Common Myths about Autism

We have all heard those assumptions about what a person with Asperger Syndrome” should look like or do. For this blog, I want to talk about those myths that are not necessarily true. I’ve asked our international MeetUp community about the most frequent phrases they hear from their family and friends. Below you can find five of them:

 

1. People with ASD are geniuses
How many times have you heard people noticing in awe how smart people on the Spectrum are? They are indeed smart in their area of interest. They are often scientist or computer geniuses. However, because of the lack of emotional intelligence, they can make bad decisions in their daily lives.

Jill [name changed to protect privacy] described this in the best way, so I will quote her here:

 

2. Their actions are not intentional, so those actions should not hurt you
Someone with “Asperger Syndrome” is characterized by their lack of communication skills, social skills, and reciprocity of feelings. The “Aspie” knows what they think and feel but are often unaware of what others think or feel. In most cases, they hurt their loved ones because of these characteristics.

Neurotypicals in relationships with “Aspies” feel alone, depressed, and socially isolated. They suffer from numerous stress-related chronic illnesses, because no one really understands what they’re going through.

Actions and words hurt. Just because someone had not intended to hurt you, doesn’t mean that you are not feeling hurt. You are entitled to your feelings and you shouldn’t allow other people to tell you how you should feel.

You will have to be the bridge between your “Aspie” and the rest of the family. How can you do this when you are constantly in a war with him/her? There are a few ways and I wrote about them in “Living with an “Aspie” Partner”:

  • Learn the art of detachment in an ASD/NT relationship
  • Tend to your emotional self-care
  • Educate yourself

If you feel lonely, perhaps this article I wrote “How Do You Survive the Loneliness in Your NT/AS Family?” will be useful to you.

 

3. They are all the same and you’d recognize them

“You would know if he was Autistic, it would be obvious”, someone told Amanda [name changed to protect privacy] from our MeetUp group. Nita [name changed to protect privacy] also mentioned:

We tend to generalize sometimes and while all people with “Asperger Syndrome” have some common characteristics, everybody is their own person. Generalizing that all of them have fantastic computer skills is not accurate.

 

4. They can’t learn better behavior
I said this many times and I strongly believe that those with “Asperger Syndrome” can be taught etiquette and rules, or what I call Rules of Engagement (ROE), but only if they accept that something is not right and they want to improve.

Maria [name changed to protect privacy] makes a good point below:

If you struggle to make yourself heard, I wrote “How to Speak to your ‘Aspie’ so They Listen and Understand”, where I give a few tips on things to do or avoid when talking with your partner. Sarcasm and metaphors won’t be welcomed and it would be better if you are straight forward and you say exactly what you mean.

 

5. They look put together, so everything is all right
In the screenshot below, Maria makes another good point. Behind every “Asperger” person, there is a busy spouse who helps run the house and the family.

How do “Aspies” and neurotypicals get together if there are so many problems? Just like any other couple. I wrote a short blog on this topic.

It is important to remember that “Aspies” do love. They just love in a different way. The marriage will be trying, but some things can be done to help the relationship. If you are in a marriage with someone with Asperger Syndrome and want that marriage to succeed, you must learn how to understand your partner.

These five myths are just a few of the most repetitive myths our MeetUp community hears daily. What other phrases can you add to this list? And tell me how you cope?

50 Replies to “Common Myths about Autism”

  1. Myth1 seems to be favoured by Aspoes themselves as a compensatory thought that they are superheroes who will save the world by solving problems beyond mere mortals.

    It is also deployed by some to dismiss the grief they caused when they abuse the trust NT people put in them to respect boundaries but instead boss and bully the said NT people. The specific form I have seen of this is the accusation that said NT people are just jealous at not being as smart as Aspergic people.

  2. Ok a bit more on Myth1 if I may. It does have a basis in general (and more of that later) but the conclusion made by Aspies (or their advocates) that Aspies are smarter than NT people is very illustrative of how their self proclaimed powers of logic are actually quite defective.

    Basically in this case the fallacy is that they argue from the general to the particular.

    Without being too rigorous about it a genius by necessity has to be an oddball both intellectually and emotionally. In regards to the former this means having a very high IQ, say 160 or more which means four standard deviations above average for Caucasion people. Now only 0.006% of such people will have such an extreme IQ. But equally, to become recognised as a genius one has to become famous for some standout achievement and to do this means one has to be a social oddball as well (e.g. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs etc). In other words someone single minded enough to not need human interaction at all for months on end and when they do need to interact with others such a genius has to be able to not give a d**n about other people’s interests and stake holding. Aspergic people by virtue of having an extreme male brain to start with will, with a large enough sample size, produce a somewhat larger percentage of people with an IQ more than four standard deviations above average so instead of 0.006% it might be say 0.01% or even 0.1%. This is still a very small percentage so no way can it be deduced even in general that on an IQ basis are Aspies a superhuman species of Dr Spocks. However by virtue of Aspies being socially uninihibited in pushing their own agendas onto others and trampling all over other’s boundaries, which they cannot see (only their own) they can generate real world standout results by force of will, not logic. So the percent of Aspies who might appear to be a high achieving genius might get up to 0.5% or even 1%. This still leaves 99% who are mere mortals in terms of not being a genius.

    Don’t forget too that quantam mechanics applies to the achievements by geniuses. By this I refer to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle whereby if a subatomic particle is measured by position then the more accurate one this measure becomes the less we know of its speed and vice versa. Borrowing and perhaps abusing the concept geniuses seem to know an awful lot about their very narrow field of study but be clueless on other matters of intelligence. An Einstein urban myth for example had him popping into a store on the way home asking for directions to his place.

    My own experience with an Aspergic woman’s journey shows a bit of this. My SIL, her entire adult life was spent living alone (apart from her son) and once when I and my wife (her sister) suddenly visited her place looked like a bachelor pad, stuff everywhere and piles of dirty dishes all over the kitchen. Her work saw her peering down high powered microscopes for hours on end every day to classify offshore drilling samples as potentially oil bearing or not according to the seabed fossil record. She was quite successful in her field even bossing her superiors around enough to see her become the first female in her part of the world to spend time working on a rig, with another female for a couple of weeks. Nevertheless she was eventually let go as not being a team player and had to eke out a living on a bit of consulting and social security payments and a bit of teaching at local university, even gaining a PhD aged about 60 by writing up the results of all her field investigations over the years. However outside of her formal area of study she made many a logical fallacy in her deductions of what behaviors were appropriate when a guest with us. She displayed an inability to question her own assumptions even when hearing a narrative which, (if she was open to self doubt and a bit of humility on the one hand and acknowledgment that others might know things she did not) would have given her insights she lacked. Instead her responses to suggestions or proposals she did not agree with (even if none of her business) would be to say “No” and offer an irrelevant basis from which she had concluded incorrectly or to justify her bossy interference in what was actually none of her business.

    Sorry for that digression but the last basis which I might discuss on which Aspies claim blanket genius status could well be terminology. Asperger’s Syndrome must have been too politically incorrect and is now termed ‘High Functioning Autism’. The fallacious interpretation which seems to have placed on this term is the inference that Aspies are High Functioning even if mildly Autistic and so are all above average achievers. An equally valid interpretation might be they are Autistic but only in terms of social skills so can still be a high achiever in the right field.

    1. Your musings always catch me by surprise. Cutting to the bottom of your analysis, I quite agree that the term “high functioning” is misleading. The disability is pervasive and does not exclude the intellectual. My Aspie daughter and ex-husband can talk incessantly about their special interest, but can they really put it to good use?

  3. 🙂

    As a statistician I did make a blooper. The probability of being 0.006% more than four standard deviations above the mean is half this actually, as that figure pertains to above or below. I blame doing it on doing the analysis on my phone.

    However the relativities are the same: Aspies punch above their weight by number as geniuses but even so the vast majority are not geniuses but even if a good many are it is a logical fallacy to conclude any particular one is.

    1. Mother Theresa was a genius. Malala is a genius. Jimmy Carter is a genius. Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. . . Geniuses. Even Bill and Melinda Gates are geniuses. Why? Because these people are true Souls dedicated to a higher moral purpose.

  4. Indeed. And on that definition there is no basis to suppose Aspies are any more likely than NT people to be considered a genius, maybe less even.

    On the conventional basis of statistical distribution of IQ measures there is a basis for the myth. Bear in mind though that the wider spread of Aspie measures responsible for a higher probability of having an extremely high IQ that same wider distribution goes the other way as well.

    In other words under the hypothesis which allows for Aspies to have a higher probability of being a genius ( in the conventional sense) so too they have a higher probability of being completely knuckle-brained than their NT equivalents.

    This consequence is never mentioned by Aspie advocates though!

    1. Our culture reveres “left brained,” logical/mathematical intelligence, and dismisses “right brained,” social/emotional intelligence. IQ tests measure logical/mathematical intelligence for the most part. On the other hand, a healthy individual has both intelligences, in balance (and perhaps other intelligences too). I don’t expect geniuses to be terrific at everything, but if they are limited to their special interest and only “left-brained” intelligence, it seems to me that is not genius.

      Being able to cut your spouse to the bone with words, is not genius. Leaving a child at the soccer field with no ride home is not genius. Losing job after job because of social missteps is not genius. Controlling the family finances so strictly that buying a Christmas tree is forbidden is not genius. Being unable to integrate the welfare of others with your own wants is not genius. Making decisions without a moral compass is not genius. Shutting people out because of extreme sensory sensitivity is not genius. Once we understand that “high functioning autism” really means “low functioning” in the realm of well adjusted, healthy, contributing members of society. . .then we can better design our lives with “Aspies.” And the sooner that “Aspies” understand that they have severe limitations, the sooner they may accept guidance to improve their catastrophic behaviors.

      I know that I get a lot of flak for my opinions in this regard. However, I believe that good old fashioned and loving common sense is genius.

      1. “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” [Thomas Edison] There is a lot of talk in this thread about the effects of Asperger obsessive single subject interest, which is what makes some of them apparent geniuses at the chosen obsession. The obsessive thoughts on the subject are at the expense of thinking about other things like tidying up, shutting the cupboard doors, care about appearance, washing etc, and being involved with others. So what drives the Aspergers person to obsess on a subject? I humbly suggest that Aspergers people find neuro-typical everyday life SO difficult to fathom that when they find a subject they can enjoy AND understand they dive into that as an escape. I would add that the Aspergers person does not see NT behaviour as some terrible fault in neuro-typicals. I am not knocking you NT’s here. The Aspergers person feels they don’t fit in with the general population, feels that there is something very different about they themselves – born on the wrong planet. Obsessive interest on a narrow field is how we cope. Computers are brilliant for this, by the way.

        1. Very astute observation Martin. By age six “Aspies” are moving In the direction of their obsessions, rather than people interaction. I watched this with my daughter. She found books because I read to her all of the time, like a good Mommy. Discovering how to read to herself by age four, opened up a whole world she could explore —- without the need to chat with NeuroTypicals.

      2. Any of the poor behavior in this message can also be carried out by NT’s. Why define a whole group of people as high or low functioning. Both seem like condemnation in their own way.

    2. The way I understand the term “high functioning autism” is that it has got nothing to do with a person’s intelligence. Intelligence is determined by a combination of genetic and social factors. It is the way a person can function in society. People with Aspergers can still function in the normal world by holding down a job and enter into relationships, no matter how scewed that relationship is. People with low functioning Autism cannot function in the normal world. These people isolate themselves and do not speak. Thus on a scale between 1 and 10 high functioning people will probably fall in between 6 and 10 on the scale.

      1. One criterion of “High Functioning Autism” is to have average to above average intelligence. The IQ points do matter since they probably help the “Aspie” to analyze the social world. As you note, “High Functioning” doesn’t mean they are geniuses —- only that they are higher functioning than lower IQ Autistics. Their propensity to logically argue their position, doesn’t mean they are geniuses either, but that they are laser focused on their opinion (or special interest). For example, every time I see my dentist (an undiagnosed “Aspie”)he talks all about his latest accomplishments in improving the health of humankind through his work.

  5. Myth: Aspies are bullied but never bully others.

    HFA individuals are quite capable of bullying and manipulative behaviors – and some excel at such behaviors.

    1. Sadly all human beings can be bullies. My ASD daughter was bullied unmercifully by kids at school. But she also had a cruel streak. She destroyed her sister’s soccer bag and clothes by smearing the inside with chocolate cupcakes, meant for her sister’s party. Another time she picked up the cat and threw the poor thing to the bottom of the stairs. Her vindictiveness had no limits.

      1. An extraordinarily intelligent Aspie student once drowned the family pet parakeet in a tub of water for “refusing to learn to talk.”

        He also raped his mother on at least two occasions, and molested his sister on multiple occasions when she was 3-6 years of age.

        Just some examples of purposeful Aspie violence.

        I feel very angry when a supposed ASD specialist tells me that autistic individuals are never violent, and they only become aggressive when threatened. I know better.

        1. I could not agree more Ben. I grew up with an Autistic brother and his violence was all I knew for my entire life. I still avoid him like the plague and he’s close to 60 now. I’ve actually spent my entire life trying to stay away from him.

    2. And I’ve seen (my ASH) and heard stories of some pretty impressive feats of gaslighting too (which is a pretty powerful form of abuse). I particularly remember getting in a Facebook gaslighting discussion by a group of acquaintances about whether it’s really gaslighting if it’s unintentional! I agreed that the overall/original intent was not to manipulate the victim (thus unintentional gaslighting is real), but that once the aspie’s mis-remembered and then self-justifying story is questioned by victim or unlooker, the gaslighter can get really invested enough in their self-justification (due to their feeling blameless in the beginning) to really really need to WIN and feel satisfied when finally succeeding in gaslighting the victim.

      Thought process I’ve seen: “I feel hurt and wronged when I’ve been bullied; I’m not “wrong” though, the other person was “wrong”; right now my justification for evidently doing some other thing “wrong” was good intentions; being “wrong” as in mistaken is the same as being “wrong” morally as in doing something you know will hurt another; so I’m not wrong, and I must come up with a good defense, a story; if two versions of reality (a story of what happened) differ, then only one is right so the others must be wrong, since it makes no sense to have two “right” perspectives; if I’m not wrong in this case that means I’m right in my story; I must prove this right vs wrong; I must get the other person to submit and then I’m vindicated and all right both logically and morally.

        1. Tragically human beings are capable of horrific violence. And apparently generation after generation of witnesses to genocidal conduct doesn’t teach us anything. However, you also make an interesting point. People on the Spectrum are just as capable of violence as NTs, and sometimes their violence is shockingly brutal. We have alarm bells going off when an “Aspie” uses violent language, because our intuition is telling us we may be in danger. That’s a good signal to listen to. I always tell my readers “Never allow abuse,” even if the “Aspie” doesn’t mean to. Trusting that a verbally violent person will not harm you is foolish.

          1. Question: How does one deal with a verbally abusive adult Aspie of high intelligence? My IQ is at least as high as his, but because I do not have his abusive streak and was socially trained to ‘play nicely with others’, I am shocked by his actions and do not know how to respond.

            My roommate, for quite some time, would not allow me to ‘speak unless spoken to’, and there was no way around it. If I spoke without being addressed first, he would either:
            1. leave the room, or more often
            2. yell at me.

            Also, he apparently cannot tolerate having me in the same room. So, for instance, not long after he moved in, I entered the a room while he was in there. He turned to me and asked, “Do you need something from me?” When I answered negatively, he then yelled, “SO WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING IN HERE!”

            Given he is much bigger than I, both in height and weight – and I know he used to beat, bully, and rob in his youth – I find these verbal events frightening.

            Again, talking to him doesn’t do any good, as he just walks away, enters his room, and closes the door. Emails don’t work, as he just ignores them. He stonewalls me.

            He considers rules for ‘other people’, and he is quite smug about that paradigm. He does what he wants, when he wants.

            So, he pays the rent on time and is very quiet and clean. Good things. But, the only way I can deal with him is to literally ignore him unless I need to inform him of the monthly utility bill.

            We do not talk, period. We do not converse by email. When live in our respective bedrooms; I exit mine when he is in his room, and he exits his room when I am in mine. So, we very rarely cross paths.

  6. I think also that the myth that all Aspies has issues with eye contact is a myth. My husband is a trained public speaker (pastor) and communicates well—most of the time. Thus, his Asperger diagnosis was not made until recently, after 40+ years of conflict in our marriage. By this time, he has made so many socially and financially irresponsible decisions that I am going over the edge with anxiety—not to mention the social isolation. I don’t bother sharing the issues with family members. They just say—“Oh, that’s just a ‘guy thing’.”

    1. I quite agree Debbie. The symptoms of ASD run a wide spectrum. Plus a highly intelligent, well educated “Aspie” can acquire quite a few passable behaviors. Lianne Holliday wrote the book, “Pretending to be Normal” and she describes this phenomenon. It’s not the eye contact per se; it’s the meaning making that counts. If you connect with eye contact, that’s empathy. If you merely look, or observe —- that’s not empathy or connecting is it?

    2. One diagnosing/testing therapist made the conclusion that my husband did not have AS because of his eye contact. A few years later another diagnosing/testing therapist he consulted said in his report of a positive AS diagnosis that his eye contact was not “modulated” as genuine eye contact would be. I’ve actually read a statement by an AS person that included how many seconds one should look into someone’s eyes and then look away, in order for the “eye contact” to pass.

      1. With modern technology and video calls, I have been told that it is not necessary to look into the camera to make eye contact. In fact, looking beneath the camera is sufficient to create the illusion of eye contact. I suspect this techie advice comes from an “Aspie.” NTs intuitively notice if the eye contact is “not modulated.”

      2. NTs do not continually make eye contact during conversation, so I am amazed that Aspies are expected to do so.

        An extroverted NT makes eye contact while speaking, then looks away while listening.

        An introverted NT does exactly the opposite: He looks away while speaking and then makes eye contact while listening. (Interestingly enough, this gives others the impression that introverts are good listeners.) An introvert looks away while speaking because he needs to ‘go inside’ in order to process material as he speaks.

        Thus, it makes perfectly good sense that Aspie’s need to avoid eye contact. They are, in a sense, like ‘stronger introverts’: They need to go very deep inside in order to process a conversation.

        1. Another interesting fact is that NTs look at the mouth of the speaker far more than the eyes. They are watching the formation of the words, and listening for other verbal and non-verbal cues. What clinicians and scientists mean by “eye contact” is attending to the non-verbal cues, not just watching the eyes. I suppose this is why “Aspies” get confused and try so hard to make eye contact, often being quite aggressive about it. They think we want only eye contact, and not the full range of empathic listening, because they heard from their parents and teachers, “look me in the eye.”

          1. Agreed. Generally, one focuses on some aspect of the face, not the eyes themselves, and that is considered ‘eye contact’. NTs seem to know this instinctively. Aspies, being more literally-minded, believe we want direct and sustained eye contact – which is uncomfortable for anyone.

            And, of course, direct and sustained eye contact is considered aggressive in the NT world, so we are not doing Aspies any favors by asking for “eye contact”.

  7. Having married an Aspie ‘genius’, I read the preceding comments with interest. I agree with most of what was said, but one phrase in John’s post, defining what is considered genius-level IQ jumped out at me: “for Caucasion people”, as if there are different measurements for different segments of the population. Though I know this does not pertain directly to Aspies, I feel I must point out that genetic research has shown that people’s ideas about ‘race’ are incorrect. That is, we are all virtually identical, genetically—in the fundamental stuff we’re made of. IQ testing is imperfect and skewed toward the standards and culture of the group devising the tests. Add to that the fact that multiple social factors such as poverty and racism have had a profound effect on marginalized groups, it is no surprise that test scores of those who have been considered of different races can lag behind other groups. This doesn’t mean we should put people in ‘racial’ categories ‘for fairness’ when talking about IQ, because that affirms the awful old idea that some groups of people are above others. As for the Aspie connection to IQ, my husband greatly values his intelligence, and matter-of-factly states that, if he knows more about a subject, he is justified, even obligated, to educate the rest of us, for our benefit. I also value his intellect, and fell for him largely because of it, but it has been a 41-year, long, hard slog and I’ve paid the heavy price of being the target of blowups and insults (gets angry if I call them that), not being able to talk things out, and worst of all, being deeply misunderstood and not being known or heard.

    1. IQ measures average 100 for Caucasians. For Nth East Asians a bit higher. For sub-saharan Afticans considerably less and less again for Busman and Australian Aborigines. Those are emprical measurements. It is a different thing from general intelligence.

  8. One core fallacy in our common understanding of AS is that they are more logical than emotional. To address merely the logic half of that myth:
    People with AS as well as all humans are subject to the principle that our logic is subordinate to and follows our more basic perspectives, emotions, and beliefs. We use our logic to justify those original response to convince ourselves we’re OK on both fronts. Sometimes this is called confirmation bias.
    I think we tend to see AS behavior as focused on logic so deeply partly because they are less distracted by awareness of multiple perspectives (that are all “true”), so they can be more dedicated to processes of logic, and maybe more defensive and self-justifying due to being perceived as “different”.

    1. Aspies are not necessarily focused on logic as much as on the logical presentation of their singular point of view.

      Example 1: My Aspie roommate is bright (he teaches Latin at a local high school) but he can only logically present his own opinion on any given subject; any paradigm other than his own remains totally a mystery to him. Now, on the other hand, I can successfully and logically argue a number of different viewpoints, whether I agree with them or not.

      Example 2: A supposedly genius Aspie can generally only hold forth on his topic of interest. A true genius is a polymath and so can expound on many topics.

      Result: Get into a deep conversation with an alleged Aspie genius, and quite often his or her ‘genius’ suddenly disappears.

      1. Kathy, is there a way to allow commenters to edit their posts?

        I am very tired and just realized my last post was not ‘tight’. I went back to edit it but could not see an appropriate button.

          1. Thanks.

            Another thing: Is there a way to choose to receive an email notice when someone posts a comment to your site?

            I find the conversations here – as well as the articles – very interesting, and enjoy reading the comments of other readers.

    2. I don’t know about it being generally accepted that Aspergers people are more logical. I do gain the impression though that they like to perceive of themselves as such and perceive of NT people as being emotional. This dichotomy to me illustrates how their self proclaimed superior logical ability is quite illogical because it constructs a false dichotomy as their premise.

  9. One myth is that AS spouses are more honest and unlikely to “cheat” on their spouses. I’ve seen NT spouses believe that myth initially for a short time in their participation in spousal support groups. (In my ex’s case, after a short period of mostly succeeding with a dishonest cover story, he could very logically and openly explain the justification for the outside relationship.)

        1. Yes, but we are generally taught that Aspies are incapable of such negative behaviors, and that any of their negative acts are purely unintentional.

          Also, I hear over and over, that if an Aspie acts-out it is only because he was either provoked or bullied. In other words, if an Aspie acts-out, it is always the NT’s fault.

          I find it helpful to hear (or read) others call out such falsehoods.

          1. I never teach that “Aspies” are incapable of negativity, manipulation, hostility, and violence. I also never teach that “Aspies” don’t ever intentionally cause harm. I have been personally victimized by angry “Aspies” and I have witnessed these actions toward others. Plus there are examples in the news. The issue is that most people, “Aspie” or otherwise are not extremely hostile and difficult or abusive. These traits are found in a rare few individuals, but those few can cause terrific damage to many. What I do know is that if your roommate is ASD and he is angry and abusive with you, I doubt it will change. Protect yourself.

  10. Kathy, I know you do not teach falsehoods about ASD, but there are many specialists who do. If I only had a dollar for every ASD specialist who made these claims… .

  11. How close to correct is this myth? About 50% of Aspies also have narcissism. You see, I was pointed down the path of Aspie and the tools didn’t work. When I finally got pointed down the path of Narcissism (think Trump or Steve Bannon behind the scenes) then that was my ex. The narcissistic behaviors were more relevant than the Aspies ones even though he hates getting gifts because he has to then reciprocate them.

    1. Hi Sunny. When you stop looking for single traits in a person, or a set of descriptors such as a diagnosis, it gets easier to see the real problem “Aspies” have with relating. They lack empathy and a theory of mind. Empathy is a process, infused into every waking moment for NTs. Not so for “Aspies.” Thus narcissism is revealed inherently in our “Aspies.” In other words, without empathy or what I call EmD-0, “Aspies” design their lives without the social connectedness that means all the difference to the rest of us. These “designs” can be simple or complex, kind or vindictive, and so many other ways in between. This is a tough concept, but once you get it, your eyes open, and it is much easier to navigate the world of ASD/Narcissists.

  12. My AS husband actually fits some of the ‘myths’ discussed here, such as really being a polymath/genius; he does not lie, and I have no doubts about his faithfulness despite our dysfunctional marriage. I guess what we’re really talking about is the fact that we can’t nail down Aspie characteristics, what with them being, you know…humans…and also that there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We love stereotypes and pop psychology as sort of shorthand ways of understanding the vast complexity of human behavior, especially when it’s compounded by mysterious syndromes like AS. I get exhausted trying to cope with the unclarity of it all, the constant struggle to claw out some harmony among the weeds and and briars, fog and constant roar of this marriage.

  13. Here is another Myth: Aspies cannot communicate using non-verbal language,ie body language etc. Like their inability to recognize boundaries it is half true but only one way, not reciprocated. So in regard to boundaries Aspies are very defensive of their own expansive boundaries and will be aggressive defending them but trample all over the boundaries of others. So to with non-verbal communication: they cannot read other peoples body language but readily deploy it themselves. The situation I refer to is male Aspies who perceive the need to establish their superior status in the mind of the male they are communicating that fact too will use physical touch to do so. Among male chimps etc or any animal really it is the dominant male who initiates touching to communicate this status. Inferior males who initiate touch against a superior will be savaged for it indicates a challenge to the dominant male. So too with Homo Sapiens, every man knows this instinctively. Aspie males are patronisingly paternalistic in a “Father Knows Best” manner with other men they perceive to be below them in status and will come up behind other men and place the palms of their hands on their shoulders, guide other men past them by placing the palms of their hands on the small of the other mans back etc. The latter is what a gentleman will do to his lady in public to demonstrate his protection so it is highly offensive for a man to do it to a man yet Aspies can do that all the time. It kind of says “I could have killed you by sneaking up behind you but I was gentle with you so you can relax and know you are safe with me looking after you, within my boundaries”. In some ways one is being treated ad though being a pet dog.I have had that from two male Aspies, one a much younger work colleague another NT colleague said how he also had the surprise pats on the back from the Aspie and he too found it very disturbing.

  14. As to the untrustworthiness of an aspie I can only assume that they are like all humankind in that respect. And given the true statement, If you’ve met one aspie, you’ve met one aspie. They all seem to be different. The one common thread seems to be their difficulty in communicating on a deep relational level.
    With that said, I wonder about my ex-ASH. He had an “emotional” relationship with a woman way back in 1982. I immediately told me about it but there was never any, “I’m sorry”, “That will never happen again”, nothing. A he was leaving me in 2017 I brought it up that he never had the balls to tell me he still loved me, that he realized he’d hurt me, anything on that department. He blew up swearing that he had never been unfaithful with that women, he was sorry he’d ever told me and then he went on a rampage calling my friend, my relatives to ask if I’d ever told them that he was unfaithful. I was totally shocked by his reaction. All these years I’d sort of figured that he really didn’t have the constitution to be unfaithful. But after seeing his over the top reaction, now I wonder.

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