A “Nerdy” Kid or “Asperger’s”?

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imagesPlease enjoy this charming story by Benjamin Nugent, a self-described former “nerdy kid” who briefly entered the world of the Asperger’s diagnosis. A dreamy, socially awkward teenager, he was assigned the diagnosis by his psychologist mother who made a film about the “syndrome”, where she featured her 2o-year old son.

Nugent talks about his leaving home after high school, taking the New York City cure, where he found other weirdos–i.e., writers and artists, who shared his ideo-syncratic ways. In NYC his perceived liabilities worked in his favor, and he went on to establish a career as a writer. In contemplating the inhibiting power of diagnosis, Nugent says… “I wonder: If I had been born five years later and given the diagnosis at the more impressionable age of 12, what would have happened? I might never have tried to write about social interaction, having been told that I was hard-wired to find social interaction baffling.”

Nugent is now director of Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.


One comment

  1. I love “nerdy” kids. Asperger syndrome…yep….it is “in” since the 1980s and since Lorna Wing translated the book. Nothing wrong to say about Wing, but do we really need to diagnose so many and how reliable is it anyway?

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