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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE 11th Annual Pier House 5K to Complete the Jersey Shore Grand Prix on Labor Day
Friday, 22 August 2014
PHOTO: Start of 2013 Pier House race.  LONG BRANCH, NJ - The revitalized Long Branch beachfront will be the site of the 11th Annual Pier House... Read More...
IMAGE Middletown Pays Silent Tribute to September 11 Victims
Friday, 22 August 2014
PHOTO: Middletown World Trade Center Memorial Gardens.  (photo by Lee Beaumont) MIDDLETOWN – A silent tribute will be paid to... Read More...
Middletown Schedules Separate Rabies Clinics for Cats and Dogs
Friday, 22 August 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Health Department has set dates for the free rabies clinics for cats and dogs. Free Rabies Clinic for Cats... Read More...
Monmouth University Blue Hawk Record Students Perform and Tour in Italy
Friday, 22 August 2014
West Long Branch, N.J. - Monmouth University music industry students from its student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, performed and toured... Read More...
IMAGE Organizations Unite to Rebuild Long Branch Home
Friday, 22 August 2014
Pictured from left to right:  American Red Cross President for Humanitarian Services Cliff Holtz, American Red Cross Divisional Vice President... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Racial Unrest, Then and Now
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 22 August 2014
In the fall of 1957, while walking my newspaper-route, I read about the drama playing out at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Following... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 22, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Friday, 22 August 2014
Teen kicked out of NJ movie theater for bringing in candy.Oh, he's a Type 1 diabetic AND the owner is a pediatrician: http://6abc.cm/1t8WyBS After 6... Read More...
IMAGE Atlantic Highlands Waterfront - a Place for All to Enjoy
by Jack Archibald
Friday, 22 August 2014
Even though summer is winding down, good things continue to happen in the Atlantic Highlands harbor that will benefit our community for years to... Read More...
IMAGE No Words to Describe Loss of Amanda
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 21 August 2014
It's not always easy to come up with a weekly topic for this column. Usually, I mentally bat around a few ideas based upon current events or personal... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 16, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Saturday, 16 August 2014
Man calls 911 because a drug dealer is at the corner.  Wait, no, that's a street sign: http://bit.ly/1kBfhVf Why did the chicken cross the road?... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Sat Aug 23 @12:30PM - 03:30PM
Jersey Shore Rose Society Meets
Thu Aug 28 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Tue Sep 02 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Workshop
Thu Sep 04 @ 4:00PM -
Special Preschool Storytime - AH Library
Mon Sep 08 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
PFLAG Meets

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).