Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is NOT all about being defective, abnormal or impaired. It’s about having differences. Adults with ASD have an alternate way of seeing things and their solutions to life’s challenges are distinctive, not wrong.
Here is a list of positive traits that are characteristic of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- They are usually loyal and dependable. Competing to get ahead is less important than solving problems and meeting challenges. Conscientiousness, faithfulness and devotion to duty matter more than ambition, especially if that ambition would cause others to suffer.
- Adults with Autism pursue ideas they believe in without being deterred by what others say. They are not easily swayed by others’ opinions, nor to they give up because someone tries to convince them otherwise.
- They are good at recognizing patterns and in classifying things. They are comfortable with order, precision and categorization, which make them successful in following rules, allocating resources and solving problems.
- They tend to be sincere, positive and genuine, which make them loyal and dependable friends.
- Speaking their minds regardless of the social context is true of many adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They are much more interested in someone’s skills and expertise than whether that person is viewed favorably by others.
- Adults with ASD are especially good at noting and recalling details. They are helpful at work that requires knowledge of facts, details, and memory. They are often exceptional at the recall of details forgotten or disregarded by others. They have a passion for gathering and cataloging information on a topic of interest.
- An acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, including touch, vision, and smell is common and having such unusual sensory experiences gives them a different perspective on the world.
- Adults with ASD tend to be trusting of others, even charmingly naïve. They are compassionate and caring, and many maintain the belief in the possibility of positive relationships.
- They are often direct, speak their mind and are honest. Many have a strong sense of social justice.
- Because they don’t mind being alone, they are often willing to engage in solitary work that others avoid, which puts them in the position of making tremendous contributions at work and school.
- They are able to comprehend multiple levels of meanings of words and ideas and can form connections that others miss.
- They are persistent, and when they set their minds to something or make a promise they can usually be trusted to follow through.
- Relationships with someone who has ASD tends to be free from bias and discrimination based on race, gender, age or other differences. They judge people based on their behavior not the color of their skin, socioeconomic status or political influence.
- They are not inclined to be bullies, con artists or social manipulators.
Adults with ASD, are a varied group of people, on the whole bright, funny, articulate, caring, logical, honest, persistent, and hard-working, who happen to think and behave a bit differently.
They are an adaptable collection of individuals who have found ways to survive in a world that expects different conduct, values and demeanor. They have found niches, support systems, compensatory ways of behaving and communities of like-minded individuals who value them for their special gifts. They have also found ways to accommodate to the broader society’s expectations.
Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder are, in many ways, models for what can be accomplished without having the normal blueprint for success. After all, it’s not who you are that matters but what you’re willing to do.
As Will Rogers wrote:
If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.
Hi Dr Kenneth
This is Sylvia Tse from Hong Kong. I read your website with great interest. I feel deeply and emotionally related to what you described about asperger in adult. Not many people can understand my feelings and i feel an outlier to this world.
I have been trying to get a proper diagnosis but couldn’t find one for adult in Hong Kong. I wonder, and will be very happy if you offer diagnosis through skype or webex etc.
Thanks a lot. Look forward to your reply.
Have a nice day.
Dear Ms. Tse:
I’m sorry not have responded earlier. I am willing to consider consulting with you over skype or webex. My fee is $160 per 50 minute session. Let me know if you would like to proceed.
Kenneth Roberson, Ph.D.
I have a young friend that I have sort of adopted over the past 5 years. She has always been very hard to deal with and I have had to work to try to teach her what is and is not acceptable in social settings….as well as in private settings. It was only recently, after meeting with an old friend who’s son has Aspbergers that I finally understood what was going on. This young lady has Asperger’s Syndrome. She is just never been diagnosed. Her parents wouldn’t ever bother to look into it as they have no interest in her life. I have been researching and trying to find ways of helping her navigate the pitfalls of life and want to help her learn more about this syndrome. I realize I am not a doctor or psychologist and have no training. But I do know people. When I saw this article, I was thrilled. I am of the same thought you are. With Aspergers comes fall backs. But with it…..comes some true strengths. I have always been so impressed by her drive and her faithfulness. She is always true to her word. If she has the proper understanding and training? She will go far. I would like some advice on how to broach the subject with her and do it in a way that high lights the strengths. She will be leaving for boot camp in early June and I want her to go in fully aware of herself. Fully aware of what makes her unique. But I want to do it in a positive and encouraging way. Any advice??
this fits me too a tee , does this condition have a cure? it sucks.
its not really a disorder. I’ve noticed people with aspergers are particulerly creative thx to there alternate way of processing information. I also have reason to believe we make much better lovers do to our sensitivity in emotions and feel. Embrace your differences, and play to your strengths. Not everyone is as lucky as you 😉
As a psychotherapist who works with individuals with Aspergers and Nonverbal Learning Disorder, a similar but slightly different neurological condition that involves specific strengths in verbal skills and deficits in visual spatial functioning, I wonder if the same strengths apply? I would like to hear what you think Dr. Roberson? Thank you.
Benjamin Meyer, LCSW
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