Several children that I see in my clinical practice have been very enthusiastic about my writing this book. They want others to learn more about Asperger's. They have suggested that I include specific things that they have told me, things that I have learned about them, and I have done that. Some of the writings of one child, Zach, are particularly germane in illustrating this point.
Zach, a sixth grade student, has learned to write his English assignments in a way that works well for his Asperger mind and also works very well for the neurotypicals who read what he writes. He has written to explain himself, in much the same way that Lewis drew the picture on the cover of this book.
Zach is a twelve-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome. He and I have worked together for four years. Writing, knowing what to write as well as the act of writing it down, were very difficult for him. Language therapy was helpful. He learned to develop and express his thoughts well enough to write a paragraph on a specific subject. He had accommodations at school that allowed him to dictate to his mother. He could write a first draft and then read it to his mother, who then wrote it clearly and edited for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Once, during the sixth grade, his mother was away. During that time he wrote an essay without her help. It was one and a half pages long, but it was one paragraph. It was apparent that he had done this without help. His teacher's comments were all about the content, which was excellent. She circled a few misspellings, but did not make a comment about the lack of paragraphs. Zach told me that he has not been able to learn when to start a new paragraph. His teacher undoubtedly knew this and did not want to comment on something that she knew he did not understand. He did not need to be made aware of this; he was already aware of it and knew to ask for help. [If I become a writer,] he told me, [I'll have to have an editor. That's what editors are for, isn't it?]