Is Aspergers a disorder or is it simply a difference

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Jitro
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13 Dec 2012, 10:40 pm

Is Aspergers a disorder or is it simply a difference like being left-handed or gay?



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13 Dec 2012, 10:46 pm

From my experience I would say it's more of a disorder rather than difference

The effects which one has AS is hard to tell.

In my case, I experience mild symptons, such as taking longer than normal to
process basic social situations and learning motor skills



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14 Dec 2012, 6:47 am

Its parts of a disorder and lesser personality quirks glued together in one package. Its not full-on disorder (and there fore not an excuse to be abused so you can get away with bad behavior). Aspergers isn't just an "extreme personality" either. in today's information age, the line between differences in personality and actual social disorders is so thin that they really blend together now. It's only a matter of time before even normal (whatever the hell normal is now days anyway) people get their own labels and medication routines for things that aren't that bad.



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14 Dec 2012, 6:53 am

SplinterStar wrote:
Its not full-on disorder ... .


So, it's kind of a half-on disorder?

A rose by any other name and all that.



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14 Dec 2012, 7:03 am

What I mentioned earlier was just an opinion, I'm not a doctor. So black and white with no shades of grey, Aspergers is a disorder. It's just an odd disorder that I feel can easily be adapted to and even partially corrected with enough good habits.



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14 Dec 2012, 7:17 am

It is a difference that can sometimes manifest as a disorder.

I have known people with AS who really function just fine, albeit not in the "typical" way. But they manage and have fulfilling lives. I have known others who have impairments that cause serious difficulties in their lives and require them to have extra support to manage. Although I don't know how to explain what I mean by "impairment." From an NT's perspective, I suppose both have "impairments" because they are not "normal." But what I mean is that some find work-arounds and even though they are not like everyone else, they find a way that "fits" for them and live a life that satisfies and fulfills them without any more turmoil than the "average" person faces. But others face frequent struggles with barriers and obstacles that they cannot easily work-around and life appears much more...difficult?... for them. I suppose one could say the first group should not be diagnosed (the ones who function OK), but I have known plenty of people who are clearly not wired according to typical specs who "shouldn't" be labeled with a "disorder" but who I suspect share a neurology more akin to AS than NT. I believe I am one of them. I would not consider myself to have AS, but I feel a stronger affiliation to people with AS than I do with most NT people. So perhaps, for me, my wiring is simply a difference?

Starting to ramble. Must end post! :)


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14 Dec 2012, 7:28 am

I tend to think about it as a difference.

The way I understand it, our brain structure is different. The "wires" have been connected in a different way than in other people.

This could be a random phenomenon, but I don't overrule the possibility that it could be happening on purpose (e.g. autists are a new breed of humans that will explore and conquer space, or repel an alien invasion, etc.).

Currently, our knowledge is insufficient to give a definitive answer.


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14 Dec 2012, 8:37 am

Dpends.
I have a medium form of AS; I have troubles understanding facial expressions/body language, I visibily lack empathy, I cannot socialize even with people I consider nice, I have meltdowns that can be particularly violents and shutdowns that can last even for a whole day. I have troubles doing some things without help, and I have troubles remaning focused on things I'm not interested in. That's a disability.
But if you have a milder form, you don't have troubles with non-verbal communication, you can show empathy, and you don't have particularly violent meltdowns or shutdowns, then it can be considered a difference.


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14 Dec 2012, 9:57 am

It's just a difference. False alarm everybody. We can all go home now. Life is good. Nothing to talk about now.


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14 Dec 2012, 10:05 am

Since AS can be caused by brain injury/toxins/or impact (and possibly always is), I'd say it's a disability. But it's also unique in that it has some positive attributes. Damage to the right brain in the form of Aspergers/ASD can cause exceptional strengths to develop in other parts, which probably wouldn't exist had that person not been harmed.

So it's both. Depending on your abilities, the severity of your social impairment, and your field, it might be a net positive. Then it's hard to call it a disability.



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14 Dec 2012, 10:09 am

IMO they mean the same thing...

"Asperger's Disorder" is like "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder". Any ways of thinking or behaving that are different from the norm can be called a disorder just because it's different... Of course, only if they are not being eccentric and behaving differently on purpose.



Last edited by deltafunction on 14 Dec 2012, 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Dec 2012, 10:11 am

Difference; while I've had some difficulties it has given me great talents in my passions.


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14 Dec 2012, 10:26 am

I thought of something: Let's look at the exact opposite of Aspergers. Is dyslexia a disorder or a difference?

Hard to say. When you can't read or read well, your life sucks. On the other hand, this disability causes many people to develop a high-level of street smarts, social skills, and practical analytical thinking that makes them successful in business.

It seems like dyslexics are overrepresented among billionaires and entrepreneurs, just as aspies are overrepresented among scientists and academics. So is dyslexia a difference or a disability? Arguably, it's less debilitating than Aspergers, given what Western culture values.



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14 Dec 2012, 10:43 am

It is a disorder, one that is undesirable, and not one that should be so easily embraced.



deltafunction
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14 Dec 2012, 11:19 am

Yeah I think the only debate comes from attaching a connotation to the word "disorder" when it just means a deviance from the norm...



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14 Dec 2012, 12:21 pm

It becomes a disorder when it impacts your life negativity.

We all know people who are quirky but otherwise successful. They might have mild AS or Broad Aspgerian Phenotype, but if it's not impacting their lives, it's not a disorder really.

If you are living on social assistance because you can't hold down a job because you can't navigate the social scene, or if you can't leave your house because of meltdowns, it is a disorder, rather you want to admit it or not. It is negatively impacting your life.