Sunday, July 6, 2008

Asperger's Syndrome

Allan is Jerry’s counsel and wants to use mental illness as a defence.
Allan: They say Albert Einstein might have had Asperger’s syndrome. Thomas Jefferson. Some say Bill Gates even exhibits certain signs of it. Very good company Jerry.

Jerry: It’s a relief actually.

Allan: Really?

Jerry: I always hated that I couldn’t be normal. Turns out, it’s because I’m not.

Allan: Jerry, it’s also a viable defence. We just need the psychiatrist to give you a diagnosis.

Jerry: No. No. With a diagnosis in court, it’ll be a matter of public record. I’ll be the autistic lawyer. Forget about disbarment. No one will ever hire a mental case, even though it's only a pervasive developmental disorder. I could certainly never be a lawyer again. No. No. No.

Even though Asperger’s syndrome is not a serious disorder, Jerry knows that using this defence will jeopardize his employment prospects. The rights of those with physical disabilities are fairly well protected in law, but those with mental disorders, even when they do not diminish a person's ability to function, and may even enhance it, are still discriminated against.


Anonymous said...

ry for being pedantic but Asperger's is a pervasive developmental disorder and not usually thought of as a mental disability. I have Asperger's and prefer to think of it as a different way of viewing the world. How society looks at it can be very stigmatizing and that is obvious despite the fact that many "genius" people showed traits of autism. Interesting subject.

Barry Natusch said...

Excellent comment, Karen! Such rewording helps us regard a condition differently. It can also swing someone's perceptions from misunderstanding and anxiety to comprehension and cooperation. Your comment also inspired posting tonight's, July 8. Thank you and good luck!