Asperger's Teen Loves Legos and Phillies
Recently, I featured 43-year-old New Jerseyan Dorothy Smaniotto, who has antiphosopholipid syndrome (APS), also called "sticky blood disease." In 2008, due to APS, she had two disabling strokes and a heart attack before doctors could figure out what was wrong. Later that year, she had a hysterectomy and double mastectomy due to an unrelated condition.
What I didn't mention then was that her 14-year-old son has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism. Interest in Asperger's reached fever pitch recently when news outlets revealed Connecticut slayer Lanza had Asperger's syndrome. Speaking as a licensed professional counselor, I can say without doubt those school children didn't die because of Lanza having Asperger's syndrome.
Smaniotto said in a telephone interview her son had been precocious as a toddler, even to the point of speaking clear words at age six months, knowing the makes and models of cars at 18 months, and reading books at age two.
She said, "Alex was diagnosed in first grade because he had such fixations on certain items, and external noise and classroom lighting bothered him. We were scared to death when we found out he had (Asperger's). We didn't know anything about it."
A National Institutes of Health website explains Asperger's is characterized by "social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior." The social impairment may involve lack of eye contact and facial expression, and a difficulty maintaining relationships and having back and forth communication. Sometimes, like Alex, people with Asperger's have very high IQs.
Smaniotto said her son in third grade was mistakenly accused of doing something wrong by two school workers and was harshly brought down to the ground. Alex didn't understand what was happening, sustained bruising, and had an asthma attack. That was the last day he set foot in the public school.
"So we took him to a private school," said Smaniotto. "He loves it there and just started ninth grade. His whole personality has blossomed. As for a (work) career, Alex wants to be a neurologist because of everything that has happened to me."
She added, "I love everything about Alex. Everyone knowing him will tell you he's a very loving and caring child. He loves animals, Legos, online games, and the Philadelphia Phillies." Smaniotto advised parents of children with Asperger's to keep working for their child's best interests, especially at school.
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesRocklin Flash Crime Report (7.29.16)Rocklin, CA- Weekly crime report update summary for Rocklin, covering the period of July 18 - 24, 2016.
22 Year Old Suspected in Rocklin Bank RobberyRocklin, CA- On July 25, 2016, the El Dorado Sheriff's Office arrested David Jarrell (age 22, from El Dorado Hills, Ca) for the robbery of the US Bank
Roseville Flash Crime Report (7.29.16)Roseville, CA- Crime report digest summary update for Roseville, covering the period of July 23-26, 2016.
Pediatric Dialysis Center Opens at UC Davis Children's HospitalUC Davis Children's Hospital recently opened a new pediatric dialysis center, where patients and their families will be trained on home-based peritoneal dialysis.
Marriage Insight from a Sports ColumnistLast column, I featured Paul Daugherty, nationally acclaimed Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist, whose daughter Jillian was born with Down syndrome.
County Views Infrastructure Program as a Win-WinAUBURN, Calif. -- Community development and public works projects in Placer County will soon be cheaper and faster after the county board of supervisors voted unanimously
Real Estate: We Still Want to Own Our Home!Roseville, CA- Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about the recently released Housing Report from Harvard University.
Senior Softball Championship in Roseville and LincolnRoseville, CA - Senior Softball is heating up Placer Valley August 2-7 when the 16th Annual Western National Championships swings into Roseville and Lincoln.
Solitary Cellars 2014 Barbera WineRoseville, CA- What better way to start our new Wine Section than with a wine that is famously friendly in its ability to easily pair with a wide variety a foods.
Rachel Constantini named WJU's Interim Women's Soccer CoachROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University Athletic Director Lance Von Vogt announced recently that Rachel Constantini will be taking over as Interim Head Women's Soccer Coach.
Let's Get Uncorked: Wine Review SectionRoseville, CA- Election Day is rapidly approaching and the time is ripe for serious discussion. In California, few things are as serious as wine.
Dead & Company: Perfect Dose of Party Unity Wheatland, CA- With 107 degrees in the forecast, it's going to be a hot show. Weather aside, Dead & Company continue racking up one incredible performance after another
NEWS: In Case You Missed It