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.

 

Asperger/Autism Relationships

Asperger/Autism Relationships. I write about How I Survive An Asperger Marriage which is designed to explore specific areas of concern for Neuordiverse Couples. They are known as neurodiverse relationships. It refers to one or both partners being on the autism spectrum. Neurology matters because neurological differences in the ways your brains work may make it hard to see eye-to-eye, live together, co-parent, be in social settings together or communicate about certain topics.

Asperger/Autism Relationships

I use the word “Asperger” in the most endearing way despite the DSM-5 making the change to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). What distinguishes Asperger’s Disorder from classic autism are its less severe symptoms and the absence of language delays. Many professionals believed Asperger’s was a more mild form of autism, leading to the origin of the phrase “high-functioning.” Regardless, I believe we are all on the spectrum to some degree.

ASD is referred to as a spectrum so individuals possess a range of strengths and challenges. Some of the challenges include experiencing social anxiety. Sensory challenges make being in close proximity with others uncomfortable and loud noises unbearable. My husband has a sensitivity to bright light so dining outdoors can present a problem for him. I prepared brunch al fresco in our backyard one morning and he didn’t look pleased with the meal or the environment. He didn’t have the words to express himself at that time, (pre Asperger’s acknowledgment), and was quiet. I took the silence personally and became angry, really hurt and disappointed, that he wasn’t pleased. There were other situations where we would have a picnic at the beach. Again, he was quiet and looked uninterested and distressed. When we went to happy hours he was quiet and not engaging in conversation.

We eventually came to realize his sensory challenges stem from his ASD. The bright sunlight hurt his eyes, the sand on the beach felt annoying, the people during happy hour were loud, and socializing at house parties were anxiety provoking. When we understood what was happening I was able to manage my feelings more appropriately as they felt like a personal assault.

Asperger strengths include:

  • Intelligence
  • Special Interest
  • Focus
  • Good memory
  • Detailed oriented
  • Unique humor
  • Honest
  • Fair and just
  • Desire to connect

The Challenges include:

  • Theory of mind – inability to understand and take into account another individual’s mental state or of “mind-reading”
  • Hidden cirriculum – everything you learned that you were never directly taught. It includes the unwritten rules and expectations that you intuited from your environment, rather than being directly taught about them.
  • Social pragmatics – aka practical everyday use—or the social use of language and communication
  • Self advocacy – knowing when and how to approach others to negotiate desired goals, build better mutual understanding and trust, and achieve fulfillment and productivity. Successful self-advocacy often involves an amount of disclosure about oneself to reach the goal of better mutual understanding.
  • Flexible thinking – develop rigid ways of thinking and lack flexibility in their thoughts and perceptions. This affects their ability to problem solve. It also means that they often find it difficult to cope with change and unpredictability, leading to a drive for routine and sameness.

Asperger/Autism Relationships

  • Central coherence – people diagnosed with autism can show remarkable ability in subjects like mathematics and engineering, yet have trouble with language skills and tend to live in an isolated social world. The theory is among the more prominent conceptual models that try to explain the abnormalities of autistic individuals on tasks involving local and global cognitive processes.
  • Executive Functioning – AS individual have great memories for facts and details, but have trouble organizing their thoughts and accessing and integrating the information they have to make it useful for them

As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor/coach I assess couples through a neurological lens translating for the AS and NT partner what their behavior means to the other. Both learn to speak each other’s language to become more communicative. More importantly, help their relationship become less transactional and more relational so they feel emotional connected.

My husband has Asperger’s so I can relate to what neurodiverse couples go through. Surviving an Asperger Marriage is possible. Learning each others’ love language is a start to establishing that intimacy. For information about my services and fee please text me your email address at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting With An Asperger Husband

Parenting With An Asperger Husband. It’s important to receive parenting effectiveness training (PET) or some form of parenting where you understand childhood developmental stages and what to expect from each stage so your parenting benefits your child’s needs, not yours. Whether your husband is on the spectrum or not, being an effective parent means you love your children enough to teach them how to become independent, self-sufficient, and kind, along with other quality traits you role model for them.

Parenting With An Asperger Husband

If your husband is on the spectrum, it’s important to put a system in place where there is structure, tools and a process in which to implement those tools for good communication and teamwork. Every couple is different with their own set of circumstances so develop a system that works for your household. A sample system could present like this:

  • Develop a concrete and structured household schedule  – what weekdays look like and what weekends look like
  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of each parent. – The parent with good organizational skills can make sure the household is operational. Both are following the schedule and knows what is happening at any time of the day.
  • Who is responsible for what chore? – cooking; laundry, feeding, dishes, etc.
  • What times are feeding? – with a newborn – every 2 – 3 hours;

  • What days and times are bath?
  • What time is bedtime?
  • What is bedtime ritual?
  • When does a babysitter/nanny need to be put in place?
  • Recognize that children have different needs at different developmental stages.
  • If children are in school what time is drop off/pick up and who gets what day?
  • What time is dinner?
  • What time is for homework
  • What time is for computer, screen time, video games, etc.
  • What is the expectation for older children (for the household; grades)
  • Personal time for each parent (self-care)
  • How do extended family fit into the schedule

When my Asperger husband became a father he was happy and filled with a lot of anxiety. As we didn’t know he had Asperger’s at the time, his mixed emotions hurt my feelings. Our daughter is his only child. I have a daughter from a previous marriage who is twelve years older. I was experienced as a parent. He was not. I expected his expressions to be filled with excitement. He was helpful enough bringing food home after a workday but did not have a momentum that felt like a team. My parents live a few miles from our home and without their daily help I would have been more of a train wreck.

I asked my husband why he wasn’t helping out more. I asked him if it was because he didn’t know what to do or I was overfunctioning and didn’t give him a chance to help out. He said the latter. He was eager to help me and wanted the experience of parenting so he could feel the bond with his child. I got to work and developed a system where he covered hours of feeding throughout the night so I could sleep. He learned how to bathe and put our daughter to sleep.

My husband has a lot of strengths despite his Asperger’s. He helped me become more grounded and less reactive when my expectations weren’t met. Parenting this time around, despite communication challenges due to ASD, was so much smoother.

When working with my neurodiverse couples, I find structure is key to success. Just like with children knowing what the expectations are keeps the system functional.

My husband has Asperger’s so I can relate to what neurodiverse couples go through. Surviving an Asperger Marriage is possible. Learning each others’ love language is a start to establishing that intimacy. For information about my services and fee please text me your email address at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

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