Various Personal Accounts of Living with Asperger Syndrome

The following personal views of Asperger syndrome are taken from a national report on the needs of adults with Asperger syndrome published by Sheffield Hallam University.

Please note that these are personal views and do not necessarily represent our views.

"People need to get over the idea that the neuro-typical way is 'right' and any other way is 'wrong'. The AS way is just as valid - in fact better in some respect. We should be accepted in our own right and the emphasis should be on educating NTs not to be so discriminatory and to get over the absurd and offensive idea that they are better then anyone else. People with AS don't need to be 'cured' or trained as to how to 'pretend' to be normal - it is the 'normal' people who need to learn that, contrary to what they think, they are not the pinnacle of God's creation and that there is in fact a lot they could learn from Aspies. They need to be taught not to be prejudiced and discriminatory and to accept and accommodate us for who we are."

"NTs need to stop thinking they are better than us. They should accept us for who we are instead of only accepting us if we try to be like them and rejecting us and being mean if we make a mistake or get confused or stressed, or just don't always want to socialise."

"Please, please, any NTs out there, learn about the ASD perspective. Don't try to force us to always behave in an NT way- it's exhausting. How would you like it if we forced you to behave like you're autistic all the time?"

"I don't like it when people assume that all AS adults behave the same way and if you are not very obviously autistic then you are a 'mild' case. It's not necessarily true. If it makes me want to kill myself at times there is nothing mild about it. Less affected adults suffer just as much and even more because nobody is going to believe you if you don't flap your hands or make funny noises. It's offensive."

"Perhaps better front line knowledge and awareness of Asperger's Syndrome and autism. When my parents first suggested I might have Asperger's Syndrome, our family GP had never heard of it, not through any fault of his own, but he had never been informed about it. Though understanding is gradually improving, it is still largely 'hit or miss' as to whether GP's and healthcare professionals are aware of it."

" The fact that I am well-spoken, and my condition isn't obvious worked against me being understood, when my behaviour may have been put down to obstinacy, deviancy, pure eccentricity, or by school peers as being 'mental'."

"Find out what AS actually is! Get over the idea that people with AS don't have feelings. Accept that people with AS are not 'inferior' or 'defective' and that we don't need to be 'cured' or 'fixed' or taught how to put on a permanent act to pretend we're normal when we're not. We need to be accepted for who we are, and that means changing and challenging the neuro-typical, not the Aspies!"

" Western culture and the media are much to blame in setting impossible life goals and showing a diversity of cultural responses none of which are appropriate. I fit in with no class or culture particularly well. I do not want to be stigmatised, pitied, despised or feared because of a label, and I fear that is the trend in ASBO land where AS becomes the new schizophrenia in the grimoire of folk devilry."

"I have noticed more in the media about AS lately, not all of it good, i think more positive and accurate representation of people with AS in the media would help, also generally more education beginning at school level about AS and maybe things like TV programs."

"As a public speaker and author on the subject of Asperger's Syndrome, mainly based around my own personal experiences, I strongly believe that the world needs to be taught as much about Asperger's Syndrome by people with the condition, as we experience what it is actually like to live with it. What the world also needs to know is that Asperger's Syndrome is a very individual condition. Every individual with Asperger's Syndrome is different in terms of personality, intelligence, characteristics etc. In this sense, the more public speakers/authors there are on the subject the better. Too often, society tries to encourage people with Asperger's syndrome to 'appear more normal'. If they don't understand the condition, this can be patronising."

Beardon, L and Edmonds, G. (2007). ASPECT Consultancy Report. A national report on the needs of adults with Asperger syndrome. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.

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03 May 2022