As part of the autism spectrum, Aspergers Syndrome is characterized by poor social skills, poor large motor coordination, deep interests in particular topics, and a habit of repetitive movement (e.g., flapping one's hands). Because so many people with autism or Aspergers have other family members on the autism spectrum, it is thought to have some kind of genetic component. People with Aspergers Syndrome also have struggles, such as learning how to read facial expressions and learning how to both give and take in a conversation.

Yet, people with Aspergers Syndrome have contributed immensely to our culture. For example, the computer world is often a safe haven and among computer programmers there is a high degree of people with Aspergers. Computers are consistent and they never do anything you didn't tell them to, so they are not confusing the way people can be confusing. We wouldn't have personal computers and the internet without people on the autism spectrum.

The university is also a reasonably good place for someone a little strange to work in. The work is flexible and extensive knowledge about one thing is encouraged. People on the spectrum tend to enjoy repetitive tasks and also to do things exactly right and exactly the same way every time. There are many jobs that involve these characteristics.

The problem is, we have a highly social world and this is a difficult place for people with Aspergers Syndrome to operate. Particularly in schools, where bullying is a frequent problem for people on the autism spectrum, it is hard to succeed socially when there is an emphasis placed on athletic competition and social events that involve relationships: proms and other dances.

At the same time, the internet has opened up a new world for people on the spectrum. For people who have a hard time interacting with people in person, the internet offers the opportunity for interaction, but at a slower pace (through e-mail) and also where people are on an equal footing as far as reading social signs. In instant messaging and e-mail, all people have to use emoticons to nuance their language.

So if you meet someone who seems a little strange, who likes to talk about stuff you never thought of, and who can be very (not to say brutally) honest, take an opportunity to get to know this person. You might ultimately enjoy the friendship.

Indeed, during the past ten years, the attitude towards Aspergers Syndrome has been changing. Many people on the autism spectrum feel that the different wiring or neurology is so much a part of themselves and their personalities that they don't particularly want a cure, they just don't want to experience bullying and the intolerant attitudes of non-autistics (in the Asperger world, called NT's or "neurotypicals").

This idea poses a challenge: for autistics and NT's and that is, to build a bridge between the two cultures, each moving halfway out to meet the other.

There are definitely things for which people with Aspergers Syndrome need therapy: to learn how to interact with others, to learn about reciprocity in relationships, to learn how people tend to hint, and to learn motor skills.

At the same time, NT's can learn not to belittle a person who is different and how to be polite to someone who is socially awkward.

To learn more about autism and Aspergers Syndrome, visit the VideoJug website and watch moving interviews on the subject with experts in the field.

Author's Bio: 

Jack Dobson loves VideoJug! It is the world's leading purveyor of online, "How To", video content. Filled with instructional films on thousands of subjects - it really is the place to go with any questions. Visit VideoJug today!