Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dealing with Stereotypes

    Most of us have probably come up against stereotypes in our lives. Over time though, and through much experience, we learn that some stereotypes usually aren't applicable to everyone the stereotype concerns. For example, the stereotype that blonds are all dumb. I'm sure you, as I have, come across blonds who are not very smart and others that are very smart. My point is, a stereotype is not necessarily always the truth.
   People with Asperger's Syndrome have a lot of stereotypes that we have to go up against, many of them not so favorable. There are those people who lump us together with autism. While we are on the autism spectrum, we are very, very high on it and not necessarily considered 'autistic'. Many writers get this wrong, and represent Asperger's as a more violent type of autism, which is incorrect, which brings us to another point, representing Aspies as violent. Any developmental doctor can tell you Asperger's doesn't make a person violent, as writers and the media often like to represent.
   If a lot of people don't understand something and cannot see it in themselves, they like to lay the blame at the foot of something different about other people. When that man in Newtown, Connecticut, shot those poor children, many in the media quickly jumped to conclusions that the shooter must have Asperger's, when, in reality, the shooter was never confirmed to have Asperger's and several leading professionals say he probably did not. Just because we are different and sometimes even loners does not make us violent or insane, it just means we are different.
   People say things all of the time that are not true. Just because they say them doesn't make them true either. I am not going to sugarcoat it, Aspies, there are a lot of barriers for us to conquer and stereotypes that are how many in the general public. However, we are the future, and we can change things. We can show people that Asperger's isn't autism, and we are not violent or stupid, but rather we are different. We see the world from a different angle and can show the world how it can be made better if they just look at it differently. How can we start? You already have. You're changing your family and friends' perspective of what Asperger's is because you show them what it truly means to have Asperger's: to be truly liberated from being normal and yet wanting to show everyone else our world so they, too, can experience the wonder we feel. That is what it truly means to have Asperger's Syndrome.

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