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Kathy Marshack News

Living Life with Asperger Syndrome - A Surfer's Story

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am always touched to read a positive story about someone with Asperger Syndrome. Fortunately, I keep coming across more and more. The recent article in USA Today, Surfer Marzo rides the waves of the ocean and autism, was a great example. It is the story of Clay Marzo, a 20 year old surf prodigy from Hawaii. In 2007, Clay was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS). Instead of looking at Asperger Syndrome as a hindrance, it was the gift that has made Clay one of the most incredible surfers in modern times. Jaime Tierney directed a surf film about Clay and was actually the one who recognized that Clay might have AS. He said, "Clay is so good because he has Asperger's, not in spite of it. His level of focus in the wave is incredible, he makes instant natural connections with the water, something very few people have." Of course, living with Asperger's or living with someone with Asperger's is no walk in the park, however it's important to remember that the way we choose to look at something will change the way we feel about it. Yes, Clay Marzo may have an abrasive personality and connecting with him may be difficult, but you can choose to focus on his talent, devotion, and creativity. I’m sure we will continue to hear more about Clay in the near future. I also encourage becoming familiar with the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. If we are able to understand more about it, we will grow to be more appreciative of what people with AS have to offer. Please read my Frequently Asked Questions about Asperger's.


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