How Autism Grew my Faith

A new book from Stephanie C. Holmes. Available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.
3 Topics now available on DVD
Stephanie has collected her teachings on Aspie/NT marriage into a 5 part DVD series. Also available is "Moving Beyond Surviving to Thriving: ASD issues that impact marriage & Family" and "Spectrum Teens and the Issues they face".

There are clips of the marriage sessions on youtube:

These videos can be ordered from the Appointments and Products tab.

Asperger’s and Adolescence

For the past two years, I have begun writing and speaking about my family’s journey with Asperger’s and other special needs. My message is simply that God has a plan and purpose for every family and this includes families who are challenged with a special needs’ child. There are different issues that arise with ASD in various stages of life. I thought it might be helpful to get firsthand knowledge of the challenges one might have as an adolescent with Asperger’s. My daughter has written some thoughts for you. I have chosen not to edit her words very much so you can hear from her directly.

Hi! My name is Sydney. I am 14 and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I guess if I were to start with a major issue with Asperger’s, it would be the feeling that few people really understand me or get me. Nobody really understood me when I was little. Heck, most people still don’t. When I was little I would get so frustrated when the teacher or an adult could not understand what I needed or wanted. Sometimes at school I would be so stressed out that I would turn the desk over, throw or break pencils, or hit or spit on the person. These behaviors were first seen as disrespectful and the thought then that I was bad, not that I was trying to communicate something with these fits. Instead of wanting to help me, I would be expelled. This would lead me to think I was not wanted or not loved by these adults who made these decisions about me. If I would have known a better way to communicate my needs I would have. I did not want to hit or spit, I simply wanted space or to be left alone.

I have issues communicating with my parents, family, friends, teachers, and yes even boys. I try to come up with ways to communicate in a way that stresses me out a little less. For example, I may have a question about something at school, but I do not want to ask the question in class. So, with teachers I try to stay after class when I can ask that question privately. The issue with that is the anxiety over being late for the next class and having to explain why. Communicating with people my age is even harder! I have one really close friend. She is easy to talk to because she lets me be myself and I do not feel anxiety around her. Others seem to get upset with me or tell me I say things that upset them. They say I am too honest or tell too many facts.

I am still confused about why one girl is mad at me because she was writing that she was fat and ugly on her hand and I told her to stop that. I told her she was not fat or ugly and she needed to stop saying that about herself. She got mad at me. I still don’t get why she thinks she is fat and ugly when she is clearly thin and not ugly. I just don’t understand these girls sometimes. They want to talk about boys and shopping and plan at lunch what they will be wearing on the weekend. Why? When I state the obvious pointlessness of these conversations people get mad at me. Some even say I am a “loser.” Sometimes it is just easy to talk to boys. Then I get accused of flirting, but I just find talking with boys less stressful sometimes. I don’t want to flirt. I am not even sure how to flirt, but they say I am flirting? How do these girls know so much about boys, clothes, and how to talk to boys? Why don’t they get as stressed out about all this as I do? Where did they learn all that, and how did I miss it? What is wrong with my brain that I don’t get it?

Another communication issue is people my age use a lot of sarcasm. Sarcasm is used so often it is hard for me to detect what is not sarcasm or a joke. One time last year a PE teacher said that if our class did something one more time we would not get to participate in field day. She then asked, “Who doesn’t want to do field day?” I raised my hand, because I HATE field day! I always have. But she and the other students laughed at me for answering what they said was a “rhetorical question.” Most kids love field day because it gets them out of class and work. I hate it because it is loud, I am not good at many of the activities, and you don’t know what will happen throughout the day. But I am thinking then, why ask a question if you don’t want the answer? If I answered honestly, why are they laughing at me? It really hurt my feelings. I had to excuse myself to pull myself together from the humiliation of the moment. This was another “loser moment.”

Because I am blessed enough to have this one good friend, she helps me out when I get stuck in a conversation or confused. She talks to me on Facebook chat and lets me know what mistakes I made communicating at lunch that day or what people thought I said. This is helping me learn to gauge my social interactions at lunch and times between classes. Trust me, no one is happier than me that my mom is a counselor and she helps me figure all these things out. I feel sorry for kids who don’t have a mom or dad they can vent to and talk about anxiety to and to help them navigate the communication issues of being a teenager! Being a teenager and knowing what to say and when is stressful!!!!! How do you people know what to say? I don’t get it.


What Sydney is expressing is common among adolescent girls with Asperger’s. On “Turn it Around Radio” with Dr. Tim Clinton on October 25, we will discuss specific issues adolescents with Asperger’s deal with on a daily basis. For a neuro-typical adolescent high school and social politics can be challenging to navigate but when you have an impairment or deficit in your communication skills, social skills, hygiene skills, and more it is tougher to make and keep friends. When the ASD teen is rejected socially, it can lead to other issues such as depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideation. It is crucial for the Aspie adolescent to have a safe haven at home and at church. Having a counselor can help the Aspie teen learn to communicate frustration, anxiety, or simply how they feel about being different from other people and not fitting in socially to the main stream crowd.

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