Few dare speak the truth about people with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) (now classified as part of ASD, or “autism spectrum disorder”). When the truth comes out, a militant mob is mobilized. Their goal is to pummel the truth-tellers into silence, which leaves their partners without the information and support they need.
What is this unspeakable truth those with AS try so hard to hide from the world?
They are incapable of empathy. And because of their lack of empathy, their spouses, partners and children suffer extreme emotional neglect, abuse and significant trauma.
People with AS have no idea they lack empathy. Their disorder not only prevents them from having empathy, but from knowing they don’t. This is the reason they become so angry at any claim that they are empathy-deficient.
“With Asperger’s and NPD, a lot of the criteria overlap. The difference is that while all people with Aspergers are narcissistic (not NPD, but self-centered; it’s a central trait), all people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are definitely not aspergers, and can be the total opposite: super smooth and charming.”
“Do I Have Asperger’s Syndrome or Narcissistic Personality Disorder?” Samantha Rodman, PhD, licensed psychologist
Empathy connects people emotionally. In order to have a close relationship, emotional connection is required. Without empathy—an awareness of someone else’s thoughts and feelings, mutual understanding, caring, and expression of that care—there can be no real connection. It is not possible to have a real connection with a person afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome. Their partners and children are invalidated, neglected, unseen, unheard and unknown.
Partners of those with AS are not believed about the difficulty in their lives. A US physician who has seen their trauma and tragedy has spoken out against colleagues’ neglect of their emotional and psychological well-being, even though there is a risk of damage to his own career and reputation:
“Physicians and other professionals do not acknowledge the disorder’s existence, even though its existence is a necessary logical consequence of established medical knowledge. That disorder is known as Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or the Cassandra Phenomenon. Even more astounding, the victims’ cries for help are being angrily refuted by another large group of individuals who do not have the disorder… Can you imagine if this were the case for a form of cancer or liver disease? Can you imagine a group of militant individuals (who’ve never had heart disease) arguing that heart patients don’t really suffer chest pain or shortness of breath?”
The physician’s quote reflects the reality for millions of “neurotypical” (normal) caregivers/family members of adults who have a neurological disorder on the Autism Spectrum. It is irrational that “a group of militant individuals” should argue that people who are suffering are not really suffering, especially when the individuals in this mob are the ones who cause the suffering in the first place, and when their very disorder prevents them from knowing it, and from caring even when they do. Only people who are supremely self-centered and without empathy would do something like that. But this organized and aggressive mob effectively silences the discussion, and leaves the victims without help. Many develop PTSD and/or have emotional breakdowns. It is even more irrational that the mental health community has been bullied into silence.
To those of you who have been harmed, you are not obligated to subject yourself to neglect or abuse because your partner has a disorder. You have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to have your fundamental emotional needs neglected or to be abused, by anyone. It does not matter that they don’t mean to do it; you will still pay dearly with your mental and physical health.
♦You can help get the truth out about the empathy deficit in persons with AS and the profound negative impact it has on those closest to them. Please feel free to share anything you find on this website. Re-post it on your own site and on social media, or share links to the material here. Denying the truth leaves the significant others of those with AS unrecognized and without support.
Marriage to an Adult with Autism has Extreme Challenges
“Millions of spouses worldwide are living in marriages which don’t make sense; marriages which are chaotic, confusing, abusive and often violent. They are ashamed,not daring to tell anyone, because no-one outside the marriage believes them. They are told by experts it is their fault they can’t make the marriage work. They lose their self-esteem and suffer greatly from the inappropriate responses and neglect of the relationship by their partner with High functioning autism.
The difficulties of adults with High functioning autism, previously known as Asperger’s syndrome, are widely misrepresented by those with the condition, due to their disorder and by medical experts who wish to understate the impact of those deficits on spouses and partners. Many of these adults with Hfa are undiagnosed and only recognised after years of chaos and confusion in their intimate relationships…
The last neglected area in this lifelong disorder is the spouses of these adults who live isolated, lonely lives because their partner’s circumstances are not truthfully acknowledged by experts…
It is the spouses of those with Hfa who need support acknowledgement and validation of their real and extreme difficulties caring for their loved one who is hard wired and unable, by the definition of Hfa, to fully participate in an adult intimate relationship.”
“One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.”
(Charles M. Blow)