Find out below why I think the UK newspaper, The Guardian, is THE newspaper of
the year 2000 in terms of assisting in speading awareness of Asperger's Syndrome. But, whatever
you do read their article
The high-flying obsessives.
Posted to AUTINET FORUM 21-Dec-00
But for the comments of a newly subscribed member of AUTINET FORUM (whose story sounds most interesting and my hope is that he will introduce himself), I might not have noticed an excellent article in the UK's Guardian newspaper
The article starts intruigingly well with
and its fascination increases as it lists Wittgenstein, Einstein and even Bill Gates as possibly having Asperger's Syndrome or having autistic-type traits. It goes on to describe the change in our thinking over the last twenty years about the Autism Spectrum, the extraordinary increase in diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (and it makes the remarkable statement that "Some researchers say one schoolchild in every 70 is now diagnosed with a form of autism", qualified by "including children with average or higher intelligence and no difficulty learning to speak. These are the ones categorised as having Asperger".
The implications are that "an awful lot of us are walking around with AS and no idea that we have it" (as this new subscriber from the UK appears to have discovered).
The article is about Asperger's "high-flying obsessives" and gives some excellent examples of successes who attend or have attended Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen's "Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service" clinic like Richard Borcherds, professor of maths at Berkeley in California, who says "I've spent most of my life in universities, where eccentricity is fairly common, which probably made me stand out less. Most maths departments I've been in have at least one person who is clearly weirder than I am". Or like Clare Sainsbury, daughter of Lord Sainsbury, the Labour peer and (UK) science minister, who was 20 and an Oxford philosophy student when she read about Asperger and recognised herself. Clare said "Being diagnosed was a huge relief. Finally to have a name for it, to be able to say, 'this is how Clare is and it's not that she's not trying hard enough or being deliberately difficult'".
The article even manages to quote Temple Grandin's remarkable statement "What would happen if you eliminated the autism gene from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socialising and not getting anything done" (well who knows?).
The article, together with another Guardian article comes up a pair of causative theories dear to my own heart .
It is a long article, but one not to be missed and probably this year's best article in terms of its service to Asperger's awareness. Certainly it has a clarity, coherence and readability that many others do not and a link to it will definitely go onto AUTINET's Web Page as soon as I can get to change it.
A letter two days later in the Guardian read:
and other Guardian articles mentioning Asperger's Syndrome can be found at
In fact 14 articles in all match "asperger" on
My view? The Guardian is my nomination for the "Asperger's Syndrome newspaper of the year"!
All the best,
AUTINET FORUM List Owner
Note 1: Causative Theories (to my mind both involving "pattern recognition deficits")
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