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Showing posts from November, 2008

Finding Conversational Balance - Part 3: Compromises for Alone-Time and Social Time

Building on the last few posts, we have determined that aspies have a few obvious needs; Alone Time Restricted Touch Routine Gentle Encouragement Love and Understanding Less Empathy, more solutions (mainly an aspie male thing) and that NT's have other needs; Conversation/Listening Affection Spontaneity and Fun Social Time Empathy Love There is also a different set of needs related to meltdowns but that's a whole different story, and I'll deal with it in a later set of posts. Many of the aspie needs have a corresponding opposite in the neurotypical world. There's no happy medium - and the compromises you make need to be dynamic with minor adjustments happing on a daily basis as your situations change. I'll try to cover the balances between these needs individually. Conversational Compromise It's no big secret that the answer to the conversational divide between aspie and neurotypical partners is compromise. The real trick is determining what compromises to make

Finding Conversational Balance - Part 2: What Aspies Want from a Relationship

Recap We've already established that aspies not only have difficulty with small talk but also greatly dislike engaging in it. You can't change people, so there's no point in settling down with an aspie partner and expecting them to suddenly become socialites. By the same token, there's no reason to expect your aspie partner to suddenly abandon social contact after years of reasonable participation. You're either born with aspergers or you're not and over the years you develop ways to lessen the impact of your condition. Sure, social interaction never becomes exactly comfortable but it can become bearable in small amounts. Having a formal diagnosis isn't a license to "give up". Mutual Benefit So where does that leave couples? Well, the whole point of being married (concepts like love aside) is to exist in a mutually beneficial and meaningful relationship. "Mutually Beneficial" can mean a lot of things; it can mean financial, family o

Finding Conversational Balance - Part 1: Changes

In my last post, I talked about how much aspies hate being asked "how was your day". It was entirely from an aspie point of view and I made no apologies for our behaviour but simply told things as they are. I got a lot of feedback about that post including a few messages from NTs about how much strain this puts on the relationship. I started to think about how this affects my relationship and discussed it with my wife. She replied that "it's downright rude" and she has a point though I'd probably use the word "direct" rather than "rude". Who should change? You may have gotten the idea from my last post that I think the NT should change to accommodate the aspie and if I was speaking only as an aspie, I'd probably agree. From a relationship point of view however, it's obvious that this isn't the answer. My intention with this series of posts is to try to see both sides of the story. But first... a bit of a meander... Changing

Article: How was your day?

I'd like to draw your attention to yet another aspergers article; How was your day? on Asperger Square 8 I can really relate to this one. It's the bane of my existence. My wife and I have discussed this question over and over. It's the subject of a lot of pain for us - and silent resistance. Problems with the Question There are a lot of problems with this question. For a start, how do you describe a day. It wasn't my day... it was everyone's day. We all shared it. Then of course, there's the problem of " what answer could actually fit the question? ". The best one word answer I can find is; "Good." The problem with this answer is that it often provokes further open-ended questions; "oh..., what was good about it" or even worse, it encourages the initial "how was your day?" question to be asked several more times during the course of the afternoo

Article: 12 Steps to Better IEP Meetings

I just want to draw your attention to an article in AdditudeMag (an online journal for parents of children with ADHD and/or Learning Difficulties). 12 Steps to Better IEP Meetings by Karen Sunderhaft in AdditudeMag I'm not 100% certain that I agree with all of the tips presented (the presentation idea sounds way over the top) but I feel that they are mostly good advice. Just be aware that an IEP is only as good as the team behind it. If you ask for too much, they might agree without actually putting anything into place. The amount of work that a school is willing to put in will vary considerably and it doesn't always bear a resemblance to the amount of funding they receive.

Article: Are Aspergians really rude and inconsiderate?

I just wanted to draw your attention to another article in Psychology Today. It's an essay by John Elder Robison , the Author of " Look me in the Eye ". A great book on aspergers which I'd strongly recommend if you haven't already read it. Are Aspergians really rude and inconsiderate? By John Elder Robison on November 10, 2008 in My Life With Asperger's The essay contains a great scenario where John talks about his reaction when his wife takes a tumble. I could really relate to that problem. My wife took a tumble almost a year ago and I remember that at the time I found it very difficult. The problem was that she was quite badly hurt and she was making a lot of noise. Since I'm very deaf in one ear and more than a little deaf in the other - and since it was quite dark at the time. I have no sound localisation and found it almost impo

Article: Joe and the Mega Sized Smoothie - Language and Aspergers

I just want to draw your attention to a fascinating article on Psychology Today. It's called Joe and the Mega Sized Smoothie - Language and Aspergers By Lynne Soraya on November 06, 2008 in Asperger's Diary The article provides a lot of insight into some differences between aspies and neurotypicals. Though the be fair, the aspie stuff was all "normal" to me. I actually found the neurotypical responses to be more fascinating and "different".

Finding the Boundaries of Borderline Aspergers

Reminder Just a quick reminder that although I'm knowledgeable about Aspergers, I'm not a medical professional. I can only apply what I know and see to my own, my childrens and my friends/acquaintances conditions. The Question This post is in response to an interesting question I received via comment. I am confused by the list in the DSM - IV that describes this condition a bit. I know aspergers is on a spectrum, so it doesn't look the same in everyone. Yet in the DSM -- IV it states that the traits which people have when they have aspergers have to significantly detract from a persons ability to thrive in social situations. So assuming a case is borderline, where would asperger's end and a neurotypical person with a lot of aspie traits begin? The DSM and Diagnosis The DSM by itself is very confusing and opinions vary greatly from one doctor to another. Unlike diseases or physical problems, aspergers is still undetectable by electronic means such as X-rays, CAT scans

A Simple Real-Life Example of Aspie Awkwardness in a Social Situation

We often hear about aspie awkwardness in social situations but the diagnostic criteria doesn't give parents and supporters much to go on. I've decided to give you a very simple example; The Setup Yesterday was Melbourne cup day. For overseas people, Melbourne cup day is the day in which the entire of Australia stops to celebrate a horse race in Melbourne. For the people of Melbourne, it is actually a holiday however the other States in Australia simply get a break around time the race is run and perhaps a few other celebrations. At my workplace, we celebrate by wearing silly hats to a luncheon and then watching the race on TV together. This year, although I was looking very hard for a propeller hat, I ended up wearing a London bobby helmet. Being in IT, I am always late to these functions due to last-minute helpdesk calls etc. This usually means that I end up sitting next to the CEO who is often also late. On this occasion, the CEO wore a pointed wizards hat. A few other