Temporality and Asperger's Syndrome

in Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
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Abstract

Asperger's syndrome is a pervasive developmental condition characterized by features of autism. As observed in clinical practice, individuals with Asperger's syndrome present an impairment related to inflexibility in their everyday routine, an immediate manner of experiencing and relating, and difficulties in estimating periods of time. Following a phenomenological perspective, this study is an attempt to examine these aforementioned aspects in terms of temporality. Thirteen participants with Asperger's syndrome, from 13 to 20 years old, were interviewed about their experience of periods of time, personal history, their past, present and future; and their concept of time and finitude. After the interviews, it was possible to identify three general themes which emerged in the invariant aspects of their experience of time: factual experience of present and future dimensions, chronological time and the past experience. Moreover, participants' descriptions evidenced aspects of experience based on the specificity of lived facts and a sense of time specifically related to what was lived in the past.

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