Now, before you roll your eyes, this isn't a self-diagnosed "I'm looking to establish myself as superior" stuff. This guy had a full-blown diagnosis from a doctor. The coder heard I was looking for someone with it that wasn't bullshitting.
Based on what the guy said, the answers to my questions and so on, Asperger's is pretty fucking horrible (he's on enough drugs to take down the love child of Elvis and Judy Garland). He told me what was required to be authentically diagnosed, what kinds of medication he HAD to take (not when it got to bad, he HAD to keep taking it), and what the syndrome is like to live with.
He also said he reads all those pages of people who claim to have Asperger's and that it makes them better than other people and he just wants to beat them up. He would LOVE to be normal/NT/mundane/whatever.
Needless to say, I have a very different perspective of Asperger's than your average Joe. So much so, I actually got into a shouting match with one of my cousins who self-diagnosed himself and tried to tell me I had Asperger's, too. That...was not pretty. (My aunt told me I should apologize to him. I told her to tell the pussy to put a tampon on it. Yes, those exact words.) It's the standard human instinct to take something about themselves the world perceives as negative and put a positive spin on it. For a lot of people, diagnosing themselves as having Asperger's is more a question of identity than any actual disorder.
Last year, there was talk of removing Asperger's Syndrome for the psyche textbooks, incorporating it under the umbrella of autism. The comments sections of anyplace that ran the story and the society proposing it were beseiged by the self-diagnosed, telling them that they were the victims of a disorder, although how they knew better than trained pros was not explained. Basically, a lot of people worried they would not only be deprived of their label, but the Internet would make fun of them for embracing a disorder proven not significant enough to exist (which is wrong, see the example above, but we know it's not going to stop anything).
Well, next May, the American Psychiatric Association publishes their newly revised diagnosis manual. It hasn't been changed in twenty years.
Yesterday, it was confirmed: they are dropping Asperger's Syndrome from it. It will now be filed under "autism spectrum disorder."
I can hear the complaining starting already.
The big question is, are they dropping it because they have a reason to, or is it just because the signal to noise ratio is so bad? Just because a bunch of people misunderstand a disorder doesn't make it less valid (see: Tourette's Syndrome). Syndromes are tough to validate because a syndrome, by definition, is the result of identifying common symptoms, not a definite cause and effect. I wonder what their reasoning is for its removal. (For those of you with dyslexia, that is still in there, and in fact, it has been broadened a bit.)
I just get nervous when it stops smelling like science and smells more like a pissing match.