Autism and Asperger's are invisible Illnesses? (Um, no!)

Page 1 of 2 [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Mysty
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,762

04 Mar 2011, 6:37 pm

It was one of those things on Facebook that people say to copy to your status. This one said, if you know someone with an invisible illness, post this as your status for one hour. Like, a support thing.

And there was a list of invisible illnesses. Most of which really are. One was fibromyalgia. I have a couple friends with fibromyalgia. Yes, it's an invisible illness.

The list ended with autism and Asperger's. Like, huh? I wouldn't even call it an invisible disorder. But, with illness, it's even worse. Autism severe enough for it to be thought of as an illness, but, yet, invisible? (Well, when the person with autism is sleeping, I suppose.) If someone can pass for normal well enough for their autism to be invisible, then the illness label is way, way off base.

Now, some people (many?) with autism or Asperger's do have conditions that can (or can perhaps) be called invisible illnesses. Those are real issues, and yes, they can be very interrelated with the autism. Still, autism is not itself an invisible illness.


_________________
not aspie, not NT, somewhere in between
Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


lelia
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Age: 68
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,897
Location: Vancouver not BC, Washington not DC

04 Mar 2011, 7:54 pm

When my daughter was little and cute, yeah it was invisible. But if you watched her for a while, it became apparent. Now in her thirties, because of the expressions she has held for decades, it is very apparent at first glance.



Malin
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 32
Location: Scotland

04 Mar 2011, 10:39 pm

You're problem is with the word 'invisible'!?

Sure it's invisible, that means you don't see it. It may be inferred, but what's more likely to be inferred it 'oddness'. If autism were completely invisible then it wouldn't be a problem. For something to be said to exist it must present itself in some way.

Now 'illness' may be a truly problematic word. I'm an extremely light aspie (if an aspie at all, diagnosis is in, but I have my doubts) but I'm not in the slightest 'ill'. Having a problem with the environment is not the same as having a problem within one's self.



buryuntime
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2008
Age: 82
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,662

04 Mar 2011, 10:44 pm

I can't grasp the invisible description either. If somebody with no legs is under a blanket their disability is also then invisible.



Peko
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,381
Location: Eastern PA, USA

04 Mar 2011, 10:47 pm

I agree with the invisible part only b/c their are no physically defining characteristics (such as facial features or bodily deformities). Generally, speaking unless a person is familiar with autistic mannerisms, they probably won't "see it". But I think it should be referred to as a "condition" rather than "illness".


_________________
Balance is needed within the universe, can be demonstrated in most/all concepts/things. Black/White, Good/Evil, etc.
All dependent upon your own perspective in your own form of existence, so trust your own gut and live the way YOU want/need to.


Last edited by Peko on 05 Mar 2011, 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mysty
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,762

05 Mar 2011, 7:43 am

Malin wrote:
You're problem is with the word 'invisible'!?

Now 'illness' may be a truly problematic word. I'm an extremely light aspie (if an aspie at all, diagnosis is in, but I have my doubts) but I'm not in the slightest 'ill'. Having a problem with the environment is not the same as having a problem within one's self.


Oh come on, read what I wrote. You're responding as if I didn't comment on the word "illness", which I did. And what I said fits well with what you said.

My issue is with the entire phrase, the two word combination. Both words are inappropriate. But you put them together, and it's even worse.

Like, I can understand someone looking at the more severely autistic and calling it an illness, even if I don't agree. And I can understand looking at some people on the spectrum and calling it invisible. But both at once it totally preposterous.

Quote:
Sure it's invisible, that means you don't see it. It may be inferred, but what's more likely to be inferred it 'oddness'. If autism were completely invisible then it wouldn't be a problem. For something to be said to exist it must present itself in some way.


First you say it's invisible, then you say it isn't. You're contradicting yourself.

Fibromyalgia really is invisible. The symptom is pain. No one can see that.

Autism, if the only symptoms/traits are things that can't be seen, it's not autism. Autism is defined by how people appear on the outside. Yes, some people will think "odd" instead of "autistic". Nonetheless, those autistic traits are still visible.


_________________
not aspie, not NT, somewhere in between
Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


Last edited by Mysty on 05 Mar 2011, 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Asp-Z
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,018

05 Mar 2011, 7:47 am

It's not a physical disorder, so if someone saw you walking down the street, they'd probably think you're an NT until they tired to talk to you. In that way, it is indeed "invisible".

I wouldn't call it an "illness" of any sort, though.



buryuntime
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2008
Age: 82
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,662

05 Mar 2011, 11:55 am

Asp-Z wrote:
It's not a physical disorder, so if someone saw you walking down the street, they'd probably think you're an NT until they tired to talk to you. In that way, it is indeed "invisible".

I wouldn't call it an "illness" of any sort, though.

If somebody saw a deaf person walking down the street they probably wouldn't think anything either. Or if somebody with a limp was sitting down.

I think people are defining invisible as "no body parts missing, no physical deformations and no walking canes or other obvious disabled paraphernalia", is this right? I don't think autism is invisible then. People with autism sometimes wear headphones or weighted vests or need an assistant, or might walk and move around strangely. I could go on and on. Perhaps the whole concept of an invisible disability is flawed, or I'm taking things too literally.



Malin
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 32
Location: Scotland

05 Mar 2011, 12:10 pm

Mysty wrote:
Oh come on, read what I wrote. You're responding as if I didn't comment on the word "illness", which I did. And what I said fits well with what you said.



Okay; perhaps I was a little harsh on your lack of focus on the 'illness' part.

So we have agreement on the 'illness' problems. I must pipe in with Buryuntime and say that the 'invisible' word is problematic. Although I do not contradict myself - it is invisible. And that's not like a man who has a condition which is invisible as long as the affected part of the body (e.g. missing leg, rash, et c.) is covered up. It seems simply to mean that it cannot be seen.

Of course nothing's completely invisible, including pain. If pain could not be seen (or sensed) at all you wouldn't believe other people experienced pain. You can see pain by the way people wince or say things like 'I am in pain'. So the visible/ non-visible distinction must point refer to whether or not it is visible while looking at someone naked but not inferring anything from their actions.



FunnyFairytale
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 254

05 Mar 2011, 12:16 pm

Hmmm, well let me think.

I could probably pass as having it in some sort of invisible way if I just got a feeeeeeew little things down, mainly keeping my mouth shut most of the time, listened a little better,
and quit the yapping ( constant ) about psychology.

Yeah, and then we have the fashion disaster part, and the sensory issues, and the " HUH, was that sarcams *dumb face*.....


No, Im just going to agree with you, and NO, I dont dislike my AS at all
but I can imagine for others, who find things more difficult, that they dont understand how some would say it can be quite invisible.

I have been able to overcome lots of difficulties, others I believe I just may have outgrown somehow, not sure.

We are all different.



Mysty
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,762

05 Mar 2011, 1:01 pm

Maybe if one is going to call it an invisible something, it would be an invisible disability. As in, it's often obvious that the person is different, but only if one understands autism does one realize that it comes from differences in abilities from the normal range of abilities. Though even that's not quite right, especially with Asperger's, since some of those differences relate to what the person can do, rather than what they can't do. Or some of both.


_________________
not aspie, not NT, somewhere in between
Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


KBerg
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 400

07 Mar 2011, 7:22 am

When I hear people say it's invisible I take it to mean that they mean you can't tell at a glance if someone has it. Which is in most cases true. If you showed someone picture of people walking on a street and asked them to spot the person who has a CP, the person who's legally blind, and the person with AS on the picture... well the guy in the wheelchair is easy to spot, so is the guy with the black glasses and white cane, but the person with AS will look just like anyone else. By invisible people don't really mean that it just can't be seen at all in behavior, what they mean is that there aren't any huge superficial signifiers in your face or on your body that let people who don't know what the behavioral signs of AS know that oh, yeah, that's one. So in a sense it is invisible since it's not as out there as having Downs or being in a wheelchair or having missing limbs (although with advances in prosthetics even they can somewhat blend better now).



Mysty
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,762

07 Mar 2011, 8:25 am

I was thinking of someone I know, shortly after reading the latest post in this thread. And, he's a good illustration of where "invisible" works, but "illness" doesn't. He very well may not even qualify for having autism or Asperger's as a disorder. But he does quite distinctly have some traits. The thing is, I see those traits because of interact with him over time and trying to have a friendship with him. Knowing him casually, and observing him with others (what I can see of those interactions, which of course is limited when not participating), I would never think that. I might think he's a prick (a word someone I know used for him), but I wouldn't think "oh hey he's autistic" (or "he's got autistic traits").

Which doesn't change my initial point, that "invisible illness" is a totally off base description of autism and asperger's.

Invisible disability works. (Though that should be balanced with the idea that there are strengths as well.)


_________________
not aspie, not NT, somewhere in between
Aspie Quiz: 110 Aspie, 103 Neurotypical.
Used to be more autistic than I am now.


KBerg
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 400

07 Mar 2011, 10:00 am

In this case I'm thinking they probably picked illness because it's a little more vague. Like how an illness can include something you can eventually be cured off, while a disorder or disability tend to be something you learn to work around and cope with but you don't generally get cured of them. It's poor and imprecise wording, but luckily I don't think it was meant to be as insulting as it's probably come across. :)



Bethie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,817
Location: My World, Highview, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Earth, The Milky Way, Local Group, Local Supercluster

30 Mar 2011, 12:59 pm

Autism is not an illness at all, but a disability (though not always).

It IS invisible- one cannot look at an Autistic person and tell they are Autistic.


_________________
For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay.


Oodain
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,022
Location: in my own little tamarillo jungle,

30 Mar 2011, 5:21 pm

Bethie wrote:
Autism is not an illness at all, but a disability (though not always).

It IS invisible- one cannot look at an Autistic person and tell they are Autistic.

through extended observation i think it is quite possible to identify an aspie by looks and mannerisms alone.
can you tell it in someone just walking pas you however, i doubt it.


_________________
//through chaos comes complexity//

the scent of the tamarillo is pungent and powerfull,
woe be to the nose who nears it.