Asperger Syndrome and Psychotherapy: Understanding Asperger Perspectives

By Paula Jacobsen | Go to book overview

3
Articulating Perspective and Intention
in Addressing Theory of Mind and Executive
Functioning Issues

Lewis is a boy with Asperger Syndrome who was referred to me by his parents. They had learned that I had experience working with children like him. Lewis was having difficulty attending to and completing work at school. He was overwhelmed by what he saw as annoying or mean behavior of peers. He knew he was not like others, and was pleased when I told him in our first session that I do know others like him. Lewis took me at my word when I told him that my job was to get to know and understand him. The second session he brought me a drawing he had made to illustrate his experience and to help me understand. It is the drawing on the cover of this book.

[Look at the blue circles,] he said. [They are not all the same. Each is a
little different from the others. But they are a lot more like each other
than like the red circle. The blue circles represent other people. I'm the
red circle.] Then he said, [Do you see that diagonal line through the blue
circles? That line represents their line of vision. It's as though they are all
looking at me and are also looking away from me. Both, kind of, at the
same time.]

I was very moved by that picture. However, I do know that this was not, for him, an attempt to communicate the affective experience of having Asperger's in a neurotypical world. It was information. He was trying to help me understand, cognitively his perspective of the Asperger child in a neurotypical world. He is pleased to have me show his drawing to others, to help them learn about or understand more about Asperger Syndrome. Lewis has difficulty understanding others, because he does not understand very well

-56-

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