Not everyone with high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder has aggressive outbursts or anger issues, but many do. And it is to do with nervousness and the inability to cope well with stress. The characteristics such as anger, being argumentative and confrontational are inherent, but they lie dormant under normal circumstances. It is when the individual is tired or emotions are running particularly high that the slightest little thing can set them off.
Often an outburts like the one below can be after a person has tried to remain calm and patient, but feels that the other person is not being fair despite their efforts to remain civil.
Below is a video of actress Lily Tomlin being… um “directed” by I Heart Huckabees director David O Russell. He tells her he has been patient with her, but it seems her complaint of him is that he keeps changing his mind about what he wants, and she is sick of being confused by his inconsistent directing.
The video for this post is not at the top, so that I can put a Language warning before it.
WARNING: There is rather colorful language in this video!
These types of aggressive outbursts are consistent with Asperger syndrome in creative and artistic people. Indecision is a different topic but it is also present in many people with ASD, and the inability to explain things to others in consistent with Aspergers and ADHD, even when the sufferer is very clear in their own mind about what they want.
Of course, it is also about ego. The director is obviously embarrassed in front of his team by Tomlin’s criticism of his direction, and as the boss, he feels the need to assert his authority, and to try and prevent anyone else getting the idea that it’s ok to criticize him. This happens a lot in insecure people when they feel threatened.
I am ashamed to say I have had outbursts, though not as bad as this one. And they are fewer and fewer as I get older, thank heavens. But I have managed to scare a few people off in the past. And they are so preventable, once you know how to recognize the early warning signs.
So David O Russell gets an ISAP award, but as always “this does not mean he has ASD…” yada yada… (see disclaimer).