PHOTO AND PROMOTIONAL IMAGES COURTESY OF FRANK GASKILL ’ 91
To meet Max
Gamer, a superhero
with Asperger’s, and
learn more about
the Max Gamer!
graphic novel, go to
In the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders, the American Psychological Association
has proposed replacing the term Asperger’s with Autism
Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Frank Winters Gaskill III ’ 91
agrees that Asperger’s is on the autism spectrum, but he likes
the idea of Asperger’s as a neurological status with its own
“My specialty is working with kids who are Aspies,” says
Gaskill, who also received a master’s degree in 1995 and a
doctorate in 1997 from UNC. “I have never called it a dis-
order. I think it’s just a cool different kind of brain.
Asperger’s kids tend to have at least high-average intelli-
gence, below-average social skills and typically possess a spe-
cial interest or ability, such as exceptional knowledge of
trains, the presidents, dinosaurs or the weather. They tend to
grow up and become engineers, software designers, radiolo-
gists or history professors, just to name a few.”
To promote the idea that someone with Asperger’s can
sometimes be seen as having a special talent instead of a
handicap, Gaskill has created the graphic novel Max Gamer!
with an Aspie superhero. Gaskill worked with a doctoral stu-
dent, Ryan Kelly, and an intern in his Charlotte office, Kara
Dalheimer, with a good eye for the Japanese style of draw-
ings known as Anime.