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Dr-David-Banner

What Is Autistic Psychopathy?

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Dr-David-Banner

Well, actually it has nothing to do with the modern understanding. It was used in German and simply means the path of the mind is autistic. Perception of the world is from within and tends to exclude inclusion of other people. To understand it you need to realise abstract thinking is the root of the condition and is so extreme simple daily realities become removed and remote. Thus, instinctive, social norms are sort of eclipsed and the autist has to intellectualise what for others is instinctive. With autistic psychopathy comes physical clumsiness, poor gait, poor muscle tone, poor co-ordination. And learning disability at school because we can't process information in groups. Sensitivity to foods and fabrics on skin is evident in childhood. Voice is either monotone or maybe loud and conversation is one sided or maybe forced on others but with poor personal connection. Empathy is said to range between extremes of high or low. Either you feel too much emotion or not at all. Intellect is said to vary and also the severity of the condition. One interesting detail is you can't just choose the positive attributes and do away with the bad ones. The positive aspects exist as opposite poles to the negative. Thus, you can't get 12 positive volts to a bulb unless there is a negative. Lesser known symptoms are swearing or strong bonds to objects such as dolls. Very often sexual performance problems or low drive. Sensitivity to noise or rustles. For me though the core of autistic psychopathy is autism in the sense of learning delay and withdrawel. Normal people learn about the world collectively by sharing experiences with others. With A P you process everything inwardly. A bit like The Fool On The Hill.

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Sofi

Isn't what you have described just Autism? It doesn't need to be called Autistic Psychopathy. I think that's a very old fashioned way to describing Autism. Psychopathy is a whole separate condition. 

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Dr-David-Banner

Funnily enough, the modern definition of psychopath is what you'd find in a Columbo episode. Someone with a great job and excellent social skills but possibly insane and placing no value on life. However, the term "autistic psychopath", as used by Asperger just means the mind is wired inwardly. I've heard "autistic psychopathy" used in the past and thought it sounded a bit sinister. Language changes though. Other than that, I think the actual papers on autistic psychopathy are excellent and very thorough. Now that Asperger Syndrome has been removed altogether, my aim is to publish the whole autistic psychopathy diagnosis, just as it was. 

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Dr-David-Banner

How often do you hear: "People with A.S. lack empathy." A great example how confusion and stereotyping spreads. What Asperger spelled out is autistic psychopaths either over empathise or under empathise. In the movie on Hans Christian Anderson his extreme empathy was shown in scenes where he cries at the opera and so on. So really we need to state that people with A.P. show extremes of empathy. By simply repeating the mantra that they "lack empathy" we just add to ever more misunderstanding. Another common misconception: People with A.P. simply collect large amounts of information on favourite topics such as "train spotting" but show no "deep understanding" of the subject. And yet Asperger distinguishes between 2 groups of autistic psychopaths. (1) Collectors of facts, figures and numbers. (2) Actual scientists or chemists or anatomists. The latter Asperger places in the minority. Yet for ages psychologists have adhered to the train spotting stereotype. At the moment I am attempting to clarify all Asperger discovered through quotes of his work. My hope is to build a solid framework to clearly outline what we do know before jumping ahead and aimlessly quoting stereotypes (or old wives tails). I confess much of it has had me confused just the same. Above all we need to define what autism actually is. I don't want to knock Baron Cohen but his famous test was too generalised and loose to be effective. If switchboards were jammed by people who passed the test with flying colours, that is a problem. For example, if you ask: Do you prefer to go out with friends or stay home and read?, any die-hard book worm will tip the scales closer to autism. So maybe better: Does being in the company of other people make you tense and wish to  retreat by yourself? Not perfect but detail helps. Some then may respond, "I just prefer to read as I love a good book."

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Dr-David-Banner

Oops! Old wives tales and not "tails". 

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Dr-David-Banner

Set myself a goal some weeks back to try and publish concrete facts on Asperger's autistic psychopathy. My view is psychology is way behind hard sciences like electronics or maths and is closer to politics or history (where opinion creates trends of thought). Whereas in hard sciences the initial rules are accepted by all and we move on. You cannot do this with autism if nobody agrees and actually nails down the definitions. Sure the knowledge is there to be tapped but it's spread out and disorganised or renamed or re-interpreted. Plus in my view the original studies done by Asperger are accurate enough to stand as they are and not be airbrushed. This goes back to the philosopher Socrates who stated you can't teach a subject without first defining what it is. 

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Dr-David-Banner

I am working on the A.P.T. test but it is being done in Russian. This may come out a bit strange in English but if I run through what I have so far Google Translate seems to wpork not too bad.

With this test I am not sure if I will try to suggest pointers to any concrete indication of diagnosis. Besides, no test can do that anyway. The test at the moment is intended to simply help people consider what does and what does not apply to them. It is nowhere near finished yet: Plus I'm not a psychologist and am just doing my best to clarify Aspergers writings.

(1)У меня возникли проблемы в связи с учебой когда учился в школе. (a) правда (b) неправда
(1)I had problems with studying when I was in school. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(2) В школе а также с детства я привык мечтать или смотреть через окно и мне было трудно сосредоточиться на уроке. (a) правда (b) неправда
(2) At school and also from childhood, I used to dream or look through the window and it was hard for me to concentrate on the lesson. (a) the truth (b) is not true

3) Учители заметили что у меня была моторная неловкость и мне совсем не хотелось участвовать в спортивных играх. (a) правда (b) неправда
3) The teachers noticed that I had a motor awkwardness and I did not want to participate in sports games at all. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(4) С ранних лет мне не получается так легко бросать и ловить мяч. (a) правда (b) неправда
4) From early years, I can not so easily throw and catch the ball. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(5) В детстве часто играл в одиночестве и сейчас - как взрослый - часто замыкаюсь в себе. (a) правда (b) неправда
5) When I was a child, I often played alone, and now, as an adult, I often shut myself up. (a) the truth (b) is not true

6) В школе у меня почерк был как курица лапой. (a) правда (b) неправда
6) At school my handwriting was like a chicken paw. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(7) В школе я не очень хорошо ладил с другими детьми и иогда надо мной издевались и смеялись. (a) правда (b) неправдан7) At school I did not get along very well with other children and sometimes laughed at me. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(8) В детстве я часто устраивал истерики и сейчас - как взрослый - я привык прийти в ярость или испытываю сенсорную перегрузку. (a) правда (b) неправда
(8) As a child, I often made hysterics and now - as an adult - I'm used to getting furious or experiencing sensory overload. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(9) Когда был мальчиком я не выносил грубого прикосновения новой рубашки, заштопанных штан или одеял. (a) правда (b) неправда
(9) When I was a boy, I could not bear the rough touch of a new shirt, mended pots or blankets. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(10) Я часто нахожу сходство отношений между предметами или идеями. (a) правда (b) неправда
10) I often find a similarity in the relationship between objects or ideas. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(11) Часто неправильно интерпретирую иносказательные выражения и буквально толкую слова и фразы. (a) правда (b) неправда(11)
Often I misinterpret allegorical expressions and literally interpret words and phrases. (a) the truth (b) is not tru

(12) У меня бывает монотонная или невыразительная речь. (a) правда (b) неправда
 (12) I have a monotone or inexpressive speech. (a) the truth (b) is not true

(13) У меня отсутствуют жестикуляция и выражения лица. (a) правда (b) неправда

(13) I do not have gesticulations and facial expressions. (a) the truth (b) is not true

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Dr-David-Banner

Not sure why and how GT came up with the "pots" business. The end bit is simply to answer yes it applies or no it does not.

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Dr-David-Banner

Point here raised by a Russian psychologist and expert on Aspergers. This is the first time I ever heard anyone mention this but I have asked the same question often.

"Some will argue that yes. In addition, many specialists now notice that the young population (approximately at the age of 5 to 25) is becoming more and more like autistic people due to their obsession with digital devices (computer, iPhone, iPad). These young people literally (a) are in a changed reality (that is, digital, and do not accumulate real life experience), (b) spend an excessive amount of time on their "special interest" and (c) little involved in social interaction - all these traits can be attributed to autistic. So, the question arises: is autism on the rise, or is it just an increasing number of normal people behaving authenically (in its highly functional version)?"

I do not agree that what we see today with excessive I.T. use and the staying in at home phenomenon (the Japanese call Hikikomori) is at all the same as what Asperger detected and studied in Austria. That is, autistic psychopathy. I also think it's a mistake to relate excessive computer use (games and so on) to the "special interests" Asperger described. Sure, I totally agree we are seeing educational delay and poor social interaction caused by the modern digital lifestyle but I meet a lot of such people daily. It does not come across to me as the same as Asperger's.

On my website I will be doing my level best to clarify how autistic psychopathy differs from the modern "digital addiction syndrome" for want of a better term.

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Dr-David-Banner

I had the idea of doing a book. For the time being it will be a big article for my website. The appeal will be that the whole thing is being done for Russian speakers at the current time. Given I have lived right through the period of zero diagnosis (seventies, eighties)up to the rise and fall of the "Aspie Neurodiversity Movement", I guess I have much to say about how it all "rolled out". Maybe it's a bit like being Forest Gump in a world of change.

The question I guess I will be asking is was the Aspie Social Movement a bad trip? Did it do more good by raising awareness or did it trivialise the serious research carried out in the 1930s.

Possibly my article will lay some blame on Lorna Wing who seemed to me to try to reinterpret the work of Asperger and create her own diagnosis.

Book starts: Подъём и падение общественного движения "Аспи".  
Как может быть что австрийский педиатр и психиатр Ганс Аспергер превратился в лидера глобального, хаотического движения?

The Rise And Fall of the social Aspie Movement. How could an Austrian psycholologist have become the leader of a global movement?

Actually, in Russia this is not likely to go down all that well. I noticed there is a very close "redoing" of the western experience so that I see the T shirts and coolness of the phenomenon becoming popular over there.

T2.png

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Dr-David-Banner

Here I will try to be as fair as possible. Awareness of Asperger was not totally negative but I can only hope for a fresh approach. The public has been spoon fed a highly positive image of A.S. where it became politically incorrect to deviate from idealist, progressive conceptions. I think Lorna Wing set this in motion when she stated children examined at the Vienna clinic in the thirties were extreme cases. She went even further than that and suggested part of their behaviour was down to other psychological disorders. Totally untrue. Anyway this allowed Wing to equate neurodiversity to autistic psychopathy as a milder alternative. Over time this would lead to chaos. Lots of people called Asperger's syndrome nerd syndrome as if the original children were simply maladjusted eggheads. The odd thing is Asperger accepted neurodiversity but this alone was not the same as autistic psychopathy. Likewise this latter diagnosis had a far darker side to it than most people were aware. The concept of wearing a T shirt to out yourself would have seemed very odd to Asperger.

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Dr-David-Banner

Here is the big question: So far as Hans Asperger and autistic psychopathy go, this diagnosis is for autism. Absolutely all of the patients had to be removed from normal school. So, what about AS experts like Paul Cooijman who did very well in regular school? What about those who struggle with non verbal communication but have no motor impairment issues or major autism issues? I have no answer as of yet. Naturally Paul Cooijman never would have been sent to a clinic for high functioning autistic children as he was an "A" student in mainstream school. He also stated in interviews he feels AS is not autism per se. Whereas for me autism was definitely a big factor during school. I recall I even struggled to get dressed. And the school bus scene in Forest Gump was pretty familiar for me. Simply I have no answer. Was Cooijman simply intellectually gifted? Some geniuses exhibit strong symptoms of impaired social interaction. Or can you have AS with milder autism symptoms. Some might even ask does there really exist any  actual diagnosis and did Asperger simply create a simple explanation to fit what he observed? What did he observe? Simply groups of children who all shared similar autistic traits and odd behaviour. Also the sinister background was the German plan to eliminate the mentally impaired. These kids were eventually being evaluated to decide their fate so only for that reason questions were being asked. Only those who were social misfits were being tested. 

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Dr-David-Banner

"Hace varios años el me dijo que se sentía diferente al resto de las personas.Qué no encaja en ningún sitio.Tiene 26años y le ha ido muy bien con los exámenes de ingreso a distintas carreras universitarias, digo distintas, porque siempre termina dejando todo.He tratado de llevarlo a vivir a otros sitios, está un tiempo y luego vuelve a la casa paterna a su misma rutina de siempre.Le gusta leer.Es apasionado por un juego en la PC. Podría estar ahí las 24hs del día."
"Several years ago he told me that he felt different from the rest of people. Does not fit anywhere? He is 26 years old and has done very well with entrance exams to different university degrees, I say different, because he always ends up leaving everything behind. I have tried to take him to live in other places, for a while and then he returns to his father's house to his same routine as always. He likes to read. He is passionate about a game on the PC. It could be there 24 hours a day."

Great example here of a two case possible scenario. Maybe this teen does have autistic spectrum issues. On the other hand, it is stated he spends a lot of time online. Now that I'm doing serious autism research, my initial take would be that here childhood is going to be the key. For example, if for some years he's been telling his sister he feels different then that could well indicate his symptoms have been going on since early childhood. That would then lead him to heavy internet use due to not being able to socialise. On the other hand, it could be the actual internet use per se is what has caused the behavioural symptoms that alarmed the family.

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Dr-David-Banner

It will take time for psychologists over here to see the obvious: Excessive I.T. and social media use causes developmental delay. It may have been wrongly diagnosed as A.S. How do you know? Well, AS is genetic and will manifest itself very early on. I.T. symptoms will develop gradually due to a reclusive lifestyle. Same as personality changes due to drugs. A good specialist will know what is AS and what is I.T. related. To be honest I can see how I.T. alters behaviour even in normally neurotypical people. On my information website I am trying to highlight how easily hours spent on the net can produce symptoms similar to A.S. but not really the same. This is why we need Hans Asperger's studies of psychopathy as the children studied were often only 8 years old.

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Dr-David-Banner

Every time I reference autistic psychopathy elsewhere, so often it is totally misunderstood. I once found a 1940's love letter where the writer called his girlfriend."docile". At that time it meant "sweet". So this idea of an autistic psychopath as being from a Bond movie is misled. You can break it down to Latin and Greek and it means basically the path of your thought process is autistic. That is what Asperger meant. Why psychologists apply modern linguistics to older terms I cannot fathom.

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Dr-David-Banner

Odd how highly qualified people seem to trip over this simple misunderstanding that autistic psychopaths are akin to movie psychopaths. They try to squirm away from the term in fear it blacklists autistic psychopaths. Empathy is always quoted. Yet it seems to me the lack of empathy I experience is a far cry from the movie psychopath. Asperger explains it as an extreme abstract thinking mechanism with reduced instinctual intuition. Intellect over-rides emotion. Also sometimes the mind of the autistic psychopath is one track so your attention may be focused elsewhere and you don't react or tune into the feelings around. So, all in all, my own school background and childhood autism issues fit perfectly with the Asperger children. It is clearly autism. It's basis is a different manner of processing information to others. Whereas modern Asperger Syndrome was I believe a milder diagnosis compared to psychopathy. Many people with Aspergers seem to experience social interaction issues but my guess is most are hard to spot. It's not so obvious. Many of these people did OK at school and could partly function in class and pass exams. Whereas the autistic psychopaths required one-to-one tuition apart from others. Many would then become high functioning in some particular area. 

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Dr-David-Banner

The conclusion of my large essay on Asperger Syndrome as opposed to Autistic Psychopathy is now published. I concluded that from Asperger's original studies the Asperger Syndrome diagnosis morphed into a milder diagnosis and applied by Lorna Wing. I concluded that psychologists never agreed whether A.S. was autism. This is because many people diagnosed with A.S. may experience non verbal language communication issues without having suffered learning issues at school. For those who did struggle at school, HFA replaced autistic psychopathy in part. The truth is psychologists were divided over this. Many psychologists insisted AS had to be classed as autism. To partly simplify all of this, I believe the original diagnosis of psychopathy is good enough to stand as it is today. As to the non verbal communication issues where slowness and motor issues aren't a factor, I guess "neurological spectrum disorder" is the term I think fits. I also pointed out in my large essay diagnosis in.Asperger's era was a life or death issue and not about pure social interaction disorders. Maybe it was a mistake to try and relate modern society to one where autism could lead to euthanasia. Pre Nazi Germany was not a caring society. 

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Dr-David-Banner

As I continue to research articles for my website, I discover I have allies. Psychologists who had noticed confusion in their circle. Kenneth Roberson a P.H.d in San Francisco advocated a fresh look at autistic psychopathy and concluded modern conceptions of Asperger Syndrome were in contradiction. After some basic research I am led to conclude the removal of Asperger Syndrome as a diagnosis came about due to two principal reasons. Firstly it became clear psychologists couldn't agree how to diagnose it. The big divide was over whether actual autism must be the root of any diagnostic criteria. 50 per cent of psychologists disagreed A.S. was autism - just an impairment in social interaction. In a nutshell the fact is this lack of overall consensus created a bigger mess than anyone dared to address. The second factor behind the scrapping of the Asperger diagnosis was over-diagnosis. Personally I think the surge we saw in the 2000s has to be connected to the younger generation getting hooked on I.T. and social media. They were not learning to socialise.  The big difference between this and autistic psychopathy is the latter could never learn to socialise. The former could learn to socialise but the modern digital lifestyle has effectively substituted real interaction. At some point the penny will drop and we will be informed many aspects of I.T. have caused developmental delay. It seems it has finally been acknowledged uncontrolled e-commerce has damaged the economy so I imagine at some point awareness will come. Add to that record high stress levels that have caused student mental health issues. In fact I have many young female friends who suffer more anxiety than I do. The new system of autistic spectrum has possibly helped but I oppose blaming Asperger. His diagnosis was good enough as it stood. 

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Dr-David-Banner

Dr Asperger was faced with 2 choices when the Nazi party took over the Vienna clinic and its program: we are told he should have left. In such a case, another doctor would have been moved in. Given the horrors of the concentration camps who can say what would have happened to the child patients? Second option was to stay and play the system. Act loyal to the Party but stress the positive sides of the autistic condition. Given Asperger referred to his patients as "our children" it seems he must have cared about their fate. Not only that: Asperger clearly dismantled the idea of a super race being strong, blond and emotionally perfect. The psychopathy papers clarify creativity comes from discord and contradiction. The clumsy, awkward bunch of reject kids who couldn't tie their shoelaces were also full of artistic and mathematical talent. Asperger called it compensation for more obvious shortcomings. My view is Asperger did get emotionally involved and frustrated by his patients. He did say they could be sadistic or violent when provoked or bullied. It was not all a bed of roses. Even so, the overall conclusion was you can't have your cake and eat it. More than likely Asperger saved hundreds of children before the war ended. It took till the eighties for his diagnosis to be studied. 

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Dr-David-Banner

The other day on a major national autism website I read the following: "Those with Asperger syndrome gather information about favourite interests such as baseball stats or bottle tops. They are poor abstract thinkers." I asked myself how these experts can give out info 360 degrees out from what Asperger concluded. Autistic psychopathy is an extreme manifestation of abstract thinking. This is why many autists notice patterns and connections. The gathering of meaningless information is another misunderstanding. It applies to lower functioning autistics. Asperger clarified this. Further up the high functioning spectrum many autistics were more analytical and went beyond just collecting data. However for a major site to state autists are poor abstract thinkers is a major contradiction. Asperger states autistic psychopathy is an extreme masculine brain condition where abstract thought process distances the subject from instinctive social interaction. Sometimes I think psychology today is a bit like philosophy at the time of Socrates. Socrates asked how can philosophers teach virtue if they can't define it? Ask 5 psychologists to define Asperger Syndrome and then watch the confusion set in. Sure, there are some really good ones like Dr Kenneth Roberson of San Francisco. I found his article where he was right on my wavelength. Namely that Asperger has been misunderstood or plain forgotten. In my own view we never heard from adults with autistic osychopathy who can describe how they are wired and how it feels. Instead we got evaluations made by medics and analysts to try and interpret the condition. Many very high functioning autistics were normally totally uninterested in their diagnosis so simply not involved in autism research. There are very few autistics of adult age researching high autism as so many are too engrossed in physics, maths or art. I guess even Asperger lacked the detailed descriptions from adults hd needed but relied on observations of children. 

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Happened to see an interview of director Stephen Spielburg last night. I paid attention as Spielburg is listed as having Aspergers in the same way it is said Einstein had A.S. It struck me Spielburg quite normally around other people. His interaction skills seemed excellent. His communication was direct and he was on first name terms with all around. Randomly checking his academic background on Google, he seemed to have passed normally through the education system. He may very well have a proverbial dash of autism but otherwise I found it very hard to spot anything unusual. I will stress too autistic psychopaths are rarely if ever popular. Sure, they may become legendary and popular in later life - but through the back door. Only their raw accomplishments as loners forces recognition. On the way up they are dismissed as cranks or ignored for thinking differently. The next to be qioted is Einstein. For me he comes closer to being an outsider than Spielburg. Even so, despite the hype to the contrary, Einstein did very well in the school system. He even did well in French. He flunked his basic electrical engineering exams but really his talent was for physics. Einstein was far removed from Asperger's children who may have been maths geniuses but couldn't learn in class (or even write straight). Also Einstein married and had friendships. My guess is he had a good dash of autism but not full psychopathy. Sometimes I see people on film and I strongly suspect they are undiagnosed. One other smaller film director I saw just talked as if into the air. All the time very serious and no facial expression. Voice was flat and monitone. Very unlike Spielburg in fact.

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Dr-David-Banner

Diagnosis? Somehow I never followed up on official diagnosis. When I was getting treatment around 1986, no high autism diagnosis existed. As things stand, I keep all of this very under wraps. The reality is most people are aware I have certain issues they describe as "strange" but I would never give out details. This may sound odd but the truth is I learned to have little faith in the system. For example, years ago I was misdiagnosed with panic attacks. Later, I learned I do not have panic attacks although many of my friends do. What I had been experiencing was extreme anxiety over inability to react to emotion or interact emotionally. Only when reading Asperger I found out some of his patients had these symptoms. They may be triggered by pressure to interact or laugh or display emotions that just freeze out. Panic attacks may sound the same but they are more a nervous and anxious reaction to stress and depression. My friend has these and she desribed it to me (hyperventilation). I was therefore put on meds for panic attacks but the cause lay much deeper. The snag is I was not able at that time to analyse what I was experiencing so someone could understand. Plus the diagnosis itself was unavailable. Even today only the best psychologists would pick up on alexithymia in my case. The closest person to describe something similar to this was Nesf - where she described her emotions were not in synch with group emotions. Just that in my case the pressure to react created a lock down. Asperger describes apparent aggression and strange movements - so very fortunately for me this is a known phenomenon. All in all, the system was never there for me. Not that I blame others or have an axe to grind. Basically I just feel all I did learn about autism was through my own efforts. Internet was a big help. Self diagnosis is doable but it did take me years to narrow things down. I also concluded what it all boils down to is functionality. To Asperger the diagnosis was not the issue. He knew people were not all neurotypical. What matters is do the symptoms prevent a person from going to class or work? A person could be employed and autistic. It could be the right job or the employers may be tolerant. However if you can't function in society as expected what matters is the approach taken. I heard of one autistic person who got a decent degree at uni but his mother is alarmed as he can't communicate in interviews. No allowances made by the employers. For those of us with severe high autism we can be at the margin of society. The first step is recognising the problem and that the autism condition is creating serious difficulties. 

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Dr-David-Banner

More or less I seem to have gotten my facts reasonably right. A few specialists have admitted the original autistic psychopathy has been watered down. Possibly what Lorna Wing wanted to say was the original diagnosis had an application beyond severe cases. She had patients who described symptoms applicable to Asperger's studies. She also met Asperger in person. However the point of the essays on my site is "Asperger Syndrome" means just that. It's a syndrome or aspect of something that inspired it. At least that's my interpretation. One criticism made against psychopathy is the subjects were all Europeans. There were no females included because they weren't affected the same way as males within school. At least not in the confines of Austria. My task therefore is simple. My hope is to promote autistic psychopathy as a diagnosis in its own right. The funny side of it is if you did out yourself as an autistic psychopath people would cry out, "Oh, my God! Who is safe?" It was originally Avoidant Schizoid Autistic Psychopathy which has more in common with Schizophrenia than movie psychopaths (socially adept). 

Edited by Dr-David-Banner

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