The way in which children and teens with Asperger’s Disorder express their feelings can be unpredictable. At times they seem emotionally flat, as if they have no emotion whatsoever. This leaves other people feeling uncomfortable. It is awkward to interact with someone who shows no feelings. Our culture is so sociable and emotionally interactive that when people encounter an emotionally flat Asperger’s Disorder child or teen they perceive them as weird, mechanical, or robotic.
At other times, the emotions of Asperger’s Disorder children are dramatic and out of proportion to the situation. Their emotional displays are extremely immature and more consistent with those of a preschooler. Even Asperger’s Disorder teenagers can react with the emotional maturity of a first-grader. While these outbursts might seem to have no apparent cause, they are usually the result of frustration from the child feeling trapped in a problem he cannot solve or a situation he cannot control or escape from. Recall his thinking problems from chapter 5. This should make it easier to understand why Asperger’s Disorder children become emotionally overwhelmed.
There seems to be little range between flat emotions and intense reactions. This can feel like an emotional roller coaster where you are probably inclined to prefer your child’s unemotional state.