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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Middletown Issues Rabies Alert #10
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Health Department has received laboratory confirmation of another raccoon testing positive for rabies,... Read More...
IMAGE Maggie O'Brien, Director of MAC, Wins Governor's Award in Arts Education
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
PHOTO: Maggie O'Brien, Executive Director of Middletown Arts Center. Middletown, N.J.  –  On May 1, 2014, the Middletown... Read More...
IMAGE Police Arrest Two for Drug Offenses After Search Warrant Execution
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - On July 7, 2014 the Middletown Police Detective Bureau and Quality of Life Unit executed a search warrant at a McClean Street... Read More...
IMAGE Twin Lights Museum Reopens for Summer 2014
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Never-Before-Seen Artifacts Among New Displays Highlands, NJ — Visitors to the Twin Lights this past Independence Day were pleasantly surprised to... Read More...
New Jersey’s Request to Temporarily Halt Rutgers-Led Seismic Survey is Denied
Tuesday, 08 July 2014
SANDY HOOK, NJ - Today, the U.S. District Court in Trenton denied the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s application to... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE When Did I Become Danny Dorn
by Daniel Murphy
Monday, 07 July 2014
For those of you who have grown up in Red Bank and are over 20 you will remember Dorn’s Photo Shop.  Born in 1910 Danny Dorn Sr. became a... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Chef
by David Prown
Saturday, 05 July 2014
The movie "Chef" has been out for several weeks. All I knew was that it starred "Jon Favreau" who I clearly remember from the awesome guys comedy... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - July 4, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Friday, 04 July 2014
The NSA creates a haystack to find a bunch of needles by spying on millions of Americans to find 248: http://bit.ly/1mcZiNc Just a bunch of... Read More...
IMAGE Helpers of Dubious Origin
by Woody Zimmerman
Wednesday, 02 July 2014
The transmogrification of the Democratic Party, during the last 50 years, from racist oppressors into the great “helpers” of minorities –... Read More...
IMAGE History Lesson
by Anne Mikolay
Wednesday, 02 July 2014
July 4th is the perfect time to review our American history. You may think you know everything about our nation's birth, but you may be mistaken. For... Read More...

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danvance_120Dr. Diane Twachtman-Cullen, editor-in-chief of Autism Spectrum Quarterly, began working with children with autism 25 years ago, "back when autism was a rare disorder," said Twachtman-Cullen in a telephone interview. "It involved about two (children) in 10,000 then." Now autism affects one in 110.

A National Institutes of Health website defines Asperger's syndrome (AS) as a mild form of autism and notes people with AS have three core symptoms: obsessive or repetitive routines, poor communication skills, and physical clumsiness. People with AS often are called "geeks" or "nerds."

Twachtman-Cullen described two boys, in particular, with Asperger's syndrome: one she worked with beginning in fourth grade; the other, from first grade on.

She said, "They both had problems socially and didn't have friends. That didn't matter to them at first, but as they approached adolescence, it did. For example, with the boy I began working with in first grade, at first he could care less if he had friends. When he got into seventh grade, however, it did matter. There are exceptions, but this has been my experience with children with Asperger's. At some point, most want friendships but don't know how to go about making them. That's one distinguishing characteristic between them and children with straight autism."

She said people with AS also have many positive traits, including good language ability and intelligence. Often their intense interests form the basis for a satisfying hobby or vocation.

One tool professionals use to diagnose AS is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Its next edition (probably released in 2013) will probably eliminate the AS diagnosis and simply lump it in with autism. Many people, including this columnist, object to this proposed revision, in part because it could stigmatize a group of people already having social adjustment difficulties. In addition, Twachtman-Cullen believed the revision could result in fewer public school services for children with AS. She supported revising rather than tossing out the diagnosis.

People with AS often call themselves "Aspies." Twachtman-Cullen quoted the senior editor of Autism Spectrum Quarterly, Liane Holliday Willey, who has AS: "Asperger's syndrome is more than a clinical label to many of us; it is the glue that 'created' a community of individuals who have finally found their true essence and place in the world."

Said Twachtman-Cullen, "A lot of people with Asperger's feel as she does."

Contact: danieljvance.com [Palmer Bus Service and Blue Valley Sod make this column possible.]

Daniel J. Vance is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).