I’ve recently been reading your posts on Aspergers to help understand how to support my oldest son, and frankly to better understand my own personality as well. I suspect that I have Aspergers as well, and feel that this understanding could have saved me years of confusion, struggle, depression, guilt about my isolation/avoidance tendencies and life choices. 

Re: your recent education post about the dinosaur dig conversation when noticing another kid(s) on the dig had Aspergers, but the parent probably didn’t know. That gave me a zing — I connected with that — that you had this casual, shared observation with your son about Aspergers. (No big deal — it’s just what it is. Oh look, there it is.)

My questions: at what age did your son learn of his Aspergers? How did you tell him? What made you choose that timing/age to talk to him about it? Do you have any guidance to share on this?

The advice our pediatrician gave us, years ago (diagnosed PDD-NOS, sensory integration, mild/high functioning) was that he needs to stay immersed amongst “typicals” and to keep him engaged, to support him with his sensory integration with OT, but not to worry about the label. Not to identify with it. That labeling could cause more issues to the developing self esteem. But we were also told that as he got closer to middle school, he would probably exhibit more as Aspergers, and to re-evaluate then if it starts impacting his school life.

Well, sure enough… He is now eleven, becoming more self aware, and (outside of our home) his social skills are often awkward and off the mark. But as homeschoolers, and as a quiet home-body rural family, his Aspie stuff isn’t impacting us, nor his educational path. His siblings/family and dog are his close companions, but he only skims the surface with his homeschooling peers… No close pals. (he says he really wants a close friend, but he still really only ‘parallels’ with others outside of family.)

It should be noted that it was public school that was impacting his self esteem. It was disrupting our entire family life. As soon as we pulled out, after struggling for months about IEP issues, then we finally pulled out after a significant bullying episode (violence against our son), our lives as homeschoolers quickly became peaceful and interesting. We pulled out during his 1st grade year. We never looked back.

He doesn’t remember all the IEP/intervention/classroom assistant/social support stuff, plus the two years of private therapy. Quite frankly, I wish I didn’t remember half of it, it was overwhelming. I feel like a lot of it wasn’t even needed — like we were sucked into some huge early-intervention/diagnosis/insurance loop/IEP/public school funding machine. But we just never really talked about it.

Other than “everyone is different and unique and sometimes we need some extra support sometimes.” So, no. I’m not at all psyched about possibly re-evaluating or identifying him as autistic when his only real reference so far is a severely, low functioning autistic teen who is our neighbor, and who holds a soft spot in our hearts — but that is currently what “autistic” looks like to my son’s eyes.

The kids take other homeschool classes too (tennis, martial arts and violin), so they are out and about a few times each week. But I’m a major introvert, and I could stay at home for weeks and weeks and be happy as a clam. I have my kids, my husband, one good friend, my books — that’s all I need. But I know that my kids need more. Yet, I don’t value all the attempts at park days and co-ops, because they burn me out after just a few weeks — and I don’t see the benefit of putting up with all the crap involved for the little bit of social reward/balance that is gained.

Ultimately, I feel like our comfy cozy nesting days are coming to a close. My oldest is now a tween. He is realizing that he feels like a fish out of water more often than not. How do I start the conversation, referencing the more accurate Aspergers label, which isn’t even recognized anymore?

I’m 29. I’m pretty sure I have Aspergers and I’m pretty sure my mom does too… I was doing research because of the latter (my mom having it) before the first (me having it) slapped me hard across the face. Not that I’m upset by it. God no. In a way I’m thrilled to finally read about others with VERY similar quirks. I find myself suddenly obsessed with this aspect of my life.

My husband thinks there is no reason for me to get a confirmed diagnosis. He doesn’t mind my antics and what will it really “do” other than jack up our insurance premiums. I did take the Aspie Quiz and a few spectrum quizzes online and I had borderline scores. Should I just go to the doctor?

I love your posts about how to succeed in the work world as a woman with Asperger’s. Perhaps you could use your unique perspective to give non-asperger’s individuals some insight into how they should work with people that do have it? I think that for your socially adept readers that who have learned to recognize the signs of Asperger’s, it would be nice to have some concrete advice on how to interact with co-workers that seem to have it.

I am learning to adapt to my co-worker’s preferences (I believe he has Asperger’s) and am trying to be considerate, for example, by not making too much pointless small talk. More guidance as to how I should conduct myself would be just the kind of post I’d love to read! I feel like many of your posts detail how people with Asperger’s can learn to fit in the social world they live in – but how can I work to make it more comfortable and easier for them?

My boyfriend thinks that emotionally I am still a child, and I think he is right. I am needy and find it difficult to deal with disappointment or uncertainty. I manage fine with my degree (I’m in my final year and set to get a 2.1) but my personal life is difficult. I show some symptoms of Aspergers such as failure to read into what people say and do, failure to conform to social niceties such as small talk, and a dislike of change and certain physical sensations. However, not enough to get a diagnosis and I don’t think I actually have Aspergers.

I am in therapy and fired my last psychiatrist for being crap. While I get on better with my new one and think he’s actually helping, he is very busy and I can only see him once every fortnight. I’m officially in therapy for depression (now largely better), low self-esteem (still a problem) and paranoia (now better). It’s on the NHS and I can’t get another psychiatrist through my local service and can’t access university counselling because they won’t see me because I’m being seen my my local service.

How can I grow up emotionally?

I have talked with my therapist about the possibility that I might have Asperger’s Syndrome. She says she doesn’t think it interferes with my life enough to get a diagnosis.

Can you tell me what you think I should do to solve my problems?

My son has been found to be borderline at risk for Aspberger’s. He is very high functioning. I’m wondering if you had resources that you thought were better then others? Right now he’s lacking in pretend play and problem solving. He’s about to turn three. I am just starting to get to resources but feel the need to start helping him NOW. Not whenever everyone else gets around to it.

I’m a 26 year old guy with Autism. A friend of mine introduced me to your site and I have been enjoying your articles- Thank you.

In many social interactions I run into, I find myself asking the question: “Should I lie like everyone else, or should I be honest and truly help them…or in most cases hurt their feelings.” … Sometimes I get asked questions for advice by a friend or something and I really try to help them with the situation where instead of getting help…they are just wanting to share with me. I obviously miss this most of the time and I have gone so far as to say, “Well do you really want my honest opinion of this?” Anyway, I’m not sure if I asked a question in there or if you get what I’m trying to communicate. I would just like some help with this situation.

I read your blog all the time. I saw at one point that you mentioned you do career coaching but don’t really advertise it.

As I read your blog, I see in so many ways reflections of my wife, except for her extreme introversion. I was wondering if you’d be willing to potentially work with me to work with her (with the goal of eventually having her talk to you directly) because she’s reticent to seek this sort of help herself.

As a little additional background, she’s 29, an INTJ, possibly with undiagnosed Aspergers, though probably on the milder end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, though you seem to have navigated particular difficult parts of your life by having a friend or two to give you advice at crucial times, she has had so many failed interpersonal relationships (especially with medical professionals or so-called ‘experts’ whom she already knew more than) she has become nearly incapable of seeking or asking for help. She feels she has no practical skills and only chases after fairly un-challenging jobs that cater to neither her abilities, nor interests; eventually leaving her emotionally and psychologically drained.

If this sounds like something you are willing or able to help with, I’d love to hear back.