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Should science cure Asperger's Syndrome?

Unlike, say, homosexuality, Asperger's is a developmental disorder. These patients require a lot of intervention, which is expensive, and having this disorder is another life struggle.

Soon science will be able to identify the genes that contribute to the development of spectrum disorders. But some Aspies fear fetuses with Asperger's will be aborted simply for that reason. They also argue their lives are just fine, thank you. They say they're different; not disordered. But Aspies don't understand how frustrating they are to the rest of us because they have the disorder. I say parents should be able to selectively abort.

by Anonymousreply 7704/27/2015

it's fake

by Anonymousreply 111/14/2012

If they cure it, we won't have any more "Big Bang Theory."

by Anonymousreply 211/14/2012

I don't think "curing" and killing are the same thing. Cure, to me, implies a treatment not an extinction.

by Anonymousreply 311/14/2012

But what would we do without our Sherlock Holmes?

by Anonymousreply 511/14/2012

Tesla was an Aspie.

by Anonymousreply 711/14/2012

You can't diagnose Asperger's thru a brainscan etc. You can only assess for it. My therapist referred me, and I score 5 points over the baseline.

Now I am pissed at how my mother "punished" me for not living up to her standard of social skills. And at my sister for "setting me up" for embarrassments.

But I don't define myself my that way and never will. And I don't advertise it.

It does however give me some comfort that it explains some things.

by Anonymousreply 811/14/2012

For one thing, the term "Asperger's Syndrome" is itself considered out of date at this point, as it isn't distinguishable from high-functioning autism. And autism spectrum disorder may not be a binary yes-you-have-it or no-you-don't genetic condition so much as an epigenetic one.

[quote]Epigenetic processes [are] chemical reactions tied to neither nature nor nurture but representing what researchers have called a "third component." These reactions influence how our genetic code is expressed: how each gene is strengthened or weakened, even turned on or off, to build our bones, brains, and all the other parts of our bodies.

[quote]If you think of our DNA as an immense piano keyboard and our genes as keys—each key symbolizing a segment of DNA responsible for a particular note, or trait, and all the keys combining to make us who we are—then epigenetic processes determine when and how each key can be struck, changing the tune being played.

[quote]One way the study of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of biology is by revealing a mechanism by which the environment directly impacts genes. Studies of animals, for example, have shown that when a rat experiences stress during pregnancy, it can cause epigenetic changes in a fetus that lead to behavioral problems as the rodent grows up. Other epige­netic changes appear to occur randomly—throwing a monkey wrench into the engine of nature versus nurture. Still other epigenetic processes are normal, such as those that guide embryonic cells as they become heart, brain, or liver cells, for example.

[quote]"During pregnancy, many changes must occur as cells commit to and become progressively specialized tissues, and we know that process involves a cascade of epigenetic programs," says Andrew Feinberg, director of the Center for Epigenetics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

[quote]Feinberg's study focuses on a particular epigenetic process called DNA methylation, which is known to make the expression of genes weaker or stronger. To better understand how it relates to autism, Feinberg and his team are using scanners and computers to search samples of DNA from autistic twins for epigenetic "tags," places along the genome where methylation changes the pattern of gene expression.

[quote]The goal of the study, still in progress, is to determine whether individuals with severe autism have different methylation profiles than other people. Despite sharing the same keyboard, their bodies [may be] playing different tunes.

[quote]Scientists are only beginning to understand how epige­netic processes relate to complex disorders like autism. The good news is that some of these processes, unlike our DNA sequences, can be altered. Genes muted by methylation, for example, sometimes can be switched back on again relatively easily. And though it may not happen soon, the hope is that someday epigenetic mistakes will be as simple to repair as a piano that's out of tune.

by Anonymousreply 911/14/2012

I was diagnosed with it at 40 and since I have none of those Aspie related super skills some with the condition seem to possess I'd want to be cured.

by Anonymousreply 1011/15/2012

It's hard to cure something that is basically an excuse for bad behaviour.

by Anonymousreply 1111/16/2012

I dated an aspie & he was a genius level scientist. He was also almost incapable of using the phone, sustaining communication , and relating to any emotional issues. If you get rid of Aspergers you would get rid of some of the greatest geniuses the world has produced. I really liked the guy I dated, but it was impossible to have a relationship of any depth with him.

by Anonymousreply 1211/16/2012

People who say Aspergers is fake are incredibly ignorant.

by Anonymousreply 1311/16/2012

R13, if a person is "incredibly ignorant," does that mean they're not really ignorant?

Or are you just illustrating what such ignorance looks like by embodying it?


by Anonymousreply 1411/16/2012

Incredibly is a synonym for astonishing dickweed

by Anonymousreply 1511/16/2012

No, absolutely not, and no fucking way to the OP's repugnant proposal. Eugenics are not a solution.

by Anonymousreply 1611/16/2012

A friend and I had sons of the same age who were in the same preschool program for language delays. When the boys were in elementary school being horribly bullied, behaving differently from other kids, being loving,having great senses of humor, obviously very intelligent children, she said to me, "If there were a way to make this go away, I wouldn't change him. I love him the way that he is." We later found out that both boys have Aspergers. It is a difference in brain organization that takes place early in fetal development. Our sons had it rough in school, but college is different. My son has friends and has had girlfriends, makes many social mistakes, is doing very well in school, plays Dungeon and Dragons, and is very happy. I think my friend was right: even though he has not had an easy time of it, I wouldn't change him.

by Anonymousreply 1711/16/2012

Inconvenient to the rest of you? We are not obliged to "convenience" anyone. Life is made in the divine image. You people have no right to decide who lives or who dies. Abortion, when it is not needed to save the woman's life, is murder period. I don't give a flying crap about your convenience, you coward who had to post anonymously and hide behind a keyboard.

by Anonymousreply 1802/18/2015

Asperger's sydrome is this century's ADHD. It may apply to a small number of kids, but more and more they're applying it to normal kids to excuse their bad behavior. I'm waiting for them to come up with a magic pill like they did Ritalin and Adderall to soothe the savage beats into obedient little brats.

by Anonymousreply 2002/18/2015

If you completely eliminated all Asperger's, who the fuck would be left to program our computers?

by Anonymousreply 2102/18/2015

aspies are mean and insufferable

by Anonymousreply 2202/18/2015

My friend has ASD and while I am glad he is in my life and while he makes his contribution - he can't work but raises money for charities obsessively through various sponsored activities - he is not the 'aspie Saint' the aspie industry likes to push as the norm.

Yes, he is naive and scrupulously honest. But those traits can result in really appalling behavior and attitudes. He has made a widow cry at her husband's funeral, gets very loud and agitated if you disagree with him on anything, e.g. No, thanks I won't take another piece of bread; WHAT? Come on. It's good. Have it; No, I really don't want more; Why? etc until you give in or he nearly explodes with his inability to understand the preference of another person if it differs from his own.

So, aspies have good points but can be exhausting and upsetting if you don't understand, and accept, how narrow and rigid their perceptions are.

by Anonymousreply 2302/18/2015

I might have someone with Asperger's in one of the college courses I'm teaching (film studies). As a professor, it's a huge courtesy if the student can come and talk to me and let me know so I can do a better job of accommodating them and understanding behavior in the classroom without attempting to diagnose them myself, which is a farce because I'm not remotely.

Instead, he is constantly muttering critical comments while sitting about two feet away from the front of the classroom. We're 3/4 through winter quarter and today was the day I asked him to please stop doing that because it's disrespectful to classmates talking and people trying to listen when I teach (plus it distracts the hell out of me).

A simple accommodation form in the first week would make things run better, especially for him, and things could be handled earlier than this. Having to guess and armchair analyze feels really unfair to him. He does great work and is incredibly smart, but the bitching about classmates under his breath and audibly is just a no-go.

by Anonymousreply 2402/18/2015

That should read "not remotely qualified" at the end of the first paragraph.

My apologies.

by Anonymousreply 2502/18/2015

I too taught film studies and the difficulty my ASD students had was in interpreting character motivations and relationships between characters onscreen, other than at the most very basic level. They were very interested in editing and shot scales and use of color.

by Anonymousreply 2602/18/2015

They recently used a compound from brocolli that when given in pill form, reduced the symptoms of Aspergers, thereby proving that it's some kind of chemical, or structural brain abnormality, and therefore absolutely a real disorder.

by Anonymousreply 2702/18/2015

Hey, R26. R24/25 here. That's actually really helpful to know. His essays on "A Trip to the Moon" and "Meshes of the Afternoon" were really impressive and I get the sense that he might be struggling with the structural and psychological criticism that we hit this week. Those could be especially challenging for him. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

I wonder if we knew/know each other via the film studies connection. I used to do the conference circuit but phased that out in the last few years.

by Anonymousreply 2802/18/2015

many aspies lie a lot and are hypocrites with no empathy!!!

by Anonymousreply 2902/18/2015

Tim Burton has to be aspie, I can't stand his films, there are not relatable and have a weird sense of dissociation from humanity.

by Anonymousreply 3002/18/2015

indeed r30

by Anonymousreply 3102/18/2015

R19 I would actually give you a C in my class for misspelling, either intentionally or unintentionally, "Asperger's."

I have a number of students with Asperger's Syndrome in my college-level classes. Like any population, they are all very individual, from those who cannot bear to have you within five feet of them to those who, even though they present with some of the traditional speech and gestural symptoms, can, when encouraged, do remarkably thoughtful, insightful, and, yes, emotionally deep work.

As a teacher, my classes would be much less rich and interesting if some of these students were all of a sudden "homogenized."

by Anonymousreply 3202/18/2015

Any screaming bipolars, Professor, or do you discriminate against them?

Bipolars are usually very gifted.

by Anonymousreply 3302/18/2015

r32, aspies have high depression and suicide rates as well as violence

by Anonymousreply 3402/18/2015

They monopolize the conversation, are physically clumsy and VERY SELFISH

by Anonymousreply 3502/18/2015

[quote]But some Aspies fear fetuses with Asperger's will be aborted simply for that reason.

As well they should be [aborted, that is]!

Imo, it's no different from how some deaf parents get mad when a cochlear implant is suggested for their deaf child. "Well, I've been deaf my whole life and I'm fine, why should my child be forced to hear?" Um, because it's better? Hello, duhhh!

by Anonymousreply 3602/18/2015

"True Asperger's is real, but all the UMC white people have glommed onto it in order to excuse their sons' weirdness and lack of social skills."

You sound dumb. There is way more to autism than "weirdness" and "lack of social skills" - it's more complicated than that.

"It's hard to cure something that is basically an excuse for bad behaviour."

Except most people with autism aren't bad, and most bad people never claimed to have autism

by Anonymousreply 3702/18/2015

r37, Jeffrey dahmer, adam Lanza, Colorado batman shooter etc had aspergers

by Anonymousreply 3802/18/2015

R38, citation please. Else, drivel.

Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 3902/18/2015


by Anonymousreply 4002/18/2015

What is "UMC white people"?

by Anonymousreply 4102/18/2015

upper middle class maybe?

by Anonymousreply 4202/18/2015

If they cure it, will my little New Mexico still be special?

Oh, sure she would. She'd still have that allergy to 52 watt light bulbs.

She looks just like her Daddy! She's 12 and just had her first taste of carob!

by Anonymousreply 4302/18/2015

p.s. threads like this remind me of the those who judge people who commit suicide so harshly. Instead of being grateful they don't have to deal with being *insert experience* they just sit around and laugh and joke that something (even despair) doesn't really exist. What a luxury.

by Anonymousreply 4502/18/2015

Homosexuality is NOT a disorder that needs to be cured.

by Anonymousreply 4602/18/2015

it's fake

by Anonymousreply 4702/18/2015

"I say parents should be able to selectively abort."

I say you're an idiot. If your parents had known you'd turn out to be such an ass they probably would have "selectively" aborted YOU.

by Anonymousreply 4802/18/2015

What's so wrong about being an Aspie? We're just different. Watch this clip to understand instead of being so weird about everything.

by Anonymousreply 4902/18/2015

That sounds like me, r26.

by Anonymousreply 5002/18/2015

That's the thing about freedom of choice, and why "freedom of choice" has become such a watchword - people are FREE to choose what to do about any pregnancy. They can choose to abort for any damn reason they please, without asking the busybodies and control freaks for permission.

So what if aborting a fetus because they don't like something about it isn't fair, well life isn't fucking fair is it and personal freedom isn't simple.

by Anonymousreply 5102/19/2015

R51 I think that any woman who want to terminate her pregnancy should have the legal right (though I get queasy when it happens in the last trimester, unless mother's life is in danger or something that will make life unremittingly painful for the to-be-born child is detected--like Tay-Sachs). to do it for any reason.

Morally, I find it questionable as a motivation, though, if the parent(s) truly believe it is beyond them to raise such a child, I would say, given the lack of genuine support systems we have for such families, it might be a moral choice. To do so simply because the child is likely to be "defective" (a term I loathe) is problematic for me. There has been a 90% rise in the termination of fetuses that test positive for Down Syndrome since pre-natal genetic tests have been able to pick up that. Since many many people with Down Syndrome live long, fulfilling, and happy--and, yes, often reasonably independent--lives, that as a reason for termination is not as clear to me.

by Anonymousreply 5202/19/2015

Haven't read through all the comments, but an Asperger's diagnosis is a description of behavior and not based on any concrete genetic markers, is it not? So the diagnosis seems very subjective, and the behavioral aspects could be due to any number of factors.

by Anonymousreply 5302/19/2015

My little cousin is autistic. We couldn't get him to stop staring at things that went around in a circle like ceiling fans, he also still has a compulsion to turn lights on and off. He didn't talk for a long time and wouldn't make eye contact. Since my cousin's wife is a doctor and he's a teacher, they both make good money and were able to get him the best of care. He's a million times better today, but he seems about 3 years behind where he should be mentally. Had they not had the money, I really do fear what would have happened to him. They were determined for him to go to a regular school, which he did. It took his mother a long time to accept that her kid, her first born, had an obvious mental disorder. The family had to convince her to take him to see someone for over a year once the signs were there. They have a second child now who shows no signs of having the disorder.

by Anonymousreply 5402/19/2015

I think you meant astonishingly.

by Anonymousreply 5502/19/2015

[quote]There has been a 90% rise in the termination of fetuses that test positive for Down Syndrome since pre-natal genetic tests have been able to pick up that. Since many many people with Down Syndrome live long, fulfilling, and happy--and, yes, often reasonably independent--lives, that as a reason for termination is not as clear to me.

The problem is that there are degrees of impairment in Down Syndrome. Some are merely "slow" and can live happily and semi-independently. Others remain at the level of an infant and require 24/7 care for their entire lives, which also puts them at serious risk for abuse from the people who are supposed to be caring for them.

Not only that, but Down Syndrome isn't just about the mental retardation, there have many other physical problems and deformities, as well, including serious heart defects.

When Down Syndrome is detected in a fetus, there's no way to know how damaged the child will ultimately be, and most responsible parents will choose to abort. Imo, that's a good thing.

by Anonymousreply 5602/19/2015

With Lanza, I believe that his disordered behaviors were evident at a very young age. He was taken for diagnosis. But clinicians will not diagnise anti-social personality disorder in kids, even if they see signs of it. It may be that the autism diagnosis was made to explain his lack of empathy at a young age, whereas perhaps in fact he was developing psychopathy. Or, he was both autistic and psychopathic = zero ability to form any meaningful connection with others.

The lack of empathy is ASD is not linked to maliciousness or desire to hurt another or inability to feel affection or compassion, it's a cognition problem of being unable to conceptualise another's feelings. But those harmful traits are associated with the psychopathic lack of empathy, which is linked to a highly exploitative and aggressive attitude to others.

by Anonymousreply 5702/19/2015

aspies are annoying as fuck

by Anonymousreply 5802/24/2015

Having this hellish disease, I can say that I would 100% support pre-screening and selective abortion for Asperger fetuses if such a thing were possible. It's so much more than just a social impediment. The social aspects may be the part that's make you the most miserable as a kid, but by the time you're an adult with AS, our social troubles, as bad as they continue to be, are the least of our worries. I'm 32 and have never even come close to being able to move out of my parents' house. I have numerous crippling phobias and physical issues that are shown to be comorbid to AS. Worst of all is our lack of performance IQ. We can read and memorize facts pretty well, but there's no practical use for being a bookworm in most any field of employment. Something gets lost in translation between knowing something and doing it and this is why we're so unemployable. I worked my ass off in school and had straight As all through college. Despite this, I've never been able to obtain a job that pays a living wage. I struggle mightily just to keep a job that pays less than $10/hr It's hard to put the impediment we face professionally into words. Suffice it to say, if any job consists of more than simple one-step things that can be mastered through rote memory, we can't do it. If there's a multi-step process, I, and most of the other AS sufferers I've known simply can't do it. Even if you know it by heart, you'll almost invariably leave a step out and make what seem to be careless errors. Despite my best efforts, I just can't get by in life and it's incredibly frustrating to be trapped in a never-ending childhood when all the people you grew up with and many people much younger are able to grow up, move on, and live pleasurable lives while putting in 1/100th the effort that I have. I wouldn't wish this curse on my worst enemy. Believe me, if there were some way in which I could have had a say as to whether I was aborted or carried to term, I would have chosen abortion in a heartbeat.

by Anonymousreply 5904/25/2015

I was diagnosed with it and if I could be "normal" and feel at ease around people and in new unfamiliar situations I'd take a cure.

by Anonymousreply 6004/25/2015

R159 Disagree, many people with Aspergers have built careers in academia, IT and computer programming, welding, engineering, accounting and actuarial science, data analysis, archives and information management, science and medicine where there skills of concentration and focus are valued or had jobs as janitors or in warehouses which are repetitive and easier for them. Some have even ended up as judges or even vice presidents or presidential candidates (some have argued Al Gore and Mitt Romney both showed signs of Aspergers). Indeed, the richest man on the planet, Bill Gates is most likely an Aspie, as is Warren Buffett, the 3rd richest and billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Aspergers may be less suited to more social jobs and jobs requiring multitasking like marketing and PR, trading, teaching, retail and sales and HR and waiting but that does not mean they cannot have succesful careers

by Anonymousreply 6104/25/2015


Sweetie, that's why it's called a spectrum. Not everyone manifests the same symptoms. And, the people you mention are speculative cases, anyway. So take your rah-rah Asperger's bullshit somewhere else. That doesn't do anything for people in r59's situation.

by Anonymousreply 6204/25/2015

"Jeffrey dahmer, adam Lanza, Colorado batman shooter etc had aspergers"

No, they didn't, you idiot. ALL of the freaks that you mentioned had serious mental problems, but none of them had Asperger's. Lanza got labled with Asperger's, but it's obvious that was a misdiagnosis. People with Asperger's are not violent; studies have shown that. Lanza was most lkely schizoprenic.

Asperger's DOES exist. But it's the diagnosis du jour these days; a lot of people who DON'T have it get diagnosed with it. Parents with children who have mental disorders WANT their kid to be diagnosed with Asperger's because the prevailing image of Aspies is that they're quirky and socially unskilled but exceptionally intelligent and and gifted in some way. But that's a crock of shit. There are all types of Aspies; not all of them are extremely intelligent or gifted. Asperger's Syndrome is SO misunderstood.

by Anonymousreply 6304/25/2015

R62 Yes it does as I also mentioned several jobs that can be done by people with Aspergers syndrome, indeed jobs like Computer programming which require intense concentration and attention to detail are ideally suited for them

by Anonymousreply 6404/25/2015


In today's world, if you want to get ahead, you can't hide in your cubicle. Even programming isn't what it used to be. If you can't play the game, at best you'll be underemployed and frequently passed over. Schmoozing beats competence every time.

by Anonymousreply 6504/25/2015

R65 You can schmooze as much as you want, but if you cannot code well you cannot be a programmer. Anyway, except in the most serious cases, most Aspies can learn enough basic social skills to get by at work as long as they perform at an excellent standard in the actual work tasks they are required to do, as most do

by Anonymousreply 6604/26/2015

[quote] most Aspies can learn enough basic social skills

Well, obviously you couldn't as you clearly don't have any empathy to what r59, r60, and r62 were saying. So much for your “basic social skills”, Aspie-bottom.

by Anonymousreply 6704/26/2015

The best 'empathy'is not to indulge in endless self-pity and feeling sorry for those with aspergers but to actually focus on what they are good at and can contribute to society so they can live as productive a life as possible

by Anonymousreply 6804/26/2015

It's probably over-diagnosed in men. It seems that any male who behaves awkward is almost automatically labeled an 'aspie', even by professionals. Maybe they (the professionals) still have a hard time accepting that males can be as psychologically diverse as women.

I was (eventually) diagnosed with an avoidant personality disorder, but I could tell the psychiatrist initially assumed asperger's syndrome, even though people with APD have little in common with Asperger sufferers.

by Anonymousreply 6904/26/2015

Given that most gay men are like teenage mean girls, how do you know homosexuality is not a "developmental disorder"?

Talking about calling the kettle black here.

by Anonymousreply 7004/26/2015

OP if I was your parent I'd try for a retro-abortion, if you're not trolling then your grasp of Aspergers and ethics is appalling.

Some Aspies have incredibly difficult lives with no communication at all, others are highly intelligent, functioning members of society who in past times we would have labeled socially awkward. You really want to abort Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Alan Turing? They all score on the autism scale.

Save the Aspies!

by Anonymousreply 7104/26/2015

Since there is new evidence that pesticides cause autism/asperger's I will be looking into chelation more thoroughly.

by Anonymousreply 7204/26/2015

As soon as there is a test for homosexuality, we'll cure it REAL fast.

by Anonymousreply 7304/26/2015

Great post R9.

I've heard it described this way: Aspies are like high-end sports cars: delicate and prone to glitches, requiring high maintenance. With proper diets (and sometimes vitamin/mineral support) they can function beautifully, but if they stuff themselves full of junk and foods to which they are sensitive (usually gluten, casein and sugar are the main offenders), they can turn from Jekyll to Hyde.

Methylation and epigenetics are interesting subjects.

by Anonymousreply 7404/26/2015

[quote] to actually focus on what they are good at and can contribute to society so they can live as productive a life as possible

Why didn't they think of that!? It's all been so simple all along!

I don't know why I'm even bothering. You're obviously a precious little indigo child.

But, the mindblind attitude you're showing in your posts is exactly why NT's are doing everything they can to keep people on the spectrum out of their workplaces and there are enough NT code monkeys to make that happen. Which is a real shame since many on the spectrum aren't like you at all.

by Anonymousreply 7504/26/2015

R75 No, I was just refusing to whine. NTs may make good coders, they may not, Aspies may make good coders, they may not, but it is a career they can do well at if they focus and even better than most NTs, obvious discrimination would not be lawful, so if they are good at it there is no reason they could not do well in the field. In any case NTs come in all shapes and sizes too

by Anonymousreply 7604/27/2015

Questionable celebrity AS diagnoses include:

-David Lynch

-Tim Burton


by Anonymousreply 7704/27/2015
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