A Letter from the Aspies to the World

14 December 2011
Please understand that Asperger's Syndrome does not simply mean "anti-social". It's a lot more complicated than that, a form of high-functioning autism usually involving difficulties in social interaction and repetitive behaviour. Here are some things we'd like you to take into consideration when interacting with us - yes, we would like consideration, even if you sometimes feel you don't get it from us.

Please don't draw attention to my "stimming", or self stimulation. I might be fiddling with my tie, or the hem of my skirt; twirling a piece of paper in my fingers; or flicking my fingers near my eyes. I might not even be aware I'm doing it and if you ask me what I'm doing or why, I'll be embarrassed.

Please don't make jokes where you know it's a joke and I don't - otherwise known as pulling my leg and/or having me on. I often can't tell it's a joke. It doesn't mean I'm less intelligent than you, just that I can't judge your facial and verbal cues. But it is incredibly frustrating and upsetting for me.

About that "anti-social" thing. It's true that I usually prefer my own company. Often though I would like to talk to you, I'm just maybe not sure what about or how. You might not understand my interest in plane engine numbers, but I really don't get why you would care what I'm having for lunch, either. I like to talk, just not the small variety.

At the other end of the scale, please don't think I don't care about the really important stuff you've got going on in your life  (death in the family/divorce/lost job) because I haven't said anything. Often I really want to let you know I do care, but fear coming across the wrong way, so I remain silent. I know sometimes I have the capacity to make people feel worse, and I really don't want to do that to you.

Please don't think I'm avoiding eye contact because I'm rude, or not paying attention. It's just really hard for me. Anyway in a lot of cultures avoiding eye contact is a sign of respect, so think of it that way!

Please don't tell me to "get a life" if you find out I'm really into classifying rocks, or trainspotting, or whatever. This is my life. You don't get why I read Railway Digest, I don't get why you read New Weekly. (Kim Kardashian is a noted expert in extinct Indo-European languages, right?). Who's to say which set of interests are more valid? Except we all know, it's mine.


  1. Wonderful, thank you.

    My son was diagnosed with Asperger's a month ago.

    Things like this help a lot.

  2. Talk about Blythe dolls. People who don't love Blythe or Pullip dolls aren't worth talking to. Xx jacqui/gree___s


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