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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Aspergers, communication and exasperation

Perhaps it's just a male trait since Ethan's partner in the following situation played an equally bemusing role. Either way, I am sure if two women made an arrangement to go to the cinema one evening they would agree what time to meet. Surely, if one person had said to the other "I'll pick you up," the other person might have enquired as to what time.
Picture the situation. I'm trying to fly out of the door to take Ava and her friend to their first ever drama lesson (I'm hoping it will channel some of her excess dramatic flair!)The boys are both clambering at my legs, asking for drinks and whining that they don't want me to go - all the while Ethan is oblivious, on his iphone, doing whatever it is he still finds necessary to do, having been fiddling with it since he came in. As I'm peeling child number three off me and heading to the door, Ethan thinks to ask what time I'll be back. "About 7," I reply. "Well it better not be any later 'cos I'm going to the cinema," he informs me. The exasperation in me is building. "What time are you going? You need to tell me these things..."
"I don't know what time."
That cuts me short. The fact is that he didn't arrange the time with the person he's going with! All he knows is that the other person is doing the driving. For all we both knew, he could turn up to collect Ethan at any moment - perhaps when I was out with Ava at drama. And then what would he do? The uncertainty at least prompted action. Ethan looked up the cinema times and discovered that there wasn't a showing until 8.50pm. He'd been up since 4am. By the time he got home he would have been up for 20 hours and had to be up early again for work the next morning. Why didn't he think to look at the times at the time of arranging?!
We had a similar lack in communication/information-sharing the night before. Somebody was meant to be coming round to look at our front room with a view to plastering it for us. They said, by text, that they'd come 'tonight'. By 6.30pm they hadn't arrived and Ethan was getting stressed. Again, he'd been up since 4am and would be again the next day. After explaining to Ethan that tonight could mean any time up to around 9pm, I asked whether he'd informed the plasterer guy that he'd be going to bed at 8.30pm.
He hadn't, of course. Not only that but Ethan was adamant that he couldn't tell the guy that now at 6.30pm as 'it was too late.' Why? I just don't get it.
He seems to have a nervousness about informing people of things, about pinning details down, about communicating information - even the most basic - about himself. And he always texts. Never phones. That would be fine if his texts covered the information they need to - but they don't. It's frustrating when a quick phone call with proper information communicated fully would save a whole load of stress and uncertainty. Then again, I guess, for Ethan, that's cancelled out by the stress of actually having that necessary conversation in the first place - and getting it right.

So, for now, we continue muddling through and I remain exasperated!

1 comment:

  1. This happens with me and my AH, too. He will say,"Jack wants us to play games this weekend." He tells me on Friday night. When I ask for more details, he doesn't have any, just a vague plan that he is going to call Jack an hour or two before AH wants to show up. I have tried to explain that even though Jack wants a call, he probably means us to call more than 2 hours in advance-it is not like he is sitting home all weekend waiting for our call. "Oh." So he calls. But I don't understand HIS complete lack of understanding as to why advance planning is necessary and appropriate. Especially since my husband is a brilliant computer programmer whose work is all about making plans and carrying them out. My family has always thought he is just being difficult. But I think, "Well, that's Asperger's."