

Hello. I have been searching all of my life to find out why I feel the way I feel sometimes. After reading the data on this website, I have gained the knowledge to understand myself better. I thought I could label myself a Highly Sensitive Person, but my feelings toward life is much deeper than sensitivity.

I have trained myself to manage the pain I can feel from another persons words, behavior or feelings.

Usually I find relief via gospel music or prayer, reading, writing, separating myself, using the constitution to confirm my thoughts, silence, recharging my energy levels, at least 8 hours of sleep per night, music, and talking with someone else who I feel will cool the boiling blood running through my body to my volcanic heart.

My whole outlook on life is to make it better or perfect, even for my one friend or my whole family or the whole world. In doing that I may feel better, but I can totally be unsatisfied if even one of my surroundings are below perfect standards.

Suppose I go to a funeral and it turned out to be sad in my eyes; my whole day is ruined maybe even two days. I do not have to know the situation, person or the people grieving....I will cry because I become the emotion through my own private thoughts.

Me knowing that people misunderstand my feelings; I would eternally overreact if someone did not warn me about the critisism they wanted to give me.

Would say in a calm or disapproving tone:

Why are you crying? Don't cry! Why are you smiling?

Should say in the calmest sweetest tone:

May I say something?

I know you must feel awful from the crying flying around this room; and you can cry all you want. You have my deepest sympathy, here is some tissue.

I would stop crying or at least feel a little better if the person was truly sincere; I am temporarily relieved.

Would say in a calm or disapproving tone:

When are you going to quit smoking?

Should say in the calmest sweetest tone: This might hurt a little but I have something to tell you. Is it OK?

I know you don't want to stink or become sick; so I am going to help you quit smoking starting next Monday. Get ready because I know it is going to be hard for you to quit.

That line can work if you mean it.

I also have the most strongest crave to feel optimism from others, heard, unhurt, understood, and judged without any prejudice; because I can instantly feel all emotions a person feels while we communicate: Good or Bad: Mother or Wife: Work or Community: Dog or cat: Toddler or newborn.

I have this condition and I love it; because it makes me different.

If everyone was like me I would be dead and If I was like everyone else I would still be dead; so I have to live.

Unfortunately, my own survival is the feelings, wishes and dreams to make my surroundings in the light of the definition of happiness.

By AspieWife123 — On Jun 29, 2009

My husband is a self diagnosed Aspie. He will not take care of important issues and not only that but he will not tell me about them so I can take care of them. How should I approach this? When I finally find out, I blow up because not taking care of whatever it is, ie, getting his car inspected, ends up costing us more money (tickets for an expired inspection). I had to find out from my neighbors that he had gotten a ticket. We both work full-time (he's a software engineer) and have two young children so it's exhausting following behind him to make sure the minimum has been handled. My sister says to just do *everything* myself. Do any of you Aspies just not take care of important tasks b/c of the way your brain is wired? Any tips on how a spouse should handle this?

By joethebomber — On Jun 17, 2009

I have been married for 10 years to a 40 year old woman who recently found out that she has Aspergers. I love her dearly and am looking to help her be as happy and contented as possible. She is at times irritable, is very much in to routine or planned activities, is reluctant to be around others she is unfamiliar with and she reacts to stimuli in an aversive way. When things do not go as planned or if the routine is disrupted she can act out in a loud mean way. She becomes upset and can be distant for a day or two and even longer. She is never one to come and patch things up it is always me to give in apologizing for upsetting her. She is very sensitive to the things I say and do and can appear to be unforgiving at times. She never says I am sorry for any of her outbursts and can be mean and cutting with her words.

Things are complicated with having a 13 year son who has Aspergers as well and this often complicates matters for her ability to cope with things. She is often upset, irritable and tired. She withdraws from me and appears to be content with this. I want to be close to her and help her to get through the day without the outbursts, upset and turmoil. This is my 1st posting to this site I wonder if someone can help me get more insight into the dynamics of our relationship with Aspergers? Please respond to me.

By elane65 — On Jun 06, 2009

I have always known I was "different" but could never pinpoint why. I am a 44 year old woman and just recently learned about Asperger's Syndrome. I believe I have it but I also admit I need to do more research on this strange syndrome. What I have read about it describes me quite accurately, hence the self-diagnosis.

I have seven siblings and none of them have ever exhibited any of the symptoms I have. During my school years and through college I never felt like I fit in. I was terrified of any social gatherings so I never attended any school functions (dances, prom's, etc.) I did join band and choir because of my love of music. However, I *hated* any out-of-town functions because I had to be with so many people and at the time I hadn't learned how to cope with others so I was a "wallflower", preferring my own company because I was too terrified to try and talk with anyone thinking I would say or do something stupid. I'm sure I was thought of as "stuck up" by my peers. I usually stayed at home and did my school work so I got straight A's.

I had my first panic attack at the age of sixteen (oh god it was horrible!) My parents had (finally) gotten divorced at the beginning of my Junior year of high school and my mother moved me and my three remaining siblings to another town. I'd had two good friends in my previous high school but at the new high school I just kept to myself. After I graduated I discovered alcohol which changed my life for about a year. Suddenly I wasn't painfully shy anymore, I was the life of the party!!! I realized, rather sheepishly, that alcohol wasn't the answer after several rather frightening experiences so I went to college.

By this time I had learned to mimic how others reacted in certain social situations so I was able to maintain a job. I don't want to bore anyone with my life story so I will just say that up to now I have always preferred to remain alone (after two failed marriages). I'm a perfectionist and I have odd eating habits and routines. I have great empathy for others but have such difficulty expressing it. I am told I am a beautiful woman but I have a terrible time accepting compliments. Everyone who knows me can't understand why I prefer to live a life of solitude, why I don't want to go out and *do* things.

If anyone out there would like to respond to my commentary and give any specific information I should know about I would greatly appreciate it. Meanwhile, I will continue to research AS.

Thanks for reading this

By anon31978 — On May 14, 2009

We knew something was different about my niece by the time she was a toddler. She's now 6 years old and has been diagnosed with just about everything along the entire autism spectrum, from sensory integration dysfunction to autism (which is her current diagnosis), and including asperger's. Interestingly, many of the symptoms she has exhibited since infanthood would inspire my mom tell stories about my own infanthood. The running joke in my family is that my niece is more like me than her own mother, even the way she looks! Of course, I have had my suspicions about myself since my niece first became symptomatic, but I didn't want to make this about me, and I certainly didn't want a label. But curiosity got the best of me... So here I am at the age of 35, and I hopped on the internet to research sensory integration dysfunction in adults. I ran across a questionnaire and filled it out, ranking disconcertingly high in the emotional/social areas. So I called my sister, who knows so much about this from my niece's trials, and she suggested that I have asperger's. And that's what led me here today.

The thing is, I have lived my life in this situational analysis, memorizing every detail, finding logic in everything, solving problems from dusk until dawn, stepping back and asking myself if the world would fall off its axis if I don't do something to the degree of perfection that I desire - the whole time knowing that there is something different about me, but not sure how to put it into words... and then I read this article and your comments and I feel like I am on the verge of something ground-breaking to my life, my niece's life, and my son's life... I can't describe it other than to say that to non-aspie's, finding their own thoughts and feelings written on the internet by complete strangers would not generally be considered a relief, and yet I am relieved.

I guess this makes me self-diagnosed AS. But I have a very successful job, a wonderful husband (who knows of my AS suspicions), and a beautiful family. Would there be any reason to get a 'real' diagnosis?

By beechnut79 — On May 08, 2009

I believe I was diagnosed with this condition at around age 9, because my parents had to remove me from public school because of excessive teasing. Of course, there was no official diagnosis at that time, and as a matter of fact autism was relatively unknown until the "Rain Man" movie of the late 1980's. I was raised primarily in boarding school, where the headmistress was super critical and seemed like everything I did was wrong. I rebelled against the confinement, and got a two-week stint in a funny farm as the result.

I am now 64 and have fought this demon my entire life. Opposite sex relationships tend to be extremely difficult, and have many times been victimized by those who at first were my friends but backed away. I wonder if AS is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as I was recently fired from a job because someone apparently thought I was making advances toward her. I am in the mood to fight for my rights, but as a result I am right now being denied unemployment benefits and the case is in appeal. Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

By anon30865 — On Apr 26, 2009

As for the two questions posed by MindReader (Why heroic? Why tend to partner) I have a notion or two.

In doing research after suspecting I had AS (after being misdiagnosed for Manic-D), I knew it was true when I read that one of the symptoms is 'wanting to save the world.'

Can't explain it in genetic terms, but I start 'problem solving' the minute someone communicates with me. I listen well, but can't stop the wheels from turning. Think Mr. Spock. It's like taking a conversation so literally - and these days everyone is whining about something - and processing it through until I have an answer. Problem is that it isn't always appropriate to resolve people's issues. But if you apply it to the world, it works great.

Relationships aren't that hard to master. Artful Aspies tend to master things they pursue - cooking, building, etc. There are a lot of attractive things about their 'wiring' - like never being bored - always a project.

For me, relationships that are merely interactive are childish - when a lot of time is spent on assumption of why the other acts a certain way, then time spent talking about feelings, then shortcomings... but then there is the kind of relationship where you are standing at the edge of the abyss; you hold hands, then leap into the unknown. If you can find that kind of trust, look no farther.

When I started doing my serious ‘save the world’ work, I found I didn’t want or need a partner. I still enjoy people, though. So I bought a farm with which to make a permaculture model with organic produce, greywater systems, etc. It has 5 little units on it. I am thinking about making it an Aspie Oasis, inviting others like me to live on it.

-Think Tank

By anon29779 — On Apr 08, 2009

I'm pretty sure people think Keanu Reeves is an aspie because he's very limited in the facial expression department and barely emotes. His speaking voice is lacking in recognizable inflection, and he seems to keep to himself. I've privately considered that he may be an aspie, but since I don't know him personally, I will only speculate. I won't label.

I'm not sure what the obsession with "outing" famous aspies is all about. Is it a fitting-in kind of thing, a coolness-by-proxy thing? I don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, I find a lot of comfort knowing there are other aspies out there willing to share their experiences (and people say we're antisocial!!!) and feelings on life and societal expectations and love and family and whatever else we can think of to share... that's why I'm on this site, making this comment. All I'm saying is: if a bunch of anonymous aspies want to get together on a website and comment to each other back and forth (you'll notice there's no reciprocity in leaving comments for each other to read) that's fine... who knows, one of the multitude of anon***** comments left here could very well have been left by Mr. Reeves himself... but unless he's willing to come right out and say it with pride, why don't we leave him alone?

By frankyb — On Mar 19, 2009

Dr. Spock from Star Trek was Aspergian. :-)

By frankyb — On Mar 19, 2009

If you suspect that someone close to you has asperger's, pick up a copy of "Look Me In The Eye", by John Elder Robison. It's a good read about his life from drop-out social outcast to KISS band technician then corporate executive engineer and beyond. What makes it more interesting is that he has Asperger's and identifies his condition from the onset in his book. The book was intended for others with Asperger's to connect with him and learn how to deal with it. Asperger's is not an embarrassing condition and there are ways to benefit from it... if identified and dealt with.

Reading the book myself, (it was recommended by a friend who suspected I have Asperger's), I was not insulted but rather touched that my friend gave me that much thought and consideration and felt I could learn from it.

Good luck.

By anon28235 — On Mar 13, 2009

I would not be surprised at all if the most secretive society in America turned out to be the Aspie's husbands and wives support group. I am sure Melinda and other Aspie wives have needed help many a time dealing with their brilliant Aspie husbands, but of course, publicizing the name of the group and its participants is no option. Certainly not in Silicon Valley or some Seattle neighborhood.

This said, I feel for, and admire Melinda. Looking at recent pictures of her in the press, I think that she looks drained. I would not say that she is aging well. Living with Bill has its rewards, but there comes a time where fatigue outweighs the rewards.

Two things elude me: why would a "successful" Aspie, a high achiever, especially one to whom humankind or a significant segment of the community is indebted (or at least should be) want to reach out to the rest? Their Aspiness has worked wonders for them and others in the general public. Why bother at all? Why go through the agony of trying to deal with the rest of society when you actively seek and enjoy your solitude? If it has worked for you until now, why fix it? Your agony trying to reach out (for what exactly?)could turn into another unweary friend's agony (not quite the desired result), which brings me to my other point.

I do not mean to sound harsh or judgmental ---I really am not-but an Aspie who enjoys his or her solitude, who is set in his or her routine and ways of communicating, or not communicating, who is inflexible is going to have to do 90% of the work if he or she sincerely seeks to reach out to the rest. To expect that the other-especially a potential romantic interest-is going to do a serious share of the work toward that end is unrealistic. If one AS wants to change things because deep down inside there is that unbearable sense of void, you will have to do the work. I have no doubt it can be done provided there is a clear understanding the onus is on the one seeking to reach out or change his or her life. It's one thing for a partner to understand and empathize; it's an entirely different thing for that other to find it in him/herself to be with one who is, after all, more comfortable in his or her world and had serious difficulties stepping out of it. There may be a tendency for an Aspie to want to mold the other into his/her closed world, bring him/her in, removed him/her when the mood strikes, hence the high failure risk. Again, I am not being judgmental, I am not trying to discourage, but I am realistic.

The good thing about knowing what the truth is most helpful in the sense the other won't feel offended or resentful for an otherwise socially odd conduct.

To undertake the challenge of sharing life or parts of it on an intimate level with one with AS requires youth and enthusiasm as well a certain deal of freshness and idealism. I humbly confess that having reached my mature years and having gone through the grinds of life including a difficult marriage with one with ADHD, I could not find it in me to take on the challenge. At this stage in my life, neither my (utmost) admiration nor (intense) attraction (or the possibility I could fall in love) could provide the necessary strength to pursue a romantic interest or close friendship with one so deeply set in his/her world, as I know that I would most likely have to bear the cross of the unending compromises such a relationship would demand of me. And I've been there, done that already in life...

I suspect that a more mature Melinda would have serious reservations about marrying Bill today.

Sometimes, we just have to accept life as it is. Sometimes we just have to accept that we do not have it all. Sometimes, we just have to accept that the timing is not right. We're only humans after all.

One of the secrets to my contentedness lies in the fact I do not delude myself and can recognize a mirage-however sublime-when I see it.

But again, if being AS has helped to achieve great things and placed one at the top, why bother to upset the status quo at all? That's a question which answer keeps eluding me.


By anon27901 — On Mar 07, 2009

Sweet! Let's everybody slap some labels on ourselves, because as everyone knows, labels exonerate poor behavior and make everything all right.

By Shadowface — On Mar 06, 2009

@ Chrisfx

I am a programmer and the VA thinks I have Asperger. The reason to get tested is so you know and can deal with it.

I am a programmer and in the last two years I have had so many difficulties that I almost lost my job. The VA suggested Asperger. Now I know, now I can read up on it and recognize the symptoms. Now I can take steps to limit the damage. For me I was able to cope for however long I've had it, but as I grow older it is more difficult and started effecting my job. Now I and my employer can see the issue and not see me as lazy or goofing off.

It is like my soldiering days. If I know my enemy I can plan his defeat. How do you fight against something you can't see or understand? Now I know how to lessen the problems and use the positive things to my advantage rather than just stumble along in the dark thinking I am too dumb to be a programmer. Feeling something was wrong but not knowing... Now I know, now I can meet it on my terms.

By chrisfx — On Feb 26, 2009

Why do people want to be tested/diagnosed as there is no cure or meds for it? My son is ADD diagnosed and we have medication which helps but he sounds like a little aspie too. But what is the point of getting tested? He's smart and unusual and I can accept that.

By anon26354 — On Feb 11, 2009

I am a self-diagnosed Aspie. I have always been thought of by others as being weird and hard to get alone with. I have absolutely no friends or relatives that can tolerate me and that does lead to some lonely feelings.

I've learned to cope with it though. I find it unbelievably difficult to try and make eye contact for more than a few seconds. I have such a hard time understanding comical word play and body language. I've learned to approximate appropriate facial and body gestures as responses to conversation, but it’s a constant mental workout to do that.

I feel absolute empathy towards everyone. I don't choose to be this way but there is nothing I can do about it except pretend to be like everyone else.

It's so difficult to pretend you care when something awful happens and it triggers absolutely no emotional response inside of you. I once witnessed a SUV tumbling over and over from about 600 feet away and while everyone else was gasping and running towards it to help and calling 911, I was calmly sitting there counting the rolls. I had no feelings for the dude inside. I'm in my mid-twenties now and my life has been rough having AS but it's this condition that defines who I am. I wouldn't know what to do if I were any different.

By anon25067 — On Jan 22, 2009

It is tough, being of a species that desires social interaction; yet being so different, as to not fit in Socially.

By anon24120 — On Jan 07, 2009

My adult nephew has Aspergers. Life as a child was difficult for him - however, adult life is treating him well. He is bright and cool and quirky. He tends to be more empathetic - his eyes show his concern and sadness, but the words sometimes don't match. But his off-the-wall responses often make for some unanticipated laughter! I absolutely love my nephew and believe that the Aspergers is part of what makes him special.

By anon23997 — On Jan 06, 2009

I'm just wondering why some someone think Keanu Reeves has asperger's disorder? Has he said so or has he behaved strangely? I don't like it when people put put rumors about others. I want to know what's true.

By anon21568 — On Nov 18, 2008

I'm an 'Aspie', self diagnosed. I'm almost certainly on the higher functioning end of the spectrum, but Aspie nonetheless.

Yes, I'm eccentric as hell. No, I don't have many friends, but those I do have are probably Aspies too. In the end, I'd say that for me, Aspergers has been more of a blessing than a curse. It gated me into unaware career choices years ago. The ability to concentrate and focus on problem solving and a wonderfully 'paranoid approach' to software development made me rich, if not famous. I'm a very lucky fellow. It is true: Living well is the best revenge.

By anon21531 — On Nov 17, 2008

At first, I didn't realize I too had this condition until I was in the sixth grade. Boy I am glad that I have very supportive parents that treated me like a son. Now im in ferndale high school and im not only getting 4.0's on my report cards, but also am getting high end compliments from my fellow teachers as well.

By anon20485 — On Nov 01, 2008

Ive just met a wonderful guy who has Aspergers, Before I came on here and read a little about it I had no idea what it was. I also think I may have Aspergers although I don't have the knowledge in math or science, I do plan on looking up more details and talking to a local doctor. In short Thank You for helping me understand a bit more.

By anon19318 — On Oct 09, 2008

I figured out i had Asperger's Syndrome in my fifties. It was nice to know I wasn't simply odd, but, hell, I'd lived with it for a half century without it killing me, and I was going to continue to live with it. My concentration on a specialized subject has generated a number of scholarly articles on English literary history in well-regarded learned journals. I guess I'll just have to resign myself to not having the potential to be a neurosurgeon or a backslapping used care salesman.

By anon17690 — On Sep 04, 2008

Hoping to help answer the person who questioned about their brother possibly having AS. I grew up with AS and had to make extreme changes in how I deal with people and intense situations. I find that I have a desire for people to explain things bluntly and obviously to me about how they feel. Those afflicted with AS tend to miss subtle nuances in body language and other forms of communication. I excelled by mimicking those around me and remembering how people reacted to similar situations. Yeah, it's kind of like lying, but it is one of those things we can't address at all times. Just as such if someone is in a wheelchair, you just ignore the wheelchair after awhile. I would just talk to him and explain your concern and express how you want help. You could also print out one of these articles and just plain show it to him. If he's got AS, he'll figure it out on his own just by reading it. We're good at that kind of stuff. Best of luck.-Justin

By anon16509 — On Aug 07, 2008

Life is better when you know what you're dealing with.

By anon15953 — On Jul 25, 2008

Greetings, I have AS. I met this guy years ago. We are together with a child now. Would be married if I had not gotten preg. Anyway, I wanted him to learn more about me and my probs. so he could understand me more. So, I did research on the net about AS. He was reading it, realized that it answered some things about him he was wondering about because he just thought he was weird. He realized he too has AS. I told my mother about it, she let me borrow a book about AS (She does research on my probs, has for many years.) Anyway, when I got the book from her she had already highlighted the section he follows under. Lol. She too thought he had it. The more and more he read it the more he thought he had it. He said she wanted to get checked out to find out if he had it. Well, when we were talking to his sister on the phone he told her he thought he had it. And that I had it(Heh we never told her that I had AS until then) well we come to find out at that time his sister too has AS. She was raised in a foster home and had failed to mention to her mother or brother that she had AS until then. Heh go figure that proves that we are prob right about him having AS. It is a good possibility he does have AS. We are going to have to have him checked out when we get a chance.(Kind of hard when you have no car and it is hard enough to see a psychiatrist.. as it is. You need referrals and a whole lot of mess.. it is so frustrating.)

By yankee7 — On Jul 21, 2008

I had a student in my first grade class who has aspergers. After lots of observations at school, I noticed things about my husband that were similar to this student. I think my husband has aspergers. He shows a lot of the symptoms, but I'm not sure how to bring it up. Any ideas?

By anon14868 — On Jun 25, 2008

Hi. I am almost positive that my brother has AS. It explains so much. He is depressed a lot, has sought counseling for depression, but still is isolated since he can't make friends. How do I approach him with the idea that he might have Aspergers? Thanks.

By lemmings — On Mar 30, 2008

I know one person who has always been accused of being socially awkward and it turns out that he has Asperger's Syndrome. It just goes to show that you shouldn't judge someone without all of the information!

Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders


With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
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