Another “success story” of an adult Aspie at Western Front Online – Professor’s talk details autistic life.
Western adjunct anthropology professor Dawn Prince-Hughes, 41, was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome when she was 36 years old. In her book, titled Songs of the Gorilla Nation : My Journey Through Autism Prince-Hughes said Asperger’s syndrome is characterized by difficulties processing stimuli, sensory oversensitivities and challenges in social interaction.
One of the questions that comes up ocassionally for parents is, “Should I tell my autistic son/daughter that they are autistic?” Prince-Hughes description of what she felt when she found out points us in the right direction.
Prince-Hughes began learning about Asperger’s syndrome as an adult, after doctors diagnosed a young relative with Asperger’s. Prince-Hughes compiled detailed memories from her childhood and examples of her symptoms of the syndrome, then called a psychiatrist for a diagnosis when she was 36 years old.
The diagnosis had a major impact on her life, Prince-Hughes said. Rather than making her feel abnormal or separated from others, Prince-Hughes said it let her know she was not alone.
“Just by knowing that I could put it in this box, my symptoms actually decreased overnight,” Prince-Hughes said.
The story as told in the article is compelling enough (dropped out of school at 15, spent the next 5 years homeless), I’m looking forward to reading the book.