Appreciating Asperger Syndrome

 

I like people with Asperger syndrome, a sweeping statement I know but there it is.

I can’t help how I feel. Of course, like everyone else, there is enormous variability within the syndrome  and more to people than just this particular grouping of skills and difficulties. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many hundreds of people at the Asperger end of the autism spectrum over my many years working in this field. This has led me to  develop an appreciation for their refreshing style of thought and how it can be manifested in tackling life’s problems.

It was for these reasons that I determined to write a chapter in my forthcoming book, ” Our Best Attention”, about a person with Asperger Syndrome. I wanted to present a positive picture and to write an unfashionably happy ending for the person concerned. In the event this was much easier than it might sound. The chapter wrote itself as the character emerged so strongly in my mind. It is light hearted and pokes fun at some typical “Edinburgh ” types.

As most people with AS are not formally diagnosed, I didn’t specifically mention the syndrome or “diagnose” the person with any particular problems beyond an awkwardness with people and an honesty in the way that they expressed themself. I became very fond of the character as I wrote and keen for them to find a positive niche for themself in the department store in which I set this character.

You will note that I’m being cagy as to the gender of the character concerned. Who is it?  Which chapter do they feature in?  You’ll have to read the book to find out. I’m thinking of offering a small prize for the first person to identify the “Aspie”.