Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity: Looking beyond the Label

Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity: Looking beyond the Label

Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity: Looking beyond the Label

Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity: Looking beyond the Label

Synopsis

"How do teenagers with Asperger Syndrome view themselves and their own lives? This book is based on extensive interviews with adolescents diagnosed with AS. It includes six life stories, written in collaboration with the teenagers themselves. These present an authentic and fascinating look at the lives of the teenagers and how AS has shaped their growing identities. The stories provide the basis for a discussion of common themes and issues facing teenagers with AS. Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity also questions the medicalized deficit approach to Asperger Syndrome and discusses the social repercussions of labeling teenagers as having AS." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Adolescence is a time of transition. the adolescent has one foot still in childhood and one foot tentatively testing the waters of adulthood. It is a time of 'finding one's feet' and defining who we are so that we are able to find our place in the more complex and demanding adult world. in this book we explore how those teenagers whose lives are further complicated by having Asperger Syndrome (AS) grapple with the adolescent quest to find the answer to the question 'Who am I?' Nita Jackson (2002), who recently wrote about her experiences as an adolescent with Asperger's describes this sense of confusion in the process of attempting to define herself as someone with AS:

I'm confused about the world and its mainstream majority. What
would it be like being mainstream? Would I even have these
problems if I were a mainstreamer? Is Asperger's syndrome as
bad an affliction as I make out? and who am I anyway? Apart
from being a representative of my syndrome, who am I, and
most importantly, who will I become? (p.49)

How then do teenagers with Asperger Syndrome view themselves and their own lives? To date, most literature on Asperger Syndrome and adolescence falls into three types:

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