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He Can Spell, But...

Can he at least pretend to be socialized for a few minutes during this interview? Not a chance. Meet Evan O' Dorney: this year's National Spelling Bee champion. Evan's earned a title that, for better or for worse, he'll never be able to live down. So CNN caught up with him to ask a few questions and he's everything we could've wanted in a winner and more. And no, I'm not being S-A-R-C-A-S-T-I-C. (Thanks for the fun, Best Week Ever!)

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GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 10 years
Soderskar, I've heard nothing about Evan having the syndrome you describe, and I know his proud parents have let him go on other shows to display a little more of his eccentric personality. (I'm hoping they wouldn't do that if he had Aspberger's.) I posted this in that spirit--that this kid is his own person and not suffering fools gladly (i.e. the beleaguered reporter who's trying to interview him). For some that came across as arrogant, for me, just eccentric (but alas, unsocialized). In the wonderful documentary Spellbound, eccentric children obsessed with words and dictionaries abound. One kid talked like a robot, a 10 year old girl drank coffee and seemed wise beyond her years. Some kids don't feel like they need to please others, and I think Evan fits into that category. I would never encourage people to want to punch a kid in the face (I believe that was an unfortunate figure of speech), but I think a gentle ribbing is okay. Asperger's sounds tough, and I'm sorry if this post hurt your feelings. It was not my intention to make fun of people with Aspberger's, or a child with Aspberger's, and I don't believe I did that here.
söderskär söderskär 10 years
I can be tolerant with people who lack social skills or their social skills are impaired, because I have Asperger's syndrome. He obviously has some similar issue going on, he even mentioned that he's homeschooled, I bet there's a reason for that. I'm far from being like him though, and you wouldn't notice anything different on me by looking at me or by knowing me superficially: regular 23 year old girl, pretty, university graduate, active social life, good at sports, plays several instruments, speaks 4 foreign languages, nothing dorky or odd. But I do act like that kid a lot and people (even my ex-teachers) laugh at me or think I'm stupid. Sometimes I don't get what people want from me and why they make such a big deal of my supposed arrogance or insensitivity and I may not always get their irony or sarcasm. I don't always know how to be subtle or polite either. And trust me, it's not that I don't want to, because I've been trying to all my life. People's ignorance and intolerance makes me really angry and sad. You are all lucky that you have learned social skills intuitively, but some of us lack that ability and we can't help it. The kid seems smart, give him a break. People wanting to punch kids who seem to be awkward or different in social situations makes me really upset. I wonder what kind of parents you all will be. Good for you to know how to "pretend to be socialized". For some of us it's hard or even impossible. Not all of us function in the same way. The way he communicates with people doesn't necessarily reflect his personality or his intelligence. I honestly feel sorry for him because of the way people react to his impaired social skills. Sorry for venting and ranting at you and also for writing a novel, but I felt like I had to tell you how it made me feel. I understand that he can be annoying, but at least try to pretend to be tolerant. I highly doubt that he's being like that on purpose.
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 10 years
Who needs social skills when you can spell really really well? Oh wait...
uacosj uacosj 10 years
He is gonna be the guy on "Beauty and the Geek" and he will be voted off immediately!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
LOL I wanted to punch this kid too! i watched the spelling bee and he was even more annoying on it.
Phil Phil 10 years
hahaha! I'd love to see what the cameras got after that reporter went off air!
Cher412 Cher412 10 years
haha, i know he's a kid, but what a JERK!
jhuck jhuck 10 years
Too bad being the spelling bee champion doesn't bring in the chicks...because that's the only way he'd ever get any
luminousfae luminousfae 10 years
OMG! I caught this the morning it aired when I was having breakfast and I was laughing so hard I couldn't finish my cereal till the interview was over
AdrianaC AdrianaC 10 years
i seriously wanted to punch this kid.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 10 years
That is hilarious.
mandykw mandykw 10 years
Hahahaha that poor poor interviewer.
suzanne suzanne 10 years
How do you spell "I have no social skills whatsoever to take me safely and joyfully through life..." :?
redegg redegg 10 years
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