Tuesday, July 17, 2007
This is a post about Asberger's Disorder, which I define as nerdism. I don't have Asbergers myself but I have acquaintances who do and they're such nice people that I can't help taking an interest in their ailment.
This illness was diagnosed in the early 90s by a pediatrician named Asberger who worked with autistic children. Autistic people have problems interacting and communicating with other people. They make odd, repetitive sounds and fixate on objects. Extreme cases are lost in their own world. Asberger realized that nerd behavior was a mild form of autism and may be treatable by methods developed for autistics. The kid in the video above does a pretty good job of explaining it.
If the girl in the video above seems familiar it's probably because you've seen similar women in sci-fi and comics conventions. Hers is a physical type. I realized this years ago when I was at a sci-fi convention and found myself surrounded by nerds who all had similar physical characteristics. I remember thinking, "If nerdism is nothing but a lifestyle choice then why do so many nerds speak, talk and walk the same?" It dawned on me that nerdism must be a condition or a disease. I told all my friends about it and they thought I was crazy. None of us had ever heard of Asberger's Disorder.
Incidentally, I don't mean to imply that nerds are automatons with no individual characteristics, just that they share certain distinct behaviors.
Nerdism sometimes allows for intense focus, which is an advantage, so a lot of nerds don't want to give it up. For those who do there are treatments: anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs are sometimes useful.
This last video (above) has nothing to do with Asbergers. It's about Tourettes Syndrome. I stumbled on it while looking for Asberger media. Boy, Tourettes makes Asbergers seem like a walk in the park!
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 10:16 PM