Asperger Syndrome and Psychotherapy: Understanding Asperger Perspectives

By Paula Jacobsen | Go to book overview

5
Addressing Commonly Occurring Issues

The observable behaviors associated with Asperger Syndrome often come up as issues in a child's life, and therefore as issues to understand in our work. I have addressed some of these as they occurred with children in the vignettes I have used. Certain issues come up very frequently in working with these children. It may be useful to examine some that are very common in more detail. As with everything we address, understanding the child's perspective first provides a basis for our work. It may help the child to understand his or her needs, behaviors, and mind. It clarifies that his perspective exists, and makes sense of his perspective. It clarifies the existence of other perspectives and what they may be.


Response Time and Eye Contact

Some people with Asperger's have difficulty maintaining the pace of talking and responding that neurotypicals expect. I have worked with children like this and it can be impossible for me to tell from their expression or demeanor if they have heard and are thinking, or if they have not heard. They may be unaware of this. Some have told me that they notice that others start talking, or change the subject, when they are not finished. They may find that others repeat statements or requests. They have heard, but just have not responded yet. Sometimes they do not see why one would respond with acknowledgment to a comment, if it does not contain a question. If I note my confusion (about whether they have finished, or heard me, or planned to respond soon) a child may give information to help me. The object is to make both of us aware of his process and what it means to him. If a problem arises, we can understand what it might mean to someone else. In our relationship, it becomes clear that

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