Welcome to Different Together, for a better understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome
Different Together is a safe, supportive and understanding community for the partners of adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). If you’ve found us, it is likely that you either know or suspect that your partner has AS and are wondering … what now? We are here for you!
“For some people, it is very easy and enjoyable to fall in love with someone who has the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome. After the initial intoxicating romance, there can be a gradual realisation from both partners, that the relationship is not as fulfilling as anticipated and adjustments and compromises are needed. This website provides valuable information and advice on many aspects of such relationships and is a resource that will change lives.”
— Tony Attwood
Here, Tony answers some of our most frequently asked questions.
How it all began …
Different Together was borne out of my own search for information and support as the Neurotypical (NT) partner of someone affected by Asperger’s Syndrome. More than anything I wanted to find other people in the same situation as me who could really understand and relate to my experiences.
Having first heard the term ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ in late 2010, my internet searches kept leading me to lists of characteristics and behaviours which resembled many of my husband’s traits. What the searches did not do was link to any support, resources or further information.
In mid 2012, with the same miscommunications bringing our relationship once again to crisis point, we were referred via our GP to the area mental health team for assessment and diagnosis. I assumed that if my husband got a diagnosis, support would follow.
Six months after being referred, we had heard nothing. When I rang to ask why this was, I was told there was a two year waiting list. Two years! I felt it unlikely that our marriage would survive the wait and so, in February 2013 we had a private assessment and diagnosis – a huge relief to us both. Desperate for information and advice, I tried to find support groups and others in the same situation. After a few months, unable to find anything in the UK, Different Together was set up to meet that need.
Difference can only feel threatening if it exists in the absence of acceptance and understanding.
There are many excellent books written for couples and several specifically for partners. These can be found on this site under ‘Resources’. My hope is that this site will become a valued resource in its own right to cover these areas that need addressing;
- Connection with others in the same situation – whether by discussion threads, face to face or social events
- Workshops and conferences for NT partners
- Training for counsellors and professionals in recognizing if a couple’s problems might be related to Asperger’s Syndrome