Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I think all articles with "Asperger's" in the headline should also contain a line saying...

"A great way to blame a social issue on genetics!" There's something that really exists called Asperger's syndrome, a high functioning autism, and then there's the vast folk understanding of what Asperger's is, which is a sort of catch all term for social awkwardness. Instead of saying, gee, maybe you should work on that, folks seem to either label themselves as being genetically flawed semi-autistic folks or are quick to label others the same. Which goes to show that you can get anything talked about on the news these days if you label it genetic. What would be a harder question to ask is why, if the received wisdom reflects reality in some way, are there so many people who are socially awkward?

Perhaps the general alienation present in life here in the U.S. has contributed to it. In any case, the solution isn't to label yourself as being genetically defective and as having a condition that in earlier years would have been labeled as retardation, but to try to work on yourself to overcome whatever it is you have a problem with.

And, on the other side, it doesn't help much the ease to which folks are willing to label others as genetically defective in order to explain why they don't like their behavior.


Lee said...

I'm 49 years old, recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, have never had a job or relationship and don't have any friends. Do you think I actually choose to live this way?

I have an above average academic intelligence and did voluntary work for many years but don't have a job because no-one will employ me...I can't even do voluntary work any more because I can't provide references.

John Madziarczyk said...

In that you've actually been diagnosed by doctors I'd say that you're different from what I'm talking about. It appears to me that the great majority of folks who either say they have Asperger's or who are said to be Asperger-like, or Aspies, are self diagnosed, and I have my doubts that they could actually be diagnosed as having it by professionals.