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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just one of many theories...

I should begin by saying that what follows is not intended to make light of a condition that afflicts many good and decent children and adults around the world.  I am writing about it because:

a)  I only recently became aware of it;

and

b) it would seem to be a likely culprit in some (but certainly not all) of the anti- and asocial behavior I've been noticing in the comment section of various blogs and journals I frequent.

Asperger's Syndrome... If you haven't heard of it (as I hadn't up until a few months ago), don't feel bad.  The name was coined only about 25 years ago, and it is only in the past decade or so that serious clinical research has taken place to better understand this condition.

I'd like to present a little basic information * here, and will use the color red to denote passages that seem to explain some of the bad behavior many of us have been experiencing from commenters:

Asperger syndrome (sometimes called Asperger's syndrome, AS, or the more common shorthand Asperger's), is characterized as one of the five pervasive developmental disorders, and is commonly referred to as a form of high-functioning autism. In very broad terms, individuals with Asperger's have normal or above average intellectual capacity, and atypical or less well developed social skills, often with emotional/social development or integration happening later than usual as a result.

The most common and important characteristics of Asperger syndrome can be divided into several broad categories: social impairments, narrow but intense interests, and speech and language peculiarities. Other features are commonly associated with this syndrome but not always held to be necessary for diagnosis.

Although there is no single feature that all people with Asperger syndrome share, difficulties with social behavior are nearly universal and are perhaps the most important criteria that define the condition. People with Asperger syndrome lack the natural ability to see the subtexts of social interaction and also lack the ability to broadcast their own emotional state.

Non-autistics are able to gather a whole host of information about other people's cognitive and emotional states based on clues gleaned from the environment and the other person's facial expression and body language, but people with Asperger syndrome have an impairment in this ability, sometimes called mind-blindness. To be mind-blind is to find it difficult or even impossible to figure out things a person implies but does not say directly (more colloquially, to "read between the lines"). This is not because they cannot imagine the answer but because they cannot choose between the possibilities; the mind-blind person cannot reliably gather enough information to do so or does not know how to interpret the information he or she does gather.

Along with this difficulty in reading the nonverbal communication of others, most people with Asperger's have difficulty expressing their own emotional state via body language, facial expression, and nuance as most people do. Such people have emotional responses as strong as, or perhaps stronger than, those of most people, although what generates an emotional response might not always be the same; the difficulty is in expressing these feelings, although it sometimes comes across as lacking them. For example, many people with Asperger syndrome have difficulty with eye contact. Some make very little eye contact because they find it overwhelming, whereas others have unmodulated, staring eye contact that can cause discomfort to other people. Similarly, the use of gestures may be almost nonexistent or may seem exaggerated and differ from what would normally be considered appropriate for a situation.

Asperger syndrome can involve an intense and obsessive level of focus on things of interest. For example, one person might be obsessed with 1950s professional wrestling, another with national anthems of African dictatorships, and another with building models out of matchsticks. Particularly common interests are means of transport (such as trains), computers, and dinosaurs. Sometimes these interests are lifelong; in other cases, they change at unpredictable intervals. In either case, there are normally one or two at any given time. In pursuit of these interests, the person with Asperger's often manifests extremely sophisticated reason, an almost obsessive focus, and eidetic [photographic] memory. Hans Asperger called his young patients "little professors" because he thought his thirteen-year-old patients had as comprehensive and nuanced an understanding of their field of interest as university professors.

People with Asperger syndrome often have little patience for things outside these areas of interest. During the school years, many are perceived as highly intelligent underachievers or overachievers, clearly capable of outperforming their peers in their field of interest yet persistently unmotivated to do regular homework assignments (sometimes even in their areas of interest). Others, in contrast, may be hypermotivated to outperform peers in school. This adds to the difficulties of diagnosing the syndrome. In more serious cases, the combination of social problems and intense interests can lead to unusual behavior, such as greeting a stranger by launching into a lengthy monologue about a special interest rather than introducing oneself in the socially-accepted way. However, in many cases adults can outgrow this impatience and lack of motivation and develop more tolerance to new activities and meeting new people.

So, does this sound like anyone you've encountered on-line lately?

In fairness, I have to admit that among the many (and often conflicting) symptoms presented in the source I've quoted, I noticed more than a few areas where I could comfortably be placed somewhere along the spectrum for Asperger's diagnosis (just ask my wife).  On the other hand, I may simply be suffering from what many doctors experience in med school when they self-diagnose symptoms of nearly every new disease they study.

* source - I have quoted large chunks of the text from the source site, but I would highly recommend that anyone with an interest in getting a fuller picture of Asperger's go and read the whole thing.  I will freely admit to selecting passages that support my theory about certain people's on-line behavior.

Posted by David Bogner on December 13, 2005 | Permalink

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This sounds like the prelude to a drug commercial.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 13, 2005 10:10:10 AM

Jack... [cue film of overly intense person staring unblinkingly at a computer monitor while typing furiously]... [Cue voice-over] " Ask your doctor if 'Aspergertame' (tm) might be right for you. Side effects may include extreme drowsiness, diarrhea and reduced interest in online interaction."

Posted by: David | Dec 13, 2005 10:21:17 AM

Never heard of it until a year ago... but my FIL has taught some kids with it - fascinating and freaky I think is an apt description.

Posted by: Ezzie | Dec 13, 2005 10:51:15 AM

with national anthems of African dictatorships

I like that :) , I do the Hatikva for personal reasons but I still think I’m in the AS bracket.

Posted by: kakarizz | Dec 13, 2005 12:45:28 PM

Sounds like the syndromization of simple nerddom.

It was suspected that i have Asperger's, but after a few tests the psychologist came to the conclusion that i have Sensory Integration issues instead.

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Dec 13, 2005 12:46:40 PM

For a while, my Dad was obsessed with the "shwa" sound in Hebrew and other languages. Of his many obsessions, this was perhaps the MOST boring one, though not the most obscure. (He's a mathematician.) The description you give fits many men I've known, and a few women. As Steg said, sounds like we've turned being a nerd into a illness, which may be misguided. I heart nerds.

Posted by: Mirty | Dec 13, 2005 4:13:13 PM

David, it seems that more and more children are being diagnosed with it. I already know of at least five children. As for speculating about yourself, remember in Psychology 101, whenever a new diagnosis or condition would be discuss, each one of us thought we suffered from it. The same can be said with ADD or ADHD, we all probably have some or even many of the symptoms described, but unless we are way outside the norm, I doubt there is anything to worry or wonder about. When you meet people that truly have this, or ADHD (which I believe, many children who have Aspeger also have ADHD) you will probably know it or have a keen sense that something is little off.

Posted by: jaime | Dec 13, 2005 4:21:10 PM

Interesting hypothesis.
I looked into this recently as I am convinced that my father has Aspergers (my mother and sister agree) due to any number of reasons. Plus he is an engineer which is the death knell!
It would be hard to know based just on comments but some of them have websites and there is a lot in common between them, both "Pro-Israel" and "Pro-Palestinian".

- Most of them are located outside of Israel or the Territories.
- Those who are in the area limit their contact with people from the "other" side and frequently with dissenting voices on their own side.
- They are usually so political they have absolutely no personnal content at all, even to show how the politics affect them personnaly.
- The political content seems to exist mostly of regurgitated news followed by claims that it "proves" how evil/horrible/devoid of morals the other side is.
- They frequently have reams and reams of "information" culled from the web and other impersonnal sources.
- Any evidence or claims that refute the black/white good/bad scenario, that may show that those on "their" side can be wrong, make mistakes or just be human are summarily dismissed as heresay, lies or propaganda.

Of course, these are generalizations and I am not a psychologist so I cannot analyze this but there does seem to be a general trend.
So ends my Apergerizing for the day.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Dec 13, 2005 6:46:21 PM

LOL, recently I've been thinking how our values change with time, and how, if previously (i.e. a century ago) people would attribute certain types of asocial behavior to "evil" or bad upbringing, now, the social norm is to explain away everything in medical/psychological terms and try to find a medication for everything. In some ways, it helps us feel as if we have some level of control over helping other people. If we give them X amount of medication, they'll be "normal"...

Lisoosh, I've come across a number of such sites, but wouldn't necessarily attricute this trend to some biochemical imbalance... A good portion of such behavior can be also attributed to brainwashed narrow-mindednes, unPC as it may sound! ; )

Posted by: Irina | Dec 13, 2005 9:24:29 PM

I found an intriguing article on Asperger's a coupla years ago at Wired:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers_pr.html

Includes information on the draw to tech fields and why Asperger's and autism might be on the rise due in part to these new technologies.

Posted by: t | Dec 13, 2005 9:45:03 PM

More psychobable from psuedoscientists trying to justify their existence. Here in the US we now have pretty much every strong willed male child on ritalin. My nephew has grown up on a rainbow of ever evolving pharmaceuticalls. The kid is an average teen with some anger issues due to his AH absentee father. I wonder if he will ever have a normal non drugged life. His liberal social climbing high society mother couldn't stand it that her son might be a typical male. Thus she has sacrificed him to the drug god on the alter of political correctness. All to an imaginary syndrome he does not have. ADD.

I suppose I qualify for this silly syndrome. I have gone through more than a few hobbies in my life and I get pretty intense about mastering them while in the learning curve. I was very intense about sailing a couple decades ago untill I found I couldn't take it outside the marina. Horrible incurable seasickness. For the past five years it's been photography. A field one can never really master and is ever evolving. Personally I think it is quite normal that intelligent people search out activities or intellectual pursuits that challenge them.

The socially clumsy aspect of this 'syndrome' can easilly explained in the old saw, 'He could not suffer fools'. Those who believe themselves superior beings (what egotistical male does not?) don't spend a lot of psychic energy on carefully watching for facial expressions and tonal nuances in conversation.

Personally I believe that if one has the cahones to enter into political, religious, or other 'touchy' subjects of discourse ... one should not 'whine' OR be bombastic in ones language. Speak like a man. Straight forward and without dissimulation. If those of the opposite tact from me yell a bit I can take it but what I despise is the politically correct stance that some politics within the normal and heretofore accepted spectrum are bad and not to be tollerated thus to be censored.

Why do I suspect that this 'syndrome' is to be used by the left to squelch or at least dismiss conservative speech?

Posted by: scott | Dec 13, 2005 10:04:49 PM

David,

I just have to add that you are a highly charged electro magnet for a conservative who likes to argue with liberals. I actually sense that you are one of the rare individuals who is genuinely not 'wedded' to either end of the political spectrum. Because you are good at this blogging thing you draw from both sides and the clash, with you, and of your commenters is inevitable.

I will do my best to be civil. I recognise that my natural revulsion at the Left gets away from me. In the effort to be succinct in this blog milieu I often reduce my communications to a haiku-like blast. Which comes off as spew. In the future I will attempt to lower the volume.

Posted by: scott | Dec 13, 2005 10:48:33 PM

Ezzie... I'm not making a judgement call here (just so we're clear). I am just casting about for possible reasons for some of the behavior I've witnessed lately. I don't buy into the idea that people's behavior has to be linked to whether they are good or bad... clearly some of us have subtler things that motivate us.

Kakarizz... Except for the fact that Israel is not in Africa and it is not a dictatorship (no matter what some people would have you believe), I see your point. :-)

Steg... Of course there is the possibility of a chicken & egg argument here. Just because Asperger's was first identified 25 years ago doesn't mean it hasn't always been around. Does Asperger's cause nerdiness or does nerdiness cause a knee-jerk diagnosis of Aspergers?

Mirty... See this is where I am starting to feel a tad enlightened. Being an A.D.D. boy I don't see any of these manageable conditions (including high functioning autism like Asperger's), to be illnesses. True, some people can come closer to clinical normality through chemical intervention... but for the most part I see them as just more extreme versions of typical human differences. Just as people come in all sizes and shapes, they also come in all behaviors. It just so happens that because the personalities have such a direct impact on life within a society that we tend to be less tolerant of those who exhibit less 'normal' behavior. My point in today's post was not to make a judgement about people with Asperger's Syndrome, but rather to throw out the idea for discussion that perhaps some of the people we are calling trolls are simply exhibiting classic poor social skills associated with an AS diagnosis.

Jaime... As a syndrome that exists along a spectrum, that might not necessarily be true. Not everyone with Aspergers will exhibit all or even most of the symptoms. In fact, a very high functioning person with AS may only have a small inability to read social situations and interact smoothly with others. Such a person might seek out the safety of the online community rather than risk rejection or embarrassment in live social encounters. Just a thought.

Lisoosh... Wow, you make quite a case! Of course, without a face-to-face verification it's hard to tell the difference between a political bully and someone with AS that has a narrow interest in the other side of one of your hot-button issues. Certainly plenty to think about though.

Irina... I have to admit that I have been tempted on several occasions to ask my doctor for Ritalin. I've developed a host of 'work arounds' for dealing with my A.D.D., but I often wonder how much easier my life would be if a pill would make even some of that unnecessary. My point is that while it may seem that we keep narrowing the definition of 'normal' and then prescribing medication for every small deviation from that norm... if we have safe, effective medicine to help people to become more functional, effective members of society, why not?

T... Do you really think that Asperger's is on the rise because of technology, or is it possible that people with AS happen to be well suited for the tech sector of the work force. Another chicken & egg question.

Scott... Once again you enter the room in full transmit mode. Did it ever occur to you that adding words like 'possibly', 'maybe', 'perhaps', and a host of other painless modifiers would take nothing away from the points you try to make, but they would allow people to hear your ideas as something other than a lecture. I hate to be blunt, but nobody likes to be lectured. As to ADD being "an imaginary syndrome", I can assure you that you are 100% wrong. You would have been correct to have said that ADD is grossly over diagnosed and has been expanded to become a catch-all for many behaviors and problems that used to be considered fairly normal. I would even go so far as to say that many doctors go to the prescription pad where some improved parenting skills might be a better first course of treatment. But you didn't grow up with ADD as I did and you have no idea what it's like having to constantly leave a mental trail of bread crumbs in order to try (and often fail) to keep pace with one's peers in school and work. I did not write today's post in order to dismiss conservative speech. I did so because I have seen bad actors on both the left and right who's behavior could possibly be connected to AS. When I asked you in a previous thread if you weren't worried about someone you had insulted reading your comment, you stated "I'll say anything I believe to be true to anybody's face in a calm voice and I'll stand there quietly and let them respond." Scott, here is where I see the problem with you and social interaction. It might be true that a person with a cleft lip or similar deformity does not fit the classic definition of beauty, but it would be horribly unkind to tell someone with such a condition that you find them to be ugly. But by your statement I believe you feel that truth trumps feelings or social norms. I could come up with endless examples of things we refrain from saying in normal social intercourse that would be true but horribly unkind or even insulting. If you really don't understand this concept I won't argue the point... but I also won't indulge you any longer. I'll leave it up to you... stay for desert or grab your hat. I was just about to publish this when I noticed you'd added a second comment. I appreciate that you have climbed down from you tree a bit, and I am grateful that you have agreed to be civil. I can't ask for more than that. We can agree to disagree about whether my lack of matrimony to either political extreme dooms my site to conflict... but so long as everyone 'plays nice' I won't mind conceding the possibility.

Posted by: David | Dec 13, 2005 10:57:44 PM

David, I would never tell an ugly person they were ugly. I'm not vicious ... just blunt.

Posted by: scott | Dec 14, 2005 7:23:21 AM

Oh, and I meant my nephew's ADD was non existent.

Posted by: scott | Dec 14, 2005 7:26:59 AM

Asperger's is a form of autism - unlike some of your commenters suggested its not like "assuming" every kid with a bit too much personality has ADD/ADHD and then drugging them up to their eyeballs.

Its a real illness - again, a form of autism. The key with Asperger's is that while the Aspie child/adult is oftentimes brilliant intellectually, they cannot interpret "non-verbal" clues.

My brother has Asperger's. At first, when he was reading newspapers by the age of 2.5 and could memorize all his friends phone numbers while most kids were struggling to count to 10, we thought he was just a genius. Except that he also showed signs of true autism - even as a baby he hated being touched, and when he went to get immunizations at the age of 4 mos he never cried...no matter how many needle sticks.

The yeshiva school he went to had no experience with special needs, and did what any school would do with a 4 year old who could read Time magazine, while his class learnt ABC's...they skipped him 2 grades to 1st grade - when he still couldn't zip his own fly or tie his shoes. Did not help his social issues at all, to say the least.

Most Asperger's kids have a really tough time in life. Because they are so clever, no one makes allowances for their true illness. They look (for the most part) normal, and so normal expectations are put on them (like knowing what to comment on someone's blog). Something they can never live up to, because they have a real illness, a form of autism.

As a result, many Asperger's kids grow up into suicidal adults, with few friends and strained family relationships.

I didn't mean to turn this into a b*tchfest or anything, but every person who seems "nerdy" or quirky or does things that are not socially acceptable does not necessarily have Asperger's. They could just be quirky or nerdy or not give a hoot what the world thinks about them. But that's not true of the Asperger's sufferer. They do care what people think about them, they just don't always understand that before they do something ridiculous.

Just as you feel sorry for, and make allowances for Down's syndrome kids or classical autistic kids who do or say strange things, the same must be done for Asperger's kids/adults as well. A lot of them don't make it to adulthood because they cannot handle the "normal" expectations the world puts on them. Though they don't get non-verbal clues, they do understand when people are mean to them.

Posted by: Noa | Dec 14, 2005 11:12:43 AM

Yo Dude, clearly you were ripping on someone you know who talks like they have Asbergers, but my cousin has that and it's so not funny.

Posted by: Ari Roth | Dec 14, 2005 2:03:48 PM

From what I read from Noa, It's bigger than I thought... I take back what I said before.

Posted by: kakarizz | Dec 14, 2005 2:46:48 PM

Scott... I wasn't so sure there from what you had said... but so long as we can agree that some truths need not be stated, I think you and I will be fine. Thank you also for clarifying what you meant about ADD. In that context it certainly makes sense.

Noa... Thank you for sharing such personal experiences. I hope you know I wasn't trying to make fun of anyone with this post... just throwing out a possible culprit in some of the behaviors we've all experienced at one time or another. The title of the post should have been the clearest hint that this was just one of many theories about what might be behind bad online behavior.

Ari Roth... Dood, put down the bong and stop harshin' my mellow! Nowhere in this post did anyone make even a passing attempt to 'rip' on anyone because of "Asbergers" [sic]... but if you can point to something specific that you found offensive I'll try to pull together an apology.

Posted by: David | Dec 14, 2005 4:06:59 PM

Irina - your quite right, it would be really interesting though to list troll similarities by consensus and then ask a professional.
David/Noa - working out that my Dad probably is high functioning Aspergers was actually a blessing. He is definitely a genius and we could never understand why he didn't just "get it" when it came to dealing with people. Like your brother Noa he definitely feels very intensely so much so that he avoids emotional situations, actually hurting those around him. Far from labelling him in a negative fashion it allows us to accept his limitations. Aspergers also helped explain why he showed some characteristics of autism but had managed to lead a relatively normal life. Like dyslexics can become very proficient at hiding their lack of reading ability, Aspergers can become very efficient at appearing to follow instinctive social cues.
David - it would explain why some trolls seem genuinely surprised when they don't get the expected response to their statements. Ever noticed how they ask "why won't you engage me?".
Scott - put you in a room with my Dad and a topic to argue and neither of you would ever come out.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Dec 14, 2005 4:56:05 PM

Noa's story is dead on - my wife is an SLP who works with many Asperger's kids and she desribes them in exactly the same way. Unlike Noa's brother, however, this kids have other learning disabilities, so it was more obvious that they needed special services.

My pet theory to explain the behavior you've observed is the "digital courage" theory. Basically, since the internet provides a buffer for people so that more often than not, there few, if any, repurcussions for bad behavior. Thus, the inhibitions are dropped, and people act as obnoxious as they like, knowing that nothing is really going to happen to them.

Posted by: Geoff | Dec 14, 2005 5:10:27 PM

I'm not sure I understand your question. I don't see any chicken or egg question.

Technology does not cause AS. Folks with AS are indeed "well suited for the tech sector of the work force." The article explains just that.

The article theorizes about higher reproduction rates of folks with AS than in the past, made possible by technology and the tech field and tech society and culture. The higher reproduction rate yields more cases on the autistic spectrum. That's what is meant by AS being on the rise.

I have an acquaintance whose son turned out to be on the autistic spectrum. She (the acquaintance) has some AS tendencies and works in IT. She is the biological parent; her partner is not. Turns out the biological father is also "a geek." Just one anecdotal case of geek reproduction producing autistic children.

Posted by: t | Dec 14, 2005 5:24:51 PM

I was just thinking the exact opposite of what Geoff is saying. On the internet, there are no visual/facial/body language cues. Unless someone adds an emoticon or initials (lol,etc.) you don't know how seriouse they are being or what tone they are using.
Everyone who writes, reads or replies to blogs is pretty much working with a handicap, especially if they have never met in the 'real world'.

Posted by: Chedva | Dec 14, 2005 5:45:08 PM

t: an interesting and pertinent stat (for which I can't dig up the citation right now) is that the highest rate of Asperger's/autism occurs in Silicon valley.

Posted by: Geoff | Dec 14, 2005 5:56:27 PM

while still living in the states i taught a child with possible aspergers. his parents were trying to determine if his diagnosed high functioning autism was indeed asperger's syndrome. they were trying to mainstream him. the child came across as a genius, (this was first grade) but displayed highly anti-social behavior and only really responded when in a one-on-one situation. it was when he became overwhelmed by the classroom setting that he would lapse into this behavior. what calmed him down was the making of lists. i would keep a list myself of possible list topics for him. he was obsessed with the calendar and could tell you the day of the week any calendar date would fall out on -- even 10 years from now. he would also disassociate himself from his body saying things like "i don't know what's going on because my ears won't listen." it was unbelievable to see this as he was so bright in so many ways and yet by interacting with him for a very short time you knew there was something seriously wrong. this goes way beyond "nerdiness" and unless a person has ever experienced a child with autism or asperger's he or she wouldn't understand.

Posted by: nikki | Dec 14, 2005 6:13:01 PM

David - absolutely. I didn't intend it to be a judgement call on them; just on the concept in general.

Posted by: Ezzie | Dec 14, 2005 6:50:35 PM

Geoff: The article points to Silicon Valley as well as another location where IBMers live.

One of the many interesting things I took away from the article is that what can contribute to making some folks great can in larger doses be quite harmful.

Spielberg has AS, I recall.

Posted by: t | Dec 14, 2005 9:19:53 PM

Lisoosh... "why won't you engage me?" Wow, does that sound familiar! Good point.

Geoff... I agree that many people behave on the Internet the way some people do at a costume party... meaning they act badly when they feel they can act anonymously. But I honestly think there is more at work than just this one cause.

t... I was actually responding to the last line of your comment as I hadn't yet had the opportunity to follow the link you provided. Interesting idea about AS people seeking out other As people and then having AS kids. I'd be interested to see genetic research to support that theory.

Chedva... What you're talking about are the normal mis-steps we all make when we have to fill in things like tone, inflection and body language from an essentially blind medium. What I'm talking about is anti-social behavior that can't be mistaken for anything else. No smiley face is going to smooth over the work of a determined troll.

nikki... "i don't know what's going on because my ears won't listen." I love that!!! I'm going to have to try that out some time! :-) I'm not trying to make light of this, but you had to have smiled when you first heard that line.

Ezzie... Ok, I figured as much.

Posted by: David | Dec 14, 2005 9:50:54 PM

oh, he had a treasure trove of them. he was such a cutie pie. difficult, but cute. i felt that he was very comfortable around adults because adults could understand his spoken vocabulary, and he could converse easily, but still, there was that disconnect. and yes, he did make me smile!

Posted by: nikki | Dec 14, 2005 11:24:07 PM

wow... i need a drink

Posted by: shabtai | Dec 15, 2005 2:01:54 PM

Shabtai... Yeah, and what's new? :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 15, 2005 2:14:23 PM

I am very wary of assigning something like ADD or Asperger's to someone so casually, even as a possibility. Especially in the U.S., both are overdiagnosed, with doctors all too ready to dole out medication. Sometimes a troll is just a troll.

Posted by: mcaryeh | Dec 15, 2005 9:14:30 PM

People with Asperger's syndrome very frequently have a rather rare marking (6 - 13%) in their hand called a simian line. This line also is common on Downs syndrome children. However, there are a relative small number of people with this simian line who do not have Downs syndrome or other diagnosed syndrome. They do seem to be extraordinary nevertheless. Tony Blair, British PM is one. See this page for more info and pictures: http://www.handanalysis.com/simian.html

Posted by: Larry | Dec 19, 2005 12:49:07 PM

Larry... Where did you see the 6%-13% figure? When I was researching this post I never saw any connection drawn between Asperger's and having a Simian line on one's palm. I've seen figures that state that 5% or 6% of the 'normal' population have a simian line and that all other instances of this palm marking is associated with chromosomal disorders... but not one source makes the connection you have. I'm not saying such a connection doesn't exist, but I would be interested to know your source. Also, if such a connection does exist, what is the connection to Asperger's and/or bad online behavior?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 19, 2005 1:12:21 PM

Though my sample size is small due to the frequency of Asperger's Syndrome, my preliminary results demonstrate that Aspie patients do indeed have a Simian line.

Posted by: Letizia | Jan 31, 2009 10:34:49 PM

Though my sample size is small due to the frequency of Asperger's Syndrome, my preliminary results demonstrate that Aspie patients do indeed have a Simian line.

Posted by: Letizia | Jan 31, 2009 10:46:00 PM

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