I am a police supervisor and I have an officer that I truly believe has Asperger’s. I also have a nephew that my wife and I strongly believe has Asperger’s. The problem is: neither my officer nor our brother/sister-in-law will admit nor knows that Asperger’s is the likely issue in their lives.
With my officer, who is young and new to the job, at first his behavior was just annoying. I want so badly to yank him up and ask him “What are you doing?”, but reflecting on it for a second leads me to see that he’s doing the RIGHT things, it’s just the way he goes about them.
Example: Every call that goes out, he has to respond to. Even with the presence of the beat officer, Matt will take over and apply his own problem solving to resolve the issue. On the one hand, many people wouldn’t mind at all if someone else stepped in and took over their problems, but it seems as if he thinks he’s needed everywhere to solve the problems that we all have to deal with, but his is the only “right” way and if he doesn’t take care of it, it won’t get taken care of the right way.
I, as the supervisor, usually direct the troops to take certain actions at a scene and I will look into specific information or details to determine further actions that we as a squad or the department as a whole will take to resolve the situation. If I radio that I’m going to go talk to a certain person or look into a certain thing, Matt has to beat me there and do his own looking into or talk to the person I need to talk to.
Is it WRONG? No. Is it inappropriate? Kind of. Is it NOT what I wanted to happen? Yes. Do I have specific reasons for wanting Matt to maintain or continue on the path that I’ve set him on (stay here, watch that) while I go and investigate further? Yes. I have specific questions and information for the people I intend to talk to that Matt hasn’t considered and doesn’t have the experience or knowledge to know to ask or know what to do with the info when he gets it.
I can’t outright say, “Matt, you have a personality/emotional disorder”, and I can’t deal with him in his present state, and I most certainly can’t deal with him the way I WANT to deal with him. His typical response to criticism is to shut down, tell others that “Sarge doesn’t want me to (do whatever I criticized him for)”, and then he manufactures an emergency to have to leave without dealing with the problem.
I really like your examples and your perspective and I really need some advice on effectively dealing with this instead of chopping his head off (figuratively) and rendering an officer with good intentions and ability ineffective.
Can you help?