Guest written by ...
Gemma Johns, Assistant Psychologist & PWP
Earlier this summer, TV personality and naturalist Chris Packham publically expressed how a developmental condition known as Asperger Syndrome helped drive him to success. He explained how he now sees it as a difference rather than a disability. This has been great for increasing awareness and challenging misconceptions but there is still some way to go.
Asperger Syndrome is a lifelong condition which falls on the autism spectrum. The condition can affect how a person views the world, processes information and relates to others. People with Asperger’s are often honest and direct in their language and communication style, finding more subtle non-verbal communication - such as eye contact, body language and facial expression - difficult to read. They may find it challenging to understand the thoughts, feelings and intentions of others who do not always communicate in a similarly straightforward manner. People with Asperger’s may struggle to understand the unwritten social rules which many of us often take for granted.
People with Asperger’s may have intense special interests, which can appear unusual to others. They may also have a strong preference for routine, order and rules. These traits are often linked to highly admirable qualities. Often hardworking, honest, reliable and with a strong moral code and sense of justice, they are frequently exceptionally knowledgeable in their areas of interest, and may possess excellent attention to detail and ability to focus for extended periods. They may also be extremely thorough and systematic in their approach to tasks. All of these attributes can be fantastic assets, if harnessed effectively. Friends, family and colleagues can help by increasing their awareness and celebrating such differences. More wide-spread changes in attitude towards Asperger’s can enable people with the condition to utilise their many strengths and meet their full potential.
The Outlook South West Asperger team can offer assessments to adults (16+) who would like to explore the possibility of a diagnosis. For more information call (01208) 871908 or [CLICK HERE]