AUA student Fred Parks didn’t cry when he was born and didn’t vocally communicate until he was three years old. Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) at an early age, Fred recently sat down with Rick Millis on the set of AUA Healthy Perspectives to discuss his life and use the opportunity to help others with AS.
Asperger Syndrome is one of several previously separate subtypes of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual in 2013.
Compared to those affected by other forms of ASD, those with Asperger Syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary, often in a highly specialized field of interest.
Fred recounts that as a child, his doctor anticipated him being either extremely intelligent or the opposite. Fortunately, the former came to fruition in Fred’s case and as he began verbalizing, he developed an affinity towards filmmaking and an eidetic memory when it comes to every detail of a film’s cast, awards won, and box office performance.
The AUA community is incredibly impressed with Fred’s life story and looks forward to following his bright future in medicine.