List of Asperger Traits
It is very important to remember: No two people with Aspergers are the same—they all just share some traits.
If you are here because you suspect your loved one has AS, remember that the best thing you can do is arm yourself with information about the syndrome.
If you are here because someone tells you they have AS and you can't believe it, the best thing you can give them is belief. No one knows what a person goes through in their interior life.
I have taken these from various books and websites on AS. They are listed in no particular order. However I have arranged them in three categories: Personal/Physical; Social Interactions; In Relationships.
At the end of the page, I list the oft-overlooked POSITIVE TRAITS of Asperger's Syndrome.
Personal / Physical
- Repetitive routines or rituals
- Can engage in tasks (sometimes mudane ones) for hours and hours
- Flat, or blank expression much of the time
- Doesn't always recognize faces right away (even close loved ones)
- Strong sensitivity to sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell (e.g. fabrics—won’t wear certain things, fluorescent lights)
- Sensitivity to the texture of foods
- Eccentric personality
- Idiosyncratic attachment to inanimate objects
- Being "in their own world" / Preoccupied with their own agenda
- Highly gifted in one or more areas, e.g. math, music, etc
- Likes and dislikes can be very rigid
- Can spend hours in the library researching, loves learning and information
- May have difficulty staying in college despite a high level of intelligence
- Limited interests / Intense focus on one or two subjects
- Unusual preoccupations
- Collects things
- Clumsiness / Uncoordinated motor movements
- Speech and language peculiarities / hyperlexia (little professors) or, early in life may have a speech impediment
- Non-verbal communication problems: difficulty reading body language, facial expression and tone
- Word repetition (they may frequently repeat what you've just said)
- Excellent rote memory
FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE:
- Focus and diligence – The Asperger ability to focus on tasks for a long period of time without needing supervision or incentive is legendary.
- Internal motivation – as opposed to being motivated by praise, money, bills or acceptance. This ensures a job done with conscience, with personal pride.
- Independent, unique thinking – people with AS tend to spend a lot of time alone and will likely have developed their own unique thoughts as opposed to a ‘herd’ mentality.
- Higher fluid intelligence – scientists in Japan have recently discovered that AS children have a higher fluid intelligence than non-autistic children. Fluid intelligence is "the ability to find meaning in confusion and solve new problems. It is the ability to draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge.” (Wikipedia 2009) Experts say that those with AS have a higher than average general IQ as well.
- Visual, three-dimensional thinking – some with AS are very visual in their thought processes, which lends itself to countless useful and creative applications.
- Attention to detail – sometimes with painstaking perfection.
- Honesty – the value of being able to say “the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.”
- Logic over emotion – although people with AS are very emotional at times, we spend so much time ‘computing’ in our minds that we get quite good at it. We can be very logical in our approach to problem-solving.
- We Can often be distant physically and/or emotionally.
- Often are attracted to another purely because they are attracted to us
- Alternatively, we can be obsessive
- May have a hard time saying I love you, showing physical affection
- We can be very critical
- We takes things personally
- We can be very loyal to one person
- Often times we will make no motions to keep a friendships going
- We need to withdraw and have solitude
- Men in particular find emotions messy and unquantifiable; If partner tries to share her love for him, he may find her need to “connect” smothering
- Our attention is narrowly focused on our own interests
- Men with undiagnosed AS often feel as if their partner is being ungrateful or “bitchy” when she complains he is uncaring or never listens to her
- He can become quite defensive when she asks for clarification or a little sympathy. The defensiveness can turn into verbal abuse (usually not physical abuse) as the man attempts to control the communication to suit his view of the world.
- Desire for friendships and social contact but difficulty acquiring and maintaining them
- Shuts down in social situations
- Social withdrawal / may avoid social gatherings
- Lack of interest in other people
- Lack of empathy at times
- Difficulty understanding others’ feelings
- Can obsess about having friends to prove they’re “normal”
- Rigid social behavior due to an inability to spontaneously adapt to variations in social situations
- Has an urge to inform that can result in being blunt / insulting
- Preoccupied with their own agenda
- Great difficulty with small-talk and chatter