Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger’s Syndrome

A while back I came across Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson, a thirteen year old boy diagnosed with Asperger’s. If you are at all interested in Asperger’s, especially if you are trying to get in the Asperger’s afflicted mind, this is an excellent resource.

There are many insights in the book, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it many times. One early on deals with what makes something an obsession (typically considered bad) instead of a passion (typically considered not bad). Here is what Luke has to say on the matter:

Q: When is an obsession not an obsession?
A: When it is about football.

How unfair is that?! It seems that our society fully accepts the fact that a lot of men and boys ‘eat, sleep and breathe’ football and people seem to think that if someone doesn’t, then they are not fully male. Stupid!

Girls are lucky enough to escape this football mania but I have noticed that teenage girls have to know almost every word of every song in the charts and who sang what and who is the fittest guy going, so I suppose an AS girl (or a non-AS one) that had interests other than that is likely to experience the same difficulties as a non-football crazy boy.

I am sure that if a parent went to a doctor and said that their teenage son wouldn’t shut up about football, they would laugh and tell them that it was perfectly normal. It seems as if we all have to be the same. (my emphasis)