The 'Learning Curve' of Living With Asperger's

People who have the disorder and their families share their experiences

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In 1997, Rodman founded the international support group Families of Adults Affected by Asperger's Syndrome.

Holliday Willey's father also had Asperger's for most of his life, but only discovered that as an older man.

"My father was 75 when he was diagnosed," she said. "At that point, he said, 'Now I understand why I was bullied. Now I understand why I was never promoted to management.' He was a brilliant engineer. But he didn't have that social communication, that nonverbal communication, those sensory problems adjusted for."

Her mother -- the neurotypical in the family -- had a lot to deal with, Holliday Willey said.

"My mom was under the impression that I didn't like her, didn't love her, didn't respect her. I didn't hug her," she said. "Now that she knows it was not her -- it was our neural wiring -- she'll say, 'Give me a hug if you hate it or not; it's for me.' So I'll hug her and go, 'Eww, that's enough, let go,' and she'll tease me about it."

More information

To learn more about living with Asperger's, visit Families of Adults Affected With Asperger's Syndrome.

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