Autism Spectrum Disorder Strengths

Autism Spectrum Disorder Strengths. Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder on the Autism spectrum. However, it is classified as a more low-support form of autism and considered high functioning autism.

Albert Einstein may have been on the Autism Spectrum

You might be surprised to learn that many famous people have an Asperger diagnosis. Here are a few names that you’ll recognize:

  • Dan Akroyd, actor and musician
  • Andy Warhol, artist
  • Andy Kaufman, comedian
  • Daryl Hannah, actor
  • Susan Boyle, singer
  • Courtney Love, musician
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins, actor

Common Challenges include:

  • Difficulty with social interactions
  • Restricted interests
  • Desire for sameness
  • Distinctive strengths
  • Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.)
  • Difficulty with the give and take of conversation
  • Difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.)
  • Uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Quirky

 

Strengths can include:

  • Remarkable focus and persistence
  • Aptitude for recognizing patterns
  • Attention to detail
  • Honest
  • Loyal
  • Kind
  • Quirky

 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder Strengths

As I am married to a man on the Autism Spectrum I know what the challenges look like. I sympathize with my husband because those challenges are not only frustrating to our relationship, it is frustrating to him on a personal level. His strengths, however, do outweigh the challenges. When my husband realized he had Asperger’s, it all made sense. We speculate his father and brother were on the Spectrum and had limited resources to improve any of their challenges which affected their family dynamics.  My husband felt lonely in the family that he grew up in and had very few friends. He said he always felt something was “off” when interacting in social settings and in past romantic relationships as his anxiety and nonverbal conversation skills were part the problem.

With acquiring relational tools, putting a system in place, and implementing the process for moving forward his life is more meaningful, happy and functional. He is even more animated with his expressions and can make jokes that can really make all of us laugh…in a good way.

The world needs to recognize despite their inappropriate behavior and saying or doing things that others may find objectionable, they often do not appreciate the full implications of their words and actions, and very rarely do so with any ill intent. They were never taught that this was unacceptable. With Autism awareness comes more understanding and sympathy toward the challenges and greater appreciation of the strengths.

For more information on Autism Spectrum strengths give me a call at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

New Year New Review

New Year New Review.  San Diego Realtor gives feedback on her experience with San Diego Marriage Counselor Sarah Ruggera, LMFT.
“Sara is a consummate professional and works with intense passion. Her book is spot on called Happy Me Happy We! I started going to Sara to help with communication barriers in my marriage and realized that most of what needed work was my reaction to things that literally had nothing to do with my husband. She has helped me gain a better perspective of how I should go about handling my own deep seated feelings before placing a huge emphasis on my communication gaps. Thanks Sara for opening up the Channels for me.”
Melissa
Happy Me Happy We
New Year New Review
Sarah Ruggera, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Affair Recovery and is a Certified Neurodiverse Couples Counselor/Coach in San Diego. She holds in office and online sessions. (858) 735-1139 CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com
Visit her  Blog at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com/relationships for additional information about relationships and what healthy relationships look like.

The New Year And Your Relationship

The New Year And Your Relationship. Another year come and gone. What are your expectations about 2022? There are still uncertainties about the pandemic. The way I see it COVID-19 is still not being managed effectively. Our new normal seems to include feelings of paranoia, fear, confusion and anxiety. The way we behave has changed as we continue to social distance and wear masks. These types of physical boundaries may have psychological long term results. If you’ve had COVID there are the residual long term physical health concerns that “long haulers” are managing.

The New Year And Your Relationship

When the vaccine became available people received their two inoculations. Many, like myself believed this would keep us safe from getting the virus. Then the boaster became available and like many, I believed we would be extra safe. I contracted COVID after both doses. I, like many others, became less diligent about following the CDC’s best practices for protection. Wash hands, use sanitizer, stay six feet apart, and wear a mask. Even with testing readily available on some level this pandemic may be here to stay.

Happy Me Happy We

As a marriage counselor working with couples dealing with issues of infidelity (affair recovery), neurodiversity (Asperger marriage), and relationship discord, I know they just want to be happy and content. With the uncertainties of life it’s important to know what you want so you know what your relationship needs. Happy Me Happy We was launched during the pandemic and is still a best seller helping individuals do just that.

Relationships in the time of coronavirus is an opportunity to think about what you want in life moving forward. If the last couple years have been unhappy due to being isolated at home do something about it. As a Marriage Counselor, I see some couples who have become closer due to the proximity of time and space. For others, that time and space adds to their unhappiness. A woman I’m working with said her husband doesn’t interact with her at all. She says she feels lonely in her relationship. She also said she’s taking this time to reassess her marriage as status quo is no longer working or wanted.

Life is too short to remain in a relationship that isn’t working for you. I help people who ask the question…”Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” Through my counseling process I help couples look at and choose from three options. Option 1 – keep status quo, option 2 – move forward with an action plan, or option 3 – move on and find another life that best suits you.

If reassessing your relationship is something you know you want to do please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

Decide what your “new normal” is going to look like.

 

 

 

Asperger Marriage

Asperger Marriage. Asperger marriages are also known as Neurodiverse Relationships. Where one partner is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), typically the husband (AS) and the wife neurotypical (NT). In my own marriage, my husband is the AS partner and I am the NT partner. People with traits of AS have always been around, either misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, or labeled “odd” in behavior. Marriages with a person with AS are often very challenging, with mental health consequences for both partners, for their children, and for their extended family systems. Neurodiverse couples counseling (coaching) views partnerships thru a neurological lens. Education about AS, acquiring tools and putting a system in place with a counselor that specializes in neurodiverse couples enable the couple to become more communicative, but, more importantly, more relational which creates harmony and cohesiveness for moving forward. Traditional marriage counseling is ineffective and can sometimes be detrimental to the process.

Asperger Marriage

The mismatch of expectations, lifestyle, and needs tend to create misunderstanding, conflict, and unhappiness for both partners in the marriage. As an NT wife, I experienced feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and much anger. Cassandra Syndrome is what a woman experiences after years of being married to a man with Asperger’s. Cassandra Syndrome is also referred to as Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or Affective Deprivation Disorder and abbreviated as CADD, OTRS or AfDD. Cassandra is a debilitating condition that can lead to physical and psychological problems if not managed experiencing distress as a result of their emotional needs not being recognized, or met by their AS (autistic) partner. My acting out behavior included threatening divorce every other month, crying while yelling, excessive drinking, and insulting comments.

The AS husband may experience general anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior (repetitive patterns of behavior), social anxiety and irritability. AS husbands are often observed as not being thoughtful, inconsiderate, selfish, narrow minded and sometime narcissistic. The primary diagnostic features cause significant impairment in important areas of functioning leading to challenges in their relationships. My husband’s anxiety and depression were exacerbated due to my acting out behavior.

In my professional and personal opinion the single best indicator for success (good prognosis) is both partners acquiring tools for moving forward meeting the needs and wants of each. The AS partner practices how to be more expressive, forthcoming, understanding of expectations while the NT partner manages her range of emotions in appropriate ways. Acting out behavior negatively reinforces effort on the AS partner’s part as he is already consumed with anxiety and fear.

Being in a neurodiverse relationship is similar to two people speaking different languages coming together and wanting to establish a life together. Learning each other’s language is imperative for communication. Learning how to do that is not rocket science. There is a learning curve but it’s worth the effort because neurodiversity makes for more interesting relationships.

For more information about Asperger Marriages please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

 

Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners

Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners. Marriages or partnerships with a person on the Autism Spectrum (AS) are often very challenging, with mental health challenges for both members of the relationship, for their children, and for extended family. Neurotypical women (NT) may appreciate that her AS partner marches to a different tune and does not exhibit some of the negative social or interpersonal attributes that she may have encountered in other potential partners or previous ones. Women may be attracted to men with AS because they appear safe, are highly intelligent, gentle, appreciative, interesting, creative, well read, unusual, quirky, and loyal.

Asperger husband in IT profession
Asperger Husbands Can Make Good Partners

As a certified neurodiverse couples counselor/coach, I tend to see couples who present with neurodiversity at its worst. Couples come in complaining about communication, lack of emotional connection, and time management to name of few. There are many strengths that enable an AS man to be highly functional. Because an AS husband and NT wife speak different languages neurology matters. I work with my couples through a neurological lens or Asperger profile. Traditional marriage counseling is not effective and can sometimes be detrimental to moving forward.

Strengths include:

According to Myhill and Jekel of Asperger Association of New England (AANE), people with ASD can be good partners. The women’s choice to marry someone with AS is not intrinsically a bad one. Some women aren’t aware they are entering into a neurodiverse relationship until enough time goes by where they notice communication is more transactional than relational. The women are often the ones who seek help as they are confused and don’t understand why their relationship seems different than others’. With the appropriate resources Asperger marriages can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as other happy marriages. Yes, there is work to be done, but just like anything else, if you do the work it should pay off. With putting systems in place, acquiring relational tools, and implementing the process you can have the relationship you want. All marriages have challenges. If two people who care about one another truly want to move forward, they can.

I am married to a man with Asperger’s. My Asperger marriage will continue to have its challenges. We are grateful for what we have learned to be able to say our marriage works for us. I look forward to working with neurodiverse couples because I know firsthand of the many challenges. I also know every couple has their strengths and I help them look for them.

If you would like more information about moving forward in your Asperger marriage please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com