By Lawrence Osborne
Asperger's hasn't ever been sincerely outlined, bordering autism on one part and excessive intelligence and verbal eccentricity at the different. The affliction is a type of cultural lightning rod. First, it is a onto which we venture the very actual and well-founded fears of social isolation inherent in psychological disease. but additionally connected to it's a form of admiration and envy and (among those that be afflicted by Asperger's) one of those elitism, a feeling of being one of many pick, in an international in general peopled through neurotypicals.
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Additional resources for American Normal: The Hidden World of Asperger Syndrome
It would certainly explain a lot. The droning soliloquies, the lack of social skills, the obsessive compulsions, the roller coaster moods in the days before Paxil. At the very least one could claim General Anxiety Disorder. One could, I mused, do a whole analysis of Shakespeare diagnosing his characters anew. King Lear? A clear-cut case. Puck? Possibly. Richard III? Definitely. Macbeth? ADD, at least. But whatever Hamlet had, Gould seemed increasingly to me to be a solid case of AS. It seemed distinctly uncontroversial in the light of his manifestly abnormal behavior.
Glenn Gould, I thought sullenly: didn’t he have Asperger Syndrome? I went in, grateful for the air-conditioning. There was almost no one there; one other viewer seemed to express disgruntled surprise at the sight not of a voluptuous Hollywood diva named Glenn being exposed to cruel indecencies but of a lanky young man trudging across fields of Canadian snow muttering to himself about Bach. I settled in. There was infant Gould sitting on a jetty on Lake Simcoe near Toronto, muttering multiplication tables to himself.
A kind of low gasp of contempt swept across the audience as the word “Bettelheim” was spoken, and I was glad he was not present—or 41 42 l aw r e n c e o s b or n e : AMERICAN NORMAL even alive. I also began to feel a little uncomfortable. Might some iconoclastic colleague have written a blunt investigative exposé called Prozac Mothers? I very much hoped not. Moreover, Elizabeth’s language had taken a serious turn. She was now explaining the Eight Elements of Effectiveness and the Early Intervention Program.