Please enjoy this charming story by Benjamin Nugent, a self-described former “nerdy kid” who briefly entered the world of the Asperger’s diagnosis. A dreamy, socially awkward teenager, he was assigned the diagnosis by his psychologist mother who made a film about the “syndrome”, where she featured her 2o-year old son.
Nugent talks about his leaving home after high school, taking the New York City cure, where he found other weirdos–i.e., writers and artists, who shared his ideo-syncratic ways. In NYC his perceived liabilities worked in his favor, and he went on to establish a career as a writer. In contemplating the inhibiting power of diagnosis, Nugent says… “I wonder: If I had been born five years later and given the diagnosis at the more impressionable age of 12, what would have happened? I might never have tried to write about social interaction, having been told that I was hard-wired to find social interaction baffling.”
Nugent is now director of Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.