Usually I don’t talk to my ex-husband but today was different. The boys spent all day at a water park yesterday and were still asleep when I called.
“How is it going?” I asked.
“Pretty good.” their father replied hesitantly. “I am having to learn how to communicate with Daniel.”
“Yes. Everyone has to learn to communicate with Daniel.” I laugh.
“Yes, but he helps me.” Wil continued, “Like with the mix up with the pizza last night. He just kept going on and on and on about it. I kept trying to explain it to him and he would just complain again. Finally he said, “Dad, I just need you to say,”That is an interesting observation.” As soon as I said that, he was fine.”
I was pretty proud of Daniel. He hasn’t spent much time with his father since he was about 4. They haven’t had a lot of time to get used to communicating with each other. For Daniel to be able to express his need to another person in a calm and fairly reasonable fashion, is encouraging.
Social interaction is one of the most challenging aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome. Many highly intelligent and academically accomplished Aspies struggle in their professional and personal lives simply because of the challenges of communicating with people in the “typical” world.
It is also encouraging because I have consistently stressed to Daniel that he will have to be his own best advocate. I tell him that through out his life he will have to find ways to get people on his side, to inspire people to want him to succeed. When he can do that, he will have a very valuable tool.
Telling his father how to end the conversation is not necessarily the same tactic he will be able to use with bosses, friends and spouses. However, being able to diagnose how to end a conversation in a way that he will feel heard is a start. Also, the ability to communicate to another person that he is not expecting a solution but just an acknowledgment is important. The fact that he did this in a emotionally charged situation (talking with his father) is yet another plus.
What techniques do you (as an Aspie) use to communicate with the “typical” world? What techniques do you (as a parent/teacher/counselor to an Aspie) teach an Aspie to help them communicate with the “typical” world?