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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Neptune Man Sentenced for His Role in 2008 Murder
Friday, 25 July 2014
FREEHOLD, NJ - A Neptune man convicted in February for his role in the 2008 murder of an Eatontown man was sentenced Friday to 40 years in a New... Read More...
IMAGE August 2014 – New Events for Adults and Teens at Middletown Library
Friday, 25 July 2014
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - August 2014 – New Events for Adults and Teens: Teen Photography Club (Monday, 8/4; 7 pm)Learn new photography techniques and share... Read More...
Pallone Calls on Governor Christie to Disclose More Detailed Reports on Sandy Recovery Effort
Friday, 25 July 2014
Highlights Need for More Transparency Surrounding Hired Contractors, Rebuilding Grants  WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.... Read More...
IMAGE Red Bank Police Report - July 25, 2014
Friday, 25 July 2014
Red Bank, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Red Bank Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent until proven... Read More...
Help Monmouth County Build its Master Plan
Friday, 25 July 2014
Residents invited to working group meetings next week FREEHOLD, NJ –The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents to be a part... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Is It The Shadow?
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 25 July 2014
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of man? (Hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!) The Shadow...” Starting in the 1930s, and extending well into... Read More...
IMAGE Spectator’s Observations
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
During the World Cup, I watched as many games as possible. I watched them here at home, I watched a couple of games in Turkey where they were... Read More...
IMAGE What Does the Fox Say?
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 24 July 2014
As a long-time Middletown resident and a nature lover, I have seen my share of backyard critters. We have mice, voles, squirrels, raccoons, skunks,... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - July 24, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
I created a page called "Fact Jack".  If you want, like it on Facebook http://bit.ly/FactJackFb or follow on... Read More...
IMAGE Christie Should Help Fellow Republicans
by Jack Archibald
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Governor Chris Christie  revealed quite a bit about his political ambition and philosophy this past week.  In case you haven’t been... 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).