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What is this Website for?
This website is a research source for anyone (and hopefully everyone) to learn about
Autism Spectrum Disorders, and most specifically Asperger's Syndrome.
I am not a doctor, and I'm not affiliated with an organization. I am not a teacher,
nor am I a parent. So why is this topic important to me, and why should you surf this
site? Because even though I've never been to medical school, I'm an expert by osmosis.
I am an Asperger sandwich. I am in the middle of an older sister and a younger brother,
both with Asperger's Syndrome. They are both fun and wonderful people with gigantic
hearts. They both agree that the other one is weird,
not stupid in the most wonderful way.
Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is named after Dr. Hans Asperger who published a research paper about the pattern of behaviours in 1944. AS is on the high functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. AS is disscussed most often in relation to children, but that does not mean that a person with AS will 'grow out of it'. A child with AS will be an adult with AS, but perhaps be better at compensating.
There are many resourses for information on the internet. After reseaching AS or other Autism spectrum disorders on the internet, if you think you or someone you know may have an Autism Spectrum disorder you need to tell your doctor and explain in detail why you think it is a possibility so that you can get an accurate diagnosis. There is no cure, but knowing exactly what is effecting your child will help the school system provide the modifications needed to help your child succeed. In the case of an adult a diagnosis is important so that human resources will work in co-operation with your boss to make acceptable modifications that will improve productivity.
One website you could go to is NLD on the Web
Don't be frightened off by the term 'Autism Spectrum Disorder'. Many people who have
Non-verbal Learning Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome or Pervasive Development Disorder
lead very normal lives, so much so that many are not diagnosed until late adolescence
So what's the big deal you might ask...if their 'syndrome' is hardly noticeable, why
is it important to learn about it, get a diagnosis and make alterations in schools
Here is the answer: Because it will make their lives and yours, better.
In the same way that a person on crutches can climb
a flight of stairs, it is of course ridiculously difficult. Everyone is happy to make
small adjustments in the school or workplace of someone who has different needs physically
(wheelchair ramps, elevators etc.) without thinking any less of that person. So it
should be the same as with people with different neurological needs.
Once a person is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and the family and support
group around that person learn more about it, many things in all of their lives will
The person with the disorder will finally feel the relief that he or she is not stupid
(because they can't socialize successfully, can't read as well as others or do terribly
on tests) but because his or her brain learns, interprets and stores information in
a different way.
The parents will be relieved to know that once they understand more about what is
affecting their child, they can start to implement techniques that will help make
the child's day less of something they dread and change it into a more manageable
Siblings will learn ways of helping their brother or sister cope with the outside
world as well as help them to 'fit in'.
Teachers will finally understand why their teaching methods have been unsuccessful
with these individuals and start using techniques that help them learn the way their
brain is designed to learn, not just the same way everyone else in the class learns.
It is important to remember that most people with Autism Spectrum Disorders are not disabled.
Their thought process mechanism is just different. No better, no worse.
There are however many degrees of severity, along with the fact that no two people
are alike. In fact, the range of behaviors within Autism alone are too numerous and
varying to describe in one sitting, and would hardly even seem to be the same syndrome
in two different people. The focus of this website is on Asperger's Syndrome and Non-verbal
Learning Disorder because that is what I know most about.