Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome

Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome

Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome

Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome

Synopsis

Jeanette Purkis spent her early life reacting violently against her feelings of embarrassment, anger and confusion about her 'difference' from other people. She was unaware until well into adulthood that everything she found difficult could be a result of having Asperger syndrome.

Excerpt

It takes a lot of guts to own up. Jeanette Purkis must then be one very gutsy person. In Finding a Different Kind of Normal Jeanette takes us through her various incarnations from a church-going Christian to her acceptance of being gay to being a raving left-wing extremist and into prison and mental institutions and her eventual diagnosis with Asperger Syndrome. On the way we also see Jeanette the artist, the loner and the optimist. Jeanette shows us much about the childhood, adolescence and early adulthood of someone with Asperger Syndrome. But Jeanette also takes us to that uncomfortable reality where Asperger Syndrome, personality disorder and outright sociopathy ebb and flow. Whilst the debate rages as to whether those with Asperger Syndrome have empathy, can lie, or are even, as we most fear, ‘psychopaths’, Jeanette takes us right into the heart of those questions and shows us the human face of such things and that ultimately there is a matter of ‘choice’ and that insight is possible, self-control, foreseeable. Hers is far from a pretty story. But pretty stories don’t take us to the difficult answers. Whilst there are certainly many people with Asperger Syndrome who have had different, more ‘tasteful’ challenges than her, there are many families who live isolated even from the community of autism support who have children with the challenges . . .

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