Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Clinic Notes: Where does Geek end and Asperger’s Begin?

Since I have published studies on the etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders, have a clinical practice of mostly children with Autism, develop apps for children with Autism, I am know as an, “Autism Expert.” (I am reminded of a song lyric from an old Eagles song- “The more I know, the less I understand.”) And one thing, among many others, that I don’t understand is where does Geek end and Asperger’s begin? Asperger’s has been linked with scientific genius and many speculate that Einstein, Bill Gates, and most of Silicon Valley have Asperger’s. There are many children that I see who are diagnosed with Asperger’s and do well in a specific area, but are socially inept and often lack “common sense.” We have all had professors who pontificated on their subject in the classroom as well as social gatherings oblivious that they were boring their “audience.” Well the short answer is I don’t know. But I am dismayed that the new version of DSM will do away with Asperger’s as a diagnostic category and just label these special, often wonderful people, as high functioning Autism.

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