Recently, I began reading Sheila Shaw's book Ripples in a Pond. This proved most fortuitous and it seemed that fate was playing a hand when it came into my possession because no sooner had I got a short way into the book when a situation arose in my domestic life that, had I not begun reading her book, I like most others would not have recognised what is proving to be a desperate situation. As it was, I together with many others had been acquainted with a young man 34 years of age and whilst we all thought that he 'was a bit odd' had no idea that he had and had been diagnosed as suffering from Asperger's Syndrome. Many had found his behaviour irritating on occasions but fortunately we had all tolerated it and I had to some extent befriended him. He then told me in passing when discussing why he, being very intelligent and with a family of three children and a non working wife to maintain had been out of work since February was now getting desperate. Had I not read part of Sheila's book, what he told me would have gone completely over my head but as a consequence of what I have read, I have managed to get a totally different attitude from his associates, some professional help with more to come, some of which might be lifelong. In conversation with these associates, not one of them had any idea of the characteristics of the condition, some had never even heard of it. I have passed my copy of the book around and am in the process of buying some more copies on line.
He was not diagnosed until he was 30. He was it seems given no advice on how to deal with it and the damage that must have been done in his formative years must have been considerable. It is fortunate that he appears at least to be remarkable resilient. The book is very readable not using any forbidding scientific jargon and in my opinion, is a 'must read' for all educationalists, youth group leaders clerics and everyone in positions of responsibility for the personal welfare of others.
by David Hutchins