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Essays James Humphrey

Jimmy with Asperger’s: The Early Years

By James Humphrey

It was a typical preschool classroom in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on a hot August day in 1997. Four-year-old kids were playing with toys and socializing with one another as they waited for someone to pick them up. There was one boy who didn’t have any toys out. He was sitting in a corner, reading a book, alone by choice. This boy didn’t play with toy cars often, but he could point out the difference between a Honda and a Toyota in a parking lot. He saw little reason to socialize with other 4-year-old, and preferred the company of adults. He read books, and scribbled in them – not drawings of far-out space aliens or cartoon characters, but coherent words like “Dual Airbags.”