Asperger's can also lead to problems with normal social interaction between peers. In childhood and teenage years, this can cause severe problems as a child or teen with Asperger's can have difficulty interpreting subtle social cues, and as such be ostracized by their peers, leading to social cruelty. A child or teen with Asperger's is frequently puzzled as to the source of this cruelty, unaware of what has been done "wrong".

Recent efforts in the field of special education have concentrated on teaching children with Asperger's how to interact with their peers, achieving only moderate success, while the alternative of teaching their peers to cope with Asperger's children does not seem to have been seriously considered by many professionals. The social alienation of some people with Asperger's syndrome is so intense in childhood that some create imaginary friends for companionship.

Asperger's syndrome hardly guarantees a miserable life. Often the intense focus and tendency to work things out logically, a characteristic of Asperger's, will grant them a high level of ability in their field of interest. Despite their difficulty with social interaction, many people with Asperger's possess a rare gift for humor (especially puns, wordplay, doggerel, satire), and writing. In fact, sometimes their fluency with language is such that a number of them also qualify as hyperlexic.

While many people with Asperger's will probably not have lives that are considered a social success by common standards - and there are many who will remain alone their entire lives - it is possible for some to find understanding people with whom they can have close relationships. Many autistics have children, in which case their children may be neurotypical or may have an autism spectrum disorder. Many autistics are unaware of their autism, because milder forms of autism are widely misunderstood and often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed by professionals.

Social Stories and Comic Book Conversations:

Carol Gray, a well-recognized researcher in the area of educational intervention for individuals on the autism spectrum, has developed a technique called the Social Story that has been found helpful in explaining social situations. Read more...