A study conducted by contractors working for the Pentagon and reported in the USA Today last week, suggests that analysts have reason to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be on the autism spectrum. According to Brenda Connors, a lead researcher based from the US Naval War College and expert in movement pattern analysis, based on intensive analysis of Putin’s movement repetitions, mental capability and judgment making from various video footage that displayed the Russian President, the evidence acquired has seemingly concluded that Putin may have Asperger’s Syndrome, a social disorder disability that affects a persons decision making.
Conversely, some have argued the credibility and standing of this particular investigation, and consequently declared that there is insufficient evidence obtained to confirm that Putin should be accurately diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. A spokesman for the president has categorically denied that Putin has this unique form of autism, and has questioned the credibility and outcome of the examination that was carried out in 2008. Dmitry Peskov in response to Gazeta.ru said,
“That is stupidity not worthy of comment.”
Acquiring a diagnosis for an individual alleged to have a form of autism can be a lengthy process. Professor Dorothy Bishop, a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, explains that in order to formerly diagnose an individual with Autism (ASD), a variety of procedures must be performed and executed in order to properly establish a person with this disorder:
“When it comes to diagnosing autistic spectrum disorder, you’re supposed to show impairments in three domains. One of them is communication, one is social interaction, and one is repetitive and restricted interest and behaviours. In autism there may be a failure to match bodily movements to emotions, but it is only a small part of the picture, and it is also something that can occur for all sorts of reasons other than autism. You wouldn’t base a diagnosis on it.”
Conclusively, the Guardian newspaper has also claimed that the idea of diagnosing Vladimir Putin with a neurodevelopmental disorder on the basis of watching videos of his actions are “ridiculous”. Pete Etchells, a science correspondent from the Guardian, says, “The ‘Putin has Asperger’s’ story highlights of psychological diagnosis from a distance.” Nonetheless, it is uncertain to establish wether Vladimir Putin does indeed have Asperger’s Syndrome or if the evidence that has been obtained is sufficient enough to achieve a accurate assessment of the assertion.
About Thomas Hewitt
Thomas has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and is an an upcoming freelance journalist based in Nottingham, England. He is currently completing a BA (Hons) Degree course in Digital Media Design. Thomas has also studied both a Higher National Diploma and a BTEC National Diploma in Media Production, as well as gaining valuable understanding in Digital Photo Imaging and Digital Video Editing. His experience includes writing for a variety of different media outlets such as websites and locally paper-based editorials. His specific areas of interests within Journalism are sports, gaming, films and current affair related issues.