OT: Aspergers link

Carl Banks imbosol-1047922240 at aerojockey.com
Mon Mar 17 20:08:33 CET 2003

Chris Gonnerman wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Carl Banks" <imbosol-1047882725 at aerojockey.com>
>> Chris Gonnerman wrote:
>> > There are probably a lot of us on this list who suffer from
>> > Asperger's... it pretty much defines nerdiness.
>> Blegh.
>> I think people with Asperger's "syndrome" just violated someone's
>> arbitrary and very narrow idea of what they think is normal.
> I never knew how I was different, only that I was; until I was
> married to someone with "normal" social instincts for over ten
> years (still am, thankfully).  My wife has shown me a lot that
> I could never see on my own.

I'm happy for you.  None of that means Asperger's "syndrome" is real.

>> Here's my advice: forget all this crap about Asperger's syndrome.
>> Instead, go read about Myers-Briggs personality typing.  _Please
>> Understand Me_, by David Kiersey, is a good reference.  Kiersey would
>> probably dismiss Asperger's "syndrome" as nothing but a strong
>> introverted and thinking personality.
> It is real.  The primary reason to understand this is that, if
> two people who both have Asperger's Syndrome have children, there
> is a statistically higher rate of autism.

If that's the *best* reason you can come up with that Asperger's is a
disease and not a strong personality type, then you are standing on
weak grounds indeed.

I don't doubt what you've said true, but simply having a
predisposition to having autistic children doesn't mean you have a
mental illness.  Some people have a predisposition to have children
with Down's Syndrome.  Does that mean they have a mental disease?  No.

Based on the on-line test, it seemed to me that the "symptoms" of
Asperger's "syndrome" and near-autism were equivalent to the traits of
a strong ISTJ personality.

> The highest rate of new autism diagnosis is in the Silicon Valley,
> and if you think you can dismiss this severe disorder as easily
> as Asperger's you are a fool.

I dismiss Asperger's "syndrome," not autism.

> Note also that Microsoft (the evil empire) has a special program
> for their employees with autistic children.  (Read that in the 
> newspaper where I first heard of Asperger's.)  They wouldn't waste
> the money on it if it weren't a real problem.

One, that's autism.

Two, Microsoft doesn't care about autism; it cares about keeping its
employees happy.  If a bunch of employees were to start whining that
they need special care for their kids with Asperger's "syndrome," then
Microsoft would pay for it whether it's a disease or not.

>> Frankly, it sickens me that there are people out there who consider
>> traits such as introversion, and reliance on thought instead of
>> feeling, to be "diseases."
> Asperger's doesn't make you introverted.

I think it's the other way around.  Being introverted (among other
things) is what "causes" Asperger's "syndrome."

In the on-line test that was posted here, I noticed a handful of
questions that directly tested for introversion (i.e., the introverted
answers scored a point).  These questions could have just as easily
appeared on a personality test.

To wit, here are some questions that test directly for introversion
(there were some others that tested for introversion along with some
other qualities):

I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own.
I would rather go to a library than to a party.
I enjoy meeting new people.

> Usually quite the 
> opposite; I am a bull in the china shop of other people's feelings,
> and I have never liked it.

You evidently don't understand what introversion is.

> I am aware of a great many adaptations
> I have made cognitively that other people don't have to think about
> at all; adaptations that are often incorrect due to my incomplete
> understanding.

You might think this means you have a disease.  Guess what?
*Everyone* has to make adjustments of some sort to fit into society,
be it social or otherwise.  Some more than others, obviously, but
simply having to adjust doesn't mean you have a disease.  I say you
have a personality type whose strong point is not interaction with
other humans, nothing more.

> Don't blow me off, Carl Banks.  This is real, and it sucks.

I agree you have trouble adjusting.  I agree it sucks.  I don't agree
it's a disease.

> You can't imagine what a relief it was to learn that there is a
> reason I don't fit in.  "Personality typing" is too wimpy to 
> cover the gaps in my understanding, gaps I will never be able 
> to properly fill.  I am also slightly hearing impaired, and it
> was a similar relief to understand that... are you going to
> blow off my hearing problem too?

If it makes you feel better to think you have a diesease, then be my

> One of the less well understood symptoms of Asperger's is 
> delayed emotional response.  I have to synthesize a visible 
> response in many cases, trying to imagine how I will feel
> later when the emotional response sets in; otherwise the more
> or less normal people I am interacting with think me cold and
> unfeeling.
> Unfortunately, anger is rarely delayed, and I am pretty well
> mad right now.

Please accept my apologies for suggesting that you're not really
mentally ill.

> My apologies to the list for this off-topic rant; I would have
> replied by private mail but I didn't want Carl's rudeness to
> be unchallenged in public.

I scored 27 on the test.  If some shrink were to suggest I have
Asperger's "syndrome," I'd think *he* was rude.

And if I were your health care provider, and you asked for coverage of
Asperger's "syndrome," I would tell you to take a hike.


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