Are Aspergers people rare in general society?

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Manners1994
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09 Jul 2013, 9:30 pm

I am 19 years old and got diagnosed with Aspergers around a year back. It was a relief but at the same time I was saddened at the inevitable realisation that I hadn't fitted in all my life because I am different. And I can't really fit in with the 'general' population regardless of deluding myself - What is more frustrating is that I have never come across anyone Aspergers.

I went to a centre about six months ago and the people I was introduced to didn't seem Aspergers at all, but more so mentally handicapped which makes me wonder if many people understand what the condition is. I live in England by the way.



Mindslave
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09 Jul 2013, 9:39 pm

I don't know if "rare" is the right word, but Asperger's isn't that common. Some Aspie traits are common, but Asperger's itself is at least uncommon enough to have spawned a community website like this one. It does have more mainstream recognition than it used to, although there is still a lot of misunderstanding on the part of the general public as to what autism and the autism spectrum actually is.



thewhitrbbit
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09 Jul 2013, 9:42 pm

Aspergers is a spectrum, it's possible you've encountered aspies who can blend in.



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09 Jul 2013, 10:36 pm

I have met aspies outside of these various cloistered communities [including WP], here and there. the majority of them [of the few that I met face to face] rubbed me the wrong way, one way or another. it makes me sad to admit that. I met many in the army. I know this in retrospect. at the time I didn't know what AS was and so lacked this meme to guide me in better dealing with these sometimes truculent folks [often my picayune-to-a-fault bosses].



cathylynn
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09 Jul 2013, 11:24 pm

I met one fellow aspie in med school, one in the course of my work. my nephew and my dad are/were aspies. I know of three families in my area who have children on the spectrum. i'm sure there are more. i'm not the most social person on the planet, so me knowing this many makes me think AS is not horribly rare. about 1 in 100 people have some form of autism.



izzeme
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10 Jul 2013, 4:33 am

aspergers (and other, related forms of autism) are more common then you'd think, although still a significant minority.
it can be hard to identify an asperger due to their ability to 'hide' the fact that they are different: most of us appear quite normal untill oyu get to know us personally.

that said: on higher and more theoretical levels of education (beta majors in college and university) there is a significantly higher occurence of autism/aspergers compared to the other majors and compared to the general population.
also (in my experience) thos aspergers tend to let themselves out more: they try less hard to fit in, and becouse everyone does, they still fit. this makes it easier to find others like you in these areas.



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10 Jul 2013, 4:40 am

It's strange.

I know several NT's who have a spouse or relative with a form of autism. I know several people on not-autism-related sites who say they have it. I know several people who sometimes suspect they have it.

I'd say it's becoming common, at least here!



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10 Jul 2013, 7:20 am

I don't personally know anyone with Asperger's within a 500km radius.

That is, I know some people with suspiciously Aspie-like behavior, but that doesn't make me like them instantly. I also know that there is a support group in the city where I live, but the idea of going there is creeping me out.



AgentPalpatine
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11 Jul 2013, 1:28 pm

Manners1994 wrote:
I am 19 years old and got diagnosed with Aspergers around a year back. It was a relief but at the same time I was saddened at the inevitable realisation that I hadn't fitted in all my life because I am different. And I can't really fit in with the 'general' population regardless of deluding myself - What is more frustrating is that I have never come across anyone Aspergers.


It's....complicated. The Aspies who you would be most likely to meet in society are less likely to meet the criteria that some on WP would propose.


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11 Jul 2013, 4:42 pm

One of my friends at school is an Aspie, but I dunno...


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Stargazer43
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11 Jul 2013, 5:23 pm

I've seen a ratio of close to 1 in 4000 for Asperger's on Wikipedia (which is obviously infallible, like everything on the internet). But unfortunately, the various studies it mentions all came up with wildly different statistics. I think a lot of it is a combination of increased public awareness, differing diagnosis practices, and the number of people who do seek diagnosis. In any event, you aren't going to meet someone with it every day, and I can say that I've never met anyone who openly identified as having Asperger's before (although I did have a teacher who I strongly suspect had it, partly because he used to mention some of the struggles that people with Asperger's could face in job interviews during class, and he had some pretty eccentric behaviors).

But don't you worry, once you come on the interwebs all of those 1/4000 people from all over the world get together in one big jumble, and suddenly that number doesn't seem so small any more lol.



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11 Jul 2013, 7:36 pm

If the current diagnostic ratios range from one in 150 to one in 88, then there is a significant chance you do know someone on the spectrum. However, the range of capacity of the mature Aspie to get along and merge with social norms (to the extent of mostly being seen as normal by those who do not know them really well) and the fact that most Aspies are not hypersocial - means you may not know one when you first see one. -

After the inglorious experience of the teen years, we often learn how to keep a low profile, and may have only one or two close friends outside our families - which is fine. Given this scenario, you may never know that you 'know' an Aspie. Truth is, you probably don't really know them - just the face they wear in the world; but you've probably met and interacted with many Aspies.

Sometimes, we'll 'recognize' one another and if our interests and attitudes 'click', we can become good friends. And yes, I've recognized and been exquisitely irritated by some of the Aspies I've met. Our common traits of low social awareness coupled with our frank honesty and the simplicity of viewpoint we sometimes have...well, yeah...we can be a dorky pain in the keester.