Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wicked Good - Amy and Jo Interview - Part Two

Amy and Jo Interview – Part Two
Live from Bass Park, Bangor, Maine

     In Paul Bunyan’s last interview of us, he asked how we decided to write Wicked Good together (see Amy and Jo Interview – Part One). He was going to interview us for Part Two on how we actually wrote the book together but that was well covered on Jodi Webb’s blog -

- so instead, Paul Bunyan has decided to tackle a very serious subject:

PB: Several people have asked you to write about what Aspergers Syndrome is.

Amy: Blogging Wicked Good has been an interactive experience.

Jo: We love posting the chapters and the extras like our interviews, what the critics are saying and Rory says, but the best part is when readers comment on the blog or send us e-mails.

Amy: A couple of readers have asked us to explain about Aspergers. We’re really pleased to bring some attention to AS. For starters, it’s part of the Autism Spectrum.

Jo: It’s named after Dr. Hans Asperger who founded it in 1944. He recognized a pattern with some children who were socially awkward, repeated behaviors, lacked certain communication skills and showed a lack of empathy toward others.

Amy: AS affects people with high and low IQs. Some people believe Einstein and Mozart had AS.

Jo: I’ve read that some doctors want to eliminate AS from the Autism Spectrum and instead distinguish it as high-functioning Autism.

PB: Can you speak more about the characteristics of a person with AS.

Amy: They can be social but in an awkward way. For example, they may have long, one-sided conversations or they may fail to interpret nonverbal signs correctly.

Jo: Right. If a person with AS is speaking about his favorite topic…

PB: …like how Rory loves lawn mowers….

Jo:…exactly. And if Trish were to suddenly yawn, Rory might not recognize the sign that Trish is ready for a new topic of conversation.

Amy: A person with AS might say things not suited to a conversation. For example, if Trish was talking to Rory about how her mother mistreats her and Rory changes the subject to discuss a way to fuel lawn mowers with left over popcorn butter, he’s not being rude.

PB: What are other characteristics of AS that Rory has?

Amy: Commenting out of context, poor decision-making, his obsession with lawn mowers, over reacting.

PB: Can you give an example of Rory commenting out of context?

Jo: Sure. We just posted chapter twenty-four. Rory is in a police interrogation room which for most people would provoke anxiety.

Amy: Which it does for Rory.

Jo: But when Archer walks in, he doesn’t run to her and say I’m glad you’re here, mom; or I didn’t do anything wrong. He says:

“Did you see the fisherman patch on their uniforms? That’s the same fisherman on the box of fish sticks,” he laughed. “I don’t like fish but maybe I’d like fish sticks. Think you can buy some for me?”

Amy: Totally inappropriate. But Archer is accustomed to this, and, at times, finds it endearing.  Not in chapter twenty-four though.

PB: Wow, that was very informative. Thank you. You sure have taught this statue a lot. Until our next interview, this lumberjack is signing out.

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