Mistakes in Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome

It can be easy to mistake Asperger’s Syndrome as “just social problems”, but it is so much more than that.  Individuals with Asperger’s have unique challenges and amazing strengths.  How can you help promote awareness about Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism?

How can I help promote Aspie awareness?

First, if you or your child has Asperger’s recognize your individual strengths and abilities.  Are you good at paying attention to specific details?  Keeping things structured and in order?  What are your passions?  Do everything you can to pair your strengths with things you really enjoy.Next, if you’re comfortable, tell people about it.  It sounds simple, but people will often respond better than you expect when you explain what’s happening.  I think most parents of kids on the Spectrum do this often.  Let’s teach our kids how to do it for themselves.  For example, a child might say, “I’m really good at math, but I do it a little differently.  I have to talk out loud and move my hands as I solve a problem.”

Obviously, this doesn’t solve all problems, especially with bullying and mean people.  Ignorant, but well-meaning people, can be educated.  People who are simply mean and inconsiderate will be unlikely to change their point of view.  You can try to be patient with those types of people, forgive them, feel sorry for them, ignore them, or pray for them.  In the end, you will be better off letting it go. (Easier said than done, unfortunately.  Maybe I should write a follow-up post about how to deal with ignorant people.)

Who else is promoting awareness for autism?

Autism Society of America works to spread awareness via its website, social media, and local chapters.  In Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, Tidewater Autism Society of America is very active providing opportunities and resources for individuals with Autism and Asperger’s, as well as their families.  They host talks on a variety of topics at their monthly meetings, as well as organizing tons of events for kids, teens, tweens, and adults with Autism and Asperger’s to interact and engage on their meetup site.Twitter and Facebook awash with those sharing and tweeting about Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism awareness, difficulties, solutions, therapies, suggestions, etc.

The blogosphere is also full of people writing about their experience with Asperger’s and Autism from every perspective.  Here are a few I would recommend checking out.

Do you have an autistic child? What has been your experience with these types of situations? I’d love to hear your ideas, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Spectrumpsychological

7 thoughts on “Mistakes in Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome

  • February 25, 2013 at 8:31 am
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    @Cambria – oh did you, thank you for giving me hope, I will never give up trying everyday. God bless you Cambria, autistic people are just great and wonderful.

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  • February 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm
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    @kati – I think I spoke my first sentence at 5. Keep the intervention up. 

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  • February 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm
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    @skdatf@twitter – People say same thing for my son, oh i dont belive that he has autism he is soo cute, but when they try to talk to him and dont get any ansewer back they look at me, never mind he will learn to talk he is only 4 years old. but i dont care what people think i love him more than anything in the world, he is my light.

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  • February 21, 2013 at 1:24 am
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    I know a couple of people who are autistic. In my opinion, autism, is a gift. A “cure” is not necessary. Day to day managing and learning the basics of social skills and what not is necessary, but trying to “fix” an autistic person so that they are no longer is bogus to me. It isn’t AIDS or cancer. Sure, it affects a person mentally in such an extreme manner, but in many cases, people with autism are able to learn daily simple tasks. They are brilliant people. Why should such minds be messed with? 

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  • February 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm
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    I am Mom to a child with HFA.  While, I found this piece to be insightful and very useful, I also found the picture you chose to represent the piece concerning.  I, personally, feel that if we are going to turn people off and cause them to turn away by being offensive, the message is not going to be well received, if at all.  Just a thought.  

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  • February 20, 2013 at 9:07 am
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    My son has Aspergers or high functioning Autism. Most people think I make it up because the first thing they say is oh but your son is soooo cute. Duh! I know that and I didnt say he was ugly I said he is Autistic.  I guess they are trying to be nice but it just shows ignorance in its biggest form. Sit down with my child first. Get him to write something,  ask him to read. Tell him its raining cats and dogs and watch him look for the cats and dog’s falling down.  Now am I complaining?  Absolutely not. My son is so incredible. He brings joy to my life every day. So God bless all our Aspies out there. We love you!  Forget the ones who have NO clue.  

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  • February 20, 2013 at 1:38 am
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    I am the child with high-functioning autism. (“Child” does not really get it; I’m 35.) Most people think I either lie or are mistaken simply because I talk. I decided long ago that they do not really know me, so who are they to judge?

    Reply

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