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Coping with Adult Aspie Issues

written by: Debbie Roome • edited by: Linda Richter • updated: 12/24/2010

Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome are confronted with a number of issues on a daily basis. These can cause difficulties but there are ways they can learn to cope with their problems.

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    Work Issues Faced by Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome

    Adult aspie issues often arise at work, and the person may be unsure how to handle them. A common question is whether they should tell colleagues and employers of their condition. There are positives and negatives to both answers as some employers may be ignorant of Asperger’s syndrome and subsequently biased against the person.

    On the other hand, colleagues and bosses will be able to make allowances where necessary when they understand what is involved with Asperger’s syndrome. Jobs with routine and structure suit adult aspies best and they will function better in a quiet space. Crowded offices with telephones ringing and people talking will tend to stress adult aspies.

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    Social Issues Faced by Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome

    Establishing friendships is a lifelong problem for most people with Asperger’s syndrome. Their narrowly focused interests, pedantic style of speech, and lack of appropriate body language are off-putting; many lead lonely lives.

    It is never too late for adult aspie issues to be addressed, and training and therapy can help an adult to learn social skills. These include showing interest in others, allowing for two-sided conversations, and making eye contact.

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    Daily Issues Faced by Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome

    People with Asperger’s syndrome struggle with many daily activities that the rest of the population find manageable. These problems include shopping in crowded malls, looking after children and babies, and dressing appropriately.

    Aspies generally have a low tolerance level for crowds and the accompanying noises and physical contact. Shopping malls and supermarkets can cause sensory overload and may be extremely stressful for the person. This can be overcome by shopping late at night or early morning when the mall is quiet. Alternatively, the aspie could pay a teenager to shop for them or order their groceries online.

    If a person with Asperger’s syndrome has children, they may find it hard to cope with the noise and mess that goes along with babies. This is especially so when the mother is the affected one. While diaper changing and feeding are ongoing needs, the person must realize it is acceptable to ask for assistance. Church groups and other institutions may be helpful when approached and can make life easier in the early days of child care. It is important for the adult aspie to acknowledge their limits without condemning themselves. The old saying, It takes a village to raise a child, is worth remembering in these times.

    Fashion sense is often lacking in adult aspies and they may prefer comfort to style. In order for them to fit better in society, it is important that they pay attention to the way they dress. They can do this by asking a friend to go shopping with them and help them find comfortable, fashionable clothes that suit them. Another solution is to look through a clothing catalogue and cut out pictures of clothing they like. They can then take these to a store and ask an assistant to help them find similar articles.

    Adult aspie issues are ongoing, but there are ways to cope and make life easier. If a person with Asperger’s syndrome asks appropriate people for assistance and training, he will generally be able to function better at home and work.

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    Resources

    Pretending to be Normal, Lianne Holliday Willey, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd, 1999