How Can You Tell if It’s Abuse or Asperger’s

As tough as it is to look at the issue of abuse, it’s important. We aren’t helping our Aspies when we allow them to be abusive. Yes, they have sensory sensitivities. Yes, they lack empathy and miss important cues. Yes, they easily get confused and shut down or rage. But to allow the verbal abuse, or their self-abuse, is not OK.The answer to the question, “Is it abuse or is it Asperger’s?” is that it doesn’t matter. Regardless of the source of the abuse, it has to cease immediately. That’s always the first step.

The second, third and fourth steps require taking into consideration the source of the abuse and developing a treatment plan specific for the person. With Aspies it’s a blend of anger management (or domestic violence treatment), and the kind of coaching that teaches them the Rules of Engagement.

For the NT, as you can imagine, the treatment involves a protection plan, plus psychotherapy to restore your confidence and teach you skills to cope with life better.

Like I said this is a tough subject but it’s time to bring it up, isn’t it? That’s why we’re talking about this at our next videoconference.

If you’re a member of Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Meetup, please join our videoconference on Thursday, December 7th at 9:00 A.M. The topic: Is it abuse or is it Asperger’s? We’ll discuss how to assess the situation when the diagnosis alone doesn’t help. In other words, let’s find practical ways to communicate and problem solve with your Aspie, even if you have to make it up!
(If this time slot if full, I’m holding another one of December 20th.)

If you’re not a member and want to join here are the qualifications: you are a NT trying to deal with life with someone on the Autism Spectrum. That’s it. If that’s you, request an invite. It’s free to join the group and it has a lot of perks, like this low-cost video conference or free international teleconferences.

If you’d like to learn more of the science behind Asperger’s Syndrome, download a free chapter from my book, Out of Mind – Out of Sight. Or click the image below.

8 Replies to “How Can You Tell if It’s Abuse or Asperger’s”

  1. I would love to talk to someone about this. I am at my wits end. My husband is breaking me and our family and I don’t know how to help him anymore

    1. Please join our group Angel. Just click on the page for our Meetup group. You will find others there who understand.

    2. Hi Angel
      I’m going thru a very similar situation .
      But, my husband is not just aspberger’s , he is also a sex addict. An abusive one .
      If you would like to chat, please feel free to write to me

  2. My husband out of nowhere rages, throws things and yells. He blames… It was he who suggested he had Asperger’s (on the spectrum). I have read much about those with HFA and try to do the best to understand and accept that often he needs time each day to do computer things, or such. This summer he seems worse. Talking does nothing.. I am feeling pretty bad lately and starting to experience headaches, nervousness, etc…

    1. Dear Irene, please don’t accept the abuse, even if the reasons for it are ASD and sensory overload. Since your husband suggests he has Aspergers, it’s time to get him some help. Medication, diet, physical exercise and psychotherapy will help him. During this pandemic, those on the Spectrum are highly susceptible to meltdowns. Their bodies just can’t take the extra stress. But that doesn’t mean you should absorb it. And if you are not yet a member of our Meetup group, please join. We understand and support each other. You are not alone.

  3. My husband , I’m convinced has aspberger’s. His middle son and mother also seem to be serious. He was always the most gentle person I knew….. until I asked him if he was cheating. Wow…. the abuse, the name calling, the breaking, holes in walls, making me believe it’s all in my head…. or due to my anti anxiety meds.. (yes, the often cause the other to think you’re not being faithful …. not), well, I caught him at a whore house, or massage parlour, if you will.. I’m still with him, but I cannot stand it anymore.
    He has been abusive , and calls me an abuser because I’ve hit him back twice.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on my sad story, I’m in the process of leaving him, but I need strength.
    Remember , hurt people hurt people..
    It is quite true
    Thanks for reading

    1. Addictions and abusive behavior are so hard to sort through. I always say it is never OK to allow abuse, but this is easier said than done sometimes. Seek professional guidance from clinics that specialize in abusive relationships. You are not safe going it alone.

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