May 27, 2010

Kid with Aspergers interviews his mom


Okay this is beautiful. It's from StoryCorps, an organization whose mission is: to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

This is an animation set to a real interview: a 12  year old boy with Aspergers interviews his mother...


Q&A from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

I don't know anyone with Aspergers. When I first heard the word "Aspergers" five years ago, I knew very little about the syndrome. I actually wondered if my friend's husband had it, because he's wicked smart and painfully shy. He's also an incredible writer. But Aspergers comes with a web of social quirks, and my friend's hubby is not that. By the way, Bill Gates has Aspergers.

(Added later ) Per a comment below I should qualify the reference to Gates: there are thousands of links on the web that suggest Gates probably has Aspergers.  Dr. Temple Grandin, who is autistic, wrote as much here, on AutismToday.com. Only Gates or his doctor could verify that, and I'm sure he has other things on his plate.  It does point out how little we know about Autism/Aspergers. Staci, who also commented below, says her father has Aspergers, and he just has some social quirks. 

Please read Grandin's article, she points out how a child who is diagnosed with autism often gets removed from special programs, when actually, autistic children can have extremely high IQs.  And an autistic child who gets enrolled in, say, a class on computer science, can really thrive. 

10 comments:

Heidi Britz said...

Thank you for this post Susan (I am going to post the link on fb today). I work with many children with Asperger's sydrome and they amaze and delight me most days. From my K student whose favorite colors aren't blue and red, but aquamarine and puce, to my HS student who accused me of being pedantic when discussing the difference between omniscent and omnipotent,they keep me on my toes! The little boy in the clip seems to have amazing insight into himself and asks the questions many would be afraid to ask. It was beautiful (well done to mom too)!

Staci said...

I love Storycorps. My dad has Asperger's and he's still social, albeit with some social quirks. People can be all over the spectrum.

Kirstin said...

Shouldn't you say that Bill Gates appears to have Asperger's or he is rumored to have it? What is your source for flatly stating that he has it?

Thanks ...

Kristin Russell said...

ahhh-so sweet! I love it. My cousin has Aspergers. HBO just did a great movie with Claire Danes called "Temple Grandin". Temple is a real person, who achieved incredible things while being autistic.

Susan Isaacs said...

Kirstin: There are 17,000 entries on Google associating Bill Gates with Apsergers (msnbc, usatoday, wired mag) and Dr. Temple Grandin, an autistic, identified Gates as such in an article on autismtoday.com http://bit.ly/9k2cBK When you write that I 'flatly stated' it, it sounds like you are uncomfortable with me writing it. I don't mean to make you uncomfortable. And while no one can state Gates has it except his doctor, my guess is his name gets used to normalize and demystify the classification. As Staci wrote in the comment before yours: her dad has it and he just has some quirks.

Susan Isaacs said...

PS: Temple Grandin's article is fantastic. She's concerned that kids who are identified with autism or aspergers are being denied special programs, because schools and/or the general public assumes these ID translate to low IQs, when in fact the opposite is probably the case. One child she mentions has an IQ of 150. She cites Bill Gates as being "most likely" having aspergers and Albert Einstein as having austic traits. Perhaps I should have used her language in my post. But again she points these geniuses out to demystify the identifications.

Ted and Lori said...

One of my friend's stepson has it, and I so love that kid. Have you seen Parenthood (the new tv show)? One of the kids on the show portrays it *so* well.

Jayne said...

That is lovely. I am mom to a 17 year old with autism and it truly brings me such joy to see ASD issues being mainstreamed so much now. In 1995 when we got our diagnosis, I was given a pat on the back and handed a box of Kleenex. Thank God there is so much more awareness out there now.

Jennifer Goertzen said...

So totally fantastic! I seem to be surrounded by children on the spectrum and this little video shows, in such a lovely way, that it isn't always a 'tragedy'.

maan said...

Awww. that's so sweet. it's lovely. For parents who does not 100% accept their child's condition, i hope they are able to watch it.

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