One of the more humbling things about being a senior therapist is realizing the cases where we missed it because we didn’t have adequate training at the time or because the disorder hadn’t been adequately researched or named yet. We learn about something at a workshop or professional conference or in supervision and figuratively slap hand to forehead and think to ourselves “If only I had known . . .”.
Learning about the emerging research on adult Asperger Syndrome (AS) has caused me more than a few of those forehead-slaps over the past ten years. Although named by Hans Asperger in 1946, Asperger’s Syndrome didn’t get codified in the DSM until 1994. For many years thereafter it was seen as a childhood disorder; not something to consider when working with troubled and troubling adults. But looking back, I have to rethink how I worked with a number of cases that discouraged me at the time.