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Asperger syndrome is a social, invisible disability. You have some difficulties and some strengths in other areas. 

Image: Private, the authors blog

The blog Aspergerinformator presents these difficulties and strengths in an excellent way. Here you read a guest post from Aspergerinformator about how communication can be experienced for someone with Asperger's.

Here you read the whole post.

Hello. You enter the room. You become unsure whether to shake hands. It is not always natural for the other party to shake hands (here me). Some people with Asperger's syndrome get physical pain from shaking hands or find it strenuous, strange and uncomfortable. I have to pull myself together to shake hands. I use all my energy to shake your hand!

If you know me well, you might hug me. Are you my dad, mom or brother, you hug me. I squeeze back as I put my energy into seeming sincere. Hugs are learned, although I like the feeling of a hug sometimes. It is difficult to hug other people than these three. These are the only onces I can hug without getting stiff like a statue.

I smile, but I do not look you in the eye. Many people with Asperger's syndrome have difficulty with eye contact. But for a few moments, I blink and look the other person in the eyes. Do not think I am not interested in what you have to say even if I look in the air, up in the ceiling, or down on your shoes. It can help me focus fully on what you are going to say. Do you understand?

You start talking and I listen. Many people with Asperger's syndrome are aware of what is being said. You may not feel that the conversation goes so smoothly and may say the same thing twice, like that it was nice to see me, or the question of what I have done today. - You have already asked me about that, I answer. 

You feel cut off, but you are not. It was just the most natural thing for me, instead of repeating again that I had not done anything special. I did not think you would hear "I have not done anything particular today" twice. So when I say: "you have already said that" or "you have already asked for it", this is my confirmation to you that I am in the conversation with you.

I do not always understand what you are talking about when you small talk, and therefore my answers may be a little weird for you. They can also be absent if I do not understand the meaning of answering. I do not answer, if I interpret that you did not ask for anything.

When you go, you may say "good bye" (Norwegian: "ha det bra"). I answer with "bye" (Norwegian: "ha det") because I do not know if you are fine afterwards or not. That does not mean I do not want you to feel good, I just do not know how you feel and will not give you a command. Do you understand my language? I try to drive on autopilot, but it's not always easy to say "neurotypical phrases".

By the way, I may well greet you from someone. But I forget it 99 percent of the time because it is not natural for me when those I am to greet from are not in the room. I will not forget it out of malice! Can't you rather say hello to each other when you see each other?

After you leave, I lie down discharged and maybe rest, or photograph my dolls, read commercials and keep up to date until the next time you talk to me.

- Text and image from Asperger Informator

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