I only figured out I'm autistic in 2022. I'm still learning. Writing these articles is how I learn things. They're all works in progress, to various extents. No-one can speak for an entire minority group. These are just my personal experiences, things I've found out from talking to my friends, and discussions I've seen on autistic forums. Please don't take me as authoritative. I'm not.
Asperger syndrome, also known as Asperger's, was an obsolete way of describing autistic people who are good at masking.
As part of the shift from the pathology paradigm to the neurodiversity paradigm, the term Asperger's has fallen out of favour because:
- Now that we're openly speaking for ourselves, even allistic "experts" have to finally accept that autism's a spectrum, with any combination of traits possible. Instead of giving different hazily defined clusters of traits their own names, it makes more sense to briefly describe each individual person's own unique combination of strengths and requirements.
- Unlike society at large, autistic people generally accept that autism isn't a dirty word, and that being autistic is nothing to be ashamed of. We don't need a euphemism to effectively claim "but we're one of the good ones", because no combination of traits makes you bad.
- Asperger was a literal Nazi, whose job was to determine who was enough of a burden to allistic people — or even Jewish enough — to warrant being sent to a concentration camp and killed. He was monstrous.
All in all, it's simpler to just say I'm autistic.
- "The aftermath of the Hans Asperger exposé" David Sher, Sep 2020
Autistic paradigms and terminology: Antonym | Asperger syndrome | The autism spectrum | The pathology paradigm