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Lunchbox / Soapbox

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at The Wheeler Centre

Jo Case: Asperger’s Syndrome: Identity or Illness?

Articles and commentaries on Asperger’s Syndrome are rife with references to the ‘condition’, ‘sufferers’ and ‘disability’. But many people who live with an Asperger’s diagnosis – for themselves or their families – experience it as a difference, not a disability.

Asperger’s people are often badly organised in their everyday lives, but terrifically focused in their areas of interest – which often turn into careers. Einstein, Bill Gates and Woody Allen are just a few success stories speculated to be on the autistic spectrum. Then again, if something’s not a disability, why should it attract funding and special compensation? And what about all those people who identify as Asperger’s because they want to be special? Is that a real thing?

Jo Case, author of Boomer and Me: A Memoir of Motherhood, and Asperger’s will tackle some myths head-on, and try to untangle these knotty issues, drawing on personal experience.


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good rant. Every Thursday, the Wheeler Centre hosts an old-fashioned Speakers’ Corner in the middle of the city, where writers and thinkers can have their say on the topics that won’t let them sleep at night.

Featuring some of our most compelling voices across just about every sector of human endeavour you can imagine, the themes dominating Lunchbox/Soapbox are proudly idiosyncratic. BYO lunch. Ideas provided.


Portrait of Jo Case

Jo Case

Jo Case is the Program Manager at Melbourne Writers Festival. Before this, she was the Wheeler Centre’s senior writer/editor. Her first book, Boomer and Me: A memoir of motherhood, and Asperger’s is published by Hardie Grant in Australia and the UK.

Lunchbox / Soapbox

We love exploring ideas at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every Thursday lunchtime we hand the microphone over to the great thinkers, dreamers and orators of our time.

With a dazzling range of passionate speakers and unusual topics, our soapbox provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening stories you won’t hear elsewhere. This is the most memorable lunch break you’ll have all week.

If you’re in need of sustenance of body as well as mind, the MOAT lunch cart will be serving delicious $10 lunchboxes in the Performance Space from 12.20pm.


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