References for the Asperger's Adult
Adults with Asperger's Syndrome, and those who live with them, are often at a loss for help with their condition. Most references to Aspergers are aimed at children and their caretakers. Aspie kids grow up, and need information about jobs and relationships and being parents.
In this lens, I will be providing links to many resources for Asperger's adults and those who love them. These will be a combination of books, websites, and other references. Most are written for the adult Aspies themselves, though some are written for their romantic partners. If you have a favorite reference I've left out, please let me know in the Comments section at the bottom of this lens.
I Have Aspergers, too
I come from an Aspie family. Though nobody in my generation or older (except me) has an official diagnosis, I can see strong AS traits in my family of birth. I learned about Aspergers in learning about my kids — they don't have AS, but I saw myself in every book. Years later, both I and my former husband were found to have Aspergers.
None of us looks odd or acts terribly weird ... we have a very mild form of AS, as do many people.
More Common Than You Think
It's estimated that at least 1% of all people have some level of autism, from very mild to disabling. You probably know someone on the spectrum.
Do You Know Any Asperger's Adults?
Aspie-Speak: Some Basic Terms
There are some terms and abbreviations that come up frequently in discussions of Aspergers. As I'll be using the terms here, I'm providing a few definitions.
- Aspergers, Aspie, AS are all terms for a person with Aspergers Syndrome. Aspergers is a mild form of autism. People with AS can function in general society, but often have notable weak areas in social understanding.
- Autism, ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) has two meanings. First, it defines the disabling end of the Asperger's-autism spectrum, where people with autism can't live independently. Secong, the term is used to cover the entire range of conditions on the autistic spectrum (there are several different conditions)
- Neurotypical, NT This term is often used by Aspies to mean someone who is not on the autism spectrum.
- ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, The Spectrum Autism is a condition that can range from very mild to completely disabling. This range is referred to as the Autism Spectrum, or the Spectrum for short. Aspergers is on the mild end of the Spectrum.
- HFA, High functioning Autism This term is often used to describe people who have fairly severe Aspergers, or mild autism. People with HFA have more trouble fitting into the NT world, but can often become successful with help and understanding.
"If you've seen one person with Aspergers ... you've seen one person with Aspergers."
Because it is a spectrum condition, each individual with Asperger's Syndrome is a bit different, with different weak areas and strengths. You can't generalize about all Aspies -- we are all different.
Basic Books on Aspergers
These books are classic reference books on Aspergers, and biographies that are an excellent introduction to Aspergers. Though they focus on children, the information provides a good grounding in what Aspergers is, and how it affects individuals.
Tony Atwood was one of the early researchers in Aspergers. He has many books on Aspergers. This is a recent one, and an excellent introduction.
Temple Grandin is a woman with HFA who has done very well in her chosen career. She and also writes and talks about her life experiences, and ASD in general.
This was written by a mildly Aspie mom with an Aspie daughter, and combines scholarly work with personal stories. I have not read this yet, but the author is highly regarded and it's on my reading list.
Most books about Asperger's focus on children.There are several reasons why:
- Aspergers is a fairly new diagnosis, and adults are rarely diagnosed;
- Teaching Aspies to manage their condition works better in children than adults;
- Children are cute. Though this sounds trite, we tend to focus on cute things/people more than the less cute.
Books About Adult Aspergers
This book is aimed at professionals helping Aspie adults. But that shouldn't stop you from reading this ... and many Aspies are in professions helping others with Aspergers.
From the same series as the above book, this focuses on employment. Though Aspies are fully capable of holding rather advanced jobs, we sometimes have special challenges related to getting ot keeping jobs.
"Aspies have no empathy."
Not quite true ... while people with AS don't always understand the inner workings of other people, some Aspies have so much empathy it overwhelms them and they shut down. The seem cold and uncaring only because they don't know how to handle their emotions.
Aspergers in Love
People with Aspergers are perfectly capable of falling in love, marrying, and forming a family. But Aspergers can cause some problems, if either or both partners don't understand how it affects things.
The best way to make an Aspie marriage work is to find a relationship counselor skilled in ASD issues. These counselors are rare, so reading a book is often the best alternative. Here are two books to get you started.
Books About Aspies in Relationships
Myth: Aspergers is a male condition
Women can have AS too, but the textbook presentation is based on boys and men. Women with AS tend to care more about other people, and are more concerned with developing social skills.
Websites Helpful to Adults with Aspergers
This is a list of websites that are primarily reference material, or are links to organizations that are useful to adults with Aspergers or their partners. For more personal information, see the list of blogs below.
If you have any links you'd like me to add, please add them to the Comments section at the bottom of the page. I'll add them to this list.
- ASPIRES Home Page
Aspires is a combination of a reference clearinghouse and an active e-mail list. The reference information includes book reviews, article links and other writings on all facets of Aspergers. The e-mail list focuses mostly on relationships, and is abo
- Asperger's Association of New England - AANE
"AANE: Asperger's Association of New England is a non-profit working to support people with Aspergers Syndrome. AANE's mission is to foster awareness, respect, acceptance, and support for individuals with AS and related conditions and their families.
Aspergers Emergency Card - We don't all need one ...
Some Aspies have problems following orders from an authority figure, especially in a crisis. To help them, I created this card, available at Zazzle.com
The front side (pictured) is customizable to include the Aspie's information: a photo, name, contact info, and room for any special notes. The back has some general rules for the authority (police, paramedic, etc.) that will help the interaction go smoothly.
The card folds to easily fit in a wallet.
Not all Aspies need this card (I get super-capable in an emergency), but if you know someone who shuts down or gets into a rage in a crisis, talk to them about getting a card.
The following blogs are personal stories about Aspergers and adults, from many different viewpoints. While there will be some reference material here, the main focus is on personal experiences or non-professional advice.
If you have another blog you want me to add, please tell me in the Comments section below.
- Aspie Parent at Polymath Solution
"...it is full of advice and random commentary for parents of children, teens and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, Aspies who have children, and various relationship issues faced by people with Aspergers. I’m no professional, but I do have a lot of p
- Asperger's Syndrome and Autism Spectrum DVDs, Videos and Resources | Coulter Video
Dan Coulter is a video producer who discovered he was Aspie after his son was diagnosed. In addition to his films, he writes excellent articles about Aspergers, his own, his son's, and in general.
Did you learn anything here? Have something to share? Want to tell me about a great book, website or other resource. Please share!
All comments are reviewed before approval. To prevent spam, html will be removed. If you have a link, give me the name of the site, and I'll look it up myself.