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Comment Re:This is not good! (Score 1) 431

The real Aspie... lacks the capacity to know he doesn't fit in. That's what makes him an Aspie.

Wide of the mark. What can identify someone as an Aspie is that he lacks the capacity to perceive social signals. Just as a blind person may be aware that he cannot see, but cannot be aware of what he isn't seeing, an Aspie can be aware he doesn't fit in, but lack the ability to perceive just what about him is upsetting others, or how upset they are.

I would advise you to be especially wary of drawing generalized conclusions based upon one annecdotal experience. What may distinguish your friend in your mind is the intensity of his disability, rather than his particular symptoms. But to a trained diagnostician, what distinguishes the Aspie is the particular cluster of symptoms that are characteristic of AS, and of no other kind of social awkwardness.

For example, someone with a social phobia, or PDP NOS will exhibit inability to interact normally with others, but will not display echolalic behaviour, or perserverations, or be unable to recognize faces.

As for what defines someone as an Aspie, we don't know. I don't know, and you don't know either. Until the cause, or causes, and the mechanism, of the phenomenon is understood, all the term can really mean is "We notice that there are a bunch of people who seem to share these traits. It's common enough to remark upon, and to give a name to."

As for just how impaired they are, that's another question. To go back to my example, everyone can see that someone with dark glasses and a white cane is visually impaired. But that doesn't mean that someone with uncorrectible astigmatism is just fine and can learn to see like everyone else. Or that someone with 20/600 vision doesn't need glasses.

Asperger's, like every other disorder, can occur to degrees. And since everyone likes to understand themselves, people can occasionally find it useful to figure out if they display this neurological phenomenon, even if they are not impaired enough to even bother seeking out a diagnosis.

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