Aspergers Articles

Free Webinar: Asperger’s in Love: From Helplessly Confused to Head-Over-Heels

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Free Webinar: Asperger's in Love: From Helplessly Confused to Head-Over-HeelsLearn about the challenges of Aspergian relationships and find solutions with Alina Kislenko, an Aspie therapist who works with couples with at least one Aspergian partner.

People with Asperger’s (AS) experience several common issues in relationships, including lack of demonstrated empathy at expected times, trouble integrating with in-law friends and family, unique needs that can be difficult to communicate/meet, blunt honesty, and missed or over-adherence to relationship norms.

In love, Aspies are typically late bloomers and may find it difficult to connect in healthy ways to their romantic partners. This may show itself through controlling, anxious, OCD, depressed, or helpless behaviors as the person with Asperger’s tries to navigate their own and their partner’s needs. Luckily, Aspies in relationships can be the most loving, loyal, helpful, creative, and resilient partners.

Tune in to this free webinar to figure out how to move your Aspergian relationship from helplessly confused to delightfully satisfying and head-over-heels in love.

Why No One is Talking About the Possible Overdiagnosis of Autism

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Why No One is Talking About the Possible Overdiagnosis of AutismWith the latest CDC figures out, it appears autism is now appearing in about 1 in 68 children in the United States. The disorder — now officially known as autism spectrum disorder — is being diagnosed at a rate that represents a 30 percent increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.

What’s amazing to me is that I couldn’t find a single media report that floated the idea that this increase represents an overdiagnosis of the disorder. While “overdiagnosis” seems to be the first thing suggested when the topic is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’s (ADHD) huge jump in diagnoses over the past two decades, it’s not mentioned in any description of autism’s increase.

Why the double-standard?

Co-Parenting with a Partner on the Autism Spectrum

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Co-Parenting with a Partner on the Autism Spectrum

With as many as 1.5 million Americans having some form of autism, including milder variants such as what used to be called Asperger Syndrome, many of those on the autism spectrum are also parents. What are the challenges associated with co-parenting with an ‘Aspie’ partner?

When you have a family member on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, it can be the ordinary things that cause life to grind to a halt. Ordinary things, such as: getting enough sleep; asking your spouse to pick up a child from soccer practice; or having a little family chitchat at the dining table.

Sandy Hook: Administration Promises $100 Million in Mental Health Funding, But There’s a Few Problems

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Sandy Hook: Administration Promises $100 Million in Mental Health Funding, But There's a Few ProblemsFrom 2009 until 2013, states have cut more than $4.35 billion from mental health funding for treatment and related services for those most in need in America. Yes, you read that right — $4.35 billion. In tough times, states always turn to cutting social services first.

The message states seem to be sending is, “Hey, we know you’re already poor, so if we cut services to you, well, how much worse could your life be?”

So it comes as a relief — well, a little relief — that the White House announced the rejiggering of some budgets to free up $100 million in funding of mental health services to states.

Is this enough of a response — or even the right response — to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre?

Senator Roy Blunt: Would His Laws Really Help Mental Health?

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Senator Roy Blunt: Would His Laws Really Help Mental Health?Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri yesterday published an editorial in USA Today lamenting President Obama’s lack of movement on mental health legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

And while Senator’s Blunts concerns are perhaps well-intentioned, his invocation of Sandy Hook in relation to “mental health” is about as tenuous a connection one could make about two, largely unrelated subjects.

Because in his editorial, Senator Blunt glosses over one inconvenient fact — Sandy Hook’s perpetrator, Adam Lanza, had no diagnosed mental disorder, nor was he apparently ever seen by a mental health professional outside of school for specific learning-related issues.

Has Asperger’s Gone Away?

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Has Asperger's Gone Away? NoWith anything that changes, especially an important reference manual, people are going to be confused about what those changes actually mean. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

As we noted yesterday, the final revision was approved for publication. The DSM-5 is how clinicians and researchers diagnose mental disorders in the United States. A common language is especially important when conducting research, to ensure treatments are actually working for the symptoms people have.

One of the changes getting a lot of attention is the “doing away” of Asperger’s Syndrome. But to be clear — Asperger’s isn’t being dropped from the DSM-5. It’s simply being merged and renamed, to better reflect a consensus of our scientific knowledge on the disorder as one form of the new “autism spectrum disorder” diagnosis.

So while the term, “Asperger’s” is going away, the actual diagnosis — you know, the thing that actually matters — is not.

But you wouldn’t know it reading some of the mainstream media’s reporting on this concern.

An Early Start for Kids with Autism: 5 Tips for Parents

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

An Early Start for Kids with Autism: 5 Tips for ParentsChildren with autism are often remarkably unaware of the meaning of other people’s nonverbal communications.

It is not uncommon to see a young child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) who does not understand the “give me” gesture of an open hand or the meaning of a point. Your child may not understand the significance of an angry or sad face on another person.

Sometimes people interpret the child’s lack of interest or response to others’ expressions as a lack of cooperation, but children with ASD just don’t understand. How can you teach your child to pay attention to people and recognize what their body language means?

Here are three easy steps:

  • Step 1: Exaggerate your gestures.
  • Step 2: Add predictable steps.
  • Step 3: Provide needed help.

And here are five simple exercises you and your young child can do today to help with paying attention to people and better understanding body language.

Love Hormone Helps Kids With Autism

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Love Hormone Helps Kids With AutismThis guest article from YourTango was written by Frank Medlar.

Navigating social situations can be difficult for anyone, but for people on the autism spectrum, it’s not just difficult — it’s a minefield.

People with autism or Asperger’s don’t pick up on social clues that seem obvious to most people. There are unwritten social rules that they can’t fathom. Things blow up on them when they have no idea what they’ve done wrong.

To put it mildly, that’s stressful.

High anxiety is often the silent partner of people with autism, even those who are high-functioning. That anxiety can be paralyzing in social situations. Not just deer-in-the-headlights frozen, but full-on engulfed in fear. For people with autism, it compounds their already difficult challenges.

5 Tips for Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

5 Tips for Loving Someone with Aspergers SyndromeAll romantic relationships have challenges and require some work. Being in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s syndrome (AS) can create an additional challenge, according to psychologist Cindy Ariel, Ph.D, in her valuable book, Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.

That’s because you and your partner think and feel very differently, she says. And that leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding and miscommunication.

In her book, Ariel provides wise advice and practical exercises to help you improve your relationship and overcome common obstacles. (She suggests keeping a journal to record your responses.) Here are five ideas you might find helpful.

Benjamin Nugent Believes He Had Asperger Syndrome — According to His Mom

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Benjamin Nugent Believes He Had Asperger Syndrome -- According to His MomBenjamin Nugent believes he had Asperger’s Syndrome (a milder form of austim).

Who made this diagnosis? His mom.

His mom was so convinced that her then 17-year-old teenage son had this disorder, she put in him in an educational video about Asperger’s. Asperger’s is usually diagnosed in childhood or as a young teenager, and is characterized by a severe degree of social impairment, isolation, and what others might see as eccentric behavior.

While I commend Mr. Nugent for sharing his story with the world, I have to really question his understanding of how mental disorders are diagnosed by mental health clinicians.

Here’s his story…

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