Is this behavior normal for someone with Aspergers? Worried about a friend

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mikec

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Feb 5, 2018
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#1
Is this behavior normal for someone with Aspergers? Worried about a friend

I have a friend named Sean whom I've been good friends with since elementary school. I've known for a long time that Sean has Asperger syndrome. However, I'm not familiar with the specifics of Asperger's. Growing up, he's always had trouble fitting in, and has been made fun of here and there. We are currently in our last year of high school, and by now and he has made quite a few friends. He still remains closest with myself and two other friends that we spend a lot of time with. Lately, Sean has been acting strangely.

He has a few strange behaviors that have been apparent the past few months. I will try my best to recount a few specific times he has acted out. Please bear with me as I explain, as it is quite strange and may be difficult to comprehend.

About two months ago, we had school called off the night before a snow day, so Sean and our two other friends decided to get together at my house, order a pizza, and stay up all night. After spending the night and almost the entire next day together, Sean became irritable. He became annoyed at me for playing video games while the others slept, and out of nowhere decided to shun all of us. He would not speak, no matter what we said to him. He continued this for a few hours, acting almost as if it were a game. He must've gotten bored of not talking and opened back up to us.

The next thing he did has been repeated almost every time he spends time with all of us. Sean goes into a state where it seems almost as if he's acting. He will joke with us, laugh and be amused more than he normally does. Then, almost out of nowhere he quiets down and seems glum. This quickly turns to hostility. He acts as if he hates all of us and he doesn't even know why he hangs out with us. He eventually comes out of that state within an hour or two and returns to laughing and joking, almost as if it is some kind of personality cycle.

Along with the strange mood cycle, he also insists on being extremely bored, and then he tries to wander off so he can walk home. (Note that he lives about 3 miles from where we usually hang out and it has been very cold lately). He seems to do this almost as a test to see if we'll come after him. We have gone after him nearly every time he's done this and brought him back, almost like he is a lost dog. We then try to ask him what's the matter, to which he usually doesn't answer and agrees to just hang out for a little while longer. Sometimes he giggles as he prepares to leave us, like he enjoys this kind of attention. This has happened over a dozen times in the past few months, again, nearly every time we hang out. He will seem to be enjoying himself and then randomly insists that he's going to leave. Sometimes, he doesn't say anything to us. He just gets his belongings around and walks out the door. I think at this point it is just a silly game to see how far he can get before we come scoop him up. After he attempts to leave the second or third time, we just give in and pick him up and take him the rest of the way home.

Note that he doesn't ever say that he'd like one of us to take him home, nor does he call his parents to come get him. He just walks out the door and attempts to walk all the way back to his house. I have a feeling this behavior is some kind of strive for extra attention, but I'm not sure if that is linked to Asperger's or not?

I have also heard that people with Asperger's have a hard time handling more than one person at a time; they prefer to be around one person rather than a group. I am also unsure as to whether this is true or not.


I am just wondering if anyone with a better understanding of the syndrome could possibly explain the reason behind his behavior, if it is in fact linked to Asperger's, and what my friends and I can do to help him.

Thank you in advance!
 
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Helena1

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#3
I don't know if it is to do with aspergers.
I don't understand why you pick him when he walks off, why don't you just let him walk home on his own?
His shutting down could be because he is overwhelmed.
I guess if he is at the end of school, then it is a stressful transitional time which may be causing him to act strangely and act out.
 
blacksmoke

blacksmoke

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#4
Two things maybe happening here
1. you are starting to notice things more that have most likely always been there
2. he has become overwhelmed by his environment

when folk become overwhelmed they will exhibit stress and even though he wants to be one of the boys he is finding it hard to do what you take for granted and maybe that is why he is acting like this. Doesn’t make sense but then emotional overwhelm doesn’t make sense. He wont know he is doing this as this is more than likely the way he behaves in this situation.

Poor chap he is trying so hard to fit in and I guess as time goes on he may end up at risk of being a recluse. Friends are important and he is making such an effort to keep it going I think.

Have a look on the web to see if there is anything helpful where you can maybe be supportive. For starters have a look at this
Want to be a Friend to Someone with Asperger's? Be Sure To do These Six Important Things - Aspergers101
 
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mikec

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Feb 5, 2018
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#5
I don't know if it is to do with aspergers.
I don't understand why you pick him when he walks off, why don't you just let him walk home on his own?
His shutting down could be because he is overwhelmed.
I guess if he is at the end of school, then it is a stressful transitional time which may be causing him to act strangely and act out.
We don't let him leave right away because we are genuinely concerned about him. Unfortunately he is slightly out of shape and hypoglycemic, and it has also been blistering cold where we live and he prefers to wear light clothing. We pick him up and take him back so we can talk it out, because we like having him around. Most of the time he opens back up and offers ideas for us to do something that will make him want to stay a little longer. If we can't come up with anything, we all head back home and drop him off at his house along the way.
Thank you for your reply.
 
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M

mikec

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2018
Messages
6
#6
Two things maybe happening here
1. you are starting to notice things more that have most likely always been there
2. he has become overwhelmed by his environment

when folk become overwhelmed they will exhibit stress and even though he wants to be one of the boys he is finding it hard to do what you take for granted and maybe that is why he is acting like this. Doesn’t make sense but then emotional overwhelm doesn’t make sense. He wont know he is doing this as this is more than likely the way he behaves in this situation.

Poor chap he is trying so hard to fit in and I guess as time goes on he may end up at risk of being a recluse. Friends are important and he is making such an effort to keep it going I think.

Have a look on the web to see if there is anything helpful where you can maybe be supportive. For starters have a look at this
Want to be a Friend to Someone with Asperger's? Be Sure To do These Six Important Things - Aspergers101
Thank you for your reply. What you are saying definitely makes sense. I will definitely check out the link you posted to become more familiar with Asperger's and pass the information on to my friends so we can help our pal out.