Asperger Syndrome and Psychotherapy: Understanding Asperger Perspectives

By Paula Jacobsen | Go to book overview

4
The Understanding
and Communication of Information

Theory of mind and central coherence have helped me to understand another Asperger quality. People with Asperger Syndrome often talk on and on about something they are interested in, if they have a willing or at least a tolerant audience or listener. Conversation is difficult. Some tell me that they have learned to be silent, especially in social situations, because they do not think that others want to hear from them. Others have said that they are aware that people may feel that they talk too little or too much. This issue is illustrated very well in a movie, a French comedy, called The Dinner Game (1998). The invited guests are socially awkward people who are very concrete and who talk on and on about their special interests. I learned to understand this better from a family who have a boy with Asperger Syndrome.


Jack

Jack is a nine-year-old boy. He is very much like his father, Dave, who believes that he has Asperger Syndrome too. Dave is a competent professional, but has experienced occasional difficulties at work when he understood and acted on communications literally. He once understood a supervisor to be making a suggestion, when the supervisor made this offhanded sarcastic remark, [You better have some expert opinion to back you up, before you make claims like that!] He understood this literally, and took the problem to a number of more senior professionals, who supported his findings. He then presented this at a large meeting. He did not know his supervisor would be surprised.

On another occasion, Dave received a flippant e-mail from within the company, stating that they should just ask certain people (outside the

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