I read a recent article over at The Medium about people, like me, who refuse to give up the Aspie label and be dumped into the ocean wide autism spectrum. Here is a quote from that article. (Click HERE to see the rest)
The Asperger’s class is overwhelmingly white people who have been given enough advantage to turn a profit on what they couldn’t stop themselves from doing any way. They’ve turned Asperger’s into a marketable skill. Our persistence. Our eye for detail. Our facility with numbers and tech and systems analysis. The way we can turn a phrase. These are all marketable skills…
After five years of recognizing my Aspie traits, I am pretty much in the above frame of thought. Yes, my Aspie traits presented challenges especially with the social aspects of my life, but they also provided me with ways to excel in other areas. I became a “database wizard” because of my Aspie traits. I saved the company that I worked thirty years for many times the money that they paid me through salary and pension plans.
When those neurotypical (NT) experts who originally labeled us as Aspies changed their minds they decided to just name us “Autistic”. That new label along with all the negative baggage that it entails seemingly annihilated all the positive aspects of our condition.
I find that I am not the only one to adamantly disagrees with this change. We refuse to let others define us with words that just don’t fit. Here is another quote from the above article in relationship to that:
In that respect, I find those who hold on to the Asperger’s label to be resisters. Refusing to let themselves be defined by the powerful. But also, I see the ableism in that desperate cling to the Asperger’s label. To set ourselves apart, to define ourselves as useful because we all know what happens to people who are not useful.
I kind of like the idea of being labeled a “resister” against those who try to take away recognition of our special talents. So, I, and many others like me, will continue to hold on to the Aspie label, even though the “experts” have among themselves decided to try to erase it from medical history.