People with an Asperger profiles usually have difficulty with:
- Aversion to or craving for certain types/intensities of sensory input. Extreme sensitivity — or relative insensitivity — to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or textures. Many people outgrow these sensory issues at least to some extent as they mature.
- Integrating multiple sensations and responding appropriately.
- Knowing where one’s body is in space; avoiding bumping into people or objects.
- Motor planning (using the body to accomplish a task).
- Auditory, visual, or intellectual processing, which can contribute to difficulties keeping up in a range of social settings.
Regulation of Emotions and Anxiety
- Recognizing what emotions feel like and look like in self and others.
- Understanding gradations of emotion; matching emotional response to people, activities and settings.
Regulation of Attention and Impulses
- Controlling flight or fight response when anxious.
- Filtering out extraneous stimuli.
- Analyzing relevant vs. irrelevant information.
- Sustaining attention to relevant information.
- Switching attention from one thing to another.
- Intense, narrow, time-consuming personal interest(s) — sometimes eccentric in nature — that may result in social isolation, or interfere with the completion of everyday tasks.
- Vulnerability to stress, sometimes escalating to psychological or emotional problems including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
- Coping with changes in familiar routines.
- Seeing more than one way to accomplish a task/solve a problem.
- Realizing there are exceptions to rules; tolerating when other people bend rules.
- Accepting feedback, advice, suggestions or help from others.
- Change may trigger anxiety, while familiar objects, settings, and routines offer reassurance. One result is difficulty transitioning from one activity to another: from one class to another, from work-time to lunch or from talking to listening.
Central Coherence/Generalization/Main Idea
- Seeing “the forest for the trees.” Seeing the big picture due to a tendency to focus on the details of a given situation.
- Abstracting the main idea from text or conversation.
- Recognizing and categorizing information.
- Understanding complex or abstract concepts.
- Generalizing skills from one setting to another.
- Organizing thoughts and materials.
- Written expression.
- Time management
- Prioritizing, initiating, and completing tasks.
- Generating novel or alternative solutions.
Theory of Mind/Perspective Taking:
- Recognizing and understanding other people’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions due to a tendency to ignore or misinterpret such cues as facial expression, body language and vocal intonation.
- Processing social information quickly and efficiently.
- Being tactful; being able to tell “white lies.”
- Understanding the unwritten or implied social rules.
- Knowing what to do or say in various social situations.
- Appearing awkward or rude, and unintentionally upset others.
- Noticing and correctly interpreting other people’s nonverbal communication (gestures, body position, facial expression and tone of voice).
- Modulating one’s own nonverbal communication.
- Initiating, joining, and maintaining conversation.
- Using humor and sarcasm appropriately; understanding other people’s use of sarcasm and humor.
- Feeling somehow different and disconnected from the rest of the world and not “fitting in” — sometimes called “Wrong Planet” Syndrome.
- Perceiving and expressing one’s own feelings.
- Understanding/accepting one’s own strengths and weaknesses.
- Developing strategies to offset weaknesses and build on strengths.
- Knowing when one needs help; asking for help.
- Recognizing and protecting oneself from bullies.
- Difficulties with sleep patterns.
- Fatigue due to sensory stimulation in certain environments.
- Fatigue due to conscious mental processing of information that others might process intuitively.
- Exhaustion due to easily-triggered nervous system (active “Fight or Flight” response).