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Marc Segar 1974-1997


A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome


  • One thing autistic people are often particularly good at is worrying.
  • A lot of your efforts in life might be getting a very poor pay-off and you might be finding that everyone around you is speaking freely to each other in a way which seems like nonsense to you.
  • If you try to join in by talking back in nonsense, people get annoyed.
  • If other people can complain about you speaking nonsense, why can't you complain to them about their nonsense? It's just not fair. Are you annoyed ? If you are, you have every right to be. But you cannot change the way things are. This book might, however, help you to understand other people's nonsense better.
  • The problem with worrying is that it will often distract you from what you need to be concentrating on if you are to solve the problem.
  • With some problems, seeing the funny side can make it easier. If you can learn to laugh at yourself, many of your worries might go away.
  • Many people keep all their problems bottled up inside and look as if they're on top of the world, but many people need to talk about their problems. The trick is to talk to the right people and not the wrong ones.
  • Don't talk about your problems in public or to people who you don't know (except counsellors). If you do, you will be broadcasting your weaknesses to the people around you. Don't think they won't be listening.
  • Talking about your problems in public may get sympathy in the short term but will probably isolate you in the long term.
  • You may talk about your problems with teachers, parents, close relatives and sometimes with friends if you can get them on their own.
  • Sometimes, but not always, it is all right to talk about your problems with friends in a small group but it should be relevant to the conversation.
  • When you do talk about your problems, try to do it without putting yourself down too much. Negative talk causes you negative feelings and negative feelings make you less able to defend yourself. You don't want to get bogged down into a vicious cycle.
  • With reference to this last statement, try to get into a positive cycle if you can. This is called PMA (positive mental attitude) whereby thinking about your positive assets makes you feel more positive about yourself and better able to defend yourself from put-downs.
  • Sometimes, you may get labelled by people as useless or ignorant. This might be because you are not getting the opportunity to show any intelligence, NOT because it is true.
  • A horrible feeling to have to deal with is guilt. If you think you are to blame for something, you must ask yourself if you knew that you were doing something wrong. If you didn't know, or you only had a vague feeling about it, then you cannot blame yourself, even if other people are. All you can do is to tell yourself that you'll try not to do it again.
  • Often apologising to someone can help to ease the guilt but ONCE is enough. If you over-apologise you might start to look shy or vulnerable.
  • If you think that the world is pitted against you, this is an illusion. Also, everyone feels like this occasionally.
  • Remember to be patient about using this book. Personal development can be a slow and difficult process.
  • Another problem you might face is that achieving things by half does not feel like enough. You may be an all or nothing person but remember, this might be the autism speaking.
  • Remember, the key word is DETERMINATION and if you know in your heart you can do something, then you must go for it.
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