Wang Hsiao-ti, a fourth-grade elementary school student, was having trouble getting along with his peers, was extremely stubborn about the minutest details of everyday life, and was plagued with extreme mood swings. To help Wang deal with the difficulties of adapting to everyday life, his parents and teachers decided to take him in for an evaluation at a child psychiatry clinic, where doctors diagnosed him with Asperger’s syndrome.
Wu Sih-ying, a doctor at the Hsinchu Branch of National Taiwan University Hospital, says that Wang often ignores group activities that are going on during class, and voices his own opinions or just reads his books. Even after the teacher repeatedly reminds him to do something, Wang usually still has difficulties cooperating.
After class is dismissed, he usually walks around the playground by himself, watching his classmates play dodgeball or hide-and-seek, but does not know how to join in on the games. Sometimes his classmates invite him to play with them, but Wang is always fastidious about the rules of the game and yells at anyone who does not follow the rules. He also does not understand the various facial expressions, gestures and signals of his classmates, which eventually causes them not to want to play with him.
On the other hand, Wang is quite adept at working with machines. He can read difficult textbooks by himself, draw detailed blueprints, explain things systematically, and use logic and reasoning that typically wins him admiration from adults. He also usually takes the initiative in taking care of and teaching children from lower grades. If Wang sees someone being bullied, he will try to stand up for them even if he is outnumbered or at a disadvantage. He will also cry for an entire night after reading news about famine in Africa and implore his parents to do something to help the suffering children.
1. peer n.
同儕；朋輩 (tong2 chai2; peng2 bei4)
例: She succumbed to peer pressure and voted for the less qualified candidate.
2. mood swings n.
情緒波動 (qing2 xu4 bo1 dong4)
例: With more pressure at home and at the office recently, his mood swings have gotten significantly worse over the past few weeks.
3. systematically adv.
有條有理地 (you3 tiao2 you2 li3 de5)
例: The detective solved the case by systematically arranging all of the clues, finding specific patterns in the killer’s behavior.
Current medical research shows that the causes of Asperger’s syndrome and high-functioning autism are multifaceted, including genetics, complications during pregnancy and damage to the brain, but precise pathologies are at times not that apparent.
Wu suggests that parents, teachers and people in close contact with children suffering from Asperger’s syndrome listen and try to understand their thoughts and teach them how to express themselves more effectively, as well as teach other children to respect and understand the condition.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)