Asperger's (Was: Bad taste TV, was: Bad Taste Radio...)

Ric Werme
Sun Jan 21 18:06:12 EST 2007

Kaimbridge wrote:
>Ric Werme wrote,

>Given our - to the average outsider - obsessive "interest" in
>radio towers, signal patterns, station formats and their 
>presentation/execution, dx-ing, propagation, etc., more than
>a few of us (definitely myself included! P=) would likely be
>considered Aspergian.  This part of Wikipedia's article on it
>further solidifies this "diagnosis":

Yeah, there's also some hint of "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder," mild
cases seem to be very useful in engineering, flying, etc.  However,
what you describe is certainly more Aspergian.  Model Railroaders are
another group equally obsessed.  It's probably no coincidence that
MIT has (had?) a model railroad club, though in the 1960s apparently
the telephone system and computers we brought on board.

>Again quoting Ric,

> > I do know two people in Mensa with Aspergers, one was
> > diagnosed only recently at around age 60, the other is
> > early 20s.

>We certainly are in good company, as Einstein and Bill
>Gates are considered to be Aspergian.

Oh dear, I tried to avoid one possibly related "syndrome" that's quite
controversial between the describer and the clinical autism community.
I don't know about Gates (he's a lousy engineer, great marketeer), but
Einstein started talking late, around 4 years.  The Wikipedia article

  Asperger syndrome is differentiated from other PDDs and from high
  functioning autism (HFA) in that early development is normal and
  there is no language delay.

My sister found a book by Thomas Sowell titled "Late Talking Children"
which caught her eye because I didn't have much to say until 4 and
then started talking in complete sentences.  Chris was astonished that
Sowell's description of his son and other "sufferers" sounded just
like me and bought it for me for Christmas.  Key characteristics include:

 -> Very good mechanical reasoning ability (childproof locks can be
    defeated in seconds).

 -> Make needs well known non verbally.

 -> _Not_ withdrawn as in classical autism.

 -> Good to remarkable musical skills.

 -> Grow up to be software engineers.

Sowell has been raked over the coals by autism clinicians in part because
ecomomists aren't supposed to be defining new syndromes, and they fear that
people reading his book won't get their late talkers evaluated for autism.
Of course, Sowell is equally unimpressed by clinicians who refuse to give
any acknowledgement that he might have found something interesting and
will probably diagnose a late talking child as needing immediate
intervention for autism.

While I am a geek, while I didn't get married until I was 38, while no
one has ever called me gregarious, if someone suggests I'm autistic
I'll buy a copy of Sowell's books to shove down their throats.  :-)
Or give them a gallon of water to drink....

Sowell has a newer book out, "The Einstein Syndrome," which I haven't read yet, but should.

His original "Late Talking Children" is at
Late Talking Children

So, umm, I'm kinda far away from the "Bad Taste Radio" topic, but what the
heck.  I guess I saw what educators call a "learning opportunity."  Oh - one
other note - I ran into someone on a USENET group who was diagnosed as a
classic autistic as a child.  Apparently a lot of high functioning autistics
make their way onto computer networks and do quite well.  No surprising
noises, flashing lights, touching, distractions, etc. give them a reassuring

	-Ric Werme

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