How to Explain “Asperger Syndrome” to Others

Trying to explain Asperger’s Syndrome to others is tough, because people just can’t understand that a normal-looking person can be so difficult to live with “Aren’t all men like that?”

“It takes two to make a problem and two to resolve it.”

“No one’s perfect.”

“Look for the silver lining.”

“I would never allow someone to talk to me like that!”

“If it’s that terrible why don’t you leave?”

These are only a few of the comments we receive from our family and friends when we try to explain our plight with our ASD loved ones. After being shut down several times, many of us don’t even try anymore, for fear that we’ll be blamed for complaining yet again. In fact, we might even believe we’re at fault for the failure in the relationship, so we suffer alone in silence.

Recently the New York Times published an article on “Who Blames the Victim?” I think this article sheds some light on why it’s so difficult to explain ASD and our Asperger loved ones. First, of course, autism is complex, so coming to terms with our Aspie’s Mind Blindness, Context Blindness and lack of Empathy has taken a lot of work on our part, let alone helping others understand the theories.

Second, it’s a stretch to consider ourselves victims. No one likes that. However, this group is about just that. Recognize that you are being victimized and that it’s time to take back your life. It matters not that your Aspie doesn’t intend to harm you. Simon Baron Cohen considers the Aspie as having Zero Degrees of Empathy. Zero means that you are left holding the bag over and over again, with no sympathy from your Aspie, or those who blame the victim.

Third, a bulk of the population tends to blame the victim for breaking the rules of loyalty, obedience and purity. A minority understands that to truly understand the victim, you need to care about an individual and consider fairness. Truly enlightened people understand that you can be harmed by an Aspie who doesn’t intend to harm you. And they want to help. They will listen to our complex story.

If you’re a member of the Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD, please come to our group for support. No matter where you are in the world, you can chat with others and gain insight.

And if you’ve been putting off getting a copy of Out of Mind – Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome (ASD) because you thought it was just about parenting, don’t wait another moment. It also explores the science behind Aspergers. If you want to understand your Aspie better, this is a must read. Get a free chapter by clicking on the image below.

3 Replies to “How to Explain “Asperger Syndrome” to Others”

  1. I think he hates me.
    It’s similar to growing up with siblings you didn’t like but had to live with.
    Lying in bed, I put my hand under his, to hold. It was flicked off with, “ I have other things to do with my hands”. If I lie closer to snuggle he fidgets a lot until I move away. It’s so hurtful but it’s what I’ve got. If I told friends they wouldn’t come round or go out with us. I’ve been shortlisted for a job to get out and at 73 regret not having someone to laugh with and be loved by but appreciate my animals and home

  2. I haven’t been able to find many articles that affirm just how difficult and stripping it is to have a close relationship with an Aspie. It is constant compromise. It is shutting off your feelings. It’s learning to be okay with never being understood or being treated the opposite way you’d want. Thank you for showing how hard and how much compromise and patience it takes!

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