I have just come back from a disability studies conference where I was presenting.
I decided to stay an extra day in the accommodation so I would not be so tired, to catch the train tomorrow, and since there was no meal or anything provided I decided to use the kitchen, to make myself a pot noodle, to stave off my hunger for the evening.
There were a couple of other delegates who were staying overnight too, and they were asking the usual questions, what was my research about, where did I come from etc.
Anyway there was guy who was staying there, by the name of Volker Schönwiese from Innsbruck University who said he came from Austria. So naturally I asked him if he had heard of Hans Asperger. Not only had he heard of him, he had been sent to his clinic as a 10 year old child
He was a wheelchair user, and when he was younger his family wanted him integrated into the mainstream school, but the authorities were resisting it, so he was sent to Dr Asperger for a consultation. Apparently Dr Asperger did all sorts of tests including an IQ test, and wrote up a report saying that children with Polyarthritis were extraordinarily gifted and he should be given all the facilities he needed to go to a mainstream school.
It was a white lie of course because there was no scientific evidence to support that notion, but it illustrates something of the character of the man back then, that he would write something like that into an official report to ensure that a disabled child got the same schooling as everyone else, and not the second rate schooling he might have got if he were sent away to a special school.
He said that Dr Asperger was a pleasant and very kind man. Sometimes it is a small world, and now I have met someone who met with Hans Asperger.
I have included a link to a pdf of Professor Schönwiese's presentation which may be of interest to people in the wider disability world.