What is GPS?

Many, although by no means all, of the people to whom Sarah’s Place is dedicated suffer from GPS. The name GPS derives from “global positioning system.” This name fits because those with GPS struggle to find an alternative way of navigating space and life.

GPS is manifested most noticeably by the impairment of certain mental functions: difficulty discerning and manipulating certain spatial relationships; or deficiencies in the capacity to recall or manipulate numbers, letters, or names. Finger agnosia (uncertainty and confusion with the mental representation of one’s own fingers) is a marker of this condition.

The term GPS is also appropriate because the “G” connects to the notion of giftedness, the “P” to progress, and the “S” to society, sanity or syndrome.

Who is included in the GPS family? All those with any of the following diagnoses:

• Nonverbal Learning Disorder

• Chromosome 22q 11.2 Deletion

• Williams Syndrome

• Turner Syndrome

• Fragile X

Many of those with the following diagnoses:

• Attention Deficit Disorder

• Pre-mutation Fragile X (those with more replications of the CGG sequence than normal but not enough to be classified as having Fragile X)

• Spina Bifida

And some number of people in each of the following diagnostic categories: Asperger’s Syndrome, Agoraphobia, Dyslexia and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

GPS bears some relationship to what is sometimes called Developmental Gerstmann’s Syndrome. Developmental Gerstmann’s Syndrome, however, is so poorly described in the literature that it has been all but abandoned as a diagnostic category. Therefore, we have decided to begin by renaming this condition and to work on better defining it.