Yes. A lot of people are terrified of things they cannot comprehend. I, for one, have an irrational fear of math because I don't understand it.
Like when I hear the word "math." A lot of people freak out when they hear the word "Asperger's" especially when it is followed by "Autism-Spectrum disorder." My mother, for one, did. She would tell me later that she went into a state of disbelief because I was succeeding in school, my grades were really good then and I didn't act like I was autistic. (Later my best friend, and fellow aspie, told me her mom felt the exact same way).
My parents were terrified for me. They had heard stories of kids who weren't mainstreamed who got pushed around and bullied just because they had something they couldn't control. My mother actually went to a woman whose son had Asperger's and the woman said "Jake (not his real name) has never had a friend in his life." Well, that scared my mother even more, but not enough to tell me how "different" I was. Eventually she did. Then, she told my teachers.
The teachers were worried at first, but when my mom and my doctor explained what Asperger's is, things went well and the teachers began to get it.
Adults are afraid of things they don't understand so be gentle when teaching them that we are good people and there is nothing to be afraid of.
Originally posted on firstname.lastname@example.org on April 3, 2011.