No longer an Aspie?

In the New York Times an article entitled, "I had Asperger Syndrome. Briefly." asserts that the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder should be narrowed. I agree.

The proposed change to the DSM V diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder includes, "Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning." I hope this clause will separate out from the rest of those with ASD the group of people currently diagnosed who assert that the only thing wrong with  having ASD is how other people treat them. If a person is fine with the way life is working, then why seek a diagnosis? Or try and keep the label while at the same time advocating that supports are not needed, just understanding? Requiring support is part of the new criteria.

Autism is a diagnosis, not an identity.

Good for the author for moving on to explore his potential.
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1 comment:

  1. Any reason to seek a diagnosis is valid, and is personal to the individual seeking one. Understanding is a form of support, and may be the biggest need for those on the spectrum who are struggling in college or the workplace.

    There are many people with ASD who go undiagnosed throughout their childhood, only to piece the clues together when they are adults. Extensive support such as social skill development, an IEP, or therapy may have been helpful while they were growing up, but are now lost opportunities, and they have had to learn certain coping strategies on their own.

    For someone in college, understanding from the professor when it comes to perfectionism, zoning out, poor time management, and social skills during group discussions and projects could mean a great deal. Workplace discrimination can also be mitigated if there is a pointed cause of an employee being especially dependent on a consistent schedule, becoming stressed from sensory overload and multitasking, not grasping office politics, or not appearing as friendly to customers due to minimal expression.

    Then there are people on the spectrum who must deal with comorbid disorders such as anxiety and depression (often exacerbated by delayed or missed diagnosis), and their form of required support may be medication as opposed to assisted living.

    Finally, a diagnosis can bring peace of mind to people suffering from low self-esteem due to their challenges, and who are looking for some answers.

    Support comes in a variety of forms, and understanding is an important one, and in fact, integral to all other support systems. To some people, it can make a world of difference.