Health & Medical Autism

Asperger"s Syndrome and Social Interaction

One of the major hurdles in dealing with Asperger's Syndrome is the social difficulties that come along with it.
Asperger's Syndrome affects the mind's ability to interpret the world the way everyone else does, especially when it comes to other people.
Simple conversations and interactions often become a chore, and thus make both the Aspie and the people they are trying to socialize with unwilling to try to overcome the difficulties.
Miscommunication and misunderstandings are instead seen as insurmountable gaps in the process.
One of the more obvious social difficulties is the inability to interpret social cues.
Human conversation has evolved over the millennia to include hundreds of unspoken, non-verbal contributions that are universally understood, except by people with Asperger's Syndrome.
Our facial expressions are subtle enough that a dog can read our mood and emotional state in seconds, but have no meaning at all to an Aspie.
A raised eyebrow, a crooked grin, a sidelong glance, or even something as obvious as a look of shock or horror could be completely ignored or dismissed.
Similarly, body language, except in the most extreme displays, will go unnoticed by someone with an autism spectrum disorder.
On the other side of the conversation the lack of those same cues could be disconcerting and strange to a regular person.
There will be a lack of eye contact, seemingly inappropriate body movements, and sometimes inappropriate smiling or frowning.
They will stand either too close or too far away while they talk.
They will not understand politeness, and will often enter a conversation without introduction or invitation.
Another distinct pattern is a lack of empathy for those an Aspie is socializing with.
They will not understand the need or use of an apology, nor will they recognize when their audience is uninterested or bored and trying to find a way out.
There are a few simple ways to help social interactions go more smoothly.
Always be direct - say what you mean, mean what you say.
Do not count on subtlety in any form.
Spoken hidden meanings may be lost, and body language will not register.
Be understanding.
As hard as it is to interact with them, understand that they're having a hard time interacting with you.
With just these few things in mind it can make any conversation with a sufferer of Asperger's Syndrome go much better, and hopefully bridge some of those seemingly insurmountable gaps.

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