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."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
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 HeadlinesCarmel, Big Sur are Awe Inspiring PlacesCarmel, CA- Visitors travel from far-flung corners of our globe to experience the magic that is Carmel-By-the-Sea and Big Sur.
Golden1 Center Concert and Event Schedule 2017Sacramento, CA- Golden1 Center's 2017 concert and event schedule is here.
Roseville Budget is Unsustainable at Current Service LevelsThe Roseville City Council wants community input to help stabilize General Fund budget
Roseville Students take Top Honors in Video ContestRoseville, CA- Tarik Ansari, Ethan Wolfe and Noah Zackery from Woodcreek High School in Roseville took top honors in the 2017 Water Spots Video Contest
$700,000 Raised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Life Time FoundationROSEVILLE, Calif. - Ride for a Reason raised more than $700,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Life Time Foundation.
WJU to Host Sacramento Church Leaders ConferenceRocklin, CA - The Sacramento Church Leaders Conference is a two-day event hosted at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California from May 12 to May 13
$5.2 Billion in New Transportation Taxes for California ResidentsCalifornia finally passes a long awaited transportation funding bill May 2017. The California Legislature just passed a new Transportation Funding Bill
Wine Adventures Crushes It with Feast for the SensesPlacerville, CA- Wineries in this part of California know how to throw a great party.
Roseville Gas Prices Leaderboard Shifts SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices remained relatively flat this past week in Roseville. Sam's Club nudged Costco from atop the low price leaderboard
Walgreen Co. Pays $9.86M to Settle Allegations of Improper Medi Cal BillingsWalgreens has paid $9.86 million to resolve allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act
BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage LineupNAPA, CA, -- Situated in the heart of America's wine and food playground, BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has announced that Martha Stewart, José Andrés and Masaharu Morimoto
Lincoln's Community Christian School RelocatingLINCOLN - Lincoln's Community Christian School, which has been serving the community since 1995, announced today that it will be moving for the 2017-18 school year to a new location