Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Relate to Women with Aspergers

There are several women with strong autistic traits in the extended family and I am often completely puzzled when I try to understand and communicate with them.  Overall I am finding it very difficult to find information on how to relate to women with asperger's syndrome.  Any links or advice you can share in the comments are most welcome.

What do females with aspergers want from their female friends and relatives?  What is the best way to communicate with women on the autism spectrum? 

I don't sense that they desire to connect emotionally.  I don't sense they have interest in understanding the hearts or minds of NTs.  Generally I sense little interest in improving their own communication skills (because they don't see why that is important or what difference it will make, maybe?).

My best guess is that women on the spectrum simply want to be accepted for who they are.  They want to be unconditionally loved.  They want you to overlook their foibles, understand that they care about you (even though they don't communicate it well), and want you to not take offense (because none was meant).  They want you to smile and seem cheerful and pleased with them.  Don't cry or get too emotional because that is very uncomfortable for them.  If they like you, they want you to spend time with them by doing activities together (and not necessarily talking much).  And that's about it, right?  Nothing more is expected or required . . . ?

To the female aspies reading this . . . know that there are many of us who are trying to maintain good relationships with women on the spectrum.  Please realize we want to understand you and we are working very hard to be "close" to you.  We honestly just don't know how.


  1. I am a woman who has recently come to suspect that I have Asperger's Syndrome, and to be quite honest, work tremendously hard to try to maintain good relationships with other women. All my life I have read books on communication, etc. trying to understand. I am way better than I used to be, but I still am often misunderstood and misunderstand other women. I am constantly asking my husband to try to translate behavior and comments of other women and what it probably means. Perhaps some women don't desire to connect emotionally, but personally I think I have a stronger desire to connect, simply because it is so hard and I have less connections. Also-- I actually tend to like being around other women who are more talkative, simply because I have such difficulty coming up with topics of conversation that would be of interest to other women. Maybe this will be somewhat helpful with your relatives.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! I long to have a better perspective of what they may be thinking/dealing with.

    Many thanks!

  3. I have aspergers and so does my son. I long for connection. Where can I meet other people with aspergers that have learned how to cope?

  4. Hi! Try to google and find a local support group for children with asperger's, if you cannot find an adult support group. Many times the parents of those children will have strong traits of asperger's and you may be able to learn a lot from those moms.

  5. Please help me find a support group for ADULTS WITH ASPERGERS around Fresno, CA. I'm desperate. The support groups here are for children only.

  6. Thank you! My son is an adult in his twenties so I don't have any "children" to put into a support group--but that is an excellent idea and I may be able to look in that direction SOMEHOW to see if I can meet other adults. We just recently got diagnosed, even tho' we always "knew" something was wrong, went to MANY Counselors/Psychologists over the years and got no clue that Aspergers was present--or that it even existed in the world--or what it was. I'm tired of the bullies--many of which are school "teachers"--and ruined holidays. Please God--make this nightmare stop.

  7. To the female non-aspies reading this . . . know that there are many of us aspies who have spent miserable lives trying to maintain good relationships with girls, boys, men and women. Please realize we want to understand you and we are working very hard to be "close" to you. We honestly just don't know how.

  8. I've come to believe that "NTs" are DISABLED when it comes to their INABILITY to understand the way Aspies think. I have spent many frustrating depressed years "working overtime" trying to understand the way most people think. Thank God I'm in love with a wonderful "NT" man who has allowed me to ask why something happened, why something was said and what it meant. It takes me longer to truly "connect"--one reason being that when I lost friends in childhood I felt "bonded" to, it felt as though a part of me was painfully "ripped off"--but when I finally bond now, it is complete, forever, come what may. I know what true love is--I have received it and given it. I now realize that Aspies are perhaps more fragile because we are sensitive to things that don't phase "NTs" as much. Also, it's harder for Aspies to "put things behind them and move on" because we have vivid long term memories--more so than NTs--and the pain that occurred ten years ago is freshly traumatic with every re-living of the memory--as if it happened yesterday. (Time doesn't always heal all wounds for Aspies--maybe it does for NTs...?) So I believe we are more vulnerable to PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and need to find other ways to heal painful memories. Any ideas? (It helps to read what you have written. I don't feel so "alone" knowing there are others in this situation. We can learn from each other. Maybe what I have learned will help someone else. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  9. :)
    i was just diagnosed (july 6!) at the age of 29 with aspergers. the therapist said i have adjusted well, considering, but it is definitely aspergers.

    i simply never know what to say. and i dont know what to say when someone is conversing with me. sometimes, i do converse (i think), but many times, i dont want to come off as rude, or im not sure if the person was talking to me, or if they want a response, or were simply "saying", as in the case of "what a nice day..." - do you want me to respond? or can i just nod?

    that whole "how are you" thing gets me, do you REALLY want to know, or are you just asking out of discomfort or "politeness"? (i find nothing polite about asking a question you dont mean to have the real answer to! LOL)

    i tend to get confused because i take things literally, though i can use sarcasm, its lost on me many times. i know my husband well, so most of the sarcasm he uses i can get, but sometimes i DONT get it even with him! its a shame that sarcasm is apparently a major part of american life. i dont understand why. i would be much better off without it. why cant people say what they mean and mean what they say? LOL

    i could go on and on (which is another part of my aspergers.... im on my own train here, and i dont notice if you arent interested, or if im overwriting/talking..... lol).....

  10. im not really that uncomfortable with people crying, but often i want to know what i can do to help.... lol. im good at advice, but sometimes hesitant to give it to avoid sounding like a "know it all"..... LOL