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 HeadlinesRoseville California Crime Brief (11.28.14)Roseville, CA - Crime report digest update for Roseville, CA November 28, 2014.
Rocklin Engineering Student on the MarchHalf of Cal Poly's 222-member marching band are engineering students - including Kevin Carstens, a civil engineering major from Rocklin, Calif.
Veronica Blake Appointed to LCCF BoardVeronica Blake, Chief Executive Officer of Placer Community Foundation, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the League of California Community Foundations.
Roseville Scam Alert IssuedThe Roseville Police department has issued the following scam alerts
Mail Theft on Rise in Roseville and RocklinRocklin and other neighboring cities in Placer County have seen an increase in mail theft from community mailboxes
Janice Forbes Memorial Dedicated in AuburnAuburn leaders gathered recently to dedicate a memorial to Janice Forbes at the Auburn School Park Preserve where a monument was erected to commemorate her contributions to our community.
Winter Choral Concert in Rocklin December 3rdRocklin, CA-- The Sierra College Music Department is proud to present a Winter Choral Concert on Wednesday, December 3rd at 7:30pm in Dietrich Theatre on the Sierra College Rocklin Campus.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Often Not BelievedChronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, had Carl Miller and his doctors, completely baffled for a long while.
Lexus LX570 SUV: Big, Attractive and SafeWhat most drivers will like about the Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions
Can You Get a Mortgage?Realtor, Julie Jalone, of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about a the current mortgage underwriting environment, how it is perceived buy potential home buyers and what lenders should do to accelerate the housing recovery here in Sacramento and across the country.
Santa to Visit Roseville Neighborhoods ScheduleRoseville, CA - After talking with Santa, he was able to work some time in his schedule to visit six Roseville neighborhoods this year before the holidays
Holiday Ice Rink in Roseville at GalleriaThe outdoor Bayside Ice Rink at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville is now open for the holiday season.