Local expert shares traits of Asperger's

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 8:47 PM

One of the buzz words we've been hearing about is Asperger's. There has been a lot of talk about the shooter having Asperger's, but we don't know that for sure.

One of the leading experts in the country for Asperger's is right here in Charlotte, so NBC Charlotte talked with him about this so we could all have a better understanding.

He refers to people with Asperger's as people with a different kind of brain: They tend to have above average intelligence. They often have a particular obsession and difficulty reading social situations -- that means they miss the social cues that come more naturally to most of us.

Dr. Frank Gaskill said, "Asperger's kids and people tend to want to have friendships, want to connect with people, can be extroverts or introverts, the problem is they just don’t know how to go about it and so they feel awkward. But they want to have friends.”

Gaskill says it’s important to know that people with Asperger's tend to be empathetic -- there is no indication of a propensity for violence. They can be prone to temper tantrums and fits, but he says there is nothing in an Asperger's diagnosis that could explain or contribute to the tragedy in Sandy Hook.
 

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