Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate change activist, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 11. While acknowledging that her diagnosis has limited her, she does not believe her autism as an illness. Instead, she has called it her “superpower.”
Thunberg delivered a powerful speech at the United Nations about the impact of climate change. It was the subject of a segment on Fox News’s The Story and featured reactions from The Daily Wire host Michael Knowles and podcast host Chris Hahn. “The climate hysteria movement is not about science,” Knowles said. He added that if it were about science, it would be led by scientists, rather than by politicians and a mentally ill child who is exploited by her parents and the left.
When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!
I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower.#aspiepower pic.twitter.com/A71qVBhWUU
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 31, 2019
In response, Greta said that she had not been open about her diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum not to “hide” behind it, but because she knew “many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness’, or something negative.”
Let us take a look at Asperger Syndrome
Asperger syndrome, also identified as Asperger’s, is a developmental disorder defined by notable challenges in social interaction and non-verbal conversation, with limited and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interest. As a more moderate autism spectrum disorder, it deviates from other ASDs by relatively standard communication and intellect. Although not needed for diagnosis, bodily ineptitude and unusual usage of language are marked. Signs usually arise before two years of age and typically continue for a person’s entire lifetime.
Causes of Asperger’s
The exact condition of Asperger’s is unexplained. While it is chiefly acquired, the underlying heredity has not been resolved conclusively. Environmental agents are also considered to play a part. Brain imaging has not recognised a general underlying problem.
Therapy is directed towards changing poor communication abilities, obsessive or repetitious habits and physical clumsiness. Responses may involve social skills training, cognitive behavioural treatment, physical therapy, speech cure, parent training, and medicines for associated difficulties, such as mood or anxiety.
The course of treatment
There is no single remedy, and only limited data verify the effectiveness of appropriate interventions. Therapy is directed towards changing poor communication abilities, obsessive or repetitious habits and physical clumsiness. Responses may involve social skills training, cognitive behavioural treatment, physical therapy, speech cure, parent training, and medicines for associated difficulties, such as mood or anxiety. Most children adjust as they grow up, but social and communication problems usually continue. Some researchers, plus people on the autism spectrum, have supported a transformation in views. They have proposed the belief that autism spectrum disorder is a difference rather than a disease that needs to be treated or cured.
Origin and classification
In 2015, Asperger’s was estimated to afflict 37.2 million individuals globally. Autism spectrum disorder affects males more often than females, and females are diagnosed at a later period. The syndrome is named after the Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger. In 1944, he diagnosed children, who came to him for treatment, and who specifically lacked nonverbal communication abilities, had restricted comprehension of others’ emotions, and were physically clumsy, as suffering from Asperger’s. The contemporary understanding of Asperger syndrome came into existence in 1981. It became a standardised diagnosis in the early 1990s. Many interrogations and controversies persist. There is uncertainty about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism, partly because of the percentage of people affected, is not firmly established.
Greta Thunberg is an excellent example of an individual with Asperger contributing to society much more than any other ‘normal’ individual.
Dr S.C Malik, a noted psychiatrist in Delhi, stated, “It is a rare disorder. Its mental illness symptoms arouse a negative mind-set as the individual is unable to express themselves and have difficulty in communication. One needs to be empathetic and develop positive attitudes towards them.”
In all, Asperger’s is a difference and not an illness which is attributed to its patients. Greta Thunberg is an excellent example of an individual with Asperger contributing to society much more than any other ‘normal’ individual.
Image Credit: The Atlantic
Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV