Memory

Memory can be a conundrum for someone with Asperger Syndrome, (AS).

With certain subjects, mainly those related to areas of high personal interest, seemingly endless amounts of information can be retained and easily recalled in great detail. For other things, recall about something said only a short while previously cannot be affected.

In a work environment this is a luxury that cannot be automatically enjoyed. A manager will need to code and retain a wide diversity of information in order to perform a role successfully. Effective coding and memorising information and data is, therefore, an essential pre-requisite for successful management.

There are factors relating to memory which are distinct and pronounced with regard to Asperger Syndrome. These invariably spill over into a business context.

• Interest

There are areas or subjects which for people with AS, are of high personal interest. Well documented idiosyncratic examples include car number plates or train timetables.

In reality, many areas of interest may be less prosaic. Examples could include information about people or specific business related issues such as accounting principles – all highly advantageous and beneficial in a commercial context.

For high management performance and development, acquiring the skill and ability to retain information of non-interest for a manager with AS, is important. Doing so may not appeal, but it is essential to perform effectively.

• Coding

Related to interest is the issue coding. Most people with AS are able to listen and take in information at a top-line or superficial level. Coding for long term retention is often more problematic.

The way information is presented will have a strong influence on how effectively it is coded cognitively and retained.

Those with AS are believed, to a high degree, to view situations and objects spatially and to code information in visual terms. Coding information presented verbally tends to be much more difficult and challenging.

• Concentration

The ability to concentrate, especially for long periods and when dealing with subject matter outside of areas of personal interest, is widely viewed as difficult for someone with AS.

Much has been written about how AS is connected to Attention Deficit Disorder, (ADD), and there is much evidence that, even though the two are distinctly different conditions, they are not mutually exclusive.

However, as with AS, ADD often relates to specific circumstances, the activity being undertaken and levels of motivation. The latter and memory are, therefore, key facets and areas required for development for an AS manager.

Managing with Asperger Syndrome