Asperger Syndrome: A Gift Or a Curse?

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Nova Publishers, 2005 - Medical - 333 pages
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Alfred Kinsey, world famous American sexologist whose life is portrayed in the 2005 movie Kinsey had it. Stanley Kubrick, one of the most important and influential filmmakers of the last century and director of cinematic masterpieces such as Clockwork Orange, Lolita, and 2001 - Space Odyssey, fits the diagnosis. Undoubtedly, Patricia Highsmith, renowned writer of crime fiction, particularly the Ripley novels suffered from it. Likewise, Charles Darwin, one of the most influential and revolutionary scientist of all times as well as Bertrand Russell, foremost philosopher and mathematician of the 20th century meet diagnostic criteria for Asperger syndrome. Other less well known personalities such as the Swiss writer Robert Walser, Joy Adamson famous for her work with animals in Africa, the controversial British politician Enoch Powell, the gifted mathematician Kurt Godel and the American child prodigy William James Sidis are also linked to the condition. Asperger syndrome is a neuropsychiatric condition, a lifelong and pervasive developmental disorder, which sometimes is associated with high intelligence and creativity. very little emphasis on special strengths or talents. Some individuals with Asperger Syndrome are extremely successful in their area of expertise and lead fulfilling lives despite or because of their condition while others are considered failures and life for them is an endless struggle on the margins of society. For some, Asperger syndrome appears to be a gift, for others a curse. In order to address this issue, the authors analyse the life histories of ten historical and contemporary figures from the world of literature, film, politics, science, philosophy and mathematics who had Asperger syndrome, against the backdrop of neuropsychological theories of autism/Asperger syndrome, latest neurobiological research data and current interpretation of special gifts and assets. They also advance a new hypothesis of Asperger syndrome as a disorder of the social self based on right hemisphere dysfunction, and demonstrate that the impact of the disorder on the development of the Self of each individual manifests itself in very distinct ways.
 

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Contents

Autism and Asperger Syndrome
1
Gift or Curse
39
Frontostriatal Hypothesis I Executive Functions II Theory of Mind
61
Medial Temporal Lobe Hypothesis
89
Cerebellar Hypothesis
107
AutismAsperger Syndrome A Disorder of the Social Self
127
William James Sidis 18981944
163
Kurt Godel 19061978
175
Alfred Kinsey 18941956
213
Patricia Highsmith 19211995
227
Joy Adamson 1910 1980
255
Charles Darwin 18091882
273
Bertrand Russell 18721970
283
Robert Walser 1878 1956
295
Conclusion
309
Index
317

Stanley Kubrick 19281999
185
Enoch Powell 19121998
199

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Page 6 - A. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3): (1) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: (a) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction (b) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level (c) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share...
Page 7 - ... encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus...
Page 7 - ... stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (eg, hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements) (4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (eg, single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).
Page 6 - ... interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following: a. encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus b. apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals c.
Page 6 - ... marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others (c) stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language (cl) lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level (3) restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following...
Page 6 - ... a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people (eg: by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people) 4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity B.
Page 6 - ... specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals (c) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (eg, hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements) (d) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years: (1) social interaction, (2) language as used in social communication, or (3) symbolic or imaginative play C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett's disorder...

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