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No More "Asperger's Syndrome"

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the trolls-run-out-of-burgers dept.

Medicine 602

cstacy writes "The American Psychiatric Association is dropping Asperger's Syndrome from the upcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) Its symptoms will be included under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes everything from severe autism such as children who do not talk or interact, to milder forms of autism. Asperger's disorder is impairment in social interaction and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities and interests, without significant delay in language or cognitive development. Often the person has high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lacks social skills. DSM-5 comes out in May and will be the first major rewrite in 19 years."

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Damn... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#42165773)

And I thought the headline meant they had a cure!

Re:Damn... (4, Insightful)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42165795)

It's not a disease.

Re:Damn... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166009)

Diseases are not the only thing that can be cured. Ham, for instance.

Re:Damn... (5, Insightful)

Trentula (1684992) | about 2 years ago | (#42166029)

disease

noun

a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

Aspergers seems to fit the definition of disease.

Re:Damn... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166219)

I'm going to assume your arguing its some sort of genetic or developmental error. The problem is it isn't. Genetic differences aren't errors just because one person is more able or less able than another for certain traits. A person which deviates from the norm significantly may be at a disadvantage or an advantage although that isn't necessarily an “error”. It's a genetic difference. That's all. It may be desirable, undesirable, or a combination of the two. Having blue eyes might give you an advantage in dating although it would hardly be correct to say people with brown eyes have a disease of some sort. Aspergers is not something you suffer from. You might suffer from prejudices and things of that nature for standing out. However that doesn't mean you have a “disease”.

Re:Damn... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166037)

Explain.

Re:Damn... (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42166055)

It's not a disease.

Well, not by that name any more any way.

One artificial psychiatric definition down, about 3500 to go [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Damn... (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#42166077)

It's an enhancement!

Re:Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166195)

Let's see here:

impairment in social interaction and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities and interests

Sounds like a disease to me.

Re:Damn... (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42165883)

And I thought the headline meant they had a cure!

Well, we're not getting disability for it anyway so who gives a crap? lol.

Re:Damn... (5, Insightful)

klingers48 (968406) | about 2 years ago | (#42166173)

I know, it's a damn shame. I thought the same thing.

The really sad part is that I know from personal experience just how different Asperger's and true autism are. I had a good friend for many, many years that I sadly lost contact with that had Aspergers. A little awkward, but one of the most highly intelligent people I know. On the other hand, I also have an immediate family member that does fall on the autistic spectrum, and over several decades we've all been through the highs and the lows as a family.

Aspergers may be on the austisic spectrum, but they're nothing alike in real terms.

I also know first-hand how a label can effect self-confidence. I have Tourette Syndrome, very much controllable, but everyone's first frame of reference is that damn Rob Scheider movie. You've gotta laugh, but it does get awkward sometimes. I don't want to imagine how much anxiety highly ingelligent, high functioning but socially-anxious Aspergers sufferers are going to go through when they start being labelled autistic.

This is doing them a great disservice.

It's only being renamed... (5, Funny)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 2 years ago | (#42165789)

...to Slashdot Spectrum Disorder.

Re:It's only being renamed... (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42165973)

...to Slashdot Spectrum Disorder.

Er, no. That's something else entirely... it's when a geek goes to see a psychologist, and three hours later they leave because the psychologist goes rigid and becomes unresponsive for days. Afterwords, all they usually say for awhile after that is "500... 500... 500..." over and over again. Occasionally they get this funny look on their face and then they look at their watch and exclaim "Timed out! It's all out of time!" before returning to their stupor. They do eventually recover. It's theorized it's because direct contact with the geek psyche overwhelms a normal person, causing their brain to seize for a long time until the information overload subsides.

Re:It's only being renamed... (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42166069)

You seem to assume that a psychologist is a "normal person". And, that is where your scenario falls on it's face. Shrinks are, in fact, some very strange people, haunted by their own ghosts and harassed by their own demons.

Re:It's only being renamed... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42166135)

You seem to assume that a psychologist is a "normal person". And, that is where your scenario falls on it's face. Shrinks are, in fact, some very strange people, haunted by their own ghosts and harassed by their own demons.

No, that's exactly why it can only be diagnosed in psychologists and certain other personality types; they're already resource-starved because of what you mentioned. Coming into direct contact with a mind that is unencumbered by any of that causes their brains to overload -- it's simply too much to process at once.

Re:It's only being renamed... (3, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 2 years ago | (#42166075)

The percentage of Aspberger's on Slashdot is probably higher than average.

And it may be a form of Autism, but sometimes it's tough to generalize too much since that will just cause psychiatrists and others to look at the person and consider him/her "normal" compared to the cases they work with instead of handing over you to someone that specializes in cases of the milder forms.

Re:It's only being renamed... (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#42166279)

No, we're just assholes online.

Re:It's only being renamed... (2)

Jessified (1150003) | about 2 years ago | (#42166211)

so much lol

sick and tired of labels (5, Interesting)

alienzed (732782) | about 2 years ago | (#42165791)

No more Aspergers, Pluto is not a planet, life starts at conception, etc... Labelling something only help perpetrate the misunderstandings surrounding the very real issues. We need to stop calling things stuff and start actually understanding them in meaningful ways.

Re:sick and tired of labels (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165827)

You're right. The best way to do that would be to stop using names for things, that just makes everything too confusing. Instead we should write a page explaining what we're referring too each time we mention a new concept in conversation.

Labels are shortcuts. They aren't always great, sometimes they need to be adjusted, but in many cases they are necessary and useful. In fact this could easily increase understanding by pointing out that it is not a separate issue, I don't know enough about Aspergers or Autism to conclude that but I get the impression that you aren't concluding the opposite. Just trying to sound intelligent by complaining about labels.

Re:sick and tired of labels (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166197)

Call everything marklar?

Obligitory south park: [youtube] [youtube.com]

Re:sick and tired of labels (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165891)

I think we should just call everything Marklar. Asperger's is Marklar, Pluto is Marklar, life is marklar, you are marklar, I am marklar.

The only marklar is that when you don't like marklar but do like marklar its hard to come up with a marklar that adequately captures the marklar between the marklars.

Re:sick and tired of labels (3, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#42165927)

No more Aspergers, Pluto is not a planet, life starts at conception, etc... Labelling something only help perpetrate the misunderstandings surrounding the very real issues. We need to stop calling things stuff and start actually understanding them in meaningful ways.

So, you're the poster formerly known as alienzed?

Re:sick and tired of labels (3, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#42165979)

We need to stop calling things stuff and start actually understanding them in meaningful ways.

Understanding and discussing things without ever defining any terms for them is impossible.

Re:sick and tired of labels (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | about 2 years ago | (#42166223)

No more Aspergers, Pluto is not a planet, life starts at conception, etc...

Decided by scientists, decided by scientists, decided by religious extremists.

That list is not parallel. Whether you agree or not with a naming decision, better it be based on sound evidence. Naming has important consequences for how something is treated, money is allocated, and perhaps more importantly, how language is used. That's why we have pro-life and pro-choice, instead of anti-choice or anti-life - names matter. They convey information, hopefully accurately. When the word planet is used, we all have a common understanding of what that implies. The PATRIOT ACT and Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act [govtrack.us] were named that way for exactly that reason, because names matter.

Re:sick and tired of labels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166247)

No more Aspergers, Pluto is not a planet, life starts at conception, etc... Labelling something only help perpetrate the misunderstandings surrounding the very real issues. We need to stop calling things stuff and start actually understanding them in meaningful ways.

Like the Second World Misunderstanding?

uh, oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165805)

how's nbc gonna write this into 'parenthood' ??

Ass boogers (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42165817)

One advantage of the term "autism spectrum" is that it doesn't have a double entendre of "ass boogers".

Disclosure: I have this condition.

Re:Ass boogers (2)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 2 years ago | (#42165889)

And 10 years from now, kids will have no clue what the Assburgers [youtube.com] episode of South Park is about, now that Aspergers is going the way of "Don't touch that dial".

Re:Ass boogers (5, Funny)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#42165909)

One advantage of the term "autism spectrum" is that it doesn't have a double entendre of "ass boogers".

Disclosure: I have this condition.

You might try wet wipes for that.

Re:Ass boogers (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42166217)

Only after removing the macroscopic lumps first using normal toilet paper.

I recommend removing the roll from the roller and putting two fingers in it (the roll, not the butt) for maximum whip-around buildup of waddage.

Brush the lumps gently -- if they are dried, just pull them; you don't want the hairs embedded in them anyway. If wet and they smear, settle in for a long wiping haul.

Once the lumps are gone and no more smearing appears on a fresh wad (flush from time to time to prevent plugging) do a wipe down with a fresh wad. You will be stunned.

Only when neither a wipe up nor down yields brown should one then use a wet wipe.

Hopefully you will not have needed the plunger. Also, never look in the bottom of a plunger. Especially one at a public rest room.

Now, after, wait. Ummmm, nevermind. I'm done.

Re:Ass boogers (2)

gargleblast (683147) | about 2 years ago | (#42165959)

Let me be the first to say "Congratulations! You no longer have ass boogers".

Re:Ass boogers (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#42165981)

Congratulations aren't in order yet, he has to wait until May. That is when he will officially no longer be an "Aspie" as they call it (I'm not sure I'd like to be referred to that either, it almost sounds like ass pie.)

Re:Ass boogers (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42166015)

How is it not Ass-burgers? Ass-boogers is a pretty big stretch.

Re:Ass boogers (1)

neonmonk (467567) | about 2 years ago | (#42166131)

Ass burgers, I think you mean?

About time (3, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 2 years ago | (#42165821)

In the zeal to categorize everything, anyone who might not have been "sufficiently" socialized, or was a little clumsey, has been branded as suffering from Asperger's Syndrome.

I've worked with a number of people who share all the Asperger's traits. Rather socially awkward, some Obsessiveness, not the most physicaly gifted. Yes, I worked with scientists and engineers. But they were just different, and their traits were not a disability, it was who they were. And they are very good at doing what they do. And we all get along just fine.

The only people hurt by this decision is the Autism Speaks people, who will need to revise their statistics.

Re:About time (3)

wherrera (235520) | about 2 years ago | (#42165917)

Unfortunately, decreasing the number of people said to have a condition is a good way to decrease its funding chances in the government subsidies to researchers.

That's bad news for those who actually have the condition--lessening the chances for their eventual cure.

The move itself is akin to splitting off persons who have compulsive tendency in their personalities from those diagnose-able with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and as such seems to be a reasonable change in categorization.

Re:About time (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42166043)

The move itself is akin to splitting off persons who have compulsive tendency in their personalities from those diagnose-able with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and as such seems to be a reasonable change in categorization.

This is one of the most controversial aspects of psychiatry. Human behavior is all a spectrum. All of us (well, most of us anyway) have personality traits. One may be a bit tightly wound, or a bit too laid back, or sloppy or overly neat, or insensitive or smotheringly kind. The combination of those traits make us who we are.

The classical definition of a personality disorder has been when one or more of those traits becomes a dominant part of a persons personality and becomes 'harmful' to that person or society at large. We've all seen the psychopathic boss, the obsessive person who drives family and coworkers away, the very dependent person who wrecks relationships. But when do you call it a disorder? The first time someone complains about the boss? The first divorce? The first time you get into a fight?

It's a fluid distinction. Our favorite disordered personality, Stephen P. Jobs, might well have been banished to an Ashram if we had any sort of effective treatment. Balmer and Gates might have been turned into, well, dunno, I have nothing here. Anyway, it is at the heart of how we define normal (or at least acceptable). In many ways, we don't really want to get to the point where we can treat it or even understand it.

Careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

Re:About time (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42166127)

good way to decrease its funding chances in the government subsidies to researchers.
That's bad news for those who actually have the condition--lessening the chances for their eventual cure.

So no harm, no foul then?

Do you know anyone "cured" by psychiatrist?
(Other than being drugged into a stupor).

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166275)

Unfortunately, decreasing the number of people said to have a condition is a good way to decrease its funding chances in the government subsidies to researchers.

That's bad news for those who actually have the condition--lessening the chances for their eventual cure.

The move itself is akin to splitting off persons who have compulsive tendency in their personalities from those diagnose-able with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and as such seems to be a reasonable change in categorization.

Its all part of a master plan to get funded. One must have shovel-ready neuroses.

Re:About time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165991)

It's quite sad really. Some of the best people I work with fit the description. Everyone doesn't need to be the same. It's asinine.

Re:About time (4, Informative)

fafalone (633739) | about 2 years ago | (#42166013)

To qualify for the diagnosis, not only do the criteria have to be met, but it must cause clinically significant impairment in functioning. People always seem to overlook that part.

Re:About time (2)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about 2 years ago | (#42166117)

To qualify for the diagnosis, not only do the criteria have to be met, but it must cause clinically significant impairment in functioning. People always seem to overlook that part.

If you don't include the "significant impairment in functioning" part of the criteria, pretty much everyone who is working toward or has worked toward an advanced degree in a hard science or math fits the definition. Or at least they did while they were in their degree program. And, yeah, I have a M.S. in math.

Cheers,
Dave

Re:About time (1)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#42166107)

And they are very good at doing what they do.

I think you meant to say "They were lucky to be able to position themselves in a job that allows an awkward, obsessive, clumsy person with a narrow focus of intellectual ability to prosper, and they are very good at doing what they do."

Re:About time (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166111)

Well, not exactly, the DSM-5 at the same time removing the AS label relaxes the criteria of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Anyone who qualified for the criteria of Asperger's Syndrom qualifies for the DSM-5's criteria for proper autism. This is because there is little to no benefit at all in treating people with severe issues who have AS any differently from those with Autism. The only differentiator, really, between AS and classical Kanner's autism in the DSM-4 was a language delay, even if one had a language delay and coped better as an adult than someone who did not have one, that person would be diagnosed kanners and the one without the delay with aspergers. This caused as you can imagine a headache with regards to getting insurance or the state to cover any amount of therapy if you had the AS label even if you really needed it and your family wasn't in a position to reasonably afford it.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166289)

It also helps avoid other forms of ASD being thrown into the more general category of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified). My son was diagnosed with an ASD that had most of the traits of Aspergers, but with some differences in the typical stimming characteristics and that applies to Aspergers.

But, for all intents and purposes his PDD-NOS was just a parallel diagnosis to Aspergers that involves treatment identical to that of the Aspergers kids.

Main difference was the 'Aspergers' kids get insurance and government support, whereas I have to foot the bill (which is a considerable financial burden) for the same programs and support.

Re:About time (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#42166257)

I'm not sure if the statistics need to be revised all that much, given that it seems to be included in a broader term. The bigger issue might be that people formerly labelled as having Asperger's may be getting more generalized aid.

Psychiatry, not geekdom (0)

drwho (4190) | about 2 years ago | (#42165825)

At first I thought I had wandered into Psychiatry Today, but then I realized that no, I was still on Slashdot. What is this story doing here?

Re:Psychiatry, not geekdom (5, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#42165863)

Because many of us have at least been accused of having it. Or are "self-diagnosed" as having it. Or were even diagnosed by an actual psychiatrist.

Re:Psychiatry, not geekdom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165903)

many of us? speak for yourself.

Re:Psychiatry, not geekdom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165945)

many != all fucktard

Re:Psychiatry, not geekdom (3, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42166281)

Because many of us have at least been accused of having it. Or are "self-diagnosed" as having it. Or were even diagnosed by an actual psychiatrist.

There's a not-actually-diagnostic Autism Spectrum Quotient [wikipedia.org] test that you can take at Wired [wired.com] .

It might be fun to have a Slashdot poll on the range of results.

Re:Psychiatry, not geekdom (2)

unix_core (943019) | about 2 years ago | (#42165937)

News for nerds. This has some times been described as a sort of "nerd sydrome" as some of it's symptoms coincide with the common perception of nerds. It's interesting as certain aspecs of it acually seems to be an advantage for people in scientific fields.

I'm Cured! (5, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | about 2 years ago | (#42165829)

Not that it's a good thing. Now when I make those curt judgmental remarks due my lack of a sensible social filter, I'm just being an asshole.

Need more sub-definitions (4, Insightful)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about 2 years ago | (#42165835)

Sorry but a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is such a wide range of issues that we need things to be broken down a bit more. Saying something is ASD is as bad as labeling it Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which is a HUGE umbrella term. I'm an Asperger Syndrome person, and not quite like everyone else but still a diagnosis of AS fits me much better than ASD.

Shout out to the Aspie Quiz [rdos.net] , go take it! - HEX

Re:Need more sub-definitions (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42165953)

This is nothing but better categorization and summation in a general medical book. Everything cannot get its own section.

This does not mean that people with ASD will no longer be diagnosed in depth. I never read the original article and have no idea what this book is used for, but I know that is is not the sum of all medical knowledge.

Re:Need more sub-definitions (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#42166083)

Umbrella terms exist so that facilities that care for these folks can apply for Medicaid funding set aside for specific groups of folks.

It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with how the big pile of money gets sorted.

Re:Need more sub-definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166291)

Sorry but a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is such a wide range of issues that we need things to be broken down a bit more. Saying something is ASD is as bad as labeling it Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which is a HUGE umbrella term. I'm an Asperger Syndrome person, and not quite like everyone else but still a diagnosis of AS fits me much better than ASD.

Shout out to the Aspie Quiz [rdos.net] , go take it! - HEX

Don't make an Autism Spectral Sublimation of yourself.

You mean ... I've been autistic all along? Damn (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about 2 years ago | (#42165837)

"impairment in social interaction and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities and interests"

This describes everyone I work with, myself included.

Apparently, one can make a good living at being autistic. :)

Re:You mean ... I've been autistic all along? Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165877)

Did you not read the part where aspies can be highly intelligent and skilled specialists? It was in the summary.

What does it matter? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165843)

Why does it matter if the label changes. The people who are affected by Aspergers Syndrome/Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as myself, will be the same people regardless. The DSM V is really not changing anything significant to reality.

Re:What does it matter? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166049)

> Why does it matter if the label changes

In theory it shouldn't, but as Yogi Bera said, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is". Caregivers tend to grab on to the labels assigned to their patients in order to simplify the task of treatment. In medicine, where there are many (if not the majority) of conditions which have well-defined and well-understood etiologies (and corresponding treatments), this is very useful. In psychiatry and psychology, I'm not so sure.

As the parent of a child in the spectrum, but not in any common or well-defined position in it, I can assure you, it's an ongoing fight between trying to get your child labelled (in order to qualify for help from insurance, government, and the education system) and preventing said labeling from biasing the treatment of the child towards directions which are not helpful.

Re:What does it matter? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166209)

As the parent of a child in the spectrum, but not in any common or well-defined position in it, I can assure you, it's an ongoing fight ... preventing said labeling from biasing the treatment of the child towards directions which are not helpful.

This.

Exactly this. My brother is a functioning adult who graduated college and is working as a software engineer. He was also diagnosed with Asperger's in elementary school. Treating him as an Asperger's patient does nothing to help him manage it. It's like treating him as a collection of symptoms. But that's not what he is. He's a person with a unique personality, and knowing how to best communicate with him and help him work with others is far easier if you work with him as a person instead of him as a diagnosis.

The experience inspired my mother, already an early-childhood educator, to get a graduate degree focusing on the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. But all it's done for her is make it harder for her to understand him. The more she learns, the more it seems she looks at him as a collection of symptoms. And she missed out on understanding him as who HE is, not who a person with Asperger's is.

Lumping Asperger's in with other forms of Autism may not be a mistake. But I feel diagnosing people with the syndrome often does more harm than good. Asperger's is not a disease. People diagnosed with it are not sick, and they do not need a cure. They have unique character traits, just like everyone else in the world does. Working with them and helping them succeed requires understanding their individual personality. And the same is true of the rest of us.

shyness yes, asperger no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165855)

They want to add shyness to the DSM and remove Asperger. That's not logic.

Re: shyness yes, asperger no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165899)

So it should only be in the list if it's named after someone?

Nick of Time (1)

rueger (210566) | about 2 years ago | (#42165873)

Whew, thank God it's the 30th anniversary of AIDS. Now that it's trendy again we don't have to worry about losing Aspergers. For a minute I thought we would have to start worrying about "ordinary" medical conditions.

Although I still hope for the day when People will cover star studded fundraisers for corns and calluses.

Met them (4, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#42165875)

I have met people with Asperger's and I have met people with Autism and I have met both treated and mostly untreated. People with these two diseases are wildly separate in functionality and the ability to function. I would no more say that Asperger's is in the spectrum of autism than I would say freckles are in the spectrum of melanoma. Technically it might be correct that they both have root similarities but a useless categorization. The treated people with Asperger's that I have witnessed have become shockingly functional human beings achieving at a level well in the top 1% while having few interpersonal issues. Whereas the best I have seen with autisim are people who marginally function in most areas of societal interaction and usually at best over develop one or two areas such as piano. So it seems to me that the strategy with people with autism is to help them cope with life whereas with Asperger's the goal should be to give them a few extra social skills so that they can thrive. Like melanoma and freckles with one your focus is to keep the person from becoming dead, with the other your goal is to find a good sun hat.

I am willing to bet that there are quite a few Asperger's programmers out there but very few autistic programmers; testers maybe.

Re:Met them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166133)

thanks for that, Dr EmperorOfCanada

Re:Met them (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166151)

but luckily, as a slashdot member, you're able to tell the difference between personal anecdotes and medical research, and wouldn't dream of trying to pass the former off as the latter. ... right?

Re:Met them (0)

redback (15527) | about 2 years ago | (#42166287)

But thats the thing with Autism, it has a great deal of variation. They have just decided to stop calling a subset of Autism "Aspergers Syndrome"

As to weather or not that is a good thing, I remain uncertain.

DSM Scam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165895)

I can't believe people still take psychology seriously... DSM is a scam. Behavior that you don't consider "normal" is not a disease in need of diagnosis. That said, I guess I should put on boots today as the clouds seem to be suffering from snow disorder. I need to go to my bank where my account suffers from lack of funds disorder...

Re:DSM Scam (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#42165985)

Tom, get off the couch. For Suri's sake, try not to be such an asshole. And for FSM's sake, it's ok to come out of the closet.

Re:DSM Scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166011)

Why would you go to the bank if your account lacks funds?

The rest of your post made perfect sense though.

Disorder my ass... (5, Interesting)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42165901)

Granted, there are many people who view this as a disorder. But there are also those of us who view it as a gift and view the challenges and the setbacks that it has presented as experiences that have had an extremely positive impact on our lives. While I sympathize with those who have trouble dealing with it, this is who I am and I would never want this to change.

I wold never want to be labeled as someone with a disorder, having a minimal to non-existent social life is fine by me. This is just putting a negative label on people who already have a lot of social stigma to deal with.

Re:Disorder my ass... (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#42165975)

You may be fine with Asperger's, but there's a whole lot of people for whom it causes lots of issues, too. I've met several such people myself and used to talk with one guy from the Netherlands for something around a year or so, and it was quite clear that he wasn't enjoying it. That is to say that while you may personally be fine with it you must also take into account the others who aren't.

Re:Disorder my ass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166101)

That's because people with Asperger's Syndrome are forced to socialize---some come out OK, some do not. Public education causes PTSD for the high-functioning autistic/ASD crowd. What's needed is an educational model that recognizes not everyone is so retarded as to enjoy prison-style education and mindrape.

Re:Disorder my ass... (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42166113)

Of course, there are many people who would do anything to become NT. I was there once.

Re:Disorder my ass... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#42166203)

That it causes issues for people doesn't make it a disorder. Being left handed causes issues for a whole lot of people. Being homosexual causes issues for a lot of people. That doesn't make them disorders, as the problems lie in the society these people are living in.

Re:Disorder my ass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166245)

Right, exactly! Being deaf isn't a disorder either.

Re:Disorder my ass... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#42165999)

I think you mean "Disorder my ass burger."

Re:Disorder my ass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166171)

Granted, there are many people who view this as a disorder. But there are also those of us who view it as a gift and view the challenges and the setbacks that it has presented as experiences that have had an extremely positive impact on our lives. While I sympathize with those who have trouble dealing with it, this is who I am and I would never want this to change.

I wold never want to be labeled as someone with a disorder, having a minimal to non-existent social life is fine by me. This is just putting a negative label on people who already have a lot of social stigma to deal with.

Eh youre just as bad. You take something and turn it into your own personal little crusade so you can run around spewing garbage about how you "view it as a positive in your life because you have over come it and experinced unique and special things because you are like a snowflake and special" blah blah blah.

You do realize that everything you said is self indulgent tripe right? Its all pretentious adjetives spun together so you can talk about yourself because you have a big ego and no self esteem so you invent ways of making yourself sound noble and courageous despite the fact you dont mean shit and you didnt overcome anything. All you have done is deal with life, just like the other billions of people do on this planet every single day for thousands of years.

Tell you what. You lose your arms and legs and then able to lead your normal life and perhaps then you might be entitled to patting yourself on the back a little. Or atleast something that in a major way impacts your way of life beyond that of say 90% of the human population. But you? You have nothing, your just a person thats living life. Everyone wants to think no one else is like them and so on. Thats why this "disease" was created in the first place.

C'mon, idiots. (4, Informative)

djh101010 (656795) | about 2 years ago | (#42165963)

My entire team, who fix operational Unix problems for a fortune-5 company whose name rhymes with "EG", are Asberger's. If they weren't,they wouldn't have survived my job interview. I don't care what DSM-whateverthefark calls it, but, if you can't context switch many times a day and intensely follow the important shiny thing, then you are not cut out to be top-level support for a "fix the broken stuff" team. Maybe it's a talent rather than a disorder. /shrug. Discuss.

Re:C'mon, idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166239)

If your team was that good they would preempt broken stuff. True brilliance are the guys working at NASA who get one shot to make it work... not one shot to try make it work and another shot to fix it. Discussed.

Re:C'mon, idiots. (4, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 2 years ago | (#42166285)

Fact of life: if there are never any problems, and your task is keeping a service up, you may be fired because some bean counter will think you are a waste of money.

don't worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165965)

Often the person has high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lacks social skills ...those with mediocre intelligence and vast knowledge on wide range of subjects, but lacks social skills will still be known as "Ass at the Bar Syndrome"... I'll looking at you Cliffy.

Good news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42165969)

Try it some time, even if it aint so; tell someone you've got Asperger's. Half the time you can read their mind as they wonder WTF an ass burger is. I'll be glad now simply to be able to say I have a form of autism. I have always been reluctant to utter that term.

Sad News for the /. Community (3, Funny)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#42166001)

This is terrible. Now Slashdotters will have to find a new disease to self-diagnose and blame for their undeveloped social skills. Might I suggest ASPD?

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166021)

Sheldon won't be happy to be declared insane. His mother has tested him.

Name Change (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42166023)

Most ridiculously named condition, ever. Seriously, the guy who, I assume, this is named after really has to change his name, but more importantly we cannot call something aspergers. Names are important, and calling anything ass-burgers is ridiculous.

Re:Name Change (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#42166145)

This is education we're talking about. Where it's perfectly fine to give a child a Woodcock Johnson.

Whatever will they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166045)

Whatever will CWC now that he is diagnosed with that which he hates?
Will this help apk stay on his meds more regularly?
And whatever will the rest of you speshul snowflake internet/self diagnosed asspies do now that you're just fucking autistic?

No excuse? (1)

Ossifer (703813) | about 2 years ago | (#42166073)

So basically nerds no longer have any cover for their lack of social skills?

Technology too primitive = wrong diagnosis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166085)

... as someone "on the spectrum", it really disturbs me that bad science is permitted for the sake of politics.

Change the definition, no more problem! (5, Insightful)

catsidhe (454589) | about 2 years ago | (#42166115)

I know the trolls are lining up to post "Ass-burgers is fake anyway, I met an Ass-pie once, and he was fine."

So let me say this first: If you've met an Aspie and dismissed the condition because that person "seemed fine", then please consider that what you didn't see was the countless hours of practice and stress and anxiety of being able to pretend to be that way; the habitual exhaustion from the effort of doing so; the depression and abysmal self-esteem from never, never understanding the people around you or being able to tell whether people actually like you or not. The years of teasing and abuse, the subsequent years of retrospectively realising all the other things which were teasing and abuse at the time but we couldn't tell at the time. The incessant Impostor's Syndrome, which only gets worse the higher you rise -- if you can move forward in your career. Who speak nineteen languages, but get scurvy because they forget to eat. No, seriously: people whose executive dysfunction requires the scheduling of bathing and eating, or else a rigid routine, where even slight interruptions can trigger a panic attack. The meltdowns and fear and frustration and despair.

And you don't see the ones who don't "seem fine". Who weren't as fortunate as those of us who got a series of lucky breaks and have been able to work around our disabilities and take advantage of our strengths. The ones who killed themselves in despair or ended up on the streets or were institutionalised or are housebound on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.

The DSMV changes to the Autism Spectrum diagnoses have been widely stated by the people writing them to be for the purpose of excluding people from being diagnosed on the spectrum. Because when people started actually looking at how many people had an ASD, it turns out to be much more than anyone thought.

Obviously it can't be because so many people were swept under the carpet for all those years, so it must be a problem with the definition. Hey, if we change the definition of Cancer to exclude any condition of the skin, that means that all those people with melanomas must be cured, right?

Outrageous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166255)

Next you'll be suggesting that alcoholism isn't an easily cured phony addiction which any sensible and decent person can handle with a kick in the pants.

Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166149)

Now they only have about 2,198 more physchiatric diseases that need to be striken from the record. Perhaps then they could focus on the few real ones instead of just inventing names for common everyday life.

Hypochondria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42166169)

Hypochondria: only disease hyponchondriacs don't self-diagnose.

People on psych meds are nuts.

After you do: damned. Can't quit 'em, can't have a poignant relationship with 'em, don't know whether happy's from the bottle, or they're making you crazy.

There's more to social skills than conformity or infirmity. Hell the Founding Fathers were rebels, god bless 'em.

And pharma laughs all the way to the bank to shill out a pittance for congress and hands-off pez dispensers to bump their business: pushing drugs.

Autism and Asperger's aren't the same thing, and Asperger's is for doctor shoppers and hypochondriacs.

Well no, humans aren't naturally free of depression or anxiety, but that involves the development of coping skills, to be: naturally free of depression, anxiety, and brand new drugs without a generation of experience that change your head, and meet definitions of addictive.

In relatively very few relevant cases, in psychotherapy and as part of the development of life skills, there are true sufferers for whom psych meds are critical for their plain assimilation into culture. Many of the rest are addicts.

Where in the Hippocratic oath does it say "don't make addicts?"

Addiction's a health problem. And so is hypochondria, and so is a need to fit everybody into "nuts".

Antisocial (2)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#42166277)

We're talking about a group whose defining characteristic is that they're antisocial. What this really tells you is that people with Asperger's -- as a group -- were not socially-connected enough to wrangle the politics needed to retain the title. They didn't have friends on the rewrite committee. Being brilliant is one thing. Having the social connections to impose your brilliance on others is another.

Aspergers (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about 2 years ago | (#42166293)

Most people I know who have genuine, diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome already call themselves Autistic. They use the term Asperger's sparingly, only to explain afterwards, once they are sure the other person understands where they're coming from. They do so because so many assholes on the Internet have latched onto Asperger's Syndrome as a synonym for being a socially maladjusted asshole of various varieties.

On the other hand, Most people I know who have self-diagnosed, "Internet Asperger's" -- the "I'm a dick but it's MEDICAL so you can't call me out on my bad behavior" syndrome that so many forum twits have -- well, they can go fuck themselves. I would think this would finally put the nail in the coffin for that particular misuse, but I've already seen the various "Assburgers" trolls start to call themselves Autistic instead.

Such is life on the interwebs.

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