Newspaper Editor has Asperger's Syndrome
Cynthia Parkhill works as an editor of the Lake County (Calif.) Record Bee, which publishes this column, and also blogs about Asperger's syndrome and disability in general. Parkhill has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism.
Said 44-year-old Parkhill, "One issue I look at (on my blog at cynthiaparkhill.blogspot.com) is how people with autism often are covered in the media. One disturbing thing I saw in media relating to the tragic Connecticut school shootings was the linking of autism with violence. It wasn't accurate. It puts us (people on the autism spectrum) in a position of having to confront unfair stereotypes."
Parkhill was referring to Adam Lanza having Asperger's syndrome. The National Institutes of Health states people with Asperger's exhibit "social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior." A person with Asperger's often has trouble maintaining eye contact, back and forth communication, and relationships.
Parkhill said, "My main concerns (regarding the Connecticut shootings) were references to autism in two print publications. The Washington Post wrote that a (Lanza) family member had told investigators the shooter had a form of autism, which was attributed to an unnamed law enforcement official. Another print source cited an unnamed law enforcement official as saying Lanza had 'suffered' from Asperger's. I was concerned anonymous sources were being permitted to diagnose Lanza with autism. (When seeing it) I proactively posted on social media about the absence of a link (between autism and violence) and how people with disabilities were more likely to be victims of violence rather than the people doing violence."
Parkhill especially objected to reporters saying Lanza had "suffered" from Asperger's. "I don't feel I suffer from Asperger's," said Parkhill. "It is part of who I am. There are strengths and weaknesses (to having it). I celebrate the strengths and try overcoming the weaknesses, just as anyone would. As a person on the autism spectrum, and as a professional journalist, I try writing my portrayals (about people with disabilities) as accurately and respectfully as possible."
She said Asperger's had given her a degree of creativity and spatial awareness that helps her excel as an editor in laying out newspaper text blocks and photos.
Parkhill said, "It may be a cliché, but it's true. If you have met one person with Asperger's syndrome, you have met one person. We are all different. We are individuals."
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesAutism Grant Aims to Improve Schools Practices (Sacramento, Calif)- The UC Davis MIND Institute has received a 3-year, $1.4 million grant to study how to build a statewide network to improve use of evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders
Placer County Meals on Wheels Contract Awarded Seniors First has been awarded home delivered meals funding to once again operate the Placer County Meals on Wheels program for 2017 - 2020
Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena a Family Friendly Festival ExperiencePasadena, CA- The hot and humid weather in Pasadena this past weekend caught us a bit off guard as we strolled alongside the Rose Bowl headed for the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend Festival
Santa Monica: Life's a BeachSanta Monica, CA- The glowing rays of the summer sun warm your skin, the cool ocean waves crash at your sand covered feet while the playful sights and sounds of summer
15 Tips for Surviving Summer With Chronic Lung Disease(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Summer days of high heat and poor air quality can be extremely challenging for those with COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and other lung conditions
Roseville to Showcase Big Trucks this JulyRoseville, CA - Watch our utility trucks lift, scope, suck and crush at Big Trucks Summer on Thursday mornings in July.
Kia Forte remains a good bargainRoseville, CA- Kia continues to improve its brand up and down its lineup. There's not a bad vehicle in the bunch.
Roseville Gas Prices Keep Local Travel More AffordableRoseville, CA - The easing of gas prices in Roseville continues into late June as Placer County travel costs decline.
Annual Warrior Golf Classic at Catta Verdera in LincolnLincoln, CA - WJU Athletics will be hosting the 19th Annual Warrior Golf Classic at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln.
Leadership Rocklin Creates Community LeadersROCKLIN, Robin Trimble, CEO of the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, announced that the Chamber will once again host the prestigious Leadership Rocklin program.
Roseville Flash Crime Report (6.23.17)Roseville, CA - Digest summary update of police activity for Roseville covering the period of June 12-22, 2017.
9 Classic Songs That Stand the Test of TimeRoseville, CA- Music history is filled with terrific songs that don't always age so gracefully. They often mark a point in time and include less than stellar recordings
NEWS: In Case You Missed It