I Am Jack’s Banished Dog.

Dennis Sanders

Dennis is the pastor of a small Protestant congregation outside St. Paul, MN and also a part-time communications consultant. A native of Michigan, you can check out his writings over on Medium and subscribe to his Substack newsletter on religion and politics called Polite Company.  Dennis lives in Minneapolis with his husband Daniel.

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6 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    I wish it were easier to find friends that you can do nothing with. Unfortunately, the only way to find them is through finding friends that you can do something with.

    At least as far as I’ve found.Report

  2. Kazzy says:

    Thank you for sharing part of your story, Dennis. I’m curious… do the people you are seeking friendships and connection with… do they know you have Aspergers? If not, would telling them help them to better understand your manner of and attempts at connecting?

    I ask for slightly selfish reasons… my wife’s father shows some symptoms of Aspergers. And his relationships with his family members range from non-existent to strained. After some hard talks with my wife, I finally broached the subject. I’m far from an expert, but I know enough to wonder if there is a there there. She considered it but ultimately dismissed it as immaterial… regardless of what was going on, he is who he is and nothing is going to change for him now that he’s in his 60’s. My counter was that it might not change anything for him, but might for them. If they saw his rigidity and focus on routine to the exclusion of all else as something other than “stubbornness” — if they instead recognized it as something that was largely beyond his control and was necessary for him — they might be more accepting of it. Her brother recently broached the topic completely independently… “What’s wrong with him? Is he autistic or something?” He was half-joking, but half-serious.

    So, I’m curious… do you get along better with people who know about your condition (is condition the right word?) and can therefore be accommodating to it or otherwise understanding of your needs?Report

    • Rod in reply to Kazzy says:

      For reasons that I don’t have the right to voice here, I strongly suspect my wife is also on the spectrum. And frankly, I as also suspect that’s why we were attracted to each other. I sincerely doubt either one of us could have sustained a thirty-year relationship with a neuro-typical.

      One thing I’ve noticed about us is that we get along a lot better when we’re not together as much. For most couples routine absences is really hard on a relationship, but the times when it got rockiest for us was when I had a job where I was home every night.Report

  3. Chris says:

    There probably isn’t a Rosetta Stone, but if you have access, there are really good counselors out there who can help you learn a lot of the skills that you may have trouble learning. It’s not easy, of course, but if you’re willing to learn and stick with it, it can be a lot of help.Report

  4. ScarletNumbers says:

    I feel that Parenthood has done much to humanize Aspies.

    Not only Max, who explicitly has it, but also Hank, who implicitly has it.

    The Big Bang Theory, however, mocks Sheldon, who implicitly has it as well.Report

  5. Terry says:

    Take up disc golf. Seriously.Report