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Help for Neurodiverse Couples topic

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Dr. Kenneth Roberson 8 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #9913

    I would like to start a discussion about neurodiverse couples who want to improve the quality of their relationship. By neurodiverse, I mean a couple where one person has Asperger’s and the other is neurotypical. The topics I have in mind topics include:

    Analyzing the Relationship dynamics
    Setting Limits
    Typical Communication Patterns
    Embracing Differences
    Dealing with Anger
    Sex and Intimacy
    Choosing to Leave

    Are there any other topics that you would like to discuss? Let me know and I will add them to the list.

    I hope to get this forum off and running soon. Look for new posts in the near future.


    I want to share a portion of an article I wrote recently about communication difficulties with neurodiverse couples:

    The non-Asperger’s, or Neurotypical (NT), partner typically communicates his or her desire to be understood, validated and cared for by the Asperger’s partner through various instructions, explanations and requests. These are referred to as prompts, much like the instructions used by classroom teachers to encourage and guide the learning process.
    The Asperger’s partner, on the other hand, is in the role of a learner. The difficulties he or she has with social understanding and social interactions, the core features of Asperger’s, make it hard to communicate with, and respond effectively to, the NT partner’s need for intimacy. They are skills that are lacking and in need of development.
    The result of prompting, on the one hand, and skill building, on the other, has been termed a “communication roundabout.” One person pulls for an emotionally connected intimate relationship by requesting certain behaviors and responses from the other person who is often confused, frustrated, anxious and/or angry with these requests. The negative reactions of the Asperger’s partner then lead to more prompting by the NT person, which generates even greater resistance by the Asperger’s partner, creating a downward spiral in which many couples find themselves alienated, discouraged, and exhausted.

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