Families of Adults Affected
by Asperger's Syndrome
What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum that has only been recognized in the USA since 1994. It has many features of classical autism, but lacks the intellectual learning disabilities. Individuals with this syndrome have difficulty with social aspects of intelligence, such as understanding what those around them think and feel. As a result, they often behave inappropriately in social situations or act in ways that appear unkind or callous. Many Asperger's individuals have difficulty planning and coping with change despite average or even exceptional intelligence in academic or intellectual areas. This can manifest as a notable lack of "common sense." Most importantly, this disability has profound effects on the family members and others in close contact with the Asperger's person. It is the spouses, parents, siblings, and children, of those with Asperger's Syndrome that experience the emotional pain, especially when the correct diagnosis has been delayed until relatively late in adulthood. Family members need validation and support. Feelings of rejection and loneliness play a major role in the lives of the family members of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. Their feelings are not validated, acknowledged, or recognized by the person with this disability.
Quoted from an anthropologist on CNN, April 2008: "What better way to learn about a culture, than living with them."
Most medical communities and autism professionals are missing vital information neuro-typical spouses/family members have to offer, regarding adults with Asperger's Syndrome.
Neuro-typical spouses, married to adults with Asperger's Syndrome, have 'learned' the 'culture' of Asperger's Syndrome by living alongside the disability 24/7, 365 days/year...sometimes for decades...uninterrupted.
Neuro-typical spouses have many of the answers to the questions being asked about adult Asperger's Syndrome individuals' lifestyles, behaviors.