On Thursday evening I attended a screening of the film The Boy Inside, followed by a panel discussion about Asperger Syndrome. The panel was made of up 6 adolescent boys (13 to 17 years old) who all have Asperger Syndrome. The audience was filled with teachers, special ed assistants, other helping profession people and families and friends of children with disorders from the autism spectrum.
The film was very moving, and the panel was funny, real and revealing. There was a time for us to talk to others around us in the audience. I shared the love, hope and fear felt by all of these people (I think about 800 attended) for the kids they know who have Asperger or autism.
I have heard that autism is on the rise all over the world. I wonder if this is true, or if we are just diagnosing more people as having autism these days. Thursday's panel was a demonstration that even within one area of diagnosis, there are more differences than similarities among people so diagnosed. The boys have things in common but their experiences of living with Asperger are all as different at their personalities and circumstances.
I left with lots of questions, but also a better appreciation for the lives of those who are diagnosed as having autism, and more love for their families and friends. If you get a chance to see this film or participate in a forum about Asperger or autism, it's well worth it.
question: how different do you have to be to be diagnosably different?
mompoet - aching love