Charlotte Psychologist Creates Asperger's Comic Book
Max Gamer focuses on strengths of Asperger's.
Charlotte, N.C. - Max Gamer looks like any other comic book at first glance but you quickly find a much deeper story than good guys vs bad guys.
"Max is basically a little professor. He knows all the dinosaurs, he loves the History Channel, fixing computers, playing video games," explains Frank Gaskill, Ph.D.
Superhero Max Gamer like an estimated 1 in 300 children has Asperger's and like many "Aspies" as they're affectionately known, Max feels all alone.
"He doesn't get invited to parties, he sometimes get's picked on, he doesn't feel comfortable in his own skin. He gets frustrated through sensory sounds, he's a big time picky eater," says Dr. Gaskill.
As a mother of two sons on the Autism Spectrum, Shelley Reilley appreciates Max Gamer's focus on all the strengths of someone with Asperger's.
"I thought it was awesome. My older son actually read the comic book and loved it. He's a gamer too. I think it brings awareness, I think it brings understanding to that age group."
What may come across as quirky in early elementary looks a lot different as a child with Asperger's gets older.
"Other kids start saying you're different, what's wrong with you? Why do you only talk about legos? Why do you only talk about Star Wars? So then they feel strange, they get upset, anxious," explains Dr. Gaskill.
It's not just kids who struggle to understand Asperger's and Autism.
"If you're in a grocery store and your kid has a meltdown for some reason that somebody else doesn't understand they look at as bad behavior, they look at it as bad parenting," says Reilley.
Dr. Gaskill believes parents of a child with Asperger's can learn from Max Gamer as well.
"It helps take their worries away and it helps them look at their child as this is my child rather than what's wrong with them. Let's look at where their strengths are."
Helping to build up these little superheroes, one page at a time.
www.southeastpsych.com - Southeast Psych
www.autismsociety-nc.org - Autism Society of North Carolina
www.parkerautismfoundation.org - North Carolina Non-profit Parker Autism Foundation
www.maxgameronline.com - Max Gamer Comic Book