ADULTS WITH ASPERGER SYNDROME
syndrome is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, and naturally there will be a variation of difficulties
experienced by adults with Aspergers. Some may face chronic unemployment
and emotional issues, while others may generally cope very well
in a non-autistic world and succeed in work, family life and other
hallmarks of 'normal' life.
A common problem for adults with Aspergers
syndrome is not being diagnosed. They may struggle with relationships,
work and life in general, without knowing why. As the awareness
of Asperger's syndrome increases, more people are seeking a diagnosis
in the adult stage of life. In most countries, there is a severe
lack of support services for children on the autism spectrum,
and there are even less supports for adults with Asperger's syndrome.
They also may be more vulnerable to poverty and
homelessness than the general population, because of their difficulty
finding (and keeping) employment, lack of proper education, premature
social skills, and other factors.
Describing the triad of impairments
Asperger's syndrome is characterized by something
known as the triad
of impairments. This means that problems will be experienced
to varying degrees with social communication, social understanding
Difficulties often crop up in the social aspects
of communication. This can involve difficulty understanding gestures,
body language and facial expressions of others. This difficulty
in understanding the context of social interaction means adults
on the autism spectrum may not be aware of what is socially appropriate,
and htye have difficulty chatting or choosing topics to talk about.
People with Asperger's syndrome may not be socially motivated because
they find communication so difficult, so they may not have many
friends and they may choose not to socialize very much.
Some of these problems can be seen in the way people with Aspergers
syndrome present themselves. for example classic traits include
difficulty making eye contact, anxiety in social situations, repetitive
speech and difficulties expressing themselves especially when talking
Adults with Aspergers syndrome may have difficulties
in group situations. They might not choose appropriate topics to
discuss, and find small talk and chatting very difficult. They may
take what people say very literally and have problems understanding
double meanings in teasing, irony and sarcasm.
This does not mean adults on the autism spectrum
lack creative abilities, often the reverse is true. However, they
may have trouble imagining alternative outcomes to given situations,
and find it hard to predict what will happen next. This often leads
to anxiety and can result in obsessions with rigid routines, and
severe distress can arise if routines are disrupted. These difficulties
with imagination may cause problems with making plans for the future,
organizing one's life sequencing tasks. Some people with Aspergers
syndrome over-compensate for this by being extremely meticulous
in their planning, and having extensive written or mental checklists.
Influences of Aspergers syndrome on employment
Adults with Asperger's may find it difficult finding
employment or entering undergraduate or graduate schools because
of poor interview skills or a low score on standardized or personality
tests. If they do become employed, they may be misunderstood, taken
advantage of, paid less than those without Aspergers syndrome, and
be subject to bullying and discrimination. Communication deficits
may mean people at work have difficulty understanding the person
with Aspergers syndrome, and problems with authority figures are
common when difficult, tense relations with bosses and supervisors
develop. They may focus on details so much and have such a high
degree of perfection, that they cannot tolerate any shortcomings
in other employees.
In some cases, the person may be highly intelligent
and not be hampered by problems with socializing issues. Albert
Einstein and Bill Gates of Microsoft are two well known examples
of adults rumoured to have Asperger's syndrome. However, in other
cases these adults can be extremely good at their jobs but do not
promoted because they lack the interpersonal skills to be managers
- they may be overly perfectionist, demanding and unable to create
warm relationships with staff.
Influences of Aspergers syndrome on social interaction
People with Asperger’s syndrome often report a
feeling of being unwillingly detached from the world around them.
They may have difficulty finding a life partner or getting married
due to poor social skills and poor financial status. In a similar
fashion to school bullying, the person with Aspergers syndrome is
vulnerable to problems in their neighborhood, such as anti-social
behavior and harassment. Due to social isolation, they can be seen
as the ‘black sheep’ in the community and thus may be at risk of
wrongful suspicions and allegations from others.
One area of study in which more of such research
is sorely needed concerns adults with Asperger’s syndrome who do
marry and subsequently become parents. Adults with Aspergers syndrome
who marry often find it difficult to stay married; some initial
research puts the divorce rate at approximately eighty percent.
The resulting split can be fraught with intense or “high” conflict
or domestic violence.
Custody cases, already often difficult affairs,
are complicated when one or both parties has Asperger syndrome.
Influences of Aspergers syndrome on parenting
It is argued that even with support, some parents
with Asperger syndrome simply may not be up to the enormous task.
Raising a psychologically healthy child involves complex emotional
interaction between parent and child, as well as the ability to
avoid parental behaviors damaging to a child's well-being. However
it can be easily argued that many neurotypical parents have very
poor parenting skills, and of course there are many parents on the
autistic spectrum who have excellent parenting skills.
Some adults with Asperger's syndrome rightly point
out that many parents experience parenting difficulties as parents
without being on the autism spectrum and that 'aspies' should not
be singled out as being unable to be effective parents. Asperger
syndrome parents should certainly not, be stereotyped or categorized
as evil, uncaring, or intentionally abusive. If Aspergers syndrome
does affect a person's parenting skills, this would simply mean
that appropriate support should be looked at, as it would be for
a parent with anger management issues, depression or any other condition
that could impact on their children's lives.
if you are thinking about obtaining a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome.
to read personal stories by adults with Asperger's syndrome.
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Free Documentation. It is derivative of an autism-related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org