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This is week #8 in  iHomeschool Network's 10 in 10 series  where this week the writing prompt is "10 Things You Should Know Abo...

10 Things You Should Know About Aspies

July 02, 2013 Michelle Cannon 16 Comments

Who knows better about Aspergers than someone who has it? Here are 10 things this Aspie homeschool mom wants you to know. #Aspergers #Aspies

This is week #8 in iHomeschool Network's 10 in 10 series where this week the writing prompt is "10 Things You Should Know About Me". My angle on this is.... 


10 Things You Should Know About Aspies


Aspie is a nickname of sorts for someone who has Aspergers Syndrome. Asperger's is a high functioning form of autism. 

Like all forms, it's on a spectrum. 

Some aspies are higher functioning than others. The higher-functioning, the fewer symptoms exist in that person.  

People with Asperger's...

...can be intelligent and highly focused - They are highly focused (too focused at times). When they are interested in something or have a task to do, almost nothing will distract them. They can micro-focus for long periods of time to the exclusion of all else. This makes them good workers. 

It also can present time-management issues in their personal lives. Schedules and routines are needed in order to function well, and yet they can lose track of time so easily! 

... can be socially awkward - Although they may have great verbal skills and be highly intelligent, they are socially awkward. They don't read social cues well. 

You may find they don't know when to stop talking about themselves (or stop talking for that matter). To you, it seems these individuals are self-centered. They aren't. They simply lack social skills.

If you turn the conversation around to yourself or something you want to discuss, you'll find they become great listeners and conversationalists. Sometimes you must lead the way to get the desired interaction. 

Try it! The person will deeply appreciate it. You have no clue what it's like to walk away from nearly every conversation feeling terribly embarrassed because you realized that you dominated the conversation. Again.

...may not look you in the eye when they speak - Although they will look at you when you speak, it's sometimes a challenge to look at you when they speak, particularly if sharing a past experience. 

Many people with Asperger's think in pictures and movies. 

When these individuals tell you about a situation or past experience, they are visualizing everything as it was at that time. 

They're looking at the picture or movie as it was at the time. 

Imagine trying to tell someone every detail of a photograph without looking at the photograph. It would be very difficult. 

That is the challenge. 

In other words, if I'm looking at your face, I cannot be looking at the photograph, can I?

The person is not re-living the situation, but mentally pictures it as it occurred the first time. You may even see the person gesture towards an object he/she is mentioning. 


Example: "So she laid the book on the table right there" (points to table you don't see). That's because the person is "there" but you aren't.

That brings me to another thing.


... may have an incredible memory - Many people with Asperger's can recall everything they see or experience because a picture has been created in their mind. 

... may speak in great detail - 
  • Aspies don't simply tell you something. Rather, they tell you the entire background. 
  • They don't just tell you about what they saw, they relate all the details. 
  • They don't tell you the generalities of a conversation, they tell you every line of the conversation. 

It's the way their brains are wired. It may be annoying. Be patient. 

The positive is that they usually have a problem resolved before they even sit down to think about it. Every detail has been recorded, so they start further ahead in the game!

... may have intense feelings - People with Asperger's may or may not have sensory processing disorder (SPD). (Some do; some don't.) Whether or not they have SPD, they are quite sensitive emotionally.

Although they may lack emotional expressions on their face (some do and some don't), people may conclude they are emotionless. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.  

People with Asperger's may be highly sensitive and quite emotional. It takes very little to hurt their feelings. A tone or a look can set them to tears or fighting back tears.

On the other hand, person with Asperger's may be feeling great happiness, but you may not be able to tell. You're left wondering why they're not having a good time. Are they shy? Snobby? Disinterested? 

The truth is, for those who have little to no expression, they're not aware that their face doesn't match their emotion. They may even feel like they are smiling and would be puzzled about why you don't see their happiness. (Been there; done that!)

... may speak differently - Due to their own emotional hypersensitivity, they're quite careful with the feelings of others. And yet, somehow, they say things in such a way as to anger or offend. 

It's not intentional. 

Sometimes it's simply because they are blunt. Small talk is not something they're skilled at and they just say what they think. (Remember those social skills?) 

"..That sounded different in my head"


Sometimes it's not bluntness that is the problem. They know what they mean, what they're intent was, and what they were trying to convey. When it exits their mouth, however, it may sound incomplete or confusing to you

Because they know their own intent, a person with Asperger's may have no idea why you're upset with them. 

They know what they meant, and they assume you know what they meant. They have no idea that they have an odd prose. Therefore, they don't know what they said could be taken in any way other than the way they intended.

... may have Social Anxiety Disorder - The statistic is something like 70% of people with Asperger's have social anxiety disorder. There's too much to write about that here. You can find an excellent description here

... are Honest - This sounds great, right? An honest person. How refreshing! 
Unfortunately, there are several little problems with their incredible honesty. 

Remember the bluntness? Yeah. Honesty and bluntness aren't always the best mix.

People know what they know, therefore an aspie assumes honesty upon others. They believe people. This isn't always good. 

And finally...

... are loyal friends - They are innately forgiving, trusting, accepting, non-prejudice, non-violent people. They are accepting of differences, idiosyncrasies and imperfections. 

They forgive easily (too easily sometimes). 
They trust easily (too easily sometimes). 

They are sensitive people. They understand what it's like to feel intense hurt, embarrassment and humiliation. So they go out of their way not to not to hurt, embarrass or humiliate others. 

Unfortunately, that loving attitude isn't always reciprocated and they get hurt. In time, they learn.

They usually have a handful or less of friends although they may have many acquaintances. For those few chosen friends, they have a deep, sincere affection. 


They don't take friendship lightly, as something that's here today and gone tomorrow. If their friends hurt, betray, or somehow damage that friendship, it's emotionally devastating to them (see #6) because they truly do love their friends.

Those are the 10 things I think you should know about aspies. 


Do you have a child on the spectrum? Let's talk about your weird kid.


Every Tuesday, for ten weeks, I will be participating in a special 10 in 10 blog hop with iHomeschool Network.
This blog hop is inspired by Angie of Many Little Blessings. We would love to have you join us during our ten week adventure. Please link up at Angie’s blog by clicking the image below.



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16 comments:

  1. Hi, Michelle. I'm always interested in reading blog posts about children with special needs, as I have a daughter with special needs. It's important to educate people about our children. My daughter has Down syndrome. I have a friend who has a son with Asperger's. I'm having my son read your blog post because he is his friend and it will help him understand him better.
    For anyone with a child with special needs or Asperger's, I want to recommend the curriculum we use, Time4Learning. My daughter loves it and it has helped her progress in reading and math tremendously. I hope you don't mind if I share a link to their site with more specifics about Aspergers and tips on homeschooling with Aspies.
    http://www.time4learning.com/aspergers.shtml

    Again, thank you for your post and sharing this information!

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  2. This is a great list, and this page was quoted by my 20 year old son, who was just finally diagnosed with Asperger's two months ago, in his blog. We never recognized his differences as Autism Spectrum, and neither did all his public school teacher, all those years. He's trying to learn to accept the way he is. It's hard, as his awareness of being an Aspie is so new.

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    1. I think none of us notice. I think we may feel different, but we don't see ourselves as having some sort of diagnosis. I was over 40 years old when I found out. I simply couldn't believe it at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it explained EVERYTHING about my life.

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  3. I'm definitely going to be sharing this list with my eldest son, who has a hard time sympathizing with the quirks and difficulties of his (not officially diagnosed but definitely) Asperger's brother. They are only 16 months apart, and are homeschooled, so are in the same circle of friends. I have been encouraging him to help his brother, instead of begrudge him. Thanks for being so open, Michelle!

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    1. That certainly can be difficult. Once your son sees your attitude towards the quirks, as well as your advocacy for your child, it'll rub off on him. Trust me.

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    2. Thank you so much for making this list I love rereading it, I love the bit when it says 'fighting back tears' I remember when my teachers or any adult got upset with me and I was fighting back tears but now I'm ok with crying

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  4. Anonymous3/25/2015

    I have a terrible memory for some things. I am sorry to say I am not forgiving either. I would wish to be but unfortunately if someone hurts me deeply I tend to move on. I have left many people confused throughout my life I am sure!

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  5. Moving on isn't necessarily a lack of forgiveness. It is a necessity in some cases of deep hurt. I believe as we grow older, we become very good at sorting out the people who should and shouldn't be in our lives. As for memory, "If you've met one aspie, you've met ONE aspie." I still have total recall when it comes to things I've read or heard, but fibromyalgia has also created short-term memory issues that occur when my pain is great. We all have different experiences, don't we?

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  6. Can some aspies have traits of autism , but are very social.

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    1. My kids and I are very socialable people. We just have things - quirks if you will - that others don't understand, such as not looking in the eyes when speaking. Some people with Asperger's are physically awkward, but sociable nonetheless.

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  7. I was diagnosed two years ago. I'm.twenty now and my sister and parents didn't know that when I would for a better word erupt suddenly that there was a reason. That one of my triggers had been well triggered and they took things off me which made things worse. Now yesterday Wednesday 1st June 2016 my support worker explained things to them and they agreed to help me with it.

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  8. I love how you described Aspies here. It's pretty much everything I fell in love with my husband for. Except the lack of empathy and the lack of expression. Those are hard. But I get lots of good stuff with him and this helped me remember that!

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    1. I find that aspies are incredibly - even overly - empathetic. Their extreme logic can hide that at times. I'm very empathetic and in tune with people, but I always put logic first.

      My one non-aspie kid gets completely frustrated with my logic. She's bipolar, so she's overly emotional, and here I am. Mr. Spock. XD

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  9. I have noticed empathy with certain things, like if something hurts or I'm sick. However, any time I exhibit emotions when he doesn't think it's necessary, I'm made to feel like I shouldn't be reacting that way. It's hard but we are finally getting some help with it, now that we know what it is.

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  10. Maybe a better way to say it is that I don't get validation. There might be empathy there but also lack of validation that I'm not crazy for having feelings :)

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    1. Exactly! I think you've nailed it on the head. That's what drives my daughter crazy about me. I mean, I can absolutely be sympathetic to a person, but I'm all too quick to counter with logic in some situations. For my own self, I override emotions if they conflict with logic. I sometimes do that with others. "I understand you feel that way, but the reality is..." doesn't sit well with people when they simply want to FEEL.

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