This is Part 8 of 10 of My Venture Into Asperger’s. This post is primarily about myths that have grown up around Asperger’s and Autism in general. Since the source is rather long I have edited it somewhat and will for the most part let it stand by itself..
Myth:Asperger’s Syndrome only affects children: Therefore adults can and should grow out of it with time.Many people have a tendency to think that Asperger’s Syndrome only affects children and that adults can and should be capable of growing out of it.
Such thinking has evolved in parallel with the idea that all children with ADHD can be medicated and will eventually grow out of the condition.Similarly, people also presume that adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, should somehow have been cured of it via early intervention therapies and other treatments by the time they reach adulthood.
Such ideas are both erroneous and extremely harmful to adults with Asperger’s Syndrome who struggle daily to attain some small degree of acceptance and understanding for their symptoms.
As it stands, there is no cure for Asperger’s Syndrome because it is neither a disease nor a disorder that people can turn on or off at will or that can be treated and made disappear by the use of medication.
Myth:Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome are attention seeking, cold, aloof, loners, who don’t care about the needs of others.
This is perhaps the most harmful myth of all. It has been said (and sometimes by fairly prominent people within the media) that Asperger’s Syndrome is just an excuse for some people to behave like sociopathic jerks.
This is not true. As with the formerly more well-known form of classic Autism, those with Asperger’s Syndrome do not choose to have this challenging condition.
They are not trying to be deliberately rude by avoiding eye contact, social interactions or loud, unfamiliar environments such as parties or large family gatherings simply as a way of gaining attention.
Part of the problem for those with Asperger syndrome is that personal relationships, including familial relationships, often require them to try and take part in hyper social activities that contain all of the many unwritten rules and social cues, those with Asperger’s Syndrome find so confusing.As a result they will often avoid taking part in such activities.
Yet get a person with Asperger’s Syndrome in a one on one situation, without all of the distractions of a loud or unfamiliar environment, and you will often find that they are very warm, witty and generally caring people. It really is as simple as that….
Another very simple truth is that the vast majority of those with Asperger’s Syndrome desperately want to be liked and accepted by others. They just don’t know how to achieve this because unlike neruo-typicals, those with Asperger’s Syndrome were not born with the same intrinsic toolbox of social understandings and awareness’, that those born without Asperger’s Syndrome take for granted.
Myth: Asperger’s is a dangerous mental illness that makes People more prone to Violence
Asperger’s syndrome is not a mental illness. It is a neurological/developmental disorder. Unlike classic or severe Autism, those with Asperger’s syndrome are often not diagnosed until school age when they’re lack of interaction with peers and the inability to automatically understand social cues begins to mark them out as being in some way different from their peers….
Those with Asperger’s Syndrome are no more prone to violence than the general population. The only crime it appears those diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome are guilty of is that of being somewhat eccentric by exhibiting behaviours that do not fall within the realms of what society considers ‘normal’. Once again these are issues of socialization, not violence.
In conclusion, Asperger’s Syndrome, is considered a “developmental disorder” that a person is born with.
While no one knows exactly what causes Asperger’s Syndrome, what is becoming clear is the fact that the levels of misconception and suspicion that often surrounds adults with Asperger’s Syndrome, make it a tough and lonely disorder to live and deal with on a daily basis for many.
One key way in which we can begin to redress many of the myths and misconceptions that surround the experiences of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome would be to encourage those with the condition to discuss their struggles openly and honestly without all of the leering suspicions that have become so much a part of their daily lives.
For whatever reason I tend to wash my dirty laundry in public here at RJsCorner. That is certainly what I am doing here. But one reason I am doing this is to try to personally understand and get you to understand this condition. I will likely continue to do that even after the 10 posts I have originally dedicated to this topic.