We have chosen to retire the pathologizing word "syndrome," because it fails to acknowledge that: Dr. Shore (a former AANE Board President) says, “When you meet one person with Asperger's — you’ve met one person with Asperger's.” Although people with Asperger profiles may share a common cluster of traits, each person is unique, and his or her life course is highly variable.Each person's traits vary in number and intensity, and their expression may vary at different developmental stages or in different environments.Matthews is funny, intriguing, eccentric, articulate, a talented artist — all qualities that many people find appealing.
The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication, had limited understanding of others' feelings, and were physically clumsy. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Asperger syndrome (AS) as one of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), which are a spectrum of psychological conditions that are characterized by abnormalities of social interaction and communication that pervade the individual's functioning, and by restricted and repetitive interests and behavior.
Occasionally a viewer might feel like the film is making him appear more eccentric than he really is (the questioning about his masturbation practices was certainly intrusive and unnecessary), but for the most part Sokolow’s subject comes across as disarmingly relatable. By painting his romantic tribulations as akin to a cultural difference (Matthews’ own analogy) instead of a mental condition, the viewer is able to see him as a decent man adapting to strange customs rather than as some ineffably different “other.” Indeed, from its opening frame, the movie practically invites its audience to shout feedback and advice back at the screen.