Why people with Aspergers do what they do

Right outside of where I live, there is a giant fountain. During the winter, it isn’t on, so there is just an empty circular pool where the water would be. But when it gets warm enough, the city turns it on. It is an awesome sight, spraying at least 3 stories into the air. Makes any day better.

Now imagine with me for a moment that the fountain gets a clog somewhere in it’s pipes. So, the workers decide that the best thing to do to fix the fountain would be to constantly try to add water back into the pool. This makes it function, but only on a base level. It now shoots only half a story into the air.

While the fountain now works, it isn’t living up to it’s potential. If the worker decides to go to the root of the problem, and fixes the clog in the pipes instead of trying to constantly deal with a symptom, then all of a sudden the fountain works beautifully. The only thing that changed was the approach.

Now imagine that someone with Aspergers has unconsciously “installed” a clog somewhere in their mind. This clog clouds their awareness, causes them to have moments of ADD, lack of social skills, and huge emotional issues.

What most psychologists, teachers, and parents do is try to treat the symptoms of this mental clog. But there is a much simpler way to do things, and it involves going from the bottom up, rather than top down. Watch the video below for the complete explanation:


Once you understand this concept of cause and effect, it becomes fairly easy to figure out why someone with Aspergers is doing something. Then from there, you just backtrack, deal with the root cause, and then all the symptoms disappear.

Update: We posted a clarification video explaining exactly HOW to do the process we talked about in the video. You can find that under our latest blog post “Getting Aspies into the real world

22 thoughts on “Why people with Aspergers do what they do

  1. Hi, how are you, I’m Ross and I’m 39 years old: I have been watching a lot of videos and comments about kids with Aspergers, I have just been diagnosed with Aspergers/ADHD/ASD and Multi spectrum Autism 6 weeks ago and have struggled all my life: and yeh have been thinking many times about ending the nightmare, the depression and anxiety I have is so over whelming, I honestly don’t know how I’ve made it this long: I don’t see anywhere about Adults who can find help/peace, I have a lot of life skills problems, I would really like to learn how to live life normally, and this new medication I’ve been given has so slowed me down: to more or less stop. Mode, I used to be happy, I’m not anymore and need direction: please

    1. Hello there ! What kind of direction do you need in life ? I am also been diagnosed with mild form of Autism called Asperger’s Syndrome. Right now I’ve been unemployed off and on for three months due to our volume is low. Hopefully it will catch up very soon. I’ve been working for this worldwide company now only for part time in twenty five years. What are you after ? What kind of goals in life you want to achieve ?

  2. Hi Danny,

    I like your metaphor of the fountain being a symptom,

    I use the metaphor of an ill-fitting shoe 5 minutes into my video

    As I have mentioned before, we are on the same page entirely!

    (my Training is for younger more autistically-oreinted kids from ages 0 to 9)

    Keep up the good work!

  3. you completely explained me with the part of doing one math problem and then going off into my own world then doing another problem

  4. Hey Danny, I’m 15 and I was wondering if you could help me with talking and being around girls cause I’m having trouble with it

    1. Mark, I have followed you since Radiant Vista days and have enjoyed and greatly benefited from your woecbenkhrs. This is an exemplary one. Thank you for your generosity and enthusiasm in sharing your knowledge and creativity with us.

  5. OMGee, Danny, what a great video! I found you through a comment you made on another site (after EA last week), and I’m so happy I did! I am SO impressed!!! I have relatives with autism and also one with Aspergers, and this helps me so much in understanding what is really going on in them! I look forward to learning more from you and so appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experience. Thank you, and God bless you!!!

      1. Dear Mr. Gaurav, Thank you for writing to us. Request you to provide us with your policy number to enable us to assist you better. Please find a mail sent by us on the same.Best Re,gsdraHelp & Support Team

  6. Danny, thank you for an awesome explanation. I know that is was simplified for better understanding. You described my almost 9 year old son perfectly. He, like you, loves video games and has a very hard time with Math. He goes in and out of “his world”. He also does a lot of visual stimming, where he puts his fingers or an object in front of his face and shakes it while reading, watching TV or just looking out the window. Did you do that? Any suggestions on how to lessen it? He says it helps him think.

    1. I was more of an auditory stimmer, so I made noises and clicks and did finger drumming and such. The key to stims is that we only do them at certain times. Specifically when we are slightly stressed, or in super focus mode. As far as lessening it, if he is just doing this at home, then I would just let him do it. But if he is doing it at school as well, then he can do other visual stims that don’t involve his body. I used to look at intersecting lines of buildings, and then by moving my head slightly, I could make the lines move. Less noticeable, but achieved the same outcome.

      He will need to do this consciously at first: Catching himself, and then switching to the other stim. But eventually it goes unconscious.

  7. Dear Danny, The considerable reading I have done in the past 40 years and especially the past 3 have led me to believe that there are other differences in the autistic brain besides hyper and hypo sensitivity-the over-activity of the area concerned with anxiety, the frontal lobe and executive function, and the under-activity of the area concerned with facial recognition. Comments, please.

    1. I totally agree that they are other differences in the autistic brain. From my personal experience, as well as talking to other parents and people with Aspergers, this seems to be the most prominent in terms of “Aspergers Symptoms”.

  8. I loved it! OMG– Exactly what I needed to understand my son! On board with Marie! Can’t wait for the video on how to deal with root causes!

    Thank you so much!!!

  9. Danny I know that you wrote this:
    “Once you understand this concept of cause and effect, it becomes fairly easy to figure out why someone with Aspergers is doing something. Then from there, you just backtrack, deal with the root cause, and then all the symptoms disappear.”

    I think the last sentence is where I need the step 1, step 2, etc. help to know how to “deal with the root cause”. I am not sure. . .

    1. Hi Marie, It’s really different for each “root cause”. For example dealing with a clogged drain requires a different technique than dealing with a rusty pipe, just as an example.

      We’ll shoot another video soon explaining how to deal with root causes in psychological terms.

  10. Danny, that was so good! I want to know more and how to apply it. It feels like we have just touched the surface or maybe it is a matter of needing more examples that would cover all the sensory issues and how to lessen their affects. I just know this is a key area, and I want to know how to help my grandson benefit from this information! What is the best action plan to follow to have this happen? I know that we have to go from the bottom up, but how exactly do you do that? First step? second step? etc.?. . .

  11. Thank you. Excellent. I am worried that our 8 year plays too much minecraft but it is his reward for keeping his hands and feet to himself and getting work done at school. He has major sensory sensitivities. We will focus more on the sensory but it is difficult because of the Avoidance techniques he uses. I have seen wonderful progress and need to be patient. 3 steps forward and 2 steps back…..

    1. 834Hello All, we have a 24 yrs young son, who was diagnosed at age 3,under brdoaer spectrum of Autism, and eventually High Functioning (Asperger). We had special needs teacher’s assistant approved by the local School Board. Which was o.k, some what helpful, until elementary school.We did not wish for Amil being labelled as special needs in High school, so we opted not to have any TA. We spend a lot of time at home doing role modelling and reverce phychology etc, etc. There were lots of challanges and still are. He finished his Under Grad Degree with Double Majors and was on scholorship for last 3 years. First year we put him through Collage and he transferred to UBC in the second year. He has finished 70% of his pre req for starting his Articles with a CA firm. This is a first time he is taking time off from school.I run my own business and in the new year he is going to work with me.( social interaction) He has limited social life and still goes through his outbursts, but these temper tantrums are not as frequent. Both my wife and I, educated ourselves about Asperger by reading a lot and did put him through some social forum’s moderated by a Phychologist with training in this field. Every time he is thinking or processing thought that brings back some unpleasent memories, the word in our house is Delete and then Defrag. He is the only child and we were told that by age 10 to 15 he may have to be institutionalised. All I can say is dont ever give up, these children are gifted, kind, sensitive and reinforce that all of us have different mind sets and dont necessarily get along with everyone either, why because we all can look at the same thing and see it differently. Having to process the thoughts not the same way as others do, does not make them any different, as a matter of fact makes them special. Make them understand that there is nothing wrong with living inside the box than outside of it. Work hard on their self esteem and prepare them for surprises. We are very proud of him. Dont ever give up. Regards.Syed Shah.( Vancouver BC Canada)24


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *