Asperger Syndrome Follow-up

Below is some additional information regarding Asperger Syndrome. I think that the key points to take away from the following information is to be careful with one dimensional self-diagnosis tests and that false positives may be generated on numerous factors.

Quoted from Wikipedia : Link Here

“A Wired magazine article called “The Geek Syndrome” suggested that Asperger syndrome is more common in the Silicon Valley, a haven for computer scientists and mathematicians. It created an enduring notion popularized in the media and self-help books that “Geek Syndrome” equals Asperger syndrome and precipitated a rash of self-diagnoses in part because it was printed alongside Simon Baron-Cohen’s 50-question Autism Spectrum Quotient Test. Like some people with Asperger syndrome, geeks may exhibit an extreme professional or casual interest in computers, science, engineering, and related fields and may be introverted or prioritize work over other aspects of life. However, no determination has yet been made of whether the “Geek Syndrome” personality type has a direct relation to autism or is simply a “variant normal” type that is not part of the autistic spectrum.

In addition, there is a controversial theory regarding science fiction fandom arguing that many of the distinctive traits of that subculture may be explained by the conjecture that a significant portion thereof has Asperger syndrome. Dr. Tony Attwood once speculated, not entirely in jest, that “Star Trek conventions are secret reunions for people with Asperger’s Syndrome.” [1]. However, the argument can be made that classifying Star Trek fans as Aspies may be challengable as cultural prejudice.

Regardless, societal acceptance of Asperger or Asperger-like traits is still rare, as many people in the autistic spectrum will confirm.”

On Self Testing:

“The obvious reason to seek a professional diagnosis would be because you need help from society. Society will probably never accept self-identification as a basis for support. However, even in this case self-identification can serve as a screening tool, i.e. an indication of the likelihood of a professional diagnosis.

Many people self-identified as having AS are not really interested in a professional diagnosis or government help, as they function fairly well despite (or, as some would argue, because of) their autistic characteristics. They use these self-identification tools mostly out of curiosity or as a way to reinforce their identity and self-understanding.

A significant problem of these self-identification checklists is that they are one-dimensional. That is, the subject ends up with a catch-all evaluation score that is either above or below a threashold. People with ADHD or OCD, for example, could easily end up with a high self-evaluation score for Asperger’s. A more accurate evaluation would involve independetly looking at the 3 main characteristics of autism spectrum disorder.”

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Asperger’s self-identification Wikipedia article and the Asperger syndrome Wikipedia article.

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