There is no doubt that people with Asperger's syndrome have humor and some also have self-irony. The humor can still be distinctive. Children and to some extent adolescents can sometimes have difficulty understanding certain forms of humor, including irony.

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Gustav Koi writes this in a new guest post on The post is partly taken from his latest book, "Aspergerlandskap" (Asperger landscape). Here you read the whole post:

For my part, I have always been interested in humor / comedy, making people laugh at what I do, but this is completely conscious. But if people see something funny in me that I had not thought of, then I can smile about it too, because I do not take myself so seriously.

I started entertaining others early on as a kid, and I rejoiced when I made them laugh heartily, and have continued to do so in various forms. Even though I have been downhearted, I have nevertheless had the urge to please others.

So the smile and the laughter have been the most important element for me.


I often did not understand the point

But when I was younger, it often happened that I did not laugh when others told a joke, because I rarely understand the point. But I remember sometimes pretending I did and laughing. Later I could ponder what was so funny about that.

After I got the diagnosis, I also felt a little more liberating about trying to be funny, but at the same time a little weirder. Maybe this also has to do with a lack of identity, one also lives a little through others. Maybe this is also a way to be a social being.


Peculiar humor

Yes, I get people more in advance, and get more contact with myself in a way. So I think that by being able to be funny myself, I create a kind of identity that could otherwise be in short supply.

I have gone into many roles, and I have in a way adapted to that role as well, that is, to have an Asperger's diagnosis. I could have "acted" more as one with Asperger's, exaggerated a bit, make up funny things about myself, and thing like that. I now believe that I can surprise others more, those who know me, at the same time I also feel to experience more respect.

I will probably appear, without thinking about it, as I can both be funny and have self-irony.

In my research on how others with Asperger's syndrome are, when it comes to humor and self-irony, I have received feedback from how mothers perceive their adolescents with the diagnosis, as well as some professionals who have had a lot of contact with adolescents, and adults with Asperger's syndrome diagnosis who respond to themselves even on this question.

As a summary of this, I can say the following:

Most mothers say that their teens have a lot of humor, and some have self-irony as well. Some stand out with a slightly peculiar kind of humor. The humor between people can be somewhat more difficult to perceive, and it can be understandable, since the humor can also be quite individual between two people.


It can be difficult to understand where the line goes

Professionals have perceived that the humor of young people may tend to be "intellectual" and on the other hand also more characterized by "slapstick" humor. I believe that it can be a common problem for people with Asperger's syndrome that they do not understand when others joke with them, but that they can also cross the lines when they try to joke with others, because they do not understand what is appropriate, or what others people think is funny.

Some have a well-developed sense of humor, especially when it is within what they are interested in, says a professional.

Another professional told that many with Asperger's have humorous traits, but mostly they do not stand out due to their sense of humor.

Several people with Asperger's express that they have good humor and self-irony. One of the adults could laugh quite well at linguistic expressions that give special associations, but was not sure if his self-irony was so great.


Not lack of sense of humor

From what I can see, it is not the lack of humor, and to some extent even irony, that is weakened in persons with Asperger's.

I think this is more about interests and personality, which differ from each other, in this respect. Children also laugh at completely different things than adults, and this probably also means that they must learn to develop their interpersonal and social capasities in order to understand humor.

Those with Asperger's syndrome probably have more sense of the comedy's game, what goes on gag, moments of surprise, exaggerations, distraction, where people behave like machines, or vice versa, and ironically awkwardness.


Difference between humor and comedy

But then there is also some difference between what we call humor and what we call comedy.

The humor is more related to background and cultural differences.

Yes, some can laugh at things where others do not laugh at all. Now I'm talking about people in general. Humor can develop in a family and among friends, and turn out be have somewhat different forms compared with other families and friends.

Comedy, on the other hand, is more universal and governed by clearer principles and rules.

Typical of the comedy we find among the circus clown, the silent film, and people who put more emphasis on gags and things like that. Comedy has a more artistic form, where all races and peoples can laugh at the same thing, one does not have to explain, or learn to understand comedy, as long as one follows the principles of comedy.


My conclusion

My conclusion :

There is no doubt that people with Asperger's syndrome have humor and some also have self-irony. The humor can still be somewhat distinctive. Children and to some extent adolescents can sometimes have difficulty understanding certain forms of humor, including irony.

This article is partly from the book "Asperger's Landscape"

- Gustav Koi private researcher and communicator.