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Showing posts from February, 2010

Aspergers versus Autism - The Great Label Debate (Part 3: The case AGAINST)

Last time I looked at and played "devil's advocate" to, the argument to absorb the Aspergers label into the wider Autism label. In this post, I want to look at the case "against". The Autism label is Tainted This is by far the most "vocal" argument against the merge. There's certainly an element of truth to it. I don't think that anyone who really knows autism will try to suggest that the word isn't tainted. Stop anyone on the street and ask them what "autism" is. You'll get instant recognition. They'll tell you about children who can't function without adult helpers and if adults are mentioned at all, they'll tend to be the "diapered" and "institutionalised" variety. Usually, people on the street don't even think about autistic adults. It's like the "problem" simply goes away. If you try to suggest that there are adults on the spectrum who don't live in institutions, y

Aspergers versus Autism - The Great Label Debate (Part 2: The case FOR)

Following on from Part one, which admittedly didn't actually tell you anything about the issue (just provided background), this post will look at some of the arguments for merging the labels. I'll look at "against" in the post after this. First, I want to clear up a couple of things. Aspergers *IS* Autism Aspergers has always been an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, for a few years, it was popular to refer to it as "Aspergers Autism". I'm making this point because in reading some of the "negative" posts around the internet, it's become obvious that some people think they're entirely separate conditions. There have always been people with Aspergers who want to distance themselves from Autism. I can remember struggling with acceptance of the word "Autism" when my son and I first got the label. The reason is simple; we've all be tainted by Hollywood's take on Autism or by our own experiences with severely aut

Aspergers versus Autism - The Great Label Debate (Part 1)

Unless you've been hiding under a rock lately, you're probably aware that the DSM V due out in May 2013 but under review now, is considering dropping the "Aspergers" label and simply lumping it under the general category of Autism. There's naturally a great deal of online debate about this decision. I've been (mostly) holding my tongue because I'm not entirely certain how I feel about the change. I can see positives and negatives on both sides and in a direct contradiction of my non-empathetic label, I can appreciate and empathise with several points of view. I've got three main aims in this post, 1. To talk about the manual and the change. 2. To provide some points of view 3. To discover (and discuss) my feelings on the merge. I suspect that I won't be able to cover all this in a single post. If not, they'll be covered in a sequel post. A Bit about the DSM The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is essentially the &

Some thoughts on Intolerance

It wasn't an Aspergers Spectrum Disorder which prompted this post today but it was an equally unusual incident which made me think about the wider implications of intolerance. We're all familiar with the concept of intolerance. Generally it's applied to people of different races, religions or sexual persuasions. Sometimes, as is sometimes the case with religion, the quality which is "intolerable" is chosen rather than unavoidable. Usually however, the victim has no control over their status. Sometimes, even the qualities which appear chosen are unavoidable. Young children, for example, cannot choose their religion separately from their parents. In this sense, although a religious difference is usually a choice, it's clearly unavoidable for many people. Intolerance deals with the way our own behavior towards others makes them feel unhappy. There are so many levels to intolerance which range from simple dislike through to full blown genocide. All are examp