Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Questions about Asperger's Syndrome

Today, I have received a number of inquiries about my writings on Asperger's Syndrome. This may be because of the coverage on "Dr. Phil's" show (which I have heard was not very favorable). Here are some questions that one person sent me along with my answers:

I just read your page. All I have are a few questions.

1. Are you for real?
Yes. ;)

2. No, really, how solid is your Asperger's diagnosis?
Since I have moved several times, I have seen three different psychiatrists and two psychologists who have confirmed the diagnosis.

3. I know nothing about it, does the medical community really know more than I do?

Individual differences between individuals with AS tend to differ a great deal, so you really need to know more about the individual than about AS per se. A lot of research has been done about AS in recent years and we are learning more and more.

4. Are there other individuals, such as yourself, who fit into the DSM-IV definition, but who are also fairly successful in life?

Yes. Temple Grandin has designed more than one third of all cattle processing plants in the U.S. Vermon Smith received the Nobel price is economics a few years ago.

5. Is Aspergers a gift or a curse?
It is probably a bit of both. For many, it is more of a curse. I do not know what life without AS would be like. For some people who have more severe problems, it is much more of a curse.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Two tiny bits of additional waste?

Earlier, I have commented on the "seemingly wasteful universe" with so much matter floating around out there with no apparent use for us. Yes, I know that this is an Earthnocentric point of view, but I will admit to have always been a bit Earthnocentric. I did have to make allowances for the Sun--which sustains life on Earth--and reluctantly for Jupiter, since this giant planet apparently shields the Earth from objects that might have collided with us if they had not been grabbed by Jupiter's gravity.

Now it has been announced that Pluto has at least two more moons--for a total of at least three. Previously, I had not expressed much concern about Pluto--the planet is so small that this amount of waste seems rather immaterial compared to the rest of the universe. Two more puny moons probably won't make the situation much worse, anyway. It is entirely possible that Uranus and Neptune do some good, too, but I am more skeptical here, and their number of moons might be a bit mor excessive...