Neurotypicals HIJACKED the Aspergers diagnosis!

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Panddora
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04 Aug 2013, 5:14 pm

Wandering_Stranger wrote:
Phssthpok wrote:
Panddora wrote:
So could someone tell me why a 60 something year old woman who would not be conscripted to the military and has no need to claim disability benefits and is gainfully employed would want an Asperger label?


Cognitive dissonance. People will go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to convince themselves that they have AS so they don't have to accept that they are just losers.


I used to know someone like this. His argument was that he was good at maths. :roll: He did also once claim he's so severely disabled that he doesn't have that much sight. Yet, holds a driving licence.


I think I was misunderstood here. I have a diagnosis not because I need a reason for it but because despite having a 'normal' seeming life, I have always been seen as 'wierd' and despite being married and having a grown family, I am desperately lonely. I cannot sustain friendships. I have meltdowns, though these may only be seen by my husband and strangers and I become obsessed with situations I cannot resolve. I am lucky that I have just about escaped serious misdiagnosis and medication but my situation is very real.



Panddora
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04 Aug 2013, 5:17 pm

Oh, and I am not a loser!



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04 Aug 2013, 5:19 pm

Keni wrote:
So - You, who had help and assistance, resent people who had none.
People who struggled and had to cope alone, and who are finally discovering there was a real reason for their hardship.

Because that somehow makes you less of a precious little snowflake.

Maybe think yourself lucky that you were born in a time and place of understanding and compassion,
and give thought to how far you would have got without it.

I just KNOW you can't be talking about ME!

I was born in the late 1950s. I was habitually beaten by an alcoholic father. When I left his house, I had to put myself through college. I had to declare bankruptcy in the early 1980s because of the spendthrift habits of my first wife, who divorced me in the late 1980s to marry her boyfriend. I had to start all over in 1990, so I joined the Navy in my early 30s. Everything has been on the track to improvement since then, without help from anyone (other than my second wife).

I know what it's like to start with nothing and achieve something against all odds, and I've done it twice.

Neurotypical privilege is a myth, imagined by people who have an over-reaching sense of entitlement for things they've never earned for themselves.



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04 Aug 2013, 5:24 pm

logician wrote:
Since the diagnosis of Aspergers became popular in the early 1990's (I myself was diagnosed in 1994), the increase in Aspergers diagnosis has accelerated.

When I went to a special school in 1997, I was a rare case. Everyone else were mentally retarded infantile autists.
Then there came others like me. And then some who were more well-functioning than me. And then some that are so socialized that I can't see the difference between them and
Neurotypicals.

While nobody are alike, there are some main characteristics defining Aspergers and Autism Spectrum Disorder in general.
The problem is that whenever I point that out, the ones I suppose to be NT's disguising behind an Aspie diagnosis, play the "No True Scotsman" card:

"Don't say that we aren't aspies, we are all different, I'm not an NT!" is the summary of their comments.

What has happened is what I feared in the early 2000's when I heard about the rise of Aspergers diagnosis and my worries became stronger when I read about the "Geek syndrome".

My worries are that the increase in Aspegers diagnosis leads to inflation, like economic inflation, in the diagnosis, devaluing the importance of the diagnosis.

This in turn means that people who truely need help will be deprived of it in the future, and duties imposed upon them (like military conscription etc.) will be more heavily enforced in countries with such measures, because Aspergers is now nothing more than another NT-variety.

What has really happened is that the Neurotypicals are hijacked the diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, in order to say "hey, if he can avoid military conscription, thats unfair, lets prove that his diagnosis is worth of nothing, so I'll just fake some of the symptoms and get a diagnosis myself, HAHAHA!"


Jeez, get over it.
There are a lot of people like me that have had it tough their whole lives, who others assume to be NT, but later in life get a diagnosis that puts it all into perspective.
I've never played the Asperger's or Autism card for sympathy, to get out of any obligation, or to seek acceptance from others.
I was incorrectly diagnosed with a psychotic illness when I was 17.
My parents then decided I must have a mental problem, and what's more as it was the typical age to be experimenting with drugs. they decided I had made myself sick, given myself schizophrenia or some similar mental disorder, and that I was not only mentally sick, but that I was to blame.

I carried guilt, shame, frustration, and the stigma of an incorrect label the rest of my life afterwards, always wondering what was "wrong with me" when I should have been trying to figure out what was different and unique about me.
I was bullied at school, I was bullied at home, and I was bullied in the workforce, all because I was not a "normal typical" person.
I wasn't so keen on social events, wasn't so keen on spectator sports, and wasn't so keen on stereotypical heterosexual exploits, such as going to strip joints, going to night clubs, and having casual sex, so I was the odd one out.

Finally after several failed career choices, a failed marriage, a failed suicide attempt and cumulatively years being unemployed; not to mention being exploited by several employment agencies, psychologists and counsellors - all of whom wanted to keep me using their quick fix solutions, rather than find and address the underlying cause, I was diagnosed with ASD - High Functioning Autism, at the ripe old age of 41.

I was never diagnosed before, because no one had the foresight, or genuine concern for my wellbeing to see that having an answer to the question "what's wrong or different about me?" Was the core concern that had never been properly addressed.
I am what is known by professionals that deal with people on the spectrum as an "invisible aspie". We learn to ACT like NT's, but we never learn to feel like them. It is all a façade, and a very tiring, energy sapping, and frustrating façade that we put on.

Why do we do it? Simply because it's the only way we know how to deal with being the odd ones out. Humans learn their behaviour by imitation, and who knows better how to study the behaviour of others than an aspie? That's why you find so many great actors are on the spectrum.
Just because us "invisible aspies" may be able to seem like NT's, as we can give the external appearance of behaving like them, doesn't mean we're not on the spectrum, don't need help, and don't want to be accepted or diagnosed. The truth is, the coping skills we have learned are the things that make it harder for us to be diagnosed, and it ends up a vicious cycle where we struggle for recognition, whilst trying to fit in.

Only those really close to us, that we let into our emotional world know the struggle we face, and it is so much harder than for those of you who had your condition recognised early.
In my case, diagnosis was not possible earlier, as my psychotic episode occurred in 1990, and there was no knowledge in the hospital I was sectioned to about Asperger's, and clearly they were not interested in treating me in that setting, just keeping me sedated and out of the way until I could be sent back home to my parents.

The 23 years plus of suffering I have had as a result of this is not something I would wish on anyone, and it offends and upsets me that some may see me as a "me too" or someone faking a neurological condition for sympathy, for some sort of hand out, or to seek to opt out of any obligations.
I have a 13 year old daughter who hardly had anything to do with me, two younger brothers that don't want to know me, a niece and nephew I have never met, and parents who still blame me for causing disruption and upset in the family, so don't dare say that I am not a really aspie, or that it's easier for me than for someone that was lucky enough to get an early diagnosis.

Consider that the next time you think someone who has recently realised they may be on the spectrum, or has recently been diagnosed as an adult is looking for the sympathy vote.
True aspies have compassion, empathy, and care about justice and fair treatment of others, we're just not always able to express it eloquently.



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04 Aug 2013, 5:31 pm

Panddora wrote:
I think I was misunderstood here. I have a diagnosis not because I need a reason for it but because despite having a 'normal' seeming life, I have always been seen as 'wierd' and despite being married and having a grown family, I am desperately lonely. I cannot sustain friendships. I have meltdowns, though these may only be seen by my husband and strangers and I become obsessed with situations I cannot resolve. I am lucky that I have just about escaped serious misdiagnosis and medication but my situation is very real.


I wasn't trying to imply that you were faking it. People do though, and it is an insidious problem because not even the posers know that they are posers. It's easy to imagine somebody reading about AS, getting confused about whether they have it or not for all the reasons I mentioned earlier and then to reassure themselves they go to shrink and describe a textbook case of it. It leads to people here suspecting each other and themselves of being an impostor; sorta like that Phillip K. Dick book that was made into a cartoon.

Ergo I can't know if what I'm reading is the genuine experiences of another aspie or what an NT person imagines or mis-remembers. The only thing I can do about it is disregard what angsty teenagers have to say and trust that it doesn't matter that much if they are the real deal or not because they probably are messed up either way.



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04 Aug 2013, 5:32 pm

Fnord wrote:
Neurotypical privilege is a myth, imagined by people who have an over-reaching sense of entitlement for things they've never earned for themselves.


This isn't true. I'm not sure that you have a clear idea of what "privilege" means in this context.

It means that society is designed to benefit them but not benefit neuroatypical people. For one example, job interviews benefit neurotypicals who are capable of functioning socially over those of us who are less able to function socially - the only jobs I've ever been hired for are jobs I didn't have to interview for, and this likely has to do with my muted affect, odd prosody, and stimming - elements that I was not aware of that would give people odd and unfavorable impressions of me. Schools, workplaces, entertainment, etc. are designed around assumptions of neurotypicality (and not just neurotypicality, but for the purposes of this explanation that's the relevant factor). That is what privilege is. That society is built around accommodating certain subsets of humanity while excluding others. It doesn't reflect an "over-reaching sense of entitlement" to talk about it.

This is an article that discusses privilege in this context: http://www.lib.odu.edu/ojs/index.php/cs ... ewfile/1/1.

There is also the concept of intersectionality, in that there are multiple kinds of privilege (and thus multiple kinds of marginalization) that can impact people. Being white, male, and straight, and cisgender are privileges, for example. Being a person of color is not. Being a woman is not. Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. are not privileges. Being transgender is not a privilege. Being disabled is not a privilege, but being abled is.



Keni
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04 Aug 2013, 5:38 pm

Fnord wrote:
Keni wrote:
So - You, who had help and assistance, resent people who had none.
People who struggled and had to cope alone, and who are finally discovering there was a real reason for their hardship.

Because that somehow makes you less of a precious little snowflake.

Maybe think yourself lucky that you were born in a time and place of understanding and compassion,
and give thought to how far you would have got without it.

I just KNOW you can't be talking about ME!

I was born in the late 1950s. I was habitually beaten by an alcoholic father. When I left his house, I had to put myself through college. I had to declare bankruptcy in the early 1980s because of the spendthrift habits of my first wife, who divorced me in the late 1980s to marry her boyfriend. I had to start all over in 1990, so I joined the Navy in my early 30s. Everything has been on the track to improvement since then, without help from anyone (other than my second wife).

I know what it's like to start with nothing and achieve something against all odds, and I've done it twice.

Neurotypical privilege is a myth, imagined by people who have an over-reaching sense of entitlement for things they've never earned for themselves.


No, I was referring to the OP!
It didn't occur to me it could be taken as a reply to another post :oops:



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04 Aug 2013, 5:46 pm

Phssthpok wrote:
Panddora wrote:
So could someone tell me why a 60 something year old woman who would not be conscripted to the military and has no need to claim disability benefits and is gainfully employed would want an Asperger label?


Cognitive dissonance. People will go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to convince themselves that they have AS so they don't have to accept that they are just losers. If you have AS you're unique, special and maybe even gifted in some way but if you act like this and you're NT, then maybe you're just an as*hole, an idiot or a pariah and it's all your own fault. Also nobody, including the OP, is actually worried about the draft.


I cannot imagine anyone wanting to be diagnosed with Aspergers, unless they a) exhibit the symptoms or b) want to avoid being diagnosed with something they consider to be a bit “darker” (I am thinking here of one or more personality disorders). Though, I could be wrong.

Also, I think the comment about having AS making you “unique, special and maybe even gifted” is a crock. Sure, I want to think of myself that way. But, as I have gotten older, I realize that’s not reality.



Aspendos
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04 Aug 2013, 6:01 pm

For someone who's handle is "logician", this is a seriously illogical argument.

You got diagnosed in 1994. I got diagnosed this year, at 38. Presumably you are much younger than me, as back then you were in school. Doesn't mean that I did not have AS in 1994 or 1984 or indeed 1974 - just that no one knew AS existed when I grew up.

If anything, people like me who grew up without a diagnosis were here first.



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04 Aug 2013, 7:59 pm

*sigh*

I have a set of impairments that prevent me from functioning smoothly in the areas of life that adults are expected by society to be able to function smoothly in.

The clinical psychologist who originally diagnosed me, and the subsequent psychologists and psychiatrists who I've seen since, have decided that my particular set of difficulties most closely resemble those that are described by the label "Aspergers."

It's not debatable that I have impairments, it's only a question of how best to classify them. Honestly, I really couldn't care less WHAT they call it as long as I keep getting help in the areas I need help in. I have no emotional connection to the term "Aspergers" as I see it merely as a means to an end. If The-Powers-That-Be decide to re-diagnose me with something they feel is more accurate, I'm perfectly fine with that.

Ultimately, I just don't care if I meet someone else's definition of "True Aspergers" or if I "look autistic enough."


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04 Aug 2013, 8:24 pm

*sigh*

I'm not saying anybody in particular is faking it. I'm just explaining why this issue comes up over and over again and will continue to. It really does seem to simmer just beneath the surface of many discussion on here. A convincing story about why you guys believe your AS is real doesn't challenge anything I've said.



Last edited by Phssthpok on 04 Aug 2013, 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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04 Aug 2013, 8:33 pm

Phssthpok wrote:
*sigh*

I'm not saying anybody in particular is faking it. I'm just explaining why this issue comes up over and over again and will continue to. A convincing story about why you guys believe your AS is real doesn't challenge anything I've said.


Claiming that, in you opinion, you've seen people who were DXed with Aspergers who weren't severe enough to "really" have Aspergers doesn't do anything to advance the claim that NTs have "hijacked" the diagnosis.

This "issue" keeps coming up because people with no medical training think they can diagnose, or un-diagnose, an ASD merely by observing superficial behavior.


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04 Aug 2013, 8:36 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
This "issue" keeps coming up because people with no medical training think they can diagnose, or un-diagnose, an ASD merely by observing superficial behavior.


^^^^^

Exactly this.

I've only seen this as an issue when people decide to start up "more autistic than thou" conversations. Like this one.



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04 Aug 2013, 8:43 pm

Phssthpok, what's your stake in this? Your WP status is "Have Aspergers - Undiagnosed", meaning you're self-diagnosed ... certainly anyone having got a professional diagnosis has more certainty than that. The power of self-suggestion and self-deception leading to self-diagnosis seems potentially a lot greater than the danger of someone deceiving a trained professional who (ideally) specializes in autism/Asperger's (in adults, in my case).



Last edited by Aspendos on 04 Aug 2013, 9:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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04 Aug 2013, 8:44 pm

Verdandi wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
This "issue" keeps coming up because people with no medical training think they can diagnose, or un-diagnose, an ASD merely by observing superficial behavior.


^^^^^

Exactly this.

I've only seen this as an issue when people decide to start up "more autistic than thou" conversations. Like this one.


This thread seems to boil down to either, "You can't be autistic. You look normal!" or "Anyone who doesn't have the exact same problems as me isn't autistic."

Really, trying to be "more autistic" than someone else has to be one of the dumber competitions I've ever seen people engage in.


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04 Aug 2013, 8:53 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:

Claiming that, in you opinion, you've seen people who were DXed with Aspergers who weren't severe enough to "really" have Aspergers doesn't do anything to advance the claim that NTs have "hijacked" the diagnosis.

This "issue" keeps coming up because people with no medical training think they can diagnose, or un-diagnose, an ASD merely by observing superficial behavior.


Again I do not have specific knowledge of any individual here and never claimed to. What I do know is that many people here often say they want it to be true and they do try pretty hard to convince everyone that they are genuine. It also doesn't take a psychology degree to see that whatever thing you come up with to explain why you are the way you are is going to have to satisfy your ego. Given those two facts all bets are off as to whether some people here are fooling themselves or not. Also I don't agree with the OP's main point at all and thought I trashed it pretty well.