Parents may experience a range of concerns and emotions as they attempt to understand what caused the disorder. They may ask, “Was it my fault?” and inappropriately assign self-blame. They may feel guilt and grief over having an individual in their family they love who will suffer a lifelong disability. They may wonder and worry about what others will think, and feel personally inadequate. They may fret about how they will explain AS to their family and friends, what can they do to help, and what financial resources will be necessary to help. And, they may worry about what will happen to this individual in the future, when the parents are no longer there to support him or her.
When youth who have been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum become young adults, supportive developmental and social skills previously organized by the school system are no longer available as the young person “ages out” of school-based support programs.
Having a romantic or intimate partner with AS can affect the relationship in a number of ways, most notably in the areas of communication and emotional give-and-take. Incorrect assumptions made by the individual with AS often lead to self-protective strategies of distancing oneself entirely and then not responding at all to one’s partner. An emphasis by the non-affected partner on expressing feelings is likely to lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.