It’s been a life of ups and downs, triumph and struggles for Jesse Saperstein.
“That’s the benefit of having a rough life. You have a ton to write about so I was fortunately able to fill two books.”
He’ll be talking about…and signing his latest work Getting a Life with Asperger’s: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood this evening at Barnes and Noble in Dewitt. Saperstein says life isn’t pretty for someone with Asperger’s, which is on the autism spectrum. He says they’re often blind to non-verbal cues, and are vulnerable to bullying and demoralizing pranks. Saperstein recalls a six month ordeal where pranksters found a woman to pretend to be a possible date on the internet.
“After my cyber-bullying prank finally ended, what they said has truly haunted me. They had no remorse, no consideration for any suffering they caused. What they said was ‘consequences dictated my actions. It’s not wrong if you don’t get caught.’”
Saperstein says the pranks are all too common, and the consequences all too few. He’s hoping to prevent such bullying and suffering by exposing children to a character that could end up on Sesame Street. Saperstein says he’s modeled after two prominent figures who likely had traces of Asperger’s…
“Albert Newton is a composite of Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. I want to introduce him to Sesame Street to teach children at a very young age about differences, not just people in wheelchairs or people that have an obvious disability.”
Saperstein says he’s been in talks with Sesame Street executives, and they’ve been very supportive. In addition to raising awareness among others, he hopes the character and his book will inspire those with Asperger’s, and help them realize they can lead successful lives. Saperstein will be at Barnes and Noble in Dewitt Wednesday Night at 7:00 p.m.
Saperstein will also share his experiences and sign books at the Barnes and Noble location in Rochester, Pittsford Plaza at 7:00 p.m.