Personal Musings of a Latter-day Saint with Asperger's Syndrome

The First Clue (Part 1)

Although I had always had some vague sense of being “different” from my peers, I never really became aware of the enormity of that difference until my teenage years—mostly from feedback that I received from peers, teachers, parents, and youth leaders at church.  By the time I was 16, the difference had become so pronounced that I found myself entirely isolated from others.  Within a few months, I became a full-blown basket case.

The first piece of actual information which gave me some idea of what was going on came into my hands when I was 17.  Actually, it was more than a “piece”—more like the jackpot.  It came in the form of a report drafted by the school psychologist when I was in fourth grade.  I was waiting to see the doctor for something or other, and I began to look through the folder of my medical records (I had been given the folder to hand to the doctor).  The report was in the folder, and I was naturally intrigued by what it had to say.  What I read blew me away.

Apparently I had been having trouble with the other boys and girls at school.  Some sort of incident occurred in the lunchroom, and I ended up seeing the school psychologist.  I vaguely remember doing some tests (involving shiny red and white plastic blocks), but very little else.

Here are some of the main points brought out in the report:


  • “He has always had difficulty with peers and has always been teased and abused [by them]”
  • “He is not a fighter…He cannot bring himself to defend himself”
  • “[He has a] tendency to cry and go to [his mother] or another adult…when teased”
  • “His social maturity level is far below that of average fourth graders…His whole manner and speech set him apart as ‘babyish’ ”
  • “He is unaware of how inappropriate his remarks and his interests seem to others”
  • “Very good academic progress all the way through the grades…[with] good achievement and work habits”
  • “Improvement…needed in both fine and gross motor skills”
  • “Noticeably uncoordinated, even ascending stairs like a much younger child, using two feet for each step”


  • “Very naïve, transparent, immature”
  • “He is so sensitive and so vulnerable that he is an inevitable scapegoat”
  • “Social level like that of a first-grade child”
  • “Bright, alert, and interested in learning”
  • “Quite competitive, constantly striving to do better than other children his age”
  • “Insecurity and chronic anxiety-state”
  • “He feels that none of his peers like him”
  • “Said…that ‘Perhaps the other children would like me better if I was smarter’…Said that some of his classmates think he’s ‘kind of stupid’”
  • “Super-conscientious [and] dependent”
  • “Able to please and appeal to adults by his ‘good’ (conforming) behavior”
  • “Not observant enough of the behavior and interests of normal nine-year-olds to adapt his conversation and manner to their standards”
  • “[Engages in] pious talk [that] is tolerated only from adults among children of his own age”
  • “A ‘family-oriented’ child, happy with and fond of all family members”
  • “Misses his father, and wishes that his grandparents and his aunt lived closer to him”
  • “A lively, active mind and a genuine eagerness to learn”
  • “He knows that he is different, but his attempts to please…lead to adult indulgence but not to acceptance by his age-mates”

(To be continued)


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Hugh Nibley [off the record]

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