Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Meeting Professor Tony Attwood

Yikes. I really shouldn't be posting again as I have pre-clinical finals 2 weeks from today but I really thought I had to update you guys on a very exciting meeting I had with the one and only Professor Tony Attwood. He's currently touring the UK and today he was giving a seminar hosted by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen's group. 

I felt immense honour to see these two absolute legends of ASD research meeting for the first time since the early 80s, when they were only PhD students both studying under the supervision of Utah Frith. There was a definite sense of mutual respect and friendship as the two of them chatted whilst waiting for people to arrive.

Professor Attwood talked about his specialist area of Asperger's diagnosis in girls, his newly developed cognitive behavioural therapy programme for showing affection and also gave his opinion on the upcoming DSM-V diagnostic criterion (he thinks its b****cks)

Afterwards, Professor Baron-Cohen, who diagnosed my HFA just last month, was kind enough to introduce me to him. That's right, I was introduced to Professor Tony Attwood by Professor Baron-Cohen!! I half-expected Hans Asperger himself to walk through the door and complete the party lol.

I aske Tony about practicing medicine with an autism spectrum disorder, and just like SBC, he was extremely positive saying there is no reason why someone with Asperger's cannot become a specialist in any area of medicine. He says he knows for a fact that there are "loads of them" out there. He light-heartedly said I'll basically be like House

I was kinda hoping to carry on asking him about the distinction he makes between HFA and Asperger's but he was quickly hounded by the other people attending the talk. Luckily, I was able to get him to sign my copy of his book which SBC himself describes as one of the best resources for parents of, and people with Asperger's. He also requested that we stay in touch so if all goes to plan I can arrange a Skype interview which I shall  then report back on for this blog. In the meantime, here's one that was made earlier.

Signing out

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