Hello and welcome to my presentation which is looking specifically at Aspergers Syndrome or ‘AS’ as it is known (Jackson 2002). Firstly I will tell you what AS is and how it affects people I will then move onto my case study a young boy with Aspergers Syndrome and explain how he copes with the disorder and how his micro-system in terms of his family and peers are affected, most importantly my main aim is to better educate you on how people with AS are an at risk group within society.
Aspergers Syndrome was first discovered by Han’s Asperger a Viennese paediatrician,whilst working with children in 1930’s He made an identification of certain abilities often found in boys. This quote was made by him. “not everything that steps out of line, and thus ‘Abnormal’, must necessarily be ‘inferior’”(Hans Asperger 1938 Cited Attwood 2007:13)In my opinion this quote means that even though people with AS appear different they are not necessarily inferior to us but they are in fact just a little different.
One of the first people to use the term Aspergers Syndrome was Lorna Wing in 1983, she describes the clinical features as:Having Low levels of Empathy, that is difficulty relating to others and their problems or life. ADifficulty forming friendships, it can be hard to make friends people with AS have difficulty recognising feelings and tuning into people.It can be hard to interact with others in social situations, people with AS often find it difficult when sarcasm or idioms are used, it can make it hard to have a 2 sided conversation.Using non-verbal conversation can be difficult and often people with AS have trouble making the correct facial expressions or body movements.People with AS very often have a profound fascination in certain interests, such as Computers or Trains.AS people may have Pedantic or recurring speech.Often a Poor posture and surrounding clumsy movements can be a key indicator of AS.Finally one of the more serious symptoms that may not affect all people with AS are sensory problems, for some all senses maybe heightened, certain noises, tastes, smells and the feel of some items can be hard, for example large noisy crowds or touching sand may cause stress or anxiety.
“There are over half a million people in the UK with autism - that's around 1 in 100. If you include their families, autism touches the lives of over two million people every day.” (National Autistic Society 2010)Having AS for some can mean having a label, which is either a good or a bad thing, however it is also a signal that that person is different.Its now a very popular diagnosis and it growing popularity has promoted more understanding of the disorder and other Autistic spectrum disorders.Lots of books have been written to aid this from narratives and case studies from people with AS to fact books and guide books for parents and professionals.The most important thing about people with AS is for us to understand, yes they are different but they are who they are and encouragement to be proud of it should be our responseAS is not present in a physical status it is a behaviour based disorder, it will be very difficult to pick someone with AS from a crowd, they look every bit like you or I.
Whilst conducting my research I discovered that there are many well known people that have symptoms of AS, for some of these well know names it cannot be proven but through certain behaviours it has been considered that they did in fact have many similarities to Aspergers Syndrome.
William is the boy I've created for my case study, He is 13, and was diagnosed with AS at age 11,His favourite colour is Red and least favourite colour being Yellow for some people with AS certain colours may represent the difference between a good day and a bad day.His Special Interests are computers, playing on the play station, collecting pencils and batteries. His favourite school subjects: maths and art.
Mum- after William was diagnosed his Mum decided to stop work to be more supportive to his learning and after school care, she is there in the morning to see William off to school, she helps with the organisation of his school bag, special gluten free lunch, making sure he knows where his lessons will be that day, and that any homework was completed. Dad- Williams Dad works full time and has often left for work before William gets up in the morning, there only interaction is in the evening and at weekends, after William was diagnosed with ASWilliams Dad found it very difficult to accept that his son was different, their relationship began to break down and was more strained than it was before. It was thanks to the Autistic society that he has a better relationship now with William. The website they have offers a wide range of resources for William’s dad to read to better understand his condition and they often provide different day trips which William and his dad attend together with other families in the same situation. Sister- William’s sister is very intelligent she is just 1 year older than William and goes to the same school, her educational attainment is very different than Williams, and she gains lots of awards and therefore lots of praise from their parents. Since William has been diagnosed she has found it difficult as her parents seem to give him lots more attention, such as her mum quitting her job, and her dad going away on trips with William. Because they are so closely linked in the school she also finds it hard because William's social skills are very different to that of his peers, she is often embarrassed by her brother and finds it hard to interact with him in the school environment. Brother-Williams brother is in the Army he lives away from home and very rarely sees William, they have always been very close and William often gets letters from his brother describing all the interesting things he gets to experience whilst training. William enjoys the stories he brother tells him and has now become very keen on following in his brother’s footsteps by joining the army, much to his parents disappointment. William's brother does lots of travelling as part of his job and he sends him different Batteries from each country for William to add to his collection. William’s brother understands that he is different but accepts him as his brother and treats him as such. Friends-William finds it very hard to make friends in his peer group; he generally makes friends with younger children who are less likely to question his different personality. He will often keep himself to himself at school as many people wouldn’t understand the different ways he does things. The only people his same age that he is friends with are those he has met through the autistic society, such as others with the same disorder or a similar autistic spectrum disorder, support workers who work for the society. Learning support workers- William has support at school with lessons and navigating his timetable and school work. These support workers become some of Williams closest companions at school, they may help him with his writing or oral work one day and other days help calm him down when he gets distressed, they most important thing is they are one of few people that understand his needs and differences in the school setting. This brings me onto the Micro-system, for this i have created a diagram to best describe Williams life. (Show display) (Woolmington 2011)
Over 40% of children with autism have been bullied at school6. Over 50% of children with autism are not in the kind of school their parents believe would best support themAt least one in three adults with autism are experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support10. Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time paid employment11. 51% of adults with autism in the UK have spent time with neither a job, nor access to benefits, 10% of those having been in this position for a decade or more1261% of those out of work say they want to work13 79% of those on Incapacity Benefit say they want to
“We are the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. We provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.” Understanding behaviours and communicating and interacting.Advice and information services, education and schools and employment support.Library of resources, facts and statistics and the Autism strategy and navigating the criminal justice system.Offers conferences and videos, local services and opportunities to donate, campaign and raise money alongside volunteering. Thank you so much for listening, I hope I've informed you the best I can, there is absolutely loads of information about AS available out there almost too much to put in a 20 minute presentation, but I hope I've covered enough to make you away of this at risk group.
Aspergers syndrome presentation
It was first identified by the Viennesepaediatrician Hans Asperger in the late1930‟s.“not everything that steps out of line, and thus„Abnormal‟, must necessarily be „inferior‟”-Hans Asperger(1938)(Cited Attwood 2007:13)
Low levels of Empathy. Difficulty forming friendships. Difficulty interacting with others in socialsituations. Difficulty communicating non-verbally. Profound fascination in certain interests. Pedantic or recurring speech. Poor posture surrounding clumsy movements.(Burgoine and Wing 1983 cited Attwood 1998) Sensory Issues.(Jackson 2002 and Welton 2004)
“There are over half a million people in the UK withautism - thats around 1 in 100. If you include theirfamilies, autism touches the lives of over two millionpeople every day.” (National Autistic Society 2010) It can be a label or a signal that you are different. It is a now popular diagnosis. Many books have been written from narratives andcase studies to fact books and guide books. It is important to understand people with AS aredifferent but they are who they are. Its not a Physical disorders it is only present inbehaviours.(Welton 2004)
Albert Einstein Sir Isaac Newton Jane Austen Thomas Edison Bill Gates Dan Ackroyd Gary McKinnon (Computer Hacker) Luke Jackson (teenage Author of Freaks, Geeks and AspergersSyndrome)(www.Asperger-syndrome.me.uk)
Age: 13 Diagnosed: At age 11 Favourite colour: Red Least favourite colour: Yellow (Haddon 2003) Hobbies/Interests: computers, playing on theplay station, collecting pencils and batteries. Favourite school subject: Maths and Art
Mum Dad Sister Brother Peers Support workers Other friends that have AS(Woolmington 2011)
ChildrenSchool: Over 40% of children withautism have been bulliedat school6. Over 50% of children withautism are not in the kindof school their parentsbelieve would bestsupport them. http://www.youtube.com/user/NationalAutisticSoc#p/c/17E1B902C4467161/12/-tB4J00xkC4AdultsEmployment: Only 15% in the UK are infull-time paid employment 51% in the UK have spenttime with neither a job,nor access to benefits. 61% of those out of worksay they want to work At least one in threeadults with autism areexperiencing severemental health difficultiesdue to a lack of support.(National Autistic Society 2010)
For Parents, Professionals and those who haveAutism. About Autism and AS-providing diagnosisinformation. Information on living with Autism or AS. Services offered. How to get involved, raising money orvolunteering.(National Autistic Society 2010)
Aspergers syndrome .me.uk (2010)[available online]http://www.asperger-syndrome.me.uk/people.htm [accessed 03.03.11] Attwood, T. (1998) Aspergers Syndrome: A Guide for Parents andProfessionals. London: Jessica kingsley Publishers. Attwood, T. (2007) The complete guide to Aspergers Syndrome: London:Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Haddon, M. (2003) The Curious incident of the dog in the night time: StIves. Clays LTD. Jackson, L. (2002) Freaks, Geeks and Aspergers Syndrome, A user guideto Adolescence. London: Jessica Kingsley. The National Autistic Society (2010) [available online]www.Autism.org.uk [accessed 16.11.10] Welton, J. (2004) Can I tell you about Asperger Syndrome?: A guide forfriends and family. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Woolmington, H. (2011) Interview with Charlie Welsh. 23.02.2011. You tube (2008) Autism: National Autistic Society Anti-Bully campaignvideo [available online]http://www.youtube.com/user/NationalAutisticSoc#p/c/17E1B902C4467161/12/-tB4J00xkC4 [Accessed 07.03.11]