“We have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of high-functioning autism,” Lyle continued, pinching and rubbing his earlobe. “I am interested in science and math, and my sister likes art.”
“We do schoolwork, and we are good at what we are interested in,” Lilly added.
Lilly and Lyle Thompson are on the Autism spectrum with Asperger’s. What does that mean?
Individuals with AS and related disorders exhibit serious deficiencies in social and communication skills. Their IQ’s are typically in the normal to very superior range. They are usually educated in the mainstream, but most require special education services. Because of their naivete, those with AS are often viewed by their peers as “odd” and are frequently a target for bullying and teasing. They desire to fit in socially and have friends, but have a great deal of difficulty making effective social connections. Many of them are at risk for developing mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression, especially in adolescence. Diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders should be made by a medical expert to rule out other possible diagnoses and to discuss interventions.
Lilly and Lyle are twins who were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the same time. They both face similar problems, but in different ways. Lyle is the typical loner who only cares about his interest at the time. Lilly craves connection with people her own age, but is bullied because of her differences.
When they were offered a spot in group, their parents were skeptical, but after several assurances from Dr. Embry, they finally allowed it. Fearing their children are too young to be exposed to others who are different, despite them being in high school, they are torn between letting them grow up and keeping them protected.