Asperger’s Syndrome – A Diagnosis For Life!

This morning, my daughter sent me a link to an article about singer Craig Nicholls, from the band The Vines.

Craig is another famous ‘aspie’, and the band The Vines, are very popular among young rock fans. Craig in particular, whilst having been controversial over the last few years, is certainly a talented performer.

Sadly, Nicholls was arrested on the weekend, after an incident at his parents’ home. 

There are two issue about this incident, that as parents of young people on the Autism Spectrum, we need to be aware of.


1.  The Diagnosis Of Asperger’s Syndrome Is For Life

Many people talk about ‘autism recovery’. Thousands of parents around the world are experiencing great results with their autistic children, by changing diet, accessing early intervention and the use of alternate therapies. Many previously non-verbal and non-communicative autistic children are emerging from the diagnosis, to attend mainstream school and can interact in ways that were never thought possible.

However, the diagnosis of Asperger’s and Autism is for life. Those diagnosed simply develop strategies that help them to navigate this strange neuro-typical world.  Many diagnosed with both Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism, can and do, go on to be successful in life and in their chosen careers.

Those diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum need the skills to be able to self-monitor their stress and anxiety levels to ensure that they have the strategies to fall back on, at what ever stage they are in their lives. Therefore it is critical that parents help their child to develop stress strategies, bully-resilient strategies and help their child focus on their area of obsession to create success.  


2. Most People On The Autism Spectrum Are Not Violent

The press loves a headline and Asperger’s, ASD and Violence, makes for a great headline.

Recently, I spoke to a group of trainee teachers at a University.  Many of these young trainee teachers were terrified about having an AS child in their class, because all they had heard was that children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum are violent and difficult to handle!

The majority of those diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum are not violent, however when pushed to the limit of their stress, they can react in ways that are unacceptable.  That is why it is critical that we work with children on the spectrum to help them to develop solid stress relieving strategies, so that they can self monitor when their anxiety and stress levels are high.  

Without knowing Craig Nicholls or his family, I can only imagine that the environment he finds himself in most of the time must certainly be challenging, especially for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.  The noise, the lights, the movement, the heat, the expectations from the audience, the pressure from management and promoters would all be incredibly stressful, and perhaps he just reached his limit.

Whatever the reason for Craig Nicholls arrest, I send my heart-felt thoughts to his parents.  Those of us raising children on the Autism Spectrum know how challenging this journey can sometimes be.  They must love their son with all their hearts, and this incident must be very emotional for all concerned.  

From all of us at David’s Gift, we send them our love and thoughts at what must be a very difficult time.


Do you find that people make assumptions about your child and they way they act? If so, leave a comment below and tell us how you are dealing with it.


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