Sunday, 21 February 2010

Why it is wrong to reclassify Autism and AS

People often wonder how to classify Asperger's Syndrome. Many people argue that it is part of the Autistic Spectrum. Others argue that it is a distinct condition in its own right. I personally agree with the former argument. However, there a few slight, but still substantial differences between Asperger's Autism, which I have, and Kanner's Autism, which I don't have. That is why I didn't agree with the proposal regarding the next edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) when it is due to be published in May 2013.

Baffled? They are considering listing Asperger's simply as Autism. The present Autistic Spectrum Conditions is the most appropriate and suitable way of describing this condition. Do you think that an Aspie who is capable of going to university with the correct support is the same as an Autistic person who can't talk, rocks, and flaps his/her hands? Do you think that their care needs are the same? Of course they aren't. They ought to get rid of the triad of impairments, in that Aspies and Autistics don't have an imagination, and replace it with problems in interaction, communication, being hypo or hypersensitive to touch, sound and taste, routines and obsessions, difficulties with fine or gross motor skill problems.

That said, I believe there must be much more awareness and provisions for Autism and AS, in schools, colleges, university, employment and society in general, and it must start NOW!

Talking about Asperger's or Autism. I believe that both are a disability, but society makes it more so because the world in its present state is generally hostile to Aspies or anyone who is deemed or perceived to be different... and when society won't make provisions or reasonable adjustments for Aspies... then it will be even more of a disability than what it presently is.

One or two have even claimed that AS and Autism are "fashionable" conditions to claim to have. I can assure you that being hypo or hypersensitive to touch, sound, and taste and not being able to filter these stimuli out, having obsessions and routines, finding it difficult to interact with other people, struggling to read other people's body language, having fine or gross motor skill problems, and being misunderstood and often isolated is not trendy! No-one chooses to be Autistic, and besides... I have had AS all my life, so that hardly constitutes a trend!

I also take the view that if anyone has ever insulted, done wrong to, or taken the mickey out of me, a man with Asperger's, in a nasty way, from the day I started school to now, in the last 20-odd years, it doesn't say anything about me, but it speaks volumes about them, and the conclusion which has to be drawn is that such individuals aren't worth knowing and that we are better off without them.


Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

The DSM-V is getting rid of the triad of impairments.

No, it isn't trendy or fashionable.

26 February 2010 at 08:18  
Anonymous Kevin Phillips said...

I welcome any move to get rid of that offensive and antiquated diagnostic criteria.. people with Autism and AS DO have an imagination. People with AS DO have empathy for other people and people with Autism and AS DO have a sense of humour.

26 February 2010 at 08:29  
Blogger AS-4-L said...

It's not that it's similar to "autism", but similar to HFA that they are having the issue with.

28 February 2010 at 21:16  
Anonymous Valerie said...

I agree about how it is not fashionable to have Aspergers or Autism. In some ways I am happy about having Aspergers but at the same time it can be problematic and disabling in ways. Obsessions is a good example of both of my opposite feelings about having Aspergers. I love having obssessive interests as I find it to be really invigorating but at the same time sometimes it can cause anxiety and social isolation to. As far as DSM goes, I agree that AS and HFA are very similar but not classical autism and AS.

6 March 2010 at 02:40  

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