Asperger's Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking To Cope?

Author:Cady, Dick
Position:Book review

Work Title: Asperger's Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking To Cope?

Work Author(s): Matthew Tinsley and Sarah Hendrickx

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

142 pages, Softcover $19.95

Health

ISBN: 9781843106098

Reviewer: Dick Cady

Autism is one of the great medical mysteries of our day: Is it caused by genetics, environment, vaccines, or a combination of things? Science as yet can't say, and thus it is also one of the great human tragedies. Millions of people enter the world lacking the tools to cope, with little hope of any immediate cure.

Yet not all of those diagnosed with autism have the severe learning disabilities, physical limitations, or inability to understand social interaction. In recent years much has been learned about the milder Asperger Syndrome, which is characterized by difficulty communicating and interacting with the external world.

To a growing body of literature on AS, add Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking To Cope? by Matthew Tinsley and Sarah Hendrickx. The book attempts to break new ground on the relationship between alcoholism and persons who have or probably have AS, but haven't necessarily been diagnosed.

Tinsley is not just the co-author; he's a living, breathing laboratory specimen. That he survived until age forty-three before discovering he had the classic AS symptoms is something of a medical mystery in itself. Toward the end, he was consuming up to three large bottles of gin a day. He should have been comatose, or dead.

But he lived to tell his tale, and it's a compelling story, even for others coping merely with alcoholism...

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