What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum that has only been recognized in the USA since 1994. It has many features of classical autism, but lacks the intellectual learning disabilities. Individuals with this syndrome have difficulty with social aspects of intelligence, such as understanding what those around them think and feel. As a result, they often behave inappropriately in social situations or act in ways that appear unkind or callous. Many Asperger's individuals have difficulty planning and coping with change despite average or even exceptional intelligence in academic or intellectual areas. This can manifest as a notable lack of "common sense." Most importantly, this disability has profound effects on the family members and others in close contact with the Asperger's person. It is the spouses, parents, siblings, and children, of those with Asperger's Syndrome that experience the emotional pain, especially when the correct diagnosis has been delayed until relatively late in adulthood. Family members need validation and support. Feelings of rejection and loneliness play a major role in the lives of the family members of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. Their feelings are not validated, acknowledged, or recognized by the person with this disability.
Quoted from an anthropologist on CNN, April 2008: "What better way to learn about a culture, than living with them."
Most medical communities and autism professionals are missing vital information neuro-typical spouses/family members have to offer, regarding adults with Asperger's Syndrome.
Neuro-typical spouses, married to adults with Asperger's Syndrome, have 'learned' the 'culture' of Asperger's Syndrome by living alongside the disability 24/7, 365 days/year...sometimes for decades...uninterrupted.
Neuro-typical spouses have many of the answers to the questions being asked about adult Asperger's Syndrome individuals' lifestyles, behaviors.
Our mission is to offer support to the family members of adult individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. Our goal is to educate the public to the existence of Asperger's Syndrome in the ADULT population and to bring awareness of this neurological disorder and its ramifications on the "whole" family to the medical communities who are directly or indirectly involved. Another key aspect to our work is to give the families a measure of reassurance so they can validate their concerns and frustrations as concrete issues rather than simple "family problems".
The goals of FAAAS are as follows:
To validate and support family members who do not have Asperger's Syndrome, but whose lives are are affected by this disability.
To supply information and insight to the medical, psychological, and neurological communities regarding the families of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, and how this neurolological-biological-developmental disability/disorder has impacted their lives.
If you would like more information regarding this support group for the families of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome, please see the following links. If you have a question which is not addressed here or would like further information, please direct your inquiry through Who We Are Page.