Saturday, May 16, 2009

Social Functioning Impairment

One diagnostic criteria is "clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning." In clinical terms, the doctor told me that someone would have to be unable to keep employment or a family in order to legally classify as having Asperger's Syndrome. (I guess so the system of disability payments would not be abused?)

But Stanford (in "Aspergers and Long-Term Relationships") points out that this criteria may be evidenced in the impaired relationships with extended family. This may be seen in the aspie rarely reaching out to them, or having little desire to be "close" with siblings, parents, or other members of the family.

1 comment:

  1. I can understand the legal/social implications behind this distinction and the need to be restrictive with funding. The motivation may be right but I think that the assumption is a bit wrong.

    It's this line in the DSM IV Diagnostic Criteria for Aspergers which indicates a hole in that kind of thinking.

    "The prognosis appears significantly better than in Autistic Disorder, as follow-up studies suggest that, as adults, many individuals are capable of gainful employment and personal self-sufficiency. "

    I know quite a few aspies who are gainfully employed and/or in long term relationships. I know just as many (probably slightly more) who are not.

    Sadly, generalisations like this further harm their self-confidence and employment prospects.

    One thing is certain however. Just because an aspie is employed or in a relationship, it doesn't mean that they don't struggle and that they don't need support. Sometimes, due to the pressures they are under, they actually need more support than their aspie peers.