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ASPIRES is an on-line resource for spouses and family members of adults diagnosed or suspected to be on the autistic spectrum.  Our approach to one another and towards our "significant others" is directed towards solving problems in our relationship with a spectrum-sitting spouse.

ASPIRES is an e-mail subscription list for individuals with AS, and those who have a parent, spouse, or child with AS.  We share our family and relational experiences, resources and survival tips as well as offer encouragement and hope.  Through sharing, we hope to lighten one another's burdens and find positive solutions to many of the troubling challenges that characterize our relationships and bridge the communication gap that exists in everyday life.

"If there were no change, there would be no butterflies"
Author Unknown

Invitation for Research

Have you been in a romantic relationship with a man for at least one year?
Is / was your partner/spouse on the Autism Spectrum? (Asperger's Syndrome)?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, and if you are at least 18 years old, you are invited to take part in a study that aims to question whether a romantic relationship which involves a Neurotypical woman and a man with Autism Spectrum Disorder is fundamentally different from a normative romantic relationship and how such a relationship affects the physical and mental state as well as the personal sense of wellbeing of women...  http://relationshipstudy.info


Social Media Cyber-bullying: Online Safety and Security Tips for Children, Teens and Young Adults
By Carey Davis

Research Autism - Improving the Quality of Life

"...provides up-to-date, scientifically reliable information about autism. It provides information about some of the issues, problems and challenges facing individuals on the autism spectrum. It also provides information about a wide range of treatments, therapies and services used to help them."


The Audacity of Difference
By Carol Grigg
“The passion for writing this book has been driven by my concerns and grief over what difference provokes in us
; the nature of response that difference seems to evoke from within the human soul; responses that show us up for what we truly are, our true colors. Hence, the “audacity” of difference.”


Aspia's Handbook for Partner's Support

By Carol Grigg


Learning to love with Asperger syndrome
It’s not easy living with a man who will only say ‘I love you’ once a day, max.
By Julia McKinnell

Affective Deprivation Disorder: Does it Constitute a Relational Disorder?
By Harriet F. Simons Ph.D, Jason R. Thompson

Alexithymic Parenting: The Impacts on Children
By Jason Thompson

Coping With a Partner's Asperger's Syndrome
Understanding your partner with Asperger's syndrome can be difficult or seemingly impossible at times. Making better connections can lead to a happier, healthier relationship.

We are not all on the spectrum now
We need a more robust definition of autism, otherwise we risk it losing all sense as a diagnosis.

This is the text of a speech that was given at the conference ‘Autism, Ethics and the Good Life’, held at the Royal Society in London on 2 April 2012 (World Autism Awareness Day).


Why Women With Autism Are Invisible

The CDC just reported that while 1 in 54 boys are diagnosed with autism, only 1 in 252 girls are. Some advocates say women and girls with the disorder just aren't getting the help they need.


Thinking Smarter About People Who Think Different

One of the forthcoming books I’m most excited about is Steve Silberman’s NeuroTribes: A smarter way of thinking about people who think differently. Like Oliver Sacks (and Steve has written the definitive profile of the neurologist), Steve is an incredibly sensitive observer of others. (He’s also a gifted writer and absurdly nice guy.) Steve isn’tinterested in mere description of a condition – he wants to understand how his subjects see the world, immersing himself in their pleasures, passions and struggles.


The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome
Susan J. Moreno, Marci Wheeler and Kealah Parkinson
Foreword by Tony Attwood
A must read for all non spectrum (NS) partners of AS men. "Adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS)
often have difficulties acquiring relationship skills due to the defining characteristics of the syndrome, experiences with peers during childhood and adolescence, and the expectations of their partners. However, an increasing number do go on to achieve happy and successful long-term relationships with non-spectrum (NS) partners".  ...Read excerpts

Husband David Finch writes 'The Journal of Best Practices' to save his marriage…
Even if you're an ordinary "neurotypical," there are plenty of good reasons to read David Finch's "The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband." ...excerpts.  Dave is also the author of "Asperger’s: Somewhere Inside, a Path to Empathy," which led to this book.

There's something different about dad
We've heard of the difficulties faced by parents trying to cope with Asperger syndrome in children but it's tough too being the child of an Asperger parent.
Michael Fitzgerald, who recently retired from his post as the first professor of child and adolescent psychiatry in Ireland at Trinity College offers his perspective.

Book Review
“Something Different about Dad”
How to Live with your Asperger’s Parent
By Roger N. Meyer

A Powerful Identity, a Vanishing Diagnosis
  It is one of the most intriguing labels in psychiatry. Children with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, are socially awkward and often physically clumsy, but many are verbal prodigies, speaking in complex sentences at early ages, reading newspapers fluently by age 5 or 6 and acquiring expertise in some preferred topic — stegosaurs, clipper ships, Interstate highways — that will astonish adults and bore their playmates to tears. In recent years, this once obscure diagnosis, given to more than four times as many boys as girls, has become increasingly common. Much of the growing prevalence of autism, which now affects about 1 percent of American children, according to federal data, can be attributed to Asperger’s and other mild forms of the disorder. And Asperger’s has exploded into popular culture through books and films depicting it as the realm of brilliant nerds and savant like geniuses.

Asperger Marriage: Viewing Partnerships Through a Different Lens
Aspergers Syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological condition on the higher-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Across individuals, there is wide variation of AS traits, of how each person experiences their neurology, and how AS evolves as they age. Shore (2003), a member and President Emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE) Board of Directors has said, “When you meet one individual with Asperger Syndrome, you have met one individual with Asperger Syndrome.” Marriages or partnerships with a person with AS are often very challenging, with mental health consequences for both members of the couple, for their children, and for their larger family systems. In this paper we will share insights on the complexities of these partnerships with hope that this information will help and encourage other clinicians to better understand and support people in these relationships, whether working with individuals, couples, families, or groups. Our insights come from our professional experience with individuals and with groups for the partners of men with AS at AANE, along with review of the literature on AS. 

A GREAT article for children, siblings, partner's and spouses connected to AS
 Growing up in an Asperger Family
by Maxine Aston
View as HTML or download as a PDF.

ASPIRES Salutes Ron Hedgcock's New Book

Confessions of an Unashamed Asperger

Confessions of an Unashamed Asperger
  Foreword by Professor Tony Attwood.
"I have learned a great deal from Ron Hedgcock. Those who have attended my seminars
will have heard several of his quotations describing his experiences and insights into Asperger’s Syndrome. He is now in his 70s, having lived with three wives; and has had a successful career as an actor. He also adores cats, who are now his family and friends. His autobiography is unusual in that it covers seven decades and is one of the first to describe the aging process and Asperger’s Syndrome. He has a wicked sense of humour; and in describing his thoughts, emotions and experiences, Ron is forthright and at times confronting. His descriptions are authentic and will be endorsed by other adults who have the Syndrome. His self-analysis is extremely interesting for clinicians, but his explanations will also be particularly valuable for the partners of those who have similar characteristics, and for family member who are trying to understand a father or grandfather. Ron is a wise elder in the ‘tribe’ of people with AS; and his eloquent autobiography will be a source of explanation and insight for those who are discovering and exploring the world as perceived and experienced by someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome."  Tony Atwood

bullet How can an autie be an actor?  I asked veteran Aussie actor, Ron Hedgcock.



Helping Adults with Asperger's Syndrome Get & Stay Hired - Career Coaching Strategies for Professionals and Parents of Adults on the Autism Spectrum.  By Barbara Bissonnette.  "Written for professionals and parents, this book offers employment strategies to support individuals with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) into fulfilling and long-lasting careers. It provides a primer on how people with Asperger's Syndrome think and teaches coaching techniques to help with jobhunting and workplace challenges."

The Asperger Couple's WorkbookThe Asperger Couple's Workbook

Practical Advice and Activities for Couples and Counsellors


Asperger Syndrome (AS) can affect some of the fundamental ingredients required to make a relationship work, such as emotional empathy and communication. Maxine Aston, author of Aspergers in Love, has created this workbook to help couples where one of the partners has Asperger Syndrome deal with the difficulties that may arise in their relationship.

Maxine Aston


Been There. Done That. Try This!

An Aspie's Guide to Life on Earth

"Been There. Done That. Try This! gathers a team of top Aspie mentors to pass along insights for successful living to the next generation. Temple Grandin, Liane Holliday Willey, and many others, offer advice on coping with key stressors including anxiety, self-esteem, careers, and friendship. Each chapter ends with commentary from Dr. Tony Attwood."

Edited by Tony Attwood, Craig R. Evans and Anita Lesko


Exploring Bullying with Adults with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

A Photocopiable Workbook

"This photocopiable workbook encourages adults who have been involved with bullying - as either victims or perpetrators - to explore what bullying is, its effects, and how to tackle it successfully. Readers are invited to consider the thoughts, feelings and actions associated with bullying and offered helpful strategies for dealing with it."

Anna Tickle and Bettina Stott


Connecting With Your Asperger Partner


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"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.


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Updated 08/04/2018