Friday 7th September 2013
We had an audience of 30 members for our Health and Wellbeing meeting and welcomed Jane Dunstable, who presented as a lovely entertaining lady and who has Aspergers Syndrome.
This condition was originally described by Dr Hans Asperger in 1943 when he linked the description of Autism with that of people with Aspergers. Autism is described as people with problems with social interaction and communication similarly linked to Aspergers although these thoughts were not accepted until the early 1990s.
The condition is a result of part of the brain not developing fully and it has been proved to be hereditary. Jane’s parents were identified as having the condition and similarly, two brothers. She also said her own family were affected. It can be deemed that the person can appear to be awkward and difficult on the one hand and “living in a world of their own”, and described as stupid.
Sufferers can also present as clumsy with little common sense. However, this is far from the case and in fact they are often found to be highly intelligent people with limited social skills but their speech and intellect remain intact. It has been noted that engineers and similar can be identified and Alan Turing, a brilliant Mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, influential in the development of the computer system resulting in the breaking of the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park, also had Asperger’s Syndrome. Sadly, despite this he was still seen and treated as an “oddity” bearing in mind that AS was only recognised in the 1990s. Jane concluded that sufferers can also present as clumsy with little common sense and appear clever/stupid and friends and family have to make allowances for their behaviour bearing in mind they are unable to change this !
This was certainly not the case with Jane and she was thanked for her enjoyable and enlightening talk.
Tea/coffee was enjoyed and general notices given out, not least a reminder of the need to send back the reply slip regarding the AGM.
Sally also gave out a “plea for help” !! Sally explained the need for one or more members to take on the arranging of Speakers for the monthly meetings bearing in mind that this was a very necessary part of our Group. She was still prepared to “run” the meetings on the day but said that if no members came forward to organise the Speakers/events, then the Group will CLOSE after the December meeting !!
Yet again and sadly no members came forward BUT …………………………………….
Is there anyone out there that could do this necessary task
either alone or to share the task ???