Missed Opportunity by Phone Phobia

My Phone Phobia

My Phone Phobia

This mourning I had a costumer ask me in retrospective of my art showing at the Sorbe Gallery near the place of her residence was coming to an end why I never called her son in San Francisco about a job in the E.A. Games where he works.  Once again she explained that with my talent for imagination, writing and art I could go far in the gaming industry.  I have very little experience playing video games and I would be quite naive at any such endeavor however it is an artistic environment. After the guilt trip I had I began to think if why I did not call him four years ago.  It occurred to me why I did not call was that I was probably terrified of calling a stranger.  The phone can terrify me greatly at times,

At times, friends and family have called and I just stare at the phone as if it were a stun gun ready to fire.  What could be on the other end of the line?  Could it be bad news, a new social engagement or an order of doom?  My social phobia and panic attacks rush through my body as I shale and hyperventilate.  It is an aspect of my life I am at victim to.

When I came across this nice lady again I explained that I have Asperger’s and one of the aspects of Asperger’s is I am terrified of new or unknown social situations and that phone call counted as one.  In the past years since her first request, I have found that communicating through email and letters are an outlet of outreach.  This avenue of communication and adapting to Asperger’s is not new, Thomas Jefferson wrote his State of the Union Addresses and had them read by someone else to Congress.  Having my words down in front of me and able to be sure of what I have said will not be too upsetting or misunderstood helps me communicate.

The nice Lady said that she did not want to pressure me into this and I explained that I now have a better knack for this type of adventure forward.  I have no plans to move to San Francisco anytime soon however having new contacts always is a good thing.  Even if I only contact them via in letterform.

‘Meeting my father was a shock’

By Sara Parker

Producer, Adults with Autism

On first meeting, there is little evidence of the internal struggle Chris Goodchild faces daily as someone living with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism.

“I don’t have the ability to put onto my face the distress that I feel,” says Chris, one of an estimated 500,000 people in the UK with autism spectrum disorder.

“Often we want to scream and shout, but most of us do so internally. The way we cope is to withdraw.”

Autism is a developmental condition characterised by problems in social communication with a lack of empathy towards others.

“We can get bombarded with stimulation and information and can become easily confused and overwhelmed”

People with the condition often engage in ritualistic and obsessive compulsive behaviours, as well as a very different way of thinking from the normal – that is neuro-typical – brain.

“The autistic brain is wired completely differently,” said Chris.

“We experience life with great intensity and have a very poor filtering system.

“We can get bombarded with stimulation and information and can become easily confused and overwhelmed.”

Autism was first identified in 1943 by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner in a group of boy patients.

A year later another Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger recognised a similar condition in children with special talents and high IQ.

This early understanding of autism meant that until recently, it was thought to be a childhood disorder.

Many adults went undiagnosed or were misdiagnosed with mental health problems, including severe illnesses such as schizophrenia.

“I had to adapt to what other people thought was normal, to survive.”

Long struggle

Now 43, Chris was diagnosed with Asperger’s only 18 months ago.

For years he struggled with depression and anxiety as he tried to conceal his autistic traits behind a façade of learnt, socially-acceptable behaviour.

“I hid my unusualness, those feelings of being bad, mad, crazy, deranged,” he said.

“I had to adapt to what other people thought was normal, to survive.”

Adopted at six weeks old, he describes a ‘hunger to be loved and a fear of rejection’.

But he would recoil from being touched or hugged, as well as alarming those around him with strange mannerisms and self-comforting behaviour such as rocking.

At school, he was isolated and unable to concentrate because he found the environment noisy and confusing.

Neither his adoptive parents nor his teachers realised what was wrong and at 15, he left with no qualifications and started on a downward spiral of depression, ending up in a psychiatric hospital for a year on anti-psychotic medication.

For most of his adult life, Chris has found it difficult to hold down a job or maintain close relationships.

He has a young son whom he sees regularly, but found it impossible to live with the mother because of the stress of intimacy and his obsessive need for an ordered life of rigid routines.

Shared traits

When he was 20, he traced his natural father and was shocked to discover he shared what he later recognised, were autistic traits.

“Seeing him was like seeing Asperger’s unleashed,” said Chris.

“The man looked like Rasputin with long unwashed hair, dressed only in a pair of underpants with a sheet round him and cobwebs on the sheet.

“He had no desire to wash at all and was a hoarder with things piled up around him.

“In many ways I saw myself without my façade or cloak of normality and it drove me further underground to be nothing like him at all.”

There is evidence from research, particularly with twins, that autism can be inherited.

On-going studies also indicate that hormones in the womb such as testosterone can influence development and MRI scans have revealed differences not only in brain structure, including increased numbers of nerve cells, but also in the way the brain works.

There are so many factors involved in autism that diagnosis is often difficult and needs lengthy clinical assessments and observation.

Chris only realised a few years ago that he might be autistic after meeting a boy with autism at his son’s birthday party.

Finally a diagnosis

After years of misdiagnosis with mental health problems, he had given up on the NHS and he turned instead to the National Autistic Society for help.

“I’d reached a point where I didn’t want to live any longer,” he said.

“I was depressed and self-harming because I couldn’t cope with this cloud of unknowing.

“Without a diagnosis, I would have killed myself.”

For Chris, diagnosis has been self-affirming.

“Having Asperger’s Syndrome is a gifted way of seeing the world,” he said.

“It can be a painful gift but I now have a framework to manage myself and the realisation that those parts of me, which I hid away, are not mad or bad.”

Adult autism is now high on the government’s agenda and a report is due for publication before the end of the year with the promise of a national strategy to improve the lives and opportunities for those living with something which Chris describes as “not a label or illness but a way of being ”

‘Adults with Autism’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 29 September at 2100 hours, repeated on Wednesday 30 September at 1630 hours.

from bbc news

Autistic impressions

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Adam – a new film that portrays autism
By Laura Schocker

BBC News Magazine

Hollywood movies rarely deal with disability – except for autism, when characters are typically shown as having special intelligence. Why do we like to think everyone with autism is especially gifted?

In one evening, he memorised every name and number from A to G in the phone book. While waiting for a meal in a restaurant, he committed the entire tableside jukebox to memory.

A dropped box of toothpicks? One glance and he is certain that 246 have spilt on the floor.

His mind was like a computer and, for years, Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man character has often been the first reference point for autism.

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Dustin Hoffman’s Raymond Babbitt – setting the mould for autistic savant characters

Other films since this 1988 release have depicted similar areas of brilliance that are sometimes associated with autism, known as savant qualities.

In 1998, for instance, Mercury Rising told the story of a nine-year-old autistic boy who used his savant abilities to crack a $2bn encryption code.

And in Mozart and the Whale, a 2006 film about two savants with Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism, Josh Hartnett’s character could glance at his watch and then calculate exactly how long he has had his job as a taxi driver.

The link between autism and savant skills in cinemas is clear, but does art really imitate life? Do people with autism always have an amazing intellectual skill?

“The simple answer is no,” says Dr Stuart Murray professor of contemporary literature and film at the University of Leeds and author of the book Representing Autism. “By far, the majority of people with autism do not have any kind of savant ability.”

‘Autism celebrities’

In fact, the current estimate is that one or two in 200 people with an autism spectrum disorder have a savant talent, according to the National Autistic Society, although the exact numbers are still unknown in the UK.

WHAT IS AUTISM?

A developmental disability that influences how a person communicates and relates to others

Often referred to as a spectrum disorder – because it affects people differently

Asperger syndrome is a type of autism at the less severe end of that spectrum

More than half a million people in the UK have an autism spectrum disorder

Source: National Autistic Society

Well known savants – including Kim Peek, who partially inspired Rain Man, Steven Wiltshire, a London artist who can recall entire cityscapes after brief observation, and Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day, about living as an autistic savant – are the exception to the autism rule, Dr Murray says.

“These people are almost like autism celebrities,” he says. “It’s not something that crops up very much in the day to day life of living with autism.”

So if autistic savants are the exception and not the norm, why are they are they so over-represented in films?

“It’s a very sexy way of looking at autism,” says Jonathan Kaufman, president of Disability Works in the US and technical consultant for Adam, a new Hollywood film featuring a leading character with autism.

While his work with Adam, which went on general release in the UK at the weekend, was about capturing the day-to-day nuances of a person with Asperger’s – something he wishes would happen more often – he understands why many films have seized on savants.

“It focuses on the almost superhuman nature of the disability itself,” he says. “Somebody who is gifted has always had a place in society.”

They tend to be the stories audiences want, says Dr Murray. Films about disabilities typically focus on two types of story lines, he says. Either:

the disability provides some kind of incredible skill or quality that “makes up” for the negative, or

the person finds a way to “rise above” adversity

“It doesn’t seem to be as bad to be severely autistic if you’re also skilled at maths or music,” he says. “If it seems to be that with your disability comes an extraordinary ability, it takes away the worst aspects of being disabled.”

_46183463_wiltshire_226Artistic licence

This can be a comfort to audiences.

Stephen Wiltshire in a BBC documentary called Fragments of Genius

“Everybody who is not disabled is fundamentally very scared by the possibility of becoming disabled,” says Dr Murray.

But what about people who do have autism? While mainstream movies with autistic characters may increase awareness about the disability, how does it affect what the public expect of the condition?

“I have spoken to many families who say that they feel really depressed and devastated when they get this portrayal,” says Uta Frith, emeritus professor of cognitive development at the University College London.

While she understands films have artistic license to create compelling stories, the aftermath can be difficult for parents of children with autism.

“It seems almost like their fault that their child isn’t like that.”

And it can go beyond childhood. Robyn Steward, a 22-year-old in London with Asperger’s syndrome says some people still think she’s the Rain Man.

“People expect you, as an autistic person, to be really good at maths, or a walking calculator,” she says. In reality, she doesn’t care much for numbers. “Everyone is an individual and has their own interests and not everybody is a savant. So maybe people see it in Rain Man. But that’s not the full story.”

ASPERGER’S AND AUTISM

Many of recent films about autism have focused on characters with Asperger syndrome, says Dr Murray

People with Aspergers tend to have average or above average intelligence, but struggle to read social signals or understand jokes, metaphor or sarcasm

In Adam, for instance, Rose Byrne, who plays Adam’s love interest, asks him, “Could you give me a hug?” He says yes and stands there until she makes things a bit clearer – “Adam, I’d like you to give me a hug.”

Asperger’s syndrome

What type of story would Steward like to see on the big screen? Something a bit closer to her own experience, maybe with a character diagnosed later in life, she says.

Dr Murray agrees. As a father of two children on the autistic spectrum, he says he relates more to something like The Black Balloon, an Australian film released last year. The story focuses on a family living with an autistic son and depicts scenes with the boy running down the street naked or throwing himself down on the supermarket floor.

It may not be as romantic as the story of a maths genius, but it’s the reality, says Dr Murray.

“We’ve all had the supermarket thing happen. This rings true to us in a way that somebody doing the square root of a million and nine doesn’t,” he says.

The film was not a box office hit in the UK. It went straight to DVD.

Here is a selection of your comments.

My brother is severely autistic but we have recently found he does have a special ability – he can tell you what day of the week any day in history was. Ok, it’ll never make a Hollywood blockbuster, but hopefully we can entertain some people in the queue at Sainsbury’s rather than lying on the floor like he has done for the past 16 years!


Dave Howarth, Leatherhead, Surrey

My cousin is autistic and has an amazing ability to do jigsaws; she might start in the top left corner and completes the jigsaw row by row until she reaches the bottom right corner. She just seems to instinctively know exactly where each piece fits in the overall, 1000 piece plus, picture. So, it appears she has outstanding visual and spatial abilities but we cannot fully understand them, or her, as she cannot speak to us. I think this lack of verbal communication makes it difficult for people to identify with her, perhaps not making her, or other children with severe autism, ideal heroes for films.


Josie, Bristol

I don’t think there is anything wrong with portraying autistic people as being gifted. It may not be factually correct but offsets a lot of the otherwise negative information around about autism. It is possible for people with autism to live full and happy (if different) lives. When parents of children with autism find out that their child is autistic they are bombarded with scare stories about how difficult the rest of their lives are going to be. It is good to have messages of hope out there and important to always keep a positive perspective when dealing with autism.


Charlie Browne, Ireland

My son, aged six has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is of above average intelligence and does not have super human powers! However, like many on the autistic spectrum he has a “special” interest, in my son’s case in cars. From a young age he could identify most makes and models of vehicle, and I am channelling that interest to help him with areas of academic life that he struggles with, such as maths. People don’t see him as “autistic” they see this obsession as part of his personality. His school report described him as having a “charming personality” and “popular”. All I want is for my son to have a happy, fulfilling life, and romanticising conditions such as Asperger’s and autistic spectrum disorders does nothing to help this!


Rachel, Bristol, England

I am the father of a mildly autistic son who is now six years old, not Asperger’s but Classic Kanners. I am always searching for something that reflects the type of autism my boy has. The Black Balloon was a great film but shows severe autism. I would like to heartily recommend the Dutch film “Ben X” (with English subtitles) which portrays a socially functioning but autistic teenager. Please can we have more like films like this one with it’s realistic portrayal rather than Hollywood Glamour stories.
Paul Bruff, London

I have taught children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder for four years and while it’s true that some are quite intelligent (though hard to measure) very, very few possess amazing super-skills. It is an unfair expectation and one that actually hinders society’s willingness to grapple with the issue. The truly gifted have a chance of obtaining public support; the average get lost in the morass of official apathy and ignorance.


Keith Giunta, Camden, USA

Your article asks ‘if autistic savants are the exception and not the norm, why are they are they so over-represented in films?’ – that would be because if films represented real life then most of us wouldn’t bother to watch. You don’t walk down the street and see car chases, serial killers, and spies on every corner, but the day to day reality most of us live is simply not movie material. I suspect that the day to day reality of autism would be much the same.


Shiz, Cheshire, UK

Hollywood tends to avoid stories about physical disability too – except blindness. In “Scent of a Woman” Al Pacino plays a blind veteran whose sense of smell is greatly enhanced so that he can tell what perfume any woman is wearing. “Daredevil” has Ben Affleck’s blind superhero able to use his advanced sense of hearing almost as sonar that gives him the ability to “see” his surroundings.

There are exceptions of course, but with blindness too cinema tries to give people pleasing stories: “don’t worry, they may be blind, but by extension they get superpowers!”


Shane, Mayo, Ireland

I wish I had amazing skills with my autistic spectrum disorders! Sadly I just get problems with communicating, confusion with numbers and the added bonus of having walking outside be akin to an extreme sport.

Still, I’ve got lots of supportive friends and family, and a great job, so what more do I need. 


Sharon, London, UK

My son who suffers from the autistic condition Asperger’s Syndrome does not have super human powers. He struggled at school and at 29 still cannot add up or tell the time. Yet he can tell you everything you need to know (director/producer/date/music score etc) about a film he is interested in, and there are many. 


Sue Birch, Mont de Marsan France

I have Asperger’s and went to a special needs school for it. Most of the other people there had at least one thing that they were brilliant at, not at savant levels but certainly well above average. In addition to maths, science there was also experts in music, art, computing and stereo equipment to name but a few.

By the way, I’m 25 with a full time job (as an engineer) and a reasonably successful social life. Nowadays I just look upon my Asperger’s as just another part of my personality. 


Alan Munro, Inverness

There is another film that gives a more accurate portrayal of autism in adults and is also a fantastic film – Snow Cake starring Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver, which again never made it to cinemas in this country but is available on DVD.


Maggie , Wokingham UK

Asperger’s on the big screen

By Marc Settle

BBC News, Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme

The challenges faced by people who have Asperger’s syndrome have been in the news recently, highlighted by the case of the computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

He is facing extradition to the United States, but campaigners say his condition, a form of autism, means he should not be sent there.

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Adam – the new film portrays a man with Asperger’s syndrome

Now there is a new Hollywood film featuring a leading character with Asperger’s. 

Adam tells the tale of a young man who meets and falls in love with the woman in the flat upstairs.

Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme asked Robyn Steward to review the film for the show. Robyn has Asperger’s syndrome herself. She has also had personal relationships with other people who have the condition – and with those who do not.

I work as a self-employed trainer, teaching professionals about Asperger’s syndrome and mentoring young people with the condition in the hope that they won’t have to go through some of the same difficulties that I have experienced.

This week I saw a film called Adam.

In particular one incident in the film conveyed really well the emotional complexities of living with the condition.

Thinking it will be less stressful for him, Adam’s girlfriend Beth arranges to meet her parents and pretends to Adam they have accidentally bumped into them on a night out.

When he learns the truth he shouts she’s a liar and he hates her and starts pulling things off a cabinet. At the time Adam probably did hate her and she did lie.

An accurate reflection

People with autism often struggle to understand other people’s thoughts, feelings and motivations and in Adam’s black and white world, Beth has broken the rules. Everyone with Asperger’s is different but the condition often affects the way information moves around your brain, which impacts on sensory processing, social skills, and our ability to communicate with others. It can also cause you to be not so emotionally aware.

It is great that the film has avoided the stereotypical Hollywood ending

Robyn Steward

Throughout society whether it be teachers, police, employers or families there is a lack of knowledge of autism.

People react in all sorts of ways and I think Adam accurately reflects this through a series of incidents which demonstrate the daily challenges, misunderstandings and confusion that can arise from living with this complex condition.

Most notable of these is when Adam is waiting outside a school for Beth, who is a teacher, to come out of work. A policeman asks him what he’s doing and Adam responds in a literal Asperger’s way that he’s “watching the children”.

I was also struck by Adam’s panic attack and inability to move when he is told he has to leave the house he has lived in all his life due to his father’s death.

Many adults with autism rely on their family, due to a lack of support and when their parents die they can get a bit lost.

Clay Marzo Changing Views On Aspergers

Clay Marzo Changing Views On Aspergers
By The Editors August 30th, 2008.
MarzoAs the star of Quiksilver’s new film Just Add Water, Clay Marzo is bringing more attention to a form of autism called Aspergers. It’s also opening eyes to just what is possible for others with the condition.
More than a movie about a rising young star, however, it details Clay’s aptitude and unique personality, and his life with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that can make school and social situations challenging but also allows him to hyperfocus and exhibit exceptional talent in a specific arena.
Clay’s mother Jill Marzo wasn’t sure the movie at first:
“I was really nervous,” she admits. “I didn’t want to expose it. I worried that people would treat him differently or that he would be embarrassed by it.” Instead, the film and an extensive article in Surfer Magazine yielded e-mails from others inspired by Clay’s unique pursuit of his passion. That, she says, made the journey worthwhile.
[Link: Honolulu Star-Bulletin]
Read more: http://www.boardistan.com/?p=1540#ixzz0MLTL8lGl

By The Editors August 30th, 2008.

08098_clay_france_premierClay Marzo As the star of Quiksilver’s new film Just Add Water, Clay Marzo is bringing more attention to a form of autism called Aspergers. It’s also opening eyes to just what is possible for others with the condition.

More than a movie about a rising young star, however, it details Clay’s aptitude and unique personality, and his life with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that can make school and social situations challenging but also allows him to hyperfocus and exhibit exceptional talent in a specific arena.

Clay’s mother Jill Marzo wasn’t sure the movie at first:

“I was really nervous,” she admits. “I didn’t want to expose it. I worried that people would treat him differently or that he would be embarrassed by it.” Instead, the film and an extensive article in Surfer Magazine yielded e-mails from others inspired by Clay’s unique pursuit of his passion. That, she says, made the journey worthwhile.

[Link: Honolulu Star-Bulletin]

Read more: http://www.boardistan.com/?p=1540#ixzz0MLTL8lGl

Undiagnosing Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He was also the author of the Declaration of Independence. His other accomplishments include diplomate, lawyer, scientist, farmer, architect. He was thought by many to be one of the most brilliant men to ever occupy the White House. Could he have been on the autistic spectrum? Norm Ledgin, author of Diagnosing Jefferson states that this was absolutely the case. Ledgin provides what he believes is unequivocal evidence that Jefferson had Asperger’s syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism and in his book he openly challenges anyone to refute his proof. I have decided to accept that challenge. His book was also endorsed by Temple Grandin who wrote a postscript to Ledgin’s book, stating she was totally convinced that Jefferson was on the spectrum.
Ledgin documents instances showing that Jefferson was shy, had an inability to relate to people, was a poor public speaker and was sensitive to loud noises. He attempts to show that the explanation for these is Asperger’s syndrome, claiming that it cannot be coincidence that Jefferson had so many supposedly Asperger’s traits that have been documented by various historians and biographers.
Ledgin also claims that it is because of Asperger’s that Jefferson had the habit of recording all of his financial transactions yet died in debt. Also, his obsession with remodeling his mansion, Monticello, for many decades can be attributed to Asperger’s. Jefferson also had eccentricities such has having a pet mocking bird always on his shoulder. He also often dressed casually and would wear slippers at important meetings.

excerpt from “Undiagnosing Gates, Jefferson and Einstein

An article by Jonathan Mitchell

thomas-jefferson-picture Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He was also the author of the Declaration of Independence. His other accomplishments include diplomate, lawyer, scientist, farmer, architect. He was thought by many to be one of the most brilliant men to ever occupy the White House. Could he have been on the autistic spectrum? Norm Ledgin, author of Diagnosing Jefferson states that this was absolutely the case. Ledgin provides what he believes is unequivocal evidence that Jefferson had Asperger’s syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism and in his book he openly challenges anyone to refute his proof. I have decided to accept that challenge. His book was also endorsed by Temple Grandin who wrote a postscript to Ledgin’s book, stating she was totally convinced that Jefferson was on the spectrum.

1885477600.01.MZZZZZZZLedgin documents instances showing that Jefferson was shy, had an inability to relate to people, was a poor public speaker and was sensitive to loud noises. He attempts to show that the explanation for these is Asperger’s syndrome, claiming that it cannot be coincidence that Jefferson had so many supposedly Asperger’s traits that have been documented by various historians and biographers.

Ledgin also claims that it is because of Asperger’s that Jefferson had the habit of recording all of his financial transactions yet died in debt. Also, his obsession with remodeling his mansion, Monticello, for many decades can be attributed to Asperger’s. Jefferson also had eccentricities such has having a pet mocking bird always on his shoulder. He also often dressed casually and would wear slippers at important meetings.

“Mozart and The Whale”

“Mozart and The Whale” is a dramatic-comedy inspired by the lives of two people with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). It chronicals their budding romance and the nature of the challenges presented by Asperger’s. Donald is a good-natured but hapless taxi driver with a love of birds and a superhuman knack for numbers. Like many people with AS, he likes patterns and routines. But when the beautiful and complicated Isabel joins the autism support group he leads, his life – and his heart – are turned upside down. In his journey, Asperger’s, while very much a part of that journey, takes a back seat only to the human desire for love and to be loved and for connection despite all odds.
Donald runs a support group for people with Asperger’s and in the group they can all be themselves.
Donald, not long into the movie, while talking to the guys in the group in the park said that as a young boy it was obvious he wasn’t the child his parents had hoped for and that he wasn’t “normal”. He adds that “you can’t control people or even predict them” pointing out that things are different with numbers and that as he always says with numbers, “you can count on them.”
Donald then says, “People with Asperger’s want contact with other people very much, we are just pathetically clueless about it all.”

mozartwhaleA.J. Mahari’s Review of the Movie

“Mozart and The Whale” is a dramatic-comedy inspired by the lives of two people with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). It chronicals their budding romance and the nature of the challenges presented by Asperger’s. Donald is a good-natured but hapless taxi driver with a love of birds and a superhuman knack for numbers. Like many people with AS, he likes patterns and routines. But when the beautiful and complicated Isabel joins the autism support group he leads, his life – and his heart – are turned upside down. In his journey, Asperger’s, while very much a part of that journey, takes a back seat only to the human desire for love and to be loved and for connection despite all odds.

Donald runs a support group for people with Asperger’s and in the group they can all be themselves.

Donald, not long into the movie, while talking to the guys in the group in the park said that as a young boy it was obvious he wasn’t the child his parents had hoped for and that he wasn’t “normal”. He adds that “you can’t control people or even predict them” pointing out that things are different with numbers and that as he always says with numbers, “you can count on them.”

Donald then says, “People with Asperger’s want contact with other people very much, we are just pathetically clueless about it all.”

http://www.aspergeradults.ca

Asperger’s Sydrome

People with Asperger’s Syndrome are often described, as having social skills deficits, reluctance to listen, difficulty understanding social give and take, and other core characteristics, is typically quite misunderstood and/or misdiagnosed in our country today.
First recognized by Hans Asperger in 1944, who recognized that the patterns of behaviors and characteristics were often noticed in the parents as well, most noticeably in the fathers, and he very perceptively noted,
“that the condition was probably due to genetic or neurological, rather than psychological or environmental factors,”  (Attwood, 2006, p. 2).
Psychologists, physicians, educators, and parents remain largely uneducated and uninformed regarding high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, particularly in girls and women, and the person is often misdiagnosed (Fattig, 2007).  “Asperger’s syndrome has probably been an important and valuable characteristic of our species throughout evolution,” (Attwood, 2006, p. 2).

By Michelle Fattig – 2007-12-28

People with Asperger’s Syndrome are often described, as having social skills deficits, reluctance to listen, difficulty understanding social give and take, and other core characteristics, is typically quite misunderstood and/or misdiagnosed in our country today.

First recognized by Hans Asperger in 1944, who recognized that the patterns of behaviors and characteristics were often noticed in the parents as well, most noticeably in the fathers, and he very perceptively noted,

“that the condition was probably due to genetic or neurological, rather than psychological or environmental factors,”  (Attwood, 2006, p. 2).

Psychologists, physicians, educators, and parents remain largely uneducated and uninformed regarding high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, particularly in girls and women, and the person is often misdiagnosed (Fattig, 2007).  “Asperger’s syndrome has probably been an important and valuable characteristic of our species throughout evolution,” (Attwood, 2006, p. 2).

Artists with Asperger’s Syndrome

Leonardo da Vinci took twelve years to paint the Mona Lisa’ lips, and could write with one hand while drawing with the other (Botham, 2006, p. 13).  Perfectionistic tendencies, with moderate cross over discrimination deficits, and savant skills?
Vincent van Gogh committed suicide (Botham, 2006, p. 14).  Depression sometimes accompanies people with Asperger’s and in extreme cases can lead to thoughts, talk of, or suicide attempts (Attwood, 2006, p. 15).
Composers/Musicians
Beethoven was such a poor music student, that his music teachers decided he was hopeless as a composer and each time he sat to write music, he reportedly “poured ice water over his head,” (Botham, 2006, p. 30), indicating the potential inability to “show” what he could do and a potential preoccupation of sensory experiences (Attwood, 2006, p. 4), or need for unproductive idiosyncratic routine.
Elvis was a notorious over eater, failed his music class in school, never ever gave an encore, and had ten distinctly different drugs in his body when he died (Botham, 2006, p. 34).  He may have been compulsive with food/sensory perseverations, school failures, rigid need for routine and control, and self-medicating?
leonardo-da-vinciLeonardo da Vinci took twelve years to paint the Mona Lisa’ lips, and could write with one hand while drawing with the other (Botham, 2006, p. 13).  Perfectionistic tendencies, with moderate cross over discrimination deficits, and savant skills?
Vincent van Gogh committed suicide (Botham, 2006, p. 14).  Depression sometimes accompanies people with Asperger’s and in extreme cases can lead to thoughts, talk of, or suicide attempts (Attwood, 2006, p. 15).
Composers/Musicians
Beethoven was such a poor music student, that his music teachers decided he was hopeless as a composer and each time he sat to write music, he reportedly “poured ice water over his head,” (Botham, 2006, p. 30), indicating the potential inability to “show” what he could do and a potential preoccupation of sensory experiences (Attwood, 2006, p. 4), or need for unproductive idiosyncratic routine.
Elvis was a notorious over eater, failed his music class in school, never ever gave an encore, and had ten distinctly different drugs in his body when he died (Botham, 2006, p. 34).  He may have been compulsive with food/sensory perseverations, school failures, rigid need for routine and control, and self-medicating?
(http://www.disabled-world.com)