Asperger Profiles Have Extraordinary Minds
In Many Instances, Their Asperger Traits Often Alienate Them
“Social dysfunction is perhaps the single most defining and handicapping feature of Asperger syndrome” (Rogers, 2000). Asperger syndrome is a subtype of autism. Those who experience Asperger syndrome may desire friendships, but are unable to make friends (Filipek et al., 1999). Research suggests that those with Asperger syndrome often struggle with feelings of isolation, challenges with communicating, longing for greater intimacy, and difficulty with initiating conversations (Muller et al., 2008). One of the reasons for this is that individuals with Asperger syndrome often have specific eccentric and uncommon interests (Barnhill, 2001).
The Asperger Advantage is a case study and explorations on multiple Asperger profiles. These stories exhibit specific unconventional behaviors/interests that have led to increased isolation and social awkwardness. For each person, I have created a product in order to both showcase their unique behaviors/interests, as well as provide a solution to help them successfully socialize and connect to individuals around them. These products allow individuals with Asperger syndrome to make their misunderstood interests understood, accepted, and perhaps even valued.
How Might I Turn Their Unique Interests into Products That They Can Share with Others ?
Wyatt's Special Interest
Wyatt is 6 years old and has a fascination with collecting recyclable materials. He picks up mostly soda cans and bottles from the streets, garbage bins, or finds them around the house. He lines up the cans and bottles in his backyard or bedroom and counts them and organizes them almost daily.
Collector of Recyclables
Wyatt's struggle is that his friends and peers think that he is weird for collecting recyclables. Wyatt, being just a kid, is unaware of his awkwardness and doesn't understand why his obsession is alienating him from his friends. He doesn't know that his special interest is not a normal thing for a kid like him to do.