I saw this survey on the Autism Speaks website and started wondering: what do those who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder think about the DSM-V’s new label of Social Communication Disorder? Their disorder no longer exists by the name they have come to know.
Many of the individuals that I have known diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder found it very helpful to have the label to explain their difficulties in life. These individuals had previously experienced years of being misdiagnosed with labels such as Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and various Learning Disabilities. They have been given medications for these disorders only to find the medications did nothing but give them a host of side effects.
Once they were given a label that seemed to fit, they felt a sense of relief, and perhaps have even been calling themselves “Aspie” which has a sort of cute connotation to it. There have been some very fun postings online about diagnosing famous inventors, artists, musicians, and scientists as “Aspies,” and it may help people diagnosed with Asperger’s feel they can be capable of anything they put their mind to.
My bet is that they have become a bit attached to the label, but it would be interesting to do a study to see what they actually think. Anyone up for it? Leave a comment here!