The daughter has Asperger’s syndrome: she takes a leave from her job to attend the same class and graduate together

by Maria Elena Sini*

Maria Elena Sini ad Alghero, estate 2013 (foto di Paola Ciccioli)

Maria Elena Sini in Alghero (Sardinia, Italy), Summer 2013. Photo by Paola Ciccioli

Lucia looks younger than her age: she doesn’t apply makeup as her classmates do, she doesn’t experiment new strange hairstyles or hair colours like other girls of her age, she isn’t a fashion victim but she always wears jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt. Only the image is sufficient to describe her “uniqueness”. Lucia has Asperger’s syndrome, a pervasive developmental disorder related to autism that doesn’t present in all people who suffer from the same set of symptoms. Lucia has limited social relations and often expresses her discomfort zoning out from the class. When Lucia breaks the connection with the rest of the world she covers her head with the sweatshirt’s hood and isolates herself in another reality through drawing or typing furiously on the keyboard of her computer game. She is thus able to implement some sort of  “escape” from reality unsatisfactory, boring and anonymous, finding refuge in a virtual environment. She has an unusual self-centeredness with a lack of concern for others and their different points of view. Sometimes her voice has an unusually high volume and she looks awkward and clumsy. Lucia lacks the natural ability to understand what isn’t said explicitly in social relations and in the same way shows it difficult to communicate accurately her feelings or her own emotional state. She is not able to read facial expressions, therefore she often doesn’t understand a joke. Continua a leggere