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EveryZig

Aros With Autism/Aspergers

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I have seen this come up in several other threads (in some cases as a derail), so I felt like this should have its own thread.

Aros with Autism/Aspergers: what are your thoughts on how these interact and whether they are related?

 

Personally, I am aro and have a clinical diagnosis of aspergers. Before hearing about aromanticism, I had thought that my not having romantic interest was caused by that, but now I am not as sure. As well as hearing that statistically autistic people are only somewhat more likely to be aro or ace, from looking at autistic/aspergers communities some I have seen what is (to me) a surprising amount of discussion about romance and the challenges faced by autistic people tying to find romance. (Really it makes me feel very lucky to be aro and grey-ace, as feeling a need for romance or partnered sex while having the social difficulties of the autistic spectrum seems like it would be awful.)

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I agree with you, on feeling lucky to be aro-spec and grey ace with Asperger's. I did think my difficulties 'feeling' anything in my last relationship were caused by it to at least a degree - trying to make conversation while Inner Me was flailing her arms and screaming "get the fuck outta here, it doesn't even feel like you can make friends with him!" knowing nothing about aromanticism at that point. 

I'm not great at socialising in general apart from when I'm with my good friends, and I don't get really attached to that many people. I think unless I feel some kind of "spark" for another person, I just don't have any motivation to find out more about them and can often find talking to people I don't know kind of boring at best. I'm one of those Aspies who needs a lot of alone time, doing my own things. So, for me at least, they're related.

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I hold the unpopular opinion that my aromanticism has been caused by whatever undiagnosed mental issues I have (which might be schizoid, avoidant, borderline or autistic spectrum), but I don't mind my personality the way it is - the aromanticism is making my life so much easier to plan.

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I dont think there is anything paticular linked with aromanticism or asexuality with autism.

 

However, Disable people which included Autistic people as well DO get desexualise and deromantizise alot.

I just talked with someone who got their dignose a few weeks ago, and they said that their therapist had been surprized how they had sex with people because as she said. "most people like you arnt interesteed in sex?"

 

I grew up on a special school for autistic children. and while sure some seamed to not be interesteed in romance or sex, there where sure also many perverts and many who thought about romantic relationships and dating (which itself was a challange since there where alot more guys than girls and everyone was supposed to be straight) I dont think it would had been too different on a regular school. One thing I noticed to be different is many autistic people have difficulties interracting with others and it makes it difficult to seek out romantic relationships or sexuals once, but having difficulties in these doesnt mean people arnt interesteed. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Natkat said:

there where sure also many perverts

 

That's a curious observation. I'm actually a pervert but I can't afford to let anyone know what my fantasies are, so from the outside, I'm indistinguishable from an aro.

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4 hours ago, EveryZig said:

Before hearing about aromanticism, I had thought that my not having romantic interest was caused by that, but now I am not as sure. As well as hearing that statistically autistic people are only somewhat more likely to be aro or ace, from looking at autistic/aspergers communities some I have seen what is (to me) a surprising amount of discussion about romance and the challenges faced by autistic people tying to find romance.

Are we affected by quantum entanglement? Because that's what I felt too. Any traits different to normality? Yeah that's the Asperger's showing.

Now I believe that I'm much more complex than the all purpose label and blame all my traits on the fact that I'm me and no one else.

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3 hours ago, paporomantic said:

That's a curious observation. I'm actually a pervert but I can't afford to let anyone know what my fantasies are, so from the outside, I'm indistinguishable from an aro.

Kind of similar here. In terms of interacting with other people I am close to ace, but in terms of fantasies and porn I am into some pretty weird stuff.

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The 3 online tests I took all seem to suggest I have mild Asperger's. Not sure how accurate those are, and while I'm surprised to think of myself as being on the autism spectrum, it sure would explain a few things, like why I always feel so different from other people in many ways...

Then again, many of the questions seemed more like a personality test than much else.

 

I looked around on some Aspie/autism forums... there's a lot of people posting about romantic relationships there... so a lot of them are not aro. But also, the amount of people here with Aspergers is interesting... it probably isn't a case of either one causing the other, but they do seem to be related in some way.

 

If there's a relation, there's probably also a relation to other things, like personality types. It's probably a huge interconnected mess of things that interact in complicated ways that can't really be pinned down to any particular cause, other than just being human.

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17 hours ago, Natkat said:

I dont think there is anything paticular linked with aromanticism or asexuality with autism.

There is something of a correlation here, though it's more with non-normtivity.
It's also likely that people who are hyper-romantic, hyper-sexual, strongly hetero, strongly monogamous or strongly vanilla are less likely to be noticed than those who are aromantic, asexual, LGBT+, poly or kinky,
 

17 hours ago, Natkat said:

However, Disable people which included Autistic people as well DO get desexualise and deromantizise alot.

I just talked with someone who got their dignose a few weeks ago, and they said that their therapist had been surprized how they had sex with people because as she said. "most people like you arnt interesteed in sex?"

It's possible that autism has more of an issue with infantisation than other disabilities because of how strongly it is associated with children.

 

17 hours ago, Natkat said:

I grew up on a special school for autistic children. and while sure some seamed to not be interesteed in romance or sex, there where sure also many perverts and many who thought about romantic relationships and dating (which itself was a challange since there where alot more guys than girls and everyone was supposed to be straight) I dont think it would had been too different on a regular school. One thing I noticed to be different is many autistic people have difficulties interracting with others and it makes it difficult to seek out romantic relationships or sexuals once, but having difficulties in these doesnt mean people arnt interesteed.

The obvious difference with a regular school would be between being in an environment where such difficulties interracting were rare vs where they were common.

 

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6 hours ago, Mark said:

There is something of a correlation here, though it's more with non-normtivity.
It's also likely that people who are hyper-romantic, hyper-sexual, strongly hetero, strongly monogamous or strongly vanilla are less likely to be noticed than those who are aromantic, asexual, LGBT+, poly or kinky,
 

It's possible that autism has more of an issue with infantisation than other disabilities because of how strongly it is associated with children.

 

The obvious difference with a regular school would be between being in an environment where such difficulties interracting were rare vs where they were common.

 

 
4

I guess in general it becomes more easy to come out as something if you already had came out once before. Somehow gathering together in minorities groups such as lgbt+ or others make it more easy to relate to other minorities and see if they fits you, its also more easy to seek out informations you wouldnt otherwise get. I admit that if it wasnt because I knew about being trans I probably wouldnt had known what it ment to be aro, ace, poly, etc or at least not to the level I do now but only the narrow view I learned in school. 

--

I think it's partly true that we are compared with children or sweet innocent angels opposite of the other stereotype on how evil and troublesome we are. 

but in general there are just alot of desexualisation and de-romantizising because being disable somehow isnt ideal, and makes people think we are "less a good partner" or whatever.. sad but true.

its also why people get so angry about aborting or women getting sterilised, but if a disable person gets sterilised or someone get an abort because the person is disable then its seen as "okay" and totally normal to the point where many actually either are forced to do it, or getting it recomended. I also feel it may be why I have a more easy time when I tell my doctor that I dont want children. (exept for the fact being trans makes it kinda complicated)

 

but I also think it depends alot on what type of disability you have and how visible disable you are.

--

btw on the difference, right after I left my special school I entered a regular one and I didnt really notice any change patterns when the topic was on dating, sex etc. not to say I didnt notice anything difference between the two schools they where indeed VERY different, it was kind of an culture shock. O.o

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/30/2016 at 1:08 PM, EveryZig said:

(Really it makes me feel very lucky to be aro and grey-ace, as feeling a need for romance or partnered sex while having the social difficulties of the autistic spectrum seems like it would be awful.)

 

Me too!

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On 12/11/2016 at 3:39 AM, Ettina said:

 

On 11/30/2016 at 7:08 PM, EveryZig said:

(Really it makes me feel very lucky to be aro and grey-ace, as feeling a need for romance or partnered sex while having the social difficulties of the autistic spectrum seems like it would be awful.)

 

Me too!

 

 

Yeah, 'awful' is one word for it xD Having a 'normal' sex drive, but coupled with a degree of both aromanticism and social ineptitude, can be an incredibly frustrating experience! I sometimes think about how much simpler my life would be if I could just turn off those sexual urges like a tap. Then again, they can be kind of fun :P

 

(though please note that I haven't been formally diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. I do identify with / relate to a few of the standard traits though. I certainly have had somewhat 'obsessive' interests. A lot of socially conventional behaviors don't make a great deal of sense to me and I do struggle with things like eye contact - which is something I find very distracting and unpleasantly intense, particularly with people I don't know well. I certainly can't make eye contact and think about what I'm saying / conduct a conversation at the same time! O.o. And I hear that eye contact is quite important for signaling romantic and/or sexual interest in somebody...) 

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On 11/30/2016 at 2:56 PM, Natkat said:

I dont think there is anything paticular linked with aromanticism or asexuality with autism.

 

According to research, 17% of autistic women are asexual. I don't know if it's similar for men. Nor do I know if there's any link with aromanticism.

 

In any case, with the estimate that asexuals are 1% of the population, the rate in autistic women is clearly very elevated. But still, 83% of autistic women are allosexual.

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I'm not officialy diagnosed but I'm sure I have Asperger. I'm also grey aro and asexual. These three things fit me exactly and clear up everything about my personality. For a long time I didn't know what the hell is wrong with me. Then I found AVEN,Wrong planet and now Arocalypse. Through these forums I found so much infos which helped me understand who I'm.

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On 01/12/2016 at 10:20 PM, SoulWolf said:

The 3 online tests I took all seem to suggest I have mild Asperger's. Not sure how accurate those are, and while I'm surprised to think of myself as being on the autism spectrum, it sure would explain a few things, like why I always feel so different from other people in many ways...

Then again, many of the questions seemed more like a personality test than much else.

When I actually talked to a psychologist about my situation he basically said I had all the signs of someone on the spectrum but didn't want to give me a diagnosis because I've mostly not needed help with it. Perhaps you're in a similar situation.

 

On 01/12/2016 at 6:08 AM, EveryZig said:

Aros with Autism/Aspergers: what are your thoughts on how these interact and whether they are related?

I'd be unsurprised if there's a correlation, but as others have mentioned I don't think there's a strong case for a causation relationship. Just because you're awkward socially doesn't mean you don't want to be social (though this is definitely the case for some). Personally, I'd love to be more social but that's hard for a variety of reasons. I still don't want a romantic/sexual relationship. Conversely, my room-mates brother is very high up on the ASD spectrum but he very clearly does want a romantic relationship.

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I've got 18 points on the AQ test => “Scores in the 0-25 range indicate little or no Autistic traits.”. I'm surprised that it is so low. Anyway, if you allow this remark, I don't notice anything unusual with most of you who have Asperger's. You seem more normal to me than myself.... :)

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On 12/07/2017 at 7:25 AM, Momo said:

When I actually talked to a psychologist about my situation he basically said I had all the signs of someone on the spectrum but didn't want to give me a diagnosis because I've mostly not needed help with it. Perhaps you're in a similar situation.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if a psycologist said this about me. I tend to score fairly highly on these sorts of online tests. But I cope just fine now. A diagnosis wouldn't help me at all. I may not even be autistic. But it doesn't really matter for me.

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1 hour ago, Zemaddog said:

A diagnosis wouldn't help me at all. I may not even be autistic. But it doesn't really matter for me.

Basically where I'm at too. I was there for other reasons though and its been on my mind for a while so I decided to talk about it. But as you say, I mostly manage already anyway. It was more about sating curiousity. 

3 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Anyway, if you allow this remark, I don't notice anything unusual with most of you who have Asperger's.

Most people with social issues have less issues online. Its a less difficult situation, often anonymous, and you often have as much time as you need to compose your messages in a way that you are comfortable with. 

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2 hours ago, Momo said:

Most people with social issues have less issues online. Its a less difficult situation, often anonymous, and you often have as much time as you need to compose your messages in a way that you are comfortable with. 

There's also the lack of non-verbal communication. Which many autistic people find helpful.

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On 7/13/2017 at 8:00 AM, Mark said:

There's also the lack of non-verbal communication. Which many autistic people find helpful.

On the other hand, autism is not so subtle anymore, I do notice it. But Asperger's... no, not in online conversations.

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Hi. Hoping to revive this thread. I'm aroace and consider those as parts of my identity, but as to whether they're linked to my Asperger's, maybe, just maybe. I cannot say for sure. 

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On 8/17/2018 at 5:02 AM, The Angel of Eternity said:

Hi. Hoping to revive this thread. I'm aroace and consider those as parts of my identity, but as to whether they're linked to my Asperger's, maybe, just maybe. I cannot say for sure. 

I second that! we need to revive this thread. For me, i think it all depends on the person and their experiences. I myself have always avoided romance so im not sure whether or not its connected to my Aspergers. 

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I'm autistic!

Dunno if there's an inherent link, but i spent a lot of my childhood wondering about the concept of love, whether I could feel it or not; because it was a complex, undefined concept that I didn't really understand. Same applied to my orientation and gender; I don't understand it and in this case; I'm certain I don't experience.

Additionally; there are higher percentages of LGBT+ autistic people and autistic LGBT+ people! Some theories I have - Concepts like gender may have less hold on us, or, it may be that if you're already deemed a social outcast you may be more willing to explore other aspects of yourself that are also not socially accepted. And with more LGBT+ people being open with our autistic identity in LGBT+ spaces it may lead other LGBT+ to recognise shared experiences and begin to question whether they're autistic too :D  

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34 minutes ago, eOrion said:

Additionally; there are higher percentages of LGBT+ autistic people and autistic LGBT+ people! Some theories I have - Concepts like gender may have less hold on us, or, it may be that if you're already deemed a social outcast you may be more willing to explore other aspects of yourself that are also not socially accepted. And with more LGBT+ people being open with our autistic identity in LGBT+ spaces it may lead other LGBT+ to recognise shared experiences and begin to question whether they're autistic too :D  

I wonder if an possible factor is that these make extensive use of social learning. With autistic people often experiencing social exclusion form an early age and/or this just isn't a good learning style for us.

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