Tuesday 24 April 2018

Asperger's no barrier to Adam's results

Kevin Keane

WITH a successful campaigning website to his name and another about to be launched, Adam Harris could be forgiven for underachieving in his Leaving Cert.

But on top of that, 18-year old from Greystones, Co Wicklow, also suffers from Asperger's Syndrome – a condition that can make concentration and communicating his thoughts on paper difficult.

Despite this, Adam was delighted, though not surprised, to receive the news that he achieved 470 points in his Leaving Cert yesterday, far in excess of the 405 he estimates he will need to study Social Sciences in UCD next year.

The teenager, whose older brother Simon Harris (pictured right with Adam) is currently the youngest serving TD in the Dail, said the key thing to remember about Asperger's was that it was case sensitive and affected every person differently. "I am very lucky to have gotten what I got but for other people it would be equally an achievement just to sit the Leaving Cert."

People with Asperger's Syndrome are usually of average or above average intelligence but can struggle with social skills and emotions. Adam credits his two years at Setanta School in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, when he was aged between five and seven, for teaching him coping mechanisms and ways to address the problems he encounters.

Adam expects university, with its less regimented learning and wider range of subjects, to suit him better.

A number of years ago he launched the website aspergersadvice.ie and has a firm plan to use what he learns in university to continue working in the area of autism advocacy.

Irish Independent

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