Ten Facts about Aspies
A Brief Definition
“Aspies” is a shortened form of the word Asperger’s. Asperger’s is a type of autism. Individuals with Asperger’s have average to above average intelligence and a good command of language, but great difficulty with social interaction.
Keep reading to learn ten fascinating about Aspies.
Fact One: Many Aspies are underemployed or unemployed.
Due to their inability to work with others, many Aspies are underemployed or unemployed. There are cases of Aspies with graduate degrees working in menial jobs. Why? Because they don’t know how to speak to and work with others, they get fired for acting strange or weird, and they may have trouble focusing on their work and being organized.
Fact Two: Asperger is actually the name of the doctor who first described the syndrome we called autism.
Dr. Hans Asperger was an Austrian pediatrician who, during World War II, first encountered children who displayed atypical social behaviors. He noted the children had large vocabularies and normal-to-high intelligence, but lived in their own isolated world. He began documenting and studying the children to better understand their condition.
Fact Three: Asperger’s Syndrome is considered separate from autism in some circles.
The terms Asperger’s and high-functioning autism are used synonymously by many, but a large vocal group of parents, caregivers and aspies believe that they are separate disorders. The main difference lies in the acquisition of language. Asperger’s children rarely present language delays as toddlers and usually have a very good command of the language (speaking-wise). They may have fail to make facial expressions or change their tone when speaking. People with high-functioning autism experience both verbal and nonverbal communication issues.
Fact Four: Asperger’s occurs in one in every 250 persons.
Autism is said to occur in 1 in 110 (or 100) individuals. Asperger’s is less prevalent among all the autism spectrum disorders.
Fact Five: Asperger’s is diagnosed at a much later age than classic autism.
Many parents of Aspies say their children were diagnosed at age 8 or later due to their child appearing “normal” in most situations. Many Aspies rarely exhibit the stereotypic or repetitive behaviors displayed by most individuals with autism such as flapping, spinning or twirling. Because of their normal or high intelligence, they miss being diagnosed.
Fact Six: Aspies are capable of displaying love and affection.
One of the biggest myths surrounding Aspies is regarding their ability to give or show affection. Many Asperger’s children and adults can develop deep and loving bonds with parents, siblings and other adults they get to know well. They are not emotionally cold or disconnected to everyone they come in contact with.
Fact Seven: Aspies are aware they are different.
Many Aspies state they come to the realization they are different, usually in early adolescence. Some state they know they are supposed to understand facial expressions, make eye contact and laugh at jokes. They simply don’t know how to change their behavior and act “normally”.
Fact Eight: Many Aspies have advanced visual spatial skills.
There are many individuals with Asperger’s who enjoy putting together puzzles, reading blueprints, putting mechanical things together or taking them apart, and creating intricate designs with pattern blocks or other figures. These individuals are well suited to careers that require attention to detail.
Fact Nine: Most Aspies do not require schooling in a specialized setting.
Since many Aspies tend to be bright and succeed in academics, most Asperger’s students can remain in general education classrooms throughout their entire school life. They rarely require (or are unfortunately not allowed) special education class placement or services needed by other autistic children.
Fact Ten: Asperger’s is more prevalent in boys than girls.
As with classic autism, a disproportionate number of boys are diagnosed with Asperger’s. Research has shown that for every 10 boys diagnosed, one girl is as well. Scientists are still unsure why girls are less likely to be diagnosed with Asperger’s than boys.
As with any illness, no two people are affected exactly the same way. When it comes to Asperger’s, the severity and challenges faced by each individual are unique. The same should be said for any course of treatment undertaken to combat the disorder.
Ozonoff, Sally Ph.D , A Parent’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism,The Guilford Press, 2002.
Attwood, Tony The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.