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.
Print This Article
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
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
Placer County News HeadlinesSafeway and Albertsons Announce Merger AgreementSafeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) and Albertsons announced today a definitive agreement under which AB Acquisition LLC ("AB Acquisition") will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway
Roseville Crime Report Digest (3-6-14)The Roseville Police Department crime report digest March 6, 2014.
Plane Crash in Placer County UpdateA plane crash approximately 3-4 miles south by south east of the Truckee Airport. The decedent is 55 year old Darla Farnell.
Placer SPCA Seeks 2014 Hero Awards NominationsRoseville, CA - Placer SPCA is seeking nominations for the 2014 Hero Awards, to be presented at the 13th annual Funny Bones Comedy and Awards Night on Friday, April 25.
AAA Funds Supports Roseville Fire Museum and Roseville Firefighters CharityThe AAA Roseville South Branch Office is providing $2,500 each to the Roseville Fire Museum and the Roseville Firefighters Charity.
Rocklin Crime Report Digest (3-6-14)The Rocklin Police Department's weekly crime report digest for the period of February 25, 2014 to March 3, 2014.
Roseville Physician Elected to TMPG Chair of the BoardChris Palkowski, MD, has been elected chair of the board of directors of The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), the governing board of the largest medical group in the nation with 8,000 physicians serving 3.4 million
6 Arrested in Roseville Burglary Ring CaseJames Eisner, Valiri Ryan, and Brook Heston of Roseville were among six individuals arrested following a month-long investigation of a commercial burglary ring.
Roseville Crime Report Digest (3-5-14)The Roseville Police Department weekly crime report digest March 5, 2014.
Roseville Turns Off Groundwater WellsDrought Watch: Due to increased precipitation in recent weeks, the City of Roseville has turned off its groundwater wells. They will remain off until further notice.
Bidding Wars: Home Buying Competition Heats UpBidding Wars: Roseville Realtor, Julie Jalone, writes about the local housing market and the increased competition buyer offers are receiving. If you are a seller can you expect multiple offers and if you are buyer what are your chances your offer will be accepted?
Roseville Officials Praise Clarkson University, Sierra College PartnershipRoseville, CA -- Clarkson University officials will be in the Placer County region this week to introduce area professionals to new graduate programs options and to advance an emerging