- ” Have difficulty seeing another person’s perspective”
- “Have difficulty getting the gestalt or big picture of a situation”
- “Talk aloud to self in public situations”
- “Appear to have some difficulty grasping the main idea”
- May not be connecting idea to idea from conversation”
- “Appear to understand basic sentence structure but may have more difficulty with more complex sentences that contain embedded and subordinate clauses”
- “Have difficulty understanding that other people have unique thoughts, ideas, and personal motivation”
- “Appear very egocentric in terms of concern for others, their feelings, their needs”
- “Utilize, on occasion, (……) aggression, passivity, pacing, self stimulation, self abusive behavior, or echolalia”
- “Lie with the intent of getting people to leave him or her alone”
-and so on.
Limitations in social and emotional intelligence
Indiana Resource Center for Autism (https://www.indiana.edu/) presented a competent list that can assist NT spouses to describe their AS-partner’s numerous limitations in social and emotional intelligence.
In an article on Social Communication and Language characteristics associated with High Functioning individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) the Resource Center lists 64 typical characteristics on social communications deficits.
Some of the 64 characteristics of the limited social and emotional intelligence are subtle, others not so subtle. The vast majority of the limitations are familiar to neurotypical spouses living in long term relationship with an Asperger/ High functioning Autism partner. Yet it is hard for NT-spouses to convince others of the ASD spouse’s social and emotional disabilities.
This is due to several factors. First, individuals with Asperger/ high functioning autism are good at roleplaying, masking and imitation when outside the home. But behind closed doors at home the high functioning ASD-individual is in his /her comfort zone; therefore only NT-spouse and children become full-scale witnesses – and objects – of the autistic conduct. When the NT-spouse tries to tell others about the traumatic situation, she/he is often met with disbelief.
Second, public and professional insight into the realities of NT-AS relationsships is limited. It is still a taboo to speak out about the detrimental characteristics; many NT spouses report being stalked when they tried to get support and help on the traumatic condition behind the closed doors of the home. Professionals may have difficulty understanding the realities as individuals with Asperger’s autism may fake it in diagnostic tests. (1)
A good check-list for NT spouses
We would like to stress that the purpose of the article published by Indiana Resource Center for Autism “is to assist others in recognizing and understanding the subtle and not so subtle problems that do occur” regarding individuals with Asperger’s syndrome /high functioning autism.
The 64 listed characteristics can serve as a significant check-list for NT spouses when consulting doctors, health care staff, lawyers, social workers, bankers, school, workplace, family, friends, therapist.
NB: To read the full article with the 64 characteristics – copy this link into your browser:
(1) Individuals with Aspergers Autism may fake it in diagnostic tests