Tuesday, February 14, 2012

'Best Practices': Learning To Live With Asperger's

A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband When he was 30 years old, David Finch's wife, Kristen, sat him down and asked him a series of odd questions: "Do you notice patterns in things all the time?" "Do people comment on your unusual mannerisms and habits? "Do you feel tortured by clothes tags, clothes that are too tight or made in the 'wrong material'?" "Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?" David's answers to all of these questions — and more than 100 others — was an emphatic yes. Kristen Finch had just given her unsuspecting husband a self-quiz to evaluate for Asperger's syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. Her own score was 8 out of a possible 200. David's was 155. "It was very cathartic. It was this unbelievable moment of self-recognition," David Finch tells NPR's Melissa Block. "It gave me such insight into who I am, how my mind works and why certain things have been such a challenge." In his new book, The Journal of Best Practices, David Finch describes how he and Kristen worked to overcome his compulsions and sometimes anti-social behavior.

 Click here to listen to the interview on NPR.