Synopses & Reviews
Asperger’s syndrome and similar autism spectrum disorders affect over one million Americans. People with these neurological disorders can possess average to above-average intelligence, but may seem cold, aloof, or difficult to understand. And to make matters even more confusing, many of them are undiagnosed. While people with Asperger’s tend to be very loyal and reliable in their relationships, the romantic partners of people with Asperger’s syndrome may struggle with feelings of rejection or loneliness, feel starved of physical affection, or suffer from social embarrassment as a result of their partners’ symptoms. Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome presents practical guidance that will help partners get what they need in their relationships by working together with their Asperger’s partner. Filled with exercises for both the reader and the partner with Asperger’s and anecdotes from the author’s own experiences in clinical practice. This realistic, yet hopeful guide shows readers how they can express anger effectively and productively, help their family and friends understand their partner with Asperger’s, and keep from being embarrassed by their partner in social situations. The book also includes chapters on parenting together and handling sex and intimacy issues.
“Cindy N. Ariel gets it like few people do. With a vision that is steeped in both research and experience, she is able to guide us through the trials, confusion, and treasure of loving someone with Asperger’s syndrome. She does this with open eyes and an open, compassionate heart. This is the kind of guide I wish for everyone who loves someone who is different.”
—Daniel Gottlieb, PhD, psychologist, family therapist, and author of Letters to Sam and The Wisdom of Sam
“Discovering Asperger’s syndrome is a true adventure. But intimate relationships can be complex. Partners most often must learn to reflect, adapt, and compromise for the relationship to succeed. Accepting each partner’s differences and reaching mutual understanding can be a long journey. In her book, Ariel truly captures the essence and uniqueness of an Asperger’s-neurotypical relationship. With her explanations, examples, and exercises, she guides couples toward better communication, quality time, and intimacy. This book will inspire couples to attain a better relationship.”
—Isabelle Hénault, MA, PhD, sexologist, psychologist, and author of Asperger’s Syndrome and Sexuality
“Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome is a practical and helpful must-have guide for couples as well as therapists! This easy-to-read book includes lots of AS-friendly exercises based on the learning style of individuals with AS. These tools provide concrete activities that can assist couples in working through issues that commonly occur when one partner has Asperger’s.”
—Diane Adreon, EdD, associate director of the University of Miami Center for Autism and coauthor of Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence
“An informative and practical book that couples will enjoy reading to achieve greater mutual understanding and acquire strategies to enhance their relationship. This book will encourage realistic hope for the future and help partners rediscover and reinforce the deep love that can be felt for someone with Asperger’s syndrome.
—Tony Attwood, PhD, author of The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome
“Kudos to Cindy N. Ariel! While her new book, Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, will be widely used by partners, its potential for use by professionals who are therapists and counselors is remarkable. The exercises help each of the two parties conceptualize what the other is thinking in a blameless, constructive manner so as to support change and adaptation. I fully plan to use this book in my university teaching programs for upcoming social workers.”
—Dena L. Gassner, LMSW, owner/director of the Center for Understanding in Nashville, TN, and contributing author to Scholars with Autism
Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome is an essential resource for anyone in a relationship with a partner who has Asperger’s. This book explains how Asperger’s may cause problems in a relationship and offers help for communicating, coparenting, and building an emotional connection with a partner who has Asperger’s syndrome.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s syndrome, it’s likely that your partner sometimes seems cold and insensitive. Other times, he or she may have emotional outbursts for no apparent reason. And in those moments when you can’t understand each other at all, you both feel fed up, frustrated, and confused.
The behavior of people with Asperger’s can be hard to understand and easy to misinterpret, which is why it’s so important to learn more about your partner’s condition. The tools presented in Loving Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome will help you build intimacy and improve the way you and your partner communicate. Filled with assessments and exercises for both you and your partner, this book will help you forge a deeper, more fulfilling relationship.
This book will teach you how to: • Understand the effect of Asperger’s syndrome on your partner
• Practice effective communication skills
• Constructively work through frustrations and fights
• Establish relationship ground rules to help you fulfill each others’ needs
About the Author
Cindy N. Ariel, PhD, is a Philadelphia psychologist with over twenty years of experience working with individuals and couples, many of whom have Asperger’s syndrome. In 1992, she cofounded Alternative Choices, an independent group psychology practice that specializes in helping families with special needs. Ariel coedited the book Voices from the Spectrum.
Foreword writer Stephen Shore, EdD, is assistant professor of education at Adelphi University and is an internationally known author, consultant, and presenter on issues related to the autism spectrum. He has high-functioning autism himself and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Asperger’s Association of New England and the Autism Society of America.