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AHH 24-Hr. News

Snyder Drive Garage Fire is Extinquished in Middletown
Saturday, 30 August 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - At 5:10 AM on Saturday August 30th, 2014, the Middletown Township Fire Department was dispatched to a “possible structure fire in... Read More...
IMAGE Freeholders Promote 2014 Hunger Action Month
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Urge residents to help and “wear orange” Sept. 4 FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is promoting Hunger Action... Read More...
IMAGE Four Gallery Exhibitions Opening in September at Monmouth University
Saturday, 30 August 2014
IMAGE: Mavis Smith, Lowlands, 2013, egg tempera on panel, 37" x 24" WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts is... Read More...
Labor Day 2014 Gas Prices Fall
Friday, 29 August 2014
Gasoline Prices Continue to Fall as New Jerseyans Take to the Roads for Labor Day The Week Gas prices continue to head downward as nearly 30 million... Read More...
Taste of Atlantic Highlands Scheduled for Sept 14
Friday, 29 August 2014
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce invites one and all to their Third Annual Taste of Atlantic Highlands, to be held... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Slapping Myself Silly!
by Anne Mikolay
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Summer is winding down. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. It hasn't been a very good season for me. I didn't visit half the places I intended to,... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 30, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Want to watch your friends eye roll with useless facts you know?  "Like" Fact Jack on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FactJackFb I want a bathroom made... Read More...
IMAGE People with Autism Especially Vulnerable
by Daniel J. Vance
Friday, 29 August 2014
Perhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking,... Read More...
IMAGE Aging Rockers
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 29 August 2014
A curious phenomenon of our time is the aging rocker. This is not an old piece of furniture but a person frozen in a musical time-warp. Often it is a... Read More...
IMAGE Review - When the Game Stands Tall
by David Prown
Friday, 29 August 2014
I've shared before that my favorite non-fiction sports "Rudy, Hoosiers, and Brian's Song" grabbed me for 2 primary reasons.  First, the... 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).