Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting with your Partner

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New Harbinger Publications, Mar 1, 2012 - Family & Relationships - 216 pages
2 Reviews

If you’re in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s syndrome, it’s likely that your partner sometimes seems cold and insensitive. Other times, he or she may have emotional outbursts for no apparent reason. And in those moments when you can’t understand each other at all, you both feel fed up, frustrated, and confused.

The behavior of people with Asperger’s can be hard to understand and easy to misinterpret, which is why it’s so important to learn more about your partner’s condition. The tools presented in Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome will help you build intimacy and improve the way you and your partner communicate. Filled with assessments and exercises for both you and your partner, this book will help you forge a deeper, more fulfilling relationship.

This book will teach you how to:

• Understand the effect of Asperger’s syndrome on your partner
• Practice effective communication skills
• Constructively work through frustrations and fights
• Establish relationship ground rules to help you fulfill each others’ needs
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KRaySaulis - LibraryThing

This book is helpful for getting insight into your Aspie partner's mind, however it puts WAY too much responsibility on the Neurotypical. This book could easily discourage someone and cause them to ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

A book is a tool, like any other tool, that does nothing on it's own; it's the tool-holder who does the work.
I don't believe that a pencil can draw the Mona Lisa any more than a book can fix a
relationship.
It's the artist holding the pencil that does the drawing; it's the couple who read the book who do the work on their own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors.
My thoughts on this book, "Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding & Connecting with your Partner", by Cindy Ariel, 2012:
I'm now reading the book for a second time; first, I just read straight through, and now I'm underlining and taking notes and arguing with the content.
I experience the author sharing page after page of anecdote after anecdote about the thinking, feelings, emotions, character traits, and behaviors of relationship partners who have Asperger's syndrome and are experiencing problems.
I find that the author's attitude suggests acceptance of "... That's the way it is ..." for people with Asperger's syndrome, so "... don't try to fix them or expect them to change. Accommodate them, work around them, work with them instead ...".
In other words, "... Be happy NOW, be pleasant NOW, even as you address what may be life-long challenges to cooperation and success in your relationships ...".
By the way, the above are not quotes from the book, but are my summary of my impression of the book so far.
In the many anecdotes, I find corroboration and normalization, if I can use that word, of my own Asperger's syndrome experiences and behavior traits, and that's a good thing.
Before this book, I felt like a freak, unable to ascend to "normalcy", and I felt especially unable to thrive like John Elder Robison and David Finch, authors who have Asperger's syndrome and have written other books that I have read (more below).
The author, Cindy Ariel, in this book seems to invite me to look over their shoulder as they chat with couples in therapy, where one of the partners has Asperger's syndrome, and they are dealing with problems, and I am happy for the chance to learn about apparently many, many other people's Asperger's syndrome experiences and struggles.
Especially illuminating for me was Chapter 3, page 37, a brief section on Systemizing (or Systematization, more below), finally giving a name to my way of paying attention to things (for example, empowering me to fix anything -- computers are my specialty, but I do the same with anything -- by seeing them as systems, learning how those system should work, and then finding the anomaly that goes against that system on my way to fixing it -- that's my true AS Asperger's Savant quality).
The variety of Asperger's syndrome experiences shared in this book help me find a place in this world, and help me feel that my own experience is not as unusual as I had thought.
Is our Asperger's syndrome experience in relationships hopeless?
That's not what the book is about, though it offers suggestions for handling and preventing surprises and problems, and some of us may think of that as offering avenues for hope.
I don't find the book as prescriptive of solutions as other's here may have been hoping it would be, or as we seem to read the author's self-description claims about the book.
Alternatively, I see the book only as a tool, an opportunity for each reader to say, "... Wow, I guess our Asperger's syndrome relationship experiences ain't so strange after all. There are other couples out there who are coping, and who are making the best of Asperger's syndrome. Instead of fighting and hurting and breaking up, they seem to figure out a way to get along, and just love each other, day by day ... more at http://www.wrongplanet.net/modules.php?name=News&file=comments&sid=431&tid=34631&mode=&order=&thold=
 

Contents

Chapter 1
7
Chapter 2
19
Chapter 3
37
Chapter 4
55
Chapter 5
67
Chapter 6
83
Chapter 7
97
Chapter 8
113
Chapter 9
125
Chapter 10
137
Chapter 11
149
Chapter 12
169
Chapter 13
177
Chapter 14
183
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Cindy N. Ariel, PhD, is a psychologist in Philadelphia, PA, with over twenty years of experience working with people dealing with Asperger’s syndrome. She is coeditor of Voices from the Spectrum.

Foreword writer Stephen Shore, EdD, is assistant professor of education at Adelphi University. He has Asperger’s syndrome himself and is an internationally known author, consultant, and presenter on issues related to the autism spectrum.

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