An atheist friend has told me that he gets no pleasure at all from music, never has, and cannot see what all the fuss is about. He also never reads fiction and does not understand why anyone would want to read something made up since it cannot give you a true picture of anything.
This is a well educated individual with a degree from the University of California in psychology and someone who has performed well in his job.
I've never known anyone quite so literal minded. And i can only remember one other person who did not like some kind of music, an old woman who said it made her want to howl like a dog, He is a life long depressive and has a hard time empathizing with people, yet he seems quite normal.
Have any of you run into this kind of personality?
The condition is called a spectrum because it effects people to widely different degrees and indeed some widely different ways but there are some significant factors.
Interacting with others is generally difficult since they have difficulty understanding and predicting emotional states in other people. Being hugged may make them feel very uncomfortable and they may avoid direct eye contact. They also may be fairly solitary and develop set routines and get disturbed if these are not followed. They may have a very organised mind, so as a child they might organise building blocks by size and colour rather than trying to build something with them. They can develop an interest in a single topic and become very knowledgeable in that subject almost to the point of obsession. If they start a conversation it may be one sided rather than a full two way conversation. They may also take anything said by other in a completely literal way.
This is a short summary the person may not exhibit all of these but you should be able to see a pattern, if you need more information or have more questions feel free to ask.
I fit some of this, M J, but not all. Interacting with others is not difficult for me, I just don't like a lot of people, and I will look anybody in the eye. I am solitary and a semi-recluse, but I have an organized mind and a point of interest that can pick something and take it to almost an obsession. (TV antennas is an example here.) I do tend to have many one sided conversations with others. In fact, I am a talking magpie and often am like an encylopedia of sorts.
Otherwise, nothing in your post applies to me.
There are several symptoms of Asperger's that I experienced with delayed food allergies:
- light and sound sensitivity
- emotional reactivity
- difficulty with social cues. I "got" people a lot better after I eliminated the foods.
- tendency to take others literally, which is a kind of difficulty with social cues
People sometimes say their autistic or Aspergers children do better on a gluten/dairy free diet.