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abyssquick
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:10 pm

I once ran into a person who thought Asperger's was a "fake" disease. I did a search on the internet and saw that this is a fairly common negative opinion. I think it might be good to discuss how to respond to such commentary.

"It's not just a collection of awkward personality traits, or an excuse to pursue one's interests. Asperger's has a discernible diagnostic pattern** which is consistent and accepted in both Neurosciences and in Psychiatry..." and so forth like that.

How would you respond to these attitudes?

**replaced "pathology" with "pattern" since clearly I may have selected an inaccurate descriptive word accorindg to some. I'm fickle towards others.



Last edited by abyssquick on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:27 pm

Explain what Asperger's Syndrome is based on say the Mayo Clinic definition: AS is a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate with others. The causes are thought to be related to changes in certain genes and also linked to changes in the structure of the brain.

Or to put it simply: in AS the brain is wired differently than in the NT brain which causes differences in socialization and how a person learns.


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katwithhat
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:28 pm

I go to a neurologist because of cluster headaches and I asked him if he saw AS patients, he referred me to a psychiatrist. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. I know something is not "right" with me, I've always known it, but until AS shows up on a brain scan or DNA or something definitive, I think we may have to just sit back and wait. This is my opinion, though.


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Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:44 pm

Anyone that calls Asperger's a disease just wants to get a rise out of you.

The best way to go about it is to say it's like a high functioning form of autism, or is on the autistic spectrum. The symptoms are similar but not as severe.

I say to people that these traits might exist in everyone but once it gets to a certain level that becomes impairing in your life it becomes a disorder. I say it about ADHD, AS, OCD, etc.


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Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:54 pm

I would say:- :jester:

I is not infectious unless you receive a kiss by my lips,
I'll make ye weak at the knees,
as I is a true shy guy, before ye know were ye are,
we will be floating on air, not touching the floor,
while my lips make ye say ohMYGODDD.

Don't one side say one thing & then the other saying another.


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Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:55 pm

Your friend is not completely wrong. Aspergers did not "exist" for the first half of my life. It is something new that we are still learning and discovering about. Basically it is nothing more than an imprecise label for something we don't really totally understand.

Also it is not a "disease" in the sense you can't catch it from someone (except *maybe* your parents), you can't see it under a microscope, it won't kill you or make you sick, and there is no cure or treatment.



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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:00 pm

TechnoDog wrote:
I would say:- :jester:

I is not infectious unless you receive a kiss by my lips,
I'll make ye weak at the knees,
as I is a true shy guy, before ye know were ye are,
we will be floating on air, not touching the floor,
while my lips make ye say ohMYGODDD.

Don't one side say one thing & then the other saying another.

8O 8O 8O



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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Every now and again I'd like to tell certain people Autism is highly contagious (be they people who believe it's fake or people who believe it's a horrible thing).

"If you're reading this, you've got it now too and have only two weeks to live."

I've never actually done it, but I've contemplated it.


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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:13 pm

mushroo wrote:
Your friend is not completely wrong. Aspergers did not "exist" for the first half of my life. It is something new that we are still learning and discovering about. Basically it is nothing more than an imprecise label for something we don't really totally understand.

Also it is not a "disease" in the sense you can't catch it from someone (except *maybe* your parents), you can't see it under a microscope, it won't kill you or make you sick, and there is no cure or treatment.


Please pardon me if you were engaging in hyperbole for the sake of illustration, but asperger's sindrome was "discovered" in 1944... and if that was halfway through your life, that means you would have been born in 1876 and be 136 years old.

A disease is defined as "a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment." We do have a disease... what you were referring to is a communicable disease...

I am having a severely pedantic day... sorry for it


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Lynners
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:23 pm

People who think it is a fake disorder might know someone with the traits. And to them it's not something that they think needs a label. It's just a difference.



mushroo
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:32 pm

Feralucce wrote:
Please pardon me if you were engaging in hyperbole for the sake of illustration, but asperger's sindrome was "discovered" in 1944... and if that was halfway through your life, that means you would have been born in 1876 and be 136 years old.

A disease is defined as "a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment." We do have a disease... what you were referring to is a communicable disease...

I am having a severely pedantic day... sorry for it


No worries, I understand that what I said is only half-true, for the sake of discussion. :)

But it is a fact that Dr. Asperger's work was not well-known in my home country until the 1990s, and the diagnosis simply did not exist when I was a child. I never heard of it, my family never heard of it, my teachers never heard of it, my doctors never heard of it.

I suspect that the OP's friend may fall into this category. Either that or, as Lynners postulates above, this person believes in the "neurodiversity" model rather than the "disease" model. :)



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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:34 pm

Feralucce wrote:
mushroo wrote:
Your friend is not completely wrong. Aspergers did not "exist" for the first half of my life. It is something new that we are still learning and discovering about. Basically it is nothing more than an imprecise label for something we don't really totally understand.

Also it is not a "disease" in the sense you can't catch it from someone (except *maybe* your parents), you can't see it under a microscope, it won't kill you or make you sick, and there is no cure or treatment.


Please pardon me if you were engaging in hyperbole for the sake of illustration, but asperger's sindrome was "discovered" in 1944... and if that was halfway through your life, that means you would have been born in 1876 and be 136 years old.

A disease is defined as "a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment." We do have a disease... what you were referring to is a communicable disease...

I am having a severely pedantic day... sorry for it


I believe the reason the word exist is in quotes reveals the intention. I would say that Asperger Syndrome did not exist when I was a child, because effectively it didn't. When nobody around you knows anything about it, it effectively doesn't exist. The results of it not being known about and not existing as a diagnosis are effectively the same.


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mushroo
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:43 pm

This might be harder for some of the younger forum members to relate to, but when I was a little kid, the concept of neurodiversity was not mainstream. AS/ADHD/etc. did not "exist." You were basically either "normal" or "retarded." We've come a long way... (and I'm not even that old!)



jedaustin
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Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:21 pm

I'd respond - "Oh it's a real syndrome... it's on the Autism spectrum; look it up. It is a different kind of brain wiring. I suppose being a bigoted idiot makes you feel superior since that can be reversed with enough education."



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Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:45 pm

Don't call them a bigoted idiot. They probably haven't thought enough about it to really have a considered opinion. They are probably just uninformed. If you tell them what AS is and they still think you're a lying attention-seeker, THEN you can call them a bigoted idiot.


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