Enterovirus 68 Update

From CBS: "Health officials are investigating nine cases of muscle weakness or paralysis in Colorado children and whether the culprit might be a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country." See our earlier reporting: The Age of Polio, and...

How Mercury Triggered The Age of Autism

Conversation with the Authors of Plague

Autism Public Service Announcement

Canary Party Vaccine Court Video

A Glimpse into Autism

Meet Our Advertisers


Olmsted's Original UPI Series

  • The Age of Autism Tag

« Swine Flu Vaccine Should Not Be Given To Children In Schools | Main | Maine CDC Autism Conference Videos Now on Maine.gov »

Why Asperger Syndrome is a Legal Disability

Disability By Jake Crosby

A comment under my previous article on Asperger Syndrome being a disability inspired me to write yet another article on the topic. The commenter, who was completely opposed to Neurodiversity (ND), said Asperger Syndrome is not a disability because it is not legally defined as such.

I am surprised that there is such a view out there in the autism community outside the ND movement that does not think Asperger Syndrome is a disability. Those who hold this view will claim that disability is a legal term. They will say that Asperger Syndrome is therefore not a disability because it is not covered by disability law. This view is incorrect. People with Asperger Syndrome are covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Act to receive accommodations in both work and in school. In contrast to some untruths I’ve heard, we also get insurance coverage; last summer I underwent speech therapy with another person with Aspergers to improve pragmatic language skills, covered by insurance. Some of us are also eligible for Social Security benefits for our disability, including Anne Dachel’s son:

"In fact, I learned that now there was a whole spectrum of autistic disorders and John's was called Asperger's Syndrome...Once he finished school, John became eligible for Social Security disability payments."
(Here.)

One contradictory element in such views is the claim we do not qualify for "most" disability programs as opposed to all of them and then make the argument that just because we can't put handicapped stickers in our cars that we are therefore not disabled. Yet, "disability" is a legal term, not open to interpretation. Someone is either disabled or they are not. If he qualifies for any disability programs, he is still disabled, regardless of whether or not he qualifies for “most” of them, much less if he has permission to park in a handicapped space.

I do agree however, with this view’s stance on “High Functioning Autism” being just jargon and not being a real term, however, since it is not included in the DSM's category of ASDs.

One interesting point made by believers of this viewpoint, however, is in noting the contradiction of using the term "high-functioning" with autism when the disability is defined by lack of functioning. However, Asperger Syndrome is also characterized by a lack of functioning, executive functioning, and communicative abilities, too, for that matter since communication is a form of functioning. I agree that our functioning problems may appear trivial compared to those with classic autism, but that does not mean only people as severely afflicted as them are disabled and have autism.

Words used such as "disadvantage" to define us rather than "disability" only serves to dilute the meaning of Asperger Syndrome, since "disability" is merely a kind of disadvantage. Poverty, oppression, and famine are also disadvantages, but not disabilities.

"Disadvantage" could mean unfortunate societal circumstances, like the NDs' argument that people with autism are disabled only based on their treatment from society, and that they do not have a real disability. Perhaps what they mean by "social model of disability" is that autism is disabling only because society recognizes people with autism as legally disabled.

As a disability that impedes functioning, Asperger Syndrome most definitely has a place in the category of Autism Spectrum Disorders. I can understand others’ resistance to that since the NDs try to use this definition to hijack the interests of everyone with autism. As a person with an autism spectrum disorder, I am unhappy with this, too. However, I wish they would realize that autism’s definition as a “spectrum” acknowledges that not everyone who fits this category is the same, and that it recognizes the grave challenges more severely afflicted children face, no matter what the NDs say. No changes in the DSM-V will change their minds.

However, many of those who say Asperger Syndrome should be classified separately basically say that we should not be considered autistic because a few of us happen to be NDs. A lot of parents who are against Neurodiveresity are also in strong disagreement with proponents of that viewpoint. Making Aspergers separate from autism would be a moral abandonment of those with Asperger Syndrome, will not stop the NDs and will not help people with classic autism.

Jake Crosby is a history student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University, and a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8357f3f2969e20115712ef51d970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why Asperger Syndrome is a Legal Disability:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have aspergers... been at my job for 10 years.. no raises, no promotions... until they locked me in a 47" by 57" hot room for three years till i had a stroke, they did not know i had aspergers. i got so upset when departments changed that i cried, this is seen as a melt down. their accomodatoin for me is to "never have a raise or promotion for the rest of my life no matter waht i do". I work in research IT as a top medical school doing software for phds. dont know waht to do... i cant find another job as i am too old in IT (Ageism is rampant), all the courses and such are only for others, sabotage is constant, there is no advocate, i will lose my wife, and family and home... i have fortune 10 experience, wall street experience, my own company, been 30 years in the field. now, my life is over they say...

Our son has Asbergers and is now 20, he is very social but is about 14 or 15 maturity wise. We didn't know it was asbergers until 2008; he was born 1994. Recently a police officer interviewed him over a minor female accusations. She was seeking attention from him and sitting with him at church. He is friendly by nature. But when he and the other older than her boys graduated HS she now is saying that they had inappropriate touching at one time. She had an obvious crush on him, so now he has had two talks with this officer, the first time, he had stopped by our home, and I gave him the address so he could talk to our son. However, I told him that our son has asbergers and didn't understand things easily and he would need an adult to help him be calm and focused during the questions. So his girlfriends mom was with them. Now, the officer again requested to talk to him and take a statement, this time at the police station here. I told him to call the officer and ask if I could be with him so he would not be nervous and confused. The officer said I could come but couldn't be with him in the interview. He was mirandized and he did not understand half of what was said to him. He got confused and upset and told the officer what he wanted to hear after a while to get out of there. He has documented Asbergers, he was in public school the year he graduated in order to have access to the special ed services. Concerned mom

to Shirley Cheney -
Good luck - I have a 12 yo daughter who is just like your older son. I know the OUTCAST Feeling with a misbehaving, disrespectful child. But hang in there, YOU know he does not mean the things he says. YOU know he loves you. You just have to keep searching for a good Doctor to test him.

I knew my child had Aspberger's several YEARS before the doctors did. I finally found one last month, and he tested her for 4 hours! He is everything I could ask for in a doctor! This Doctor is in Killeen, TX, Dr. Connell, in case anyone near there needs him.

I am trying to find a homeschool group of just Aspie kids - I may have to start one, because my child NEEDS social exposure, where she is accepted for who she is, to boost her self esteem.

Good Luck and god bless you!

Aspergers syndrome affects each individual differently. Most people who have aspergers syndrome suffer at least 1 other disorder as. They may just have aspergers syndrome, which is highly unlikely.they can also suffer at least one if not more of the following conditions dyspraxia, dyslexia, sensory over or under load, sight being only present in 1 eye, communication difficulties, difficulty processing information, lack of spatial awareness, short term memory problems, clumsiness, depression difficulty in controlling emotions particularly temper and also suffering anxiety. For me aspergers syndrome is very disabling as I suffer from almost of all the above. Im deed permanently unfit to drive by my gp hold down a dead end job because an out side charity supports me. Whereas most people of my intellect are capable of holding down much more challenging jobs without any job based support.all theses disabilities make every day living very difficult for me. Im not able to go out alone to to my sight, anxiety, inability to navigate, not knowing where my body is in relation to other people or objects and my sensory issues all sounds converging into one. So yes for me adpergers and all these other issues are very disabling for me. Victoria

Continuation. I only hold down a deadend job with support from an outside charity. Most people
of my intellect who are normal would beable to hold down a More fulfilling job without support. I am certified permanently unfit to drive due to my dyspraxia, navagational problems, and sensory issues. I have been bullied at work and didnt continue in a main stream school. I have trief to progress to to office work on a couple of occasions, but within a couple of weeks have been dismissed due to my problems learning and processing information. So to me it certainly isnt a mild condition and does impact on my every day life on a daily bases.

To me aspergers syndrome is very disabling. Most people who have aspergers syndrome also have one if not more other associated disoders and or life long syndromes, which just impact on the aspergers compounding the problems and making daily living even more complacated. These other
problems can be dyspraxia, sensory issues either over or underload, anxiety, disorientation and confusion, navigating difficulty because the person is unable to judge where his or her body is in relation to other people and obejects.melt downs, partial sight, often sight only present in one eye, difficulty understanding and processing information, memory problems. My personal difficulties in association to having aspergers syndrome are only having sight in one of my eyes, dyspraxia, difficulty knowing where my body is in relation to people and objects, sensory overload, I am unable to walk down a busy street without another person being present, and when it comes to crossing a busy road, I need assistance from another person, as all the lights and noises all convergevinto one another, leaving me literally like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car.i have short term memory problems, which leads to me


environments I am unable to think or hear. It is

My daughter has aspergers she can not talk to anyone except to her mother if you do not think she does not belong on disability then come to my house and she hypocrite.

Hello all, My nephew has aspergers he is 31. He is very "vunerable" and although he has a college degree he cannot gain a career position. He is living with his parents and works min wage jobs (mostly bussing tables). He is very socialally awkward to meet. Me and my family understand him so we dont see it. But lately he has been getting himself into trouble. He is giving people (women who know him from wordk or through people he works with) money. Lots of money and its due to these people telling him they want to be his girlfriend or playing on his social defects. The last one was a female who said she likd him and loved him and I want to be your girlfriend. After a week she began saying I need money for this or that and he (my nephew) gave it to her because in his mind she was his girlfriend. And he needed to take care of her. Here she was living withsomr other guy and using my nrphews money to do stuff with this other guy. Rumor had it not good stuff. Possibly illegal? Dont know. My point/question is ar there laws to ptotect ppl lke my nephew who dont know better? That is in my mind criminal taking advantage of someone who has a social disability.

Cheri;
In Kentucky; and probably other states too -there are things that a guardian can set up to help protect such people that are vunerable.
This is not the same thing as taking complete guardian ship over a person, but is set up to help a person that is vunerable with thier money. This helps keep these vunerable people from making a serious finacial move with out the guardian looking it over first.

That would come in handy with things like car loans; -- It give the guardian more access to information at transcations going on at the bank. I am not sure about credit cards -- maybe they are not allowed to have one????

I am newly married my stepson has been diagnosed with asburgers. He is 24 years old. We just found out he gave a chess friend $5000.00 with the promise he was going to get lots of money back. . He didn't say anything to any of us. I have never dealt with this desease before. Just starting out. How can we help him? Advocate for him. He is getting an apartment continuing his education. Please Help. Thank you.

I have a 10 year old son whom was diagnosed with adhd when he was 5. He also started having violent tendencies and started being extremely disrespectful. He has been seen at Meridian Behavioral Health since he was 5. Every year he seemed to just get more disrespectful and more violent. I left his dad when he was 2 and a half because he was mentally abusive to both of us and I was not going to let my child be raised in that kind of an environment even if it meant that I would be a broke, uneducated single mom. When he was 7 I got pregnant with my youngest and he became very jealous and even more violent to spite my efforts to involve him in everything that I did with the baby. Now the baby is 3 and i'm still having trouble with him being mean, disrespectful, and violent with his little brother. It seems that he doesn't have a kind word to say to anybody. Everybody always complains because they don't want to be around him because he is so rude and mean. I have been begging for some help with him because it is almost impossible to be around him. That is sad but very true. I love him with all my heart and can't stand to see him this way because this isn't how he was raised but I don't know what else to do. I fear that one day he is really gonna hurt his little brother. I got another local councilor to see him and after seeing him for 3 months she told me that I needed to have him checked for Asperger's. I read up on it and he does have all the characturistics so now we are going to try to find a specialist to see for sure. Any advise will be greatly apreciated. Thanks!

“If you’ve seen one person with Asperger Syndrome you’ve seen one person with Asperger Syndrome” – Stephen Shore

I live in Canada. I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was 20. Didn't occur to me or my family until about 4 or 5 years later to actually apply for disability. Of course, this was after I had moved back in with my parents, having failed in an academic program in another province. Got on income assistance, then applied for disability. Got denied, of course parents and I had no idea that everybody gets denied the first time, so we didn't bother appealing. Few years later, a young man with Asperger's and Anxiety who was the son of a couple my parents went to church with gets on disability. That got my mom thinking that maybe I could get on it too. So we get the help of a social worker, and start filling out the forms. About a month and a half later, it gets sent in. 3 or maybe 4 months after that, I get the forms back, with a letter saying that they couldn't be processed because I wasn't on income assistance when I applied for the second time. So we tried to get me on income assistance again, and we couldn't do that either, because I owned 2 savings bonds and had some money in the bank. Word to the wise: do not apply for government funding of any kind when you are not dead broke. It will take whoever has to approve you about 5 seconds to deny you. You will, literally, have to go into debt, be starving and homeless before you can get assistance....at least where I live, which is in British Columbia. So, my experience and those of others with Asperger's have led me to believe that maybe Asperger's should be classified as a legal disability. There are certainly many on the spectrum who would not be able to pay rent and buy food without it. But there are many others, who, like me, can't get it, despite the myth that a diagnosis of anything autism automatically gets a disability pension for the lifetime of the person who has it(yes, I actually have had intelligent people tell me this). So we have to scratch out a living for ourselves as best as we can on our own, since we've been denied the "easy street" that living off of disability would afford us(yes, I've met people who think this. Funny, since most people who I have met who get disability can barely afford to buy bread).

hi
I just came across this site and my heart is in pieces right now. My son of 26 was diagnosed with Asperger's last year, so I decided to collect him from a room which he got kicked out of from losing a job again, which has been an old pattern. He worked for me until this week, is making such frightful mistakes that i had to fire him again - also the rest of the family don't want him here as he's dirty, eats up all the food, demands stuff, etc... just strange behaviour. Hugely irritable, dishonest, unreliable - i think depressed. He denies this diagnosis and was very angry that the doctor diagnosed him behind his back - hence nobody here takes his diagnosis seriously. Now I am so sad as clearly firing him is simply not going to solve the problem, but what can i do if he won't cooperate so that we can help him properly? I don't know how to get my partner on my side and he has chased the boy away from our house in the past due to his lack of motivation and cooperation in a family context.

Yes I would agree the definition of Aspergers is being skewed and manipulated. To those that are in doubt. I am 28 years old, diagnosed in Jun 2012. I also served in the Army for 2 years. I am also a prior medic with Somme nursing school under my belt. I had to push the VA on a diagnosis cause the evidence was clear in my records.

I have problems on a daily basis with staying organized. My social interaction is near moot, with only a few good friends. My other psychiatric diagnosis ' are GAD, Bipolar II, ADHD which can be components of Aspergers itself.

I also have major deficits in Executive Functioning. I'll do things like put stuff on backwards, forget to put things away,losing track of time, lack of inhbition which causes poor emotional and/or behavioral responses.

I also don't pick up on sarcasm and figure of speech easily. I do speak rapidly.

I'm currently at the ALJ level with a disability hearing. I have legal representation. I've been in the appeals process prior to my diagnosis. I'm hoping that the AS diagnosis tips it in my favor.

Hi- I just found this site and wanted to share my son's story with you. Today he is applying for admission to a University and just wrote his personal statement about his diagnosis and struggles. Fortunately he was diagnosed early and had behavioral and other therapies. I also pushed him to do Scouts and sports and get a job last summer ! He would not have done these things without a lot of encouragement from myself and my husband and I believe these outside activities have made him much more socially aware and able to communicate with his peers and adults in a more normal manner. He is not "typical" but none of us are !He is funny, kind, and amazes me with his extensive knowledge on varied subjects ! It is a spectrum disorder but that does not these kids cannot learn and kudos to those newly diagnosed adults who are reaching out and learning about their issues. Things can change at any age !

Hi All,
From what I understand, Proper diagnosis for Asperger,Non-Verbal LD, ADHD etc. has to be performed by a licensed Neuro-psychologist (Incorrect?). However, having this done on your own can be quite cost prohibitive. I'm 44 and I also believe I have a specific form Asperger. When I was in High school I had significant difficulty with Algebra, however, my English, Spelling and Computer/Scientific skills were fine. I also have Social-Interactive problems on a daily basis with co-workers and they think I am Wierd. I am currently holding down a contractor job but its in the chemical industry where ANY safety violations can get you "Run-Off" (Fired)and its difficult not to make mistakes with such a loud environment and not being able to hear/comprehend instructions clearly, and interacting with others.

Sandy

The dislike for social situations and the focus on one thing are classic ASD, but the lack motivation is not directly ASD. ASD will generaly result in the person saying truely what they meen, so he may actually believe "every thing is fine" (remember, a person with ASD will have a different outlook, so things that are not culturaly or socially normal wont necisarily seem to be out side the limits of fine to that person),or he has learned from observation that people generaly dont want to hear whats really going on and so says "every thing is fine" as an observed acceptable social behavior. as far as the social and focus issues go, those will most likely not change to a great degree, especialy if he lacks motivation. remember, what motivates you wont necisarily be what motivates him (that goes for every one really, just more so for people with ASD). Personaly (speaking from the perspective of a person with ASD) i would recomend not triing to change his base atrributes, like the dislikeing social situations and the focus on a single subject, but work with them, explain every thing in great detail, and dont become frustrated (a person with ASD is not usually trying to be difficult, but time and experience have showed them that if they take what a person says the way the said it they will be wrong) be patient and as understanding as you can be. a person with only ASD will look normal, seem highly inteligent, and functional, so can easily be misunderstood as just being difficult. This is not normaly the case. Being an understanding person and not jumping to conclusions based on what you would have ment had you said what he said, will be key if he is to have any interest in social situations in the future. again Personaly, I still HATE being with a group of people, I still prefer to be by my self. (im 29, btw) because my family, well my mom, grandma, and brothers are more understanding, it makes it more comfortable for me to be around them. They have learned to take what I say exactly as I said it, although they still get this wrong from time to time, we have come to the understanding that if what I say was offencive, I didnt meen for it to be, and more often then not they didnt take it as I said it. although I will admitt i still dont understand why certain things are unacceptable and thus will say somethings that are offencive and I ment them, but i didnt meen to offend anyone, I would be just be stating a fact or observation.

Remember No one likes being wrong and being treated badly, so as we often get social interactions wrong and this leads to bad social backlash, we often seek to isolate ourselves from "normal" people.

Although I do not know you or your grandson and therefor cant be absolutly sure about how he is, or how he acts and why, this is a good generalization of a person with "just" ASD. I say "Just" because most people with ASD have other disorders aswell. most common of these are "OCD", "PTSD", and "GAD".

As far as looking into SSI and SSDI, again i would recomend going to your local social security office and go from there.

My oldest grandson is 18 has been diagnosed with Asperger's. This is new to our family and we are concerned about his future. He avoids social contact with others and only seems comfortable at home. We are learning more about this and don't know the direction to go at this point. From reading about Aspergers he seems to have all the classic traits. He is my first grandchild and of course has a speical place in my heart. We cannot sit back and let his life just happen and go in the direction it seems to be going. We realize he needs skills to be self sufficient and to be able to maintain himself down the line. However is saying that, we doubt that he could hold a job since he will not get up, get going, take a shower. When he is confronted he will say, "everything is fine." His nature is sweet, good sense of humor, intelligent, then bouts of melt downs, a hoarder of things etc. His only interest is the computer. Lately he is backing off of family get togethers. So my question is, how could he possibly hold down a job? I would like to know more about SSI and if he is eligible for assistance. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

for CD

If you dont have a diagnosis yet, thats fine, just apply and they will, on thier dime, have you see a specialist to get one or not. If you dont have much money (since people with aspergers often have a hard time getting or keeping work) this would be the route to go. Just call your local Social security office or the SSDDC (social security disability determination center) and they will get the ball rolling.

Ceila;
No body is for sure what the DSM committee is up too, all we hear are rumors on the telly and then a debate which just leaves us unsure. If he is already on SSI he probably will stay on it.

CD
Go apply to SSI. You also can apply for it on line too,or go up to the SSI office and fill out some papers, they will call you in and go over it with you (to make life easier for you have the names, and addresses of all schools, psych, doctorss that you have been involved with since you are small - ready to give them). No matter how bad off you are they will denie you the first time. THey always do the first time. You reapply, this time they will send you to a psych and you might get a lawyer at this time. THe government will pay the lawyer if you win - your wages of SSI that they should have been paying you or the last year about 5000 dollars.

i have a 20 year old son that has aspergers syndrome and recieves disability ssi but i read awhile back they were going to stop the ssi checks because they say that so called hi functioning aspergers is not a disability has anyone else heard if this is true or not

Someone please post some helpful Disability information for Adults being diagnosed with Aspergers. What is step 1 for getting diagnosed when you don't have and can't afford either insurance or expensive private diagnostic testing with psychiatrists? What is step 1 for getting on Disability or else somehow forcing job interviewers to stop discriminating against "personality disorders" and so on? I've been reading through the article and most of the comments above. I "empathize" with everything posted here. Rather than rehashing all my personal gripes which would just be repeating everything already posted here, I'm just looking for a way OUT of this mess so I can pay my bills. I'd rather have a job, as those are more fun. But if I can't get anyone to hire me once they meet me in an interview, then I need to know how to get on Disability for this. I'm 37. I realized about 2 years ago that I most likely do have Aspergers. Semi-related info: my brother, almost 4 years younger than myself, has severe classic Autism.

Please help. Thank you in advance.

Greetings, I just found this forum/site. I read through many of the comments here, but I couldn't finish before posting. I am a 37 year old male. I realized that I probably have Asperger's Syndrome just weeks after turning 37, in September. I had been officially diagnosed w/ADD (not ADHD as I can hold still) a few years prior. The ADD is something that I realized I had prior to a Psychiatrist diagnosing it. Since I am an adult and not "technically" hyper-active. No Psychiatrist ever put the clues together. The ADD meds help a lot, but I knew there was still something not right. I have never been considered normal. I was always made fun of and/or ostracized for the way I speak and act. A mother in a post described looking over her son's school pictures and seeing the change over the years. My smiles were always fake. I actually have to make myself smile not just because of depression, but because I have no real sense of humor. I can read people like a book, usually with in minutes of meeting someone, yet I have no idea how to interact with them. Unlike so many others w/Asperger's I do NOT excel at higher math. I actually have a mental block when it comes to anything involving algebra. It could be because of the ADD. Who really knows? I did extremely well at English and literary type things. I am also extremely fond of science and engineering. I am NOT social. I do not crave or need social interaction. In my life I am fine w/just one person to share things with. I have a failed relationship that lasted just over 11 years which produced a Son who's personality is terrifyingly similar to mine. He does not seem to suffer from ADD though which is great! I went through my entire life up to 6 months or so ago wondering what is wrong with me. I look normal on the outside, but I do not process things like "normal" people. I do not react in ways that are considered socially acceptable. I say what it on my mind. It is almost never intended to be mean or rude, but since I do not tend to filter what I say sometimes it is interpreted that way. And of course as we all know there is more to Asperger's than that. For those of you who read this and are family to Asperger's Syndrome Sufferers, it does require patience to deal with us, but remember that we have feelings even though we don't show them. In ancient times such people were referred to as "stoic" and "aloof". I tend to think we may actually feel things more deeply than "norms". I know I do. Love actually has meaning it is not a word, but it is actions. We take things so literally that when we define our selves and emotions it truly means something. Or at least that is what I have seen.

I was not blessed with a diagnosis early in life. As a matter of fact I diagnosed myself, then sought out specialists who could confirm or repute my epiphany. It is funny I actually had the idea to research Asperger's because I caught the tail end of a an episode of the TV show "House" where one of the doctors. said to him "you just wish you had Asperger's because then you would have an excuse for being an Ass" or something close to that. Well that one line really rammed home to me. As I have been criticized for being unfeeling and insensitive, though I am really not and actually do care about others feelings and opinions a lot! So I did tons of research and found that I had every single one of the indicators. So as I said I sought out clinicians, behavioral specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, who are familiar w.Aspergers Syndrome. Surprisingly, there are very few at least where I am in Colorado. But after a couple of months of seeing a Clinician he confirmed that I do indeed have Asperger's. Also found out that I suffer from mild anxiety and moderate OCD as well as the ADD and Clinical Depression. Holding on to jobs was always difficult but it got easier after being put on meds for ADD. I have been in my current position for 2 1/2 years but I am at the end of my rope. It is incredibly difficult to go to work day in and day out having the same schedule, dealing with the same issues. I feel stifled and my depression is getting worse. I never completed college for obvious reasons, though not due to any lack of intelligence as the last time I had my IQ tested (pre-ADD diagnosis) it was around 140. I may even do better on a test under medication. I am incredibly creative and resourceful but have no patience to see things out. And I just can't figure out what I am supposed to do. So to wrap up, YES Asperger's is a Disability, if not by it's self then along with the other issues that almost always go along with it. From my understanding most people with Asperger's have the other related issues of ADD/ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Bi-Polarisim or some combination there of. My only saving grace is that over the years I had to develop coping schools on my own. Many of the jobs I have had required me to learn in social skills to some degree, but they are all forced and not natural and it shows. Lastly to make things worse when I told my x she flat out refused to accept the diagnosis. She things it is a copout. Truth is I don't use it as an excuse, but it is an explanation for why I am who I am, or at least a very important part of the whole. I will never be cured as it is part of my make up. There is no treatment. Unfortunately I don't think that we really fully understand Asperger's Syndrome. I think there is a lot more to it than even the specialists realize. It is not just a behavioral disorder that causes a lack of social skills. So many stories I've read indicate other things going on. But for now I will continue to struggle and live as well as I can, but even a person who doesn't crave social interaction gets lonely. Hang in there folks.

Recently, I recommended this article to a parent who was having a difficult time getting an IEP for their child. One of the most important things when advocating for your child is educating yourself.

I urge parents to go to sites like this one and their local board of education sites as well as their state board of education website. The state websites always have a section on special services, special education or students with disabilities section. Local school boards must follow the codes outlined for their state and above that, they must follow federal law (i.e. Civil Law and Americans with Disabilities Act).

Unfortunately, many of the people charged with assisting with special services have all of the information the parents need but may not volunteer helpful information if they have a higher objective such as "cost savings".

first i would like to introduce myself, i have rather severe aspergers, and am OCD as well(although the OCD may be logic based and not neurostructural). Aspergers colors my entire life, infact growing up my mother often said (im geussing jokingly) "thier is a name for whats wrong with you". I did not know that was actually true untill i was 25. All my life people have become angry at me for the way i state things, and to be honest i have found it hard to understand when some one says something in a way other than the way they meen it (every normal person does this). I have found the humor in my condition on occation (although at the time it was not plesant). For example once when i was three my grandma gave me a bag of toys, in it was a transformer (my mom hated weapons of any kind, and all the transformers seemed to turn into weapons), my mother, having never let me have one before dispite my wanting one,couldn't make me get rid of it since grandma got it for me, so she told me not to ever let her catch me turning it into a gun again. The next day she was at work and i was turning it into a gun. My grandma having caught me, got angry with me and told me that my mother told me not to do that. with tears in my eyes (since i couldnt understand why she was upset with me) i told her that "she had told me not to let her catch her, and her's wont, her's at work. (yes i was three and didn't know the difference between she and her's) the point is, I was dead serious, i wasn't trying to break the rules, i was following them as they had been stated.
I find that this is still the way i do things, i have been trying to find a way to work in a normal persons world, as of yet im still really bad at it. i am often accused of trying to look smarter then i am, of saying things i didn't (probably because it's the way they would have ment it).
I very much dislike being around people. in fact if im around people to much i get physicly ill. i have constant headaches and stomic trouble as long as people are around.
My life growing up and really untill i was about 25-26 was a living hell. School was horable, i got great grades in math and science (logic based subjects) but terable grades in english and lit (non logic based classes).
Some people would say that aspergers is a mild form of autism, this is simply not true. infact aspergers is a completely seperate disorder (yes a disorder since it does not conform to the established peramiters of normal human behavor and interaction, despite prideful clames to the contrary) (btw, i also sucked at spelling). Autism is caused by cromisones that cause structural defects in the brain. Aspergers (strictly aspergers) does not show any such structural defects in the neuro scans.
I can tell you though that what ever the cause or the links to other problems, aspergers is a real and VERY difficult problem to work with (speaking as a person with it).
I do find it interesting that the difficulty in interpersonal communication (from my own observations) seems to be that normal people cant seem to understand things that are said with no pretext. its as though they always add into the conversation what they whould have ment when saying the same thing. it seems like such a simple thing that should be easaly corrected (at least i think so), but infact it seems to be the most difficult thing for a normal person to do.
Its almost a catch 22. to put it simply its as if we speak to simply and plainly for a normal person to understand. So the question i have is the problem with us? or is it with every one else (who seems to be making the assumptions about what we meen)?

What ever the case, i have yet to figure out a way to quantify the normal persons conversation ability (and i have been trying) so as to figure out a way to (through consious thought) say things in a way that doesnt offend or is at least acceptable to the other person, but as of yet im at a loss. It seems to be more difficult than figuring out quantum physics and a formula for predicting molecular properties. (yes, i do enjoy those things more than being around people. . . . . actually i just kind of enjoy those things, posably becuase it makes people go away)

To all those with aspergers, although it doesnt seem to be something we can over come, know that we can still work at it, and it gives us perspectives(should we chose to look for them) that a normal person will never have.

To all those who are careing for or helping ones of us who have it, remember that whether or not your efforts are acknowledged or not, to a person who has aspergers, those efforts are the most cherrished thing you could do. even if you seem to have limited success, to the person with aspergers, you are more valued then any thing else. (trust me, we dont have many friends normaly, so anyone who makes the effort is valued highly)

Finaly to those who think its just a behavior issue and can be corrected. I hope that your children or the people you know dont actually have aspergers, but if they do, because of you, i feel sorry for them. a person who is so closed minded that they only see differences as a burden and or a problem to be delt with harshly, is no friend to any one, and is in fact the one with a major problem. ours is a problem created for us, yours is a problem you choose to have. so more than any one else you are to be pittied.

I have a 12 year old and a 10 year old son who have both been diagnosed with aspergers...Right now my oldest son has been through complete hell!! He has been bullied and nit picked apart by peers and teachers. His school has 5th through 8th grades all together in the jr high. I was going through some paper work and getting some things together for his up coming IEP review, When I came upon some of his school pictures from kindergarten until now. I realized that all of his pictures from kindergarten through 4th grade showed a little boy full of life...He had a huge smile on his face and a light of life in his eyes! I then went on to look at his pics from 5th and 6th grade and I began to well up with tears!!! This big smile, light in the eyes boy, was no where to be found! His school pics reflected a boy who has been shunned by his peers and teachers for being different! I then started to reflect on all of the things this poor kid has gone through the last couple years and I don't know how he has made it this far!! None of his teachers understand what he goes through daily in his own mind, and because this disability does not show on the outside they want to compare him to the so called normal child! I have brought literature to the school about aspergers, so his teachers could learn to understand his disability and my son....But it is still the same old thing! He has no friends, not a one! He is depressed and frustrated all of the time. He brings the frustrations home from school, which makes our home miserable. His academic intelligence is above grade level, mostly at a college level. So for him being this smart these administraitors overlook the fact that he still has major struggles with doing his school work or completing it. Staying on task and taking responsibility for his work is a daily struggle! The teachers give him zeros for not showing his work with his math problems. He tells me...Mom I do them in my head I dont know how to show the work on paper, cause I do them in my head! The Isd teacher at his school has been no help and dont want to change the other health impaired eligability on the IEP to an ASD eligability...Why because they don't want to help my child get other services that would help him sustain peer relationships and help him with sensory issues an so on. My son also has head aches daily and stomach problems. He calls to come home at least twice a week! What can I do to help him??? I feel like I am getting no where fast!! I am not low income but I don't have money either! My two eldest children have aspergers and ADHD and my youngest was just diagnosed ADHD inattentive. I agree that this has to stop, and that there needs to be more resources out there for our people with aspergers.

My son was diagnosed at age six. He is 12 now. My husband and I often say he will live with forever. Why? Everyday he has to be reminded to dress, brush teeth, take shower, eat, do homework. He has only one friend and also Aspergers. Someday soon I hope insurance companies will pay for therapy as ours won't. We are retired military. He is a great kid, but living on his own someday? I think not as he would starve to death. Disability? 100% positive!

Love the article and all the comments. I have a son who has just turned 21, and I have been fighting with schools, mental health clinics, and doctors for years. Don't stop fighting. To date we have documentation of type 1 diabetes, bulemia, borderline personality disorder, ADHD, substance abuse issues, and aspergers. We are in an appeal right now for ssi. Wish us luck. You would think that with someone with so many disabilities that it should not be this hard, but we just keep plugging away at it. We have almost lost him a few times, because of his inability to take care of his diabetes. My only hope is that we can get him the help he needs before it is too late.

I was diagnosed with asbergers about 4 months ago at the age of 47. I was always told that i had something wrong with me to my parents. I can't get a job because of the fact that I don't understand things or I hear directions differently. The doctors refuse to write the diagnosis down because of discrimanation, yet one cannot be employed if the employer will not accommodate the asbergers.

I am on my third appeal for ssi disibility, it takes a lot of time and energy but the doctors assure me they will do everything they can for me. Also, I have been diagnosed with severe major depression, anxiety, and ocd. It comes with asbergers syndrome.

My advice, keep trying. If not for work, then for disability. Funny things is children can get assistance in illinois but adults can't. I basically have been told i can be a janitor.

Terry Lou and Debbie;
There are a lot of other dignoisis way before you get to aspergers, PDD-NOS, classical autism.
There are tons of other personality disorders leading up to these too.

There is bipolar too.

If you have some depression at times and then on top of the world at others -- well it is something that must be recogonized--- to keep yourself safe, and have a life.

I have known that I was always the outsider, I never knew why. I understand things people say have no pattern, but the patterns are very clear to me. I wear cotton because silks, nylons and polyesters are too stimulating, I cannot concentrate if I wear them. The difference between an A & B is usually whether or not I did my homework. I have never been able to keep close girl friends, probably because I could not care less about fashions or Hollywood gossip; although I can carry on technical conversations with men. I see things as logically sound or otherwise boring. Yes, I am married, although I feel despised by my husband's siblings, accused of deliberately talking like I'm smarter than them. I am unemployed, my career is at a standstill, partly because of an injury, & also because I have been told that I lack the people skills to be a supervisor, that would overcome the injury.

I know ADHD, ADD & other similar hyperactive genes are very prevalent in my family; 4 generations, we all have varying degrees of it. I just thought all my social issues were because of hyperactivity.

I searched the internet to find out why I was always the scapegoat, at work & in my family. I stumbled across articles on Asperger's Syndrome--that answered more questions than any other explanation. So in a family with so many members with varying degrees of ADD, you would think the same courtesies expected for their human frailties would be extended for other imperfections.

It is sad that it is easier to be a lonely hermit than to be ridiculed and chastised for thinking differently. I related to the song "Vincent" long before I knew it was about Van Gogh, or that he is also suspected of being an Aspie. No, I have not been officially diagnosed. I am not sure that at my age there is not more of a detriment than a benefit to be diagnosed, also I lack the resources even if I wanted too.

Hi, Debbie - wow your comment is so raw and honest and powerful. I'm sorry for what you've had to go through - we walk a line of wanting to help, NOT wanting to patronize, and respecting the differences. Thanks for commenting. Kim

Is it a disability? I'm in my forties, and I have no job, and have never been able to keep one, although they've all been minimum-wage, dead-end jobs--very much beneath my 'genius' IQ. It's never mattered how hard I've worked, or that I'm always on time. Since I'm poor, no official diagnosis or any kind of help exists for me. I don't have a single friend. I may as well be under house arrest. I understand Jesse's comment about being broken and everyone knowing it, and the pain it causes the people who are stuck with us. I've had no choice but to adjust the best I can to being alone. Of course I have 'special interests'. What am I supposed to do--stare out the window all day? Those of us with autism need some way to contribute to society, survive financially, and have some bare minimum social life, instead of being stuck away in a back room somewhere.

I am learning that my son Jay who is 5 has Asperger and I have been trying to get him help since the age of 2. I had many of doctors ignore my request due to his age. They blew me off and said he will grow out of it but as a mother and a person whose dealt with children my whole life, I knew my son was different. Reading the writings above have moved and motivated me for the future days to come with my son. I had to fight with the school to get him tested by calling parent relations on the school for them to move. I dont understand why its so hard to get the help or assistance that one needs. I want to encourage all and say God never puts anything on you that you cant bear. I cried and cried and asked God...Why me, but then Why not me!!! MY son is a gift and although his needs will create a struggle its also a blessing. Its awesome that you all are sharing your experiences, it really is encouraging to know that Im/you/we are not alone. There are laws about disability available through the school system once an IEP is performed

MK, have you filed an appeal? There are also wonderful disability lawyers out there who can help. Don't give up, never give up, on the first try. My parents are helping me file for SSI once I can get more doctors on board with proof of what I deal with on a daily basis. The family doctor is our main go-to for this, and he's really good at helping out.

It's not about the diagnosis for SSI, so much as it is about how limited a person is by it. I'm 23 years old, and I've tried very hard to get through life. There's not much documentation on my past, because when I was a kid, AS didn't even exist in this area. I'm personally happily awaiting 2013 when it'll be absorbed into autism completely. That may help get me what I need in more circles... there's still too much discrimination against those of us with severe limitations... I mean, yeah. You can teach this dog new tricks, but you can't make it less sensitive to sensory input, or even reasonably okay with functioning in other areas....

I'll keep you both in my thoughts.

I too, thought there was no professional help for my 16 year old son, whom has Asperger's. I finally contacted his school counsler, she called around and found a place here in our home town. It's funny, because I was told before that we didnt have a place in our home town. It may depend on the size of your of city, you may have to consider driving out of town. It may be a good idea to contact your nearest Easter Seals, they may be able to tell you the closest place for you to recieve counsling. Keep calling places, dont give up.

I have a son with aspergers and I applied for disability for him only to recieve a letter informing me that disability acknowleges that he is disabled but it is "not severe enough to interfere with his life". I deal with him on a daily basis and I find it hard to believe that not being able to make relationships with people having anxiety and problems with fine motor skills doesn't interfere with someones day to day is ridiculous. I also have a daughter who is severly autistic and it makes it extremely hard when they know something is different but the people who could help them get to a better place and deal with their disabilities refuse

I am the mother to a 16 yr old boy who is now seeing a therapist who believes him to have asperger's. Looking back, I now see it. At age 2, I timed him for almost 2 hrs on his knees by the couch with a few hot wheels. Any little broken piece of plasic would get his attention like a prized toy. At school he's always been a lone wolf. He has a quirky way of seeing things. Once he went into public school, headaches were a regular thing. Standing back,I see all the pieces coming together. Yet he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The one person who can alway make me laugh. JPS, mom loves you.


I used to drink, but finally damaged my pancreas and can no longer tolerate alcohol. Having a loving, though often frustrated wife and family, is tremendous. I most certainly would've made an exit by now if not for them.
Thanks for creating this place. For some reason, it helps to know that others are living like this.

Jesse, your comment also touched me - wow. Do you have support anywhere? The mother in me worries. KIM

You get to a point in your life where you just accept that you are broken; and there's nothing for it.
Everyone you encounter can sense it pretty readily.
The solution is isolation or death. As for Support, everyone here knows how taxing and heartbreaking it is for normal people to try to love and understand us. Our struggles and pitfalls become theirs, and the misery spreads.
A lot of days, I feel envious of people who get to live safely inside mental hospitals. They are free from the routine horrors of daily life; like going to the grocery or driving. They have people making sure they are ok, and medications to make existence tolerable.
But, how do they afford it?

Hey!
I am an adult with Aspergers and am struggling at my job, and am looking to switch to something else. (I am struggling due to not having my own space, having too much change, limited control, people who struggle with communication) My field is in Special Ed, but I'm really interested in helping out my other AU peoples. Would it be helpful to pursue Clinical Psychology and become a licensed therapist in this so I could help my peeps with my insight? Do parents need counsel as well?

I am 18 and currently getting SSI for severe Aspergers (and maybe hydrocephalus). I deal with severe anxiety and social problems. My anxiety is bad enough to where I cannot drive. I am only getting $275 a month, which I was think is very low...

If you've every watched someone with Asperger's Syndrome, you'd come to understand a few things. One, they have a heart of gold. They want to help you so much in anything you need that they almost become annoying with it. Two, they are like little professors in how they talk to others. Three, they are blunt. If you're overweight, they find no problem telling you that you are and then go off in a tirade telling you why you should consider losing weight. This goes for anything noticeable with your person. Four, they're loving and considerate but only at that moment that they feel it. Then it's back into their mind to ponder their thoughts about what they'll accomplish next and then forget that too. Five, they don't finish what they start. Six, they forever forget things they need!

You see, I have the most wonderful son in this world. My son has Asperger's Syndrome and he knows he's stared at because of how he "is". He knows he says inappropriate things, but they just come out. He knows he's bossy (little professor) but doesn't know how to control it. Worse yet, there are NO therapists in this area that will treat Asperger's Syndrome. I know this because I've called all of the therapists and they all say to me, "Sorry, but we won't treat that condition because it is too difficult". I'm thinking, "Really? Are you kidding me!? He lives with this! He needs help and you're telling me 'it is too hard'??"

If you find someone willing to help, they often times don't know what to do, wind up frustrating my son to death and he walks off thinking less of himself than he did when he walked in.

He stinks at relationships. He's constantly struggling to figure out how to talk to anyone without making them mad. He's finding it highly difficult to work without being fired and if you don't think that doesn't have a firm impact on his self esteem you are nuts.

I'm filing for his disability today and in tears. He's been diagnosed with this for a long time and not one yet has been able or willing to help him. All the help he's had has been from his mom and dad and I'm telling you now, this whole society ought to be ashamed for not having somewhere for these kids to go to get it right for them so they can lead productive and happy lives like the rest of pretend to have.

I don't know if Asperger's patients are disabled for the pragmatics or if we who are not AS patients aren't disabled because we can't take the truth they point out.

Sincerely,
Michelle Lewis,
Trenton's number 1 fan (son who has AS)

I have a 45 yr old brother in law who diplays all the charateristics of sever Asperger Syndrome, however he was never diagnosed. He has been out of work for over three years and due to all his challenges, finding it impossible to find work. He has a degree in accounting. I have been searching online to try and find advice on how to help or even where to begin. Getting him to admit he might have a problem is very difficult. He says he is just nervous. Any advice is welcome.

I'm confused by your post Luke. Your daughter needs to be 'fixed' with medication, but she has no disease - just bad behavior? What?

Thank you for offering this very interesting discussion. I feel that we need to discuss these types of things and not run away from the issues.

Whether people embrace or resist the term 'disability,' many who have Aspegers -- young and old -- are really struggling. They're struggling in school, on their jobs, in society, in life! So, some may not view themselves as disabled, but they still don't have the capacity to function independently without some sort of support, and that's the issue.

What should we call these people or label them? Even 'disadvantaged' may not fly with many, Jake. Maybe we shouldn't do it at all, especially if they don't want it. But, then, the problem becomes where do they turn to for support if they don't have a disability or label? And, that's what I'm afraid of...that we have very prideful people with Aspergers walking around needing help and not getting it. That makes me sad because I want to make sure that they get the support they need.

To me, having the diagnosis of Aspergers means you have a medical condition that renders symptoms that don't allow you to function neurotypically. If someone can manage to live their lives and function with the diagnosis without any support, so be it. But, the reality is that that's not often the case.

I hope our community can come to any understanding on this and those with Aspergers get the help they need.

Thank you, AoA, for letting me state my opinion.

I can confirm. I have a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome in the UK and I am registered disabled. It's on a computer somewhere and when I loose a job and have to take assistance until I can find another one (as is usually the case with asperger's), the people at the welfare office know about the registration. What they do not know is that it is asperger's syndrome and you don't have to tell them that if you don't want to. You do not have to tell anyone you have asperger's syndrome in order to qualify for your rights as a disabled person although some services will try to mandate it.
In any case, you will often have to actually describe your disability (so they can decide what level of help you need) so they can guess that you are aspie if you just copy and paste the DSM-IV diagnosis onto their form!

Aspergers is not mild. 699 Facebook status updates in 24 hours is not mild.

After having my son diagnosed as Autistic and having ADHD we were exhausted and battered. We were offered further tests but came to the conclusion "why bother?" Would it cure him? No. Would it stress us out further. Yes. would it upset and agitate our son? Yes. Sticking a label on something doesn't fix it. He is what he is. Just because he has these diagnoses it does not alter his behaviour. It certainly is not a magic wand to make it even the tiniest bit better. they're just words & scary ones at that! Sure it helps with some benefits and placements,god knows it was pivotal in getting him into his school, but after a certain point it appears to become testing for testing's sake.

Hi, Lee. I'm Kim, Managing Editor - your comment touched me and I'd like to know more. I find that the highest echelons are celebrated for their success (which is great) but the others get pushed aside. Would you email me at KimStagliano@gmail.com so we could chat please? Thanks. KIM

I've got Asperger's and struggle to get any support; I doubt that changing my diagnosis is going to improve things...I'll just lose what little support I already get because my symptoms will be considered mild. They're certainly not mild; my Asperger's is very severe...but it's not a mild case of autism.

Rhonda
Yes,
Maybe,
All depends.
Be determined and do not give up.
I took it to the bitter end, it took five years, and even though I did not get it for my son, I have the satisfication of knowing that I did all I was capable of doing.

This is the way it goes. You go to your social security office and make an appointment,and as you are waiting for your appointment get all medical records,school records, and psychologist records together and in chronological order. Make yourself up an index and get those little tabs so you can find each record fast. Make at least three copies if not four of all this. One for them, one for you, and one for a lawyer on down the road and a spare because you never know. Make sure you have all addresses and names of the doctors, and teachers, and schools. Someone will meet with you and they will help you will fill out a form and you will need those addresses.
Then you wait.
They will turn you down the first time no matter what.

You should file again, right away - do not wait and lose out and have to start all over again. Chances are they will turn you down again, but meantime they might get you an appointment with their own psychologist of their chose.
After third time they turn you down (if they do) get yourself a lawyer and there are rules for this - the federal government pays disabiality lawyeres (I did not pay any money out of pocket for mine) to take these cases and the lawyers get paid by the government the first year of social security -that they would have paid out to your son if they had not turned him down in the first place which is about 5,000 dollars . And File again;
This time you will go before a judge.
We did and the judge determined that he knew nothing about autism or aspergers and so he told the lawyer who told me the MOM (I was not allowed in the room) that I needed to go through my son's records again and divide them up between school, psychologist, and medical doctors. I already had a very --- very neat chronological ordered, with index huge book to begin with. But I did that too, and then they sent it to a psychologist down in Atlanta GA that looked at it.

He determined in our case that our son had suffered a stroke from some type of medicine - (yeap that is what he said) but that my son was capable of holding a job.

Oh, also during this five year period, I went to our own psychologist and psychitsis to get more records. Our psychologist said he was not asperergers but had tourettes, and if there is any learning disability it is not aspergers but PDD-NOS. which my son does have in math, and language so he is PDD-NOS., and we still did not get SSI.

But then my son is amazing; he has gone five years now to a small community college and has passed his classes. He has even taken classes in law enforcement, writing, speech, psychology, history and passed. That may have been our problem and our blessing.

So we did not get it, but this fall my son is going back to his community college to take deisel repair, and although he has finished up his 2 year electronics degree, he has been trying for two years to get into electrical construction classes (they have not offered them the last couple of years but this Jan they are.

from Benedetta

Hi all.. I am new to an Aspergers diagnosis. My son just turned 20 and was diagnosed about 4 months ago. Is it possible for him to get Social Security for this.

Crystal;
If you can get SSI go ahead, and don't feel guilty.
If you can not and she is just three, look as see if your county, of your state has a child development center. It is or at least it use to run by federal dollars.

They have a very small number of kids, they have physical thearpy, speech, and so on for developmentally delaid or children handicapped in some way.

They only in my circumstance - went half a day.

You can ask around - ask the preschool teachers (one told me about it), health department might know, My peds did not know - but maybe yours will.

It is free


I found out my 3yr old daughter has Aspergers. I have people telling me to just medicate her. I am sorry , but I will not medicate my 3yr old child. I am a single mom, and I work full-time. I finally found a Preschool that will accept her with open arms, but they want 500.00 a mo. I can not afford that. I think that in my case I need to get her SSI so I can pay for the preschool, and the counslers, and the behavior specialist. I want the best for my kids, but when you can't afford to help your children what are you supposed to do then? I pay my taxes just like everyone else does, and I work hard for what I have. So no one is going to make me feel bad about getting the help that my family deserves.

I have a daughter with asperger's disorder. It is a behavioral issue that can be fixed with behavior modification and medication. It is not a disease. It is not a genetic disorder. You can not claim Social Security Disability benefits on the fact that you have asperer's. There is nothing wrong with her. She does fine in school and has no problems with that. Stop making excuces for bad behavior.

My 4 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with Asperger's, and my wife and I have been battling our local school district to get her classified as "disabled" before she enters kindergarten in the fall so that she can receive necessary services. Sadly, the district is thowing up numerous roadblocks to our request because autism and Asperger's do not present as outward disabilities like Down's or CP do. Very frustrating.

I am really concerned about the re-classification of Asperger's syndrome as merely a mild form of autism. I fear that any support and funding will go to people with severe autism and people such as myself with very severe Asperger's syndrome {never had a job or relationship, very socially isolated} will lose out.

I am 49 yrs. old and about to undergo evaluation for autism, which i was born with, its not a disability that is visible to the naked eye, but it has limited me from being a successful career person, through school and the many shitty jobs i've had,i'm down to my last 200 dollars and about to be homeless...this country's priorities are always all wrong, we can spend a billions of f***king dollars on stupid wars we can never win, but cant even take care of our own, i blame society for not being able to diagnose me when i was a child

MY SON IS 7 YRS. OLD & WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISUM 3 YRS AGO. IT HAS BEEN VERY HARD I WAS IN DENIAL FOR A LONG TIME BUT ITS PART OF WHAT MAKES MY SON THE WONDERFUL LITTLE BOY HE IS TODAY! I DO BELIEVE THAT AUTISUM IS A DISABILITY. MY SON STRUGGLES EVERYDAY WITH SCHOOL AND ESPICALLY SOCIAL SITUATIONS HIS POOR LITTLE FEET HURT ALL THE TIME FROM "TOEWALKING" I WISH EVERY PARENT THAT HAS AN AUTISTIC CHILD YOUNG OR OLD THE BEST!! MAY GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR UNIQUE & WONDERFUL CHILDREN!

Well being 47 years old and having had over 80 jobs and still only making peanuts sucks.

I'm trapped with people thinking I'm just different. I payed for unemployment yet when I lost a job because of Asperger's I was denied benefits.

I am near poverty level now working 7 day 24 hours taking care of a stroke patient just to feed my family. 120 Dollars a day but I'm never off. The law lets this kind of exploitation happen because it is healthcare. They are exempt from labor laws.

I am going insane and some powerfull politition made it legal. Immigrants do well in home care but they get 4 dollars an hour. I was born in America What happened.

Dear everyone.
I am Alterna Thunderfox, my real name is Nikki Scott. I am a female with Asperger's. I have had a dark horse (in fact, a trifecta) in this. I claim myself as one of the very first to get this changed.

Rather than calling yourselves "elite" (which caused me to be institutionalized for problems the mental health field inflicted upon me)consider this instead: You will be given better treatment options. Plus, new laws may come in the week before or of my birthday that will give flexibility in how you want to be treated. Trust me on this; I have been raised by adoption. It was an abusive relationship because I was ill with something quite unheard of.

I am still suffering abuse developmentally by being in the Virginia state mental health system.

Should there be new laws, I am not willing to let them be overturned, either by an act of Congress or on my own terms.

I am the Greatest Change! Support me in my crusade to debunk the myths and abuse I am suffering; girls with Aspergers are 5x more likely than males with the same condition to be abused. We Aspie girls are unable to defend ourselves when in danger sometimes.

After many years of struggling with both UK and US school system and doctors my son was recently diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. Gary is now 28 years old. As with the Mary in the latest comment I too want to know if there is help for my son with health benefits, housing and maybe food stamps, I saw in one of the posts that they have to be diagnosed by 18 yrs old, 10 years ago Aspergers was not recognised, My son needs help, as parents we can do so much, however there are some that abuse the system we have...unmarried mothers seem to get everything and most put themselves in that position....my son was born this way somewhat due to delivery negligence,(in the UK we were not able to sue back then). We have found a great doctor who specializes in Aspergers and is helping my son adapt and providing support to both Gary and our family.
Is my son eligble for disability benefits ?
Thank you

I just stubled upon your website while searching the internet for hope of my 25 year old son finding health insurance because he will not be able to stay on mine when he turns 26...We knew from the start that our son was different. We began having him tested from the time he first started school until after he started college. At 24 years old, and after finding the right doctor, he was found to have Aspergers. Now, my problem is I can not continue him on our insurance as a disability because he was not diagnosed after the cut off age of 18. When looking for Insurance will his
Aspergers cause him to be turned down. He has worked very hard to overcome his social problems but is still trying very hard to find a job that will fit him. Any information you can give me about the rights he my have as far as insurance goes would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Marie

I know many Asperger individuals choose to be called disabled as it helps them live and work on there terms, myself I have no problem with the word disabled either way. To me its society that disables mostly, being in a minority group and having differences that are invisible to most so not easy. I so feel especially within the autism spectrum world so much talent misunderstood, lay to waste!

And its rarely about simply being on the autism spectrum its understanding the bigger picture and most of us have other neurological complexities, associated conditions which those not on the spectrum can have. So to me its not about any of the labels I have a whole list and would disability make a difference i feel helps so a good thing but myself like most will never fit into any set of tick boxes, behind all there labels are individuals as we all are on or off the spectrum.

I have heard that a lot of parents of young autistic are filling out SSI cards and some are getting help. A lot do not however. I hope someone else that knows more will respond to you. Most of the time the SSi disability begins when they turn 18. It may depend on how much money you make, if you have insurance from your work place.

i have a six year old son who was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome and elective mutism. I was wonderning if he would qualify for disability. I have to drive him 60 miles every wednesday. I have to fill up my tank and drive not to mention my insurance only pays alittle so i am having a really hard time affording this, but do not want to not go to my appointments. I thought maybe if i could get him on disability it would really help me out finacally as far as paying for the visits and the drive. thank you

Been there;
thanks for the advice. I am having trouble with the trusted doctor helping, but she is trusted, we just have to try to get her to hurry up and get a move on. Really all this autism stuff is new to the doctors too - esp when we start getting into the adult phas. So I printed this and sending it by mail to her. Hope that is okay
Benedetta

Two quick observations:

One person wrote about people with Asperger's:

"They will likely process their thoughts and information in the "typical" Autistic way for the rest of their lives--but if they have learned to translate between that and the way the supposedly neurotypicals process, are they truly disabled, even if they AREN'T neurotypical?"

Ask this instead: A soldier who had both legs blown off above the knee obtains prosthetic legs that allow him to walk and even run, albeit a bit wobbly. Is he still truly disabled?

More importantly, never allow our differences to divide us. There are very few people out there looking to help those on the spectrum except us.

Thank you all for your support.

Roger,

Of course I believe what you say about the extent of the health problems you have suffered from throughout your life.

Sarah,

Yes, I believe I have, and I really do not see how my impression of your "social model" is contradicted by your "corrected" one:

"What the social model means is that social structures and expectations create disability by denying people full access to society and by valuing certain types of minds and bodies as "non-disabled.""

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the last words:"and by valuing certain types of minds and bodies as "non-disabled," proves me right where I speculate "Perhaps what they mean by "social model of disability" is that autism is disabling only because society recognizes people with autism as legally disabled."

So, it does come across that your usage of "social model of disability" for autism seems more like just a euphemism for saying that autism is not a disability, but only society's way of dealing with it, as the introductory paragraph from the Wikipedia article you linked said:

"The social model of disability proposes that systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently) are the ultimate factors defining who is disabled and who is not in a particular society. It recognizes that while some people have physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations, which may sometimes cause individual functional limitation or impairments, these do not have to lead to disability, unless society fails to take account of and include people regardless of their individual differences."

So their you have it: if only society treated us all just dandy, autism would not be a disability. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

Jake,
Under UK law, Asperger syndrome is a disability requiring specialised services:

SPECIALISED SERVICES NATIONAL DEFINITIONS SET (2nd Edition)
3. Links to Other Services in the Specialised Services Definition Set.
As stated earlier, people with a learning disability also need the same range of health services as other people and will need to access these as required. There are particular services, however, where it is worth highlighting provision currently addressed within other related definitions,
namely:
No.4, Specialised Services for Women’s Health
No.22, Specialised Mental Health Services (adult), in particular:
· Psychotherapy for people with learning disability (section F)
· Forensic services for people with learning disability (section C)
· Asperger’s syndrome (section J)
No.23, Specialised Services for Children - Child and adolescent mental health services are within (subsection C)

Referring to Roger never having a vaccine and still has his related health problems; I don't see fevers causing autism, or we would have seen a surge of autism sooner. But I believe Roger too!

I do know of one child, that caught whooping cough only 3 days old! Her mother went to the same church as us. She (the baby) as she grew up had lots of seizures that they could not control. I saw her right before I moved to Michigan, she came to my yard sale and was begging her mother for a pine shelf that I had. There were a lot of similaities to my son. I know on her right side it appeared to restricted in her movements and she walked with a limp. Her speech was some what monotone, and she had some qualities of aspergers or PDD. She was probably 20 something but very dependent on her mother. There was a lot of love between them!

Could this be Roger's case?

Knowing that this girl had caught whooping cough as a baby with vaccines around and my child being damaged by the vaccine, well I still can not figure out how I feel about that? My child was damaged by the vaccine to protect these babies and yet babies are still catching it. Yes this girl was older than my son by may 10 years. But still?

I know this is off the topic and Jake I am sorry. This discussion has helped. I have a lot to think on, I am not sure if I will go for another psych evaluation, I just feel to hopeless I guess. I know they are going to say sheltered workshop. They always say sheltered workshop, no matter what the circumstances.

Jake,

I have been reading the comments here as they continue to pop up and wanted to post my own thoughts.

First, thanks for expressing your thoughts and opinions. I believe they are valuable and accurate.

Also, in reading Sarah's post and specifically this part:

" It is organizations such as Age of Autism which refuse to align themselves with disability organizations--presumably under the impression that autism can/will be "cured."

...just shows how a lack of empathy and understanding of the science on environmental/vaccine insults (toxic encephalopathy, immune dysfunction, mitochondria dysfunction, oxidative stress) is still keeping a good many people ignorant.

Also, Roger, yes it is possible for regression to occur from illness but your quote here from autism mom:

"I am an autism mom. My son has pretty significant impairments. ... it has been an uphill battle all the way with lots of setbacks due to immune issues, gut issues and other specific health issues. At times he has made great progress until he gets knocked back with this or that health problem. He just had a very serious illness and he has regressed horribly. I wonder when and if we are going to get back to where we were."

...was not a direct quote. It appears that you skipped this part:

"I am an autism mom. My son has pretty significant impairments. He's functionally non verbal. He regressed into autism after his 12 month vaccines and it has been an uphill battle all the way with lots of setbacks due to immune issues, gut issues and other specific health issues."

your intentional dismissal of this point-

"He's functionally non verbal. He regressed into autism after his 12 month vaccines"

disturbs me as this is why this poor child is so sick. I had previously asked you if you had a vaccine history and you have never replied.

Fevers and infections do not account for the huge epidemic numbers we have. Fevers and infections did not just pop up on the radar in 1938, thus explaining the first 11 cases identified By Dr. Leo Kanner. -- "SINCE 1938, there have come to our attention a number of children whose
condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far..."

Please respect the tragedy of this illness by not deleting sections of it that you choose to ignore.


Autism MOM | July 24, 2009 at 08:50 AM wrote


"I am an autism mom. My son has pretty significant impairments. ... it has been an uphill battle all the way with lots of setbacks due to immune issues, gut issues and other specific health issues. At times he has made great progress until he gets knocked back with this or that health problem. He just had a very serious illness and he has regressed horribly. I wonder when and if we are going to get back to where we were."

Jake,you seemed to have had a hard time believing me,when I said I have had similar problems with illness and regression,my entire life,but that wasn't what I wanted to address.

I have pretty much been through it all,except for severe intellectual disability,so nothing really gets to me,but I was deeply disgusted by the family Taximom described.Although the complete opposite,it is just as bad as anything Michael Savage said.These parents are shameful.This is abusive,and has obviously ruined this young man's life.I can see where it might cause him to commit suicide.

I have had to deal with a father who has wanted to put me in a home in the past,but this is even worse.

Mr. Crosby, have you actually researched what the social model of disability is? It appears to me as though you have not. The social model of disability has very little to do with whether something is legally defined as a disability or not. The social model of disability DOES have to do with social systems which prevent disabled people from fully participating in society.

For a full explanation, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_model_of_disability

It continues to perplex me why you perpetuate the myth that "NDs don't see AS as a disability." In fact, pro-neurodiversity organizations such as the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network have done more than other autism organizations to partner with disability organizations such as the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Neurodiversity supporters, more than others in the autism community, tend to care very much about protecting and strengthening the ADA, working for better housing options for people with disabilities, etc. It is organizations such as Age of Autism which refuse to align themselves with disability organizations--presumably under the impression that autism can/will be "cured."

Benedetta,

A psychologist who comes highly recommended and has lots of experience evaluating people on the spectrum should conduct a complete neuro-psych evaluation of your child, to determine his diagnosis, and to advise you as to what services and/or accomodations are recommended, if any. This should take 3 or 4 sessions and should be conducted at least every 3 years during school years.

Determining disability is not guesswork. It's the job of a competent professional - or if conducted in school - a team of professionals. If a parent relies on the public school system for regular evaluations, I'd recommend paying for at least a few private evals at key times in the child's life (if possible), for a more thorough job and more complete information. This may be covered by your insurance.

To find a good psycologist, network with other parents and speak to a trusted doctor, special ed advocate or special ed attorney.

Taximom,
There's no question that the parents you described who held back their child and worked the system for financial gain are negligent. But I think that is by far the exception and not the rule

taximon, I don't want my son to be dependent on the government either, but do I want him out there in the cold cruel world with out the skills to cope, or survive. This is our choice!

Jake,

As always, thank you for another insightful article.

I am an autism mom. My son has pretty significant impairments. He's functionally non verbal. He regressed into autism after his 12 month vaccines and it has been an uphill battle all the way with lots of setbacks due to immune issues, gut issues and other specific health issues. At times he has made great progress until he gets knocked back with this or that health problem. He just had a very serious illness and he has regressed horribly. I wonder when and if we are going to get back to where we were?

Another boy I know, the exact same age as my son is much more mildly affected than him, and he has language and is doing pretty well academically. He was labeled with autism when he was little, but he is more aspie today. His mom, like your parents has always treated his issues biomedically.

These 2 boys are only 3 days apart in age are so very different, but yet similar. His mom and I over the years have shared ideas about treatments for this or that issue, and our stories about our boys’ health problems that definitely do affect their "autism".

Because this boy is much more "advanced" than my own son I have learned from his mom struggles he has that my son doesn't. The reason being is my son is not there yet, and probably never will be. Her boy struggles with friend issues, empathy issues (she told me a story about a soccer league he is in where children with multiple handicaps participate and he has trouble understanding letting a child with a more severe impairment make a goal for them to feel that success- those aren't the rules and as goalie his job is to stop all balls from getting in the net). And he struggles with many other issues like OCD to name one more. Is this boy disabled? Yes. I know where he came from - I know what he was like at 2 years old. He has come along way- but he is not perfectly ok. He'll make his way in this world better than my son will, but he will continually struggle with multiple issues.

I was talking with another friend about your article. She has a son with aspergers We both agreed that the ND philosophy has really messed things up for people like you, who have aspergers who feel differently about it than they do. You have your work cut out for you Jake. I applaud you for taking this issue on. I've noticed this article of yours has had a lot less replies than your articles usually get. I think that speaks volumes about the issue. I told this friend I was speaking to I used to think all people with aspergers were these know-it-all smart asses who just wanted to tell me what to do with my kid with autism. She has helped me understand some of the issues her son has. I'm learning about aspergers. I think we as a community have a lot of learning to do.

My friend and I both agreed that when kids like the boy I just described become adults hopefully they will join with you and others like you to show the world that aspergers although different in ways from autism is a REAL disability. I hope you keep fighting Jake, and educating and informing. Your contributions here at AoA have been invaluable.

And thank you Mark Blaxill for your comment- I couldn’t agree more with your views.

I have been researching this subject extensively and am going to get screened for Aspergers soon.

It would be a relief for me if i do have it because it would explain a lot for me.

I think it should be considered a disability and we should be eligible for disability payments. The reason i say this is because it is very difficult for people to find jobs at the moment. One of the reasons i believe I have Aspergers is because I have had a huge amount of interviws and passed many interviews stages but have been unsuccesul. This is because when i get to the one on one interview stage with behavioural questions is when i fail. I give great answers to the questions but because i speak in a monotonous factual tone and im not the typical bubbly,chatty outgoing female i dont get the job. I WANT to work, but i think something should be in place to help us. I thnk it is harder for females aspies to find work because behaviour in female work environments is more socially oriented.

Jake-- Thank you again for your further remarks about drugs. It's such a slippery slope that the autism epidemic has appeared at the very same time as the epidemic of drug-induced violence and psychosis. Pharma lawyers must be laughing their tails off at how confused the public is becoming over which is what. As upward of 90% of individuals on the spectrum are reported to be taking drugs with black box warnings for violence, pharma would like nothing more than for ASD to be married to the idea of "inherant violence" because it would lead, ironically, to even more pressure to coercively drug individuals on the spectrum-- and a whole lot more.

Look up "Frederick Goodwin + Federal Violence Initiative" and then see who sits beside Goodwin on ASCH-- Offit and Novella. I really don't know how the NDs manage to explain away this association as they quote these vaccine defenders unquestioningly (as you'll see, the ASCH associations kind of take the shine off comparing the ND campaign to civil rights and characterizing "curing" as "whitening"). Goodwin, former head of the NIMH and once the most powerful psychiatrist in the country, plus Joseph Biederman of Mass General-- recently (probably still) the most powerful child psychiatrist in the US-- have dipped their hooves in autism psychopharmacology theory and research from time to time. You're quite right to view Insel as part and parcel of it.

You've probably seen the reviews of "Columbine", the latest attempt to bolster the myth of the bad seed and "born violent criminal". Creating the idea that violence is genetic is a first tier agenda of pharmaceutical interests. The fact that Goodwin so blatantly attempted to associate race to the concept of genetic violence upset the "Violence Initiative" somewhat when some of his eugenic-sounding statements and research plans were exposed and publicized, but the autism epidemic came just in time to revive the campaign. My fear is that this is an added reason why some are so anxious that the genuine environmental cause of the epidemic is never ratified: autism is not only a gold mine in itself but also a kind of lynchpin in the genetic violence/genetic mental illness theory. Pull the pin out and a century of investment in psychiatric eugenics posing as legitimate genetics will fall to pieces, starting with autism and schizophrenia.

The NDs believe they're protecting themselves by creating a beglamoured image of autism. Maybe they rationalize that they're just using some of these pharmaceutical shills to gain legitimacy. What they don't understand is that the profit wagon they're being helped by now is going to back over them and rebrand neurodiversity as a drug-embracing, genetic-disease-admitting astroturf consumer group the moment it becomes expedient to do so.

My question is, where do you draw the line?

What about those who have a diagnosis of Asperger's--but with early intervention, diet, supplements, etc, recover to the point of not needing outside help to do well in school?

They will likely process their thoughts and information in the "typical" Autistic way for the rest of their lives--but if they have learned to translate between that and the way the supposedly neurotypicals process, are they truly disabled, even if they AREN'T neurotypical?

I know a family who kept telling their teenage son with Asperger's that there so many things he couldn't do, "because he was autistic"--and they kept him home after he finished high school so that he could collect the disability payments that he was "entitled to."

Forgive me, but I don't want that for my child.

I will move heaven and earth so that he DOESN'T need that, so he can function well and independently, at college, in a job, anywhere he truly wants to be.

I don't argue that many with Asperger's might truly be disabled, and unable to hold down a basic job--but WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE??

There's a sizable spectrum just within the Asperger's diagnosis. Once a child is in high school, what do you do? Subject him to yearly evaluations?

I don't for one minute wish to withhold help from the many who need it--but something about this is very disturbing.

If Asperger's is caused by vaccine damage (aka adverse reaction to vaccines) then I believe it should be legally covered as a disability.

I wish THE BIG LIE that labeled my son's vaccine damage as Autism had never been told. Because Pharma didn't want to admit that vaccines can cause brain and body damage, they muddied the truth, denying the validity of biomedical treatment, denying those affected insurance coverage, denying that even still, kids are being harmed.


Even though my son is further down the spectrum I whole-heartedly disagree with those who dismiss Asperger's as somehow comprehensively easier. There is so much more expected from people with Aspergers in terms of functioning in the world and these things do not come naturally to them. They have expectations put upon them that my son may never face. At the same time there are struggles that my son lives with that Aspies will never know. They both can be hard, just in different ways.

Lisa,

I really don't think Aspergers was what triggered that boy's rampage. Seemingly every shooting, whether the gunman had autism or not, involved some sort of psychotropic drug. In an earlier piece by Dan Olmsted, one of the Columbine shooters was on Luvox, a powerful anti-depressant. Unfortunately, since autistics are perhaps the biggest targets of pharma and the NIMH for their drug experiments, we very often get shafted by their drugs.

We hear people like Tom Insel use the "spontaneous improvement" excuse all the time. Yet Insel then uses that same excuse on the control group in the clinical trial that failed Celexa to say that it may still work, despite the fact that the drug has been found to cause adverse events in participants.

As I have said elsewhere,it is very difficult for someone who has a diagnosis of Asperger's to be taken seriously if they claim both to be disabled,and to be anti-neurodiversity. They have a very difficult time proving themselves,or being taken seriously.Much more than anybody with another ASD.Like it or not, neurodiversity is the face that Asperger's
has presented to the world.The arrogant Katie Millers,Ari Ne'emans,and Deena Gassners who present themselves as representing everybody on the spectrum.

http://autismgadfly.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-mythology-from-neurodiversity.html

They tell us that tell us our regression, eloping,self mutilation,learning disabilites, or for most severely effected,mental retardation,all are "comorbid conditions", unrelated to the autism that makes their life such a joy.

Never mind immune or mitochondrial disease.

I won't even touch the whole self-diagnosis business.Tell everybody about that,Jake.

It is clear just from this thread here,that neurodiversity has engendered a great deal of hatred towards those with Asperger's.I wonder how many parents who sit here,and defend their Aspergerian children,have spent any time reading hate filled bloggers like the Autistic Bitch from Hell ?

http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/

Because some of you who do this come across as leading very sheltered lives,and seem to have cut yourself off from this stuff.This is a very ugly,and dark side of autism that everyone one the spectrum needs to be aware of.I would go as far as to say,if you have older children on the spectrum,it is your job as a parent,to educate your children about just who is out there,and what they are saying.

Thanks Katie for your words. I appreciate you.

Insel is a failure to families affected by autism. He also failed this family. What a shame but looks like history repeats itself again.

In 2002, a 19 boy in my town shot his two neighbors to death and then killed himself. He was diagnosed with Aspergers.

He was high functioning. Apparently he was so distraught over no friends and some "teasing" that he broke and responded poorly.

I am deeply saddened by his actions. This boy needed help and friends. In my opinion he had a disability and no way to cry out for help. I am with Jake. No matter the functioning of the individual we still need to address their needs. This tragic situation haunts me and is a reason we created a program to help families in this area so friends could be made.

Keep writing Jake. Thank you.

Thank you for this!!

Thank you, Jake. You always nail it on the head. I've never been reactionary enough against the NDs to believe that Asperger's isn't a disability. As you say, they've hijacked the definitions-- why let them define things even so much that we react against them to the polar opposite of whatever they assert? They don't control the discussion. And if some say that Aspergers is a disability but shouldn't be cured, they're talking such nonsense that it doesn't really warrant a reply at all.

I've always thought of autism as what happens when a child doesn't outright die of toxic assault or doesn't simply lose IQ points in a linear way, though some injuries go so far as to destroy intelligence. I think it arises because some individuals' brains defend themselves from destruction in a different way than average, whether this is because of some inherited biological tendency or a perfect convergence of timing, toxins and rapidity of brain development. Most disease seems to arise from the bastardization of the body's own defenses as far as I understand. If it's a matter of just drinking carbolic acid and having it burn a hole straight through you until you die, it's generally not called "disease".

I suspect there might have been figures in history who represented the "norm" of this adaptive type of brain that "changed" slightly rather than being diminished by the usual exposures. There have always been mercury, lead and viral assaults, though generally in much more minute and unconcentrated amounts and in much different forms than via today's vaccines or pollution. Maybe most others in their time might simply have been left dumb or even dead if exposed to the same "brain irritants". And of course, maybe the effects on the brain and sensory mechanisms were partially through the GI tract and CSF, but it's a moot point for what I'm getting at.

Even if some represent susceptible "types", this doesn't make these historical figures examples of "pathology" or models for the later chemical perversion of this type of mind-- now known as ASD-- through much more massive and concentrated modern exposure to culprit substances. If Einstein had fleeting, mild stereotypies and stomach problems all his life, so did Hitler and this may only argue the fact that toxic exposures may have been gradually increasing throughout their life times. Both men show that there must be countless influences on a human being to create them; all "adapt" differently, whether this is prenatally and to toxins or through adulthood and to social factors.

Now many historical figures are retroactively being claimed by ND-- as long as they're solely positive-- as samples of disease when in fact they may simply represent the healthy examples of the original "type of brain".

Here's an adaquate parallel in the concept of "distancing from reality". In art school, my mother learned to cut out distractions by being made to paint and draw in public places with the usual rubbernecking strangers breathing over her shoulder and making unwanted comments. The idea being that the hand, eye and imagination should be able to function independent of minor interruptions. It's been a very productive, lifelong skill. Some people might be better than others at developing it. Her "adaptive" ability to tune out distractions is amazing but not pervasive; she's entirely "present" in the rest of her life. If someone was really into stretching reality, I suppose her trained concentration could be hyperbolized to show a resemblance to, say, a victim of war atrocity who becomes so traumatized that they learn to shut out painful reality by permanently locking themselves up in delusion. But are these the same things? The mechanism might be quite natural either way. To a small, limited degree, it's productive and protective. When exaggerated and pervasive, it's disabling. The most notable difference between the two things, really, is the size of the assault causing the adaptation. For my mom, it was some passerby suggesting she make the sky "bluer". For the war victim, it was seeing their children beheaded and their entire family burned alive.

To drag out the comparison, if Aspergers is the toxic-trauma equivalent of seeing "just half" of one's family "burned alive" but without the added bonus of seeing one's children beheaded (imagining the latter equivocates "classic autism"), would we still WISH it on anyone? Would it not be worth helping and healing someone like this? And, by the same token, would this make my mom delusional?

That's the problem with the ND in a nutshell. By their philosophy, my mom has full blown PTSD, Einstein is autistic but Rainman isn't disabled because only half his family was doused with gasoline. To quote Scooby Doo, "Rit iz?"

NOTE: For some reason at the moment the 8 previous comments are not visible.

My take: At age 4 my son was given his diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. He wouldn't hold crayons, lacked energy to ride a trike, becane easily overstimulated and lashed out physically. Over the years his abilities and mood have improved to the point where he's been informally described as having Asperger's syndrome.

Will he eventually develop adequate skills to drive a car, hold a job, attract a mate? These are still big question marks, and only time will tell. But in the meantime he is definitely disabled -- it's just that on the autism peer continuum he has enough abilities to occasionally "pass" in the neurotypical realm. Where I hold my breath and hope something doesn't set him off....

The only time it matters is if it fits the governmnent's definition, and whom the federal government deems they will help. SO are the NDs getting any help?

Can I get any help from the federal government or even my state for my-- I am not really sure aspergers or PDD,NOS or what ever?

ND doesn't think people with Asperger's are disabled but are "different." They don't think people with AS need treatment but need to be "accepted."

I also believe that Jake was diagnosed at a very young age and so was able to receive appropriate treatment beginning at a young age so it is understandable that he is high-functioning today.

Katie Miller, on the other hand, wasn't diagnosed with an ASD until she was about 20 and yet she is incredibly high functioning. How can it be that she is so high functioning yet has received very little treatment for her supposed ASD?

Many "autistic" people fall into this category: they are very high functioning yet have received very little treatment, if any.

All high-functioning people I know with an ASD have received intensive treatment, which is how they are able to function so well.

But most NDs don't support early, intensive intervention because they don't want to "normalize" anyone.

I think this is an important discussion and one I'm grateful to Jake for pursuing. I confess to having the same reaction of skepticism to some of the NDs who claim to be autistic yet have no difficulty verbalizing complex arguments, speaking with ease and (this is the interesting part) lying their tails off. That has made me want to say "they're not autistic", since I would turn cartwheels if my daughter (who is quite high functioning) could carry on sophisticated debates like this.

Yet I also have met people like Jake and the son of a friend with an Asperger's diagnosis. On the surface, they are charming, smart, articulate, impressive: the kind of young men you'd be pleased to have date your daughters!! But the internal struggles they and their parents can describe, not to mention the medical and developmental trajectories they've been on give me little doubt that their disability is quite real. So when these young men can testify to their disability so vividly, who am I to dismiss the disability of another who looks just as polished? If it's just because I don't like their opinions that's not a very good reason.

So I must confess, this whole discussion has broadened my thinking a good deal. It makes me honored to know Jake, who has manned up to the issue with such brutal honesty. and it makes me more curious to explore the boundary between Asperger's and the outer edge of normal function.

Most people diagnosed with "Asperger's" today don't truly have it. AS is a psychological fad and it will pass like all other psychological fads of the past.

Katie Miller wasn't diagnosed with "autism" until she was about 20, I believe. She's so "autistic" that you can't even tell anything is wrong with her, attended college full-time and graduated summa cum laude, studied art in Italy and travels the country promoting her artwork, has friends and a boyfriend. Yet, at the same time, she claims she needs "support" in order to "function" and claims to be "disabled."

She also seems to have every AS stereotype that borderline-AS[Ses] like to claim they have after they are diagnosed, such as prosopagnosia.

Katie claiming to have prosopagnosis is very amusing because she almost exclusively paints portraiture. How could she do that if she was "face-blind" as she claims?

I just don't understand these people...

I have read the specturm disorders, I promise I have read it many times and I still don't understand everything (much) of what is going on.
For example the last poster said pervasive. What does pervasive mean? and I don't want just a dictionary definition because that has not helped me yet?

Pervasive means: WHATTTTTTTTTT????????????

My child is severely disabled by autism, and has all the usual medical diagnoses. I would LOVE to have him able to function as well as you, Jake. But I have always recognized that those with Asperger's have plenty of challenges and certainly are disabled to some degree. The problems are different, but they are still there for both extremes of the spectrum. By definition, ASDs are a pervasive disorder, so the challenges are severe.

Nuerodiverse is a psyop brought to you by our government and pharma. Anybody who falls for the neurodiverse movement is disabled because they lack judgement and reasoning ability. Honestly, people who cannot function are not some higher form of exisitng or whatever nonsense they spew. I honestly don't listen, it's like saying cancer is a kiss from God. Nuerodiverse only exists on the internet, not real life. Nobody would look at a brain damaged person (sorry Jake) and think it's a good thing. Sad that the argument has become well you're less brain damaged so it's ok.


Thank you Jake for posting the url for the video of Katie Miller. Katie Miller may feel that she speaks for those on the spectrum. Certainly the people there in that committee meeting believe that she does. I would like to know why she thinks she speaks for those on the spectrum. When I did a search on her name I found, on the blog Wrong Planet (which she says she’s given exclusive rights to publish her testimony, so I hope I won’t get into legal trouble by quoting her here!), the transcript for testimony she made to the committee in 2007. In it she says that “I am here representing myself as an autistic member of society.”

Where did the IACC get her and why? Can anybody just walk thru the door of that committee room and say “I’m here representing myself” and they’ll take the time to listen?

Who does Katie Miller speak for? Does she represent an organization like Greater Cleveland Asperger Association?

If she is a member of a group such as the local asperger support group here in Cleveland, I can tell you that that in my own personal experience the only support that they provide is to those who are desperately trying to hide the fact that vaccines are probably complicit in the autism epidemic. Some of you may know of the censorship I’ve experienced when I’ve attempted to speak publicly about thimerosal. Let’s just say that my one experience with an asperger support organization made it quite clear to me that they weren’t about to help me (or, I believe, anyone with aspergers), if I wasn’t willing to obey the code of silence.

Lenny says that aspergers isn’t a disability and Jake says that it is. I am not a lawyer and I don’t know what Lenny’s law background is, nor Jakes. But I would like to say a few things about my own beliefs on the matter of disability.

I myself went to see a Doctor a little while after my oldest child was evaluated for autism. I have never been good at making casual conversation and for most of my life and in most situations have been completely unable. When I was a child there was a period of time I remember when I would walk on my toes. I have a child who was suspected of being on the spectrum (a gastro intestinal special even said she might be), and another child whose teacher has suggested might have selective mutism. I was told that I did not have autism. I believe that there were plenty of people in my life who might’ve suggested that I might be on the spectrum, but were reluctant to say so. I think that there are a few reasons for that. For one thing, whatever Katie Miller might think, most people don’t see autism as a good thing. For another, it is quite obvious that I am very high functioning, if I am on the spectrum. I’m sure that there are many people who’ve felt that a diagnosis for a disability would not really help me at all but would in fact only make my life more difficult.

I’ve posted comments here in the past and sometimes I post under my real name, and other times I post under a pseudonym, and when I post with my pseudonym it’s usually because I’ve mentioned my children. I have four children and three of them I believe suffer from some degree of vaccine damage, although I thank God it is very minor. I post with my pseudonym when discussing them because I don’t want people to associate them with autism. It is not that I feel that they should be ashamed of autism. (although many people would feel that they should) Many people feel that a diagnosis is often used as an unnecessary crutch—as an excuse for special treatment that isn’t really necessary. I don’t want anyone to treat my children as if they are deserving of or in need of special treatment because I really don’t think that it’s necessary. And what’s more I don’t think that they need to experience the resentment that would go along with the special treatment, especially when people feel that that special treatment is unjustified.

If someone has received a diagnosis from a Doctor for an ASD, then I must presume that they truly are in need of special services because they truly have a disability. I don’t much care about the extent of it and whether or not it’s as bad as someone else’s disability.

That being said, I can understand that parents of those who are severely affected would be disturbed and angered by seeing Katie Miller speaking to a committee charged with dispersing research and support money, especially while the parents of the severely affected are being turned away.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.