Asperger’s Syndrome and a Tap on the Shoulder

aspergers narrow

In 2012, approximately 670,217 children under the age of 18 lived in Dallas County.  More than 15%  of these children, have developmental disabilities. (Source:  Beyond ABC 2013)

These numbers mean the chance that you have or know a child with a developmental disability is relatively high. A young man diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (an autism spectrum or pervasive development disorder) has agreed to share with us how he views Asperger’s and what he wishes people knew about it.

Hi. My name is Joseph, and I am 10 years old. I have had Asperger’s all my life. I was diagnosed in second grade. They did all these little tests on me. They were seeing how my brain worked, and what I liked.

I am one of the few kids that has Asperger’s, well, I take that back. There are thousands of kids with Asperger’s, but nobody knows why we kids get Asperger’s. Normally, kids that have Asperger’s have a better way of thinking than normal kids, and their IQ is normally pretty high. They also have a different way of thinking.

Asperger’s kids’ way of thinking is hard-wired in their brain. For me, it is usually about imagination. I daydream a lot, draw a lot and think about things that are my special interest. One of my special interests is Kingdom Hearts. In case you don’t know it, it is a video game.

When you are an Asperger’s kid, you normally have to go to Speech where a speech therapist helps you with stuff. It is not about actually speaking, but it helps you use whole-body listening and stay in the group. One of the good things you will know about is checklists, an order of things you have to do. Each one you do, you check off. This is one of the ways you defeat the Unthinkables. [editor's note: Many Speech programs today work off of the Asperger’s treatment program by Michelle Garcia Winner on Social Thinking.  When Joseph mentions the Unthinkables, he's referring to characters that represent behaviors and skills in Ms. Winner’s books.]

P.S., normally kids with Asperger’s have a very hard time listening, so treat them normally, and sometimes you might have to give them a tap on the shoulder. You may have to train them to give a verbal response.

That’s all! :)

Sincerely, Joseph, an Asperger’s kid.

Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Asperger’s has no cure, because it is not a sickness. It is a different way of thinking. Therefore Asperger’s treatment is a lifelong process of learning new skills. The Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities offers comprehensive services for children like Joseph who may have diagnoses under the Autism Spectrum, as well as a wide range of neurodevelopmental disabilities.  The Center has two main goals:

1. Early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

2. Specialization in the most complex cases of Autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

We connect and coordinate families and professionals to a range of services for children of all ages and conduct cutting-edge research. These services include: psychological testing, educational assessment, diagnosis, as well as long-term pharmaceutical and therapeutic management.

— The Care Team at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

 

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2 Responses to Asperger’s Syndrome and a Tap on the Shoulder

  1. Nancy Prater December 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, Joseph. It’s important for people to know more about Asperger’s, so they can be supportive and understanding, especially teachers, friends, and family members. Your article helps all of us understand Asperger’s Syndrome a little bit better.

  2. Charles Wall December 6, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Well put Joseph. I find your article well thought out and thought provoking, thank you for your insights.

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