Programming the Asperger Brain

By Dan Coulter We’re not computers. But comparing our brains to computers can help us understand and deal with some Asperger Syndrome behaviors. In elementary school, I could be so overwhelmed by my emotions that I couldn’t even speak. Especially if I was being taken advantage of or treated unfairly. Once I was sent to the principal’s office for reacting to being taunted by another child. I excelled at academics and rigidly stuck to the rules, so I was devastated that the teacher could think I was at fault. It was only after being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as an adult that I could understand what had been going on in my young brain. It was a matter of processing. The computer in

Beating Behavior Whac-A-Mole

by Dan Coulter I admit it. I’ve played Behavior Whac-A-Mole. It’s a version of the arcade game where mole heads pop out of holes at a faster and faster rate and you try and hit each mole on the head with a mallet before it disappears. Like many parents, I had no idea at the time that I was playing. But if you find yourself constantly responding to your child’s behaviors by criticizing or correcting him, and those behaviors are not improving, you’re playing Behavior Whac-A-Mole. This can be a particular challenge when dealing with children who have Asperger Syndrome. Many children with Asperger Syndrome don’t deal well with criticism. Think about it. They don’t pick up on social cues and othe

How to Complain

by Dan Coulter When’s the last time you had a legitimate complaint and didn’t get satisfaction? Maybe you need to try “strategic complaining.” You don’t even need to buy a system from a late-night infomercial. I’ll share the secrets right now. Just don’t yell at me. Actually, that’s the first step. Keeping your cool. This can be hard to do when the lunkhead on the other end of the phone doesn’t seem to understand your problem or doesn’t seem to care. There’s often a reason for that. Increasingly, companies and organizations hire people to deal with customers and the public who have very little training for their jobs. Many companies have also tried to mechanize the jobs by reducing int

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