Either in this thread or the thread for last week's show, someone brought up the possibility of whether Ven might have Asperger's Syndrome. I have a close friend whose son has it, and his "social skills" are definitely not what one would expect from someone of his age.
The following is from a webpage on Asperger Syndrome and Adults.
Asperger syndrome is one of the autism spectrum disorders, and is classified as a developmental disorder that affects how the brain processes information. People with Asperger syndrome have a wide range of strengths, weaknesses, skills and difficulties.
Common characteristics include difficulty in forming friendships, communication difficulties (such as a tendency to take things literally), and an inability to understand social rules and body language. Asperger syndrome is also known as Asperger Disorder.
Although Asperger syndrome cannot be cured, appropriate intervention and experience can help individuals to develop skills, compensatory strategies and help build up coping skills. Social skills training, which teaches individuals how to behave in different social situations, is often considered to be of great value to people with Asperger syndrome.
Counselling or psychological therapy (including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) can help people with Asperger syndrome understand and manage their behavioural responses.
Symptoms of Asperger syndrome
More males than females are diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. While every person who has the syndrome will experience different symptoms and severity of symptoms, some of the more common characteristics include:
Average or above-average intelligence
Difficulties with high-level language skills such as verbal reasoning, problem solving, making inferences and predictions
Difficulties in empathising with others
Problems with understanding another person’s point of view
Difficulties engaging in social routines such as conversations and ‘small talk’
Problems with controlling feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety
A preference for routines and schedules which can result in stress or anxiety if a routine is disrupted
Specialised fields of interest or hobbies.
The emotions of other people:
A person with Asperger syndrome may have trouble understanding the emotions of other people, and the subtle messages sent by facial expression, eye contact and body language are often missed or misinterpreted. Because of this, people with Asperger syndrome might be mistakenly perceived as being egotistical, selfish or uncaring.
These are unfair labels because the person concerned is neurologically unable to understand other people’s emotional states. People with Asperger syndrome are usually shocked, upset and remorseful when told their actions were hurtful or inappropriate.
Was his behavior beyond what we all think was kind? Yes. But maybe . . . just maybe . . . he's not just arrogant or egotistical or uncaring. Maybe he has a neurological deficiency.