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Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Why the world expert on Asperger’s took 30 years to notice condition in his own son – The Guardian

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Will Attwood has been addicted to drugs for the past two decades, an affliction which has seen the 35-year-old jailed multiple times and reliant on support from his family.

His father, Prof Tony Attwood, describes him as “a hero”. It’s a feeling towards his son that has come about since his decision about five years ago to watch an old family video.

Until then Attwood, an internationally renowned clinical psychologist known for his knowledge of Asperger syndrome in children, had been reluctant to look back on the videos of Will as a toddler, a time before addiction and pain.

“They were hard to watch,” he said.

But his daughter Rosie, a teacher to preschool children with autism, convinced him to play one of the videos for her and reminisce. They watched as Attwood appeared on the screen with Will, who was then about four. They were at a beach.

“In the video I was trying to engage with him, and he really just didn’t want to know me,” Attwood said.

“I was giving him all signs of interaction and trying to play with him, and he was basically in a world of his own. It wasn’t shyness, because he knew me. Something more was going on.”

A few minutes into watching, Attwood and Rosie looked at each other in shared recognition of what they were seeing. “He’s got Asperger’s,” they said at the same time.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/25/why-the-world-expert-on-aspergers-took-30-years-to-notice-condition-in-his-own-son

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