Saturday, February 20, 2010

Alphabet Thursday - Catching Up - A

A is for Asperger's Syndrome.

When he was 7 years old, my oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (a disorder falling towards the high-functioning end of the Autism spectrum).

Hans Asperger, and Austrian pediatrician, first described children with certain Autistic-like characteristics in the 1940's; but the diagnosis only came to serious attention in the early 1980's.

It was a caring, experienced 1st grade teacher who first identified our son for evaluation. We had noticed some unique activities in his early childhood - like waving his fingers while running back and forth, engrossed in a wonderful world of borrowed imagination. At times he was also difficult to discipline; because he didn't seem to understand the affects of his actions and could be very immovable.

He fit the description of "the little professor" and even now still loves to gather information whether through listening to adult conversations, pouring over reference books, or searching the internet. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he has maintained focused and consuming (though changing) interests - everything from cars & trucks to insects, superheros to Star Wars, LOTR, X-men, and now music and language. He does need to be prepared for change (though I believe living overseas has really made him more flexible than most in this area). He has strong opinions and is very rigid in his thinking. He can be quite verbally eloquent and/or destructive on topics he feels strongly about. He loves stage acting because he gets to pretend to be someone else. And he appreciates and likes his own uniqueness.

Tony Atwood is currently one of the recognized leading experts on Asperger's Syndrome. You can find so much more information about this disorder in his book, "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" and at his website.

He set up this shot and asked me to take it.

Here is a little teaser for the next letter of the Alphabet....
B is for:

Well, actually, you might think I would answer this way with the plentiful and wonderful specimens I have ever around me. But I have chosen differently....
You'll just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Steph, my grandson has Asperger's and he and your son sound almost identical in nature. My grandson is 11 and my daughter is home schooling him after all the public school budget cuts of his therapy programs. I know the challenge you have faced. xo,


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