Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Ablevision visits the Aspergers Association of New England

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Hello, my name is Jimmie.

I'm in Watertown Square in Watertown Massachusetts

we're at Asperger's Association of New England.

AANE for short where I've been a member since May 25

of 2001 and I'm here with Dania Jekel,

Executive Director and Founding Member of this organization.

This organization was founded by a group of parents and some adults

with Asperger's Syndrome so that we can create services

and assistance and help the folks who had Asperger's Syndrome.

We serve people of all ages, anybody who has Asperger's Syndrome or

related difference such as non-verbal learning disability or high-functioning autism.

Jimmie: What is Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological difference it affects

approximately one and 250 people.

They're people who are professors at MIT who have Asperger's Syndrome

or there's artists and there's engineers with Aspergers Syndrome.

And they're also people with Asperger's Syndrome who has struggled just to get through the day.

So, people with Asperger's Syndrome generally have difficulty with some of

the...knowing the social skills, social communication,

they often they get a little bit awkward in our world.

What type of services do you offer here?

Dania: We have a very wide variety of services, we offer help and information

for parents who have children with Asperger's Syndrome,

we also have a lot of services for adults with Asperger's Syndrome,

we have social events, we have support groups,

we have one-to-one assistants, and we also have conferences

and seminars for professionals who work with books with Asperger's Syndrome.

Hello, my name is Camille and my guest is...

Atsuko.

How has Asperger's Syndrome impacted your life?

Well, finding out there hadn't and really have any impact since

if I have it I just have it but

the symptoms of it like being socially

awkward and that just make things like school and group work harder

but other than that it doesn't really affect my life.

Yeah, it's hard to associate with people but

I don't know but just thinking of wierd and that's kind of normal by now.

What are some of your talents and hobbies?

Atsuko: I really like to draw as my main hobby

but other things that I do is sword fighting thing in the future

I'm planning on being a comic artist.

What do you like about AANE?

Who? They're really nice here at AANE.

I didn't really think that I can go and work somewhere just

volunteer and not be completely awkward but I'm not.

I'm Christine Murdocca from Ablevision.

Hi Christine, I'm Jaime Freed.

What made you get interested in doing this type of work?

Well, I'm a social worker but actually with that needed the Asperger's

Association is that I'm also the parent of a daughter

with Asperger's Syndrome and she's twelve years old and when she was five

she got a diagnosis of Asperger's and I was just looking for

some support and I went online and I

typed in Asperger's and I found the Asperger's Association of New England.

I started to volunteer and it seemed like there was a lot of work

that needed to be done with adults because there was a lot more happening a lot more support for children.

How does the organization like just help people with Asperger's Syndrome?

Jaime: We tried to provide a community where people with Asperger's who might feel kind

of different in the world can come together and be with one another and be with other people

that might understand them better.

We tried to educate said of a larger community

and maybe employers so that people with Asperger's Syndrome can be better understood.

What do you like best about your job?

People with Asperger's are incredibly interesting

and smart and friendly and I enjoyed being around them.

I loved the people I worked with, we've grown a lot in the last couple of

years and it just feels like

we're doing something different that nobody else's doing and it's

a real opportunity to be part of this organization so I really

I like a lot of my job.

I'm proud that we offer an opportunity for people who

might feel very alone to have a place where they feel less alone.

When did you find out when you had Asperger's Syndrome?

I was about almost five years ago,

I've been unemployed for some time and my parents

had to come to feel that I might have had something like

Asperger's Syndrome and I did some research and

I was...I started finding some books on this subject and I came to feel like I did have it.

How has Asperger's Syndrome impacted your life?

Well, I can say that I didn't date much

in high school or college and

I always felt a little bit out of place that

I had ways of communicating with people that didn't seem

to be quite normal in terms of other people's expectations

but I was able to... artisically and get ahead in the workplace

that's hard but unable to it function mostly just by my art.

I did portraits of the circle figures to agree that out

with Asperger's Syndrome and they were used for fundraise

for some of the pieces on the table so.

Jimmie: Where would you like to do in the future?

Well, if I can get in touch with more

people I would like perhaps have to collate all my

experiences into a nice little film about Asperger's Syndrome perhaps.

How has Asperger's Syndrome impact your life?

Well, it's explained a lot of difficulties

I've had over the past because I was also diagnosed a couple of years ago

and my son more recently.

It's also giving me some kind of insight so that I might

try and limit the damage that's done through my Asperger's Syndrome tendencies at times.

What are some of your talents and hobbies?

Well, I enjoy music and writing and all kinds of art.

What are some of the challenges you've faced?

Relationships are my biggest challenge and since everything

is made of relationships that affects everything.

What would you like to do in the future?

I like to publish a book.

The book I like to publish I'm not sure it might would be on

I like to come to appoint in my life right understanding enough to write about it.

Hello, my name is Chris Alfonso from Ablevision

and I'm here with Bob, our retired firefighter here, Welcome.

Bob, when did you find out you had Asperger's Syndrome?

A year ago, last June.

What are some of your talents and hobbies?

I spent 40 years of out on the fire trucks

and hung around fire stations before I was a firefighter.

I've been retired since 2002.

My hobbies today: I study the bible and I

visit nursing homes and I sing Christian music on a karaoke.

Okay, now what are some of the challenges you faced?

This might sound kind of hard to you but

I realized when I go back to being a youth.

I had a fear of water...not too good around the fire service

and a fear of heights...not too good around the fire service either.

I used to run and hide from ambulances.

I couldn't do that when I was in the fire service.

It took some of these things that were fears of me of mine

and actually made a career of them.

What do you like about AANE?

I'm not alone, I think that's about it.

I always knew that I was different

and other people I guess they call them nueratypicals but

I'm not alone and a lot of people that they have had

some of the same challenges and life is me.

What types of services do you use in this journey at AANE?

The weekly discussion group, I've been to

speaker presentations, book presentations,

movie presentations, pizza and game night,

and I just attended the second ever

adult New England Conference at Bentley College which was a full day last Saturday.

How do you ever become your fear when you're in the fire service?

This might sound like a funny answer to you, I didn't.

(laughter)

This is a wonderful program and we like to get information about

Asperger's Syndrome out to more people because our folks

with Asperger's Syndrome do feel a little bit different in this world and very

often just a little bit of understanding and a little bit of assistance

and they can get along very, very well.

So, the more people know about Asperger's Syndrome, the better it is

for them and the better it is for our society.

Okay, thank you Dania and any information the website is www.aane.org.

So, check it out.

Thank you very much, Dania.

Thank you Jimmie, I appreciate your time.

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The Description of Ablevision visits the Aspergers Association of New England