All the time we see in the media the patronization of people with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized by struggles with social interactions and nonverbal communications, and by having narrow interests in a subject that the person likes. Asperger’s Syndrome is classified as an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but many people still call it Asperger’s Syndrome. Many great people have — or have been speculated to have — Asperger’s Syndrome. Examples are Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Al Gore, Vice President of the United States under Bill Clinton, Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Susan Boyle, Dan Aykroyd, George Washington, and many others. Some of these have been diagnosed and some are only speculated to have had it. It’s interesting to find out that Albert Einstein had such severe ADD that his wife had to lay out his clothing for him everyday. It bothers me that people patronize people with Asperger’s Syndrome, because I have it. We have a lot to offer the world. We think outside the box in many ways, especially in terms of our “special interests.” Nowadays we are in an age of logic and scientific and technological innovation; typically people with Asperger’s Syndrome are interested in science and technology.
The problem with the stigma about Asperger’s is that some in the news media have speculated about people who have committed mass murders. While a few have done this, it’s not the entire Asperger’s community. The vast majority of people with Asperger’s Syndrome are safe and fun to be around. When people in positions of influence on the masses are misguided on the subject, it can be difficult to hear things — they can be so negative. I know in some families talking about Asperger’s Syndrome (and other conditions) is “taboo,” but I’ve found it doesn’t need to be. If you have a support system around you, and have family and friends who understand you have the condition and accept you, you’re off! I wish the news media and people in positions of power, like Autism Speaks, would be more careful about what they say about Asperger’s Syndrome. They should be well-rounded on the subjects they talk about. We are NOT bad people, we are NOT dangerous, we are NOT a threat to our communities. We are a force for change in the world. As long as you accept us, we’ll love you and befriend you, and keep you close to our hearts.