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

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

UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center in Walnut CreekThe UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center, one of only 27 research centers designated by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Aging, has established a new clinic

Water Restrictions Expanded for PCWA CustomersDrought Watch: The Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors adopted the Stage 2 Water Warning condition under PCWA's Water Shortage Contingency Plan.

Maui Vacation: Journey Into ParadiseAnother magnificent day in Maui, where the possibilities seem almost limitless in the pursuit of fun.

A Taste of Excellence in Rocklin on May 2The Board of Directors of the Sierra College Foundation is pleased to announce the 11th Annual A Taste of Excellence, the organization's largest fundraising effort

Mazda CX-5 SUV is a WinnerMazda definitely made a wise move several years ago, introducing the CX-5 in hopes that it would fare better

The Fire Fee Shell Game: You Lose!Democrats in the California Legislature seem to be facing the reality that the fire tax they passed with the Governor's help in 2011 is unfair

Bipolar Disorder: Man Has Success (ATOU Cares)Sixty-seven year-old John Martin has bipolar disorder 1, a form of the disorder in which the manic state dominates.

Sutter Roseville Medical Center Opens New ChapelSutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC) dedicated its new chapel this week, highlighting the beautiful space available to patients, visitors and staff

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Kicks Off Cap-To-CapOver 320 regional business, civic and elected officials travel to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with federal representatives to advocate on behalf of the six-county Sacramento region.

Miss Placer County Pageant Accepting ApplicationsMiss Placer County Pageant accepting applications for the June 27th pageant at the Placer County Fair.

Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (4-17-15)Rocklin crime summary and digest update report for the period of April 6- 12, 2015.

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (4.17.15)Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, April 17, 2015


more news