4/12/2013 8:38:01 AM
I am 17 yrs old and a junior in highschool. I havent formally been diagnosed with AS but i have all the symptoms. I am getting tested for AS pretty soon so I have a formal diagnoses. School is really tough for someone with AS. Highschool is rough. I don't have many friends and I feel invisible at this school. I'm hoping to overcome this with support from family and the few friends I have. I also have terrible anxiety and serve depression.
Sports & AS
Alan W. Miller, Ph.D.
1/25/2013 4:29:08 PM
My son was diagnosed with AS when he was three at the University of North Carolina. Wow! It has been a challenge. At the same time, we have seen some wonderful victories in his life. He is now 17 years old and in his junior year of high school. He is a big kid, 6'5"; 235lbs and plays football and basketball. I have been looking for some information on AS kids in sports, yet don't seem to find much. I would certainly enjoy contributing to a series of articles on sports and AS. Possibly, other parents and coaches/teachers might glean from our insight to participation in sports.
Alan Miller, Ph.D.
Dean, University of Mobile, Alabama
Our Whole Family
12/16/2012 4:24:33 AM
I feel our family is truly blessed! I have AS, my husband has AS-like features, and all three of my sons have AS, too. My oldest son is 25, and my other twin sons are 21. I was diagnosed as an adult, when I was seeking help and a diagnosis for my children. We've all dealt with the difficulties that other commenters have mentioned. I was in the gifted program from the time I was in Elementary school, but was also a social pariah. I've got a 167 IQ, have been a professional classical musician in a major symphony orchestra, have achieved degrees in music, political science, my Doctorate in Exceptional Student Education, and currently own and teach in a school of the arts and sciences for students with disabilities. My own boys attended my school, and were able to proceed into college to further their education. They are in school online, however, and still living at home with my husband and I. Since we have already lived through so many of the challenges our sons have faced, we are gradually helping them to move into an on campus status: little by little, one foot at a time. They're all brilliant, but struggle so hard to understand why people say and do the things they do. So often, social situations feel like a nightmare, because there is no social "guide book" to navigate through society. We know they will find their niche, love, and future.
To those of you that are struggling with your AS child's behavior, try having a social journal for your child. Make it like a fun scrapbook project. Have lots of neat things for them to cut, glue, pictures to paste, and if their a boy or girl, the stylish items of their interests. Then practice a new social situation every night. Take an incident they experienced during the day that they felt was difficult and help them write in a solution to plan for the next time that situation happens. Be sure to have a celebration page in the book when your child uses a strategy from their journal when it's successful. If a strategy doesn't work, have them make a new page with a new plan. Gradually, social faux pas begin to decline, and social successes begin to take their place! I've used this project with many AS students over the last 10 years and have seen terrific results. BTW- This journal approach can also be used to gradually change unwanted behaviors.
To sum up my personal experience: I feel blessed to have my differences! I may have AS, but it has given me so many gifts! Just because we might have the label, doesn't mean we are completely doomed to failure. I'm very proud to have a Learning Difference (not disability) because I've chosen to use my AS gifts to forge an honest, noble, and full life from it. I know that I will leave a mark behind me for posterity when I'm gone. My life will have made a difference in the world. Every one of us are unique and have gifts....we have the ability to CHOOSE how we'll use them! ;-)
Figuring it out
7/12/2012 12:42:51 AM
Now I am in my late 30s and figuring out that I may have Aspergers. I am a musician, writer, composer, and highly intelligent, but have always had a hard time with the basics of life. Sometimes a simple waiter job is too much. I've been fired from jobs because I am "slow" or "in another time and space" yet am very quick to learn a new piece of software or I'll get obsessed with physics or writing a new piece of music. I have few friends, I only have one with whom I spend social time and we spend most of the time discussing economic policy. I can't stand social games and politics. I've often said how much time and energy is wasted on petty personal issues and how much better off we'd all be if people would just do their jobs or focus on task instead of playing games. Anyway, I never thought of myself as having any sort of difficulty other than being odd until I had a high-fucntioning autistic piano student and I saw some of my behaviors in him. This spawned an internet search and I took the autism spectrum quiz and scored a 32 so I began to wonder. At any rate, it's been a long journey riddled with diagnoses of depression, bipolar, and schizo-affective disorder and I'm just not trying to fit in anymore, it's far too much work and energy. I'm more content to spend most of my time alone. I like people, but I find them so overwhelming that I prefer to go to a bar, have a drink, and watch rather than try to participate...or chat with my friend about economic policy, superstring theory, or overtones and wave interference patterns in music.
4/4/2012 11:58:58 AM
Speaking as the (very) long-term partner of an Asperger person I found the article about Osborne's book fascinating.
John, we too have been down the litigation route. My partner left work following a similar experience to yours.
Because he had indentified so closely with his profession, without a job he lost all sense of himself, and sank into despair. But recently he had his work as a painter recognised, and is now, after fifty years, experiencing the joyful confidence in his skills and experience that is his by right. His job was something he did; his painting is what he is.
The environment he grew up in was not one that encouraged his self-belief. It dwelt on his failures and stressed the importance of fitting in,but it was the combination of that upbringing with his neurological disposition that led to so much unhappiness.
We don't know what lies ahead, but, though things are hard at the moment, we have learned that not a lot is to be gained by pretending to be a neuro-typical. Being himself at last will take my partner forward. JB
Dating someone with A.S.
Tdon't Feel Comfortable Posting Full Name R
3/26/2012 9:27:55 AM
Niklas- please email me. you have wonderful insights from your 9-2011 posting, and i would like assistance. i believe my boyfriend someone i have known since birth yet began dating 6 months ago to be one with A.S. and has never been accurately diagnosed. firstname.lastname@example.org
Absolutely agree with the article
3/6/2012 5:41:02 AM
I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome on April 1st 2010. I have been sacked from Cancer Research UK on the grounds that I "would not fit in". I am currently pursuing this case through the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal Judge told me "You're not disabled. You should be pleased about it". This has been the Court Service's attitude so far. I do consider Asperger's a disability because that is the only way to get employers to take account of it. I have been turned down for jobs when it was clear that Asperger's was the reason (ie claiming I didn't have experience but not saying what that experience was). However, like many disabilities it's also an opportunity to make a difference to the world. Had Louise Braille not become blind then Braille would not have been invented (at the very least, it wouldn't be called Braille). I'll let you know how I get on.
9/21/2011 7:15:59 PM
Great article. No wonder people keep reading and commenting over two years. I have AS myself, and I can tell you the main thing that can make us feel and live better is 'feeding our nerd-gene', so to speak. I struggled as a child until I found football (soccer) and became good at that inside and later outside of the local community where I of course was judged on a lot of other things besides my skill at that. I quit football age 15, and struggled for several years after that. It didn't look as if I was going anywhere but on the dole.
A couple years later, I'm now a politics geek - studying political science - and it is now obvious to me that I simply need something that I'm good at - because I'm not good at regular life – all the chitchat. No use running from it. Einstein didn't! That's the lesson I've learnt from myself and other people with AS that I've met.
My closest friend with AS has gone from being on the way to retirement age 23 (it's Scandinavia) to immense joy as a zookeper. Many (most) others have found stability with a job in a quiet environment and a creative hobby like painting or ceramics. It's also pretty much the only help I can think of for younger kids with AS.
Being good at something gives you a feeling of self-worth that you can use as support against teasing. Bullying should of course be reported and dealt with by the miscreants' parents and the school. I told a kid why kids bully (because you're not like everybody else, but, you know what, neither are anyone in the history books), and it did help him some. But knowing why is not enough when you're in the schoolyard. I also know my parents talked to the other parents, who talked to their kids. I thought it was pretty cool that so many famous people, like, luminaries, had AS. That one google search helped my self-esteem bigtime. The humor-thing is also tough in school. I ”get” that some forms 0f humor is funny to ordinary people, but not to me. Not really. I'll laugh, but I'm not sure it's a real laugh. My humor is more geeky, basta.
People with AS very often have extraordinary potential, but our lives are riddled with pitfalls, especially growing up (we don't "get the social game" and can be heartwarmingly naive and thus often get ridiculed; kids can be mean!). The key is then to: 1: create a safe, routine-driven daily life that doesn't involve having to deal with a lot of different people. To neurotypicals it would seem rigid, but paradoxically enough rigidity in daily life creates the time and space for a person with AS to exert their energy on meaningful things. 2: get a straightforward job and a hobby, or a job that one can devote oneself to (not that you have to be the next Bill Gates, but you get the point). 3: a small circle of friends will most often follow – usually with the same interests. Learn to say no; don't get overbooked, so to speak. 4: A mentor can be gold. Really gold. A mentor can keep you out of those bad social situations where the positive characteristics (honest, thinks good of others) are used against you and portrayed as naivety. Also, we sometimes are waaay too hard on ourselves. Being tough on yourself is good, but it can turn into an irrational and self- destructive bad cycle. You gotta learn from your mistakes, but that habit doesn't always come by itself. Later, it's awesome to be able to teach others. 5: live healthily. I'm not kidding! People with AS are often also physically fragile, experiencing great gain from fx gluten-free diets, adaptogens, tea and whatnot. I have, though I'm probably more into it than most others – and everyone else that I know with AS, ASD, ADHD; all us weirdos.
To continue on that note, many of us, me especially, have gained a lot from reading about AS and the mind and body in general. As we all know, uncertainty is stress – and vice versa. The same with a bad/good lifestyle. I designed my own lifestyle on the go, seeking occasional guidance from my brother who is a physiotherapist and thus knows about diets and broader health matters.
The single most important thing for me, though – and I may be a special case, but I do think the logic is pretty waterproof here – has been reading about psychology (not just Tony Attwood; lots of wikipedia and the like too) and philosophy. It's easy when you get started – we tend to learn best on our own (social skills courses was a disaster for me too!). I started knowing what was going on in my mind when I got angry, depressed, angst, and why it happened, and that helped me more than anything else to stop being angry and violent (smashing stuff as I got older) with and around my parents (and teachers). It made it possible for me be in control of myself for the first time – and it helped me understand other people, how they worked, and how they were different from me. It's so much easier living now.
For those of you that don't like to read (I've always read, starting with Donald Duck age 3 and ending up with The Economist) - ;) - , other sources are available, I'm sure. Courses, videos (I bet Mr. Abbott and Temple Grandin have put out a lot) and such. The simple lifestyle is all you need, though. Support from the public services can be great; of course I don't know what you have across the pond. But I do know that getting to understand my own state of mind has magnified greatly the amount that I can overcome on my own in todays facebook-world. And that was worth all the time. Umm, that was a long post. It's what I've learned in my short time on Earth. Hope it's not a complete waste of digital space. -NRW
8/23/2011 12:23:23 AM
my nine year old girl has just been diagnosed.. still all very raw, she is being picked on bullied so much she hates going to school..she is in grade 4 and since the beginning of the year has been struggling with confidence.. any tips would be great appreciated thanks
After High School
6/22/2011 6:57:38 PM
My son is graduating from high school this year and was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was 8. It has been a long uphill battle. But I need him to enter into this wonderful program for college. He needs the right support and encouragement. It is called CSP College Support Program. But the cost is $50,000 and I do not have the money. Where are there any foundations that can help? Please inform me. This is truly a need that needs to be filled.
my 28 y/o son w/ AS
9/16/2010 5:25:31 PM
My son is 28 y/o & I wanted to share with other parents what worked & what did not. When he was 14 y/o I took him every Sat. for social skills training; it was a huge waste of money & didn't work @ all! However, when he was old enough to work @ a local grocery store as a bag boy it did teach him appropriate interactions with people, plus he had a positive experience & it gave him some confidence he'd never had! Due to the positive characteristics ofmy son, reliable, honest (he does not have the ability to lie), the manager saw these qualities in him & knew he could always count on him.
He did not get along w/ his co-workers & make friends. I remember 1 particular day he came home very sad & I asked him what happened, he told me a customer who was very elderly (& none of the other employees liked) had passed away, what bothered him greatly was everyone clapped & cheered when they heard the news! We had one of our many open & honest talks & I did my best to explain to him that there are many ugly & mean people in the world, but he should be proud of himself for not being like them. He sat w/ her one time for 2 hours in our Florida heat while she waited for a taxi, my son has a huge heart!
I also explained he can only be responsible for his actions & how very proud I was of his goodness!!! I am very blessed to have a son w/ Asperger's Syndrome! I had always vowed to love my kids unconditionallu & nonjudgmentally! It hasn't been an easy journey, but I am proud as any Mother could be. My husband & I continually support our son w/ encouragement & unconditional love! If he makes a mistake, he is extremely hard on himself, I ALWAYS ask him what he has learned, & that it is fine as long as he learns from his mistakes;& asked him what he learned. IE: mistakes are to be learned from & what he learned? It has worked very well for us. He is experiencing alot of anxiety again, & I know a pyschiatrist would put him om some med. for that. However, my son has not been on ANY meds since 2000 & is very ANTI about taking meds. He is very healthful & I'm trying to find a way to afford bio-feedback for him, I have tried encouraging yoga & meditation, for some reason I've hit a brick wall so I have dropped that. I have to respect that he is a man now & can make his own decisions.
I am a 6 yr. stroke survivor & my husband is disabled (2 major back surgeries, our son cannot do enough for us. However, we want him to have a life of his own! I am positive if god made a Jeremy, there is someone out there for him! He wants to mentor other kids & show them they can do anything they want to if they work @ it, I tried to teach him to "pay it forward", Iadmire him for that & his many other wonderful qualities. I realize most Mom's say that, but he is genuinely a unique good individual. I hope a few of these suggestions help another parent. If you would like to e-mail me privately just to chat my e-mail is: email@example.com please put in subject box something pertaing to AS please so I don't delete as junk mail! God bless, Terri
9/8/2010 2:53:49 PM
I had tried everything to stop the violence and anger with my son of 14 who has Asperger's. We have tried several different meds and nothing has ever worked. I have been having such a hard time with him being bored and not having any friends. I felt like I could not take it any more so I started praying. We had not been to church since he was young. I decided I would do whatever it takes for him to find friends and that we would not have another summer alone without any friends again. He is so lonely and wants friends so much but is very shy and unapproachable.
I prayed and prayed. We started going back to church. He started going to a church group with other teens on Wednesday nights and since then he has been a different person. It was hard to leave him there by himself but he was fine and loves it and wants to go every Wednesday night. He now likes to get up early on Sunday morning to go to Bible Study group. He has stopped being disrespectful to me and his brothers. His violence has stopped.
My son who has Asperger's is very smart and listens when you think he is not listening. I think since he has Asperger's he takes the Bible more seriously than others. He has decided to be a Christian. If you have Christ in your heart it is hard to be hateful and mean. He is around other Christian children who are not judgmental and very nice. I can say that God has answered my prayers, so all of you who are desperate as I have been, look to God and he may help you as he has helped me.
My son has Aspergers
8/19/2010 9:43:06 AM
My son is now 27, lives with his father and stepmom in Florida and definitely displays signs of Asperger's. We have made several attempts for him to seek help for his anger issues. He is very intelligent and talanted. He too had what I referred to as "mini obsessions" as he was growing up. He was seeing a child psychologist when he attended middle school where one of his teachers enlightened me on Asperger's Syndrome. As I read the material she gave me I felt the material was written about my son. When we went back to his psychologist I mentioned it to him and his reply was "it is a diognosis for no diagnosis", we stopped going to him and I was unable to get my son to go anywhere else. I tried to handle it the best way I could but, I feel I let him down. His father just wanted to sweep it under the rug and pretty much turned his back on him. My son is a very angry and lonely person. My question is what can I do for him. He has a lot of potential but refuses any type of help. I recently moved to Georgia in June this year for a change in my own life and my son does not want to live with me. My son does not trust anyone. For a very long time, I have been at my wits end trying to get some answers. I saw other children with Asperger's when I was doing my clinicals during college for my AS degree for occupational therapy assistant. But I was still unable to reach my own child. Where can I go from here? I don't want to see him so miserable.
books about living with aspergers
5/20/2010 11:53:20 AM
I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, but then my 10 yr old (at the time) was diagnosed with Aspergers, through tests and research it turns out, I don't have bipolar disorder, but, definitly have Aspergers. I am seeking books about those who have aspergers, not written by any Ph.d. but by the actual person with this. If you know of any books that I can obtain from the libraey, please get back to me. John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye, was an awesome book.
Your 12 year old daughter
3/11/2010 8:57:30 AM
I'm Asperger's and have become obsessed with Asperger's, Autism, and neuroscience, and from what you describe it sounds like your daughter may very well be Asperger's. The apparent inability to understand jokes and funny commercials, sensitivity to tight clothing, and apparent preference for math and science over social pursuits are all very Asperger-ish and unlikely for an NT to exhibit. Good to know you're not very worried about labeling her; many parents are devastated when they get a label for their otherwise brilliant child (which I will never fully understand). I hope this helps.
aspergers and my 12 yr old
3/3/2010 1:53:20 PM
I am trying to figure out what is different with my 12 year old daughter. Very shy as a toddler and now as a preteen and even before very quirky. Thought she had OCD but wonder about aspergers. Had a seizure over 1 yr ago and MRI indicated Hippocampus smaller on one side than the other. Very good at Math and Science. Obsessed with bad weather and tornados and words that contain all the vowels. Has friends but doesn't make a deep emotional connection with them. Seems less mature then they are in some ways. Great in school. Very particular in her work and getting everything done just right. Makes my bed for me because it bugs her the way that I do it. As a toddler certain clothes bugged her if they were too tight. Doesn't get jokes or funny commercials or lyrics to songs and she wants me to explain to her. Everything is black or white. Nothing gray or in between to her. Don't really care to label her but am wondering if she is mildly aspergers. thanks for listening and your information.
1/3/2010 5:41:02 PM
Dear Micheal, your story is inspiring. I have aspergers syndrome myself and it has made life very difficult for me, but hearing your story gives me hope. I think i might look into studying space. Thank you for the inspiration.
4/14/2009 9:12:39 AM
Thank You very much for your article on Asperger's. I have (AS) myself and I hope the general public might stumble across this article as well as others on Asperger's Syndrome. Life for neurotypical (as i have read) people is very different than from autistic or AS people. Every human being faces struggles regardless of brain function, it is difficult more so for those on the Autism Spectrum. Life is a very emotionally, painstaking journey for those with autism. Written without critism for others. Michael