Saturday, February 14, 2009

Clinic Notes: Where Were All the Asperger's Children When I was Growing Up?

Children with Asperger's Syndrome tend to have social problems and eccentric behavior. Their verbal behavior, especially conversation, is often described as unusual. Speech is often abnormal with problems in inflection and their speech also tends to be repetitive. Children and adults with Asperger's tend to perseverate on certain topics in their conversation and not understand that they may be boring others. Although the diagnosis has been around since 1944, only recently are children being regularly diagnosed with Asperger's. This got me to thinking about kids I grew up with, teachers I had in school, and "characters" I have run into or heard people talk about that were described as weird, geeks, strange, not all there, delinquents, etc. Did any of them have Asperger's? And if they did what happened to them?
I do remember many of these kids were bullied and picked on and everyone made fun of them. They were also always in trouble. Interestingly, I don't remember any of them being in special ed or receiving special services such as speech, OT, or ABA. Recently, I was able to track down some of these kids I had known in elementary school on my high school website. Of course this is not a precise statistical scientific study, but they all seemed to be doing ok. They had families and good jobs. I wish I had been nicer to them back then. But now that I've tracked them down I don't worry as much now about how the kids with Asperger' who come to my clinic are going to turn out. I'm thinking they will do just fine.