An Aspergic moment is a failure to connect, a failure to communication, a failure to engage. We all have them, lots of them, every day. Often they’re fleeting moments and we correct them by backtracking, changing the subject, adjusting the tone in order to build and maintain our social bonds.
In an idyllic view of conversation and interaction, this is how we play happy families, good friends, and cooperative work relationships. It assumes and requires shared values, shared goals, and mutually agreed social roles. All is warm and fuzzy.
The reality of life is different. We have more problematic interactions where it’s our differences that dominate. The other person or people don’t act or respond as we anticipate. Jokes fall flat. Friendly and conciliatory overtures are ignored or rebuffed. It can feel cold, confusing, unsatisfying. Sometimes we blame ourselves; sometimes we blame others (they are so rude!); sometimes we don’t care; sometimes we learn not to care.
Stories of Asperger’s Syndrome and autism are about children and adults whose lives are dominated by these moments of social discord. They are the babies who don’t respond, the children who are continually inappropriate, and the adults who simply can’t fit in. When most or all attempts at communication result in discord, the child misses the usual opportunities to practice social communicative skills and build relationships. The use of the label as an explanation of the discord is to place the source of the problem firmly within the person with the diagnosis.
Is there really an epidemic of Asperger’s Syndrome? Or is it something else? There is an increase in the diagnosis of a range of diagnoses (Aspergers, autism, ADHD, etc), an increase in the number of children having social difficulties, and an increase in service providers and researchers in the autism field. There could be many explanations for these increases.
That means accepting people’s experiences and feelings but questioning the explanations and solutions provided by the Asperger’s Syndrome Industry. If you doubt that it is an industry, just look around at the number of experts building careers and making a good living out of it, the books published and products sold. There is a lot of money to be made by promoting the theory.
Nobody is denying the isolation or distress suffered by many of those diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and their families. This is not a “there’s no such thing” website. The aim of this site is to move the focus, and therefore the diagnosis, from a problem within individual sufferers, to problems within situations, interactions and institutions.
Articles on this site are not intended for easy reading or to make you feel good. Some may be challenging. The aim is to provide ideas and raise possibilities that may help you find your own answers.