Learning more about Asperger’s Syndrome has helped me to learn about different coping strategies from people like John Elder Robison, Liane Holliday Willey and Temple Grandin.  As characters such as Abed Nadir (from Community) and Sheldon Cooper (from The Big Bang Theory) continue to appear in popular media, I’m optimistic that research funding towards Asperger’s Syndrome will continue to increase.  I hope that one of my stories will help people in general to learn more about Asperger’s Syndrome.

My top ten coping strategies for Asperger’s Syndrome are as follows:

1. Talk to a psychologist.  A psychologist will make the diagnosis, and suggest customized strategies for a given individual.

2. Memorizing facts about people (in terms of their favorite subjects to discuss) will help you start future conversations.  If you have difficulty memorizing facts, write down notes about people you encounter on a regular basis.  You can refer to the notes prior to a meeting.

3. Reading books about body language will help give you clues about whether or not the other person is interested in a given topic.  A body language book will also help you understand what to do with your own hands and eyes during a conversation.

4. Avoiding inappropriate conversation topics will make the other person more comfortable.

5. If you need assistance finding appropriate clothing for a date, ask a friend that you trust to help you go shopping.

6. Analyze yourself to determine which job would best utilize your strengths on a daily basis (for example, if you’re strong in subjects such as logic and mathematics, consider a career in computer science or engineering).

7. Based on your own weaknesses, identify courses (i.e. improvisation) that will help you develop specific skills (i.e. public speaking).

8. If you have an intense interest in a particular topic (i.e. dance, martial arts), taking classes will help you meet other people with similar interests.  It will be easier to become friends with another person that has at least one similar interest.

9. If you have a hyper sensitivity to light, noise or touch, understand the limitations associated with each condition.  If you’re hyper sensitive to light, I would recommend buying dark blinds to prevent light from entering a window at night to help you sleep.  Being hyper sensitive to noise would cause you to avoid loud environments such as a club or concert when possible.  Being hyper sensitive to touch would cause you to focus on purchasing clothes that are more comfortable.

10. Reading other books about Asperger’s Syndrome will help you to learn coping mechanisms from people with similar experiences or perspectives.


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