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Spotlight on the Characteristics of an Aspie

written by: sharscott • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 3/23/2011

People with Asperger's Syndrome (Aspies) have many unique traits. Find out what characteristics of an aspie can make them both challenging and interesting individuals.

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    Traits of Aspies

    People with Asperger's syndrome are considered the most mildly affected of those on the autism spectrum. However, if you ask any parent, caregiver, teacher, or person who lives daily with the condition, they will most likely tell you that life is far from easy.

    There are both positive and negative aspects to the personality of Asperger's individuals. Read about 4 typical characteristics of an Aspie.

    • They are highly verbal individuals.

    Pro: Many people with Asperger's have very large vocabularies. They have been known to use obscure and unusual words in normal everyday conversations, even as young children. They can also speak endlessly about a topic they are extremely interested in with accuracy, great knowledge, and passion.

    Con: Many Aspies are totally unaware that other people don't want to listen to an never-ending litany of details about topics like the horny toad and its mating habits. They will also carry on long one-sided conversations, and fail to give the listener a chance to ask questions or add their thoughts to the exchange.

    • They become isolated from others.

    Pro: Most people can't stand to be isolated from others. Typical individuals crave and need human companionship. One characteristic of an Aspie is their ability to not only endure isolation, but even prefer it. In jobs that may require long spells of working alone, many Aspies are able to excel. Due to the fact that they don't always have a need to interact with others (which can cause them to become anxious or uncomfortable), some Aspie's have proven to be exemplary employees in jobs which require long solitary working hours.

    Con: Although they may prefer to be alone, Asperger's individuals admit to feeling depressed and lonely. They are isolated not by choice, but because of their inability to socially engage others.

    • They enjoy routine or sameness.

    Pro: Many people enjoy having a routine. However the average person becomes easily bored doing the same thing all the time. Aspies don't mind sameness. Most prefer to keep their world very organized and predictable. They find comfort and peace in establishing daily or regular routines.

    Con: When their routine is changed or becomes unpredictable some Aspies, can react extremely negatively. Caregivers and parents have reported tantrums and even physical aggression by Asperger's children and adults when something unexpected occurs in their routine. Some Asperger adults admit to become verbally or physically threatening because changes in their routine causes them to feel a lack of control.

    • They can be extremely imaginative.

    Pro: Some children and even adults with Asperger's have highly developed imaginative worlds. Since they tend to be extremely detailed with topics in which they have a high interest, their imaginative worlds can help them do well in careers that demand paying great attention to detail and being well organized.

    Con: The typical person leaves his or her imaginary friends and world behind after they enter the preteen years. Some Asperger's individuals continue to find solace and safety in their imaginary world. This only serves to further isolate them andhelp them avoid fully interacting in society.

    Good and Bad Aspie Traits

    Some of the characteristics of an aspie can both challenge and enhance their lives. The trick is finding how to turn some of the negative traits of their condition into positive attributes. No one is suggesting it will be easy, but it is possible.

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    Sources

    Attwood, Tony The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, 2006, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

    " Asperger's Syndrome Fact Sheet", National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke www.ninds.nih.gov