List of common traits of Apserger’s Syndrome in adults.

Many of the signs and symptoms in the list below may be hidden in adults. For example, adults with Asperger’s Syndrome may experience few angry meltdowns in public if they have learnt to avoid the situations that trigger them. Additionally, many adults with Asperger’s eventually learn how to ‘fit in’ by observing social behaviour and copying it.

1. Misunderstood – most people just don’t get you.
Feeling different or as if you come from another planet.

2. Sensory overwhelm – sometimes your senses are too sharp.
Sight, touch, sound, hearing and sense of smell may be uncomfortably strong at times.

3. Angry explosion meltdowns – may happen when triggered or feeling trapped.
Although you mostly avoid situations like this, it can happen that when overwhelmed or extremely uncomfortable you explode with rage.

4. Crying meltdowns – may happen when overwhelmed.
After exploding in anger you may feel distraught and cry uncontrollably.

5. Silent shutdowns – times when you can’t speak or socialise.
Sometimes you may prevent explosions by going silent and withdrawn. When this happens you want to get away from people and to be quiet until you are calm again.

6. Avoidance – not going places you imagine will be hard for you socially.
To avoid the meltdowns, sneaky avoidance habits may develop. There may be many situations you avoid out of the fear of being overwhelmed or uncomfortable. However, since the avoidance is sneaky it is often hard to admit it about oneself.

7. Head person – logical person who thinks and analyses.
You are pragmatic and make decisions based on analysis.

8. Pattern finder – the way you look at life you see patterns in everything.
Having the ability to connect the dots to come up with original ideas or ways of understanding people and the world.

9. Open book – when comfortable, extremely open and honest.
More open than people in general when feeling comfortable and accepted.

10. Bluntness and directness – your words are straight talking.
You favour literal and direct communication. You may be confused when people say things they don’t mean e.g. false politeness.

11. Normal friendship is alienating – feeling alone and empty when being friends in the normal way.
Being friends in the ‘normal’ way is either something that you can’t do or it is social behaviour you had to learn by observing.

12. Dissolving boundaries – when you find a friend boundaries dissolve. You may be too clingy or bossy.
Your ‘real friends’ are a joy to spend time with and they understand you. However, relationships with such people may be rare. Close friendships may lack healthy boundaries and you may have been described as cling, bossy or controlling by a friend or partner.

13. Awkward about social touch – you don’t really touch other people or if you do you don’t really like it. EXCEPTION: you may ONLY enjoy touch with your romantic partner. Otherwise social touch such as hugging, patting on the shoulder etc. is all stuff that has to be learned and forced, rather than comes naturally.

14. Monotone or hypnotic speech patterns.
Normal speaking voice is monotone or hypnotic.

15. Strong self-discipline – you keep to your chosen routines.
Extremely focused and dedicated to the things you chose to do or work on.

16. Mind going blank and empty – may happen when surprised or overwhelmed.
The feeling of the mind going blank is like a frozen empty pause in which the mind is not able to think for at least a second, though it feels like longer it lasts for longer inside.

17. Child-like imagination – a part of you never grows old.
When feeling comfortable you express a childlike quality, no matter what age you are.

18. Bad with hair – you just can’t do it!
Not good at styling hair. Hair may feel uncomfortable at times.

19. Eccentric interests – unusual hobbies or collections.
Has specialist research hobbies or daily activities. These can be about anything though are often something unusual.

20. Repetitive eating habits – you always eat the same thing or follow a rigid diet.
Either prefers to eat the same thing most of the time or follows a specialist diet that restricts certain foods. Chooses an eating plan for various health or personal reasons and then sticks with it (isn’t tempted to go off the diet like most people are).

21. Makes funny noises – when comfortable the sounds you create carry meaning in communication.
Plays with the voice and accent or speaks with sounds instead of words. When feeling comfortable and accepted may make wet noises, high pitched noises or other noises to express feelings in the moment rather than use words.

22. Inflexible about time and plans – may freak out if plans change unexpectedly.
Doesn’t like plans being changed. Lateness can trigger anxiety.