Asperger's Syndrome Community
consideration for others
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consideration for others

so i have read several things that say aspergers people cannot show consideration for others
this is so not true
its the way that we show affection and consideration that gets turned all around by people who do not have this condition
we are a bit blunt, like if i see a friend gaining weight i may say to her "stop eating the cake you will get high blood pressure and get fat"
i do not say this to be rude, its just that i do not have the ability to bullshet
or have light conversations
i enjoying helping others
i volunteer at a womens shelther and work at an alcohol and drug rehab
i love to help out at both places
but i do not baby people that go into rehab, i am have a natzi approach
i might say "are you trying to kill yourself" or "do you want to loose your kids to dss"
but the nurse i work with will say "awee..hunny its ok, your kids will be ok"
i hear this and i am over in the corner think "no they wont"
i do try and comfort people but i would rather tell people what i think they need to hear versus what they want to hear
in my line of work its a good thing
so i guess i am exactly where god wants me to be
oh and i am a bit rough when i hug people, all my friends when they hug me say "breath" because it takes a minute to get comfortable, my friends are awesome
oh well, if you can relate good, love to hear your experience with this, or if you have seen this behavior in your kid
i was always told to tell the truth, but i have to remember not to tell the truth all the time, makes me look mean
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12 Comments Post a Comment
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583775_tn?1219970088
My son has Aspergers, and is very loving.  In fact one of his idosyncrasies is that he has to touch everyone, and went through a stage where he hugged people he (and we) barely knew.  So in his case, he showed too much affection!!

it seems he requires a lot of touch with people he likes.  He's always giving us massages.

He has trouble with his peers, but he is very caring towards younger or disabled kids, and  spontaneously helped a disabled child to go up the front at school assembly because he could see she was confused.

He has plenty of consideration for others when he has time to come to it himself, he just doesn't get when someeone might not show him enough, or have another agenda than him.  
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365714_tn?1292202708
Oh yeah, gotta love the "has no imagination" "cannot feel empathy" "does not understand empathy" and whatnot....
It's insane... I think more likely the truth is possibly having trouble expressing emotion.

Having trouble expressing emotion is different than not feeling emotion.

Imagination and Imaginative play:  Same thing... I may sit like a bump on a log, but that doesn't mean I have no imagination. I just don't look like I am imagining...
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Telling the truth... That's something I strive to do as best as possible... To lie makes me feel guilt...  I too will tell people what I feel they need to hear. Unfortunately it can get me into trouble, but I hope in the long run people can value honesty...

Sometimes there is no way to sugarcoat a bitter pill...  I recall in high school getting after an assistant teacher who quit alcohol but couldn't face his smoking addiction. He said he wasn't addicted to cigarettes but smokes them anyway.... Uh yeah and he's supposed to be helping to teach the effects of smoking and what it does...

I was very nervous though. In my head I wanted to say all the right things in a calm voice... But in reality I was in tears and quite shaky in voice...  I realize now I was a bit blunt and rude, but heck I felt like that teacher's life depended on it! My inside voice told me to be the one to speak out and be the one to potentially make a difference in this guy's life!


That being said, I do try to filter somewhat, especially when typing on the internet and choose my words a little more carefully... I have that luxery on the net, to be able to soften the blow somewhat, but still, I'm not going to say everything is okay when it isn't...  If someone is posting something that looks like they are going to end their life, I take action... I report to the mods...  No taking chances there...

In real life though I'm sure I come a bit more blunt... Sometimes if I bite my tongue and say nothing, or if the words don't come in the right time, then I'm hurt for a while thinking why didn't I speak up when I had the chance?
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Avatar_f_tn
i am very touchy too, infact i hugged the women at the grocery store last week, she is usually behing the deli counter and that day she was doing something else, she said hello (i have been going to the same store once a week for 2 years) and i gave her a big hug, totally the wrong thing to do, she was shocked!!!
sometimes it seems that when i am supposed to give people hugs, like at a funeral, i get uncomfortable, and do not know what to do, but when i am supposed to just smile and say hello, i give people a big slap on the back or something really crazy like a "hip" bump! yeah.....i am smooth like that! hehe
i definanlty need to filter on the internet, because most of the forums i am a member of, do not know about aspergers, plus when you post something, no one can see facial expression, so sometimes, what is written is not what i ment to say.
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365714_tn?1292202708
I view conversation on the net sort of like playing chess. If I'm in a stable mood I can read through my post and imagien, how will the other person react?  That's where I use my imagination to deal with those theory of mind things....I can pull from past experiences as well as what I've seen from similar posts and other people's reactions.

In a way sort of breaks it down to more of a scientific approach but it seems to work for the most part, unless I'm emotionally upset then of course what I perceive to be okay may not be....

I have at times typed out things then deleted them before hitting send because I realize I diverging from the topic too much.... Other times I need to cut out part of my reply and give the other person a chance to speak.  I didn't though with this post:
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/614264

I guess the thing would have been to just ask them first what kind of mood their child is when running off. But I decided I'd go ahead and lay out the possible causes from my experience all in one post.  It sort of takes away the conversation aspect, but then again on a forum like this, it's okay to do so to an extent.

In physical conversation that would be a monologue and would have been taking turns away from the other person...  I'm not good at the turn taking aspect of conversation...

On the net I can type out my thoughts uninterrupted.  In conversation...it doesn't work that way....
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365714_tn?1292202708
When it comes to strangers, I hardly do any physical contact at all... I don't tend to hug strangers or people outside my family. If they hug me then I will hug back though I tend to feel a little awkward. I don't say anything because I figure it helps them emotionally.

But tapping or poking me, patting my shoulders, etc... I may flinch a little and later rub it because it leaves an itch.  If that happens I try to politely tell the person not to do it again or I may just let it go.  It depends on the person and situation.

Firm back rubs and back scratches though are welcome =)
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470168_tn?1237474845
For almost all NTs they try to get along without hurting/upsetting anyone, especially if it is outside of the family because any upset in the relationship is not considered worth the hassle.  So, for example, if someone at work was eating a cake, and they were over weight, an NT would not make any kind of comment because it would upset relationships at work and make their life more difficult if other colleagues were angry with them.  That applies everywhere.  Most people try to avoid conflict.  Alot of people on the spectrum are just too truthful and literal for their own good and it is not appreciated.  If you consider the age old question 'if you saw the husband/wife of a friend out with another man/woman would you tell the spouse?'.  This is really a no win situation.  Even if you tell your friend there is a very high chance that he/she will get mad at you (the barer of the bad news), rather than get made at the spouse.
I also think that in many situations someone on the spectrum is perfectly capable of showing empathy, sense of humour etc but they may need someone to explain the situation and all the subtle nuances within in which they might normally miss.  Once they are put in the picture they are just as capable as everyone else, and sometimes have a totally unique way of looking at things that actually offer a better solution to the problem.
I saw a TV programme about a teenager with Aspergers who was about to go out to the school disco and his sisters were talking to him about how he should behave.  Eg. they said that if a girl asks you if she looks nice you have to say 'yes' even if she looks horrible.  He just couldn't get it.  He thought it would be better to tell her the truth.  But his sisters said, if you tell her she looks horrible she isn't going to want to be with you or dance with you.  But he thought she would want to know the truth so that she could change he appearance next time.  They also had to give him advice about subjects to talk about and that he should time himself and if he has been speaking for more than 5 minutes about something he should shut up for a bit.  Although alot of these social skills do not come naturally, they can be learnt, that is why it is very important to explain everything to children on the spectrum from the start to the finish because they cannot always predict outcomes from the information available to them.
I also think that NTs should be made aware that someone with Aspergers may say something to them they consider rude, but that it is not a personal thing it is just that they are actually being more truthful then anyone else is.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well it is a big fault in NT's that they consider surface phenomena like apparantly rudeness as more important than the underlying consideration.

When someone asks my opinion, I give it, and not to give a considered and honest opinion for the sake of a dissembling politeness does no one any favours in the long run.

If you are buying a used car and you get a mechanics opinion, it is better to get an opinion that your choice is a heap of worthless junk (if it is a heap of junk that is) than to have him praise your decision in order to curry favour for instance.

When I praise somebody, I mean it.

There is room for more than one cognitive style on the planet and that is what makes humanity so rich, to assume we are pathologically incapable of having consideration for other people is just so way off the mark, when you consider the numbers of us that are into all manner of movements, be that an environmental group or just plain volunteering to help out other people on the spectrum.
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637356_tn?1301928422
I understand what everyone is talking about. My son has a tendency to say things that are rude. He calls my mom the fat grandma and his other grandma the skinny grandma.  I have taught him that this hurts people's feelings and that he should call them grandma black and grandma klein but that didn't fly with him either because he is very literal. He just said your mom aint black. So we came up with grandma charlotte and grandma barbara. Now nobody's feelings get hurt.  He doesn't understand that he is hurting someone.

As far as consideration for others, I was awoken at 12:00 a.m. by my son one night and he was crying his little eyes out. I asked him what was wrong and he said we have to feed the hungry children on the t.v. He understands and cares a lot for others. On the other hand one of my biggest signs that he had AS was when he took a puppy I had gotten out to play and he swung the puppy on the swing causing the puppy to fly off and break its neck. In turn the puppy died, which was very upsetting to me and the other children but my son just sat there like he didn't understand why everyone was crying.

That is a scary feeling to watch your son have no remorse for killing a puppy. Years later after I received the diagnoses and researched different aspects of the diagnosis I understood that he didn't have remorse instead he didn't know how to explain his feelings correctly.
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470168_tn?1237474845
Sorry about the puppy.
Other NT kids also do things without considering the outcome.  For example I saw some kids throwing sticks at a squirrel in a tree.  One stick hit it, it fell to the ground and a dog got hold of it.
But I think that if you explained to your son that people and animals are made of bones and muscle and skin etc and that if they fall they can bread their bones and if they break certain bones that means that they die, then I think he might get it.
Has he got upset about it since?
My son, like yours, can get very upset about something he sees on TV about people getting hurt or killed.
He even went through a phase of wanting to plant any fruit seeds (like advocado seeds), because he got very upset if I said I was going to throw them in the bin because he said it would make the seed die and he wanted the seeds to grow into plants.
I just think they find it difficult to make connections and predict outcomes, that is why it is very important to explain things right from the start to the end outcome.  Never assume that with the little information they have that they can work out what will happen in the end.
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637356_tn?1301928422
yes he says should remorse since. I have learned since then to explain things to him and explain the outcomes of his actions. He is like your son in the fact that he plants every seed he finds. We have grown watermelons, pumpkins, peach tree, sunflowers, and other plants because he found a seed and wanted to make it grow.  

His favorite thing to do is dig for dinosaur bones. Every fossil he finds is a dinosaur bone and even some rocks. I have bought him a paint brush and chisel and small shovel so that he can sit outside for hours digging up rocks and cleaning them like palotologist (im sure he could spell that word right) do.
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Avatar_f_tn
has your son hurt other animals, it is not common for aspie's to hurt animals, he may have something other than aspergers
i have a bleeding heart for animals, infact i have a dog, a mouse, a large koi pond, nursing squirls back to health and 2 fish tanks
i have a freind who used to hurt animals as a child, she was molested, i am in no way saying that this has happened to your child, what happened with the puppy saounds like an accident, but it is more common for abused children to harm animals than aspie kids
i am a member of a homeschool aspie group, i have learned that symptoms can range from a to z
i find no comfort in the diagnoses because much of what i read about aspergers does not pertain to me or my child
i stopped seaching for the proper diagnoses and just work on our symptoms one day at a time
and that is where i find comfort
knowing that eachday i have a chance to grow and learn and that we (my son and i) do not have to be limited by our learning disibility
which some consider aspergers
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637356_tn?1301928422
No he hasn't hurt an animal since. It was an accident and I have latter learned that he has a heard time showing emotions correctly.  



We have several animals, 3 dogs, 1 cat, fish, snake, bunny, rat,  and that is a small list compared to what we normally have.
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