VIDEO CONFERENCE: Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No?

A low cost International Support Group facilitated by Dr. Marshack. This Video Conference is limited to twelve people, and is only for Members of the private membership group, ASPERGER SYNDROME & RELATIONSHIPS: Life with an Adult on the Autism Spectrum. Click here for membership details and to register for this call.

Topic: VIDEO CONFERENCE: Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No?

Thursday, August 15, 2019 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM PDT

Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No? This question is a perennial one for this group. It’s not so much “Why” but how to get around the negative response?

Our “Aspies” say “NO!” out of habit. Since they struggle to follow your line of reasoning they say “NO!” to cut to the bottom line. They say “NO!” to buy themselves some time, to figure out what you are asking or telling them. They say”NO!” because it is comforting to be in charge when so much of their interpersonal life they do not feel in charge. And I am sure our members can explain many other reasons their “Aspies” say “NO!”

The real question is how to get around their reflexive action to put us off, and shut us down? Boy do we have to be patient to do that! Remember, if you are persistent and patient and unwilling to give up, your “Aspie” may come to trust you enough to agree to something, even if they have no idea what you are talking about. Of course, then we have to find a way to cope with the eye rolling and the criticism that “You always get your way.”

In this video conference, we take another look at this primitive mechanism of saying “NO!” In addition to methods for getting around their penchant for saying “NO!” let’s also discuss how to keep our sanity, when all we are trying to do is create a win-win for our relationships.

All event times are posted in Pacific time.

TELECONFERENCE: No Spontaneous Transitions for Our “Aspies”

A low cost International Support Group facilitated by Dr. Marshack. This Teleconference is limited to twelve people, and is only for Members of the private membership group, ASPERGER SYNDROME & RELATIONSHIPS: Life with an Adult on the Autism Spectrum. Click here for membership details and to register for this call.

Topic: TELECONFERENCE: No Spontaneous Transitions for Our “Aspies”

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM PDT

No spontaneous transitions for our “Aspies.”

Summer is hard enough for those of us in the northern hemisphere, because “Aspies” don’t often do well in the heat. They hate bugs. They hate vacations. They hate the lack of routine the summertime brings.

But it can be worse just getting them ready for Fall, when everyone is gearing up for back-to-school and all of the hustle-bustle that brings. Even when we don’t have children going back to school in the Fall, we all experience the need to get organized before winter sets it.

This Teleconference is dedicated to finding ways to nudge our “Aspies” through the normal transitions that we take for granted, but that cause them meltdowns.

Remember it’s always about taking care of yourself first; others second. When you have a plan, it’s so much easier.

VIDEO CONFERENCE: Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No?

A low cost International Support Group facilitated by Dr. Marshack. This Video Conference is limited to twelve people, and is only for Members of the private membership group, ASPERGER SYNDROME & RELATIONSHIPS: Life with an Adult on the Autism Spectrum. Click here for membership details and to register for this call.

Topic: VIDEO CONFERENCE: Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No?

Thursday, August 8, 2019 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM PDT

Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No? This question is a perennial one for this group. It’s not so much “Why” but how to get around the negative response?

Our “Aspies” say “NO!” out of habit. Since they struggle to follow your line of reasoning they say “NO!” to cut to the bottom line. They say “NO!” to buy themselves some time, to figure out what you are asking or telling them. They say”NO!” because it is comforting to be in charge when so much of their interpersonal life they do not feel in charge. And I am sure our members can explain many other reasons their “Aspies” say “NO!”

The real question is how to get around their reflexive action to put us off, and shut us down? Boy do we have to be patient to do that! Remember, if you are persistent and patient and unwilling to give up, your “Aspie” may come to trust you enough to agree to something, even if they have no idea what you are talking about. Of course, then we have to find a way to cope with the eye rolling and the criticism that “You always get your way.”

In this video conference, we take another look at this primitive mechanism of saying “NO!” In addition to methods for getting around their penchant for saying “NO!” let’s also discuss how to keep our sanity, when all we are trying to do is create a win-win for our relationships.

All event times are posted in Pacific time.

 

VIDEO CONFERENCE: Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No?

A low cost International Support Group facilitated by Dr. Marshack. This Video Conference is limited to twelve people, and is only for Members of the private membership group, ASPERGER SYNDROME & RELATIONSHIPS: Life with an Adult on the Autism Spectrum. Click here for membership details and to register for this call.

Topic: VIDEO CONFERENCE: Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM PDT

Why Do “Aspies” Always Say No? This question is a perennial one for this group. It’s not so much “Why” but how to get around the negative response?

Our “Aspies” say “NO!” out of habit. Since they struggle to follow your line of reasoning they say “NO!” to cut to the bottom line. They say “NO!” to buy themselves some time, to figure out what you are asking or telling them. They say”NO!” because it is comforting to be in charge when so much of their interpersonal life they do not feel in charge. And I am sure our members can explain many other reasons their “Aspies” say “NO!”

The real question is how to get around their reflexive action to put us off, and shut us down? Boy do we have to be patient to do that! Remember, if you are persistent and patient and unwilling to give up, your “Aspie” may come to trust you enough to agree to something, even if they have no idea what you are talking about. Of course, then we have to find a way to cope with the eye rolling and the criticism that “You always get your way.”

In this video conference, we take another look at this primitive mechanism of saying “NO!” In addition to methods for getting around their penchant for saying “NO!” let’s also discuss how to keep our sanity, when all we are trying to do is create a win-win for our relationships.

All event times are posted in Pacific time.

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?

Travelling with Autistic Family Members

Summer is often the time when most families travel and take their holidays to relax and get away from work. Travelling can be an escape from your daily routine or a daunting experience whenever your partner or your children are on the Autism Spectrum, but from my experience, I can tell you there are ways to make it easier.

A study from I.B.C.C.E.S. where 1,000 parents with a child on the Spectrum were surveyed, found that only 13% of respondents take vacations as a family. This leaves 87% of families without a holiday, without taking time off to decompress and without properly enjoying the summer holiday.

Travelling with a visible or invisible disorder has come a long way since just a few decades ago. The travel industry has become more aware and often offer facilities for families with children on the Spectrum.

What are a few of the things you should know and that will make your life easier, whenever you are travelling with an adult partner on the Spectrum or with Autistic children? Keep reading and if you have tips from your own experience and please share them in the comments!

 

If you are travelling with an “Aspie” partner

I’ve written a small blog post where I am sharing from a wife’s experience of flying with her “Aspie” husband. It has a bit of humor in it, but if it works, it works!

Other things you can do to ease the travelling experience for your ASD partner:

  • Attend “Mock boarding” experiences

If you have to fly out of the country, certain airports are providing “mock boarding” experiences, which offers a trial run of what it is like to buy tickets, go through security, and buckling up on a plane that never takes off. Washington Dulles International Airport, as well as Atlanta, Boston, Bridgeport, Manchester, Philadelphia, and Newark have offered this special program.  

  • Ask for help from TSA

TSA also provides a hotline – TSA Cares (1-855) 787-2227. Call 72 hours before your flight to let them know that you require assistance.

  • Ask for early boarding from your Airline

You can ask your airline to assist and, in some cases, it might be free, depending on the airline and available resources. Be sure to see if you can get early boarding and priority boarding as well, so you’ll be the first in the plane.

  • Your hotel may help you too

While booking, it might worth it to call your hotel and ask where the quieter rooms are, away from all the foot traffic or facing the pool area.

  • Work with a travel agent

Travel agents are known to be on the more expensive side, however some are not charging you. They are being paid a commission fee by hotels who want their business. 

Agencies specialize in assisting and working with people on the Spectrum or disabled, so they can take care of organizing every aspect of the trip for you, including booking your tickets, tours and restaurants. If you want a smooth trip and a comfortable stay, they might be your best choice.

 

If you are travelling with children on the Spectrum

  • Prepare the field ahead of time

Show your children videos and photos from the places you will visit before you start travelling. Give them time to accommodate and be sure to discuss what you will visit and what they can expect while being there. These preparations will enable your children to enjoy adventures as challenging as exploring the caves in Mexico! I found this article in the New York Times that follows the story of a travelling mom and her experience. It’s worth a read to help you get a few tips.

  • Visit accommodating museums

Some museums around the globe are actively taking steps to improve their experience and be more inclusive to accommodate visitors with disabilities. 

For example, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, United Kingdom, has a special branch called “V&A Museum of Childhood”. They have created a “Making SENse Family Pack” which includes a backpack you can borrow for free. It includes maps, activity suggestions and toys to play with. The museum can also provide ear defenders and if you check their website, they provide all the information you might need to know ahead of time for a family visit (details about cafés, toilets, ways to avoid the shops if necessary, which times are quietest and where can you find a quiet room).

In the United States, the Smithsonian runs “Morning at the Museum” events. The program offers early entry to those on the Spectrum, which means the lights are dimmed in certain areas and the volume is turned down. Usually, the buildings are quieter and less crowded. You can also avoid queuing, which is a painful point of a holiday. The museum has included sensory maps and tips. Quiet spaces are also available.

These are just two examples. Be sure to do your research in the city where you plan to spend your holiday and you might be pleasantly surprised! You can find more tips on Autism in Museums.

  • Stick to the schedule and set the rules

Stick to a similar eating and sleeping schedule that your child is comfortable with. It might require additional planning on your behalf, but your effort will be worthwhile. For example, bring snacks if your children cannot get their meal at their usual time.

Explain to your child the rules before you leave! This way they will understand what is expected of them and it will be easier for them to follow. 

  • Flying out of the country

Ideally, you would pick a short flight of an hour or so, but this is not always possible. Visiting the airport ahead of time with your child would help him/her get familiarized with the surroundings and what to expect. Be sure to explain what the steps are to go through and what will happen (for example, the security check and the passport control).

Check to see if you can board early or buy priority boarding for your family. Packing a carry-on bag with anything you might need is also a good idea. It can include headphones, toys and documentation of your child’s diagnosis.

I’ve also written extensively about parenting in my book “Out of Mind – Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome.” I’ve filmed a video to tell you more about it below: