Asperger Love Languages

Asperger Love Languages. According to Gary Chapman there are five love languages that people speak to enhance their emotional connection to one another. They include Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. As a Neurodiverse Couples Counselor/Coach, I work with Asperger husband AS and Neurotypical wife NT couples through a neurological lens as each processes information differently.

Asperger Love Languages

Parallel play

  • people being alone together; doing things in parallel or side by side
  • both (AS & NT) partners reading their own books in the same room
  • one partner can be doing a puzzle while the another plays a video game
  • existing together doing different activities

Unusual gifts

  • unconventional gift giving
  • sharing things that are valuable or interesting to the AS partner to the NT partner as a sign of affection
  • giving something you know they are interested in
  • quirky; strange; odd (has meaning to the AS partner)

 

 

Info dump

  • talking about their interests or passion and sharing that information, usually in detail and at length

Bear hugs

  • sensory seeking
  • some need the pressure to manage anxiety

Unmasking

  • masking is any attempt or strategy “to hide their disability”
  • unmasking is where they show their true selves
  • not hiding aspects of themselves or pretending to be like someone else

 

 

Helping without words

  • rather than ‘say’ they ‘do’
  • action oriented

Speaking each other’s love language is key to feeling emotionally connected to your partner. As a neurodiverse couples counselor, I work with my couples through a neurodiverse lens. I act as translator because often times what is said or what has been expressed behaviorally can be misunderstood creating a range of emotions for both the AS and NT partner.

Through the counseling/coaching process a love language is determined. Love languages are different for everyone so it is important to identify and express behaviorally the intent of that love language.

Speaking each other’s love language can make all the difference in deepening an emotional connection. In my own marriage, my Asperger husband and I do just that. Along, with Chapman’s five love languages, asperger love languages can do the same.

For more information please contact me at (858) 735-113 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

 

Asperger’s And The Fourth Of July

Asperger’s And The Fourth Of July. Holidays and special events can be challenging for people on the Autism Spectrum. Sensory issues are common where sights and sound can create anxiety and physical discomfort.

Asperger’s And The Fourth Of July

People with autism might have these sensitivities:

Fireworks, for example may be desired to watch but can create noise sensitivity as they tend to be loud. During the fourth of July the combination of fireworks and crowds intensifies the experience. People suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder may take an alternative to watching fireworks on TV or other streaming platforms rather than in person.

Fourth of July Holiday Tips for Neurodiverse Marriages: (courtesy of https://www.differentbrains.org/)

Prepare in advance

It’s important that your loved one with autism is aware of what he/she will experience, from the people they will be seeing to the food and beverages they may be consuming. This is best done no less than a couple of days in advance. Using social stories or visuals to prepare them may be effective.

Make things comfortable

Bring anything that would help them remain stress-free during the event. Something like a blanket, a favorite toy, or a favorite snack could be effective in providing a distraction from a potentially stressful environment.

Have a plan to deal with loud sounds

Fireworks can be very overwhelming, so bringing sound-canceling headphones or even covering their ears is the easiest way to help heal the senses for the time being.

Be sure to take breaks

Be aware of how they are feeling. Pay attention to their body language and expressions. It may also be wise to develop a signal when things get uncomfortable for them. Prepare an escape route and a safe place to go unwind in case things do take a turn for the worst.

Ensure familiarity

Surrounding them with too many different things, like people they don’t usually see or food they don’t usually eat, may stress them out. As suggested earlier, prepare ahead and bring something that they like and are familiar with.

Keep an eye out

Not everyone with autism is sensitive to the same things. Some with “different brains” are considered fearless, and may be more fascinated with fireworks. Needless to say, be sure to keep from getting too close to any fireworks or fires.

Just have fun

Not everything you’ll encounter on the Fourth of July is avoidable, and you can’t spend every second of the evening worrying about what could happen. Once you have prepared beforehand and planned everything out, just be sure to take the evening as it goes and enjoy yourselves.

As I am married to an Asperger Husband, fourth of July crowds and loud noises are uncomfortable. Add social anxiety on top of that and the event can prove not fun for either myself or my husband. As a Neureodiverse Couples Counselor, I put strategies in place to manage sensory issues for such holidays. Past years we have stayed home and watched fireworks. This also helped keep my emotional support animal company as he is disturbed by the loud noise. This year we will be staying at a hotel that faces Sea World’s fireworks and celebrate enjoying what the general public will be experiencing.

Knowing what your options and expectations are is key in managing neurodiverse relationship issues.

For more information on Spectrum relationships contact me at (858) 735-1139 or at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

Asperger Diagnosis

Asperger Diagnosis. Get past the diagnosis & improve your marriage. There’s a ton of information about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s, and Neurodiverse Relationships.We have a better understanding about Spectrum and spectrum relationships, but what do we do about the challenges they present? Asperger marriages aka neurodiverse relationships, are where one or both partners are on the autism spectrum. As a Certified Neurodiverse Couples Counselor, I have specific training working with couples who include a husband with Asperger’s (AS) and the wife who is neurotypical (NT). I make assessments and recommendations through a neurological lens. Because neurology matters, neurological differences effect how each processes information. Acquiring tools and putting a process in place to communicate effectively is essential to the couple’s ability to move forward.

Asperger Diagnosis

So how do we crack the communication code? Without the right tools each partner in the neurodiverse marriage can feel unheard or misunderstood by their significant other. Each speaks different languages so it’s important to know how to 1) initiate conversation, 2) share thoughts and  feelings, and 3) ask for what you need and want. As I am married to an Asperger husband, I have developed tools and put systems in place to move forward so both of us feel seen and heard.

As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor, I don’t need a diagnosis to work with my couples. In fact, I find labeling a person with Asperger’s can make a person feel stigmatized or damaged. We’re all on the Spectrum to some degree. Rather than say one partner is the “identified patient” I concentrate on helping both become more communicative and relational. Feeling an emotional connectedness is the desired outcome. Perfection isn’t the goal. Good enough make for long term happiness.

There is currently no specific test or diagnostic criteria for diagnosing Asperger’s in adults. The Autism/Asperger Network (AANE) offers information about a profile that may be helpful to validate suspicion and observed behaviors indicative to Asperger’s. Minors tend to need a diagnosis or evaluation to receive resources for home and school life.

So rather than spend your time and energy trying to get a diagnosis, put your resources into finding a neurodiverse couples counselor/coach who knows what they’re doing so you both can get the life you set out to achieve.

For more information or to set up an appointment call me at (858) 735-1139 or visit CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Asperger Marriage Stressors

Asperger Marriage Stressors. All marriages have their strengths and their weaknesses. All marriages have challenges that include work-life balance, personal issues, parenting, health and financial issues. In a neurodiverse marriage, typically a husband with Asperger’s (AS) and a wife that is neurotypical (NT) there are even more challenges. Along with these normal life stressors, add speaking a different communication language and processing information in different ways that not always creates the stability needed to want to move forward.

Asperger Marriage Stressors

We all have survival strategies that reinforce a flight-fight or reactive modes and often to avoidance and shutdown mode leading to hopelessness and depression. In neurodiverse relationships there are added stressors that can be managed once they acknowledge what they are and how they affect one another.

Some common Asperger Marriage stressors:

Sensory Stressors

  • food smells, taste, textures (figuring out what foods are not conducive to comfort helps both the AS and NT partner know what to do to prevent the discomfort)
  • perfume and deodorant scents; body odor smells (we’ve all come across women who wear too much perfume. For the AS partner this can create much discomfort)
  • bright lights
  • noise
  • touch

 

Relationship Stressors

  • communication (It is essential to be able to speak each other’s language so both know what it is they want and how to ask for it)
  • intimacy (intimacy comes in the form of sex and emotional)
  • expectations (Be explicit rather than implicit in asking for what you need and want)
  • quality time together (carve out time; even better schedule time weekly for emotional connection
  • parenting (Discuss who does what and when and even how with child rearing

Social Stressors

  • anxiety (Often an underlying challenge in AS individuals)
  • boundaries (Know that you are not your husband and your husband is not you; vice versa)
  • expectations
  • small talk (acquire tools to initiate conversation)
  • work/family gatherings (Discuss what they are and what to do when involved with them)

 

Day to Day Stressors

  • work (Often times work can be a special interest for the AS partner)
  • household (Developing a household schedule where family members know what is expected of them is beneficial to harmony and functionality.
  • kids (Developing a schedule for who manages the kids’s schedule really helps with keeping the couples’ schedule for emotional connectedness in tact.

Both neurodiverse and non neurodiverse marriages can be challenging as life isn’t at all easy. Acquiring the tools to become for functional make any marriage more harmonious. As a neurodiverse couples counselor, and woman with an Asperger husband, I know first hand how to develop systems to create stability, functionality, becoming less transactional and more relational, and feeling the intimacy both desire.

For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or at my website CoupleCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Neurodiverse Couples Coaching Reviews

Neurodiverse Couples Coaching Reviews. Fixing your relationship is not impossible. There is much said about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Even though Asperger’s is no longer part of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) many neurodiverse couples identify with Asperger’s (AS), typically the husband and Neurotypical (NT), typically the wife, as a neurodiverse relationship. ASD is just that, a spectrum. No two people on the spectrum are the same so it’s important not to treat neurodiverse couples with just one treatment mode. 

Neurodiverse Couple

I have been quite successful in getting my neurodiverse couples some stability and traction to be able to move forward. The relational tools they acquire and the process in which to become more communicative makes all the difference. Rather than get an asperger’s diagnosis, I provide a road map that includes an assessment through an asperger’s profile and put a household system in place where the relational tools make for much functionality, as well as harmony.

Neurodiverse Couples Coaching Reviews

  What Couples Are Saying About Sarah

“Sarah’s ability to identify the problem areas and give us tools to address them is priceless.”

“Finding a therapist can be a hit and miss at times, but Sarah is the real deal. Got so much out of her 3 hour intensive.”

“We love her energy.”

“She keeps us motivated to follow through with the system we’ve put in place to be more relational.”

“She’s honest and direct, but more importantly, her coaching has made a big difference in how we communicate.”

“If it weren’t for Sarah, I would not still be married.”

“We had two other couples counselors who weren’t familiar with neurodiverse counseling and were quite disappointed. Sarah helped us become more communicative in one session.”

Neurology matters. Being married to a man with Asperger’s, I know first hand what it’s like to feel as though you are speaking different languages.

There are strengths and weakness in all marriages. My husband’s most admirable traits are as a result of his disorder rather than in spite of it. With My husband and I utilizing the tools I teach we are less transactional having developed and maintained a more relational marriage.

For more information about getting Neurodiverse Couples Coaching please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

 

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