Adults with Asperger's tend to of never been diagnosed, my dad has many traits and in most peoples eyes he was always quiet and avoided family interactions. I on the other hand have pretty much every trait going and happily avoided family parties with my dad or when their was no other option I sat quietly in the corner with him waiting to go home.
There is a severe lack of support and understanding for children on the autism spectrum. Sadly there is even less supports for adults with Asperger's syndrome. Children are expected to be loud and outgoing, as are adults. At school I had no idea how to interact with others and unless it involved bikes or motorbike I largely spent my time alone in the playground. Fast-forward 20 years and I found solace in various nightclubs such as Progress and Hot 2 Trot. Some find it odd that a guy that hates socializing spent so many hours in hot sweaty clubs with music that vibrates your eyeballs. With regard to socializing, its not that I don't want to be there, I just don't know what to do or say. This weekend I attended a function and suffered from many problems which put a huge dampener on my weekend and the good state of mind that I've maintained for some time.
- The noise - The background noise of music being played, people talking (their must of been 60 different conversations going on at any one time), the buzz of the lights etc. In those nightclubs in my 20's their was one noise, the music, and it was loud enough to block everything else out.
- Smells - From perfume to fish, it all creates an assault on my senses. This wouldn't normally cause so much trouble but when added to the noise it just piled up the pressure.
- Conversation - Football chat, talk about absolutly nothing for 8 hours. I just don't know how to do s*** chat. Again I can normally cope with this but when added to the previous two issues it starts to add up.
- Finally and the worst of all - The looks from people that are obviously thinking "miserable *******" relax and enjoy yourself. I will, when I get home :)
So, the triad of imparements, social communication, social understanding and imagination.
People with Asperger's syndrome often are not socially motivated due to communication being so difficult, often we have few friends and choose to avoid socializing. I personally have difficulty chatting or choosing topics to talk about, have difficulty making eye contact and suffer massive anxiety.
We may have difficulties in group situations, such as finding small talk and chatting very difficult. We can take things very literally and have problems understanding double meanings in teasing, irony and sarcasm.
We can be creative (in some cases), its more about our difficulties with planning for the future, organizing sequencing tasks etc. Some people with Aspergers syndrome over-compensate for this by being extremely routine based. This reduces anxiety but can result in obsessions with rigid routines, and severe distress can arise if routines are disrupted.
Asperger's adults can have difficulty finding employment entering university due to a lack of interview skills and a failure to do well in personality tests. When we do get employed we are often misunderstood, taken advantage of, and be subject to bullying and discrimination. Communication deficits lead to a difficulty in interacting with work colleagues. Authority figures are often critical and this can cause great difficulties. For instance two of my previous bosses have been critical of my focus on a high degree of perfection. I cannot tolerate any shortcomings in other in task performance and when asked to cut corners and dumb things down I struggle. I lack the interpersonal skills to communicate with managers who see me as overly perfectionist, demanding and unable to create relationships with other staff. I personally feel detached from the world partly due to poor social skills. This social isolation leads to me and many other aspies being seen as the ‘black sheep’, both within the family and at work.