Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Understanding Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome may be closer to home than you think.

“October is Disability Awareness month. Each year we focus on a different theme, and this year we want to focus on Asperger’s Syndrome. It coincides with the increase in numbers of the diagnosis of Autism,” said Jason McAlexander, Accommodations Coordinator for Disability Services at Vol State.

“There are a lot of different characteristics within the Autism spectrum. There are more students with Asperger’s Syndrome who are going to college. Asperger’s Syndrome is a high functioning form of Autism, and the purpose of the presentation is to inform so that people don’t pre-judge,” said McAlexander.

“Asperger’s is a disability that comes with social awkwardness. Social awkwardness affects communication and the interaction with others. Disability Rights is a civil rights struggle, and we are trying to decrease those barriers that people have between us and them,” McAlexander said.

When speaking of those with Asperger’s Syndrome, McAlexander said, “They are discovering that they can be successful in the work force.” He talks about the Absent-Minded Professor, and the thought process that what used to be thought of as quirks is now sometimes diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome.

On October 29 and 30 everyone may attend the presentation in the Rochelle Center in the library from 1 to 2 p.m.

Volunteer State Community College

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