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Conversational Cues and Asperger's

My stepson is seventeen and has Asperger's, along with other issues. He's a fun kid, very intelligent. But sometimes he'll get on a subject and just keep going and going with it, long after those he is talking with are ready to move on. I know it's an Aspie thing, but it hinders him socially, especially with his peers, who are often less patient with his quirks than adults are. The problem is, he doesn't pick up on subtle hints, and if you come right out and say that you've talked about something--tonight it was coming up with unisex names--for long enough and it's time to switch topics, he gets his feelings hurt. I'm willing to let himsteer the conversation when it's just me, but he has expressed regrets about not having more friends to hang out with. So I'm wondering if you all have come up with any strategies for giving conversational or other social cues to your special needs teens in a way that is helpful and not likely to make them angry.


Asked by Ballad at 2:28 AM on Jun. 21, 2013 in Special Needs

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
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Answers (7)
  • Heh heh... mine gets pissy anyway, and then simply moves on. But I notice he's much better at changing subjects with his friends than he is with me! If I need him to move on, I usually put it in the form of a question: Can I ask you something?

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:53 AM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • My son has social skills classes that cover those things. At school but also with in the community. I would look up to see if there are any social groups for teens with Asperger's in your area!

    The best way to help his is to encourage him to be a self advocate. He needs to completely understand his own brain so that he can see the difference in himself and others. He needs to be able to talk to his friends, or potential friends about it so they can help him. He needs to come up with what he feels is the best way for people to remind him he has talked a little bit to long. For my son I gently tell him that I am not ready to talk about mine-craft anymore, I might be ready again later, but that I would love for him to tell me what he wants to do this summer. Some days he takes it well and I have to remind him that is is part of his Asperger's and that I am excited...

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:58 AM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • he knows so much about the game but that it is hard for me to talk about it for a long time like he can. I also remind him that friends need to take turns talking to be fair ((He is all about 'fair' right now). He is getting better but I know it will always be a struggle for him. So the best thing I can do is help him learn the social rules so that he can create meaningful relationships.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:00 AM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • I have never gotten an official diagnoses of aspergers but I would be willing to bet on the diagnoses if I was brave enough to talk about it.

    I do fairly well online as written messages are much easier to understand then verbal and face to face. My coping skill in social situations is to try and let the other person lead the conversation as much as possible, though I'm sure this has me being seen as a more shy person as well. With people I'm more comfortable with I don't do this as much and they will usually come out and tell me, which in honesty does leave me hurt at times but as I have aged I've learned to deal with this.

    I'm still stumped many times though, I'm only a few years out of University and I still can't figure out what I was doing wrong with my professors(and other students at times). I would see my professors having this more animated and friendly relationships with other students yet....cont.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:48 AM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • cont.... I couldn't replicate those relationships. Couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Coming from a more scientific background I tried to narrow down and figure it out but I still don't know.

    I never had many friends and I still don't. I mostly have acquaintances. people who I am friendly with, that I may hang out with but they don't call me randomly to come over etc. It's worse now that I'm not in an academic setting and I'm not working(which is usually the only place I socialized anyways).

    Don't have much advice on his part but thought I would give my perspective, I've learned to cover and compensate but most of the time that involves less socialization and only about topics that I know for a fact the other person shares interest in(Which is why school and work were easier as I knew their "chosen topics".

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:51 AM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • Um... not sure how my first part became anon... That is like the third time this week!

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:01 AM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • I found a social group for teens with Asperger's near where my stepson's mom lives, but I can't seem to make her see the importance of getting my stepson to the meetings.

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 3:08 PM on Jun. 21, 2013