Upcoming EventsView All Upcoming Events
Children AND Asperger's
Posted on 5/3/2011
Children AND Asperger’s Disorder
Teresa Even, LMHC, CAP
I distinctly remember seeing the movie, “Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love”, a docudrama that came out in 1979, (Overview for Son-rise: A Miracle Of Love). It was foreign to me to see a young boy watch spinning plates and flap his hands in response. That was my first exposure to autism and may have influenced my later proclamation of a future profession. Autism, to me, meant a person in their “own world” with limited, if any, speech and few voluntary interactions with others.
I still have had few interactions with individuals that have the rare diagnosis that Raun Kaufman had in the film. I have had, however, many more interactions (that appear to be ever increasing) with individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder, a syndrome of the autism spectrum.
One of my favorite TV shows, The Amazing Race, has a contestant, Zev, who shared about his own Asperger’s diagnosis. He shared that he could not have been on the show several years ago due to his level of coping. He exhibits several of the key components of the diagnosis. His interactions with his partner, Justin, appear to be forced at times. His facial expressions appear to range from limited to nonexistent. When the show took him to India he was agitated with all of the noises, smells and unusual routines. Despite his diagnosis, he is demonstrating to the world, how a person with Asperger’s can cope with daily the challenges
that come with the illness.
I have met children and adolescents that have been struggling with this for years, but no one can put their finger on exactly what the problem is. For the parents of these children, a checklist of symptoms can be like a huge light bulb going off over their head. I like to tell the parents of a few famous people with the diagnosis, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein. http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/article_2086.shtml
In fact, looking at this list can make us wonder where we would be today without these individuals, their inventions and creativity. There is a great benefit to arriving at a diagnosis and putting a name on this illness. At least with a diagnosis, various approaches and routes of treatment can be explored to determine what is right for a child and their family.