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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.





Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn.




Placer County News Headlines

California Fire Death Toll Hits 41California Fire Updates 2017: In the past week, over 245,000 acres have burned across California. More than 11,000 firefighters continue making progress on 12 large wildfires burning in the State

Volkswagen unveils versatile new GolfRoseville, CA,- The all-new 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Volkswagen has attempted to build the Alltrack with some enviable features that give it the versatility that appeals to people who enjoy staying active.

Roseville Gas Prices Continue DroppingRoseville, CA, - More good news for Roseville area motorists as gas prices continue to move lower. The cooler weather is moving in and autumn weekday road trips are idyllic

31 Confirmed Dead in California Wildfire DevastationCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: The death toll has risen to 31 across 4 fires as estimates remain that 3,500 homes and other structures have been destroyed

Placer Women's Retreat in Roseville on November 4thRoseville, CA- The Placer Women's Retreat will take place at the Falls Event Center in Roseville on November 4, 2017.

Sacramento Area Council of Governments UpdatesThe Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is pleased to announce Christina Lokke as its new Policy Manager and the promotion of Erik Johnson to Director

Spookomotive Trains to Treat Old Sacramento VisitorsSACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Back by popular demand, California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation will once again offer engaging and entertaining "Spookomotive"

Disney's Beauty and the Beast set for Harris CenterEl Dorado Musical Theatre is proud to present Disney's Beauty and the Beast which will run October 27 - November 5, 2017 at the Harris Center

Sutter Health Employees Make A Difference with Local Food Bank DonationsAUBURN - Sutter Health employees donated more than 3,350 pounds of non-perishable items to seven food banks as part of the hospital's month-long campaign

Placer County Air Quality Advisory Due to WildfiresThe Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer issued a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential of poor air quality conditions

Children's Hope Charity Golf Tournament in RosevilleRoseville, CA - Children's Hope Foster Family Agency will hold it's First Annual Putting for Foster Kids Golf Tournament in Roseville on October 21, 2017 at Woodcreek Golf Club.

Roseville Incentives Hope to Lure Amazon HeadquartersRoseville, CA - Roseville is making a pitch to bring a second Amazon headquarters and its 50,000 jobs here.


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