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Aspergers Syndrome - Living As an Adult Aspie

Updated on September 26, 2016

Living With Aspergers as an Adult

This is the first in a series of articles I've written, as an Aspie, to help explain how having Aspergers Syndrome affects daily living. You're probably here because you have Aspergers, know somebody who has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, or are an Aspie yourself and are reaching out for some understanding of how it affects daily life. You might have read books by scientists or researchers, providing bullet point lists of traits and attributes. You might have already found there are some books for parents on how to deal with an Aspie child. But what about actual, real Aspie adults? What's that about? What do those lists of traits mean?

Autism Awareness Ribbon by BL1961
Autism Awareness Ribbon by BL1961

I Am An Aspie, So What is That?

The purpose for me is to get to down on (electronic) paper just how it translates into everyday life, so that you can see how the traits directly affect thinking and everyday life.

I can't promise answers, I hope I can deliver some understanding.

Asperger's Syndrome (pronounced ass-per-gers, with the accent on the first syllable) is an unusual and hidden disorder which affects social and human interaction. It's as if the brain is literally wired differently to other peoples, so we think differently. Somebody with Aspergers will have very black and white thought processes and opinions, based on logic. Once you understand the reasoning behind the logic, it's easy to understand and predict.

Aspergers also affects each individual aspect of life: cognition, perception, sensation, planning, physical coordination, memory, and even moods.

At the present time, Asperger’s syndrome is considered to be an autistic spectrum disorder, a label which can bring about negative thoughts from people - but it's not a negative trait to have.

Aspergers and autism share some traits and characteristics. I won't focus on the other disorders on the spectrum. It can be unclear for most people where the line is drawn between Aspergers and autism, they hear the autism label and stick with that one as it's more well-known.

Aspies ... We're Bright and Normal. We Just Think Differently

People with Aspergers are often known as Aspies. It makes for an easier read, so I'll stick with that word where possible.

The most common differences between being an Aspie and having autism is that Aspies will often have a very high IQ and will have social problems. In fact, if you wanted to keep it very simple you could almost define it down to those two points.

I have a high IQ, yet when you ask me "How are you?" I don't know the answer. It's a hard question for an Aspie to answer. A typical Aspie answer would be to give you very detailed minutae over every aspect of their entire life to date in answer to the question. You can look disinterested, your eyes can glaze over, you might even try to change the subject, but the Aspie will plough on. You asked the question, now the Aspie is answering. These verbose replies are a major part of the problems experienced when trying to negotiate any social activities at all.

Keep checking back for the complete set, where I start to delve into Aspies at Work, at Home and in Love.

Thanks for reading.

Images: Autism Awareness Ribbon by BL1961


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    • profile image

      curious Karen 3 years ago

      Just trying to educate myself on what as per gers syndrome was. Found this very interesting.....

    • profile image

      Charlotte 6 years ago

      I always say "fine, and you?" I used to tell the truth about how I was doing but eventually I realized that's not such a good idea.

    • profile image

      Normal_Is_Overrated 6 years ago

      Being a female Aspie, I would probably say "fine" as it is social decorum, and I try to fit in. However my real answer would probably be "Why do you care?"

    • NateSean profile image

      NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

      I like it. I just obect to being called "normal". That's the "N-word" for me. ;)

    • eduscribe profile image

      eduscribe 6 years ago

      For me, asperger's is a truly unique state of being. Each individual is extremely unique in their behaviors and interactions. I can really relate to the "how are you" thing. I often just answer "fine" due to "training" myself by copying others, but my mind spins with every single sensation within my body and what I sense around me. It's not an emotional reaction - those seem to be random - it's more of a quick "study" of myself and my surroundings at the moment. How I am often depends on where I am. People often think I'm mean, blunt and rude (including my wife), but I'm really just processing information and deciding on the most efficacious way of responding or doing something. My LONG explanations, I have learned, also drive people crazy, but I can't seem to notice when I'm doing it! For me, the best thing about asperger's is that my senses are heightened. Colors are alive, almost edible. Landscapes look like paintings. Flowers are structural, sensual works of genius. Smells are the hardest for me. Certain smells will drive me out of a room. My poor, loving wife:-) It's so fascinating and fantastic to be alive! I'm also convinced that this is genetic. My oldest daughter lines things up obsessively, yet is "messy". She has trouble sleeping, as I do, is extremely intelligent and creative, extremely sensitive to smells, sights, sounds and tastes. I am an early childhood education specialist so I know that she is about 9 months advanced in her "pre-academic" skill sets and behind in her social skill development. She plays with other children because we have purposely exposed her to regular social interactions, but she tends to order them around and then, when they don't want to listen she plays alone. Even if she has a visitor at our house she will often ignore them and must be reminded that they're "here to play" with her. Oh - baby's up - gotta go!

    • profile image

      dengirl 7 years ago

      I suspect my husband is an Aspie. And one of the most annoying things that I encounter with him is when other people ask him "How are you?" AHHH!

      I would simply say that the best answer should always be "Fine, thank you." This answers the question and ends the awkward conversation. Never say... "Fine, and how are you?" Because this only prolongs the awkward small talk.

      Unless your mom, dad, sibling, best friend asks you "How are you?" Then it is OK to say whatever you would like! They will know you well enough to listen, understand or cut you off. :)

      Otherwise, my husband answers the question "How are you?" in several different ways. But his answers never fail to confuse the person that asked the question in the first place, causing strange awkward moments. This causes the person to attempt to clarify his answer, causing a long and unnecessary exchange - making "small talk" complicated and now it is "BIG talk."

      "How are you?"

      Husband "Indifferent" or

      "I am good for a (spend time figuring out which day of the week it is) .... Friday."

      Anyways, thanks for your article. Good read.

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      7 years ago

      Thanks for this; I will be having a look at your other articles. I was forty-five before I realised it would be polite if I asked people how they were, instead of them always asking me (and not listening to the answer).

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      Matthew 7 years ago

      expression is swept away by reading others :)

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      richard ludwig 7 years ago

      i often think i should really have pointed ears and green blood(think spock from star trek) because all i know is 100% logic and i do not use emotions at all plus i have diffculties processing other peoples emotions and body language. to me - everything is black+white - on or off - 1 or 0

    • It's just me profile image

      It's just me 8 years ago from Alaska

      Wonderfully written. I just tell people that my sons are very literal.

    • profile image

      Genesator 8 years ago

      I identify 100 percent with not being able to answer "how are you"

      Chances are, I would be dying to tell you something

      about word etymology or Vedic math. That is not an exaggeration.

    • Rik Ravado profile image

      Rik Ravado 8 years ago from England

      This an excellent intro to Aspergers. Very well written. Well Done. Incidentally I used to live in Dorset and still miss it.