Difficulty with Social Communication: For individuals with Asperger Syndrome, understanding human conversation has been described as attempting to understand a foreign language. Not only is it difficult to decode human conversation, they may find it difficult to express themselves socially and emotionally. For example:
- They may have difficulty interpreting gestures, facial expressions, or tone of voice (sarcasm). The person may become confused when someone says “That’s cool,” meaning that something is good or “That’s hot,” meaning that something is quite desirable.
- They may not know when to start or end a conversation and finding it challenging to select appropriate topics to discuss.
- They may not grasp or fully understand the meanings of complex words and phrases that are used in the conversation, responding inappropriately
- Because they process information quite literally, they may have difficulty with perceiving and understanding jokes and metaphor, and may become upset when they are teased
If you discover that a person has Asperger Syndrome, be clear and concise, avoid colloquial expressions in favor of simple words, and keep your sentences short. This can help the person to better understand you.