- Family and Parenting
Asperger's Disease | Your Job As A Parent
Being a parent of a SPECIAL child with special needs is a real challenge to most parents. Asperger's disease is not an exception. Some researchers advocate viewing Asperger's "syndrome" as a difference that should be tolerated, rather than a disease that needs to be treated. Aspies (as they call themselves) are using the internet now to interact with each other in a way that had never been possible in the past due to geographical barriers, now they have wrongplanet.com as an example.
Aspies usually have an interest in a narrow subject, have repetitive behavior, and have difficulty adapting to people or social situations in general. for more information you can visit Wikipedia and it will be meaningless to repeat the same stuff here. What I care about now is the above 3 symptoms: repetition, interest in narrow subjects, and social behavior, and what is your job as a parent regarding these 3 symptoms.
Are these always bad things? Let's have a deeper look.
Reptitive Behavior and Music
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Beethoven and Mozart are at the top of the list of the greatest composers in the history of music. What is music? It is repetition of sounds in a certain pattern that together make a beautiful flow of sounds that amuses your ears.
What is it again?
A REPETITION of sounds.
Isn't repetition one of Asperger and Autism signs? It definitely is.
Does this mean that all musicians are Aspies?
Not necessarily, but Beethoven and Mozart ARE aspies according to Michael Fitzgerald (Department of Child Psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin).
is that good news or bad news?
For me it's great news. It means that if you know what your aspie kid is good at, nourish it with love, encouragement, and training, the result could be another Beethoven, Mozart, Einstein, Newton (again according to Fitzgerald), and only God knows who else.
Narrow Subject Interest?
One of the most important characteristics of Asperger Disease is being interested in a tiny piece of a subject without even being interested in the bigger picture. Examples are being obsessive about the model numbers of cameras without being interested in photography, or the threads woven into a piece of fabric without being interested in the suite.
Does this resemble a scientist interested only in understanding how in the world does a piece of non coding RNA regulates a gene or a set of genes on a certain chromosome in the fruit fly without having any sequence homology whatsoever, at the same time without being interested in insects? It certainly does.
According to Michael Fitzgerald, again, Albert Einstein and Isac Newton had Asperger Disease. Obviously it didn't stop them from being brilliant scientists.
Social or Non Social
Does It Matter?
I don't understand other people's feelings. Whether they are really happy or faking it, like me or just wearing an elastic smiley face, serious or being sarcastic ... I can only tell if they are hurt because they can't fake it (can they?). Does this make me abnormal? Does this need a treatment?
Ok my wife believes so ... but she has also learned to be straight forward if she was in a hurry for what she wants.
"Taking the words to the bare meaning" is not a bad thing! Why should I be constantly analyzing your emotions and state of mind, reading the context, and working my mind extra time to understand what you did mean with a certain word? Why don't YOU be straight forward and tell me in plain English what you want to say?
If being straight forward is considered a social problem or a disease that needs treatment then I am pleading guilty.
Come on people, the normal thing is to use the words for what they are meant for. And if they are being used in a sarcastic way it is your duty to get it through to my mind. And If I don't get it, it's your problem and doesn't make me abnormal.
Am I an Aspergie? I am not sure I have an answer for that. But if I were (or am) it obviously didn't prevent me from having the highest degree in biology or building a small family of myself, my wife, and my kids. It didn't stop me from writing this article and tons of other articles in plain English that any one can understand.
Einstein and Newton had social problems too. They were both "loners" and were easily irritated by people. Some say it's narcissism and intolerance to others intellectual abilities, while Fitzgerald believes this is a typical Asperger behaviour.