Friday, June 08, 2007

More Asperger's!

It is now clear to me that despite my efforts to stem the tide, Asperger's Syndrome is now the most pretend-diagnosed disease in America. Michelle Collins wrote in the Best Week Ever blog
Two days ago, we brought you footage of the Spelling Bee winner Evan O'Dorney's extreeeemely awkward interview on CNN, where many of you criticized us for posting a clip of a boy who clearly has Asperberger's Syndrome.
Yeah, the kid is awkward, but do we now live in a world where people can 'clearly have Asperger's syndrome'? Is this such a self-evident thing now that people no longer have the luxury of chalking up awkwardness to mere stage fright or being a weird teenage homeschooled kid? If only I had grown up in a world where people would have told my parents I clearly have Asperger's syndrome instead of politely saying nothing about all my weird behaviors.


jackedi said...

Nerds are born, not made. The world didn't change, because of advances in science, we just understand these people better. Drat the nerds for medicalising their own condition to keep the cool kids from making fun of them.

If you had to choose a condition, which would you have:
A social butterfly, but retarded (Williams syndrome)
A social reject, but brilliant (Asperger's).

Joe Mondello said...

Interesting point. The question is whether or not it's valid for others to make snap pronouncements about people they don't know. This has been happening for years with ADD and Autism, beginning with fairly qualified people diagnosing fairly extreme cases or historical features and winding up with complete laymen slapping these terms on anyone they see fit.
It seems to me that a little information is a dangerous thing, and the mere definition of these conditions will inevitably lead to them being applied indiscriminately by everyone.
People reify things in order to gain power over them. This began way back when the ancients started anthropomorphizing elements of nature and concepts such as faith. All this usually tends to do is give people a false sense of control over the world around them.

KristinKC said...

I watched that and I remember that kid. He was really cool. The thought that something was wrong with him never entered my mind.

I also think the Asperger's craze is bunk.