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

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 Headlines

Drexel to Shutter Sacramento ProgramsDrexel University's board of trustees has decided to begin the process of phasing out Drexel's undergraduate and graduate programs in Sacramento

Sutter Roseville Addresses Patient Care During CNA PicketThe California Nurses Association (CNA) has informed Sutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC) it will hold an informational picket in front of the medical center on Thursday, March 5

Placer SPCA Reduced Adoption FeesThroughout the month of March, all Lucky St. Catrick's cats have waived adoption fees and all St. Pitty's Day pit bulls have a reduced adoption fee

Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Get Boost with SnowstormTahoe South launches into spring with more than a foot of fresh powder falling on area ski resorts: Heavenly, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood this past weekend

Local Women Recognized at Soroptomist Awards CeremonySoroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) recently presented nearly $5,000 in community awards

50 Days of the Dead: Mission in the RainThe Jerry Garcia Band ripping through a powerful Mission in the Rain from one of our favorite shows.

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (3.3.15)The Roseville, CA weekly police crime report update for March 3, 2015.

Roseville Thieves Targeting Mail and Catalytic ConvertersRoseville police are reporting an increase in both mail and catalytic converter thefts.

Led Zeppelin in Roseville on March 30thRoseville area residents have the opportunity to see Led Zeppelin on the big screen March 30th at Century Roseville

Vertical Express for Can Do MS Squaw ValleyVertical Express for Can Do MS at Squaw Valley March 14- 15.

California Nut Festival Tickets on Sale March 6thTickets for the 2015 California Nut Festival held in Chico go on sale March 6th.

Ophir Gardens: Safe Water Flows AgainResidents of Ophir Gardens no longer have to worry about having a safe, reliable water supply.


more news