The Aspergers part of the body of Christ needs more thought. As the church contains men and women, so it also contains neurotypicals and Aspies. Women typically congregate with women and men do likewise with men when socializing.
For Aspies, socializing seems like it needs its own version of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God.”
Warning: what’s about to follow is both funny and not-so-funny. It’s a harsh reality Aspies learn and neurotypicals cannot honestly deny. Aspies are equipped to take things direct, so are not likely to be offended. NTs being accustomed to hints may get upset, but if thought is provoked, then it has done some good.
Aspies… Do not expect to be bound closely together with neurotypical Christians; for what partnership have Aspies and neurotypicals, or what fellowship has hyper-focus with hypo-focus? Or what harmony has complexity with simplicity, or what has a hyper-thinker in common with a hypo-thinker? Or what agreement has the straight-forward with hinters? For we are the hyper-sensitive, hyper-empathetic, hyper-intuitive, hyper-vigilant, hyper-strange part of the body of Christ!
The good news for both neurotypical Christians and Aspie Christians is that the Lord says, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
The main reason why Aspies can’t expect social unity with NTs is because neither will think like the other. Confusion exists both ways. Aspies confuse NTs and NTs confuse Aspies. Cynthia Kim provides this great example when answering What is Neurotypical:
Sometimes NT behavior can be frustrating. For example, you may notice that NTs have a tendency to say something other than what they mean. If you get a new haircut and you’re not sure how it looks on you, don’t bother asking an NT. Most will tell you it looks great, even if it doesn’t.
Why? Because when a neurotypical woman asks her friend “how do you like my new haircut?” she isn’t looking for her friend’s opinion, she’s looking for validation. When her friend says, “I love it” she may mean I love your hair, but what she’s really saying is I love you and value you as a person.
So when your NT friend says “how do you like my new haircut?” and you, being your aspie self, reply, “It’s a little short in the back but I like it”, your NT friend hears I secretly hate you and think you’re ugly.
Confusing, I know.
And good luck getting an opinion out of an NT when you really need one. It may help to preface your question by explicitly stating that you’re seeking an actual, honest-to-God opinion but, even then, the NT’s dogged adherence to socially appropriate behavior may inhibit their ability to say what they’re really thinking. Try to remember that NTs were born this way and their natural sensitivity to what others are thinking and feeling often makes it hard for them to be completely honest.
Don’t think confusion will leave, especially when most NTs don’t try to understand Aspergers because they don’t really have to. These are words from a NT:
Neurotypicals are a huge majority in society and they have each other and can understand and relate to each other and society is “designed” for them, so they have little trouble functioning according to society’s expectations. It’s easier for them to just ignore the few people who are different from them than to try to understand them. Not understanding aspies has very little consequences for most neurotypicals, so they take the easy way out and don’t even try.
At least ignoring those who are different is better than wrongly judging them.