POLITICS & CULTURE
OF ASPERGERS SYNDROME
People with Asperger
syndrome may refer to themselves in casual conversation as “aspies”,
coined by Liane Holliday Willey in 1999, or as an “Aspergian”. The
term neurotypical (NT) describes a person whose neurological development
and state are typical, and is often used to refer to people who
A Wired magazine article, The Geek Syndrome, suggested
that Aspergers syndrome is more common in the Silicon Valley, a
haven for computer scientists and mathematicians. It posited that
Aspergers syndrome may be the result of assortative mating by geeks
in mathematical and technological areas. Asperger’s syndrome can
be found in all occupations, however, and is not limited to those
in the math and science fields.
Computers and the Asperger's community
The popularization of the Internet has allowed
individuals with Aspergers syndrome to communicate with each other
in a way that was not possible to do offline due to the rarity and
the geographic dispersal of individuals with Aspergers syndrome.
As a result of increasing ability to connect with one another, a
subculture of “Aspies” has formed. Internet sites have made it easier
for individuals to connect with each other.
Aspergers syndrome as a difference, not a disorder
Some professionals contend that, far from being
a disease, Aspergers syndrome is simply the pathologizing of neurodiversity
that should be celebrated, understood and accommodated instead of
“treated” or “cured”. Autistic people have contributed to a shift
in perception of Autism Spectrum Disorders as complex syndromes
rather than diseases that must be cured. Proponents of this view
reject the notion that there is an ‘ideal’ brain configuration and
that any deviation from the norm is pathological. They demand tolerance
for what they call their neurodiversity in much the same way physically
handicapped people have demanded tolerance. These views are the
basis for the autistic rights and autistic pride movements.
Researcher Simon Baron-Cohen has argued that high-functioning
autism is a “difference” and is not necessarily a “disability.”
He contends that the term “difference” is more neutral, and that
this small shift in a term could mean the difference between a diagnosis
of Asperger’s syndrome being received as a family tragedy, or as
interesting information, such as learning that a child is left-handed.
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about adults with autism.
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to read personal stories by adults living with Asperger's syndrome
This autism fact sheet is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation. It is derivative of autism and Aspergers--related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org