Talk:Sociological and cultural aspects of autism

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Bazelon's NYT piece[edit]

I just now added to Sociological and cultural aspects of autism #Further reading a reference to an article by Bazelon in today's New York Times. Perhaps someone who has the time can use it to generate a good discussion of the issue. The article has some technical howlers: its numeric estimate confuses classic autism with ASD, it uses a definition of "classic autism" that disagrees with most of the technical literature, and it perpetuates a misconception that autistic boys prefer to be alone. For some discussion of this, see Talk:Autism and Talk:Asperger syndrome. Still, the gender issues raised are important and deserve better coverage somewhere in Wikipedia. Eubulides 18:23, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I still feel that the main topic article(s) should have at least a mention that the disorder(s) manifests differently in females. The mention could be paired with a link to these pages for a fuller discussion. Kiwi 05:32, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Autism already mentions several of the male-female issues covered in Bazelon's article. It does this in its lead, in Autism #Neuropsychology, and in Autism #Epidemiology. Autism follows WP:MEDMOS and sticks to the consensus expert medical opinion, so it doesn't mention the issues in Bazelon's article that haven't been the subject of peer-reviewed work (preferably, work that has been summarized in a medical review article as well). These issues deserve better coverage in Wikipedia, but a medical article like Autism is not a good place for them. Ideally, a Wikipedia section on this topic would refer to many works and not just Bazelon's article alone, and if there's enough material there the topic would deserve a Wikipedia article of its own. Eubulides 18:13, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I see now that the reference to Bazelon's article has been removed from this page on the grounds that the New York Times requires registration. This goes too far. Many Wikipedia articles refer to the NYT; see, for example Neurodiversity, Spasmodic dysphonia, Olanzapine. Free sources are preferred, but if they're not available the NYT is acceptable. Eubulides 18:13, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry I missed this removal when it happened; this article is a reliable source for certain points to be explored in this article. I added it back to the list of sources (below) for expanding this article. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


I work with males with Aspergers on improving their interpersonal relationships with women, and in the course of my work I have come to realize that there is a heartless and vicious attack on young and maculine males pretty much right across the spectrum. So I found it nausiating that it would have to appear here, in the Gender section. Here, females are, predictably, given more sympathy, and considering that the first statement is correct - the great majority of AS sufferers are male -I found that misandric tangent rather disappointing. Girls and women, at least in my experience, are the most problematic of all things in an AS males life, and I have known of cases where, due to "involuntary celibacy", AS males have committed suicide, which would certainly warrent the attention of that section. More than, for example, that girls have trouble being included in groups outside of their family - which obviously applies to most if not all AS sufferers, both male and female. Males with this condition need our compassion, and not, as so many are, to be overlooked. Its just a shame that militant feminists always insist on shitting in the swimming pool. (talk) 22:33, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

The unique manifestations of high-functioning autism/Asperger's in girls[edit]

Re: * The New York Times article, [What autistic girls are made of] August 5, 2007.

I include below a few explicit factual excerpts and the names of studies and research centers that would help people find other sources for the eventual relevant subtopic. THIS is what this NYTImes article is important for - that someone wrote on this splinter topic and went through so many interviews with autism/asperger research experts to do so.....

  • "According to The Centers for Disease Control, there are about 560,000 people under the age of 21 with autism in the United States. (Adults aren’t included because there is no good data on their numbers.) If 1 in 4 are female, the girls number about 140,000. The C.D.C. estimates that about 42 percent of them are of normal intelligence, putting their total at roughly 58,000 (with the caveat that these numbers are, at best, estimates).
Because there are so many fewer females with autism, they are “research orphans,” as Ami Klin, a psychology and psychiatry professor who directs Yale’s autism program, puts it. Scientists have tended to cull girls from studies because it is difficult to find sufficiently large numbers of them. Some of the drugs, for example, commonly used to treat symptoms of autism like anxiety and hyperactivity have rarely been tested on autistic girls.
The scant data make it impossible to draw firm conclusions about why their numbers are small and how autistic girls and boys with normal intelligence may differ. But a few researchers are trying to establish whether and how the disorder may vary by sex. This research and the observations of some clinicians who work with autistic girls suggest that because of biology and experience, and the interaction between the two, autism may express itself differently in girls. And that may have implications for their well-being.
The typical image of the autistic child is a boy who is lost in his own world and indifferent to other people. It is hard to generalize about autistic kids, boys or girls, but some clinicians who work with high-functioning autistic children say they often see girls who care a great deal about what their peers think. These girls want to connect with people outside their families, says Janet Lainhart, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Utah." But often they can’t. Lainhart says that this thwarted desire may trigger severe anxiety and depression."
  • "This gender dynamic doesn’t necessarily affect girls with Asperger’s when they are very young; if anything, they often fare better than boys at an early age because they tend to be less disruptive. In 1993, Catherine Lord, a veteran autism researcher, published a study of 21 boys and 21 girls. She found that when the children were between the ages of 3 and 5, parents more frequently described the girls as imitating typical kids and seeking out social contacts. Yet by age 10, none of the girls had reciprocal friendships while some of the boys did. “The girls often have the potential to really develop relationships,’ says Lord, a psychology and psychiatry professor and director of the Autism and Communication Disorders Center at the University of Michigan. “But by middle school, a subset of them is literally dumbstruck by anxiety. (snip) Their behavior really doesn’t jibe with what’s expected of girls. And that makes their lives very hard.”"
  • "At the University of Texas Medical School, Katherine Loveland, a psychiatry professor, recently compared 700 autistic boys and 300 autistic girls and found that while the boys’ “abnormal communications” decreased as I.Q. scores rose, the girls’ did not. “Girls will have more trouble with social networks if they’re having greater difficulty with communication and language,” she says."
  • "In a new study published in May, a group of German researchers compared 23 high-functioning autistic girls with 23 high-functioning boys between the ages of 5 and 20, matching them for age, I.Q. and autism diagnosis. Parents reported more problems for girls involving peer relations, maturity, social independence and attention."
  • "The difficulty may continue into adulthood. While some men with Asperger’s marry and have families, women almost never do, psychiatrists observe. A 2004 study by two prominent British researchers, Michael Rutter and Patricia Howlin, followed 68 high-functioning autistics over more than two decades. The group included only seven women, too small a sample to reach solid conclusions about gender differences, Rutter and Howlin caution. But 15 men — 22 percent of the sample — rated “good” or “very good” for educational attainment, employment, relationships and independent living, while no women did. Two women rated “fair,” compared with 11 men, and the other five women were counted as “poor” or “very poor.”"
  • "Lainhart has been interested in the relationship between autism and depression. In a 1994 paper, Lainhart and John Hopkins researcher Susan Folstein pointed out that despite the 4-to-1 male-female ratio for autism, females made up half the autistic patients with mood disorders described in the medical literature."
  • "David Skuse, a psychiatry professor at the Institute of Child Health at University College London, has analyzed data from 1,000 children, 700 of them on the autistic spectrum. “Girls with autism are rarely fascinated with numbers and rarely have stores of arcane knowledge, and this is reflected in the interests of females in the general population,” Skuse explains. “The girls are strikingly different from the boys in this respect.”"

Above are NAMES, INSTITUTIONS, and DATES OF RELEVANT RESEARCH so interested parties can find "the original peer-reviewed literature." This is a MAP for those who wish to develop the subtopic. I will soon include more specifics below collected and posted elsewhere by another editor. Kiwi 07:48, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Eubulides provided this to the discussion. The topic is an important one (snip) Anyone who'd like to write this up (snip) should go to the primary sources as well. I tracked some of them down:

  • Bazelon alludes to PMID 8331044 and PMID 17489810 about sex differences in autism. Other recent research reports include doi:10.1177/1469004703074003 and doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0331-7, with results that don't always agree. As far as I know nobody has published a review in this area to try to make sense of the conflicting results.
  • Bazelon writes about a recent study by Katherine Loveland comparing 700 autistic boys to 300 autistic girls. I couldn't find that study in either Pubmed or Loveland's institution's list of recent abstracts; perhaps it hasn't been published yet.
  • Bazelon alludes to PMID 14982237, PMID 17630015, and PMID 7814308 as well. Autism cites the first one; Conditions comorbid to autism spectrum disorders cites the 2nd one; the last one (which is way older) isn't cited in Wikipedia as far as I know.
  • Bazelon alludes to a study by Skuse with 1000 children. I wasn't able to identify this (perhaps it's not yet published either?) but I admit by this time I was getting tired of checking.

imported from Autism Talk by Kiwi 08:02, 6 August 2007 (UTC)


Personal Grooming

It has been my personal observation, as a clinical psychologist, that the neglect of grooming seems to be a typical feature of Asperger's Disorder, although this is not mentioned in the diagnostic criteria. This is not so much an issue of cleanliness or hygiene as it is a very obvious lack of attention to the details and cultural norms of personal grooming. In women, I have observed a tendency to avoid hair styles other than those which are very simple, and to completely avoid the use of make-up, eyebrow shaping, manicured hands, and similar cultural norms. These habits do not necessarily create an obvious social problem until the individual is expected to go to formal occasions or to places where one is expected to dress up, but at those times, the individual's lack of conformity to cultural norms is typically marked. Thus women with these traits tend to be subjected to negative evaluations, particularly by other women. Similar behaviors are seen in men, but since men are not expected to wear make-up, the non-conformity is less likely to draw attention, but it is still creates occasions for bullying and social exclusion.

I would like to see this discussed and attended to as a feature of Asperger's.

Of course, I may be wrong about this, as these are not research-based observations, but only my own clinical observations and impressions. I would welcome commentary from others with regard to this issue. Janice Vian, Ph.D. (talk) 00:08, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

List of commonly found characteristics in Aspies[edit]

This list was just deleted from the main Asperger article, not because it was felt to be invalid content, but because the article was considered to be too long and there was pressure to cut something out to shorten it.

I am moving the list here so it can be considered for inclusion in this shorter and more focused article that does seem a more appropriate venue for it.

  1. Difficulty reading the social and emotional messages in the eyes: those with AS don't look at eyes often, and when they do, they can't read them.
  2. Making literal interpretation: Some AS individuals have trouble interpreting colloquialisms, sarcasm, and metaphors.
  3. Being considered disrespectful and rude: prone to egocentric behavior such as being constantly late for appointments or walking away when another person is speaking to them, individuals with Asperger's miss cues and warning signs that this behavior is inappropriate.
  4. Honesty and deception: children with Asperger's are often considered "too honest," and may even proclaim themselves to be "honest" or "frank" as a way of explaining their behavior. They have difficulty being deceptive, even at the expense of hurting someone's feelings.
  5. Inadequate nonverbal communication: their facial expressions, hand gestures, and other forms of body language, are sometimes limited.
  6. Becoming aware of making social errors: as children with Asperger's mature, and become aware of their inability to connect, their fear of making a social mistake, and their self-criticism when they do so, can lead to social phobia.
  7. Differences in speech: they display less speech intonation than neurotypical persons. Their speech may be perceived as "flat." However, those with AS also possess superficial fluency in day-to-day conversation.
  8. A sense of paranoia: because of their inability to connect, persons with Asperger's have trouble distinguishing the difference between the deliberate or accidental actions of others,feeling that other persons are perhaps smiling at them because of their actions, which can in turn lead to a feeling of paranoia.
  9. Managing conflict: being unable to understand other points of view can lead to inflexibility and an inability to negotiate conflict resolution. Once the conflict is resolved, remorse may not be evident.
  10. Sense of humor: although jokes can be grasped at an intellectual level, the emotional worth of humor, in some Asperger individuals, is not appreciated. Smiles and laughter may appear unnatural with some Aspergers.
  11. Awareness of hurting the feelings of others: some Aspergers exhibit a lack of empathy, which often leads to unintentionally offensive or insensitive behaviors.
  12. Repairing someone's feelings: lacking intuition about the feelings of others, people with AS have little understanding of how to console someone or how to make them feel better.
  13. Recognizing signs of boredom: inability to understand other people's interests can lead AS persons to be inattentive to others. Conversely, people with AS often fail to notice when others are uninterested.People with AS are capable of holding one way conversations for hours at a time and appear not to notice that the other person has not reciprocated in the conversation.
  14. Introspection and self-consciousness: individuals with AS have difficulty understanding their own feelings or their impact on the feelings of other people.
  15. Clothing and personal hygiene: people with AS tend to be less affected by peer pressure than others. As a result, they often do what is comfortable and are unconcerned about their impact on others.When they become aware of their shortcomings, they often become obsessive with ensuring that their method of dressing is meticulous or they may form an obsession with what they perceive as their body odour or perspiration by showering or bathing a number of times per day.
  16. Reciprocal love and grief: since people with AS have difficulty emotionally, their expressions of affection and grief are often short and weak.
  17. Lack of participation in chitchat: they are not generally interested in, and do not participate in idle chat and gossip especially if the subject is not one they are generally interested in.
  18. Preference of routine: they prefer routine work, and are not able to cope well to changes, even small ones. Such disruptions from routine can cause stress and anxiety.
  19. Coping with criticism: people with AS are compelled to correct mistakes, even when they are made by someone in a position of authority, such as a teacher. For this reason, they can be unwittingly offensive.
  20. Formal mannerisms and etiquette: their etiquette is formal, even within the family. Their speech may be interlaced with "thank you" or "please" or "good evening" more than necessary. Some persons with AS may even insist that other members of their family follow this ritual.
  21. Speed and quality of social processing: because they respond through reasoning and not intuition, AS individuals tend to process social information more slowly than the norm, leading to uncomfortable pauses or delays in response. This means that although the AS individual will tend to make a more reasoned and balanced understanding and/or decision, it can lead to the AS individual being told to use their 'common sense' to solve problems, a concept they cannot understand or use in the way a neurotypical person can.Typically,they cannot do relatively simple tasks such as connecting a stereo system without constant repeating of the instructions.
  22. Faithfulness towards family: people with AS are staunchly faithful to their friends and/or immediate members of their family.
  23. Exhaustion: as people with AS begin to understand theory of mind, they must make a deliberate effort to process social information. This often leads to mental exhaustion.
  24. Financial imprudence: although some people with AS can manage their own finances, in many cases linear thinking impedes their ability to make larger financial decisions, where they require the assistance of others.

Kiwi 05:32, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Wished to point out that all the above noted characteristics impact the sociological adaptation of high-functioning autistic and Asperger individuals. Certain ones, in particular, could draw them more or less into cultural congruence with their particular culture, thus making those characteristics more valuable and acceptable. Kiwi 00:11, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Citation for the above list originally sourced to Attwood, Tony, Theory of Mind and Asperger's Syndrome, pp 11-42 in Baker, Linda and Welkowitz, Lawrence A.; eds. (2005). Asperger’s Syndrome: Intervening in Clinics, Schools, and Communities - People with Asperger's Syndrome Can Lead Productive Lives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. [1].
A couple of things. First, copying a long list like this out of a book would raise a copyright issue, no? Second, if it's a book about Asperger's then the material really belongs in an Asperger's article somewhere, if not Asperger's itself, then a (possibly new?) subarticle. Eubulides 08:10, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi Eubulides. I did not copy this list out of any book. It was in the Asperger's article for a long time and was deleted just a few days ago to trim length. Because of the nature of the material, it will make a perfect subtopic here as the topic is how the disorder impacts autistic's sociological and cultural integration. It was Zeraeph who was kind enough to dig up the citation that was lost when the section was deleted. Kiwi 08:19, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you copied it. But if the list is cited, and the citation contains the same list, then most likely the list was either copied by from the book or vice versa, and the former is more likely than the latter; we have to be careful about such things. That's all I was saying about copying. Eubulides 08:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
No offense taken. The way I saw it, given that this synopsis was compiled from 21 pages of text (never mind the fact that the Asperger syndrome editors approved of it for such a long time), I was very secure that it was, in no way, a copied list. Irregardless, here there is no need to condense things to such a terse minimalist list which is why I placed it here in discussion rather than doing a copy/paste into the body of the article. Thank you, Eubu, for your concern and guidance. Kiwi 17:42, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Please try not to use the term Aspie's. It's offensive to many people who have asperger's syndrome. You can call yourself that if you were diagnosed with it but it's very awkward to call other people with Asperger's Syndrome that. Not everyone's comfortable with that term. The list is pretty much complete, it's disappointing to know that this was removed from the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Aren't some of these contradictory with the Asperger's article? That article notes that many Asperger patients are very advanced in math, logic, or reading, and notes that many are meticulous and have an eye for detail; but then this list suggests that they can't manage things like finances, a skill which would be enhanced by those kind of attributes. Also, a few list items are repetitive or contradictory with one another or with the main article.

Have linked Austism and Asperger Syndrome under "see also" to this topic[edit]

True, it may all be on the talk page this afternoon, but perhaps by tomorrow, there will be a stup sub-topic on the actual article page to link to. Kiwi 00:11, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Autistic community is largely an uncited editoralizing opinion essay, and there is very little citable content there. I propose that any citable content there be merged to this article (Sociological and cultural aspects of autism, recognized by WP:MEDMOS) and it be redirected here. There are some reliable sources that can be used (for example, the NPR and the Harmon articles which I have now cited in Autistic community), but they do not support the distinction in terminology (autism vs. autistic) being made in that article, which appears to be original research. An NPOV discussion that can be sourced to reliable, independent secondary sources would be more along the lines of high- vs. low-functioning labels. That article is also unbalanced; see the NPR and New York Times articles, for example, which cover all sides. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:04, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Autistic culture has similar issues; it is largely an uncited essay, duplicating text that is or belongs here or at autistic community. That which can be or is cited can be merged here, to a more comprehensive whole complying with WP:MEDMOS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:07, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Autistic pride is an uncited dictionary definition, containing little more than a collection of External links. I suggest it can also be merged here. I was unable to find any independent secondary reliable sources, and it appears as an article to promote webtraffic. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:01, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Mhh, I doubt it was intended as linkspam, just a sincere effort to write about it, unsourced as it was. There must be something about Autistic Pride Day that discusses it, Autreat might have something citeable.
What did you mean with 'recognized by WP:MEDMOS'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fenke (talkcontribs) 20:25, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
The article on Autistic Pride Day is in pretty decent shape, I seem to recall it's cited, and it should stand alone with no need for merger. The MedMos comment is that the sections for articles recommended for WP:MEDMOS include an article on cultural aspects (this one), so we should try to consolidate everything else into here, rather than across four different articles which are redundant and unbalanced and incomplete. As I've been bringing the pieces together, I'm realizing there are a lot of reliable sources for this article that have been underutilized (we don't need the same, peer-reviewed standard here as in autism, but we do need reputable secondary independent sources, and there are some good articles that are unrepresented here, New York Times, Guardian, NPR, whose text hasn't even been tapped yet. I'm going to start a list tonight or tomorrow.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:13, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, thank you, my real query was indeed about the sources. And my apologies for the lack of signing :S.
InTouch, from the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, ran an article on Autistic pride in their Jan/Feb 2006 issue (page 26, 22 in the pdf), which seems to accumulate a bit of information on this subject. Fenke (talk) 21:39, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll look at that later; the computer I'm on now chokes on PDFs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I found two sources that mentioned autistic pride, or at least used the words, so I added them. Still haven't looked at the PDFs. I still suggest we merge that to here, since it doesn't look like autistic pride can be more than a definition, redundant to what should be covered here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:23, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Cleaning up Autistic Pride Day, I actually merged all of autistic pride (three sentences) to there; does everyone think that's a better place for that text, redirecting autistic pride to Autistic Pride Day? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:55, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
If the articles are merged, the merged article could have text on Autistic Pride and link to Autistic Pride Day from there. Fenke (talk) 23:14, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
You lost me :-) That would be no merge, but two articles. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Not seperate, a piece about autistic pride, placed within Sociological and cultural aspects of autism. Fenke (talk) 06:46, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
ah, I get it. Yes, that would work, and provide a direct link to the subsection. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:53, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
How's that? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:35, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Good. Right On Commmander! Fenke (talk) 20:37, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm uncertain whether to redirect autistic pride to here or to Autistic Pride Day, but redirecting to the subsection here seems better, since Autistic Pride Day apparently wasn't held in 2007 and isn't yet planned for 2008. Does that make sense? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:13, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, pointing it here seems to fit better, this article then gives the background information (on AP) in its wider context. Fenke (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
All three merges make sense to me. Thanks for undertaking this project. Eubulides (talk) 07:05, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I can begin to work on this in a few days, but what is disappointing (considering some past complaints) now that I've gotten through a lot of these articles is the realization of how much untapped material is "out there" that no one has bothered to work on. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:53, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
A merge for all three seems appropriate. Colin°Talk 22:37, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I worked in all the new text I could from all of the sources below. Now the article needs to be copyedited, rearranged into better sections, and I have to go check the other articles (autistic culture and autistic community) to see if any concepts have been neglected. I'm pooped out for the day. If anyone can pop the text into a word processor for a spell check, or rearrange anything needed for better flow, that would be stupendous. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:02, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I did a bit of copyediting but more work is needed. All I really did was the "Terminology" section. Eubulides (talk) 07:36, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I was concerned that I shouldn't delete any merged text until the merges were complete, but I'm not sure how that works. Copyedit was excellent, more needed. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:51, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Underutilized reliable sources[edit]

Adding more sources, thanks to a friend :-)

I worked in everything I could from these five articles; I haven't been through all of the sources listed above yet. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:12, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • ref name=CarterTune Carter, Rita (09 October 1999). "Tune in turn off". New Scientist (2207): 30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • ref name=SuttonYoucan Sutton, Jon (06 November 1999). "You can do it". New Scientist (2211): 15.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • ref name=ElseDifferent Else, Liz (14 April 2001). "In a different world". New Scientist (2286): 42.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • ref name=GeorgeAnimals George, Alison (04 June 2005). "Animals and us: Practical passions". news service (2502): 50.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • ref name=TrivediProud Trivedi, Bijal (18 June 2005). "Autistic and proud of it". New Scientist (2504): 36.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:37, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Oops, still need to work these in:

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:08, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

From autistic culture[edit]

The following text from autistic culture was not merged; some of it is uncited essay, and some is text that I've not encountered in any of the sources. If the text can be rewritten to neutral, encyclopedic, reliably sourced entries, perhaps it can be worked in here:

  • Referring to The Geek Syndrome
    • This article, many professionals assert, is just one example of the media's application of mental disease labels to what is actually variant normal behavior—they argue that shyness, lack of athletic ability or social skills, and intellectual interests, even when they seem unusual to others, are not in themselves signs of autism or Asperger's syndrome. Others assert that children who in the past would have simply been accepted as a little different or even labeled 'gifted' are now being labeled with mental disease diagnoses. See clinomorphism for further discussion of this issue.
  • Some autistics who have actually held down a technical position report that, though they are often shunned (or manipulated/misdirected and unfairly criticised) by ambitious types, they are generally well liked by their colleagues, who appreciate their candour, technical ability, and general willingness to help others. They also report that they are frequently held to be disruptive or not "team players" (in the sense of being cooperative), which can feel like a foreign concept to many autistics. In addition, many autists tend to think of competition as against self or against challenges (seeking to excel) rather than against others.[citation needed]
  • Aside from typing and speech, some functionally non-verbal (and some verbal) autistic people communicate through music and arts. Some also use gestural signing (a form of 'home signs' often used by the deaf), Makaton (a system of basic key word signing) and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System).[citation needed] Some autistic people who use typing require physical assistance in doing so for many different reasons. This assisted typing is often referred to as Facilitated Communication and has enabled some autistic people to progress to independent typing and, in some cases, verbal speech.

Autistic people are as diverse in their interests as any other group.[dubious ][need quotation to verify][1] Whilst stereotypes of autistic culture emphasise appreciation of mathematics, science, science fiction, music, and computers, as common areas of interest in the autistic culture, there are rising interest groups surrounding writing, visual arts, film, psychology, fishing, philosophy and more stereotypically autistic interests such as bird watching and trainspotting.[citation needed] Within autistic culture there is also a popular focus on anthropology, based on the common autistic experience of living among beings (non-autistic humans) that have radically unfamiliar thought patterns and a correspondingly strange culture.[citation needed] Some autistic people describe a feeling that they are aliens or that they understand what an alien must feel like.[citation needed]

Akin to the split in deaf culture between those using speech, lip reading, hearing aids and cochlear implants and those preferring to use only deaf sign language and mix in predominantly only deaf social circles, a similar split has occurred within broader autistic culture, with particular authors and their works being vetoed by those who feel their works fail to adequately demonstrate a consistently celebratory or proud stance in regard to their autism and highlight those which do so more clearly and consistently.[citation needed] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:23, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

From autistic community[edit]

The following text from autistic community was not merged; some of it is uncited essay, some of it is now better accounted for here with sourced text, and some is text that I've not encountered in any of the sources. If the text can be rewritten to neutral, encyclopedic, reliably sourced entries, perhaps it can be worked in here:

  • Autism-related groups are divided into two broad and slightly fuzzy categories. The categorisation can usually be made accurately based on whether a group describes itself as part of the "autistic community" or part of the "autism community".[citation needed] The two should not be confused, because there are major differences and some friction between them.
  • People who identify themselves as members of the "autistic community" are generally autistic adults (sometimes adolescents) and tend to focus their concern on autistic adults.[citation needed] They usually resist the idea of a cure for or prevention of autism and promote the beliefs that autistic children should be educated and brought up to be healthy autistic adults and that society should be more accepting and tolerant of autistic people.
  • "Autistic community" groups promote the idea of autism as an inherent part of an autistic person's personality, and often reject the person-first terminology "person with autism" in favour of "autistic person". They generally perceive Asperger syndrome and classic autism more as part of a continuous spectrum than as distinct conditions.[citation needed]
  • Groups referring to themselves as the "autism community" often consist of non-autistic parents of autistic children, and non-autistic professionals who work with autistic children.[citation needed] Such communities tend to focus on autistic children to the exclusion of adults, and seek a cure for and prevention of autism.[citation needed] They express a desire for autistic children to be brought up to be, or at least appear to be, non-autistic.[citation needed]
  • They tend to perceive autism as a disease distinct from the person with it, often using the person-first terminology "person with autism" rather than "autistic person".[citation needed] In addition, they tend to perceive a strong distinction between Asperger syndrome and classic autism.[citation needed] They may also tend to perceive autistic people as unable to communicate on their own behalf, and so might claim to speak for autistic people.[citation needed] Critics claim they create a catch-22 that prevents autistic people from challenging the community's authority.[citation needed]* Some autistics who communicate have expressed their belief that it is particularly unjust for autism societies to be run by non-autistics, even excluding autistics from decisions that directly affect them. There does not appear to be so much of a reaction to the exclusion that occurs in the opposite direction, of non-autistic people from autistic-run fora.[citation needed]
  • Autism-related societies generally gravitate towards one of these two extremes, though there are some that are distinctly intermediate.[citation needed] As with many other controversial issues, there is a good deal of grey area that does not receive as much attention. For example, there are some autistic adults who agree with the "autism community" on many issues but would not resist the idea of a cure for autism.[citation needed]

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:37, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[edit]

Anyone can sign up to write for; it is not a reliable source.[2] These entries look like an attempt to bash and negatively characterize Autism Speaks; that should be done with reliable sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:11, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Claims not supported by NAS source[edit]

This article made the following claims:

  • "In a similar fashion to school bullying, the person with AS is vulnerable to problems in their neighbourhood, such as anti-social behaviour and harassment. Due to social isolation, they can be seen as the "black sheep" in the community and thus may be at risk of wrongful suspicions and allegations from others."
  • "Such persons may also be more vulnerable to poverty and homelessness than the general population, because of their difficulty finding (and keeping) employment, lack of proper education, premature social skills, and other factors. It is even believed that 1 in 15 homeless people in the United States and 1 in 20 in the United Kingdom may have Asperger's."

and cited the following source:

Barnard J, et al. Ignored or Ineligible? : The reality for adults with ASD (PDF). The National Autistic Society, London, 2001.

I just now looked at that source, and didn't find any evidence to support the claims. For now I have removed the claims and the source. I did leave behind this claim:

  • "Although adults with AS may have similar problems, they are not as likely to be given treatment as a child would. Adult individuals diagnosed with AS may find it difficult finding employment or entering undergraduate or graduate schools because of poor interview skills or a low score on standardized or personality tests."

as it appears to be more solid, but it still needs a source, so I put a fact tag on it. Eubulides (talk) 06:59, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

A long-standing issue that may necessitate a checkuser. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:42, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Self-diagnosed Asperger syndrome[edit]

I don't know if this is worthy of Wikipedia (finding sources would be a bit hard), but one trend I've noticed on a lot of internet forums and other such communities is that people will self-diagnose themselves as having Asperger syndrome without knowing what it really means and use it as an excuse for their lack of social ability. Dyslexia and ADHD are also getting the same treatment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. I found one source on the subject and made this change to add a discussion of this and related topics. Further comment and suggestions are welcome. Eubulides (talk) 20:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Not many people understand why a person would choose to self-diagnose with ASD, so I put a brief explanation in to describe the thought processes leading to that type of Munchausen syndrome. Unfortunately, people keep reverting my changes. It's interesting that noone here is willing to admit the existence of a very real concern amongst autistic communities. Dragonnas (talk) 20:26, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
WP requires all material is reliably sourced to quality published material. Your own impression of why people behave a certain way might well be correct, but if you can't supply a source to back it up, it doesn't belong here. Colin°Talk 20:36, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I found three sources for different examples of this behaviour. More sources forthcoming. Dragonnas (talk) 20:43, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Please read WP:V, WP:RS, WP:OR and WP:SPS; I see his has come up before on your talk page. Please base your edits on reliable sources, not blogs and self-published forums. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Any discussion on Self-diagnosed Asperger Syndrome really belongs in asperger syndrome. I'm sure there are people who self-diagnose and if this behaviour has been documented in a reliable source, then that article can cover it. Ascribing a full psychiatric disorder to such people is a little heavy. Colin°Talk 21:02, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Colin and SandyGeorgia. One other thing: when I looked for reliable sources about self-diagnosis and ASD, the best I found was Mitchell (the currently-listed source), but it wasn't that good (it was in a non-Pubmed ejournal). Better sources are needed before we say too much more on this subject. Eubulides (talk) 00:53, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


Could we avoid the use of this neologism. As far as I can tell it's only used within the autistic community. Wikipedia isn't a soapbox, nor is it an autism support group. If you want to mount a campaign to change the English language to placate yourselves, do it somewhere else. (talk) 22:16, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I see you raised the same point on Talk:Autism/Archive 9 #Neurotypical; please see my response there. Eubulides (talk) 23:09, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I second the motion of keeping meaningless jargon out of wikipedia. IT's like referring to white people as Dermalcaucasian on the "african-american" page. Dragonnas (talk) 20:23, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, what do you want to call them??? "Normal people". I vote to keep NT in the article. There is an article on it too. Neurotypical. The term has also been adopted by the scientific community too. This entry just seems to be written by someone who does not like the AS community, so to me it is meaningless. --Miagirljmw14 Miagirljmw~talk 00:31, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

"Normal people" sounds good, if you're contrasting people who suffer a disorder with people who don't. (talk) 11:54, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
But within the group of people who don't have autism are people with other disorders, mental and physical. Is a "neurotypical" person with cancer, depression or scoliosis really "normal"? While I personally dislike the sound and look of the word "neurotypical", it does a better job of defining just how the other people are different. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:09, April 23, 2013 (UTC)

First paragraph[edit]

there are several subgroups forming within the autism community, sometimes in strong opposition to one another
This is true of many, if not all communities and I think it would be good to cite here specifics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Good point. I made this change to do that. Eubulides (talk) 05:28, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Does this say anything that isn't obvious?[edit]

"autistic individuals only exhibit skills that are exhibited by some proportion of the general population,"

doesn't every single person that ever existed only exhibits skills that are exhibited by some proportion of the general population? it doesn't say the propportion is big, or small, and even if someone has an unique skill, 1 in 5 billion (or whatever the number is) is still a proportion, no? --TiagoTiago (talk) 06:39, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, what is that even supposed to mean? This is an article on autism, somebody make it less confusing (talk) 19:43, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
No way, I thought we were talking about superheroes. Asperger == Genius, right? (talk) 11:58, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

United Nations[edit]

This text used to be in the article as a subsection United Nations

In 2004, some members of the autistic community issued a statement expressing their desire to be recognized as a minority group by the United Nations.<ref>Nelson, Amy (November 18, 2004). "Declaration From the Autism Community That They Sre (sic) a Minority Group" (Press release). PRWeb. Retrieved 2007-11-23.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref>

I just now checked, and I can't find any reliable source on this subject. The source given is a press release, which as per WP:RS is a self-published source and is not reliable. I checked for a 3rd-party source (e.g., a news article) and came up empty. So I removed the section for now. We can restore it if we find a reliable 3rd-party source. Eubulides (talk) 18:49, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Logic break?[edit]

"Children with AS often display advanced abilities for their age in language, reading, mathematics, spatial skills, and/or music—sometimes into the "gifted" range—but this may be counterbalanced by considerable delays in other developmental areas. This combination of traits can lead to problems with teachers and other authority figures"

The second sentence here doesn't seem to come after the first one - being especially gifted or slow in any given area doesn't equal "trouble with authority." I'm thinking this was a careless edit. Either way, this needs looking over. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:20, 16 August 2009 (UTC)


From said article: "Some of the psychological and social problems of the love-shy men could be considered autistic because of the men's trouble in regards to peers, social interactions, and adjustment to change. Years later when asked in an email, Gilmartin felt that 40% of severely love-shy men would have Asperger syndrome. Love-shyness can also be associated with involuntary celibacy."

"In 2009, Talmer Shockley, a self-confessed love-shy, wrote The Love-Shy Survival Guide (2009). Shockley's book differs from Gilmartin's books and research in a few ways. Shockley classifies love-shyness as a phobia, though not one caused by an overt traumatic childhood incident. He acknowledges love-shy women and their need for help. He explores possible solutions for overcoming love-shyness, as well as the relationship between Asperger syndrome and love-shyness. Shockley offers no additional scientific proof of love-shyness except to reference the thousands of members of online discussion forums devoted to love-shyness."

It may be worth mentioning in Sociological_and_cultural_aspects_of_autism#Difficulties_in_relationships, although Gilmartin's partial attribution of love-shyness to Asperger syndrome was more or less speculative. "22 Things a Woman Must Know: If She Loves a Man With Asperger's Syndrome" by Rudy Simone (along with several other books on Asperger syndrome and relationships) might also be worthwhile addition. Maxine Aston] has written three books on intimate relationships and Asperger syndrome. MichaelExe (talk) 20:58, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Please do not post bullshit[edit]

Having Aspergers myself, I am reading this article, and the general article on Aspergers, and every single sentence made me go "Awwwww, yeeeeaah!" Everything in this article seemed like a biography of myself, until I saw a paragraph that said that, in the United States, ADA protections for Aspergers ends when you're 21. After opening up the "edit" page, I realized that citation had been requested for that paragraph in March 2008, which basically means that it had been there, without citation, for TWO WHOLE YEARS!

Please, make sure something is correct before you put it there. Not only is that bullcrap unsourced; it's not even true!Wikieditor1988 (talk) 19:15, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

The content you removed said "the public schools' legal responsibility for providing services ends when the autistic person is 21 years of age." I strongly suspect this is true, as a public school is not going to have anything to do with anyone once they reach that age, but I will try to find some kind of reference before re-introducing it. And if it is wrong after all, then I will put in its place what is true. Soap 15:06, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Some corrections and clear biases that need to be fixed[edit]

Someone mentioned that Wikipedia is not here to support one thing over another, and is only here to post information. Therefore, I have two separate issues with this entire entry.

One- The section formally called "Gender" is now referred to as "Biological sex," because the section's content is referring to biological sex, and NOT gender. It should be common sense by now that physical/biological sex is NOT the same as gender. It is insulting and demeaning to anyone who is NOT cisgender or anyone who's gender and sex do NOT match, and is clearly supporting the views that everything and everyone is either male or female and that male=man or boy and female=woman or girl- which is in actuality not true.

Two- In at least one section of this article, "Animals," where evolution is mentioned. This is something that is clearly being promoted by materialists, and is not more factual and proven than any other belief system- yes it IS a belief system. Sorry to say, but I did not evolve from a monkey, and I would appreciate not being told someone else thinks I did when I just want to read an article about autism. Either put every point of view about the origins of humanity and autism in this article, or take that section out. It is also completely unnecessary giving the context of the article and/or section. (talk) 13:36, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Please see Talk:Evolution/FAQ for why we treat evolution as factual; no comment on the other issues you raise. If the changes you made of "girls" to "females" are reverted, it may be for a different reason, namely that the term 'female' can apply to adults as well and the sources primarily are addressing children. But that topic has been debated before and we are trying to avoid age-bound terminology whenever possible, so I dont have any objections to the change myself. Soap 13:53, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

New "Aspergers and bullying" section ?[edit]

Definitely needs doing. --Penbat (talk) 18:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Workplace managers with Aspergers[edit]

I think this is a common phenomena, Asperger managers who get there by technical ability even if they lack interpersonal skills. I think the Finance director at a company i worked for had Aspergers and a regular manager at another place. --Penbat (talk) 19:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Adults with Aspergers[edit]

What percentage of adults with Aspergers know they have Aspergers ? Of those who know did they work it out for themselves or if somebody else who ? Also what percentage of adults with Aspergers get any sort of special social or medical care laid on ? What perecentage have doctors who know they have Aspergers ? What percentage of adults with Aspergers have people at work who know they have Aspergers and make special allowances or is the mental health taboo generally preventing this ? --Penbat (talk) 20:01, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

The last three queries are interesting, but we need sources. All of these topics are covered in secondary reviews meeting WP:MEDRS (we discussed it somewhere eons ago on the AS article-- the talk page archives would have to be searched). In other words, if you want to do the work, have at it, but locate secondary reviews that meet MEDRS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:10, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Light It Up Blue section[edit]

I really don't think this has much, if anything, to do with sociological and cultural aspects of autism, but I didn't feel sure about removing it, so I thought I'd ask about it here. - Purplewowies (talk) 03:29, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 08:17, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Autism spectrum disorders in the media be merged into Sociological and cultural aspects of autism. The new article is quite brief, and based largely on sources and text already present in this article-- content which is better explained in the context of this article. A separate article doesn't seem warranted, and the content can easily be included here (as it always has been) without creating problems of article size or undue weight. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 08:17, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose The article "is the subject of an educational assignment at University of Massachusetts Amherst supported by the Wikipedia Ambassador Program during the 2012 Q1 term." At the very least, wait a month or so until the semester is over. Even besides that, I think media depictions of autism is deserving of its own article. --BDD (talk) 21:22, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • What does The article "is the subject of an educational assignment at University of Massachusetts Amherst supported by the Wikipedia Ambassador Program during the 2012 Q1 term." have to do with anything? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:24, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • You don't think it's a bad idea to remove an article being used as part of a college course affiliated with an official Wikimedia project? If not, several other articles from this class certainly have less merit than this one. Why not wait a month until the end of the class? --BDD (talk) 21:54, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it's a better idea to make sure the students are learning correct editing, and removing articles after the course ends teaches them little. Most of the articles generated by student editing projects are faulty are not notable, and I can't deal with all of them-- this is one I follow. At any rate, the editor of this article is now expanding it to include some other topics, so I'm inclined towards removing my merge proposal if that editor adds more areas of coverage -- will wait a few more days to see which way it's going. At any rate, as a general matter, that some misguided professor who may not understand Wikipedia thinks a given topic is notable is not a reason for us to not better inform the students. Our concern should be our readers, not students' grades. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:38, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • While I understand your initial objections to the new article, I ask that you not be denigrative of the United States Education Program and my instructor; there is nothing "misguided" about my professor or the Wikipedia Global Education Program. Despite any slapdash opposition you may have to the program or how it is carried out, the foundation's goal to ignite enthusiasm about free access to knowledge is a nobile one. That having been said, Autism spectrum disorders in the media is not focused on autism in the media in it's relation to the sociology and culture of autism, but instead on how the media presents those disorders, therefore warranting a separate article. Pbruce1110 (talk) 22:31, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The two are very different subjects. I believe that the media portrayals section of this article actually deserved to be split into a new article (but I do not believe that what is currently in that article should be merged here). If it were extremely close to what is already present in this article, I'd just say to merge any valid material and redirect to the section here, but I feel that what's in the new article now wouldn't necessarily fit well here. - Purplewowies (talk) 19:39, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Split proposal[edit]

I believe that it would be beneficial to the article if it were split into two articles focusing on sociological and cultural aspects of the autism rights movement and the autism cure movement. Both topics are notable enough to warrant articles, but the topics are so incredibly different enough that I feel that focusing on them both in one article is not fair to either side. Each topic is an attitude toward autism, and I feel that a split would allow both topics to exist without focusing too much on one or the other in one article (much in the same way that I wouldn't put manualism and oralism in one article, partially for fear of undue weight being given to one or the other). The current article could become a disambiguation page or provide shorter summaries of the aspects of both sides. - Purplewowies (talk) 20:18, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

I am removing the split tag, there has been no discussion of this for over 3 months. In any case, the article does not appear to focus on either of the proposed split articles, but rather focuses on autism. i.e. the article cannot really be split this way in any case. Op47 (talk) 21:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
From what I got when I read it, it's about the sociological and cultural aspects of groups of people (autism-related groups in this case). In relation to autism, these groups fall mainly into two categories, the autism rights movement and the autism cure movement, two groups that have very differents aims/opinions and sociological/cultural aspects. This article at the present, I feel, is giving undue weight to the autism cure movement, with a few sections related to the autism rights movement and several sections just speaking about aspects of autism that aren't really cultural/sociological aspects. I guess I felt like they should be split because the article at present doesn't seem to have a specific focus but instead tries to focus on three related, but different, topics.
And in relation to it sitting around for several months, I noticed that a couple months ago and was going to ask some people to chime in with their thoughts, but I haven't had computer internet (I've been getting it through my phone) for 3 months. I actually just got my internet back today. - Purplewowies (talk) 00:13, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Section on "Scholarship" Barely References Scholarships[edit]

The two sentence paragraph only mentions how social science scholars are increasingly studying it. Perhaps the good faith edit meant that scholars were diverting more attention to the topic rather than trying to explain college/university scholarships for people with ASD? Either way, the section is too brief to be informative, and the slightest bit misleading. I'd like to remove it, but I'm not a wikipedian and figured the proper thing to do was call attention to the section for clarification first. 2601:240:C001:46EF:30BB:7064:DB42:1EDB (talk) 10:17, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ C. Thomas Gualtieri (2002). Brain Injury and Mental Retardation: Psychopharmacology and Neuropsychiatry. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. p. 230. ISBN 0781734738.