Asperger's syndrome was formally characterized as a distinct autism spectrum disorder. People with Asperger's syndrome have normal to above normal intelligence but typically have difficulties with social interactions and often have pervasive, absorbing interests in specific areas or topics, although Asperger's syndrome was considered to be at the milder or high functioning range of this spectrum. This article discusses the link between autism and Asperger's as well as the differences and characteristics of Asperger's,like the lack of social skills as well as lack of sympathy and empathy. From this article we can assume that Christopher is most likely to have a from of Asperger's on the autism spectrum as he has a lack of social skills and finds it hard to feel emotions that cause one to connect to another person.
Benjamin Tarasewicz, a high-schooler with autism, provides inspirational stories and tips for reaching out to people with “differences;” this video shows us that it is possible to break the barriers and redefine the way we think about people with differences or disabilities, allowing us to connect on a deeper level and move passed all the negative connotations and associations the word 'autism' has. Many people associate the word autism with other words like 'high functioning' or 'low functioning' and immediately create a stigma about autistic people, there ability and how they interact creating a barrier between people living with the condition and those who don't. Once we break those barriers down and realize these are only words these preconceived ideas are able to be disregarded and we are able to open ourselves up to friendships we never thought possible. When Christopher catches a train to go live with his mother he comes across her boyfriend Roger who has never lived with an autistic child before and acts violently towards Christopher when he realizes the lengths taken in order for him to eat, and becomes angry and grabs Christopher, if he was more understanding and accepting of Christopher he would understand just how remarkable he really is and break that barrier of ignorance and frustration.
Entering adulthood is challenging and exciting. Advance preparation and plenty of support are needed so the young adult with autism can get a good start to the next chapter of his or her life. The first step in transition planning is to look at what the individual is interested in, their abilities and needs. Establishing this allows these children with autism to mature in to adults who attend university, work and have a social life, with the provided services to help them achieve these milestones. This transition concept can also be viewed as something Christopher wants to achieve as he transitions from childhood to adulthood. Christopher aims to be able to live by himself and become as self sufficient as possible and hopefully attend university and study physics and ultimately become a scientist.
Although people on the autistic spectrum may be lacking in some areas i.e. social communication, interaction or behavior related areas, many posses amazing talents which set them apart from people who are not affected by the condition and could only dream of possessing. Some have incredible memories and can recall every detail of something they once saw, others are incredibly good with numbers. These characteristics are what make these people so unique and incredible just like Christopher who posses advanced mathematical skills which could surpass any average persons mathematical ability.
Communication happens when one person sends a message to another person. This can be verbally or non-verbally. Interaction happens when two people respond to one another - two-way communication. Most people on the autism spectrum have difficulty interacting with others. They may have difficulty with initiating interactions, responding to others, or using interaction to show people things or to be sociable. Understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family, school, work and social life, can be harder. Autistic people may also find it hard to read and understand other peoples facial expressions and emotions and come become disinterested and loose focus very quickly, this is not because they are rude or unwilling to listen but rather because they cant understand and loose interest very quickly. This idea of not being able to relate or read other peoples emotions corresponds to Christopher's behavior as when he interacts with people he uses pictures, which he carries around with him which have different facial emotions to try help him identify the emotions someone might be feeling, but when he cant identify them he looses interest and walks away. This is why it is important to understand how people with autism think and function so we are able to converse with them in a way which doesn't confuse or irritate them but does not leave the person talking to them unhappy and feeling neglected.
This poem was written by a boy who suffers from autism and describes the daily struggles and challenges faced by him and many others with the condition, he describes the way in which he sees the world compared to a person unaffected by the disease. People on the autistic spectrum face many issues, from the persistent challenge of trying to ‘fit in’, to frustration at not being able to express how they feel, to daily crippling anxiety because they cannot make sense of what is happening around them. They commonly develop stress-reducing behaviors that can make them appear strange or unruly and they are judged by others for behaving ‘oddly’. Parents avoid taking their children out to public places rather than face the reactions from people who do not understand the situation. This poem provides its reader with insight in to the life of someone like Christopher when not being able to process information fast enough begins to shut down and is unable to process information for a certain period of time. When situations become to overwhelming Christopher crouches down and scrunches up in to a ball placing his hands over his ears in attempt to block out the noise and confusing reality in attempt to shelter himself from this confusion and uncertainty. Just like in the poem Christopher also does not like physical contact, when the policeman grabs him by the arm, in attempt to pull away he ends up assaulting the policeman and going down to the police station. Christopher also does not like receiving hugs or large amounts of physical contact and instead will place his hand on directly on the other persons hand and this gesture would symbolize a hug.
Autism is a life long developmental condition that effects among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people. The word 'spectrum' describes the range of difficulties that people on the autism spectrum may experience and the degree to which they may be affected. Some people may be able to live relatively normal lives, while others may have severe learning challenges and require continued specialist support. Many people make the mistake of thinking that each autistic person is same and has the same difficulties in the following areas: social communication, social interaction, restrictive, repetitive behaviors and interests. In Christopher's case he is extremely intelligent, specifically in the areas of mathematics and science but struggles with social communication and interaction, while a child who attends the same school as Christopher Joseph Fleming, acts in a very different way to Christopher ( we see this when he took his trousers off and went to the toilet all over the floor and then started to eat it) it is clear to see that Christopher's behavior is quite different Joseph Fleming who also suffers from autism however based on their actions we are able to see some differences in their behavior and therefor denote that they must have different positions on the autism spectrum, and struggle with different issues.
obsessions, repetitive behavior and routines can be a source of enjoyment for people with autism and a way of coping with obsessions, repetition behavior and routines can be a source of enjoyment for people with autism and a way of coping with everyday life. For people living with autism these obsessions serve as tool to provide structure, order and predictability and help these people cope with the many uncertainties every day life may bring. These obsessions may also bring joy and happiness to these people through the enjoyment of learning about a particular subject or gathering items of interest. Routines and repetition also serve as an important function which introduces order structure and predictability and help manage the reality of an autistic person which can be confusing, interacting mass of events, sounds, places and people. This same concept of obsession, repetition and routine can be viewed in Christopher's behavior as he has an urgent need to see the world as orderly, and has a very low tolerance for disorder, he obsesses over schedules, for instance and even describes the difficulty he had going on vacation with his parents because they had no routine to follow.