Asperger's Syndrome Could Be a Character-Builder

Article excerpt

IF MY SON ASHER "suffers" from Asperger's Syndrome, I wonder if we all wouldn't do better to have a touch of it ourselves.

If you don't know, Asperger's Syndrome is a clinical term used for a certain type of autism--one that, in the spectrum of autistic symptomology, is relatively high functioning. Asher is exceptionally inquisitive, bright, and self-disciplined. He tends to be unabashedly joyful.

Asher is also genuine. As with other Asperger's people, what you see is what you get. He seems incapable of duplicity. So refreshing. When I hear corruption stories on the news I often think ... what if the executives at Enron had a touch of Asperger's? The judge could ask them, straight up: "Hey, guys--what is it with all those shell companies?" Asperger's executives would spew forth a fountain of answers in painstaking detail. Case closed.

Of course, a person with Asperger's probably would never abide financial shenanigans in the first place. That's against the rules. People with Asperger's really like rules, unlike certain sly financial wizards.

I bet former Arthur Andersen personnel wish their executives had had Asperger's. Granted, they might have lost a few clients by refusing to obstruct justice. Still, that's got to be better than losing everything.

I like to imagine every bigwig involved with Social Security with Asperger's. We could all rest assured that the matter would be resolved with utmost transparency.

I also like to imagine filling the entire Capitol building and White House with Asperger's people, along with every boardroom and executive suite. Lots of people with Asperger's have no internal dialogue; they offer a running commentary on their thoughts, impressions, and intentions. We would always have a ready report on exactly what's going on.

Granted, we'd get so much information that we might feel challenged to sort through it all. But on the other hand, it would never seem cryptic, nothing like struggling to make sense of a statement by Alan Greenspan. …