The O-fficial MrsJoseph!
Master September 2010

NWR: 2nd Bride- question about Aspergers

The O-fficial MrsJoseph!, on October 26, 2010 at 3:55 PM Posted in Community Conversations 0 10
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Could you tell me a little about Asperger's and how it works? I have a cousin (he's 33) who I'm not really close to but I'm very fond of. He is always doing things that just PO most people (hence the reason we're not close) like saying things that he KNOWS will tick them off. One great example is that he called me and told me he planned to wear white to my wedding since it was his birthday. When I told him I wasn't ok with that, he kept harping on the subject (calling, emailing, texting, etc) until I told him I didn’t care what he wore. Then he didn’t come to the wedding (no call no show)

My aunt (his mother) is always saying that the reason he does some of the things he does/says is because he has Asperger’s and it makes him say/do things that are inappropriate or annoying but he can’t help himself.

To be honest, I never accepted that as a good reason for his actions/comments because he hasn’t been like this for his whole life nor has he been officially diagnosed with anything.

10 Comments

  • V
    Dedicated January 2019
    Valerie ·

    I teach an Autistic boy. What Asperger's is, is a high functioning Autistic. what this is. they don't know how to connect with people, or form relationships. For the most part they need everything to be the same, go the same way. once there mind is set on something is is next to imposable to change it. They are someone with drawn and in there own little world most of the time. you can talk to them and they will act as if they cant hear you. I hope this helps you a little bit. There is a lot to it and cant all be said on here. Have you tried to Google it. I think that will help you a lot.

  • Kirsty
    VIP December 2010
    Kirsty ·

    I spent three years doing autism research, so I can only describe the "medical" side, rather than personal experience, but my understanding is that people with Asperger's dont deliberately do things they know are inappropriate or will annoy people, it's not being able to understand if something is socially inappropriate or would upset someone that's key. But as valerie said, it's also being set in patterns and routines, so maybe that's the point here, and he's set on white and can't get over his fixation despite knowing it upsets you.

    A friend of mine dated a guy with Aspergers for a year, and he learnt all of his social responses off my heart, like how to react or what to say, none of it was felt, and he had problems detecting subtleties in situations - like he would think someone had been rude because his learnt reaction was different rto how they acted, when he'd just not realised it was appropriate because it was slightly different circumsatnces.

  • J.S.
    Master June 2010
    J.S. ·

    We had a boy in scouts last year with autism. A typical characteristic is not viewing people as people. Like, when we are trying to get by someone, we say "Excuse me." Many people with autism, do not see a person as that, but as an object, and will just plow on by. Now, this year he's not in scouts bc over the summer, his parents had him doing intensive therapy to help work on his social skills and he's been doing well, so they don't want to break up his routine.

    I'm sure it's frustrating for you since he hasn't been diagnosed, and I don't think there is much you can do at this point since he's legally an adult.

  • Meghan
    Master August 2011
    Meghan ·

    Fh's son has Aspbergers. He does not do those things. The real proble here is that his mother is using his disease to make excuses for his behavior. Aspbergers can be assisted with medication, but it sounds like he isn't doing anything about it.

    His family needs to do something to help him with his disease- like get him actually diagnosed. It's not curable, but many patients improve significantly with therapy and medications.

  • Ab
    Master October 2011
    Ab ·

    All the above have good info..It can be frustrating to interact with someone with Asperger's.

    Also they have a really hard time with theory of mind /empathy (basically putting themselves in other people's shoes) and with social conventions. Your example of wanting to wear white to your wedding since its his birthday embodies this aspect perfectly..the routine thing llike the others mentioned is likely the reason for his response..One intervention is to make "social stories" these are done for both kids and adults..they are just like small articles that help explain social rules..it may be your cousin either doesn't understand or never grabbed onto the social significance of wearing white..perhaps if someone explains it to him, in a way that is not harsh or demeaning it could have some impact?? And it should be a detailed explanation too. I'm in grad school for psych, this isn't my specialty, but I have worked a bit with some kids with this disorder.

  • Ab
    Master October 2011
    Ab ·

    A good book if you are interested or his family members is "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" by Tony Attwood. also i'm sure you could google "social stories" Carol Gray created them. Good luck! :-)

  • Meghan
    Master August 2011
    Meghan ·

    One thing we do for FH's son is suggest other alternatives and try to get him to focus on those instead. Now, your situation and the wearing white is no longer an issue... but for example- We would say we thought his favorite color was blue and he should wear that to celebrate his birthday. Admittedly, FH's son is only 5- but it works pretty often. We have to get him fixated on something else, but distraction works.

    The real problem with Aspberger's/Autism is that it affects everyone completely differently. But he needs to be tested and continue medical treatment- and his family needs to stop making excuses for his behavior because they are only encouraging it.

  • The O-fficial MrsJoseph!
    Master September 2010
    The O-fficial MrsJoseph! ·

    Well, I explained to him why he wasn't to wear white. I explained to him social convention and the fact he would look like the groom in a lot of photos. He just didn't seem to care.

    When my aunt talked to me about it she said it was his Asperger's and that she's told him before to stop doing things to annoy people but his condition makes him continue. BUT she has never had him tested for it and now he's 33 living with his father on the other side of the country than her.

  • TriSARAtops
    VIP June 2011
    TriSARAtops ·

    As a sister to a brother with Asperger's (and an education major who has taken countless special ed classes) I have to wholeheartedly agree with basically all of the other ladies who have posted to help you.

    While I do not know your cousin personally (obviously) it does not sound like he has Asperger's. In fact, it sounds like your aunt is making excuses for some rude behavior. Asperger's doesn't manifest in the ways you mentioned. Yes, sometimes (OK, more than just SOME times... a lot of times) people with Asperger's do rude things but it's hardly ever on purpose, it's because they are simply socially awkward. For example, if my brother is doing something that comes across as rude, we just have to mention it to him (and tell him why it's rude since he's a very logically thinking kid) and the behavior stops. He realizes that he doesn't want to come across as rude but he needs help with social cues.

    Mrs J. - if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to PM me!

  • 2d Bride
    Master October 2009
    2d Bride ·

    Sorry I missed this before! I'm with the others. Someone with Asperger's tends to miss social cues altogether, and thus can be annoying without knowing it. However, by the same token, someone with Asperger's tends not to be deliberately annoying. In order to be deliberately annoying, you have to know what would be annoying, which is precisely what someone with Asperger's does not know.

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