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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

They've beaten long odds: The diagnosis and labeling of Asperger's

Dan Coulter's advice:
My son and I have Asperger's syndrome. I've written, produced and directed 10 DVDs about Asperger's syndrome and autism. I've just finished a DVD about people who have beaten long odds and found steady employment. A common link among these employees is that they all disclosed the condition to their employers, got some reasonable accommodations and worked hard to modify challenging behaviors.

Changing the diagnosis to "autism spectrum disorder" will make job applicants less likely to disclose – and employers less likely to understand and accept – their capabilities and challenges.

In the real world, continuing to use the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome as a condition in the autism spectrum does no harm and will help talented, deserving people find and keep employment.

The diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome should be maintained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Read another Aspergers story. Thanks to the Letters editor of the New York Times for printing Dan's letter on Nov. 16.

1 comment:

Laura said...


I just wanted to jump start the discussion here by posting a link to a video discussing Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. The note above is very interesting and I totally understand and appreciate the argument that perhaps its more advantageous to both the person with Asperger's Syndrome as well as the employer to know, upfront, about the condition and its affects.

For those of you interested in learning more about Autism and Asperger's and especially about the definitions and variations of these conditions, check out this video:


Icyou.com has tons more health-related videos, so check back because we update daily!