What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Hate Groups, or the Cassandras17 min read

Who are the Cassandras?

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was cursed to see the future, but no one would believe her.  In the modern world of the internet, Cassandras are women who have banded together to fight a common enemy: Aspies.


Their partners are not aspies, at least the vast majority of them.  I would feel confident in estimating that upwards of 95% of them have partners who are diagnosed by no one other than themselves.  In that microcosm, they celebrate being neurotypical as if it’s a severely oppressed minority.

Trigger warning: there is hate speech against autistic adults and children quoted in this article.  Please do not continue reading this article if you are not in a place to process the emotional burden of this kind of exposé.

A Hard Truth

It is hard to make a neurotypical-Aspergian (NT-AS) relationship work.  Very.  The fact is, the differences in the way each is wired are pervasive.  Their core identities are rooted in different constructs, which means that their values, perceptions, and even the way they derive meaning are different.  Sensory issues, social perception, cognitive profiles, and emotional differences, too, will cause nuanced discrepancies that are nearly impossible to reconcile and difficult to even pinpoint. 

It is a death of a thousand paper cuts for one or both parties.  Almost anyone who has been in an NT-AS relationship will confirm this fact.

There is very little available when it comes to helpful literature to explain the differences between autistic and neurotypical people (NTs), and most resources for couples ask one of the partners to do most, if not all, of the compromising.  Either way, it’s likely to strangle both people’s spirits unless they are a rare match that just happens to align on the fundamentals.

Often, we grow to regard the other as childish, emotionally immature, and selfish, our priorities forever at odds. 

Anti-Autistic Hate Groups

As laughable as it sounds, they’re out there.  I found out about this one the hard way by stepping into the middle of one…

They often hide in Facebook groups for neurotypical partners of aspies.  Somehow, I ended up in one after a friend told me that she would like me to lend my perspective to help struggling women better understand Asperger’s.  What I read was horrifying: They’re nothing more than empty shells that almost look like humans.  They don’t have any empathy.  They are all gaslighting monsters.  They’re always looking for something more shiny, like an object.

When you’re autistic, these statements hurt, and they’re terrifying.  They terrify you for your autistic spouse and your autistic child(ren).  You want to say something, but you know how it will go over.  You are torn between righteous indignation, rage, and devastating sadness.

What conversation has ever been productive when one party begins by having to convince the other that she is not the embodiment of narcissism and sadistic evil? 

We’ll build a bridge and break down misconceptions together, I tell myself.

Hot damn, did it not go over well. 

To tell them that all aspies are not serial cheaters, violent, and abusive; or, to tell them what behaviors were the opposite of Asperger’s was to them an invalidation of their experiences. 

It didn’t matter if they were with someone who had the traits of a malignant narcissist with antisocial personality disorder.  To them, the distinction was moot.  They were with monsters, other people in the group were with monsters, and the name they were using to define all manner of monstrosity was Asperger’s.

Undeveloped.  Social.  Conscience… 

Seriously!?  There’s a pervasive irony in a chart like this with a fundamental lack of social conscience underscoring the entirety of it.  It’s a juvenile demonstration of social Darwinism, as representative of social conscientiousness as a rabid hyena.  They ascribe autistic strengths to neurotypicals, too, like honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, and critical thinking. 

We socialize for our own ego/narcissism?  Manipulate others by fear, anxiety, verbal/physical violence?  No social conscience?  Somehow, we’ve managed to be completely socially inept, but also cunning manipulators.  And inability to laugh at oneself and one’s own mistakes?  Really?  Have they ever met an autistic person?  Most of us are Quixotic social justice warriors.  A good 75% of our humor is comprised of self-deprecation and jokes about our own suffering.

Asperger’s Guide to Humor

But, these women are not with actual aspies.  Some of them are, but most of them are with general-purpose assholes, quite neurotypical. 

According to their logic, all deplorable traits point to Asperger’s: Sex addict?  Must be Asperger’s.  Doesn’t want sex?  Must be Asperger’s.  Screams all the timeAspieNever talks?  Aspie.  Stingy with money?  Aspie.  Lavish spender?  Aspie.  Genocidal warlord?  Bad tipper?  Halitosis?  Con man?  Serial killer?  Liar?  Flat-earther?

They have websites and even a non-profit.  There’s theNeurotypical.com and, no joke, heartlessAspergers.com.  They’re on a mission, and that mission is to tell people that aspies are horrible inhuman beings.  They are dedicated to bringing awareness to the suffering partners of these zero-empathy, emotionless, robotic, mind-blind, manipulative, pathologically-dishonest, and just fundamentally evil aspies. 

So what about aspies who contend that they aren’t any of the things as described on those sites? 

As Aspies will tell you, they might seem like they don’t care about other people’s feelings, but that’s only because they don’t know what others are feeling.  If they knew, they say, they would care (don’t believe that!  You can tell them how you feel for decades, and they will never understand or care.  Ask anyone who has been married or close in any way to one of them.  All you will get is invalidation).

-anonymous NT on heartlessaspergers.com

They blame the autism lobby and the #actuallyautistic movement for putting too much positive information out into the world about these “heartless monsters.”  By all definitions, from their baseless propaganda to their self-published garbage books, these groups are active hate groups operating in the open world. 

One of the authors they recommend is ebook self-publisher J.B.  Snow.  From her ebook, The Critical Nature of the Aspie or OCPD Husband: The Hard Truth: Living with a Partner on the Autism Spectrum (Transcend Mediocrity Book 15):

If you look at a toddler with Asperger’s Syndrome, you will realize that they run over other children.  They are often abrasive.  They bite, punch, kick, push, shove, scratch and pinch nearly anyone who gets in the way or takes their belongings.  The wife of an aspie might find herself in an all-out war if she sells her spouse’s baseball card collection without his knowledge.

As the mother of an aspie toddler, this enrages me.  There are people out there writing my toddler off, who has never bitten, hit, kicked, or pinched anyone, as a violent nuisance and defective before she’s even learned to ride a bicycle.  I’m perplexed by the instant jump in subject matter to selling off a husband’s baseball card collection without his knowledge.  Would that not infuriate anyone? 

She goes on to suggest that an aspie man might hoard child pornography on his computer because he is a primitive and un-evolved collector like a cavemen, that he will take a mistress when he’s bored, that he will become a sexual abuser when he wants to exert control, and that he doesn’t know what it means to love. 

If there was just one example of an aspie man who is none of these things, then this would be a horrible, damning indictment; however, this is a wholly inaccurate account of most aspie men.  Knowing hundreds, I have never met one who fits her description.  My own aspie husband is the kindest, most selfless, empathetic, honorable, and loving man I have ever known. 

Another self-published book is Broken by Katy Ford.  Clearly, there was no editor for this one as every sentence is rife with errors and lacking in punctuation.  The real problem, though, is in the content:

I have read on countless sites and forums and can indeed personally verify that the anxiety of living with an AS/NT relationship if you are not aware of the AS will lead to physical illness from colds to cancer.

What can I even do with this?  Seriously…

From the next chapter entitled, “What is Asperger’s?”

People with AS are incapable of feelings and empathy and because of this their partners and children suffer from extreme emotional neglect which results in significant emotional trauma.

I know I’m not supposed to be capable of having feelings, but this has me feeling lots of ways.  The thing is, they believe this.  Her ex-husband was not even diagnosed.  She diagnosed him.  Almost all of them have diagnosed men with any cluster of negative traits as having Asperger’s.

The Collateral

So, what happens to autistic people as these forums and groups expand and all manner of evil people are deemed to be autistic and all autistics are deemed to be evil?  Many of these people work with autistic children.  Many have autistic children they hate.  They are nurses and mental health care workers, teachers and church members.  They feel their hate is justified.

And, if it’s hard to believe that they are out there, hating autistics and seeing them as all evil, vile humans with psychopathy and greed and violent rage, then look at their forum, AS Partners.  It’s public.  There, they conjecture about every killer and rapist in the news, just “knowing” that he is autistic.  It’s at this point, I’m seeing the disconnect between our aspie “facts” and their “emotions.”  These are definitely feelings I would invalidate. 

They claim that autistics have a “look,” and that they can spot them at a glance with their “creepy, soulless eyes.”


If the books and the websites aren’t evidence enough, they have a public forum called AS Partners.  You can browse it and see for yourself.  Below are some comments from the site that typify what you’ll see there.

After conjecturing that Jamie Closs’s kidnapper was autistic, and that she could tell by looking at him, a woman said:

This social nightmare will NEVER end.  The Aspergers/autism population just keeps re-producing.  

And then there’s this from a woman musing on how scary it is that we reproduce:

Do you think there are some couples making the descision to have children even though they know at least one of them have Aspergers and they could easily pass it on to their children, I think there must be by now.  I don’t think they all see it as a bad thing to have autism, many of them think it makes them special and much better than other people.  The part that worries me most is when it’s the mother who has Aspergers, that seems to be the way it is just as often as it’s the father but I think that’s only beginning to come to light now.  I don’t think anybody could say that Aspies make good parents, except them of course, how can anybody be a good parent if they don’t have the capability to feel empathy or understand their childrens emotions.  You have to be able to read your children’s emotions because they don’t always tell you about their problems but you can easily see if they’re upset about anything if you have the capability to feel empathy. 

That kills me.  I am an aspie mother with an autistic child and an aspie husband.  I’ve never been harsh to my child.  We are so connected that we communicate almost telepathically.  I breastfed her until she was 17.5 months old, slept on the couch for a year with her in a bassinet right in front of my face.  She is cherished, safe, and loved and knows it.

I am not a perfect mother by any stretch, but I am the perfect mother for my daughter.  I have the ability to empathize with her because we are so similar.  No neurotypical could innately empathize with my daughter.  They’re not wired the way she is.  That’s not to say that they couldn’t be great parents to a neurodiverse child, but their intuitions would fail them in the same way that my intuitions would fail me with a neurotypical child. 

The best thing a neurotypical parent of an autistic child can do for their child is to rely on the wisdom of autistic adults to provide insight and wisdom into the way their children’s minds work.  The converse is true for neurodiverse parents of neurotypical children

My husband is the best father any daughter ever had.  He takes her out all the time, after working hard labor all day, to parks or indoor bounce houses and playgrounds.  There are mothers everywhere, and no fathers…  and then there’s my husband with his daughter, encouraging her, making her laugh, helping her to climb on things, playing with her while everyone else is gossiping or staring at their cell phones. 

He wears a diaper bag backpack full of puppets and snacks and toys he’s packed.  He makes sure she has enough water because she never thinks to ask for any.  It’s true he doesn’t always intuit what she wants when she’s upset, but he does try hard and gets better every day.  I think he does better than most men in that arena. 

Father walks carrying toddler daughter.   Snow is everywhere.   Toddler reaches toward snowman.

But I shouldn’t have to be put in a position where I feel like I have to prove that my family is not made up of monsters based on nothing we’ve ever said, done, or thought.  No one should ever be put in that position.  No one should ever have the thought, “Are they going to think I’m guilty because I’m trying to prove myself, or will they think I’m guilty if I don’t qualify my goodness and humanity?”  This is what racism does to people of color.  It is a life forced into defense and uncertainty.  It is a life of begging the question, Am I in friendly territory?

So when I read this website and see mothers talking about how love shouldn’t be wasted on autistic kids because they can’t appreciate it anyway, and how autistic people can’t have empathy, how all aspies are totally self-serving and abusive, how neurotypicals need to come together to “defeat” and “abolish” us, how Hitler and all the Nazis were aspies, and how aspies shouldn’t be parents…  I feel a lot of things. 

I feel fear that someone who has these prejudices will maybe one day be a teacher in my daughter’s classroom.  I weep for my friends’ children.  I am broken for the autistic children of these women.  I fear for adults who are going to be judged by these standards in custody hearings or by employers.  I fear that these stereotypes that are based on nothing but internet propaganda are going to make life harder for people who don’t deserve it.  It is a fundamental lack of empathy that I fear, and not from autistics.

The Real Issue

The following is another comment on that site that I think really speaks to the underlying issue fueling all of this antipathy:

Yeah the innocent Aspie bullshit is a huge lie that’s really hurting a lot of kind empathetic people and wasting years of their lives.  Why does nobody seem to care about all the victims of their emotional abuse, their parners and their own children ?.  I think quite a few of the partners of people on this site should be added to that warning list.  My nonpartner isn’t a sexual predator but he still preys on women to get what he wants.  They have nothing to give back to us but constant carping criticism and all the blame when anything goes wrong. 

This is the core of the problem.  Many of these women are with abusive men.  I was with one before, and he was neurotypical.  He never complimented me.  I could do nothing right.  He compared me to everyone, yelled at me, isolated me, scared me to the point I feared for my life, and even became physical towards the end.  He didn’t care about anyone but himself.

I read what these women are experiencing, and I empathize.  I relate personally.  Nobody should ever be treated this way, but I stayed more years than I should have.  Everyone in a situation like that should be encouraged to leave.  I stayed because I thought I was supposed to, because I felt sorry for him, because I feared he would be homeless without me, because my therapist said I would leave when I was ready, and because I worried what would happen to me when I told him I wanted out.  These women, many of them, are in the same boat. 

But, in the same way that it would be wrong to scapegoat Catholics, Brits, artists, neurotypicals, or multi-racial people for my ex-husband’s behaviors, it is wrong to paint autistics with such a broad brush. 

But these greedy, violent, abusive monsters without empathy aren’t aspies.  Aspies don’t lack empathy, but they don’t empathize the same way.  Neurotypicals don’t know how to empathize with us, either.  It doesn’t come naturally to them.  We (aspies) empathize with each other quite well…  naturally.  We’re graceful together. 

Pickup Professor Meme | MIXING CHEMICALS WITHOUT SAFETY GLASSES?  RISKY BEHAVIOR IS MY THING | image tagged in memes,pickup professor | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Some of these women are with actual aspies, and they are being emotionally neglected.  Whether their partners can’t do better because they don’t know what to do, or they refuse to do better because they are stubborn is inconsequential. 

Relationship and family supports are needed for this demographic, but it’s possible to put supports in place without demonizing all aspies.  Even if a neurotypical woman is with a selfless, kind, giving aspie, he is still not neurologically in-sync with her.  She’s not in-sync with him, either.  They need to understand that they speak different languages.  The right supports could help them both to interpret the other better.  Then, they can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s worth the effort to stay. 

If there were any hope for these relationships, there won’t be once someone has accepted that their partner is a broken, inferior, sub-human monster.  A group like that thrives on confirmation bias, just like any hate group. 

There is nothing lovable about Autism/Aspergers.  It is a life sentence for the one who’s got it and everyone they come across.  [ .  .  .  ] No.  These people are reptiles pretending to be human as they don their people costumes and recite their memorized words.  They are predators.  They do not feel empathy.  They do not understand emotion; they cannot truly feel. 

A woman says in this AS Partner forum, and no one challenges it.  In fact, it’s a frequently-repeated maxim on the site.  I have seen anti-Semites say the same thing about Jews.  This brand of supremacy kills.  Literally.

This is why therapists won’t support the “Cassandra Phenomenon.”  Because it’s based on the false premise that autistics are inherently abusive, without empathy, and a terror to those who have the misfortune of being in their company. 

NT-AS Relationships

We’re not always a good match.  I’d imagine that we’re not usually a great match.  This is a serious issue in relationship health that needs attention.

This New Year’s Eve, my husband and I both checked our phones at the same time, and we both gasped in unison.  We had received a, “Happy Anniversary!”  text from my mother-in-law.  We looked at each other with that Am-I-in-trouble? face and both burst out laughing.  We forgot together, and I was reminded that I was with someone who was perfect for me.

As I read through these women’s comments, many of them were complaints about behaviors that would describe my husband.  He responds often with only one or two words.  He has auditory processing issues which are sometimes worse than others.  He totally can’t read my subtle or obvious hints, and his memory can be abysmal at times and ridiculously detailed other times. 

Other complaints describe me.  I don’t want to receive gifts on occasions or celebrate traditionally for holidays, I am terrible at keeping up with everyday minutia, and my housekeeping skills are less-than-great.  I only drink out of Kerr wide-mouth mason jars at home, I like to eat with spoons and not forks, and hoodies are my winter uniform unless I’m going out. 

We both agree on the essentials, though.  Facts always supersede emotions.  It is assumed that nothing is wrong unless we say something is wrong.  We feel like we’ve won at the game of life when we’re all alive and well at the end of each day.  Nothing is sacred, small talk is a waste of breath, no humor is too dark, and nobody else is responsible for our emotions but ourselves. 

I feel so fiercely in love with my husband when he challenges me, those times when he wasn’t going to compromise his values or acquiesce.  I would be devastated and disappointed if he said, “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”  It would feel like the ultimate dismissal, a cloying, patronizing ceding, like I’m not a worthy intellectual sparring partner.  The brand of parlance with which we communicate is different and would offend or confuse NTs.

If someone neurotypical is with an aspie (or any partner) and is unfulfilled in the relationship, he or she should leave…  no guilt, no shame, no being told to compromise or make it work.  Anyone in a relationship that is miserable and unrewarding with no reciprocity should not be guilted into staying.  No unwilling party should carry 90% of the load in a relationship, which is what happens very often to modern women.

An Appeal to Empathy

If you were unaware that anti-autistic hate groups were a thing, now you know.  We autistics have no recourse to combat these kinds of prejudices if people are going to accuse us of being mind-blind sociopaths every time we attempt to advocate for ourselves. 

In these communities, there are blatant calls for eugenics, armchair diagnostics of everyone who is monstrous as being autistic, and prejudices that have the potential to cause extreme harm to people based on their “look.”  Some people even forego he/she pronouns to refer to autistic people as “it.”

As soon as I, or any autistic person, attempt to discredit false information based on evidence, either anecdotal, clinical, or academic, it is rejected as “biased” or “self-serving.”  I have had people tell me that my “inability to take ownership for how messed up [I am] and my mind blindness cause [me] to have a false idea of having feelings and empathy.” 

A person being cold, boring, hostile, robotic, empathy-disrupted, awkward, routine-oriented, lacking in intimacy, clueless, rude, or combative is not cause for armchair-diagnosing them with autism.  All of those things in varying degrees and combinations can be representative of a hundred different combinations of genetic, neurological, medical, psychological, mood/affective, or personality disorders. 

We need neurotypicals to use their privilege, as parents, educators, friends, clinicians, scientists, and researchers to substantiate our humanity and condemn this supremacist ableism since we are not given the floor to do it for ourselves. 

The Series

This article is part of a series about the many antagonists of Asperger’s, the word and the people with Asperger’s Syndrome.  To read other articles in the series, click below:

What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and the APA
What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Employers
What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Employers, a case study

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Terra Vance

Admin, Founder at The Aspergian
Terra Vance is an industrial and organizational psychology consultant and the proprietor of Acumen Consulting, LLC.She specializes in diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, and poverty dynamics. She is a founder and administrator at The Aspergian.Her passions are in the intersections of social justice, equality, literature, Truth, and science.To contact Terra via email, click here.
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  1. Having just looked at both those websites; I am absolutely shocked.  I knew there was stereotypes and a lot of misinformation out there, but this is actual hatred towards us.  I am married to a NT and have two children.  I do the majority of the childcare becasue I am unemployed at present.  Of course, my traits can be frustrating at times and cause some conflicts, but we work through it.  If my wife thought I was any of those things listed on those sites,s he would never leave me alone with my children.  It is despicable and it actually makes me wonder if there are people around me who see me that way.

    1. You can be reassured spectrumhacks, that this does NOT represent the viewpoint of the vast majority of NT’s in a relationship with an aspie.  The sites, self published books and fora from which these quotes were taken are not a good cross section, but represent self published works, closed Facebook groups for angry partners and some less than mainstream websites.
      I am NT with a neurodiverse partner and have found many great sources of insightful, supportive and practical information about understanding the cause of our difficulties and help to work through problems without resorting to backstabbing and vitriol.
      This article does nothing to encourage a healthy exchange between typically developing people and neurodiverse people.  It does just the opposite.
      Your wife chose you, married you, had a family with you, just like we did.  There are challenges, and there are bitter, angry people out there, the internet is full of armchair warriors with agendas. 
      There are women whose partners are undiagnosed and they are mistaken in believing (and complaining) that they have aspergers and are really just narcissists, abusers and everyday gits.  There are many with a recently diagnosed aspie, the process takes a long time where I live, even if you have a cooperative partner.  My experienec is that older men are mostly not diagnosed, as when they were children and younger there was no diagnosis possible, as Aspergers only began to become recognised more widely in the 1990s.  These women don’t deserve to be stigmatised like this by being grouped into this hateful group.

      1. Author

        I would like to know what women, exactly, were stigmatized by this article who were undeserving.

      2. Author

        What I would also like to know is why you feel that this article is addressing anything other than the actual hate groups, or why you feel that it is generalized to people without a diagnosis who are supportive.  It’s written with no subtext, unlike this comment, where one has to wonder how much of this is passive aggressively accusing me of vitriol, being an armchair warrior, and stigmatizing women with actual aspies.

        You said that this article references self-published books, fora, closed groups for angry partners, and less-than-mainstream sites.  Yes.  Correct.  That is literally what this article references.  This article also takes great care to reinforce, multiple times, that there are real challenges which NT-ND couples face that require supports.  In fact, it was so important to me that that specific point was emphasized that I made a graphic with “Her needs aren’t being met.  Her pain is valid.” 

        I’m about 97% sure I recognize you from several of these groups (pattern recognition in syntax).  I once said something about hyperadrenergic states in one group, and you thought I was referencing some pseudoscience (rightfully) because I used the phrase “adrenal fatigue.”  I didn’t know that was a thing, and was referencing systemic fatigue from being in the sympathetic nervous system all the time.  You were very concerned with accuracy, which I respected.  Your syntax and your attention to detail initially caused me to think you were possibly one of us (an aspie), and I called you “fam.”  You thought this was condescension, but I was trying to honor you with insider language, to signal that I thought you were there to make sure someone kept things factual.  I was wrong, though. 

        Perhaps you’re still annoyed with me for equating rape culture with saying that a 90-some year old autistic woman should be able to require consent to unsolicited touch without implications that she belongs in an asylum.  I know you thought that was an overreaction, but if you ever experienced what it feels like in some of our skin to be kissed on the cheek or embraced by someone we don’t want to touch us, you’d know how violating and intolerable it is.  Autistic people (or any people) shouldn’t have to say, “Hey, I’m sorry I would prefer to reject your hug because it causes me to feel violated and have panic because I have autism,” or “…because I am a sexual assault survivor,” or for any reason.  It should be okay without people being made to feel crazy or like they are incapable of affection in general. 

        I didn’t even post the most disturbing things I saw.  Not even close.  What should I have done?  What would you suggest would’ve been the better course of action? 

        But for all the hundreds of thousands of times I tried to ford those productive conversations without judgement, and people were hostile or cruel, what did you say?  Or when I said something that you found insightful, what did you say?  When people posted to me that hate group propaganda, and I respectfully said that it was not something I was going to share because it was harmful, what did you say?  And when I was pressed to explain, and I obliged, respectfully; and everyone cried “unsafe” and “pedantic aspie,” what did you say?  Or when I posted like 30 other articles on this site with helpful information, what did you say?  What did any of the women from these groups say?  When ever, in all of the words I have put out there, did I ever condescend or attack or fail to answer someone’s sincere questions? 

        And why do you think I agreed to join those groups every time someone invited me?  Or that I spent so much time in there?  Because it was enjoyable and good for my mental health?  Because of the money I was making? 

        I know you think I’m angry, and that I’m an armchair warrior.  You’re not completely wrong, but the “armchair” part is insulting.  That’s fine, but it diminishes the time I spend on this, having never made a penny from it and having no agenda other than to help people– all people.  It diminishes how hard I have worked for the credentials I have.  It takes all the thousands of hours and dollars I’ve spent to obtain this education, both formal and anecodtal, and dismisses it with a single word. 

        I am angry, and if you were concerned with fairness, you’d look at that article and see why, or think about what has happened in those groups and see why.  You would admit that I’m right.  I’m recognized as an expert in this field, not because I’m some pop-psychology guru connected to power structures or some woman with a personal or selfish agenda.  Yes, I’m intense and passionate.  What’s wrong with that?  There’s a need for it, and this article was supposed to help people see what kind of attitudes and barriers are causing undo and ruthlessly cruel hardships for autistic people.  You should see what autistic reactions have been to this article. 

        And if you are who I think you are, then you already know that encouraging a productive conversation within these groups is not going to happen.  Spending tens of thousands of words trying to swallow all the anger and devastating sadness at seeing these kinds of conversations to actually help people get accurate information and to gently persuade people that hate speech isn’t okay or that they have the wrong idea about what Asperger’s really means isn’t going to work.  You have watched that happen.  In our interactions, I can’t remember any time when you’ve tried to meet me half way or interact with positively.  Did nothing I ever said resonate?  If I can’t be listened to as representative of autism, then who should be? 

        It’s actually very dangerous to advise someone how to navigate an aspie-NT relationship if the partner is not aspie but is instead someone with anti-social personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or actual sociopathy (which is more common than Asperger’s).  All those people trying desperately to diagnose their abusive men are risking a lot to listen to someone like me and take my advice if their men aren’t aspies.

        Spectrumhacks did not say he wonders if his wife believes these things about him.  He said he wonders if others around him believe these things.  Did you want to really reassure him, or did you find an opportunity to leave a passive aggressive, demeaning comment without directly addressing me?  Because if that’s what you did, then how could you really expect me to have these conversations with you more effectively?  Autistics all wonder these things and sense them, with or without my article.  It’s disturbing but also validating to have confirmation that people feel the way they do.  Those sites, when combined, have thousands upon thousands of members.  I personally have been made aware of the collateral of some of those sites to individuals who did not deserve it.  And I did not post the worst and most disturbing things from them.  Not even close. 

        If you are not someone who spreads these kinds of untruths and hate speech, then this article isn’t about you.  If you’ve faced challenges as a result of being in an NT-ND relationship, then this article addresses that in a very sincere way.  Those struggles are extremely difficult for both people, who despite loving each other very much, can’t seem to find a rhythm and thus are always stepping on each other’s toes.  I addressed that in the article. 

        Autistic people are at multiple disadvantages.  The main one is that they are vastly outnumbered as a minority.  No one has to pay attention to our words, and most don’t consider us at all in their publications about us.  So, all the burden of proof is on autistic people… and what happens when people say that we are serial liars who manipulate, cheat, and gaslight?  Nobody is going to listen.  What about when we’re too blunt?  And what exactly is the cut-off in blunt language for when someone has said that autistics are really just reptiles in skin suits?

        It sounds like you agree with me.  What was it that you object to?  There are horrible websites that dehumanize, there are horrible lies being proliferated about what it means to be autistic, and there are people who have autistic children they find to be inhuman and they resent those children…  hate them.  This is a problem.  They talk about masking like we’re some kind of purposeful wolves in sheep’s clothing, but then they feel “unsafe” when we’re unmasked and can’t tolerate how we speak.  They read way more into our words than we intend and don’t believe us when we say we don’t have a hidden agenda.  They get infuriated if you mention that with NTs and NDs, mindblindness is a two-way street. 

        So please, what is it that I or any of us could do here to balance the dramatically uneven scales a little bit that would be acceptable? 

        I think you’re a smart woman and a good person, but you are not being fair here.  I hope that you’ll see this article with empathy and think about how much it hurts us to see people talking about how the world needs to know how dangerous we “dim blue lights” are and how if we rage even once ever, we are capable of being the person that will kill our families?  I know people personally who had their lives totally and unfairly upended by these sites.  There are teachers and nurses and even people who work with autistics on these sites.  This is a human rights issue.

        One time, just once, you felt associated with a group that has been accused of doing something wrong, and you cried “unfair.”  But you are in those groups, even if you aren’t filled with hate.  You’re still seeing it every day.  Do you condemn it?  This article’s motive is spelled out clearly in its conclusion.  It is an appeal to the empathy of people like you to use your privilege to alert people when they are participating in peddling bias and prejudice that causes extreme harm. 

        YOU’RE angry at ME for pointing out what you know is true.  Why?  Because you don’t deserve to be associated with monsters?  Then maybe you know 1/100000th of what it feels like to be us, but you at least have a choice about the association.  We don’t. 

        1. Just to correct one thing – I was not referring to you when I used the term armchair warrior, but the very many people out there online. 
          I do not agree with, or support, any of the intolerant, ignorant and misguided prejudice you highlighted in your article.  I am very sad and sorry that there is so much negativity and unhappiness caused by the misunderstandings and miscommunication between us as neuro-different groups. 
          I don’t “know” you and vice versa.

          1. Author

            When I first read this, I cried I was so embarrassed and humiliated.  I put so much emotional labor into this article and seeing what it has done to autistics has caused me a new kind of pain that is abjectly miserable.  I put so much into the reply banking that you were the person I thought you were.  I thought you were that woman that I would help because you had goodness in you and you were whip smart.  I saw her say nice things elsewhere, just never to me, and thought she was someone who might glean some things and get some insight and maybe her life would be a little less fraught with isolation and she would find some ways to make her marriage more rewarding and reciprocal. 

            Then, I saw this comment and how wrong I was, and the dam that has walled in my sanity through this experience broke, and I wept.  I’m weeping typing this.  What a foolish woman I am, I told myself.  I’ve overestimated my pattern recognition.  Here was some nice lady just being affirming, and I dumped all this on her plate.  So, I went to the admin panel to get your email address to send you a personal apology.  I was going to issue one here, publicly, too.  And your email address is literally your first initial and your last name.  I was right.

            I don’t know why you couldn’t have at least given me that.  That was cruel.  On a pain scale of 1-100, emotionally, I’ve been at a 90-95 every day for a few weeks over this article.  Today broke the 100 point.  First, there was the total humiliation of thinking I was wrong and having dumped all that at the feet of the one NT out of thousands upon thousands who read this article and actually responded.  The guilt of having some poor woman trying to be an ally have to read all that, and I was wrong.  The fear that my Rain Man syntax pattern recognition had failed me and that maybe I don’t even have that skill and just am “categorically delusional” (batshit crazy in the clinical vernacular, and that the backlash from this article was maybe deserved because maybe I am just a fool… 

            In the past, I would have just continued, for days or weeks or months, to gaslight myself about this.  I would’ve said that I was crazy.  I would’ve stopped blogging, maybe…  either for a time or forever.  But this isn’t for me.  It’s for other autistics, who are gaslit all the time and who are too pure to know if they deserve it or not. 

            But now, I’m past that 100 point thinking that after all that, pouring all of that out, you couldn’t just give me the acknowledgement that I was right.  That was brutally cruel, S.  I won’t dox you because although I am a terribly, deeply-flawed and clumsy individual, I do have honor.  But shame on you.  This is proof, though, that autistics are extremely vulnerable to dangerous people who aren’t afraid to virtue signal, lie, deceive, manipulate, and wash their hands of any fault.  And they say that we lack empathy…  No.  I read you better than you read yourself, and you wouldn’t even extend me the grace of telling the truth. 

        2. Full honesty, I didn’t read the whole wall-of-text in this comment, but thank you for pointing out that sociopathy is more common than autism.  My “special interest” is in analyzing how sociopath/psychopathic behavior is normalized in neurotypical society.  I actually think all NTs fall on a Psychopath Spectrum, it’s just never acknowledged because they are the majority so their psychopathy is considered normal.  Also, the distinction between sociopath and psychopath is only determined by their position in the social hierarchy, and limited only by what they think they can get away with.

      3. This article specifically addresses people who run hate groups that disseminate misinformation about autistics in a grotesquely self-serving way.  There is no need to generalize this discussion to anyone else.  When you disparage and criticize someone from a marginalized group for exposing abuse through organized sites, you are aligning yourself with those groups.  No marginalized group should be asked to tolerate hate-speech and the propagation of lies that make their daily existence harder so that you can feel comfortable.  You need to cultivate your own ego boundaries.

    2. Relax.  These websites are just a showcase of how all NTs vilify anyone who fails to worship them at all times in the way they all secretly believe they deserve, but would never admit. 
      You’ve been living with it your whole life, you just didn’t know it, because NTs are pathological liars (which they pretend is a virtue because they’re “just being nice”).

  2. As I needed to log in to leave a comment, and this is your wordpress site, you would automatically have my email address and I am easily identifiable as you say.  I gave you that information from the outset.  I have a wordpress site and as the admin you would see this.  I knew this when I replied to spectrumhacks.  Secondly, there is absolute truth in my agreement that the quotes and comments you picked up for your article are negative, damaging and not to be supported. 

    I am very sorry that my inability to agree with all you said and have said elsewhere has caused you to feel upset.  Indeed, I am very sorry you are upset now.  If you feel that I have mislead you by saying we don’t “know” each other, then perhaps there was too much presumption on my part that you would understand the purpose of the quotation marks around “know”.
    You used the details of our previous interaction in a closed group to highlight that my criticism of your article was from a place of bias and malice. 

    This is your platform and I have no business being on it any further.  I understand very well that you intend to educate, advocate and inform.

  3. I love this article

  4. Terra,
    *Every* mental health diagnosis has online hater communities like what you describe. 
    It is not sn autism problem, it is a neurotypical problem.  NTs universally lash out this way against anybody who fails to validate them constantly.  Using mental health terminology to describe how much they despise their partners is just a very common NT tactic for pretending their hatred is validated by science, as well as removing responsibility from themselves for staying in these horrible relationships rather than face their innate fear of being alone (all NTs would rather stay in abusive relationships than take responsibility for ending it and possibly ending up alone, which NTs consider worse than death). 
    NTs generally stop all emotional growth around age 2, and they express themselves like manipulative 2 year olds; nothing is ever their responsibility, everything is always someone else’s fault, everybody is just mean to them, and and anyone who fails to give them exactly what they want exactly when they want it is LITERALLY THE WORST PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.  In this way, NTs can deflect all personal responsibility for willingly engaging in abusive relationships by blaming a “disorder”, while also making themselves feel validated by using medical terms to try to appear more knowledgeable than they actually are (misusing “grown-up words” to mask infantile pleas for attention/validation.) This is universal among NTs; if you fail to notice their new haircut or compliment their dog (or whatever stupid thing they want to use to validate themselves), YOU ARE LITERALLY A MONSTER FROM HELL. 

    Nothing about this trend is unique to autism.  For every disorder in the DSM, you can find online communities of NTs who are in miserable relationships they have no intention of leaving, and misusing psychiatric terms to covertly express their vicious hatred of their partner, which is really just covert hatred of themselves, which is why they felt the need to get into an abusive relationship in the first place. 
    This has nothing to do with autism, it’s just NT Psych 101.

  5. I am horrified reading this as an aspie, but I believe you!  This perpetuates so much blind ignorant hated and, saddest of all, self hatred!!  Narcissism and autism are clearly not the same!!  Some autistic people are, in fact, narcissistic, but it is likely less common in us than in NTs!  I admit to self hating as an autistic person for years.  In large part, this is because my dad happens to be both autistic and a narcissist.  One had ZERO to do with the other, but I did not know that being exposed to this garbage.  His narcissism and not his autism made him an iffy father and husband, yet I feared I was just like him and tried not to be myself.  I now know the truth though!  I am autistic and proud and have been a great parent.  The overlap of narcissistic and autistic traits in my dad was a horrible coincidence!  It has NOTHING to do with me or the vast majority of autistic people!!!!!!  The only line I disagreed with in this entire amazing piece was about the AS-NT relationship being “death by 1,000 papercuts”.  I’d say it depends on both people and especially the quality of the NT partner.  It works for me.  🙂

  6. I’m really weirded out by the behavior of those people, because I’m a light autistic and *I know*…  I know what those Cassandras’ partners really are, what are those reptiles with people costumes who have no empathy and use emotions as masks.
    I know they are in fact talking about the hypersocial psychopaths who control the world, or as a therapist would call it, *the pervert-narcissists*.

    They are really both close and very far from autism at the same time, and those things like lack of empathy and emotion-masking, along with lack of morality and solipsism were once considered autistic symptoms, until they were (recently?) debunked.
    Those women are acting alongside that biased, prejudiced “old definition” of autism.
    But whoever defined autism as such did so with lack of understanding, which led to either hatred by frustration, or literalism in a “neurotypical set” of values to like, paint us as jerks because we weren’t conforming to society and they didn’t understand why but they should have understood and they had to have understood (because they were paid to discover a reason, and feared failure as it wound have resulted in loss of credibility in a social-scientific world where credibility is key to success).

  7. Hello,
    I’m an autistic woman and came across http://www.theneurotypical.com when I was trying to research something.
    I was horrified by the hate there and had to google to make sure other people where aware what a terrible group they were.  One of the testimonials there is just someone complaining about a co-worker whom they have decided must have Asperger’s.  The lack of any understanding of Autism would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.
    Thank you for writing this, it helps so much to know that people are aware of how dangerous groups like this can be.

  8. I can see that in your experience, you disagree with what the “hate groups” are describing as Asperger’s.  I agree that some of these husbands may have other personality disorders or just be jerks.  I thought my husband was a garden variety abuser until he was diagnosed.  I can see why you’d want to advocate for the people with Asperger’s who aren’t abusive, but some are.  It really doesn’t make sense to take offense over descriptions of a diagnosis that looks different for each individual.  The fact is that there are some women suffering terribly with an Asperger’s husband.  I’m quite sure there are other Asperger’s people who are much nicer.  However, the traits that you describe that you and your husband have, like forgetting your anniversary, I’d find quite disrespectful and hurtful.  It’s all about perception.  You and your husband are perfectly matched, it seems.  That’s wonderful.  My husband courted me like an NT who was my prince, but then literally during our honeymoon completely changed into a person I’d never met before.  He knew because of my religion I couldn’t divorce him.  Now that we have children and I have stress related health issues (this is a very real part of Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome, just like PTSD) if I threaten to leave him he tells me that he’ll make sure I never see my children again by putting on his NT mask and pretending to be father of the year and convincing them that I’m an unfit mother.  He can act perfectly NT and even charming when he wants to.  Even if we agreed on split custody, my children aren’t safe with him alone.  I have no choice but to stay.  I’m not alone.  And this is Asperger’s.  That has nothing to do with what Asperger’s looks like in your home.  If my husband had been honest about who he was, we wouldn’t have married and he might even be a friend.  He can be great when he tries to be.  It was dishonest that he married me knowing he wouldn’t keep up his act.  I know that most of the things he does day to day aren’t to intentionally hurt me, but he does know that it does hurt me and he makes no effort to change or even understand my point of view.  The problem is that whether it’s intentional or not, it’s still painful, confusing, extremely stressful and chaotic for me.  And then there’s the abusive, cruel and terrifying behavior that he exhibits when he feels threatened.  If I could simply walk away, that would be so nice and easy but that isn’t an option for everyone.  There are many older women sick with a variety of illnesses who are now dependent on their AS partner for their care and being completely neglected.  Their only lifeline to sanity is the internet.  They don’t come together to enjoy hating anyone.  They’re looking for support and validation of their sanity.  They’re looking for help.  I don’t think we can group Asperger’s people together because the symptoms vary.  But there is a very real population of Asperger’s people who are whether they mean to or not, ending up with partners with their lives destroyed.  Some can’t leave because they’re too depressed to support themselves.  Some have been told that they are crazy so many times that they believe it.  Asperger’s, with all of its general traits can be fine, great even.  But an NT has a deep appreciation for their connection to their loved ones and reciprocity is their greatest joy and security.  It’s an invisible cord of connection that is the NTs greatest value.  The feelings it inspires are hard to describe but they are the best joy that we experience.  It’s intangible and I think it would be very hard for someone with Asperger’s to understand its value to us , or the pain and isolation of being denied that joy and satisfaction of a life well lived.  This is at direct odds with Asperger’s and that is emotionally detrimental to the NT the same as abuse is.  There are very different perceptions about the same thing happening.  They are all valid.  And there is a large population of women married to AS men who say he never let on even a hint of his real self until after the wedding.  Whether that manipulation was intentional or not, it’s dishonest and unfair.  Why do so many men with Asperger’s look for NT wives?  Usually nurturing NT personalities.  It looks very much like they’re looking to take advantage of them, with no regard for their needs that will go unmet.  I’ve heard over and over from wives who say they are doing everything except that he goes to work.  His home life is for his hobbies and for shutting down.  He ignores his children.  These women need help.i asked my husband why he married me and he was quite blunt about telling me that he wouldn’t marry anyone who didn’t have their act together, that wouldn’t be good enough for him.  He dated one woman on the spectrum and has no respect for her at all.  He was looking for what he could get, with no regard for reciprocity.  That’s what they mean by heartless.  No one is blaming everyone with Asperger’s, but there are some who fit the descriptions found on the “hate sites” exactly.  Perhaps the cruel behaviors aren’t inherently Asperger’s, but stem from the negative impact of living with Asperger’s.  It’s understandable that when their experience with people is so regularly negative, they may excuse returning hurtful behavior as a payback.  My husband says everyday how much he hates people.  And I know I’m included in that statement.  He does not care that I’m hurting.  He wants me to serve his needs like I agreed and then be quiet.  He calls that “just wanting some peace”.  And talks about how he’s a peaceful person as if I’m not.  I know from experience that there is no help for us either.  You can leave or lower your expectations and give up what you value most in life.  I enjoyed hearing that you don’t see these behaviors as AS.  It gave me a more hopeful perspective and I’m glad to be more informed about the great diversity within the Asperger’s diagnosis.  I hope that what I’ve written will help someone understand that Ongoing Relationship Trauma Syndrome is very real as well.  I hope that my explanation of the NT experience will help someone understand why these women seem so full of hate and why the unintentional AS perspective is so detrimental to an NT’s well being.  This is my experience.  I’m sure there are many other differing experiences.  My describing my experience has nothing to do with those.  My experience with my husbands type of Asperger’s has nothing to do with anyone else’s different way of having Asperger’s.

    1. Hi Lu.  I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time.  I’m wondering whether your husband might not have co-occurring conditions.  Besides this, I just wanted to say something about “being someone different in the beginning”.  This happens with everyone.  We all seem different in the beginning.  We show our best sides.  This is normal.  Most relationships start off wonderfully and we see only the best in the person, but it’s only over time that we start truly seeing who someone really is.  A therapist once said that before you get married, live with the person for 2 years, and only then will you be able to determine who the person really is.  This happened to me too with regards to an abusive relationship.  For the first 8 months, this person was a dream come true, but then she just seemed to change completely and I saw the dark parts of her.  Looking back though I could see little signs even in the beginning, but they never made it into my mind completely so I was “blinded”, if that makes sense.

  9. I suspect myself to be on the autism spectrum (waiting for a diagnosis for nearly two years, thanks for nothing nhs!) and I made the mistake of asking my then partner about these sites I had seen and wanting him to reassure me I wasn’t really a bad person.  He made noises about why do you believe this stuff, only he went and googled this stuff and he read these hate sites and then he decided he agreed with them.  A few weeks later he left me and he was so so cruel, telling me I was a psychopath with no empathy that I was like a robot with a pre prepared script in my head, that I was heartless because I didn’t have ‘theory of mind’ (the first time I’d heard that term) going on about how he was ‘normal’ and proud of it and going on about the ‘cassandra complex’ sending me this hate stuff about that term and writing THIS!  under it.  Then he didn’t get why that upset me so much.  “When will you get it’s not about you!”  he screamed at me.  Uh…you’re personally attacking me, how is it not about me?

    He started to get borderline violent towards the end.  Really seemed like he genuinely hated me.  You see a lot about these poor put upon nt wives moaning and bitching about eeeeeevil autistic husbands, but no one ever mentions how absolutely horrible it is for an autistic woman to have this hate suddenly turned on her by a nt partner…it’s not pleasant.  I’m not a psychopath.  I am more empathic than most people but he wouldn’t have it.  Suddenly he had what he thought was justification for all the problems he had with our relationship….I hate those hate sites.  There were other problems with the relationship but they were the catalyst for him leaving me.  It’s now nearly two years ago and I am only just beginning to recover emotionally.

    I am afraid to have another relationship-he accused me of starving him of affection and of depriving him of a social life (I find socialising very very difficult probably because of my condition) of being silly and childish so people would think he was a peadophile taking advantage of me (I am an adult in my 40s) he accused me of all sorts of things like that.  I don’t want to expose myself to that again.  Even though now being alone is putting me at the brink of genuine poverty now I only have my benefits to live on.  I don’t want to risk that again.  I don’t want to hurt people.  Unlike in his imagination I am not indifferent to the suffering of others 🙁

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