Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Do You Have Aspergers?

Do you have Aspergers?
(Actually, I have some green ones in the fridge that need to be cooked tonight. Would you like them with a Hollandaise sauce or in a salad?)
Seriously, back to the original question. Do you have Aspergers? Not asparagus­čś│

The first time I ever heard about Aspergers was about 15 years ago when the mother of one of my students described her 7th grade son as "weird." I was shocked and thought that she was probably the rudest and cruelest mom I had encountered in all of my years of teaching. But she was dead right. He was "weird." And he was handsome and polite and always clean and neat. He was the best behaved kid that I taught, and he was writing a play script starring Joan Crawford and other actresses of her time. How many 7th graders that you know know enough about actresses in that time period to write a play? Much less write a play script about anything?

G's mother explained to me and the other teachers at our pre-school meeting that her son would wear the same type of clothes every single school day. A plaid buttoned-down shirt, khaki pants, brown loafers, and maybe a pullover sweater, if the weather was chilly. He would never have a casual chat with his peers, but would participate in a conversation with adults when he had no other choice. He would avoid almost all contact with peers unless that was part of the expected class participation. He would attend physical education classes, but mostly stand and watch the other students participate.

G. had Aspergers. Since that time that he was one of my students, I think that I have even recognized some Asperger symptoms in myself. Maybe that explains my "weirdness."

 You might want to know: "It was not until 1981 that Asperger’s syndrome (also called Asperger’s disorder) was acknowledged as a unique psychological condition."
"By the 1990s, Asperger’s was being diagnosed as a specific condition related to, but distinct from, autism. Generally speaking, autism is considered a more extreme pervasive developmental disorder, or PDD."
"However, those who live amongst us with Asperger’s are less likely to exhibit extreme behavior. If an early diagnosis of their condition is made and the people around them understand the syndrome, they have an excellent chance of remaining a productive and participatory member of their community."

And if you want to take a test to give yourself some more insight into characteristics of those of us who might have Aspergers, here is one test: http://aspergersquiz.com/