Gary McKinnon

One of my less successful pursuits, in terms of personal happiness, was working in a locked facility for Asperger's Adults. I was unhappy in it, not because of the residents, but because of one member of staff who decided to humiliate me whenever he could do so, (without it being obvious) and expose me to unneccesary danger. This included placing me with the most dangerous of our clients during my first few weeks. There are people like that in all walks of life, but for some reason the "caring" professions have more than their fair share.

I cannot go into personal details of course, about those inside this unit, for whom release in their lifetime was very unlikely; sufficient to say that some were violent and had murdered people.

The lesson I learned during the first few days was that, if you were to have met any of the residents in a pub, it is unlikely that you would have noticed any behaviour that gave away their condition. Many Asperger's people are highly intelligent, like Gary McKinnon, who has lost his extradition appeal to the USA after hacking into their military computers. Despite the medical evidence, McKinnon has been declared fit enough to stand trial in America.

I said that you would find it difficult to spot an Aspie. It would take some time to do so, and then you would have to be looking for it. The symptoms are often very peculiar to the individual. But the reason my residents were incarcerated was that they had had a serious brush with the law. More often than not, their view on this was bafflement. Aperger's people live a life of trying to understand signs and signifiers that they seem doomed never to comprehend. The clever ones learn to fake reactions. They may well listen to a joke and laugh, but that is because they have learned that a certain string of words and a certain type of language is a "joke". There are many high-level Asperger's people who hold down jobs, such as accountancy or almost anything that requires obsessive attention to detail. But for some reason they are unable to control their temper. When this happens, all hell breaks loose and people can die, as a consequence of them merely being in the way.

I don't know the details about McKinnon, but it is possible that he presents himself as intelligent, lucid and sane. That is because, in his personal hell, he learned to hide the terror within.


Montague Burton said...

Soooo comrade Broon, a touch of Aspergers or just ADD?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Brown is classic Asperger's, Montague.

Joe said...

There was an interesting programme on tv the other night about aspergers and autism in general.
It was looking into their chances of getting a date. This couple met in a cafe and sat looking at the floor for half an hour before saying goodbye. After the meeting they both told the researcher that it had gone really well and that they couldn't wait to meet again. The girl had a flip chart of expressions and picked out her thoughts about the meeting. She had a smiley picture, a surprise picture and then a hopeful picture. She explained that she knew what the expressions meant but didn't ' feel' them inside.
So that seems to confirm your experience of working with this type of person WW.

Henry North London said...

The caring professions are full of sociopathic control freaks, you sometimes wonder who is the patient and who is the jailer....

The lunatics certainly run the asylum