Sharing: The importance of Asperger’s Syndrome as a unique clinical diagnostic category…

I think this is a brilliant post.  It embarks on a conversation that needs to be had.  I’ve wanted to delve into this for a long time, but hadn’t had the courage to do so, probably for fear of being labeled a “Shiny Aspie”, which applies to me insofar as I like being Aspergian/autistic, but I draw a hard line at claiming that one is better than the other (Asperger’s vs autism), because it isn’t. And that’s not where the author is going, either!  Both diagnoses are equally respected (in my book), and different does not imply less.   The reason I think this is an excellent topic (and what a great post to kick off the convo!) is that, conducted properly, this conversation has the potential to benefit ALL parts of the spectrum–both ends, and everything in between.  The author of this post is incredibly insightful, and one of the first supporters of this blog and the story of my journey that it tells.  His blog is fantastic!  Lots of interesting information on there, and an extensive and fascinating archive section to boot.  🙂 ❤

Theoretical Philosophy

Aspergers and Ignorance (2)

On page 1 of his fundamental summary of (Classic) “Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome”, S. Baron-Cohen (2008) lists as “Key Points” the two, overlappingly different subgroups of what has come to be known as the “Autistic Spectrum”.

“Classic autism and Asperger syndrome share two key features:
         -Social communication difficulties
         -Narrow interests and repetitive actions.
 But they differ in two key ways:
         -In Asperger syndrome, IQ is at least average and there was no language delay
         -In classic autism, IQ can be anywhere on the scale, and there was language delay.”

However, these key, common and differentiated features make only for a minimal area of understanding, assessing and living with either condition.

In my opinion, DSM-5 has managed with its promotion of an Autistic Spectrum “umbrella”, to both simplify, but also confusingly complicate the clear understanding of exactly those specifics which could make the lives of neurodivergents, less miserable. Luckily (I hope)…

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16 Comments

  1. As somebody who was diagnosed with Aspergers I think that the differences between it & “Classic Autism”, IQ, and no language delay, are important enough for the Aspergers classification to have been kept. Unfortunately now the term Aspergers has been tainted by the ‘autism police’ to have very negative connotations, with terms like ‘Shiny Aspie’ & ‘Aspie Supremacist’ being increasing used as slurs. I was proud to call myself an Aspie when I was diagnosed, now it feels like it’s something to be ashamed of.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, that’s exactly it! I wish WP had more than a “like” button. I would click a “this comment kicks ass” button 😊👍🏼👏🏼. I’ve also noticed the autism police, trying to correct everyone who doesn’t immediately conform. It’s like how Pink Floyd portrays school in “The Wall”, where the kids go in as unique individuals and come out all looking the same, carbon copies of each other because their freedom and creativity have been squashed. Seriously, I got blocked on Twitter for sympathizing with someone who got bullied by saying that the perpetrator was a moron. Really? I think that all of us should be able to refer to ourselves however we choose, and our self-descriptions should not be a source of shame. If we can’t even use certain words to describe ourselves, that in itself is “ableist”. Meaning that those who criticize us and stifle or “correct” our terminology are themselves being ableist. I’m proud to be an Aspie, proud to be on the autism spectrum; I think both are really cool. I vote we bring back the pride. To say we’re proud to be Aspie does not necessarily imply that we look down on those on the rest of the autism spectrum. I understand that some Aspies have taken that step in the past, and I don’t think that’s right. But the acts of those particular people shouldn’t necessarily be something that the rest of us pay for and it shouldn’t spur the creation of slurs, under which all Aspies who refer to ourselves as such unfairly get lumped into 😊❤️💪🏼🌟

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You nailed it! I know it’s not my place to question anyone about whether or not they’re genuine about being on the spectrum, but some have given me cause to wonder 😳. I witnessed a few go-rounds on Twitter, one around October of last year (which generated about 4 posts?), and another in January through March of this year (which I finally ranted really hard about). I totally agree with your take on the AP!

        Hehe I love the Shiny Aspie award idea!! I think we need to reclaim our terminology (at least, those of us who want to, and I know you and I are not alone!), and set our own boundaries for what is and is not “allowed” by us. Too many “advocates” (but not all advocates) have been doing too much talking over the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community, drowning out voices that deserve to be heard. (For the record, I’m not trying to be one of the talker-overs; in fact, I’m trying *not* to be one; I make it really clear that I’m speaking for myself, and if I’m talking about Asperger’s/autism in general, I’ll say something like “the Aspie/autistic profile”, or “based on my observation” or something like that.)

        Preach it, yo 🙌🏽👏🏼😎💜

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Friend,
    Please allow me to become just a tad bit sentimental as I express my gratitude for the reblog and all comments, and I mean it, because I proudly feel that what I have to say echoes not only the walls of my precious (and don’t think of Gollum 👾) solitude, but through the lives of unique individuals with whom I share nevertheless, priceless and special aspects of fundamental neurobiology.
    I am so much aware that one post can hardly do justice to ALL aspects of this unfolding existential drama which resonates through the life of autistic individuals, leaving some aspects in the “grey”, where inevitable doubts of their fairness or accuracy could emerge. One of them is EXACTLY what your scientifically inclined mind has spotted and addressed, which is a strange feeling that us, Asperger’s might consider our condition and therefore ourselves “better” or more “special” than other Autistics and/or Neurodivergents.
    And I am so sorry that these grey areas may have caused distress to my neurodivergent kin, standing gladly completed by your introduction. 🌹
    I’ll do my best to clarify, as the matter has been raised in one comment in the original post.
    Thank you 💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, my brother 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. Thank you so much!! I love that sentimental side 😘. You show it so beautifully!

      I know very much that the supremacy angle was *not* where you were going with this, and I wanted to quash any misconceptions to the contrary, especially by those who some have termed the autism police 😘. (Although I’m sensitive to their situation, as they may have witnessed or endured such supremacy from other Aspies, and I respect the damage they sustained or witnessed, and I see the connection between that and the reactions they may have to this topic, which has been perceived by some to be rather militant at times.)

      Yep, you’re right about the grey areas, too. I’m looking very forward to reading more of your thoughts! They’re always extremely well-thought-out and well-explained 😘👏🏼👏🏼💕🖐🏼🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I perfectly felt all your well-meaning reasons, that’s why your thoughts are so much welcome. Unfortunately, childhood years of vicious abuse have forced me into quietness, but also gave me some sixth sense, which allows to “see” beyond words. I am emotion-blind, but I see through words, to the point that in many polemic meetings of the past, I wasn’t allowed to take notes (yes, won’t you believe it…) so well my “finding the needle before seeing the haystack” has become known and hated by the doublespeak NT crowd…
        And if you wonder where such thing is possible, it is the hypocritical, tax-exempt religious world…
        Thanks Laina 💐

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yeah 👏🏼👏🏼. I can only imagine! I had similar thoughts about the hypocritical people, including the tax-exempt world of which you speak 💞. I got lucky in that I never endured abuse, per se. But knowing what I know of that world (hell, I lived in Dallas, Texas, where they wear it on their sleeve, or at least their SUV bumper!), I can only imagine what comes next for a kid exposed to that culture, especially an Aspie kid, the one who sees the needle first 💓💓

          I like your sixth sense! I think I have something similar, but I’m trying to dig around in my brain for ways and words to explain 💚💙

          Liked by 1 person

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