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What it's Like to Have Aspergers Syndrome: A Story

Updated on September 15, 2014

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A person with asperger's syndrome describes her experiences:

What's it like to have aspergers syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome is a high-functioning form of autism. One of the most notable characteristics of aspergers syndrome is a problem with communication. Although people with aspergers speak, and may have a very extensive vocabulary, they have difficulty understanding the subtle nuances of communication. Nonverbal communication can be particularly difficult for some of them; therefore, forming lasting friendships is a huge task.

I am not an expert on aspergers syndrome, but I do have a son who has this syndrome. I've also had students in class with this disability. I have had the opportunity to observe individuals with aspergers syndrome and how they react to others. The following fictional story is based on my observations. I have written this piece of "flash fiction" to help others gain a better understanding of aspergers syndrome and what issues these gifted individuals face. I have attempted to tell this story from an objective point of view, as if I were a person looking at the scene and reporting what happened. My goal is not to make any judgments, but simply provide you with something to think about. Following is the story, "In a Cartoon World."

"In a Cartoon World"

The new kid came to school dressed in camouflage every day.

The girls sat at the back of the classroom and whispered. "Why does he dress like that?"

"Where'd he come from? Who is he?"

The boys just sat, stared, fidgeted.

At breaktime, most the kids would go over off of school grounds and have a smoke.

The new kid wandered about the classrooms or the school grounds alone.

He didn't say much, but he was polite when asked a question and would reply very matter-of-factly.

Sometimes he doodled in class. The teacher would say, "Jack, pay attention."

Without even looking up he would respond, "I am." And he continued doodling.

The teacher figured he wasn't bothering anyone, so she let him doodle.

One day the teacher walked around the classroom and noticed the doodles in Jack's notebook. They were extremely detailed cartoons with intricate lines and beautiful shading.

"Those are beautiful drawings," said the teacher. "You're very talented."

"Thank you," was all he said.

********************

He was quiet, but sometimes he followed people around.

Sometimes, not very often though, he joined a group on the school grounds and appeared to join in the conversation. But after awhile the kids would walk away from him. Jack would follow them for a bit, then wander off by himself again.

*******************

One morning three girls went into the principal's office. "That new kid is weird. He follows us around," said the shortest of the three.

"Yeah, he's creepy. He draws pictures of cartoon characters and guns," said the red head girl.

"He's just plain scary," said the third girl.

"Has he done anything to hurt you?" asked the principal.

"No...but he's just weird," said the redhead girl.

"Well, we're all a little bit weird! That's what makes each of us an individual," said the principal. "If he hasn't done anything to you or said anything bad to you, or threatened you, I don't know why you're here. It's time to go back to class."

The girls got up and left the office.

********************

A couple doors down from the office in the classroom at a desk sits a boy dressed in camouflage doodling. His head is bent as he scrutinizes every line of his drawing. Each line is precise and the shading mirrors shadows perfectly. In his cartoon world, he is in control, and he is safe.

*********************

A person can only guess what it's like to have aspergers syndrome. The important thing to remember is: The world can be a very difficult place for these individuals and we need to accept them and try to understand them because they have much to contribute to our world.

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