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Families of Adults Affected

by Asperger's Syndrome


Common Psychiatric Disorders Share Genetic Underpinnings

A massive undertaking by the Brainstorm Consortium to analyze the genomes of nearly 900,000 individuals has revealed strong genetic overlap between common psychiatric disorders. These include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and schizophrenia. Neurologic disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, appear more distinct from each other.

Isn’t Aspergers Enough? Having Multiple Diagnoses

People with Asperger’s Syndrome who are high functioning are often undiagnosed as having AS.  They are often diagnosed as having depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, ODD, personality disorders, or a psychotic illness — and the AS is missed. The lack of severity of AS symptoms doesn’t correlate with the severity of stress people experience, since many have been struggling with the internal pain of isolation, bullying, not fitting in, feeling overwhelmed and difficulties with work that seems easy for others.

How Society Gaslights Survivors of Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths (A Guide for Therapists, Law Enforcement and Loved Ones)

As an author who writes for abuse survivors, I’ve communicated with thousands of people who have been affected by malignant narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths as partners, friends, family members, co-workers or even bosses. Throughout the course of my work, I’ve noticed a common theme: the societal invalidation and gaslighting of survivors.

Stress, fatigue and emotional exhaustion in intimate relationships

Stress is not the person’s inability to cope with excessive workload or the controlling behaviours of bullying partners; stress can be as a consequence of the abuser’s failure to contribute to a safe, loving environment in the home. Responsibility for bullying must lie with the bully.

How history forgot the woman who defined autism

Grunya Sukhareva characterized autism nearly two decades before Austrian doctors Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. So why did the latter get all the credit?

Similarities: Intellectual Disability & Aspergers Syndrome

In the last week, I have received several notes from parents, community workers and individuals with Aspergers Syndrome. Many of the letters share a commonality. These individuals were attempting to assist individuals in receiving services and support from their community.

Qualitative Study of Wives of Husbands with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Subjective Experience of Wives from Marriage to Marital Crisis

Despite increasing recognition of the involvement of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in intimate relationships, little is known about the dynamics of marriages where one partner has ASD. This study aimed to clarify the subjective experiences of wives of husbands with ASD from marriage to marital crisis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 women married to men with ASD in Japan, in 2016-17.

How autism myths came to fuel anti-vaccination movements

For many parents, the decision not to inoculate their children is born of fear the vaccine will cause autism. This kind of anxiety, fear-mongering, and misinformation isn’t atypical in the history of vaccines: In 1796, for example, Englishman Edward Jenner devised a solution for smallpox, which involved extracting cowpox from livestock and injecting it into healthy people.

Why do some people with autism have restricted interests and repetitive movements?

As a society, we’ve come a long way in our understanding of the challenges people with autism face with social communication. But there is a large gap in our understanding of another cluster of behaviours that form part of an autism diagnosis: restrictive and repetitive behaviours and interests (RRBs).


It has been suggested that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are especially vulnerable to bullying. The Interactive Autism Network (IAN) is now sharing initial results of a national survey on the bullying experiences of children on the autism spectrum. Our findings show that children with ASD are bullied at a very high rate, and are also often intentionally “triggered” into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by ill-intentioned peers.

Putting on My Best Normal”: Social Camouflaging in Adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions

Camouflaging of autistic characteristics in social situations is hypothesised as a common social coping strategy for adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Camouflaging may impact diagnosis, quality of life, and long-term outcomes, but little is known about it. This qualitative study examined camouflaging experiences in 92 adults with ASC, with questions focusing on the nature, motivations, and consequences of camouflaging. Thematic analysis was used to identify key elements of camouflaging, which informed development of a three-stage model of the camouflaging process. First, motivations for camouflaging included fitting in and increasing connections with others. Second, camouflaging itself comprised a combination of masking and compensation techniques. Third, short- and long-term consequences of camouflaging included exhaustion, challenging stereotypes, and threats to self-perception.

Research and insight into NT/AS relationships

In 2010 – 2011 we undertook research to investigate the mental health outcomes of individuals in AS-NT relationships. We specifically focused on the influence of fatigue, resilience and stress (coping) on depression and anxiety in NT partners.

The Problem with Sheldon Cooper and the "Cute Autism"

Sheldon Cooper doesn’t have autism, or that’s what The Big Bang Theory writers have always claimed. Speaking on behalf of the show, Mayim Bialik (who plays Sheldon’s girlfriend) told Neil deGrasse Tyson that the show’s writers refuse to pathologize their characters, because everyone should be loved and accepted without labels. Sheldon himself denies being autistic, stating “My mother had me tested.” And yet: Obsessive behaviors. Social dysfunction. Regressive tendencies. Inability to grasp subtext and sarcasm. Avoidance of physical contact. Anxiety. Scientific savantism.

Jimmy Didn't Respond

A familiar sinking feeling rose in the pit of my stomach as class got started. Class members were introducing themselves, and I was already in an anxious quandary. What should I say about myself? I should concentrate on learning names. Oh, shit! I'm missing (not comprehending) what my classmates are saying. These were some of the thoughts coursing through my mind at the beginning of "Courage and Craft" Now it's three classes later, and I have only learned a few names. How embarrassing! I am unable to address classmates by name.

Cycle of Rage and Family Violence of Adults with High Functioning Autism

Myles and Southwick in 1999 described a Rage Cycle for adults and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which includes high functioning autism (hfa). They describe what happens when the person with ASD fails to recognize or is unable or unwilling to prevent their build-up of anger.  This Cycle of Rage has three parts: rumbling, rage and recovery.


Adults on the autism spectrum may be prone to anger, which can be made worse by difficulty in communicating feelings of disturbance, anxiety or distress. Anger may be a common reaction experienced when coming to terms with problems in employment, relationships, friendships and other areas in life affected by autism or Asperger's syndrome. There can be an ‘on-off’ quality to this anger, where the individual may be calm minutes later after an angry outburst, while those around are stunned and may feel hurt or shocked for hours, if not days, afterwards.

Autism's 'Worryingly' High Suicide Rates Spur Conference

High rates of suicide among people with autism are drawing specialists to a conference in England. "What relatively little we know about suicidality in autism points to a worryingly high prevalence of people with the condition contemplating and attempting to take their own life," said Sarah Cassidy, co-author of a paper written in advance of the meeting.

Sweeping study underscores autism’s overlap with obsessions

Compared with their typical peers, people with autism are twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of OCD and people with OCD are four times as likely to also have autism, according to a Danish study of more than 850,000 people. The findings were published 11 November in PLOS ONE.

Autism spectrum disorder and adults

Asperger syndrome now comes under the single umbrella term of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Since 2013 Asperger syndrome is no longer diagnosed but instead a diagnosis of ASD is given. It is classified as a neuro-developmental condition that affects how the brain processes information. People on the autism spectrum have a wide range of strengths, weaknesses, skills and challenges.

The brains of high functioning autistic individuals do not synchronize with those of others

Multifaceted and idiosyncratic aberrancies in social cognition characterize autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). To advance understanding of underlying neural mechanisms, we measured brain hemodynamic activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in individuals with ASD and matched-pair neurotypical (NT) controls while they were viewing a feature film portraying social interactions.

Social Communication and Language Characteristics Associated with High Functioning, Verbal Children and Adults with ASD

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who are fluently verbal are not free of language and communication challenges. The purpose of this article is to assist others in recognizing and understanding the subtle and not so subtle problems that do occur.

Relationship Experiences of Neurotypicals - Survey Results

This survey comprises 44 replies from 43 women and 1 man who voluntarily responded to advertisements on the internet, mail-outs and support group newsletters during May, June and July, 2016.

Five things I wish people would know before meeting my Asperger's husband

There is a great gaping hole in the awareness of Asperger's or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in the general population. Since my husband's diagnosis, he has felt at a loss as to how to explain himself and the stigma of judgment is so strong that he'd rather act 'normal' than be open about his struggles.

Figurative language processing in atypical populations: the ASD perspective

Figurative language is a cover term for linguistic expressions whose interpretation is nonliteral, where the meaning of the expression as a whole cannot be computed directly from the meaning of its constituents. Figurative language can vary in types, degrees of extension from the literal and degrees of transparency.


Thousands of people with autism in the North-east are missing out on vital support because they are not being diagnosed, according to campaigners. Figures show around 84% of adults with autistic spectrum disorder are unknown to services in Aberdeen.

Pa. district judges take course on how to identify, work with autistic defendants in court

District Judge Tom Swan and his family live with autism every day. Swan is one of 1,000 district judges in the state who are now required to take a course on how to handle autistic defendants off all ages in their courtrooms. Continuing education laws were updated in July to help district judges better recognize indicators of the disability that affects one in 68 children, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

1 in 45 US Kids Has an Autism Spectrum Disorder

About 1 in 45 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, according to a new government estimate of the condition's prevalence in 2014. This new report is based on data collected during the yearly National Health Interview Survey, from interviews of parents about their children, and is the first report of the prevalence of autism in the U.S. to include data from the years 2011 to 2014, according to the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Adults with Asperger Disorder Misdiagnosed as Schizophrenic

Psychologists have a prominent role in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders. With the inclusion of Asperger disorder in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition: American Psychiatric Association, 1994), there is an explosion of interest in mild autistic disorders. This syndrome, which is characterized by problems in interpersonal relatedness, empathetic communication, and imagination, has only recently become known in this country.

Strategies Can Help Calm Children with Autism Undergoing Surgery

Surgeons have historically relied on sedation to deal with the distress of children with autism being prepped to undergo an operation, but a new review outlines other strategies that may help both doctors and patients have a better experience.

Loneliness can literally hurt your heart, scientists say

Researchers reported in the journal Heart this week that poor social relationships could actually hurt your heart. The study involved what is known as a meta-analysis of 23 previous studies involving 181,000 people. This involves taking the raw data, pooling it and reanalyzing it. In total, the studies included 4,628 cases of cardiovascular disease and 3,002 stroke cases. The researchers found that being lonely or socially isolated appeared to be associated with a 29 percent increase in risk of heart disease and with a 32 percent increase in risk of stroke.

The Use and Misuse of Diagnostic Labels

Clarification is important because, whatever other condition may also be present, when a child or adult has an autistic spectrum disorder, this has a major effect in determining the needs of the person concerned. Providing the right kind of help and services is essential for the person's future progress and quality of life. The right diagnosis and the right help also makes life much easier for the person's family.

Gender variance and autism spectrum disorders often overlap

Autism spectrum disorders and gender identity issues often occur together in children, according to new research that supports previous findings. Children with an autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) were seven times more likely than other children to report gender variance on a questionnaire, researchers at one U.S. medical center found.

Women with autism: do they really suffer less than men?

Are autistic women the ultimate masters of disguise? New research suggests women could face yet another gender-related disadvantage.

Psychopathy... Or Asperger's Syndrome?

Why should you be aware of AS? For several reasons.  It's easy to miss the signs until you are already involved. It's commonly mistaken for psychopathy for those looking to find an explanation for their partner's behavior.

MINDBLIND Means They Can't See You

People with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) are “mindblind.” This deficit explains why they’re so completely self-centered. To understand how the mind of a person with AS works, and how it affects those who are closely involved with them, you need understand two main things: Theory of Mind and Mindblindness.

Management of mental ill health in people with autism spectrum disorder

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may require medical assessment and care, especially for mental health conditions. Although substantial knowledge and resources are available regarding the management of mental ill health in children with ASD, substantial gaps remain for adults with ASD. Diagnostic overshadowing, limitations of communication skills and the heterogeneous nature of this patient population can make practice in this area more challenging, and can contribute to poorer outcomes, including overprescribing of psychotropic medications.

Asperger's May Be More Common in Kids With Gender Dysphoria

Children with gender dysphoria -- that is, they identify with the gender opposite to their biological sex -- may have a higher prevalence of Asperger syndrome than the general population, researchers found.

Autism Rates Among American Kids Rising, Says Survey: What Parents Should Know

Almost one in every 45 children in the United States suffers from a condition known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a new study finds.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have discovered an increase in the number of young children with ASD after updating the questions used to survey parents.

When Do Smartphones Become Dumbphones?

I saw an example a few days ago as my wife and I ate in a local Greek restaurant. We tucked into a lamb gyro (me) and a Spanakopita (her), and watched three adults at a table near us ignore the three elementary school-aged children who were with them. The adults were all focused on their smartphone screens. The kids entertained themselves and periodically (and unsuccessfully) tried to engage the adults.

Are Dual-STEM Couples More Likely to Have a Child on the Autism Spectrum?

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about Asperger’s Syndrome in the IT community. It’s a topic that I’m convinced warrants frank and open discussion in order to bring about a broader understanding of this high-functioning type of autism, and why it seems to be more common among IT professionals, relatively speaking, than it is among the population as a whole.

A particularly fascinating question arising from this discussion is this: If two STEM professionals have a child, is that child more likely than he otherwise would be to have Asperger’s Syndrome?

NT Children of Parents with Aspergers: Looking for Information?

Six years ago, I wrote an article for neurotypical children of parents with Asperger's syndrome. I wrote that some NT offspring of AS parents have grown up feeling unloved, that their parents were not able to tune in to their needs and their feelings. As children, they blamed themselves for a disconnect between them and their parents. Often as adults they have continued to suffer from the lack they experienced in childhood.

The response from neurotypical kids to that article "Asperger's Parents and Neurotypical Children"was substantial, and still ongoing, six years later. So much so that I am writing on the subject again.




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