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Everyone has learning difficulties, because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult. —  Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • ‘Understanding my partner with AS’ trailer

    This is a trailer of a full hour two part presentation by Professor Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett.

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    If, after viewing this clip, you would like to purchase the full presentation, please click on the link below.

  • 'Understanding my partner with AS'. (Pt I: 41.11 minutes Part II: 48.24 minutes)

    Professor Tony Attwood, a world expert and leading authority on Asperger's Syndrome and autism and Dr Michelle Garnett, the Founder of Minds & Hearts, present this downloadable resource for neurotypical partners. The aim of the session is to help partners to cope with the demands of being in a relationship with someone on the autism spectrum. Whilst being in a relationship with someone with AS has its own unique rewards, there can also be challenges. The speakers provide insight into typical experiences and difficulties that many AS partners experience in a relationship, as well as the common experiences for their partners. The recording includes a question and answer session, showing the presenters integrating their knowledge and experience into practical strategies and advice.

  • The Affection Project

    Dr Michelle Garnett asks ‘How can we assist children with Asperger’s Syndrome to understand and express affection?’ This talk was the basis for her book, ‘From Like to Love for Young People with Asperger’s Syndrome’.

  • An Asperger’s diagnosis transforms one couple’s marriage

    David Finch, author of ‘The Journal of Best Practices’ talks about the impact of Asperger’s diagnosis on his marriage and his decision to manage the behaviours that, in his words "were wreaking havoc in our marriage".

My story

When I first met my husband it was bliss.  We spent a long time getting to know each other. Looking back, there were things that were different about him. He seemed obsessive needing to know the detail of my past relationships.  He could be very short tempered, regimented and would have long-winded conversations. But he was also romantic, kind and honest about not being an overly social person – and I loved him. When he proposed, we moved in and merged our families together.

Living together there was a lot of arguing but we brushed it off as an adjustment period.  I became depressed and riddled with anxiety. When a serious medical issue I had made my depression worse he was very attentive and supportive. But over the next three years his behavior got worse. He tried therapy, I tried therapy and we did therapy together.  We thought he had ADD, PTSD, OCD, bipolar … the list was endless.

One day I was reading the news online and read a story about a man in his 30’s who had just discovered he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I was speechless and convinced that was it.  My husband took an online assessment and then I sought out a professional diagnosis. At this point he too was convinced he had Asperger’s Syndrome.  He seemed relieved that he finally knew why he was the way he was.  The diagnosis was very thorough; a pre-interview, five hours of testing and the results appointment.

By the time the results appointment came around he was not in good shape, displaying a lot of tics and almost non-verbal.  As well as Asperger’s Syndrome he was told he had anxiety, depression and paranoia.  After the diagnosis it seemed as if the reality of what was ahead set in for him.  Although he acknowledged the diagnosis I believe he felt defeated.

That was a year and a half ago.  We continue to do research, communicate openly, find new ways to make life easier, modify his diet and work on our relationship.  He is willing to put in the work - and that makes all the difference.  Today we are happy, healthy and committed to having the life that we both want.  The work is forever but now I understand Asperger’s Syndrome.  I love my husband and I chose to be his partner for life.

Anonymous 2014

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