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Be, and you shall live. Stop this day and night with me You shall possess the good of the earth and sun. You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, You shall not look through my eyes either, You shall listen to all sides I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own. First, Asperger's is a form of autism. It is a social-communication disorder that seriously affects the quality of life for those who have it. People often call them eccentrics or odd ducks. Yet these benign labels mask the deficits that make it difficult for these individuals to function normally. Second, people with Asperger's syndrome have extraordinary qualities that make them essential to our culture and to God's plan. Their unique genius should be celebrated, and their eccentricities should be recognized as expressions of an impairment and as an attempt to function in a world that does not understand them. My three children are walking, talking examples of the fascinating yet little-known ways that attention deficit disorders (ADHD) and autism are related. ADHD is classified with disruptive behavior disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text Revision, 2000, which I'll refer to in these articles as the DSM-IV-TR. Although ADHD is considered the leading developmental disorder of childhood, it is the most controversial and misunderstood of all psychiatric disorders. No mental disability this decade has been assailed by as much criticism, skepticism and flat out mockery as ADHD, said Matthew Cohen, president of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD). Even when others stepped in, Hazel wouldn't let it rest. Later, when Hazel was told that Eileen was a recovering alcoholic, Hazel exclaimed, How was I supposed to know? Eileen should have told me!

Hazel couldn't see that it wasn't Eileen's responsibility to explain her personal history to someone she didn't know very well. It was Hazel's responsibility to read the room and act appropriately. Before speaking, Hazel should have thought to ask herself the following: (Basic nunchi) Look closely at Eileen's face and expressions. Does she appear uncomfortable with your remarks? WHY WOULD I LOOK CLOSELY AT HER FACE, WHO DOES THAT? (Intermediate nunchi) Does Eileen's husband seem surprised that Eileen is not drinking? CARPE DIEM! If you were going to die soon and had only one And why are you Carpe diem - Seize the day! I told a large seminar audience. Then I asked the assembly, What dreams are you waiting to put into action? A woman named Cindy raised her hand and admitted that she had been wanting to invite a certain man to an upcoming party, but out of fear of rejection she kept putting off calling him. I turned to the sponsor of the program and asked, Can Cindy use the phone in your office? Would you call him now? I invited Cindy. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of children and adults are diagnosed with this disorder each year. As for autism, researchers and physicians currently use the term pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) to refer to a group of related disorders that includes autism, Asperger's syndrome (also called Asperger syndrome or Asperger's disorder), and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). These disorders are broadly categorized as pervasive developmental disorders because they manifest in a child's social, communication, and behavioral development.

It is a considerable advancement in autism awareness that Asperger's syndrome has recently been identified as a subtype of PDD. It is milder in degree than autistic disorder as defined in the DSM-IV-TR and, as you will see, shares an amazing number of similar characteristics with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). What began as my desperate attempts to find help for my sons has ended up as a mission--a mission to increase awareness about the similarities between ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders, especially Asperger's syndrome, and thereby facilitate more productive dialogue, more accurate diagnoses, and more effective treatment for children affected with these conditions. My journey has been like that of a warrior with battles of ignorance raging all around me. In raising three sons with various degrees of developmental disorders, I have debated the definition and treatment of their conditions with the experts and have struggled with educators who didn't understand. As a mother, basic training wasn't optional. I had to face combat ready or not. NO -> The husband probably knows Eileen best, and he is not worried, so why should I be? (Ninja-level nunchi) Is Eileen slowly sipping one sparkling water, or is she ordering one after the other? This may be the compulsion of someone who used to have a drinking problem. Have you ever noticed that when someone says angrily, I'm not a mind reader! It's not my fault! Such protests are the hallmark of someone with no nunchi. The social, professional, and happiness cost of such an attitude can be very high. If you have no nunchi, people will irrationally hate you without knowing why (I'm not exaggerating at all). At the very least, they may just not want you around. People react to the nunchi-challenged in the same way that they might react to a person with horrible breath: they might feel petty about it, they might not even know why they find them repellent, all they know is that they don't like being around that person and can't wait for them to leave. Yes, I will, Cindy answered. This is my moment. As Cindy stood up to go to the telephone, an outburst of excited applause surged through the auditorium.

The group was rooting for Cindy - they appreciated the courage she mobilized to make her vision a reality. When Cindy returned about ten minutes later I asked her, How did it go? I got a date! The assembly burst forth with a round of cheers and a standing ovation - the most enthusiastic swell of spontaneous group support I have ever experienced in such a program. The people in that room were electrified by Cindy's triumph over her sense of limits; When I returned the following year, Cindy excitedly introduced me to her new husband - the man she had called the night of our seminar! There is a reason for our inner promptings, and we must give me universe a chance to fulfill them. So, armed with a mother's intuition and my Christian faith, I set out to prove something I'd come to suspect as each of my sons was diagnosed with varying degrees of ADHD: There had to be a better answer than hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or impulsivity at the root of their difficulties. These labels left too much unexplained. Consequently, I've spent the last seven years discovering what every parent of a child with ADHD should know: ADHD and Asperger's syndrome are closely related disorders. They may even fall in the same spectrum, along with autism and pervasive developmental disorders. However, until now, no one has examined the overwhelming similarities between ADHD and Asperger's syndrome. Instead, researchers and clinicians from both ADHD and autism have focused upon the differences between these two disorders. I have come to believe that this focus upon the differences, to some extent, is fostered by the paradigm of isolation practiced in the scientific community. That is to say, research is a fairly isolated pursuit, and when we refer to research that takes place in two apparently unrelated fields, then the chances that these researchers have shared information are slim at best. Nevertheless, it is my hope that the information in this article will open new areas for dialogue, research, and treatment between the fields of ADHD and autism. Even more important for parents of children with attention deficits, autism research offers a biomedical view rather than a strictly behavioral approach usually taken by ADHD specialists. But how can you tell if you have bad nunchi? If your nunchi is really bad, then you probably can't even tell. It's an extension of what psychologists call the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is the cognitive bias that prevents a really stupid person from knowing that they are stupid.

The good news is that if you are self-reflective enough to read this article, you have already demonstrated a desire to get your head out of your ass; If you have friends or loved ones who care enough to tell you that you have bad nunchi, consider yourself lucky. Realistically, though, there's a good chance that no one will tell you outright. If forced to respond to a direct question such as What did I do to annoy everyone? In Korea, you might say that you don't like a person because they give you a bad kibun, which is the Korean word for mood as a sort of full-body experience. Tell a Korean friend you don't want to go on a date with Mr Dreamboat from school because he gives you a bad kibun, and your friend will nod and not press the matter. It is understood and accepted that you would trust your nunchi about such a thing, but bad luck for Mr Dreamboat, who may be unaware that his poor nunchi is putting off the ladies. ACTIVATION: MAKING NOW COUNT Imagine that you have 24 hours to live. Who would you call, and what would you say? Name of Person What I Would Say Continue on a separate sheet of paper, if necessary. Too Young to Settle My friend Lisa was telling me about her divorce. What was the key factor that moved you to leave? I asked her. With recent advances made in neurobiology, genetics, nutrition, and cognitive research, autism research presents a more complete view of what is now considered ADHD, especially in terms of causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Current ADHD research still focuses on controlling the impulsivity, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity associated with the disorder, even though, as you will see in article 5, these behaviors are simply symptoms of the underlying disorder and not the disorder itself. But I am jumping ahead.