Stay patient

I have two friends with Asbergers, which I understand is a form of autism.

I just wanted to add to your site to say that with time and patience autistic people can have a high quality of life.

One of my friends is a retired man. He worked for a long time on computer programming. He is an absolute genius at problem solving. He can start with a problem and work backwards to find out what did or didn't work and then fathom out WHY it did or didn't do what it was supposed to.

He loves words and word puzzles. I love to talk to him because he always has interesting things to say about word origins or the history of the word. It's fascinating to listen to someone who has a completely different take on life. He never looks at the surface but always for the meaning.

He is married and has an adult daughter. His wife is very patient and keeps to a strict routine so that my friend doesn't get confused or upset. She keeps a strict eye on everything at home so that there's always a consistent routine. This helps my friend a lot because he knows where he is.

Another friend is a young man in his late teens. He's currently at college. He is totally obsessed with science fiction. He talks to himself, acting out long and complicated stories for characters that he's seen on TV in his favourite shows.

He is a bit more challenging to talk to than my other friend because science fiction isn't really my thing. On the other hand, where my older friend is a rather emotionally detached from everyone other than his immediate family, the younger friend is very affectionate. He greets all his friends with a hug.

Both men have amazing memories and can recall and recount all kinds of things about their particular fields of interest. In both cases the help that they have received from their families and friends has made a huge difference to their quality of life.

It's not easy but I would encourage everyone who has an autistic family member not to give up but to continue to be kind, consistent and patience. You will reap a reward.

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