Fascinating Facts About Asperger’s Syndrome
Many children with Asperger's syndrome have unique talents and traits. Although this debilitating condition severely impacts their ability to have normal social interactions with others, some of the things they do can amaze and fascinate.
Below are some interesting facts about children with Asperger's syndrome.
- They have highly developed verbal memory.
Some kids with Asperger's have great verbal memories. Parents have reported their Asperger's children repeating chunks of dialogue from a movie they once saw, recalling the exact words from a conversation they had weeks or months previously, and repeating whole phrases or lines from commercials they didn't even appear to be watching.
- They have the ability to stay focused for long periods of time.
Most parents complain about their children spending two to three hours mindlessly watching television or playing video games. Parents with Asperger's kids have reported their children engaging in preferred or high interest activities for hours and even days on end. Asperger's children can become so engrossed in particular topics, activities, or subjects they can forget to eat or sleep. For most people this near obsession can be viewed as extremely odd and worrisome. However, for kids with Asperger's it is not a traumatic or unusual trait. It's simply part of who they are.
- They can learn and recall lots of facts on a single subject.
Although the subject choice may be strange or even advanced for their age, it is quite fascinating to hear a young child speak endlessly on trains, the stock market, electrical sockets, or even cymbidiums. Asperger's kids tend to be drawn to topics which have a great deal of factual information. Most people may not want to know all the intricacies of rocket boosters, vacuum cleaners, postage stamps, or balloon making, but to the aspie, mind gathering, storing, and sharing this information is enjoyable.
- They have superb visual spatial skills.
Some Asperger's children have an innate sense of how things work. They are excellent at putting together puzzles, reading maps, using computers, working mechanical devices, or building intricate designs. These interests can translate into skills that can lead to gainful employment later in life.
Many autistic children may be unable to explain to others how or why something works; however, possessing the ability to build or create is advantageous in and of itself.
- They tend to be honest.
Most people lie to save another's person's feelings, or to deceive. Asperger's children don’t worry about hurting the feelings of others or feel the need to be deceptive. They tend to be plain spoken and truthful. For most people having someone tell you exactly how he or she thinks and feels can be uncomfortable. For an Asperger's individual, lying is unnecessary and too complicated.
A Different Kind of Special
Kids with Asperger's are aware that they are different from their peers. Many understand that these differences make it very difficult for them to interact with other kids in ways that are comfortable.
The challenge for the parents of Asperger's children is to help them to find ways to use their special talents and traits so that they can interact with others while helping society accept and appreciate those among us who are different.
A Parent's Guide to Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive Ozonoff, Sally and Dawson, Geraldine The Gilford Press New York 2002.