Interesting article about Asperger's today in the New York Times. I had no idea that one of the girls on America's Top Model has the condition and that the ramifications are being played out before a national audience. Here's a tidbit:
A gifted art student from Valparaiso, Ind., she has a lean and angular look well suited to the fashion industry. But her beauty doesn’t mask the challenges of Asperger’s. The show requires her to live in a house with 12 other would-be models, and cattiness and backbiting ensue. Early in the show, she appears socially isolated, the girls whisper about her within earshot, and viewers see her crying on the phone to her mother.
One girl is frustrated when Heather, concentrating on packing a bag, doesn’t hear a request to move out of the way. At one point, the others laugh when they stake out their beds and Heather has no place to sleep.
“I wish I could get the joke,” Heather laments.
More programs like this are inevitable with 1 out of 150 people suffering somewhere along the Autsim spectrum. And it's not just those with the Autsim. Often they miss what they're missing, but their family sees it. The emotional and financial toll Autism takes on a family is monumental.
Maybe, some day, there will be a pill this girl could take, so she wouldn't just be a contender, but a winner. But then I wonder, take the Asperger's away, do you take the haunted look that makes her so compelling visually, too?