Whoever said ‘Ignorance is bliss’ has never cohabitated in the same domicile as a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.
How can a man who can remember the calibration setting for 480 carb on a ‘62 Pontiac Tempest LeMans always forget what day the garbage goes out, when family members’ birthdays are, or the names of our kids’ best friends?
A few weeks ago I rearranged our master bedroom. I had put some decorative shutters on either side of the window about five years ago when our bed was positioned under the window. Now our dresser is under the window. When I called Steve in to see the ‘finished’ arrangement he complemented me on the ‘new’ shutters. Hmmm. He had just now noticed them.
My husband is often oblivious to many of the people in our lives who interact with us on a regular basis. I can introduce him to parents of our kids’ friends for instance, and several years will go by of our paths crossing at school functions, sporting or community events. Then, after a visit together at the local grocery store my hubby pipes up, “Who are those people?”
John Robison, author and fellow Aspergian, acknowledges the trait of self-absorpted exclusion of other people in an Aspie’s life:
“Simply making myself aware of others has remarkably improved my social life. People accept me much faster now that I ignore them less.” John Elder Robison, Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian
Granted, it isn’t a habit that comes naturally to our Aspies. Now that I am aware of my hubby's social impairment, I try to ‘introduce’ new people to Steve several times after the first meeting he has with them.
“Oh Carol! I’m so glad you were able to get off work early to see Timmy’s game! Do you remember my husband Steve? I didn’t realize when we were at curriculum night last week that we’d be seeing you again so soon!”
“Hey Bud! Steve and I had such a great time at the pancake breakfast last Saturday! Sure wish you guys could put it on once a month instead of once a year!”
Slowly but surely, these ‘hints’ are helping my hubby remember who, what and where.
We even scroll through our facebook friends every once in a while to help him put names to faces. For those of you who put your vehicle photo on as your fb profile picture, thank you! He never forgets a car!