When many parents hear for the first time that their child or young adult may be showing some features of Asperger’s Syndrome, they have visions of Autistic children that have significant language delays or might be seen in a self-contained classroom. One of my parents, when I told her that her child might have some of the characteristics of Asperger’s, told me, “You have ruined my life.” This perception couldn’t be further from the truth! It is more likely that a child with Asperger’s is precocious in many ways and is verbally highly intelligent! They tend to talk early and often! Another characteristic of children who have these features is that they have a strong interest that is very compelling to them. One of my students loved to collect and repair lawn mowers. Another loved to talk about dinosaurs and could tell you as much as any paleontologist.
The video below, Just Add Water, is about a young man named Clay Marzo, whose interest is surfing. He describes how he feels when he is surfing and the joy that surfing brings to him. He also talks some about his struggles. We think this video may help parents get a better understanding of the diagnosis. These kids think differently, struggle often, and are often great human beings!