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My understanding is that the medication will make Shlomo more pliable and cooperative – a tempting prospect, I might add. On the other hand, Shlomo is adamant about not taking medication. Small wonder, since the doctor spoke openly in his young patient’s presence.

I would be very interested in hearing from other parents and professionals who may have opted for therapy without medication. If my memory serves me well, the subject of Asperger’s has previously been addressed in Chronicles, albeit some time ago. As I recall, those letters were written by mothers of young children. I would love to hear from them as well as others in similar circumstances to ours.


Thank you for taking the time to read my rambling letter. The news is beginning to sink in and just writing it all down has relieved some of my apprehensiveness.

A Flabbergasted Mom

Dear Flabbergasted,

To begin with, please don’t agonize over missing the signs, regardless of the doctor’s rebuke. Asperger’s symptoms vary from mild to severe, and some indicators that define the syndrome are typical of any child.

I’d be surprised if you are not feeling some sense of relief at having discovered that your son is not “bad” or “mean-spirited” but is simply an out-of-the-box thinker. While social skills don’t come naturally to “Aspies” who need to be trained in the art of interacting with others, they are generally very bright and are known to possess many positive traits.

Though you will have by now in all likelihood delved into the subject to the best of your ability, you might want to seek a second professional’s opinion and diagnosis. Dr. Tony Attwood of Australia, an expert on AS who has authored many books on the subject, advises doctors to be as positive as possible when explaining the diagnosis to their young patients. Dr. Attwood recommends starting out with, “Congratulations! You have Asperger Syndrome! You’re not bad or mad, you just have a different way of looking at the world!” He would then point out the many famous personalities with Asperger’s Syndrome who have led wildly successful lives.

Keep strong, keep the faith, and with G-d’s help you will see much nachas from Shlomo and all of his siblings.


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