|Autism and Asperger's
Autistic and Proud" essay in New Scientist ... "Many autistic people ... have had enough of being treated as a medical problem, arguing that autism is not a disease that needs to be cured but just a normal part of human diversity. This emerging "autistic rights" movement hopes to launch an international campaign akin to Gay Pride, encouraging autistic people everywhere to embrace their "neurodiversity", and persuading wider society to accept them as they are." http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18625041.500-autistic-and-proud-of-it.html
are recently regarded as a "spectrum disorder" in which varying degrees of severity are recognized: From a recent essay from New York Times entitled, "Answer, but No Cure, for a Social Disorder That Isolates Many By AMY HARMON: Last July, Steven Miller, a university librarian, came across an article about a set of neurological conditions he had never heard of called autistic spectrum disorders. By the time he finished reading, his face was wet with tears.
"This is me," Mr. Miller remembers thinking in the minutes and months of eager research that followed. "To read about it and feel that I'm not the only one, that maybe it's O.K., maybe it's just a human difference, was extremely emotional. In a way it has changed everything, even though nothing has changed."
Mr. Miller, 49, who excels at his job but finds the art of small talk impossible to master, has since been given a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, an autistic disorder notable for the often vast discrepancy between the intellectual and social abilities of those who have it.