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The story of Hans Asperger

As written by a Mother to help explain Aspergers to her 9 yr old Son.

A long time ago, in 1944, there lived a scientist in Austria called Hans Asperger.
Hans asperger spent many years studying all kinds of people and the ways in which we are all different, and he discovered a group of people who in some ways are very special. He found that these people were often very clever, with very good memories. They could also be very loving, friendly and caring people, and they often got very, very interested in one particular subject for a long time - sometimes so much that you could even say they were obsessed with it!

He also noticed that these special people sometimes had difficulty in understanding things - like why certain things happened, or understanding the things that other people said or did, and sometimes they felt embarrassed about their feelings, or very worried or cross about things, and also that they found certain things very frightening. And sometimes, because they were worried about something, it made them behave in a way which they couldn't`t explain to other people.

Hans Asperger did a lot of work with these people, and he discovered that because there were some things they did`t understand as well as other people, they needed some extra help to learn these things. But, because they were very clever people, with good memories, they were very good at learning these things, and some of them grew up to be very good musicians, writers, artists or scientists, even though they still didn`t understand everything about other people, and sometimes got cross at things that didn`t seem right to them.

There are lots of people like this in the world, and we think of them as Mr. Aspergers special people. Of course everybody is special in their own way, but it`s a way of describing a person who is very clever and caring, but just needs a little extra help and understanding while they learn all the strange and confusing things about life and our world.


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