The female with Aspergers Syndrome
Before I received my ‘official label,’ of having Aspergers Syndrome I read a very good book which was the initial inspiration for this article i.e. Aspergers Syndrome for Dummies. In Chapter five they discuss the different types of women who have Aspergers Syndrome and how there are often some general characteristics that are present in most Aspie females.
So as a woman with Aspergers Syndrome myself I am now putting my own slant on this both from what I know myself and from what I have observed in others. It is good to also note here that at present the majority of women with Aspergers Syndrome still remain undiagnosed.
Aspergers Syndrome as observed by an Aspie
So here are my observations of the varying types of females with Aspergers Syndrome. How exactly does Aspergers Syndrome manifest itself in females and how does this make them behave differently to other women. Of course this list is not complete and is just a description of my own experiences and observations. There are also many other females with Aspergers Syndrome out there who will not slot neatly into any particular genre and instead may take some characteristics from those described below.
The Fashion Goddess Aspergers Woman
Contrary to popular belief just because you have Aspergers Syndrome it is not always a given that you must also be totally devoid of any fashion sense. Like every other species on this planet the Aspergers Syndrome female has now evolved and there is no longer a one size fits all typical Aspergers woman. The modern Aspie lady can now no longer be considered to be the stereotypical type of autistic person that used to always be portrayed in the media and in research literature as being totally uninterested in her appearance.
Today folks there are many women out there on the Spectrum who have actually taken on the role of being a Fashion Goddess Aspie to such an extreme that their body image and wardrobe has become an all consuming passion for them and could often now actually be their area of special interest.
I tried this myself for a while but it was just too much hard work for me and I wasn’t cut out for the fashion world. One day I eventually woke up and realized that my outer appearance could never actually fulfill me within. Yes I was still concerned about my appearance but underneath I was also in huge psychological turmoil and having the right shoes or the latest bag just wasn’t doing anything for me anymore.
Very often though the Aspergers Fashion Goddess goes much further than my feeble attempts and is often stunningly attractive and groomed within an inch of her life. She has a ‘to die for figure,’ which she works tirelessly to preserve. Her wardrobe is crammed with all the right labels and often her credit card is under a constant considerable strain also. The Aspergers Fashion Goddess also has perfect nails, luscious locks and she has an instinctive ability to spot a fake fashion item from a great distance.
Unfortunately though for the Aspergers Fashion Goddess her appearance is actually just her mask i.e. her defense mechanism that she uses to defend herself from the confusing, frightening neurotypical world or just her way of attempting to fit in.
It has largely been through observation and research that the Aspergers Fashion Goddess has garnered her in-depth knowledge of the fashion world. So her current image only actually came about as the result of relentless observations of women she admired until she pieced all her studies together and used this knowledge to create a ‘neurotypical,’ version of herself. Autistic girls do this to try to mask their autistic confusion, difference and the inadequacy that their autistic brain feels because they have no idea why they see the world differently because they are usually unaware of their Aspergers Syndrome. So the Fashion Goddess image is actually just one defense mechanism adopted by autistic girls to cope with their inner confusion and psychological turmoil.
Of course it usually doesn’t work so well because other women are unnerved by this Fashion Goddess’s constant state of perfectness along with her ensuing stony silences and her more than occasional aloof attitude. Other females also often perceive the Aspergers female as being self-centered or maybe just totally detached or uninterested. As an Aspie female I know though that this is not intentional on the part of most Aspie females.
The truth of the matter actually is that many women with Aspergers Syndrome (especially when they have never received a diagnosis) are usually just insecure and lacking in the necessary ability to know how to handle intense social interactions that certainly do not come easily to them. So rather than making themselves more anxious by doing or saying the wrong thing often the Aspergers girl just prefers to remain silent so she can observe and learn how to be social.
Men on the other hand are often attracted to this beautiful woman but the vibes that she gives off usually turns them off or maybe her icy stare just scares them to death. Also the Aspergers Fashion Goddess is often very confused as to how to handle any male advance and often misses the usual subtle flirting cues that neurotypical ladies will instinctively just get and know how to handle.
So the Aspergers female will often find it difficult and very hard work to try and form a relationship with a significant other. This is also hard to handle when you are already constantly making such a huge effort to appear normal and in spite of this you are still being singled out as different.
This is usually the biggest dilemma for every female with undiagnosed Aspergers Syndrome. Deep down she innately knows that she is different to other people. So she feels she has to work extra hard at socializing and despite all the effort she puts in to her Fashion Goddess image underneath her confusion and lack of confidence at her absence of social and communication skills means she is often in constant psychological turmoil. So even though these Aspegers females may appear super confident on the outside underneath she is actually experiencing total turmoil and panic. So please just give the next Fashion Goddess Aspie you meet the benefit of the doubt and just try to get to know her before writing her off.
The Intellectual Aspergers female
This is the somewhat more traditional type of Aspergers female that we usually see portrayed in the media or in research literature. This autistic female is usually in no way interested in fashion or material trivialities. In fact when she encounters an Aspergers Fashion Goddess she is likely to think that possibly she would have a lot more in common with an alien life form with ten green heads rather than such a specimen. For the Intellectual Aspergers female clothes are something that are just deemed as necessary in the same way as other essentials like food or breathing but they in no way define who she is as far as she is concerned. The famous Temple Grandin is a good example of an intellectual autistic woman.
So the Intellectual Aspergers female is most likely to stick to functional, simple clothes and usually dismisses the notion of being overtly feminine. However over time these women will usually develop a perfectly adequate dress sense from observing other females.
For the Intellectual Aspergers female life is all about intellectual fulfillment. This woman did not spend her childhood playing with Barbie’s or dreaming of a Prince Charming. Instead if she ever did entertain any fairytales it was likely to be the Princess and the Frog. Though only because she wanted to know what species of frog the prince had turned into was it likely to be a Pixie Frog or even a toad? Why? Logically it was because she wanted to research whether this frog is on the endangered species list and if so what caused its decline? Then she wants to look into the possibility of this amphibian having a significant role in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
The Intellectual Aspergers female is never going to be found spending her precious researching time getting involved in meaningless banter about people she has no interest in. Nor is she ever worried about her make up collection being outdated or who the coolest guy in the school is. Instead this Aspergers lady will be concerned with what she sees as the real issues of life e.g. How is global warming really affecting the world’s climate? Why poverty exists in conjunction with affluent societies? What really caused the destruction of the Mayan Culture? Her areas of passion will often include the great unanswered questions of modern science or if she has a mathematical brain the buzz of actually solving an unanswerable mathematical equation.
However some but not all of these Aspergers females do tend to have a particular difficulty with abstract mathematical concepts so sometimes they are just as likely to turn to the arts to express themselves. Many Aspergers females may be exceptionally gifted at art, literature, interior design, architecture, computer programming or some other creative field.
The Domestic Queen with Aspergers Syndrome
I see them often and I will never figure them it out. The Domestic Queen i.e. someone who seems to get endlessly excited about a new pair of curtains or a new type of vacuum cleaner. I don’t know, call me autistic if you like but I am just endlessly puzzled as to how any functional domestic item can cause such passionate interest.
Another unanswered question for me is when I am out and I feel a few raindrops on my head. Suddenly all the domestically inclined Queen’s around me are instantly transformed into quivering wrecks before my eyes. Now everywhere I look I see unrestrained panic and anxiety. What is this tragedy of mammoth proportions I wonder? Is it actually raining acid? Will these mere droplets of water actually cause all these women to melt?
No I am told eventually it is because they have clothes drying on the clothes line at home and now the wet clothes will get wet from this demonic rain? Over the years I have learned through trial and error that the worst possible comment you can make at this point is, ‘but weren’t the clothes wet anyway and now won’t they just dry again?’
Sometimes though when I then go home and look at my neglected, ravaged house I do think why oh why couldn’t my area of special interest have been for house work? Then I wouldn’t ever again let it get into this state.
The Domestic Queen with Aspergers Syndrome is massively house-proud and undoubtedly her home could easily adorn the pages of any ideal homes magazine. If you are ever asked for dinner it is both an anxiety ridden experience (I might break something or dirty the tablecloth) but also a culinary delight as you will be fed with many delectable dishes.
Your Domestic Queen will shrug this banquet off easily and say something like, ‘oh do you really like my Chicken seared, organic, double tossed Mediterranean themed slowly steamed never before achieved chicken dish, ah that’s no bother I rustled that up in between polishing the buttons on every jacket in the house and making my dress for tonight.’ At that point I usually swallow a large gulp of wine, before hanging my head in shame and baulking at my own total inadequacy as a fraudulent wife, mother and totally unprofessional, incompetent house owner.
Area of Special Interest and Aspergers Syndrome
Now the Domestic Queen Aspie female is just a caricature to demonstrate that every person with Aspergers Syndrome’s has an absolute need for attention to detail and an innate unquenchable desire to excel at that one area that interests them like no other i.e. the so called area of special interest. They are then consumed and passionately driven to be perfect in this area no matter what it takes.
By no means does it necessarily have to any of the areas discussed above it could just as easily be a need to be the perfect mother, actress, singer, architect, Solicitor, Presenter, Astronomer or as above the perfect Fashion Goddess. The point I want to get across here is that people with Aspergers cannot bear to be just be okay at something they are passionate about instead they either have to do this task exceptionally well or else they will eventually have to avoid doing this task altogether.
Personally I would rather run barefoot over hot coals than spend the day cleaning my house but until such time as I make some money out of this writing lark I have no choice but to keep subjecting myself to this daily torture.
So please read my writing, follow me and help spare me many more years of this unnatural drudgery.
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Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on September 05, 2017:
People with AS are as varied as the rest of the population. There are a lot of good books out there now to choose from. Dr Tony Attwood has written quite a bit about girls and women with Asperger's. Temple Grandin who has autism has also written a lot on this topic. As has Donna Williams. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Rosemary Amrhein on August 27, 2017:
Thanks for writing this article.
This helped me realize TODAY, for the first time I think I have it for sure.
It's really hard and depressing. I'm always struggling to socialize, and depressed that I can't do it better.
I grew up feeling different, unliked, misunderstood, apart,
I still feel that.
But.......at age 16 I was diagnosed with bipolar. Then later I thought I had pmdd. and now I know I have HSP and am an empath. What a combination!
I need to read that book for dummies about aspergers to understand it, and find out if there's a test for it, and if they prescribe meds for it,
Also, are aspergers people sometimes angry? I met a couple.
One had really bad road rage.
Thanks in advance for your reply!!!!!
I will read more.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on November 30, 2015:
McKenna Meyers on November 29, 2015:
I love that you are getting people to see Aspergers and autism in a new light. Bravo!
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on May 14, 2015:
You are welcome Deborah and thanks for commenting.
DeborahM on May 09, 2015:
Although I used to be one myself, until now I'd never heard of the Aspie fashion goddess. Since I was on a very limited budget, I shopped the clearance racks and was always impeccably decked out in designer clothes. I really went all out. However, my silence was often misconstrued as coldness and, although I always dressed conservatively, at least a couple of people wondered if I was a prostitute! I've since returned to my old comfortable, tomboy ways. Thanks for the great article!
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on August 27, 2014:
All people with Aspergers have their darker times, depression, lack of self esteem and not feeling like getting out there into that tough world are all common problems for people on the autistic spectrum. I am sure you have many good qualities that you are not mentioning, your ability to play video games all day could be turned into an area of interest that could connect you with other people who share that passion. Or maybe you could do a course in working on video games. My own brother designs video games and is doing very well at it. Its just important when you are at a low ebb to find someone to talk to, to help you through the rocky times. Having these feelings is all a part of being on the autistic spectrum. Maybe you could reach out to others by starting a Blog and about your own feelings as I know people on the autistic spectrum do find it so hard to express these inner thoughts and emotions to another person. Please Revenwyn hang in there and think about using your strengths to help you move forward and you can get there in time. Thanks for reading and commenting too.
Revenwyn on August 26, 2014:
I feel like I don't fit any of the three types you mention. I'm just completely useless. I'm so dumb I can't even be an intellectual. All I can do all day is sit at my computer and play video games.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on May 24, 2014:
Ha, ha thanks thisissonottrue, you have given me a laugh. I don't actually mention Lady Gaga in the article itself (although I concede there are some interesting photo's of her on the right), but Lady Gaga certainly is a quirky person. Yet Aspergers females are the best actresses in the world (as Dr Tony Attwood as repeatedly confimred in his books), i.e. their whole outer persona is often an image garnered from observing other NT females, so Lady Gaga being articulate in interviews is perfectly plausible 'female,' Aspergers behaviour. Most people don't actually realize the huge difference between men presenting with AS and their female equivalents. Also undoubtedly Lady Gaga could be said to have areas of special interest that are an obsession i.e. music and fashion/image, these are all very common areas of special pursuit for the modern female Aspie (but also in article it says this may be so or may not be the case with each individual Aspergers female). However I agree Lady Gaga is a complicated case and perhaps there are a myriad of different issues present. Thanks for commenting.
Thisissonottrue on May 23, 2014:
Lady gaga aspergers? The last person on earth!; she knows exactly how to react in an interview, she is creatively intelligent etc. etc. See her interviews on you tube and use your feeling! With all respect, but I had to laugh about this mentioned in the article. Is this article written by someone with an obsessive focus perhaps? Couldn't you think any other explanation like giftedness or highly sensitivity? These labels show almost the same symptoms as asperger but with different core reasons! Shame on you for writing this article!
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on March 20, 2013:
Thanks for stopping by gkerosi.
Geoffrey Kerosi from Nairobi on March 20, 2013:
This is a very informative hub on Aspergers Syndrome. I will always read your hubs to learn more.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on March 12, 2013:
Yes Aspergers people do often have great difficulty in joining social gatherings that is one of the hallmarks of Aspergers Syndrome i.e. difficulties with normal social interaction, the norms of small talk and all the chit chat that just comes naturally to other people but not to people with Aspergers. Instead they have to work very hard at it all. Sometimes the frustration and stress of always having to try and function in an environment that doesn't come naturally to us and yes it does boil over into anger too sometimes as controlling our emotions or expressing them appropriately is another difficulty with having an autistic brain. Thanks for reading.
Rosemary Amrhein on March 11, 2013:
Do people with aspergers sometimes feel antisocial and sometimes get angry? I know my dad was that way and a few other people similar. I often wonder about this.
samowhamo on February 24, 2013:
Thank you thewritingowl. Please let me know what you thought of it I just want to know if i'm off to an ok start thank you. :)
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on February 24, 2013:
Thanks and very interesting take on Aspergers. Will check it out.
samowhamo on February 23, 2013:
Nice article I myself have asperger's syndrome. Also if you are interested (I am trying to share this with autistic people) I have written the first part of a science fiction story about asperger's I will give a brief description it's about scientist's discovering that asperger's is the next step in human evolution and that there are two factions of aspies the first one wishes to co-exist peacefully with neurotypicals and the second one wishes to dominate neurotypicals
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on November 04, 2012:
Thanks a lot for this comment. It is great your daughter is going to study by computer. I read recently that correspondence courses are often best for people on the Autism Spectrum and I knew from my own experience that this is definitely true. I went to university myself at 18 and moved away from home I only lasted 3 months I just couldn't take the social side of things and that led me to also losing interest in the course. Then just 5 years ago (in my 30's with 2 kids) I did a course over the internet and finally fulfilled my dream by getting a Diploma in Journalism and Fiction writing. Let your daughter find her own path and once she does what she is interested in and enjoys it she will find her own niche in time. She is lucky too that you are so supportive and know where her weaknesses and strengths lie.
Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on November 04, 2012:
My daughter has asperger's syndrome. She is very good with computers, but when it comes to socializing with other people, she has a very difficult time. She will be quiet and look down. She is 17 now, but cannot go to the store by herself, she cannot nor does she even want to drive. There are a lot of things teenagers do that she cannot. But, that is ok, we love her so much. When it comes to technology, she is almost a genius. She is going to start some college classes next year. There is a community college that let's people take classes via the computer. Last year we decided to send her to a camp, to help her socialize with other people, the same age. We let her choose the camp. It was a day camp that lasted a week. In that class she built a robot. She was the only female in the class. The robot still works.
Thanks for writing this,
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on September 17, 2012:
It has been rumored on-line that Lady Gaga could have Aspergers, as you say she certainly fits the profile in many ways, e.g. Area of Special Interest 'her own very unique take on fashion.' Her musical talent (apparently she gets up in the middle of the night to write songs that just come to her), she also creates and has huge input into all of her videos for her songs which she says she can visualize in her head beforehand e.g. she thinks in pictures as all us Aspies tend to do. Lady Gaga is definitely an individual and could also be described as being on her own planet! Whether it is planet Aspergers Syndrome or not the jury is still out. Others claim she doesn't fit the profile for Aspergers at all but personally I would not be so certain. I could be wrong too but I would say there are some strong traits of it for certain. Thanks for your comment too.
KellyMediaBest from Tampa, Florida on September 17, 2012:
This is a pretty interesting hub, and a topic that I think a lot more people are beginning to acknowledge. Especially with the growing number of children being diagnosed with Autism, things like this need to be brought to the attention of the masses. Do you use pictures of Lady Gaga because you think she has Aspergers? It wouldn't be surprising after reading this.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on September 11, 2012:
Best of luck. Have you read any of Tony Attwood's books on the subject that was when I thought yep that is me exactly and also the book I mention 'Aspergers Syndrome for Dummies,' is very good and up to date. Thanks for comment. Did you read my article about AS relationships that might ring a bell too?
Virginia Whitney from Fresno, California on September 11, 2012:
Nice =) I'm going to try to get a diagnosis of Aspergers because I think I have had it for a while now. 8 particullarly relate to the fashion goddess not necessarily for th fashion (which I like but I am not obsessed with it like this) but how she chooses to remain quiet and observe and often doesn't know what to say. People often see her as aloof and maybe cold. She doesn't ussually pick up on flirting. Yep that's me.
Mary Kelly Godley (author) from Ireland on July 28, 2012:
Thanks very much for your comment, I like to think I know what I am talking about anyway!
Lisa from WA on July 28, 2012:
This is a very fascinating read. I've heard of Asperger's before but never really understood what it means to have it. I especially appreciate reading about it from someone who has it and therefore really knows what they're talking about.