|Posted by Admin on December 14, 2012 at 6:20 PM|
This is something I wrote in response to the removal of Asperger's Syndrome from the DSM.
I will never forget a quote from the television show "House M.D." when House says "When we are born, we are perfect. 10 fingers, 10 toes, pink and plump. It all goes downhill from there". The sad thing is, what he said was true in the eyes of most parents. They think that the description is considered a "perfect baby". But it's not. It's just a common form.
I was born how most people see is the "perfect baby". I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. I was pink and plump. But hidden within my brain was something different from some other babies. I was born with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism. Then again, you might also be able to say that I was born like MANY other babies on the spectrum.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, I am different from some. I LIKE being different. I like that I finally know the name of what makes me different. People finally understand me because I say to them "I have Asperger's." I'm not saying to them that I have Autism, unless I'm referring to being on the Autism Spectrum. (Not that I think Autism is "bad", just that I'm not ACTUALLY diagnosed with Autism itself.) I am SO PROUD to call myself an "Aspie". I've found a huge part of my identity.
Then, in December of 2012, I learned something tragic. I will no longer be considered an "Aspie" in 2013. NO ONE will be considered an "Aspie". That's because the diagnosis of "Asperger's Syndrome" will be dropped from the DSM. Think about it as if someone told you that you are one gender, and then YEARS later, they say "oh, that gender will not exist anymore. Instead, you will just be a part of this gender".
"Wait." you say. "What? How am I no longer this person I've been for so many years? How have I CHANGED?" But you HAVEN'T. People will see you differently JUST BECAUSE a word is dropped. Will people treat you differently? Maybe. Should you be treated differently? Maybe. Maybe you want to be treated with more respect, and perhaps you WILL be treated with more respect. But it won't be because YOU changed, it will be because people THINK you changed. They automatically see you as someone different.
People hardly believe me when I tell them I have Asperger's. I already have to somehow "prove" to them that I have it. (Ridiculous, I know.) Soon, I will have to tell them that I have "High Functioning Autism". No one will believe THAT. I will not longer be able to say that I have a "form of Autism." I will no longer be able to say that I'm an "Aspie." Autism means a lot to me, but I still have Asperger's Syndrome. Whether it's in the book or not, I refuse to let them take away a piece of my identity that helped others to understand me more. My Twitter name is @AspergerSadie. My website is www.ihaveaspergers.webs.com
And all of this is only ME. This doesn't include countless others who may even LOSE their diagnosis. Friends of mine. Why do other people get to decide who is in the autism community? Instead of trying to change our titles, LISTEN to what WE have to say.