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If you read the ‘Who am I?’ post then you’ll realise I’m self-diagnosed. I’m aware this causes problems for some people but I feel I’ve read enough and tested enough online to feel certain. Plus I had enough of therapists and ‘sympathetic’ doctors when I was growing up so I really don’t want to go back to that.

Anyway, that’s not important. It’s just may way of explaining where this guide comes from. I’m not a doctor or therapist, I just have my own experience and research to rely on. Here goes:

Aspergers is on the Autism spectrum, which means it is a type of Autism. As I write this, there is a debate raging amongst the Aspie community because doctors are planning to stop using the name but I find it helpful so I’ll continue to use it.

People with the condition are lucky, because it is a high-functioning form of Autism. That means we can live relatively normal lives. We can live alone, make friends (albeit with some difficulty) and even have happy marriages.

Qualities vary considerably between people with Asperger’s but we often have a hobby or interest that borders on obsession. Other common traits include awkwardness in social situations, problems with stress and depression and a slowness to pick up on social conventions. We can talk and think just fineĀ and we don’t lack empathy but picking up on social cues or following conversations in a busy or noisy environment is difficult.

One thing I’ve always struggled with is diplomacy. I say or write something, thinking it is reasonable and polite, only to discover that it offends someone or upsets them. Now, if I’m writing an important business email I ask my partner to check it before I send.

It’s hard to put it in a nutshell because there are lots of different aspects and it affects men and women differently.

If you’d like to learn more I can recommend The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Dr Tony Attwood.

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