You may recall from my intro to Asperger’s blog post that I speculated about the motives behind the conspiracy to redefine Asperger’s as high-functioning autism.
The problem you run into is that, in recent years, autism has become a politicized topic with a number of interest groups pushing agendas (e.g. the well-funded Autism Speaks vs. the grassroots group Autism Speaks Doesn’t Speak for Me). For example, “Asperger’s” was taken out of the DSM-V because it’s assumed to be high-functioning autism, despite HUGE diagnostic differences like normal language development vs. delayed language development.
So just be aware, it’s gonna be like researching the Holocaust. There’s also a strong tendency to conflate Asperger’s with the traits common to German Jews and the upper middle class in general, like myopia, ectomorphism, and extreme status anxiety (that is, the neurosis of being a racial mutt).
A recent op-ed referenced by Steve Sailer sheds some light on why it’s so important to (((some people))) that we don’t have vocabulary to discuss this eccentric (and actually quite fascinating) subset of humanity.
The Nazi History Behind ‘Asperger’
By Edith Sheffer
Asperger was long seen as a resister of the Third Reich, yet his work was, in fact, inextricably linked with the rise of Nazism and its deadly programs.
He first encountered Nazi child psychiatry when he traveled from Vienna to Germany in 1934, at age 28. His senior colleagues there were developing diagnoses of social shortcomings for children who they said lacked connection to the community, uneager to join in collective Reich activities such as the Hitler Youth.
*Neurotypical gears turning*
Clear signs of mental illness, brain damage, genetic inferiority, and likely psychopathy!
Then this oped goes on to explain how the term Asperger’s Syndrome must be stricken from our vocabularies Because Nazis. I forget what it is supposed to be replaced by, although no doubt most people who only recently learned the meaning of Asperger’s will go to their graves without ever learning whatever will be the de-Nazified replacement term.
Personally, I think, having more terms to explain reality is usually better than having fewer terms. Especially as the word “autism” comes to increasingly be used (for understandable, forgivable reasons) as a euphemism for the former euphemism “retarded,” the term “Asperger’s syndrome” is particularly useful in explaining a cluster of traits that weren’t well-recognized before the later 20th Century, and that, perhaps, are increasing in prevalence or at least in influence.
Nowadays the term “Asperger’s” is used informally to describe the symptom of social dysfunction, rather than a cluster of traits which includes social dysfunction.
If you actually want to understand Asperger’s, read these links:
Sheffer’s prize-winning Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain, challenges the moral myth of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War’s central symbol — revealing how the Iron Curtain was not simply imposed by Communism, but emerged from the everyday actions of ordinary people.