1 – “We all have a bit of Aspie in us…”
No, we do not. Being shy does not mean you are “part” Aspie. Being good at math does not mean you are “part” Aspie. Not liking loud noises does not mean you are “part” Aspie. Aspergers is an either/or deal. You either have it, or you do not.
We understand (for the most part) that you are trying to tell us that we are OK in your books, and it’s great that you feel that way. However statements like these trivialise the very real pain that having Aspergers can cause. It can invalidate our experience, and it can be incredibly offensive.
2 – “My sister’s husband’s first wife’s half-brother’s third cousin is really anti-social. Do you think he has Aspergers?”
OK, for starters, I’m not a psychologist/psychiatrist/neurologist/paediatrician.
Also – if you don’t even know their last name, then how am I supposed to even hazard a guess if they have Aspergers?
Chances are the guy is just anti-social. Maybe he does have Aspergers. Unless he is an arse to boot – who cares? Leave the poor dude alone.
3 – “Well, at least you don’t have “severe” Autism.”
I get that if you are a parent of a three year old that continually bangs their head against the wall, and smears their own shit on the walls, then conversing with a reasonably intelligent woman in her 30’s can seem a far cry from what you deal with every day.
Now understand this – I used to be that kid OK? It’s embarrassing as hell, but yes, I used to smear shit all over the walls, and my grandmother still delights in telling people all about it at dinner parties.
I have also tried to kill myself more times than I can bothered to count, and have extensive self-injury scaring.
Now, tell me to my face that my Aspergers has not been “severe”. I dare you.
#1 point – Intellectual disability is not Autism. And it is about time people started recognising the difference.
#2 point – Low functioning does not equate to severe. High functioning does not equate to not severe. You can be not severe, and low functioning (see point one), and you can be high functioning and severe. These terms mean different things and are not interchangeable.
4 – “I can’t tell you have Aspergers” (and every variation of this general theme).
Awesome. I do my best to get along. I do my best to fit in. I do my best to present ‘normal’ to the world.
Again, we understand (for the most part) that you are trying to tell us that we are OK in your books, and that’s great. But it’s still invalidating, and can be incredibly offensive in some situations.
5 – Any comment in regards to whether you believe in the diagnosis, whether you believe that it’s “trendy” or “popular”, whether you believe… well whatever really – unless you are sharing as part of an actual discussion on that particular topic.
Having an actual discussion on these matters is fine, but if you find out I have Aspergers, and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is “oh, I don’t believe in labelling people”, then that is just rude. Learn some manners.
Bonus point – “People with Aspergers do/don’t <insert something specific>…”
I just read that people with Aspergers don’t understand most jokes as they take things literally, and therefore jokes are lies to us. What bollocks. This may be true of some people with Aspergers (more so with children), however some of us may “get” the joke, but simply not find it funny. Some of us may get the joke, AND find it funny. We are all different, just as the rest of the human population is different.
People with Aspergers are literal, yes. However that being literal trait can manifest in many different ways, and can be different for each individual. Also, Autism is a development “delay”, not a developmental “halt”. So while some things may be life-long, others may not.
Note – Sometimes Aspies may not mind you saying these things. After all – we are all different *grin*. This is just a guide and something to think about.