Xanthippa on Aspergers

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21/01/2010 - Posted by | Humour | ,

1 Comment »

  1. I have a friend who is Asperbergs, and he constantly contradicts himself when it comes to his feelings and statements that he makes about things he is going to do. I’m trying to figure out if this is an Aspie trait or something else. Any thoughts?

    Xanthippa says:

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t know. There are such variations in how Aspergers affects individual people that it is impossible to tell just from a short description what is going on.

    However, it is entirely possible that this is related: because of some of our shortcomings, it is sometimes difficult for Aspies to achieve what they had set out to do.

    For various reasons: inability to focus, or unable to break the big task into component pieces, or not estimating the time/effort required so things fall apart and so on.

    Let me give you an example of how the ADD (and ADD must be present for a diagnosis of Aspergers: that is, every Aspie has ADD but not everyone with ADD is an Aspie) and Aspieness has affected my two Aspie sons – in exactly opposite directions!!!

    The older one cannot stand the anticipation of waiting for an unpleasant task to start. Obsessively so. If, while he was 3-5 years old, you were to tell him that in 5 minutes, we’ll start brushing his teeth or some other task he disliked, those 5 minutes would be a torturous agony for him. He would much rather do it right away and get it out of his way than have to wait.

    The younger one cannot stand having things ‘sprung’ on him – he needs a notification that this will happen in such a time. For him, saying let’s go get an ice-cream (he still loves ice-cream!) now would inevitably resul in a rejection – but if you say hey, in 5 minutes, we’ll go get ice-cream, he’d love it. Because now, it was not ‘sprung’ on him and he had time to mentally work it into ‘his sequence of events to come’ – his ‘plan’. Even really unpleasant tasks, like his household chores now (he is 13), I have little trouble getting him to do if we schedule it and especially if he has some flexibility and say in the scheduling. It works best if I phrase it like: ‘inside the next 30 minutes, I’d like you to run the dishwaser’, I get the best results (especially if I say things like ’10 minutes left!’ – he’ll happily do them without grumbling.

    Now, co-ordinating things with both boys – one of whom cannot stand anticipation and the other one who cannot do without it – a bit of a juggling act. But both were natural tendencies brought to a bit of an extreme by the Aspieness factor – so both effects are Asperger’s related.

    I hope this illustration helps you understand your friend!

    Comment by Louise | 23/08/2012 | Reply

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