Asperger Syndrome: A Gift Or a Curse?
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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Gift or Curse
Frontostriatal Hypothesis I Executive Functions II Theory of Mind
Medial Temporal Lobe Hypothesis
AutismAsperger Syndrome A Disorder of the Social Self
William James Sidis 18981944
Kurt Godel 19061978
Alfred Kinsey 18941956
Patricia Highsmith 19211995
Joy Adamson 1910 1980
Charles Darwin 18091882
Bertrand Russell 18721970
Robert Walser 1878 1956
Stanley Kubrick 19281999
Enoch Powell 19121998
ability abnormalities affective amygdala Asperger syndrome Asperger's syndrome associated Autism and Asperger Autism and Developmental autism/AS autistic children autistic psychopathy autobiographical memory Baron-Cohen behaviour biographer brain Cambridge central coherence cerebellar cerebellum Chapter Child Psychology childhood children with autism clinical cognitive Courchesne Darwin described diagnostic criteria early emotional empathy Enoch Powell evidence executive dysfunction executive function Frith frontal lobes genetic Gillberg high-functioning autism hypothesis Ibid individuals with Asperger individuals with autism infantile autism interests intersubjectivity joint attention Journal of Autism Journal of Child Joy Adamson Kinsey Klin Kubrick Kurt Gödel lack language limbic mathematics mental neural neurobiological Neurology neuropsychological Neuroscience normal obsession op.cit Ozonoff Patricia Highsmith pervasive developmental disorders problems processing Psychology and Psychiatry psychopathy relationships reported right hemisphere Robert Walser savant schizoid personality disorder schizophrenia sexual Sidis social interaction studies suggested theory of mind understanding University Press William James Sidis York
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 - ... 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...