Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for August 22nd, 2012

The Autistic Spectrum: Problems With Imagination

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on August 22, 2012

Carson, a thirteen year old boy, I have known since he was six, has always “suffered from a lack of imagination,” I said to his mom. When he was in latency, his play consisted of banging toys together, without creating a narrative. His play was limited┬áto being aggressive with his toys, without the ability to create stories around his aggression. Now, at thirteen, he reads voraciously, but only about the guns used during the Civil War. The narrowness of his interests are startling. He prefers to be alone, with very little interest in friends or family. The persistence of┬áhis restricted interests suggests that his brain only fires up with a minimal slate of activities. His mom, Kerrie, agrees and understands. She always has. It is not that Carson does not enjoy his life. It is that he is an outlier, a child who does not fall in the bell-shaped curve in terms of his leisure activities. Imagination, like every other skill, falls into a spectrum. As with all spectrums there are people in the extremes. Understanding is the first step. Kerrie models this step for so many parents. She intervenes and helps Carson, while at the same time, accepting his limitations. I admire her.

Posted in Child Psychiatry | 3 Comments »

 
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