"I don't think you have Asperger's" -unintelligent

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RikkiK
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09 Feb 2014, 2:57 pm

I was talking to a "girlfriend" last night and I was like, ok this girl is pretty weird and messed up, I feel like she and I are on the same page often. I was trying to explain why my family is so bizarre and strict (my mother is obsessively paranoid and my father is suspected to have ASD, neither of them have friends nor let me out much) and I mentioned my dad possibly having Asperger's since it was a lot less work than trying to talk around it. Then she was like "Oh, yeah I think my dad has that! Sometimes he's just an as*hole to people....blahblahblah" and first off I don't know why it didn't bother me right then that she actually just lumped ASD individuals with assholes, but then I tossed in that I'm getting evaluated for Asperger's this summer.

Then she says, "I don't think you have Asperger's!"

I literally just felt my jaw drop and had no words to say. Do people say things like that when they are blatantly ignorant? I understand that I don't appear autistic because I manage basic social interactions in a very predictable, formulaic way but it's not like she could have any idea about any processing issues, stims, meltdowns, and inability to develop actual relationships that I have.

It was so shocking to me. If I was professionally diagnosed as having Asperger's, it would explains SO MUCH about how I've been my whole life, and it's terrifying enough to think about a professional telling me I don't have it and putting me back at square one of not knowing why I'm simply a bad person who doesn't like people and doesn't try hard enough to keep friends. But, it's a whole other field of disgust to have this bimbo just say that to me.

I guess it's scary that someone would shoot me down again like people have in the past, and crushing to entertain the idea of this idiot girl being right in spite of her ignorance.



Ashariel
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09 Feb 2014, 3:12 pm

I've gotten that response too, and find it insulting, because it implies that you're a hypochondriac, or 'faking' autism to get attention or sympathy or something.

It's an effort for me to look people in the eye, use facial expressions, put the right amount of inflection in my voice, and not stim in front of other people. The truth is that I'm 'faking' NT, but comments like this make me wonder why I bother. :?



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09 Feb 2014, 3:25 pm

Autism isn't really understood by anyone, regardless of how NT or autistic they are.
When a friend of mine disclosed that she had Asperger's, my reaction was

"No way! You're way too smart and successful to have Asperger's!"

After I apologised for being an ignoramus we then discussed the possibility that I might have Asperger's, which my Aspie friend dismissed. At the time we had this discussion, I viewed her as my 'autism guru', as she had far more knowledge and I assumed that everything she said about the subject was fact derived from experience. Of course I didn't have Asperger's.

Fast forward five years to last October, when I was diagnosed with Asperger's.

How we laughed.



redrobin62
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09 Feb 2014, 3:29 pm

For years I asked myself why was I so different from my siblings? They successfully assimilated into American culture, all of them had kids and spouses, some even owned homes. I felt like the outcast loser. After some research, Asperger's Syndrome seemed to be a good fit regarding my quirks and stims.

I was eventually diagnosed by a licensed clinical psychologist. My brother still doesn't believe I have it, though. It's hard for people so see it especially when you don't look or act like Rain Man. The subtlety is lost on them and the media doesn't portray the subtle ones, only those with pronounced symptoms like Dr. Spencer Reid or Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Sometimes I wish my symptoms were more pronounced. I've effectively done a good job of masking most of them to the point I appear NT.



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09 Feb 2014, 3:57 pm

Shortly before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I told a friend I thought I had it, the only person I knew who had ADHD himself. He gave me a strange look and said, "you don't have it."

When a person has formed an image inside their mind of who they think you are, they don't want to change it. Especially if it means seeing you as something that has any personal significance to them, like having the same disorder that they have, or that someone else in their family has or may have. Because that means they have to change their self-image in addition to their image of you.



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09 Feb 2014, 4:14 pm

Every time I've "disclosed" I've gotten this reaction. I just don't mention it anymore. And yes, I'm diagnosed.



Willard
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09 Feb 2014, 4:15 pm

redrobin62 wrote:
the media doesn't portray the subtle ones, only those with pronounced symptoms like Dr. Spencer Reid or Dr. Sheldon Cooper.


My biggest issue with the contemporary media portrayals has more to do with the fact that they're all portrayed as BRILLIANT and SUCCESSFUL. They all hold down steady jobs as uber-intelligent doctors and scientists and never get fired (well, Sheldon did once, temporarily).

It's the smaller traits, played to humorous effect, like Sheldon's insistence on his "spot" and difficulties comprehending the subtleties of common social interaction (also played to endearing effect on Bones), or Reid's tendency to take off on a tangent, talking over everyone's heads and rambling on and on until someone stops him, or Gregory House's obsession with medical puzzles and with treating all social interaction as a controlled psychological experiment, that are accurate pictures of Aspergian behavior (or of mine at least), but don't communicate the internal difficulties of day to day life with AS at all (of course, they won't even identify the condition out loud).

None of the depression, none of the loneliness, none of the rejection and exclusion and unemployment and verbal abuse for being different, none of the anxiety or the effects of poor Executive Function. None of the things that make High Functioning Autism a real Disability.

It's been reduced to such a laundry list of behavioral stereotypes, that if you're not a stylized human robot, then people can't imagine you have it.



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09 Feb 2014, 4:32 pm

Willard wrote:
redrobin62 wrote:
the media doesn't portray the subtle ones, only those with pronounced symptoms like Dr. Spencer Reid or Dr. Sheldon Cooper.


My biggest issue with the contemporary media portrayals has more to do with the fact that they're all portrayed as BRILLIANT and SUCCESSFUL. They all hold down steady jobs as uber-intelligent doctors and scientists and never get fired (well, Sheldon did once, temporarily).

It's the smaller traits, played to humorous effect, like Sheldon's insistence on his "spot" and difficulties comprehending the subtleties of common social interaction (also played to endearing effect on Bones), or Reid's tendency to take off on a tangent, talking over everyone's heads and rambling on and on until someone stops him, or Gregory House's obsession with medical puzzles and with treating all social interaction as a controlled psychological experiment, that are accurate pictures of Aspergian behavior (or of mine at least), but don't communicate the internal difficulties of day to day life with AS at all (of course, they won't even identify the condition out loud).

None of the depression, none of the loneliness, none of the rejection and exclusion and unemployment and verbal abuse for being different, none of the anxiety or the effects of poor Executive Function. None of the things that make High Functioning Autism a real Disability.

It's been reduced to such a laundry list of behavioral stereotypes, that if you're not a stylized human robot, then people can't imagine you have it.

It's a bit off topic but... What?? Does House have aspergers???
Also I hate how they portrayed Sheldon :evil: and big bang theory is sexist.
True, the media portrays it like aspies are genius robots. No wonder most aspies don't get evaluated.



Willard
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09 Feb 2014, 4:44 pm

linatet wrote:
What?? Does House have aspergers???


It was never stated conclusively, but Wilson once speculated to Cuddy that House might have AS, because of his rigid and quirky behaviors. There was some discussion back and forth, but the episode ended with no ultimate conclusion ever being drawn.



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09 Feb 2014, 5:13 pm

One of my sisters thought that before, and it made me feel a little strange as well. My sisters are much older than me and live on their own with their own families, and the one who thought that is the one i see least, because she was in the military, and has always lived in a different state than me, or almost always.


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09 Feb 2014, 5:17 pm

linatet wrote:
It's a bit off topic but... What?? Does House have aspergers???


Actually it's right on topic, because Wilson ended up denying that House could have Aspergers, much like the scenarios we are talking about here.

Wilson brought it up because House was treating an autistic patient. He went into Cuddy's office and read a definition of Asperger's syndrome from a book, saying that it sounded like House. I always thought it was odd that a doctor had to read a definition of Asperger's from a book to know what it is.

This was also the episode where they replaced the blood stained carpet in House's office, and House wanted Cuddy to put the old carpet back. It was never clear whether he was just trying to use it as a power play, as Cameron speculated, or he really wanted his old carpet back. Wilson was bringing this up as an example of House being resistant to change.

Wilson said that House was treating the autistic kid because he saw himself in him and was trying to help himself. And Cuddy said no House is just a jerk. In the end Wilson changes his mind to agree with Cuddy and tells House [paraphrasing], "You don't have Asperger's, you just wish you did, because it would mean you don't have to follow the rules."

It was never House's idea that he might have Asperger's in the first place, but it was typical of Wilson to deny him any reasonable explanation for why he might be the way he is.

That episode was what led me to begin seriously researching Aspergers and autism and consider that I might be autistic myself, because I see a lot of myself in House.



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09 Feb 2014, 5:22 pm

People with no filter might be more accepting of social missteps. So if you make mistakes socially, maybe wind up spending time with filterless people?



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09 Feb 2014, 5:31 pm

My own conjectural theory is that AS was once under-diagnosed when it was first introduced, and now it's over-diagnosed. And there's an increase of people with social anxiety, shyness, and anyone who has been bullied or has other mental health issues trying to get diagnosed (as well as people who are introverted, nerdy and academic), or they have already been successfully diagnosed.

People wanting to be pathologized with it by embellishing their own histories to make it fit the criteria of autism. I think over the years AS/Autism has achieved an enigmatic quality because it's an atypical cognitive style. Most people relish in the idea of being unique and the idea that they think differently - so it's not surprising that people romanticize the idea of being a part of a neuro-minority.

I'm hoping autism specialists or psychiatrists make the criteria stricter. But I actually think they've done the opposite, because it now does seem to be everywhere and not just because of increased awareness. Also I think the tragedy of Newtown will increase diagnoses, as anyone who is a little different will probably be pathologized.


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Last edited by Acedia on 09 Feb 2014, 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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09 Feb 2014, 5:50 pm

linatet wrote:
It's a bit off topic but... What?? Does House have aspergers???


Whether he does or does not is an interesting question...I've only watched a few episodes, but my perception was that he was just a bitter INTJ.


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09 Feb 2014, 5:51 pm

Do you know for a fact that you do have Asperger's? If you don't, then why are you calling her 'ignorant'? It'd be a different story if you had a professional diagnosis--then I'd say you had more of a right to call her 'ignorant'. Sorry if this offends you, but it is what it is.