A recent television documentary featured Aspergers Syndrome with a case study of a male in his mid forties.
The researchers placed huge emphasis on David’s childhood behavioural difficulties and his isolated position in Society. They underlined the need for him step into line and become yet another shining example of an Aldous Huxley’s clone in Brave New World.
In telling his story, the isolation of David was all too apparent. Expert opinion constantly rattled off esoteric terms, but failed to address the issue that David like many other human beings resides at the outer limits of “normal behavior”, but he too has rights .
Recent studies have identified that Aspergers people have recognizably different facial features. Of course, physical impairments and behavioural differences are picked up by bullies who zone in on them for special attention. The programme glossed over these monsters, moreover it was David’s frustration following repeated physical attacks in the schoolbus, that led him to make an aggressor feel the blunt end of a tomahawk with a warning that the following time it would be the sharp end!
I say good on you David, yet the authorities took the side of the so-called victim. When David was 23 he crossed a park and was set upon by a group of thugs who set upon him with a baseball bat. David managed to get hold of his butterfly knife and one of his attackers got slashed in the midriff and literally spilled his guts. In a Hollywood scenario, David would be a hero, but on the streets of New Zealand, he is perceived a violent criminal. The programme made no mention of the thugs being charged with anything, only David being charged with GBH.
David is now in his mid-forties and has twin passions for aircraft and motor cycles. The fact that he has special interests makes him far more interesting to talk to. He has his own camper van that he uses when he feels the need to get away from it all.
He has endeavoured to work on the more identifiable aspects of Asperger’s behaviour to make himself more acceptable to the world and his friend and manages to keep out of harm’s way these days.
Whether the great unwashed like it or not, there are people who are different. They are often gifted in many areas including music and arts, and contribute significantly to the diversity of life. They deserve the respect of those around them, not disdain borne out of primal prejudice.