Are People with Aspergers as “Logical” as They Think?

Balancing the left and right brain: the role of emotion and mood

One of the hallmarks of Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is that individuals often have strong points of view, and they have trouble seeing other points of view as equally valid. Most see themselves as extremely logical and therefore right in their conclusions; for them, the points of view of others can seem illogical. This is often perceived by neurotypicals as being oppositional, stubborn or lacking empathy.

Brain hemispheres sketch

What’s interesting is that often when people think they’re being logical, research shows that their emotions can be driving their cognition. Emotions are frequently substantial influences in people’s thinking without their knowing it. In his eloquent writing for Linked In, Kristopher Jones makes clear what is my experience as well: people with AS can have very strong feelings.

For Drivers: A Visual Checklist for Complete Vehicle Maintenance

The importance of understanding how to maintain your car

Aspergers drivers, especially those who have little experience, often neglect to learn about vehicle maintenance. They do not receive car maintenance information in driver’s education courses and may feel persuaded to initially think that it does not matter. Unfortunately, when lights come on in their cars or if their cars unexpectedly die on them, they may become confused as to how to deal with such situations. Parents must educate their driving children about the various situations that could arise when transportation fails. These issues include schedule changes and a dependency on alternative transportation.

Car Speedometer Symbols

Aspergers drivers must use their owner’s manuals and examine the pages containing information about fluids and pressures to check and when to check them. They must consistently check fluids and pressures, as well as put necessary items in the car. Make sure car has or has enough of the following:

Social Skills and College for Students with Aspergers Syndrome

Top of the Spectrum News

Social Skills and College for Students with Aspergers Syndrome

Guest(s): Dr. Marc Ellison/Executive Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center

This edition of Top of the Spectrum New discusses social skills and college for those with Aspergers. Dr. Marc Ellison, who has successfully created a wing for those with Autism at the Marshall University West Virginia Autism Training Center, offers insights for college preparation. Since 2002, Marshall University has successfully supported (and graduated) over 100 students with Aspergers Syndrome.

Asperger’s, “The Twilight Zone,” and The Perception of Beauty

Societal definitions of "normal" and "beautiful"

Remember Ellie Mae on “The Beverly Hillbillies?” She was portrayed by Donna Douglas, in her day considered one of the most beautiful women on television. But she also once played a character who wasn’t so beautiful.

In an episode of “The Twilight Zone” titled, “Eye of the Beholder,” Douglas portrayed a woman who was so ugly, she underwent an operation to make her less so. The suspense was built up by the fact that we never saw her face until the bandages around them were removed. When they were removed, they revealed her to be the strikingly beautiful woman she was, but the doctor recoiled in horror and said, “No change, no change at all.”

At that point, we saw the faces of the doctors and nurses around her, which were all distorted and misshapen in grotesque fashion. In the end, she’s sent to live in a colony with similarly “ugly” people, and accompanied by a handsome male escort. She asks him, “Why are some of us born so ugly?”

Obviously, her character was not inherently ugly, but she was simply born in the wrong world. That’s a dilemma similar to that which the Aspie faces.

5 Focuses For Creating the Learning Environment in the Home

Continued learning experiences after school

When it comes to setting the stage for learning, individuals on the autism spectrum need to continue their learning experiences even after school. This requires therapists, caregivers and parents to be responsible for creating a learning environment in the home that continues to provide opportunity to expand the vital skills a child is working on. This includes setting up a home environment, understanding your child’s classroom setup, or making suggestions at their after school program.

Child playing at home

Here are five goals to focus on when evaluating a school-related learning environment in the home for children with Aspergers or HFA.

What Happens to Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome? (Kids Grow Up)

Resources for Adults with AS

Adults with Asperger’s find that the accommodations and supports available for kids aren’t there for them. It’s increasingly recognized that children have sensory issues and supports are often made in schools to support social issues and social anxiety. Some accommodations are made for emotional reactivity and problems with becoming overwhelmed. Adults don’t grow out of these problems; in fact, some make the transition to college or try to find jobs and find little understanding and no support.

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle and represent

Social challenges may be confounding and complicate relationships with friends, work colleagues and partners. Accommodations in school may have helped with inflexibility, concrete thinking and difficulty with changes in routine, but these considerations aren’t typically made in work situations. Many parents of young adults with AS fear that their over-reactivity and poor social judgment may get them into serious trouble in the community.

Use the Detail-Oriented Thinking of Aspergers to Tackle Challenging Driving Situations

Driving with Autism Series

For the typical driver, it is no problem to carry out the basic modes of driving, such as changing lanes, driving at night, in precipitation, on ice, in fog, off-road, or in heavy traffic. However, the Aspergers driver usually has significant difficulty with any one of these things, if not all of them.

Fortunately, there are strategies to overcome all of these obstacles. An Aspergers driver, like any other driver, must get experience because of the countless possibilities for any given scenario. After all, every situation is unique. Yet, even the inexperienced Aspergers driver can get a mind for it all using simplification in techniques. Among these techniques are:

Volunteer of the Year Award

VOYA Health and Wellness

Award

Our dedicated and passionate founder and CEO, Jennifer Allen, was awarded the Health and Wellness Volunteer of the Year Award at the San Antonio United Way VOYA Awards. Her efforts, drive, and unendingly giving heart have made amazing progresses for our city and the Aspergers community at large, and we are so thankful to be on this journey with her.

Jennifer accepted this incredible honor at the VOYA Awards ceremony on May 17th, 2016.

Congratulations Jennifer!

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How to Deal with Sensory Processing Difficulties in School

Many children with sensory processing disorder or related issues can have difficulties in the school setting. Problems can arise anywhere: in the classroom, cafeteria, gymnasium, hallway, playground, and even the bus. Some of these issues can be as subtle as not eating lunch, or as difficult as destroying a classroom.

Knowing what causes these problems and how to prevent them is important for both the school and the child. This is where parents can be the best advocate for their child with Aspergers or HFA and sensory issues.

Preparing a child for school is important, but it is equally important to prepare the school for the child. Sharing their sensory concerns with the teachers, para-professionals, principals, and others is imperative to limiting sensory difficulties in the classroom.

Using Art to Facilitate Skill Building in College Students with Aspergers

Eszter Kiss, a Provisionally Licensed Counselor employed by the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University, recently presented “Adding Color to Cognitive Behavior Therapy,” at the WV Counseling Association. The presentation centered on the use of art as a tool to facilitate communication of thoughts and behavior for individuals with ASD. Specifically, Ms. Kiss uses this technique to support college students diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder.

The autism community has long recognized that many living with ASD can better communicate their inner experience through writing or art. For several reasons, an oral expression of their cognitions or emotions can be extremely difficult for those on the spectrum. College students diagnosed with ASD often need a process through which to express and receive abstract information. Ms. Kiss’ presentation highlighted one such process.

Resilience