"I loved reading your analysis about what people need for coping. I learned a lot from your post about how to think about what I need and how to tell people.
"Also, I am always receiving emails from people who want to know how to succeed at work with Asperger's, and I think I will send them to your site -- I love the niche you've carved out for yourself."
- Penelope Trunk, Brazen Careerist founder, entrepreneur and fellow Aspie
Besides autism itself, people may have any of a variety of related disorders:
- Asperger Syndrome (AS)
- High-Functioning Autism (HFA)
- Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD)
- Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD)
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
Please keep in mind that not only do the various disorders have their own features and definitions, but also each individual is different. As the saying goes - once you've met one Aspie...you've met one Aspie.
That said, the autism spectrum is defined by several basic characteristics:
- Rigidity of thought and action. People on the spectrum have difficulty adjusting to change, especially on short notice and detailed understanding of the change.
- Difficulty in understanding and using communications that are not literal: euphemisms, figures of speech, sarcasm, understatements, tones of voice, gestures, body language and similar cues.
- Tendency to communicate in ways that appear blunt and abrupt to others.
- Pedantic forms of communication - "Little Professor": May launch discussions of esoteric topics, or unusual aspects of common topics (eg, the pattern of collection times at mailboxes throughout the city), often with little or no apparent recognition of the other person's lack of interest. May use arcane or specialized terms when simple ones will do. May appear to others to "split hairs" by focusing on obscure or (regarded by others as) unimportant points. May appear to others to be purely "showing off".
- Desire for solitude: Even though one may want to socialize and make friends, once an Aspie discovers (usually in childhood or early adolescence) that people tend not to like him/her - and on the other hand s/he doesn't understand why - the Aspie prefers being alone to being with people who confuse and even bully him/her.
Last updated: July 29, 2013