Sharing: Another autistic use for the DSM-V

This is such a fantastic post that it’s not even funny.  (Except that it’s so much even-cooler than, that I’m grinning again.) 😉

I agree with every.  Single.  Word.

I, too, would like to see autism be stricken from the DSM, as autism is not in itself a mental disorder.  As the lovely Aspie Under Your Radar says, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon, although “homosexuality” was indeed stricken, after it, too, was recognized not to be a mental illness.  (Thank god(dess)!)

Anyway, I love how this post advocates the reframing of pathological language into proactive positives and down-to-earth matter-of-factness.  The whole post is awesome, and if you’re not following this blog already, I definitely recommend doing so!  Lots of good information on here, regular posts, all well-written! 🙂

Oh. My. Lord.

old bookI’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about how we define autism and whether that is even accurate. I’ve talked before about how mainstream society seems to think that the symptoms of our autistic distress actually constitute autism. That’s just plain wrong, as far as I’m concerned.

I consider autism itself to be a distinct neurotype, which has been very well-concealed over the aeons, because societies in the past provided ways for all members of a community to contribute according to pre-set guidelines. As we have seen those “exoskeletons” of social conventions dissolve, our “endoskeletons” of individual identity – our strengths and weaknesses, our diagnosed conditions and disorders – have become increasingly pronounced, to replace the social exoskeletons of customs and conventions which used to define where our relative strengths and weaknesses lay.

Of course, within the context of considering autism a distinct and commonly occurring neurotype (rather than anomalous disorder)…

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7 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to join the opinion club, I can’t, and some of my rather professionally backed reasons follow.
    First of all, and I’m sorry to bring it up again, and again, and again, the idea of “depathologising Asperger’s / autism” seems to ignore the fundamental differences between “classic autism” and Asperger’s, leaving the matter -exactly as the DSM-5 did- entirely within the common traits displayed by both. Classic, including Childhood-Language-Delayed-High Functioning, Autism can never be a “normal and healthy neurological orientation” because (unlike Asperger’s) it usually presents a symptomatology crossing into pathological, and not only from the arbitrarily imposed societal norms and regulations, but from the limited capacity of most such individuals to live/function without permanent support even for daily tasks such as hygiene and nutrition. On the other hand, Asperger’s individuals’ functionality is mostly autonomous, being left nevertheless vulnerable to impossible societal expectations imposed by a largely ignorant neurotypical majority. A very clear differentiation between the two conditions is detailed in Simon Baron-Cohen’s “Autism and Asperger Syndrome”, pages 1-14.
    Therefore, and unfortunately, since modern societies have long past into the dystopic realm, any expectations of seing either Classic Autism and Asperger’s (as distinct Autistic Spectrum Conditions) simply as “distinct neurotypes” would leave us exposed to the “bigger picture/forest” mentality, where “different” trees are left to suffer and die standing, as no one sees them from the “comfortably numb” distance of enjoying the green panorama.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s very true, and here again you raise some points which are quite fantastic 😊. I’m actually mentally processing a post that is generally along these lines: that there are indeed different conditions that are lumped into the autism spectrum. The term has gotten so muddy now that it can apply to the prototypical shy computer geek who writes their own software in junior high school, to the stereotypical child who covers their ears, rocks back and forth, and screams most of the time, or the kid who loses their speech and eye contact, who also has a chronic fever and eczema after getting a vaccine (which I’ve also written about, complete with a theory about what *is* probably actually going on in the vaccine case–it’s not autism; it’s something else).

      The three theoretical examples are completely different, with completely different causes and etiologies; in essence, three entirely different cases altogether.

      And yet, given that they’re judged (usually by a human, who is also usually NT) to meet/fit the criteria (also developed by humans, and NT ones at that, and could thus be non-infallible), both could be lumped in together as autistic. The criteria have certainly come a long way from what they were and they’ve improved over the decades, but especially with the release of the DSM-V, I feel that the progress has taken a grave step (or multiple steps) backward in terms of clarity and accuracy. The waters have only become muddier and more confusing. The whole concept of autism actually needs a major revamp, starting with some solid definitions and a serious look into underlying etiology 😊❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Excelent line of thought, I’m looking forward to it 🙂
        Unfortunately you are so right, especially considering that what should have been a tool to more easily identify diagnostic traits, has become an “ex cathedra” frame of infallibility, into which symptoms “have to fit”. And if such is the case, any symptoms not really fitting in, would be either distorted or discarded in order to maintain “infallibility”.
        Reading through some material, it looks like Simon B-C seems to have at least partially recanted his scepticism against DSM-5, without much else to say since 2013, while Temple Grandin seems to have maintained hers, silent about the issue nevertheless since same 2013.
        S. B-C suggested in an article that APA (or an independent watchdog) should keep an eye on the effect of the changes.
        APA? They better keep both eyes on themselves, as sometimes they seem too farfetched from reality.
        One of my problems is that even considering its flaws, psycho/analytical therapy, with its more open attitude towards individual specifics, has fallen back giving too much space to a mass consumption type, box ticking psychology, where everyone has to fit an already existing frame. Because mass psychology is much cheaper and expedient, leaving the unexplained to pill prescribing psychiatrists. And yes, there’s place and need for chemistry, but not as a final destination. Today, you either chose CBT (duh…) or a depo…
        In your “best interest” of course 😦

        Like

    1. Yes 👏🏼👏🏼. Same here! How many of the conditions listed in the DSM (especially some of the newer ones) are simply variants on normal behaviors? How many are not necessarily a bad thing? The powers that be seem to be hell-bent on labeling everything and then heaping on the med scrips 😖💜

      Liked by 1 person

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