Myths About Asperger Syndrome You Should Stop Believing

People with Asperger syndrome can lead lives just as full as others. They just need a little understanding and acceptance to do it.

Last update: November 26, 2021

Asperger’s syndrome has been subject to confusion and myths forever. Proof of this is that its discoverer, the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, was ignored by his contemporaries. Only until almost 60 years later was the find recognized.

Hans Asperger found common characteristics in 4 children and detected that these deviated from the usual. At first, he described the syndrome as a childhood condition characterized by the absence of social instinct and resistance to change.

It was the English psychiatrist Lorna Wing who rescued those studies from oblivion. In 1981 he made known the work of the Austrian doctor and since then there has been talk of Asperger’s syndrome. Nevertheless, there are still many confusions and myths about it.

Asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome it is a developmental disorder that causes problems in 3 areas: social interaction, language and communication, and cognitive flexibility. It is due to a neurobiological disorder and is considered a severe problem.

Some define Asperger syndrome as a disability to understand the world of the social. It is a very abstract identification that is not easy to understand. On multiple occasions it is confused with simple rarity.

In general, people with Asperger syndrome present relevant characteristics such as the following:

  • Difficulties understanding moods and to understand others.
  • Problems holding a conversation and interpreting language.
  • Absence of eye contact with the interlocutor.
  • Interests restricted to particular topics.
  • Intolerance to change in the routines already known.

11 myths about Asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome is not well understood by many people. This, and the construction of fictional characters for television series, has caused a series of myths to be forged in this regard. The following are the most common.

The syndrome is named after an Austrian pediatrician, although it took decades for his description of the disorder to be recognized.

1. Asperger’s syndrome is overcome with time

Many people think that Asperger syndrome is a problem that is present in some children and that it goes away with time, when they reach adulthood. That’s not true. This disorder lasts a lifetime, but it can evolve with the right approach.

2. They will never marry

It is one of the most widespread myths about Asperger’s syndrome, even among health professionals. The truth is that, although it is not the most frequent, a person with this syndrome can form a couple and marry. Each case must be looked at individually.

3. They have social phobia

There is a great distance between Asperger syndrome and social phobia. People with Asperger’s are aware of their difficulty understanding certain aspects of others and naturally tend to avoid contact. People with social phobia may have social skills, but are afraid to put them into practice.

4. They have no interest in others.

Another widespread myth that does not correspond to the truth. People with Asperger’s tend to be very interested in those who are close to them. However, there are areas in which they fail to connect with them, which does not mean that they do not care. They have a deficit in their social skills, but not in their ability to feel affection.

5. They lack empathy

Although it seems somewhat paradoxical, due to the social deficit, the truth is that this is not true either. Those who have this syndrome cannot have cognitive empathy with others, but they do have emotional empathy. Sometimes they need the other to explain what they feel to be able to understand it.

6. They don’t express themselves adequately

Although Asperger syndrome has some limitations in language and communication, these have nothing to do with expression. In fact, these types of people sometimes express themselves very fluently.

What they do have problems with is understanding the figurative sense, the double meaning or metaphors. They interpret language literally.

7. They are smarter than others

They may or may not be smarter, but this does not depend on Asperger syndrome. This condition does not affect intelligence, neither for better nor for worse. They tend to have good retention in the subjects that interest them, but this does not indicate that they are above average.

8. They are sick

This syndrome cannot be classified as a disease in the strict sense. It is a condition that affects development and marks certain peculiarities.

9. Asperger syndrome equals autism

This myth about Asperger’s syndrome is also not true. Although is classified within autism spectrum disorders (ASD), is not the same as autism as such.

10. They are asexual

This syndrome does not affect sexuality in any way. Therefore, in that field there is no difference with an average person.

11. They are aggressive

This is a very damaging myth. There is no evidence that people with Asperger syndrome are more aggressive than others.

They may feel frustrated and react irritably to certain situations, but in essence they are not violent far from it. On the contrary, it is estimated that up to 90% of them are subjected to violence by others.

The lack of interpretation of the emotions and the figurative senses could be a key characteristic of the syndrome, but this does not translate into aggressiveness or a total lack of empathy.

Understanding Asperger syndrome to dispel the myths

People with Asperger syndrome process information in a different way than most do from the people. They do not need medications or surgeries, although they do need guidance and understanding to evolve.

These people can become very systematic and sharp thinkers, since they do not have problems with their intellectual development. They can also have an enriching social life, fall in love, get married, have children and be happy.

A knowledgeable and supportive environment is the deciding factor so that they advance in their evolution. It is also very important to inform them well about their condition, since they are capable of generating alternative strategies to move in the world.

Psychotherapy is usually a good alternative, both for the person with Asperger syndrome and for those around him. Great strides are made when you have an adequate and committed professional guide.

It is important to protect people with this syndrome from discrimination. Social rejection can leave deep marks on them and limit their motivation.

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