Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Affectionate Aspie


As I sat reading various articles on Aspergers and autism, 'twas late last night, I became quite bothered by the portrayal of Aspies as being distant and nonaffectionate as parents and Partners for I am anything but. So I would like to write about affection, parenting and being in a relationship.
Both my sons have enjoyed a very hands-on physically demonstrative mother who loves to snuggle, hug and hold hands on a daily basis. One of my rather secretive reasons for choosing to have children was so that i would have someone to hold and cuddle. Even at 17 yrs of age, it was a common, daily occurrence for my Eldest to walk in the room, arms extended in the gesture, "may I have a hug."
As infants, it wasn't uncommon for me to hold them, gently running my fingers through their baby soft hair even after they were fast asleep. I am very tactile, minimally verbal, and I convey my feelings through my touch.
On weekends and during summer months I tend to sleep in. Eldest had the very sweet habit of waking me up in the morning with a kiss on the cheek or forehead. My Younglink, on the other hand, awakens me with an extended index finger poking my face. Both boys are quite at ease with the whole holding hands with Momma in public places thingy.
Whilst I am can be on the low end of being able to express myself verbally, I make up for it with the ability to convey how I feel with hugs and touch.
I probably do not verbally convey appropriately enough, my love and gratitude for my wonderful Partner, but I hope that my warm embraces get the message across. I would love nothing more than to publicly hold her hand or wrap my arm around her as we walk through a store or park, but due to the aversion to public displays of affection by same sex couples, I am forced to resign myself to nothing more than intermittent handholding at movie theaters where no one can see us in the dark. It is not by my choice that I cannot show my affection more often in the public realm, but I love her dearly.
I only see a handful of relatives once or twice a year at holidays, but boy, do the hugs flow freely. If I love and care deeply for someone, it shows.
All this talk or rather, written words about nonaffectionate Aspies may be true for some or maybe even the majority of Aspies, I definitely differ and take offense at the notion. I am a very affection person.

9 comments:

  1. OH, I am so glad you wrote this! My Aspie partner is very affectionate as well and I was beginning to wonder about him actually being Aspie, because of all the things I've read about nonaffection. Good lord, the man can't keep his hands off me. And if anything I'm the one who's like, "Come on dude, we can't be that *affectionate* in public."

    It breaks my heart to hear about you and your Love not feeling comfortable enough to show your love in public. I wish you were here in the SF/Bay Area where same sex couples are much more accepted.

    Still, thank you for writing this. Your kids sound ADORABLE and you totally ROCK.

    --LY FRANSHAUA:-)

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  2. I would also like to thank you for this, and @Ly, for your response. I also vastly prefer to express myself physically, probably due in no small part to how difficult it's always been to communicate verbally. In fact one of my biggest challenges is trying to read social cue's well enough to know when it's appropriate to hug and cuddle with someone, and when they aren't receptive to that.

    Especially as I've gotten older I've had to make 'not hugging' my default; but honestly, it hurts my soul a little every time I have to hold back...even though I know I'm doing it to respect someone else's personal space, which I want to do. =/

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  3. Thank you for writing this. I am a 37 year old woman and have suspected for a long time that I have aspergers. It fits, except the fact that most of what I read says we are quite unaffectionate, or at least do not show it in the conventional physical ways. I am very shy and awkward with new people, but when I attach to someone, I attach very strongly. I positively ACHE for close friends or more to share connection and affection with. I want very much the hugs and the cuddles from people I care about. Back when I had friends, I think it was sometimes too much and intrusive for them and I may have missed this.
    Now I am quite lonely. I live alone and work from home. I do not have any friends or support system and don't know how to go about changing it. I do not fit with regular folks and do not fit with the typical left brain, logical, unaffectionate aspies. So where do I fit? :-(

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  4. Hi KatKnip, I know, it's such a struggle. I have a partner and kids, so they help with getting some affection. I'm pretty sure I have driven people off with hugging too much or too long. Sigh. If only others knew that we just need a little safe affection. And how important it is to us.
    I would look for Aspie support groups if you live in a big city. Volunteering at a nursing home or an animal shelter might help. I loved working in the nursing homes because there is always someone that needs a hug or a hand to hold.
    I wish I had more answers. I wish it were easier.
    Thanks for writing. Amy

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  6. Thanks terriclark, it felt very important to clear up the misconception that All Aspies do not like to hug and be hugged. Your daughter is in good company. She's lucky to have a parent that understands and is willing to learn about her autism.
    Thank you for commenting!

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  7. My Aspie husband is also affectionate, just with his own twist...he's not big on kissing, but his hugs are the warmest, most expressive, loving hugs on the planet, I don't miss kissing at all :-)

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  8. My Aspie husband is also affectionate, just with his own twist...he's not big on kissing, but his hugs are the warmest, most expressive, loving hugs on the planet, I don't miss kissing at all :-)

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  9. Aww, isn't that wonderful! I absolutely adore giving and receiving hugs. Nice! Amy

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