Asperger, Heritage and Archaeodeath


How does Asperger’s affect the experience of archaeological heritage?

I am Professor of Archaeology at the University of Chester. My eldest daughter – Jemimah – was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (encompassing what is generally known as Asperger Syndrome) aged 5. Now aged 7, she loves exploring Britain’s heritage as much as I do.

I am not qualified to talk about this condition in general terms so please, dear reader, be sympathetic if I haven’t quite framed and explained the condition’s symptoms adequately as they relate to J or others. However, I do feel that many museums, heritage sites and ancient monuments take little account of children (and adults come to that) like J with these kinds of ‘hidden’ condition. Certainly, I haven’t seen any discussion of this issue in academic circles (but see links below). Moreover, I haven’t seen any discussion of how mortuary archaeology’s public dimensions relate to kids with Asperger’s…

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