job-question-woman-typing-laptop-computerAsperger’s is a curious syndrome, showing itself differently between individuals. One person may exhibit repetitive speech and one-sided conversations, while another will have challenges with nonverbal communication and have awkward mannerisms. Others may not engage appropriately in social interactions, may appear self-centered, lack empathy, or be obsessed with a particular topic. A person with AS will not usually show delays in language or cognitive development, and this is what sets it apart from autism.

There is heartfelt discussion of the impact of diagnosis in the AS blogosphere. The American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic reference book, the DSM, added Asperger Syndrome to its fourth edition in 1994. In the fifth edition, AS was removed and categorized under Autism Spectrum Disorder. This caused a commotion among the Asperger’s community, many of whom fought to get a diagnosis in the first place.

The blogs here provide a stimulating, albeit mixed, reflection on the business of being labeled. There is commentary from the parents of AS children and accounts from “Aspies” themselves, who tell so frankly of their frustrations and triumphs.

  1. Penelope Trunk: Advice at the intersection of work and life is written by a career-oriented, home-schooling entrepreneur who has Asperger’s. Not only does Trunk have Asperger’s, but her ex-husband, son, and father have it, plus other people in her family. Although the central theme of the blog is not Asperger’s, there are specific posts relating to how it affects her life. And of course, Asperger’s is her frame of reference. Particularly interesting are her comments about the gender differences in levels of functioning.
  2. Life with Aspergers is written by a man called Gavin, who received his diagnosis only after realized he shared symptoms with his 6-year old son. His younger son has high-functioning autism. Gavin tries to focus on the positive aspects of Asperger’s. There’s an interesting analysis of how it affects people in different stages of their lives, and the impact of labeling.
  3. Confessions of an Aspergers Mom is an endearingly honest account of family life with autism. Author Karen does not sugarcoat any of the sometimes bitter realities which crop up as she navigates through her sons’ autism and Asperger’s. The site is beautifully presented and features some emotive poetry.
  4. Aspergian Gal is a challenging read. There’s some deeply thought-provoking fodder on the nature of religion and its relationship to Aspergers. The writer also dispels 67 “myths” about the condition which, again, will make you stop and reconsider what you thought you knew. Forcefully written, this blog will make you sit up and question. Its links and resources are worth checking out.
  5. Asperger Journeys is written by Rachel, a lady who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of 50, then later Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). The clean design of the blog makes for easy reading. Her discussion of sensory functioning and experiences with health professionals is insightful, while the personal accounts of dealing with common hurdles of Asperger’s are fascinating.
  6. Thoughts of an Introverted Matriarch is the reflective blog of Shawna, a stay-at-home mom with Asperger’s. She writes about her atypical family and the impact of Asperger’s and seasonal depression has on her life and household. Strength of character and her original viewpoints give substance to this blog. There are also lots of worthwhile tips, such as firsthand perspectives on using mindfulness.
  7. AStrangerInGodzone is a philosophical blog on life with Asperger’s and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. While many blogs are from the perspective of parenting a child who has Asperger’s, this has an emotive post on how her mother parented her, one which most likely will bring a tear to your eye. The writer knew she was different from a young age, but at that time diagnoses weren’t commonplace. Her wisdom and humility help make this blog an excellent read.
  8. A 30-something lady pens Letters From Aspergia, a blog which is wry and poignant in equal measure. You can empathize with her as she explores her place in the world, observing, commenting, and experiencing. She is carving out a space to break away from the stereotypes of having Asperger’s. Whether you are on the spectrum, or know people who are, it’s a useful resource. Some of the most interesting posts are about the process and outcome of getting a diagnosis.
  9. Looking for Blue Sky is the work of a single mom who parents three children. Her 12-year-old boy has Asperger’s. The blog is an earnest account of how it is to parent children with Asperger’s. There are poignant accounts of struggles and victories at certain milestones. She also writes regularly “Reasons to be Cheerful” which is a quick, upbeat read. It’s the honesty of this blog which will have you bookmarking it.
  10. Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) Blog is the collaborative effort of professionals, family members, and AANE staff and volunteers. There’s an engaging use of infographics and other visuals to pique your interest. Pertinent topics surrounding Asperger’s and autism are discussed from the perspective of professionals and others affected personally. This makes for a varied style and plenty of timely, relevant posts. Numerous tips and strategies are discussed, which can be of great use for people with Asperger’s and their families.

New for 2016, please check out Psych Central’s Divergent Thinkers: Asperger’s, NLD & More blog!