Editor’s Note: Ben Schorr is the son of Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, a regular blogger here at the New Normal who writes about Ben, his autism and the highs and challenges of family life on the spectrum. This summer, Ben wrote the below article for his camp newspaper, The Round Lake Times. He gave us permission to reprint it here on the blog.

My Life with Autism by Ben Sc., Bunk 20A

Hello, my name is Ben S. I am thirteen years old and I am in Round Lake. I’m also Jewish. I have a disability called As- perger’s. It’s a type of autism. Don’t worry, it’s not contagious. I’m not all that dis- abled, but I definitely have my ups and downs. My explanation is that I think a little different than the average person. For example, at my old school, there was a rule when playing tether ball, which was to not stand in the yellow circle that they put on the court so you wouldn’t get whacked with ball. This girl did stand in the circle and of course got whacked in the head. Instead of going up to see if she was okay, I went up and said, “You know, next time you shouldn’t go in the yellow circle.” And then I walked away.

Now that I’m older, I know what I should have done. Every kid like me hyper fo- cuses on one activity. It could be on sports, science, com- puters, etc. I hyper focus on video games. Almost every time I talk to someone, it’s usually about video games. Mario, Zelda, Call of duty, Halo, Minecraft, Pokémon, whatever else it could be. After maybe three minutes, I look up and they are gone.

I also happen to be really annoying (not on purpose). I LIKE PIE!!! BLEH!!! How do you get Pikachu on a bus? You poke ‘em on!!! I’M A FIRING MA LASER!!! BLEH!!! (You probably won’t get that refer- ence). EVERYBODY DO THE FLOP!!! I baked you a pie. Oh boy, what flavor? PIE FLA- VOR!!! FAKE!!! You didn’t see anything. PAPAYAS!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

That’s all for now. If you see me around don’t make fun of me. I MEAN IT!!!
Bye bye.

Benjamin Schorr, a native Californian, is entering the 8th grade and is a lifelong lover of video games. He credits his first social skills teacher with teaching him the appropriate ways to respond to others in all sorts of situations including the type he shared in his essay. Ben has just returned from his second summer at Round Lake Camp and can’t wait for next summer.