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Monday, April 27, 2009



Dear Sir: I am a PhD-ed scientist, previously married to a man, another PhD-ed scientist, with serious emotional problems due to undiagnosed AS. Over several years of trying to make the marriage work, I developed extreme symptoms that profoundly affected my health and ability to work, which were very consistent with those described by Maxine Aston. They went away quite rapidly after my husband I broke up, although the emotional scars will likely never heal. My ex-husband's experience was analogous. I believe this meets the criteria of a relational disorder. I have since become well acquainted with others who have had very similar experiences. Your words above may be further hurting people whose lives have already been permanently scarred, by ensuring that friends and therapists will not take them seriously despite the fact that what they are experiencing is very real. Realize that just because you personally cannot relate to something, does not debunk it. So grow up, get over yourself, and try to do something useful for people instead of wasting your time making their lives even more difficult than they already are.


I agree with Margaritte. I am in the midst of working through the most painful time of my life finally realizing that it isn't me after all. My husband of 26 years is clearly AS but won't admit it. It has affected every aspect of out marriage. The information I have read by M. Aston makes complete sense and actually gives me hope. Since the DSMIV has only had AS since 1994, doesn't it make sense that the fall out with NT spouses is becoming more and more exposed?



My name is Vicki. My husband and I are going through a divorce. We were married 7 long years. The most painful years of my life. He was diagnosed after I asked that he be tested for AS. I know all to well the symptoms of CADD. I am affected every day. It has been debilitating. I know I need help with this but no one I've seen will even acknowledge the seriousness of this disorder...which only makes matters worse. I fear that many suffer silently and are unaware what is happening. It is certainly the most painful time of my life. My heart goes out to all those that suffer from this.


CADD is as real as it gets. Maxine Aston's research offers a life-line to both AS and NT people, as a way of increasing understanding between them. I say this through personal experience.

It's a shame that some people allow their personal bias ( in the case the notion that the AS sufferer is the only one affected by their condition) to cloud such an important issue.

Every doctor, therapist, and mental health professional needs to know about this, and should consider it when confronted with any case of depression / anxiety or related issue. It's that important.


I am 19 years into a life with my undiagnosed AS husband. Now that we realize he is AS we better understand what has been breaking down between us in every communication on every level since the day we met. We have worked very hard for all of those 19 years to keep our family together, with the power of information I believe we finally have the tools to begin to speak the same language. I know we are going to be ok because under all of the anger & frustration, impatience & resentment the Love has always been there. Aside from my husbands AS I realize that I too have much work ahead of me to start to find a way to undue the devastating affects that living with an undiagnosed AS partner has had on my being. I have so much I can say on what it has done to me, but reading the signs & symptoms of CADD sums it up exactly.
I feel the intensity of the comments made in other posts regarding CADD, I would like to remind both the supporters & naysayers that we are just in the infancy stages where understanding Aspergers and CADD is concerned. It doesn't matter whether it is labeled a disorder or syndrome, the reality is that the affects of living with an undiagnosed AS partner greatly impacts all parties involved and I doubt anyone would honestly dispute that. The frustration of being misunderstood at every turn for both the AS person & AS partner tears both of you down. Please don't get caught up in the name or title because that is so not the important part. What ever we call it will not offer any help to us, what we can learn from further study & exploration can possibly put the world right side up for the many of us who have been free falling. Maybe we can then start to rebuild ourselves and our relationships...the important part!


I have been married to a man with AS for 7 years. He is in the process of accepting his aspergers diagnosis and we are both working on finding a way to communicate with each other. The idea of CAD or whatever you want to call it gives me hope in that I know I am not alone with this. To see that the so called professionals are debunking it does nothing more than add to the feeling of being disbelieved. GREAT. Thank goodness our psychologist was open minded enough to give me the article. Quite frankly, I am pretty sure people did not believe that antibiotics worked when the first came out. Thank goodness for the those who listen and have open minds and hearts.


Why is it that militant Aspie's and their crusaders refuse to face the fact that CADD - under any name - is real, and can be serious problem to those of us who suffer in silence, misunderstanding and disbelief. A situation made thousands of times worse when the party who fails to believe or understand is our own AS spouses, who will not try to comprehend what they have not directly experienced.

Aspies need to stop being afraid of being blamed for something, or thinking their spouses are crazy, and try to understand their contribution to this RELATIONSHIP crisis.

My husband disclosed his AS to me early in our relationship. No matter how much I read, how many workshops I attended, or how many support groups I worked with - nothing could prepare me (or many of the other women I met in these groups)for where I found myself 8 years later. The toll the relationship has taken on me has caused life-long friends to tell me they hardly recognize me, mentally and physically, as the person I was before my marriage.

For those who REFUSE to believe that the effects of living a life deprived of essential emotional or physical connections can cause severe physical or psychological harm to individuals - take the time to do a little research before you go off in half-cocked defensiveness.

Psychologists have known this cause and effect relationship to be true for decades, and there are a number of related differential diagnosis already existing within the DSM-IV, as they pertain to an INDIVIDUAL. However, CADD is proposed as a RELATIONSHIP disorder, and it is not limited solely to relationships where one partner in diagnosed as having AS (Perhaps you should actually try reading the proposed language for the DSM-V?).

Finally, if you should need more convincing on the subject, I suggest you take a moment to educate yourself and read about Harry Harlow's research into emotional and physical deprivation, and the horrendous effects it had on his research subjects. Results that continued to hold true in subsequent, and more humane research.

In fact, Harlow's results were so astonishing and irrefutable, that extreme forms of physical and emotional deprivation were, and still are, used as a common and effective form of interrogation and torture.

If extreme forms can break a person's psyche in a matter of days, what do you think a little bit, everyday, for years, will do?

Laura Smith

CADD is real, just as Aspergers is real. I have been in a 20 year relationship with my AS husband and nothing has helped me feel better, not RX drugs or therapy until we started to learn to deal with how my husband AS affects our relationship. We are finally getting the help we need with our counselor who is using Maxine's book and I am finally getting heard and no longer think I am just crazy! So perhaps you might want to consider the possibility that there is some validity to CADD!

Paula C. Durbin-Westby

CADD is used to discriminate against not only autistic but people with all disabilities. CADD promoters suggest that professionals violate their codes of ethics to put the blame for anything wrong in a relationship, marriage, family. custody issue on the person with a disability. Here's a site that will go far to refute it; I'll be posting more soon.


Discriminate against people with disabilities? Reality is that living with someone with AS and not realizing it can have a PROFOUND impact on the NT partner. I have just 2 days realized why my 18 year marriage has struggled almost from the beginning. I too have experienced the same issues as the women above. It is sad to think that no matter how hard you try you are blamed, verbally abused, disrespected, and taken for granted all the while being unloved and appreciated. My son has the same disorder. My husband said it was my fault he didn't love me. After years of knowing something is wrong you start to question your self worth. You are so deeply lonely. Women need love. It's in their DNA. Like a flower without water a woman wilts without love. This disorder is so easy to recognize by those affected by it. Easy from someone on the outside to discount it.


I should restate...."feeling unloved" rather than "being unloved" because I think my husband has loved me.....I now know why it seems as if he didn't. I know things won't ever be close to a traditional marriage but with this new knowledge I have hope that "I" will be better able to cope. Knowledge is power. This is both sad and enlightening. I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulder.

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