Tonight, Jesse, a nineteen-year-old client with AS, asked me to watch James Durbin. By now, I’m sure you have heard of him. The twenty-one-year-old unemployed singer on American Idol who has a small child and a supportive girlfriend. I hadn’t heard of James Durbin, nor had the four other guys in the group, all with AS. So, we viewed this clip:
Watching the clip was easy. James Durbin is an excellent singer, more likable and less polarizing than Adam Lambert. He has a story that AI loves — no job, big dreams, complications. For James, these complications are even diagnostic: Tourette’s and Asperger’s. But, watching was only the first part of what Jesse wanted.
“I don’t think he has AS, Jeanne. I think he is working that situation for the show. What do you think?” That’s where the hard part came in. So, I asked the guys to make a case for why he might not have AS; here were their arguments:
“Um, I don’t know many Aspies who frequent bars. Especially at that age. I mean, he’s barely legal.” (James might be breaking a rule, an Aspie no-no.)
“I have Tourette’s. The stress of singing would make me start ticking.”
“Yeah, well, I have Asperger’s. The thought of being around that many people would make me more than nervous.”
“I thought Aspie’s don’t make good eye contact. He just looked his son in the face.”
“That much crap in my hair would make me freak out.”
“His clothes look itchy.”
“I didn’t look at the camera when I was in pictures.”
“I don’t call it AUS-pergers.”
Then, I asked the guys why he would “lie”?
“I don’t lie.”
“I don’t know.”
“To get on tv.”
“To get on tv.”
“To take advantage of the situation.”
I ask you, my reader: What do you think?