Behind the Asperger Rumors, Myths and Misinterpretations

(Photo by The ShutterBabe/Flickr)

Asperger Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that is characterized by repetitive patterns of behavior, strained and difficult social interactions, and physical clumsiness. The cause of the disorder is unknown, although it is suggested that Asperger Syndrome has a genetic basis.

“Aspies,” as they are fondly referred to, are brilliant people who are considered somewhat “odd,” due to which individuals with the syndrome are often fallaciously discarded as nothing more than eccentric. Asperger Syndrome, due to its characteristic weakened mental and verbal strengths, is often misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed.

Behind the Asperger Rumors, Myths and Misinterpretations

Higher than Average IQ? Not everyone with this misunderstood condition is a genius. However, many with Asperger Syndrome have significantly enhanced intellectual gifts. Asperger Syndrome can be thought of as the “brilliant” leg of autism spectrum disorder, with individuals with other disorders typically having lower IQs (this, however, is a generalization, and each individual case is different) than those with Asperger’s.

Mechanical “Black-and-White” Thought Process? Most individuals with Asperger Syndrome lack the ability to understand nonverbal cues, figures of speech and unspoken rules of communication. They tend to focus solely on the words themselves, taking only their literal meaning into consideration. Their inability to perceive and comprehend non verbal communication causes causes significant hitches in social interaction.

Desire to Forge Friendships Without Understanding How to Make and Keep Them? Individuals with Asperger Syndrome do not shy of social interactions. It is not uncommon for them to approach people and engage in passionate monologues without being able to perceive that the listeners have lost interest or are bored with the rant. This leads to social exclusion, frustration, and loneliness, and sometimes manifests in the form of Asperger Syndrome people finding unique ways of attracting people.

Idioms are Hard to Interpret? People with Asperger Syndrome have difficulties understanding idioms—expressions whose meaning or intent differs from their face value. A person with Asperger’s fails to understand common, everyday expressions such as “get off my back,” “don’t hold your breath,” “put a lid on it,” “do you have the time?” and the like.

Sensory Overload? Individuals with Asperger Syndrome often have some their senses tuned up to feel an excess of sensory input signals, while others fail to register even the simplest of information. People with the disorder typically prefer sensory, kinesthetic and aural modes of learning and are often visually based learners (they understand best when taught with the aid of visual clues). Asperger Syndrome is considered a “multi-modal” disorder and multiple senses are activated simultaneously, due to which a multi-dimensional teaching methodology is most effective in maintaining a controllable balance of sensory signals and effective learning techniques.

On related note, I would like to recommend this video. It is a mother speaking about her son with autism. Her son was diagnosed with autism at two and a half years old. In the video, it is easy to feel her words, against your heart, when she says,

“When a child is diagnosed with a disability, there is a death thats occurred and it is a death of a dream, of how it is supposed to be.”

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