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."
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 HeadlinesNoodles & Company Opening Roseville and Rocklin LocationsNoodles & Company is opening two new locations in Roseville and Rocklin over the next two weeks.
Raley's Wins Telly AwardsRaley's has been awarded an astounding total of 24 Telly Awards in Commercial and Online Video categories
Summer Gas Prices Continue DroppingAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 4.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.94/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 720 gas outlets
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Offers Solid ValueAlthough the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander went through a much-needed redesign this year, note that the Sport model only made minor changes.
Family of 5: Saving Big on TV, Internet and PhonesRecently, we decided to reevaluate our Comcast and AT&T services due to the combination of poor customer service and pricing issues.
57 Year Old Sentenced in Mailbox Destruction CaseRichard Lee Gray, 57, of Foresthill, was recently sentenced to one year in prison for destroying U.S. Post Office letter boxes, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and
Traumatic Brain Injury Was DevastatingFour days after getting his driver's license at age 16 in 1975, Todd Bode was coaxed into joining his big brother on a road trip. The hook was that Bode would be allowed to drive.
Placer County Water Agency Considers New Drought RegulationsDrought Watch: Leaders of the Placer County Water Agency said Thursday (July 17) that local drought management efforts are working and will determine how best to adapt newly enacted State drought regulations
Governor Brown Signs AB1964 Gun LawGovernor Jerry Brown signed AB1964, legislation that will close a loophole that has allowed gun dealers to skirt California law and sell handguns without safety features.
Open Medical Marijuana Market says Attorney General CandidateRon Gold, challenging Kamala Harris in the November election for Attorney General has taken the side of medical marijuana vendors against the City of Los Angeles.
Placer County Tax Revenue Looking UpPlacer County Assessor Kristen Spears announced today that the 2014 Assessment Roll increased 7.01% from last year
Placer County's Most Wanted: David Lee BrockerRoseville, CA -- Placer County's Most Wanted highlights individuals being sought by police. 26 year old, David Lee Brocker, last known address of Roseville, CA