So you have just been advised you have an Aspergers diagnosis. This can often give you a mix of
Fear - as is common with the unknown and what it means
Firstly for anyone : Ask the team who diagnosed you to give you an outline of what this diagnosis means. Request an plain English outline and explanation of what are your/your child’s/partner’s key strengths and main areas where support is likely needed - if any. They may give you diagnostic reports but request they outline these specifics further for you. Also any local organisations and professionals they suggest for you.
For the list of various Aspergers strengths and challenges visit our What is Aspergers page. Each Asperger is different in how their Aspergers affects their life. You have many other characteristics, traits, personality and features that add up to create who you are.
Don’t let Aspergers be all that defines you/your child - or let a diagnosis hold you or them back. It is not necessarily a disability but rather a difference or a “diffability”. We like to call it neurodiversity.
You may need various types of supports and tools to understand yourself and your strengths and challenges. The team who support Aspergers, depending on your needs, include:
See our link to professionals who have been recommended by your peer community. You need to work out what supports help you/your child. Aspergers Victoria only recommends you use evidence-based tools and approaches.
It is important to discover your strengths and build on these together with special interests to build motivation and self esteem. It is also important for your wellbeing to include exercise and other anxiety management tools in your toolkit.
I need to learn more!
I am an adult
I am a partner …
My child/I want to know more about Aspergers
From an autistic young woman Amethyst Schaber, who has a video series called “Ask An Autistic,” - "What Is Autism?". This video is helpful for older kids & teens and adults.
The TED talk by Rosie from 2013, "How Autism Freed Me To Be Myself," which has lots of views here: https://www.ted.com/...reed_me_to_be_…
The Arlington, Virginia Public School System put together this guide in 2012 "How To Talk To Your Kids About Having ASD:" http://www.apsva.us/...our_child_abou…
Most believe understanding your neurodiversity gives you an opportunity for self empowerment. This can be a journey, and it can be difficult to build understanding and acceptance, which is a key objective of Aspergers Victoria’s advocacy. However Kenneth Roberson outlines some of the pitfalls of disclosing diagnosis that you will need to manage:
“Having Aspergers is not exactly fun. People tend to think in stereotypes, and the word Aspergers often conjures up the image of an awkward, quiet, anti-social loner. It’s unfortunate but true.
A diagnosis gives others the ability to pigeonhole someone and make assumptions about the person based on their understanding of the diagnosis rather than what’s true about that condition.
Along with those assumptions go certain unfortunate reactions, like assuming you’re just like everybody else and that you’re only pretending to be different, that you don’t need certain accommodations, or that you’re using Aspergers as an excuse not to follow through with your responsibilities. I’ve seen many of these unfortunate reactions in my practice as an Asperger’s psychologist. “source: www.kennethrobersonphd.com/ive-just-been-diagnosed-with-adult-aspergers-now-what
I want more information . . .
We hope you join our community by becoming a member to discover the benefits of peer support. You can contact our Information team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Useful Links:
More about Neurodiversity: www.durham-autism.org/celebrating-neurodiversity
Autism: Amaze (Autism Victoria) has a 24 page booklet on ASDs, designed as a starting point for families and individuals. You can download a copy from their website resources page here www.amaze.org.au/discover/about-autism-spectrum-disorders/resources
10 Things to Ask When Your Child is Diagnosed…. www.monadelahooke.com/ten-things-ask-child-diagnosed-autism-developmental-differences/
Tips for parents: www.durham-autism.org/tips-for-parents-aspergers-syndrome/
When First Diagnosed This is a video for those newly diagnosed: https://youtu.be/2jot4xHt9P0
Social skills tips www.myaspergers.net/what-is-aspergers/podcast/twap008-would-you-like-help-finding-friends (and link to our social skills page)
How Professor Tony Attwood missed his son’s diagnosis: www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-25/how-tony-attwood-missed-aspergers-diagnosis/8960460
Updated March 2018