By  on Sat, Jan 5, 2013


May 2013, "Asperger's Syndrome" will be removed as a diagnosis from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), leaving "high functioning autism" in its place. I agree with this change. Given the importance of the manual, however, it's caused a lot of consternation and caused me to reflect upon my experiences.
In May 2013, "Asperger's Syndrome" will be removed as a diagnosis from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), leaving "high functioning autism" in its place. I agree with this change. Given the importance of the manual, however, it's caused a lot of consternation and caused me to reflect upon my experiences.
I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in 1998. Expelled from two schools in quick succession—first a private Catholic school in the third grade, then a the local public school in the fourth—I was placed in Northwoods, an approved private school for students with emotional disturbances or autism. Northwoods served the entire county; each district sent a shortbus with a few kids.
I never felt like I had symptoms severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of Asperger's. I have some issues with anxiety and depression, but I can trace these back to my "treatment" at Northwoods.
People with Asperger's are supposed to be "mindblind" - unable to process emotions or sarcasm. They are loners. None of this describes me—I'm a gregarious PhD student with a wide circle of friends who has scored severals jobs and internships through schmoozing at conferences.

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