Asperger’s Syndrome is on the autism spectrum.
Center for Spectrum Services produced the DVD, The Asperger’s Difference to highlight briefly what it is like for these individuals.
Asperger’s Syndrome brings strengths as well as weaknesses.
What is Asperger’s Syndrome? (as described by 3 young people who have AS)
Affects the brain and how one thinks.
Way the brain is wired
- Social skills – making and keeping friends, understanding unwritten social rules
- Communication Skills – making eye contact, face-to-face conversation
- Processing – understanding what people say; slow reaction time; difficulty understanding metaphors; strong in literal thinking
- Conversational skills – mind goes faster than they can talk or the other way around; they interrupt; they are annoyed when they have something say and can’t
- Computer communication can be easier because there is a degree of anonymity and you can edit what you want to say before you send it
- Passionate interests – can’t stop distractions; using a timer can help
- Perfectionism – wash hands too often; “Perfectionism and procrastination are enemies.”
- Organization –
- Fidgety – can’t sit still
- Sensory Sensitivities – sensory overload
- Emotional Control – temper tantrum
- Targets for teasing and bullying
- Isolation and depression
Positive Aspects / Strengths
- Musical ear / creativity
- Memory – long term statistics; doesn’t need to study hard for tests
- Language and memory for movies
- Visual learning / imagery
- Sensory strength – very observant
- Good citizens – following rules
Self Advocacy -Sometimes you have tell people – it is your choice:
1. Ask: What is the nature of the relationship?
Can have positive and negative effects
Longer term relationships – more important to tell
Trusted – potential girl(boy)friends once you know them
2. Ask: What is the purpose of the relationship?
Professor – to get help – “Get all the help you can get, but don’t use it as an excuse to be lazy.”