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Asperger Subtype: "The Emotion Boy"

Predominately Fantasy
This child is very similar to the OCD type except his distractions primarily involve his preoccupations with fantasy. This means Game Boy, Nintendo, Xbox, video games, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Cartoon Network, TV shows, Japanese animé, fantasy books, show tunes – the list is endless, but often involves electronics in some way. Not only does he obsess over the use of the electronic equipment, but the fantasy reoccurs without it as well. If the fantasy involves books or music, he doesn't need the actual object to experience its pleasure. So he replays, re-creates, or in some way engages in the obsession in his head. As he is eating dinner, sitting in class, doing his homework, or talking to you, there is another tape playing in his head. And this tape is all about fantasy. He does word-for-word scripting of dialogue and scenes in his head, combines different ones together, or makes up his own based on something he has seen or read. He may have many other obsessions, but the strongest are about fantasies. These fantasies serve many functions – besides being very enjoyable, they remove him from the unpleasantness of the real world, demands are reduced, and everything goes just the way he wants. As a result, reality is avoided, interactions with others don't occur, and life goes on without him. This is how he copes with stress and reality. Interfere with his preoccupations and you will experience his wrath. Leave him to his preoccupations and he can amuse himself for hours.

Recommended Approach: Everything we said about the OCD type applies here. Additionally, you must go beyond those techniques to include teaching him the difference between reality and fantasy – how to recognize it, what constitutes each, and how to be in the here and now. You must limit fantasy time and help him to develop the ability to enjoy nonfantasy activities. If he can't enjoy the real world, he won't want to be a part of it. Medication is almost always necessary.



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From Parenting Your Asperger Child by Alan Sohn, Ed.D., and Cathy Grayson, M.A. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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