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AspergersDSMv

So it has been made public that Aspergers Syndrome is no longer a separate diagnosis in the DSM V (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) that is set to be released this May.  Instead the DSM autism group has combined all forms of autism into one general umbrella to try to “better address the needs of everyone on the spectrum.  However, this has brought about a variety of varying opinions.  Some think that it will be easier to diagnose, where as other believe Aspie’s will be left out and/or not want to be compared to the stigma of the opposite end of the spectrum.

The main anxieties relate to how this change will influence clinical practice. One suggestion is that many high-functioning children (that is, children with fewer behavioral difficulties) who would meet criteria for a diagnosis under DSM-IV guidelines, would not qualify for a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder under the criteria set out by DSM-V.

Allen J. Francis, M.D., was the chair of the DSM IV and has not stayed silent on the many heated issues raised in regard to the DSM V.  In his article Will the DSM-5 Reduce Rates of Autism, Francis states that Dr. Catherine Lord (the head of the DSM-5 autism group) “did find that using the new DSM-5 criteria caused about a 10% reduction in ASD diagnoses. That’s a lot of kids who will no longer qualify for the diagnosis and who will not get services. And Dr. Lord’s 10% estimate is almost certainly way too low because two of her study’s three data sets were not really representative of the typical children assessed for ASD. It is a very good bet that her results won’t generalize very accurately to real world settings where a much larger percentage of kids would lose the diagnosis.”

He goes on to reference doctors (Mattila, from Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that have done studies proving that 46-63% of people diagnosed under the DSM-IV would still qualify under the DSM-V.

If you are not familiar with the diagnostic criteria for Aspergers see this link.

http://www.autreat.com/dsm4-aspergers.html  You’ll note the distinguishing criteria is not clinically delayed development of speech. And this is also where you’ll see a divergance between those who write the current DSM diagnostic criteria and those who work with autism and Aspergers as a field of speciality.

The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) in May, 2013 will render the conditions of Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and Non-verbal Learning Disability as historical footnotes-similar to quaint terms like minimal brain dysfunction and hyperkinesis-since these conditions are not to be included in the newest version.

AS, ADHD, NLD, LD and PDD-NOS are all examples of high prevalence, neurologically-based developmental disorders which affect the way the brain processes information. As “hidden disabilities”, these conditions are based on a cluster of observable symptoms due to brain abnormalities, not emotional trauma. It is well-known that many people with these disorders generally have average to superior intelligence and above average verbal ability, yet have significant difficulty with job performance and social interactions

Aspies enjoy the fact that they share common traits with notable historic figures who may have had Asperger’s Syndrome, like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, several American presidents, and artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Beethoven, and Elvis. Many adults with Asperger’s dont want to live with the perceived stigma of being labelled with Autism, particuarly as Simon Baron-Cohen suggests in this article that science hasn’t had a chance to prove whether Autism and Asperger’s are biologically different.

The diagnostic criteria  for Asperger’s has been: lack of eye contact, no delay in speech, difficulty making friends, unusual body posture or stimming, an obsession with one subject, not engaging in interactive play, severe difficulties in adjusting to change (transitioning from one activity or place to another).  However, the criteria for autism under the DSM IV contains all the previously mentioned in acquiring an Asperger’s diagnosis except the person has no speech or delayed speech.

To compare the DSM IV diagnostic criteria click the CDC link http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html.

Other changes proposed by DSM-5 include defining autism spectrum disorders by two sets of core features — impaired social communication and social interactions, and restricted and repetitive behavior and interests. DSM-5 reorganizes the symptoms in these domains and includes those not previously included in DSM-IV, such as sensory interests and aversions.

DSM-5 deliberately added and organized things to try to bring in and better address the needs of people with autism spectrum disorders of all developmental levels and ages — including girls, who were not represented as well as they should be in DSM-IV,” Dr. Lord says.

The DSM V is scheduled to be published in May 2013, and people are eager to find out if insurance companies and school districts will be quick to undiagnosed the high-functioning autistics. I guess time will tell.

 

Anyway, we’d love to know what you think, good or bad. Please leave us a comment below

 

 

 

About by admin

Founder of the Aspergers Test Site and blogger on all things Autism / Aspergers Syndrome related. The website was setup in 2012 to enable a free and effective diagnosis for all.

52 thoughts on “Why Asperger’s Won’t Exist after May 2013
  1. Margotdeepa says:

    I think this decision is made made to save money and reduce services, rather than offering better ways of providing resources for everyone.

    • kathleen says:

      I agree totally.

      • Jayne says:

        I have this and don’t act like the guy in rainman! or temple!! This is ridiculous, it is a branch off of full blown autism.2 different problems, now I know the doctors have no idea what they are talking about.

    • Nellie says:

      I totally agree, I have been diagnosed with Asberger’s, after May 2013, yes, Asberger’s! My psychologist calls it Asberger’s, while acknowledging the diagnostic name change, but calling it Asberger’s is easier to explain than Autism mild range, or whatever they’re calling it now! Many people have heard of Asberger’s now, it’s just too confusing to change it suddenly!

  2. John Woodgate says:

    Your message is rather alarmist. The DSM is an American publication, and doesn’t apply in Britain. In any case, DSM-IV was controversial and DSM-V has attracted fierce criticism on many grounds.

    I suppose some medics may apply DSM-V in this country, but they don’t have to and you can lead a camplaign to discredit it. You will surely find a lot of crticism of it from qualified American medics on the Web, but I can’t give you any URLs.

  3. Joe says:

    This bothers me. There are going to be a lot of higher functioning kids that are going to no longer qualify for government assisted programming. They are no longer going to have a diagnosis for what they have. Rather they like it or not, they’ll going to lose that part of their identity. Some of them will harbor furious resentment towards everyone who had previously misinformed them of their neurological condition. All that some of those kids have is these programs, REGARDLESS of the severity of their Aspergers or Autism. I know a lot of kids who have come a long way, and just because they don’t act out as much as some kids, they’re going to possibly lose their treatment options. We give out free abortions in this country, and we may not be able to take care of these kids anymore? It isn’t right.

  4. Keely says:

    My son is currently going through all the assessments for a formal diagnosis of Aspergers so this definitely has my attention. He is 7 yrs old and I have watched him struggle for last three years since he had been in school because he is so”high functioning” I couldn’t get anyone to acknowledge the “quirks” about him and his behavior. But through my own research I came across Aspergers and I didn’t just find answers for him… I felt like my whole life suddenly fell into place! I’m 29yrs old and I have struggled socially and emotionally my entire life, but I was a straight A student, labeled as shy and clumsy and my anxiety was me being dramatic, my depression was either overlooked completely or was labeled as “self pity”. I have never been able to cope in a relationship and my job history is already a mile long because that is greatly effected too. I am incredibly thankful for this site and the test you offer…. I scored a 36! I just hope that we don’t get stopped as soon as we get on the right track.

  5. Michaela Eccles says:

    Love the Video it inspires me to fight back against all the nurotypicals who think they know best, but do not have the brain to really understand what being Aspergers really means.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Keely’s story is mine. My sister has profound Asperger’s syndrome, but I’ve realized I have high functioning ASD. My son is also in process of diagnosis- very high functioning but still has major sensory issues and doesn’t tolerate change. He’s blazing smart and flunking fifth grade. I struggled to get him help because of his high IQ and functioning. When the changes happen, he will finally fall into the crevasse. I’m scared for my son. Know I had nonverbal disorder and no diagnosis and I suffered my whole life with no help. Now, so will my son.

  7. Tammi says:

    It isn’t like our knowledge and experience of Aspergers can be taken away by someone publishing a book. We know what it is, how to recognize it, and there are so many people/professionals out there who know how to help and genuinely want to. Change is obviously hard for us, but we can get through this and make the best of it. We can be advocates for our children and future generations. The power is in knowing. Who cares what it is called ultimately? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And who cares what anyone else thinks? We know who we are and are still responsible for our own lives and outcomes.

  8. Karla says:

    This is disheartening on so many levels but by the same token it is supremely interesting. On one hand it takes us back to the 1970’s when a bright little girl failed all of her classes but art, reading & writing, while struggling socially due to the quirkiness of her nature, all the while unable to garner a diagnosis because of the backwardness of the medical community. On the other hand it gives us something to once again fight for & really, isn’t that a perfect position for us? We on the spectrum focus like no others…. we are articulate & intelligent & this has the capacity to affect us profoundly. John is accurate in his appraisal ….. there will be those in the medical community that say, ‘poppycock’ & continue on diagnosing in a manner that is fair & helpful, but I do believe there could be something far more sinister afoot. Based on experience I have a huge distain & extreme distrust of big government & big pharma & any time they venture to make such a dramatic decision it begs the question, “why?”. I challenge everyone in this thread to read up on this & find ways to fight it. I for one refuse to be labeled autistic when it is far more comolex than that. I would be curious to see what Ms. Grandin has to say regarding this.

    • jod falconbridge says:

      We are Indigo Children search out what this means and you may find the enlightenment you are seeking, we are highly spiritual, we are creative, artistic and musically gifted. There isn’t any test to measure your Spiritual Quotient. And most people in the field of science and medicine are atheists, they reject the concept of the Indigo Child so they are missing the most important piece of the puzzle.

  9. Jen McNicol says:

    I have to agree with John that this report, while valid and worrying for individuals in the US, does not apply globally. In Eurpoe the ICD-10 framework is most often used to guide the diagnostic process for ASDs. ICD-10 does refer to AS as a distinct category from Autism and according to reports, there are no plans to eliminate the Aspergers classification in the ICD-11 revision.

  10. Neko says:

    I have no certainty of being an Aspie, though all online tests and the criteria mentioned everywhere seem to match almost perfectly. I never went for an official diagnosis, because the stigma would seriously impede any chance for a job or a life – here (not USA but doctors slavenly follow whatever happens over there), any form of disability automatically means your job chances decline severely, no employer wants to make an effort or take a chance. And it is pathetically simple for an employer to get hold of your medical history.
    But I remain curious to the exact nature of the ‘fault’ in my brain.
    From your article however, I have to conclude DSM-V will mean I almost certainly will never go in for diagnosis. Far to risky. And I have to agree with some other replies here: this was not for the benefit of the people involved, but to save money and be able to reduce or kill services.

    • jod falconbridge says:

      Sounds like this is how the system decides who will succeed and who won’t. Bastards. And you are not autistic you are Indigo Child.. look it up online. There is nothing wrong with your brain. We are highly evolved people. We are intelligent, artistic, creative, kind caring empathetic individuals. And we will take over this world and make it a better world to live in!

  11. Sigrid says:

    Couldn’t someone start a petition or something? This could ruin the education and future of a lot of people.

    • Elizabeth Dabenett says:

      I agree. We should start a petition. I bet you anything that most of the people with aspergers will not want this to happen.

  12. Kate Entwistle says:

    Still waiting for my child’s diagnosis. Going to panel next month to see if there is sufficient reason. Living with her tells me there is. If Aspergers is not going to be recognised I doubt she will ever be acknowledged. Sge dies not tick all boxes – surprising as she is an individual!

  13. DD says:

    Perhaps, Asperger’s Syndrome should not be categorized under the “umbrella” of Autism. Perhaps it really is not Autism at all, but a definitive syndrome all it’s own with completely different causes, etc. If it is in a completely different category of it’s own, then it can not be lumped under the generalities of other conditions, disorders or syndromes. Those that believe so, should work to separate this from Autism, which I do not believe is the same condition.

  14. Scott says:

    This is enraging!!! Many high functioning Aspies are going to be overlooked. The DSM is taking away the awareness of their condition. As a result, they will be abused for years and not even know why. I went through this for decades because they weren’t aware of Asperger’s in the 1970s.

  15. Scott says:

    I have to add a second comment, however. I want to be labelled Autistic, not Asperger’s. Low functioning and high functioning people can learn from each other.

    High functioning people can teach the autistic community we are unique, no matter how normal we may look. Low functioning autistic people can teach us about the painful impact of not being able to verbalize our feelings. Everyone in the autistic community needs each other.

  16. Elizabeth Dabenett says:

    I don’t want to be seen as autistic when Im aspergic. People overlook my condition as it is. If people don’t understand that i have to be treated differently than someone with autism. How am i ever going to be understood?! Also surely it should be up to the people with actual condition themselves?! This is extreamly inconsiderate.

  17. mom of 3 says:

    At the age of 40 I watched a story about a guy who found out that all his quriks were manageable. His story is my story. I found your site and both my husband and I took your test. My husband was clearly not but me low 90 percent. These emails that I get monthy make me feel human. I currently don’t have health insurance so I can’t afford to get real proof that I have it, but every thing matches my quirks. Please find away to stay up and running. People like me need you.

    • Hi, “Mom of 3″:
      I am unemployed in CA and have had to pay premiums for my health care since last year in February so that I can keep my own doctors and social worker, who diagnosed me with Asperger’s syndrome this October. Will your residential area offer health reform in 2014? You may look into the health insurance plans since universal health care is now the law in 2014.

  18. Chandra Hodge says:

    I don’t know what this is going to mean for my daughter. She is four years old, we just recently got the diagnosis of Aspergers back in Oct. She is high functioning. Most people wouldn’t even guess that she has Aspergers. The more that you are around her, the more that you see it. It took her preschool teacher a few months to see it herself, and now she says she my daughter has it without a doubt. I don’t know what I am going to do, if she loses her diagnosis. I can’t afford the services that she gets. She is in OT for sensory issues. Currently, I am working on getting her into behavioral therapy as well. My daughter is very smart and is very high functioning, but she needs the help now; in order to be a better functioning adult later.

    • Mary Elizabeth VonDras says:

      I am not 100% certain, but I believe that individuals who receive an Aspergers diagnosis before the new DSM takes effect will retain a dual diagnosis; the label will change to high functioning autism.

      The problem is that those who don’t already have a diagnosis may find that the new criteria may exclude people, or consider more people to be in the “borderline to ineligible” to receive services category.

      My son has not yet been formally diagnosed and might fall into that limbo, as he is very communicative with adults, but becomes mute around kids his age. he already has an IEP, but it was issued under an “early childhood” program. I have heard others note that high performing children are less likely to have their IEPs renewed in the elementary school category, probably due to budget politics moreso than need. We may have to play it safe and seek a formal diagnosis before May.

  19. Marha says:

    I think that is a bad choice to classify Aspies as people with other autistic disorders, because althought the condition varies within Aspies, is not the same condition as an Autistic person, behavior is different, their difficulties are different and it has always been seen as that because it is exactly how it is

  20. Kate says:

    This is very disappointing news. This kicks Aspergers into the long grass and will mean that anyone with it who wants to be diagnosed will have to be labeled with a psychiatric illness in order to receive any treatment or services. I am of the opinion that all ASD’s are due to inborn genetic polymorphisms that lead to a catalog of problems including, but not limited to, metabolic disorders. It rankles that the psychiatric community has been given such a free hand to diagnose and offer treatment for ASD -most treatment of which includes psychiatric medications. There is very little in the literature available to the public regards nutritional therapy and genetic testing for this spectrum of disorders, and that’s a political problem because there is no money to be made by various branches of the psychiatry and pharmaceutical industries if nutritional therapy and genetic testing becomes the norm.
    Regards Jen McNicol’s comment above about the ICD-10 and 11 being used in Europe: despite their obligation as a member nation of the WHO to follow treatment guidelines for some illnesses (CFS and ME, for example), the NHS in the UK does not always follow treatment guidelines set out in the ICD for all illnesses and disorders; rather, they cherry-pick treatments or substitute their own based on costs and availability. Specifically, regards Aspergers, there is no test for it in the UK, no diagnostic centers or tools, so nearly all Aspies go undiagnosed; patients may have the option to ask their GP for an assessment, but that is done by the mental health community -again, with mental health stigma attached. Did I mention just how annoying this is to me?
    However, having said all of that, this new research from Mass General that several mental health conditions have genetic origins is very interesting, and may mean that the DSM will get a lot thinner as time goes on. We can only hope.
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2013/five-major-mental-disorders-share-genetic-roots.shtml

    • jen says:

      there clearly is a test in th uk as i am a resident in the uk who has been diagnosed with asperger for oiver 10 years and there was obviously a test.

  21. david j. longenhagen says:

    I have just been diagnosed, not 4 weeks ago. I am 55 years old, and have struggled my entire life, always thinking that “why do I have to always get stuck with people who cant understand what I am saying”. now I find that it was me, that I am somewhat different(an understatement) I scored a 34 on the online test, and did not require many visits to see that I was what I was.

    • kathleen says:

      Hi, I’m 63 and scored 40 . . I cannot begin to describe how my life has gone! You wouldn’t believe it.
      My father, brother, daughter and one son are similar but with different talents. Brilliant talents.
      This newsletter has been very helpful.
      I have essentially lived socially alone, I understand myself and my coping skills work, but others do not understand.
      Through school college jobs and so on nothing worked. I finally ran a small business and worked alone it was the only way to get by financially . . work for myself.
      I liked to find there are others with lives like mine. I found the term Asperger’s Syndrome by accident, I found myself.

      • Susan Conner says:

        I wish we olders could get together to share and just be together. I am “self-diagnosis” too, and very little chance of getting formal diagnosis or help – no one wants to work with 65 year old.

  22. Leo says:

    If government services don’t help people like me, humanity may be extinct. Many famous people have Asperger’s Syndrome and I would like a campaign. Please tell the government not to do this!

  23. Allan says:

    Neurotypicals sometimes thrive and sometimes don’t. Those that don’t are labelled as lazy or un-talented. Aspies that don’t thrive will be more likely to get those labels under DSMV than DSMIV.

  24. Whether or not Asperger’s exist, many adults have grown up with it, and will continue to search for help with Asperger’s. We for one will continue using the name and services with our support of helping adults on the spectrum.

    See our project here: Autism / Asperger’s – Social Skills Help

  25. irene zapata says:

    …o los llamamos (convocamos) a todos…(los que hay en el mundo) x medio de test gratuitos y hacemos grande la petición o los sanamos a todos los que podamos con QUelación de metales (mercurio), desparacitación humana y luego, nutrición adecuada para autismo, denuncia de alimentos y ambientes contaminados, etc. Pero un Asperger no se deja vencer…los he visto vencer el miedo y cruzar el mundo, aun cuando sus padres los despreciaban.

  26. Susan Conner says:

    I’m 65, just recognising myself as probably Aspergers after a lifetime of struggles to make sense of myself and a fortune spent on useless psychotherapy. Anxiety has made many characteristics more complicated; I have compensated or overcome others. Nothing about me suggests autism and even Aspergers is not a clear objective diagnosis. With help, I could contribute productively another 30 years. Without help, I am getting more disabled. Therapists who work with any autism spectrum clients shy away from one my age. I feel very helpless and hopeless right now.

  27. Jack says:

    Like many of the others who have commented on here, I believe that this decision is motivated by a desire to cut costs…for governments and for medical insurers. The sad reality is that if you help kids with Aspergers, you give them a chance at a normal life. If you don’t, they turn into people like me: spending more than half our lives in a state of perpetual anxiety and depression, becoming more apathetic and withdrawn with each passing year.

  28. Nikola Matulewicz Evans says:

    Has anyone actually started a petition? Im going on causes, and if I dont see one I will start one. This IS worrying, and yes, I heard a radio programme saying that ADHD and such are tosh and overdiagnosed…that is totally backwards to where we have come to in terms of awareness about ASDs.
    This week Im going to an information event about the Green paper, the UK version of the reforms for Special needs in healthcare. It reckons to be a more all-encompassing and improved system of diagnosis..we shall see. Aspergers is still mentioned in the UK, indeed I was in a discussion with a consulatant last week about a diagnosis. So I guess it will be down to how good your health care proffessional is as to how the DSM 5 goes.

  29. Khy says:

    So I suppose next there will be just blind and no one who is visually impared, deaf but not hard of hearing. Honestly this upsets me. I have Asperger’s but I am not as incapable of functioning as those poor souls on the other end of the spectrum. However, the other end isn’t required to intigrate, have a job and pay the mortgage and I am. The MBA’s not the MD’s made this decision.

  30. SL says:

    This is discussing!!! Just Another way the governments trying to save money, it’s wrong! It should be stopped! where are our human Rights???and are children’s??
    My child has Aspergers and i know we’re very lucky he hasn’t serve autism but everyone should be Helped all ends of the spectrum, ! I know without it, my child will infact suffer! It’s not fair let alone not right!

  31. Redwood Patty says:

    Has anyone any idea on how this change has affected services to date? I’m totally disgusted by this, as I’ve recently been given reason to believe that my husband has Aspergers. He was diagnosed by the doctor last year as having ADD, and given Adderall, which also concerns me, because even though he is able to work better, his actions – or lack of them – has reached a level where it is affecting our marriage.
    Is there a forum for this?

  32. Norman says:

    I don’t get it. I’m autistic now? My best friend and I are both Aspergian. We frown upon being called Autistic. We aren’t as high functioning in that we shy away from others but we are so intelligent that her mom says she learns something new whenever we hold a conversation. I have written over 100 stories, each holding a character with Aspergers. I agree that they are different diagnoses.

  33. Norman says:

    I work one on on with my teacher. I do well in school because of this. I am learning to analyze my emotions with color, as I also have Synesthesia. But I took the Aspergers test and got a 46. I’m 14. What does thus mean for me?

    • Eliseo says:

      Norman,

      Like so many others on this site, you are part of a unique subset of the world’s population whose minds are wired a little differently, and therefore share a very different perspective of the world and how we perceive it.

      All I can say is embrace your gifts and talents, embrace your unique perspective and stand tall…

      If I had known of Asperger’s when I was your age I probably would be in a different position. I admire you for looking into it at an early age as you have a full life ahead of you to look into the possibility of having Asperger’s.

      I’m 37 now, and looking forward to a future diagnosis of it. It will explain a lot of things about who I was and who I am now.

  34. Chris says:

    Recently found the answer (scored 38) but am I autistic or an aspie. The test I took was for Aspergers not autism so I’m an aspie after all I didn’t pass my driving test to fly a plane! So although we all appear on the spectrum we all have very different needs and so should be treated such.

  35. In October 2013, I have been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome, or high functioning austism. With high intelligence but limited social and job skills, I have then applied to the CA Dept. of Rehab (DOR) for vocational assessment that will help me get back into the clerical office workforce as I am still too young to retire in my late fifties. I will get paid internship training with basic clerical office experience to review my skills and strengths. I do have many personal and aquaintance friends but only basic working skills. Unfortunately, the regular labor market cannot accommodate my skills to move me off the unemployment situation of nearly two years, but the State of CA examination after the 36-hour DOR work assessment will help me find suitable work that I need to earn for another 7-8 years.

  36. CA Dept. of Rehab referred me to a paid job internship employment agency for people with disabilities called Caminar Jobs Plus in San Mateo, CA to obtain office accurate functional assessment that will determine what job a coach will refer me to. PV

  37. Even seniors may find helpful and “club” websites to help with their disabilities. No one will be left isolated.

  38. Dr Dan Webb says:

    My wife and I recently realised that I posess most of the features of Aspergers and when I undertook the online test I scored 43. In comparison my wife scored 6.
    I have been referred for assessment and we are under no doubt that I have Asperger’s. I am 42 and have always known I have been different from everyone else. I am relieved to finally find some sense in my ‘madness’.

  39. Semira says:

    I am 11 and I scored a 45 on the test. I am almost certain that I have Aspergers and others have noticed my ‘weirdness’ and made me feel bad at times. I am also glad to have a reason for my straight A’s yet a lack of understanding the ‘simplest’ of social rules.

  40. Tim says:

    I think I am an Asperger because this weekend on the AQ I tested a 32 (clinically autistic) and 18 on the EQ. The SQ was also low.
    That being said, I have had to overcome deficiencies and compensate my whole life and I truly believe an Aspie can get help to appear completely normal. He just has to fill in the gaps and learn that the necessary evils like talking fluff are essential as a springboard to getting to meaningful talk.
    I work as a public school teacher and politics have been brutal to me. I am a survivor and make
    any necessary adjustment to go on, because I love teaching and no one is going to cast me out of
    my God-given talent. I have been pushed over the edge mentally and emotionally because administration
    who doesn’t understand me comes armed to the teeth with head of district HR and a district lawyer.
    My teacher’s union lawyer defended me, helped me prove all their accusations were baseless and without a shred of hard evidence. I even fought with them over state benefits and won. It was so bad, my wife
    tried to steer me away from teaching so she wouldn’t watch me suffer more in that arena.
    I am a certified bilingual teacher who still gets the run around from administration ( a different district), and I think I just found a possible tool to “appear normal.”
    Look up http://www.thegreatcourses.com
    Select the course “How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication” and go over it with a fine tooth comb continuously, and practice it religiously to milk its tips for all its worth. If that isn’t enough, then purchase the course “Effective Communication Skills.” It will cost you a little, but is much cheaper than therapy.
    Finally, acquire (if necessary) “Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, work, and beyond.”
    I always strive to overcome deficiencies and use a powerful teaching tool. Reflection. Spend 10-15 minutes daily reflecting on daily communication (journaling as well if necessary). If necessary I debrief with a “normal person” on what social cues I missed or misread and acted or didn’t act accordingly.
    I am proud to be who I am and do not want to be “normal.” After all, no one is normal. Its just that some deficiencies are more acceptable than others.
    My goal (and I think I will achieve it) is to appear normal and no one will ever pick up the fact that I have Asperger.

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