Over the years I have known a lot of people both young and not so young who have had varying degrees of AS. It's great that we have seen portrayals of this on TV and in movies as it builds awareness. However the downside of that is (as with any portrayal in media of a minority group) they more often than not show the extremes or stereotypes. AS is not that simple. The range is massive and the degree of symptoms is as well. It's also full of contradictions. For example someone with AS isn't necessarily a quiet person. The stereotype says they are quiet but there are many who are very talkative. It depends on a number of factors such as how comfortable they feel in a situation and learned behaviours.
The other misconception is that they have a problem. As I said in my last post, there is a perception that they don't feel, however the truth is they feel very deeply but may have problems showing it. Still no matter what they feel they often internalise a lot of their emotions which is what leads to outbursts. There are two things to consider in this situation. Firstly that they generally have outbursts when they can't contain their frustration at not being understood. Depending on how much is going wrong for them can affect how often they have outbursts. They are not being selfish, just frustrated. The second is that generally an AS person actually blames themselves for everything. A lot of this is because they just don't understand why people don't try and understand them. This can lead to a lot of Anxiety and Depression.
Something that makes things much worse is when people around them use AS as a negative by saying things like "you are like that because of your AS", or "that's your AS". Firstly a lot of the time it's actually not, and you are just using it to hurt the person or try and justify it for yourself. If it is because of the AS then it's important that you help them understand that point and how it differs from a non-AS person. People with AS think differently because their brains are wired differently, but that doesn't make them any less of a person. People with AS still feel, as we established in my last post. They still want to be loved and they still want to be treated with respect.
As most research shows there is so many positives to someone with AS. They are highly intelligent for one. They also make extremely loyal friends and partners. A lot of people with AS are absolute with honesty so you will never have to doubt them. These are just a few but there are many more. For a lot of people out there who are close to someone with AS it can be very confronting, not just because of their honesty but because it will make you confront your own issues through the things you hear from the observations shared by the person with AS.
That's not to say there are not challenges. But any family or relationship has challenges. It's just that the challenges are different ones. The key to success is being open to not only being patient and helpful but to be open to looking within. My experience is that if you can focus on the positives of someone with AS, you will quickly see that they far outweigh the challenges compared to a non-AS situation.