Asperger’s syndrome (or more simply, Asperger’s), is a variant of autism. Because those affected avail of good verbal comprehension and a normative -- or often even above-average -- intelligence, their difficulties in social areas are barely noticeable at first glance. This is what distinguishes Asperger’s from other autism variations.
Individuals with Asperger’s who have high intellectual abilities have often learned how to compensate for their difficulties so that the autism is barely recognisable, even for experts. Many have developed into outstanding actors who can hide their difficulties very well.
Features that are often barely recognizable
Individuals with Asperger’s distinguish themselves from one another just as neurotypical people do. There are very quiet individuals, which avoid all kinds of contact. But there are also well-spoken people, who are happy to open up and make contacts quickly.
There are people with Asperger’s who are gifted in the area of maths and science but also those who have learning difficulties. The typical features of autism are barely or not at all recognisable from the outside in adults with Aspeger’s.
Using the positive effects of Asperger’s syndrome
Numerous individuals with Asperger’s have learned to manage their issues and use the positive effects associated with the condition.
For example, many people with Asperger’s display a kind of naivety, because they’re unable to classify certain situations. This leads to many of them being fundamentally honest people who share their opinions regardless of potentially negative social consequences. While this can lead to problems, it is actually a positive trait from which friends, society and employers can benefit.
Highly concentrated and detailed
When individuals with Asperger’s pursue their favourite tasks they can be highly contrectated and attentive over long periods. People with Asperger’s are detailed and avail of an analytical and logical style of thinking. In professional areas it can be an advantage for them that many boast a specialist area through which they accumulate a great deal of knowledge.
Therefore, employers can benefit, but they must also be ready to create an appropriate working environment for people with Asperger’s and to accept weaknesses such as problems in social interactions, low self-confidence, and reduced flexibility or spontaneity.
Discovering Asperger’s, not diagnosing it
Generally, Asperger’s can be construed as a strong manifestation of character traits and skills. Carol Gray, a counsellor for autistic schoolchildren, and Asperger’s specialist Tony Atwood, deal with the topic in a study with the title, ‘The Discovery of Aspie’, where their central argument is: Asperger’s is not diagnosed, it is discovered, just like talents, friends, or quirks, for example.
That which is discovered is labelled ‘Aspie’ by the researchers. This term is defined by aspects such as loyalty, fairness, openness, representation of one’s own theories and opinions, and enthusiasm for certain ideas. Also included are eloquence, attention to detail, creativity, a good memory, persistence, tidiness, understanding, the avoidance of superficial (and thereby useless) conversations, and other characteristics.