Asperger's Syndrome is usually coupled with a high IQ. When mine was tested, back when I was seven, it was 140. I was immediately put into gifted classes and have been treated as such my whole life.
Around two months after I came to realize I had Asperger's (a story for another day), I came out on a blog I'd been on for the better part of eight years. I talked about not being able to find a doctor to get a clinical diagnosis. Rather than support, I was attacked very opening and very heavily. Here's a sampling of the responses I got:
- "Maybe you should meet some people who really suffer from Autism, as well as their families and then maybe you will understand the disrespect that you are showing by continuing this mockery."
- "My only conclusion from this and your job history is that all you want is an excuse, other than yourself, for all the jobs that you have lost. Well Autism would fit the bill… if only you actually had it."
- "It is absolutely insulting that you would lie about having Aspergers Syndrome. It is insulting to those of us trying to offer you advice and insulting to the community of people who are affected in their daily lives by Autism and Aspergers."
- "It seems, and I am not the only one who thinks so, that you are now using aspergers syndrome as yet another way for you to NOT have to take responsibility for your own actions."
- "The reason this issue is so important is that Aspergers is a complicated disorder and you are mocking it with your "Aspie Power" cheer. I think that is wrong when there are people who genuinely suffer from it."
- "...someday he'll be friendless and alone because nobody will want to be around him anymore."
- "By claiming to be autistic without a doctor's diagnosis, you're spitting in the face of all the little autistic kids that already have one."
There were many more, but you get the idea.
I lost a lot of friends who thought I was looking for an excuse. They thought it was impossible for me to be gifted and have a mental handicap.
When this first went down, it was VERY difficult for me to deal with. Seeing friends you've had for almost a decade turning on you isn't easy for anyone. As of my diagnosis, I now understand that I was right from the beginning and these people were either manipulating me or just plain jerks.
I know I'll never escape this level of discrimination, but at least I feel vindicated over one of the most extreme cases I'm ever likely to go through.