AUTISM

AUTISM

November 5, 2012

Asperger’s: ‘This is our normal’

Giulia Rhodes meets the Cook O'Tooles, a family of five who all have Asperger's syndrome

Jennifer Cook O'Toole and her husband, John, with their children Moira, Sean and Gavin: ‘My way of learning these unspoken social rules is to write them down.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian


Giulia Rhodes  |  The Guardian

Maura, nine, is an expert on ancient history. Her brother Sean, six, specialises in the classification of animals. Gavin, the youngest, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Spiderman – a little less high-brow, but then he is only three.

All three like to hold forth on their chosen subjects – regardless of whether anyone else is listening or, for that matter, speaking. Family meal-times, admits their mother, Jennifer Cook O'Toole, can be quite a headache-inducing affair.

Fortunately, Jennifer and her husband, John, are not averse to delivering impassioned monologues themselves – about, respectively, the history of monarchy and astronomy – if the mood takes them.  READ MORE >>

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