WHY is this book good? Because like the
first book dedicated to Asperger Marriage, Maxine Aston's "The Other Half of
Asperger Syndrome," Gisela and Chris Slater-Walker have broken the barrier
of the ring of "silence" surrounding partners' description of their own
unique relationships in a "mixed marriage."
For anyone wishing to understand one
couple's take on Asperger marriage, this book is a "must read." It is such a
book not for the truth it depicts about AS, but for the process of frank
communication and openness much needed in our culture of secrets about
life-altering differences and the common phenomenon of late-life adult
diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.
WHY is this book important?
(1) It is important for readers to
appreciate that mixed marriages exist, and they not only "survive" but
thrive largely due to the open exchange of views between the partners.
Because of the prevalence of Asperger Syndrome and a fifty-fifty chance that
a primary relative is also somewhere on the autistic spectrum whenever a
school child or young adult is "discovered," these "discoveries" come from
somewhere. In most cases, AS children come from "mixed marriages."
(2) Within such marriages, especially where
there are children, there are discrete, distinct voices waiting to be heard,
each voice "speaking" from its owner's unique perspective. Disparaging those
voices because they aren't harmonious is not respectful nor is it an
intelligent kind of criticism.
On the cover of the book, the marriage band
is not "broken." Some persons with AS will say, "My non-spectrum spouse is
playing 'victim' and trying to change me or 'fix' me when I don't see a need
to be changed. I am NOT broken!" In this book, Gisela and Chris offer a
different perspective, revealing their frustration and discomfort as
publicly to each other as they do to us, their readers. To bottle up such
feelings works havoc on a marriage where both partners are trying to
understand one another. For both partners to express themselves so openly is
neither an act of abuse or disrespect. It is testimony to their courage and
the faith they both share in the strength of their marriage.
Gisela is one of the founding members of
ASPIRES. ... ASPIRES is dedicated to supporting the open discussion of
marital and couples' issues of AS couples for the purpose of greater
understanding and enrichment of this special relationship.
Linda Newland, Co-Founder and list serv
Roger N. Meyer, Co-Founder of ASPIRES and author, "Asperger Syndrome