Asperger's syndrom: Anybody know anything about this?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NickSo, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

    Jul 2, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Nick So
    I'm taking a course at school called PEER HELPING, and we each gotta have a 'buddy' we just needa support and, help out.

    My counsellor found me this one student who has asperger's. He briefly explained to me that with this syndrom, he says things without thinking over them, so he has no idea whats appropriate to say at the right time and whats not.

    Is that the bulk of it? I checked out some other sites, and they are full of fancy words and i dont really get it.

    I'm just gonna be there to support him, befriend him, tak to him and stuff, coz apparently he dostn have many friends.

    Any info/experiences/tips would be extremely helpful.
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Sep 6, 2000
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  3. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

    Mar 18, 2000
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    Vancouver has an Autism Society where you could drop by and pick up some brochures to read up on. You could probably call them as well and ask somebody about it or just email them. Here's a link to their website.
  4. andrew markworthy

    Sep 30, 1999
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    The link Max provides gives a good potted summary, but each Asperger patient is different, so don't expect someone to show all the symptoms. Try to get hold of this book:

    Luke Jackson - Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome. Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers ( and available in the USA. The book is written by a teenager with Asperger's Syndrome and will give you a better insight into the condition than many textbooks.

    To give you a brief background. Apserger Syndrome (AS) was discovered by a guy called Asperger almost at the same time that Autism was first discovered. The two conditions are part of a continuum - in other words, they share key symptoms in common, but these vary in number and severity.
    A full description of AS would take way too long, but you should expect at least some of the following features:

    A tendency to interpret things literally. In extremis, this can lead to serous problems. E.g. a woman with AS had been told by her boss that she was working the boss could 'just wrap you up and take you home with me'. The AS girl interpreted this literally and locked herself in a toilet cubicle for the rest of the day. A lot of metaphorical language thus is difficult for AS patients to understand (indeed, at the moment, I've been commissioned to write a dictionary of everyday expressions for AS patients).

    Spoken language can also appear rather unusual. It may be very precise or make oblique references. Sometimes the intonation of words can sound rather 'sing song'.

    Difficulty with social interaction - AS patients find normal social interaction, chit-chat, etc, *very* difficult to deal with. The problem may in part relate to the tendency to interpret everything literally. A lot of social gestures (shaking hands, talking about the weather, even phrases such as 'how are you?' or 'be seeing you') are treated by 'normals' as empty gestures, but may be confusing for an AS patient.

    Difficulty understanding other people's feelings. In part because of a difficulty in understanding social interaction, AS patients generally find it difficult to understand other people's moods. What would normally be understood to be a sufficient hint may pass over an AS person's head. This doesn't mean that AS patients are *without* feelings - that would be utterly wrong.

    A love of rules and structure. AS patients like an ordered structured environment with lots of rules and routine to follow. It's argued that because the world around them can appear chaotic, the structure and routine creates a sense of security. AS patients will often be fanatical collectors. [It's a good bet that some of the more fanatical DVD collectors on this forum have traces of AS]. However, in florid cases, this can create truly bizarre behaviour. E.g. there was one patient in a well-known study (in Psychology at least) who collected the serial numbers from light fitments in railway carriages.
    Higher functioning AS patients often go into jobs requiring a liking for routine and structure, such as accountancy or various type of mathematical analysis. Allied to a high level of intelligence, they can be very successful indeed, because they have a tenacity to persist with problems that few 'normals' have (e.g. I can think of several professors who almost certainly have AS).

    As the last point should make clear, it's not all doom and gloom. If an AS patient is surrounded by people who know about their condition, then this makes it a lot easier. AS patients are generally very reliable, they will work conscientiously at a problem, and if the condition is accompanied by a good level of intelligence, they can often provide insights and wit that a 'normal' would miss. A lot of AS patients form long-term relationships. Although they may find some social and emotional cues difficult to pick up on, they can be just as warm-hearted as anyone else. Okay, so they're not likely to be the life and soul of a big noisy party (AS patients generally learn to avoid these from an early age) but so what?
  5. Mark Brewer

    Mark Brewer Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 24, 2000
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    My five year old son has Aspergers.. He struggles with a number of the things stated by Andrew above. Alex is a human calculator, his mind works amazingly fast with numbers and memory recall.
    For example from watching Episode II on DVD a couple of times he can go back and watch every trailer and tell what chapter each specific scene is from. Being vaugue doesn't go over well with him. If Alex asks me to help him with something and I reply "in a minute" he will be stand next to me exactly 1 minute later wondering why I'm not helping him. Breaking from routine is hard for him so we structure his day. He is home schooled, and we recieve excellent support from our local school where our daughter attends.
    Remeber as stated above each person with AS is very different, but you have to connect with them on their level.
    By that I mean connect with their obsession. Alex's is Star Wars, be it in the form of his movies, toys,posters, cloths, video games, books,comics, etc...
    Now Alex's uncle connect's just fine with him he plays video games once and a while and when Alex' was going through a rough stage at the being of the school year (we pulled him out in late Jan to home school) his bought him a Republic Gunship toy, it helped him get his focus away from the stress at school.
    But their are some people who think that we just need to be firm, and they don't have good relationship with him. Because they are unwilling to get to know him. Your lose grandma.

    It's hard sometimes when we have to put the straight jacket on and lock him in the closet... ohh wait that's the mother-in-law excuse me...

    But it is hard sometimes. His sister who is almost 9 gets frustrated with him but she helps out by reading to him.

    So nick find that thing that your new friend loves and participate in it with him, let him talk your ear off. Be patient and get ready to learn about a new way of viewing every thing around you,

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