Dec 3, 2013 Post By: Guest Blogger

Asperger's Syndrome and a Tap on the Shoulder
A young man diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome shares how he views Asperger's and what he wishes people knew about it.

In 2012, approximately 670,217 children under the age of 18 lived in Dallas County.  More than 15%  of these children, have developmental disabilities. (Source:  Beyond ABC 2013)

These numbers mean the chance that you have or know a child with a developmental disability is relatively high. A young man diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (an autism spectrum or pervasive development disorder) has agreed to share with us how he views Asperger's and what he wishes people knew about it.

Hi. My name is Joseph, and I am 10 years old. I have had Asperger's all my life. I was diagnosed in second grade. They did all these little tests on me. They were seeing how my brain worked, and what I liked.

I am one of the few kids that has Asperger's, well, I take that back. There are thousands of kids with Asperger's, but nobody knows why we kids get Asperger's. Normally, kids that have Asperger's have a better way of thinking than normal kids, and their IQ is normally pretty high. They also have a different way of thinking.

Asperger's kids' way of thinking is hard-wired in their brain. For me, it is usually about imagination. I daydream a lot, draw a lot and think about things that are my special interest. One of my special interests is Kingdom Hearts. In case you don't know it, it is a video game.

When you are an Asperger's kid, you normally have to go to Speech where a speech therapist helps you with stuff. It is not about actually speaking, but it helps you use whole-body listening and stay in the group. One of the good things you will know about is checklists, an order of things you have to do. Each one you do, you check off. This is one of the ways you defeat the Unthinkables. [editor's note: Many Speech programs today work off of the Asperger’s treatment program by Michelle Garcia Winner on Social Thinking.  When Joseph mentions the Unthinkables, he's referring to characters that represent behaviors and skills in Ms. Winner’s books.]

P.S., normally kids with Asperger's have a very hard time listening, so treat them normally, and sometimes you might have to give them a tap on the shoulder. You may have to train them to give a verbal response. That's all! :) Sincerely, Joseph, an Asperger's kid.