Asperger's Traits

Unsure whether or not you might be an Aspie? Although people on the spectrum are individual and differ in their traits, there are some general common difficulties. Below are listed some areas where Aspies may experience difficulties, and if you feel that they describe you in part or fully, you can take an online test to see if you are likely to be an Aspie, before seeking a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. Not all traits cause problems however, and you might share some of the hidden traits which can be developed and when understood can help you know yourself (or your aspie child) and learn how to relate with the world.

Communication difficulties

Aspies can be very articulate and not even aware that they have Asperger's, They often have a high level of vocabulary and formal speech patterns. They can be overly precise in what they say, state opinions as fact and disagree over minor details. For Aspies, accuracy can be very important.They take comments literally, often misunderstanding jokes or colloquial expressions, and have diffîculty understanding the unwritten rules of conversation. They say exactly what they mean and don't pick up on indirect comments or implicit double meanings.

Relationship difficulties

Aspies usually want to develop relationships and be included in society, but are hampered by their communication difficulties. They often don`t look at people`s eyes, making it difficult to notice or read facial expressions. They often remain unaware that they have said something inappropriate and will carry on talking when the other person is annoyed or not interested. They can also disagree vehemently, as they don`t understand that people might be upset by such disagreement.

Lack of imagination and creative play

Aspies may lack imagination and find creative play or thinking in the abstract very difficult, as their brains process information differently. They are particularly good at learning facts and figures and may have extraordinary powers of concentration or memory. They are more prone to developing obsessional interests and will talk about them incessantly to the exclusion of all else. Often Aspies want to know everything about their chosen topic of interest and become expert in their field.

Routines and systems

Some Aspies need stable systems and patterns; they can become extremely anxious if their routine is disturbed. Like most Aspie characteristics, this isn't true of everybody and a lot of Aspies love travelling, finding it easy to adapt to the change of routìne.

Sensory sensitivity

Some Aspies experience sensory overload and can be very sensitive to noise or light, They often don’t like being touched and will buy clothes on their feel, not their looks. Working in loud, crowded places would be unpleasant for a lot of Aspies. However, in the right environment - quiet, with no flickering lights - they are capable of working alone for long periods of time. Although many Aspies can make eye contact when listening, most cannot look at people's eyes while talking.

Lack of eye contact

Although not part of an official diagnosis, Aspies also have difficulty in maintaining eye contact and lying. With eye contact, the problem is very specific, in that when an NT is speaking the Aspie can look into their eyes. However, because of the brain being rewired, when the Aspie speaks, he or she cannot look at someone's eyes. There has been some research into why this is the case which suggests brain activity in the amygdala (a brain region associated with negative feelings) was much higher for autistics than NeuroTypicals. The results also indicate that a brain area associated with face perception, known as the fusiform region, is fundamentally normal in autistic children, but this might be because the over-aroused amygdala makes an Aspie want to look away from faces. Additionally, when Aspies avert their gaze away from the eye region of a face, activity in the amygdala is reduced, suggesting that the gaze aversion is serving a functional purpose.

Always telling the truth

Or rather, not being able to tell lies. This is probably the one trait that cannot be understood by NeuroTypicals who incorrectly assume it is a choice. We live in an NT world where, paradoxically, trust is built upon the notion that everyone lies. Everyone operates under the assumption that everyone else is not only capable of lying, but that it is necessary. This creates a framework where severity of lies, and the circumstances for which they operate, is something that is understood by all non-Aspies. This creates a problem in that Aspies often have difficulties detecting lies, especially the subtle nuances, thus leaving them with no reference as to how to respond. Additionally, everything an Aspie says is parsed through an NT belief that everyone lies. This results in NTs misunderstanding 'motives' behind what an Aspie says (as there are none) and responding, from an Aspie's perspective, irrationally. This then causes the typical Aspie response to react vigourously to the unswervable NT claim that the Aspie has lied, thus compounding the NT belief (as this is how a liar would respond when caught out).