Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events

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. 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

Placer County News Headlines

Roseville Flash Crime Report (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.

Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less

Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services

Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?

Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.

Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.

Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget

Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.

Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects

Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium

Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park

more news