Along the way, he had met and married his wife Kristin, a speech therapist, who worked with autistic children. Finch says once he was married, he could no longer rest at home after compensating all day long. His marriage was falling apart. His wife began to notice similarities between some of his behaviors and those of the children she treated. When she began to work more with children with Asperger’s, she saw the connection and encouraged him to look for answers. Finch received a formal diagnosis in 2008.
The diagnosis helped both Finch, who could better understand himself and begin to address the issues, and his wife, who then realized the daily challenges that began for him in childhood.
“In elementary school it occurred to me that all the other kids knew how to play together and they actually seemed to enjoy playing together on each other’s terms,” Finch says. “I didn’t know how to go about doing it.”
Finch said he found characterizations of people with Asperger’s disturbing, following the Newtown shooting.
“I even heard some people in the media saying such baseless things as this is a population that lacks empathy, lacks a conscience,” he says, which brought back memories of middle school. “I would see other kids who were having a more difficult time, who were the object of ridicule being singled out. I could have joined in and elevated my social status It broke my heart for these kids, because they didn’t have anybody. Sometimes I felt like I was the only one with a conscience,” Finch says. “Where was the empathy among them?”