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Life Arts    H3'ed 9/20/08

Living with Asperger's Syndrome in a Neurotypical World

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          So, our journey has begun.  He is nearly seventeen, and is still not really happy with what he sees as his new “label,” but I can tell that he is as relieved as I am to finally have a name and explanation for his situation.  We’ve met many parents and kids in our support group and are both grateful that we have found a haven. 


          Moreover, the more I learn, the more I am able to identify the qualities that psychologists call “Asperger symptoms” in my own students.  Aspie kids have some great qualities, one of which is a sense of honesty and justice.  In fact, I used to wonder why my kid seldom lied to me like other people’s kids seemed to do.  Now I know it’s part of his wiring.  I used to wonder why he was so clumsy and why he just couldn’t seemed to “get it” socially.  Now I know.  Now I can work within the framework of his neurology.  His dad, sadly, still doesn’t quite accept that Asperger’s is not just the new flavor of the month problem, but we’re hoping he’ll come around. 


          So, although every nerd  does not have Asperger’s Syndrome, the next time your computer nerd buddy is boring you with endless details about World of Warcraft or the finer points of bird-watching, think about this.  He’s not trying to drive you insane; he might just be an Aspie.  Be kind.

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I'm a college English teacher working on my dissertation. I am an anime junkie and a Shakespeare scholar, a voracious reader and a political rebel.
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