Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Class presentation for Read Across America Day

Book cover: All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

The class presentation on Monday, March 3, went really good. It was for a group of kids ages 12 to 13 and I've been asked to pay another visit.

I'd originally suggested March 3 because it was "Read Across America Day." This is an observance organized every year by the members of a national teachers' group. One of the most prevalent ways in which our local teachers observe it is to read Dr. Seuss books since the date falls near or on Dr. Suess's birthday. "Read Across America Day" was technically March 2 but since that fell on a Sunday, March 3 was selected for the actual observance.

Another emphasis of "Read Across America Day" is promotion of diversity so I suggested that it would be a good time to read "All cats have Asperger syndrome." The teacher and I had been talking for months about my coming to her class but hadn't previously set a date.

So at the beginning of my presentation, I read "All cats have Asperger Syndrome" and I showed the students the book's darling photographs. The children really enjoyed the book and so did the teacher.

Afterward we did a Q&A about what it was like for me to learn as an adult that I had Asperger Syndrome and what were some of the coping strategies I'd adopted over the years on my own.

The kids asked some really good questions too, such as is AS contagious? So I explained that I couldn't give you AS by shaking hands but that doctors believed AS was passed on through the genes.

Other kids asked about various behaviors and whether or not they were associated with AS so I answered either from experience if I had one or from what I had read. I think it went very well.

Originally posted to