Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services














Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is a neuro-biological developmental disorder, and is on the Autism spectrum.

People with AS typically look 'normal' and sound 'normal', but lack the ability to fully perceive subtle nonverbal social signals. For example, a person with AS might be perceived by those who do not understand it as being blunt, pedantic, insensitive, arrogant, or even rude. None of these judgements are true; most likely, the person with AS is just too interested in their special interest to take notice of the world around them. Often, this communication disability causes those unfamiliar with AS to take these behaviours personally, in some cases becoming angry or retaliatory. This intolerance of difference and disability can lead to social exclusion, resulting in depression, feelings of despair, and in some cases, suicide.

Recent research demonstrates that the 'typical' presentation of AS is often associated with boys, whereas the more 'typical' presentation of AS in girls is the 'top student in the class', e.g., high verbal ability and rarely acting out in anger. Girls with AS instinctively learn to mask it and compensate for it to get along in the social world, and may grow up not even knowing that they have AS. However, an ongoing pattern of inter-personal conflict in relationships and employment may lead them to feel that something is wrong with them, and not really knowing what that is. Women and men with AS often describe feeling like they are on the 'wrong planet'.

However, AS is hardly all negative. Many high achievers in the sciences and the arts are believed to have had AS, including Mozart, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.

Many outstanding books and websites exist to help people with AS, and those who know or love them, better understand this unusual and fascinating disorder.

Here at AMSAS, we embrace Asperger's Syndrome and those who have it. Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin was diagnosed in 2010 as a person with Asperger's, and is available for seminars about her Asperger's journey, as well as mentoring of girls with Asperger's who are highly interested in animals.






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Copyright © 2011 Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services. All rights reserved. Page modified 8 August, 2011 10:41