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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 and others 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 Narcissistic Personality Disorder, 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 NPD 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. The partners and children of people afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome are invalidated, neglected, unseen, unheard and unknown.

An yet they are not believed when they speak of the difficulty in their lives. A US physician who understands the trauma and tragedy these people deal with spoke out against colleagues who neglect their psychological well-being, even though there was some risk of damaging 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) partners and family members of adults who are 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 inflict that suffering in the first place, and when their very disorder prevents them from knowing it and from caring even if 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, leaving the victims without help. It is even more irrational that the mental health community rarely offers help. Many have 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.

 

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.”

The Neurotypical

 


“One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.”

(Charles M. Blow)

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