The following is a response to an article in The Sun, a British tabloid that appeared in my news alerts. It's addressed to Josie Griffiths, who wrote it.
Dear Ms. Griffiths,
I saw your recent article in the Sun in my news alerts that wondered about Asperger's Syndrome, and which celebrities “suffered from the disorder.” Perhaps as a member of such an exclusive club, my friends and I may be able to shed some light upon this subject in an accurate manner. We take great offense and umbrage to being described as sufferers. We must have different definitions of that word.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, suffering means “to experience pain, illness, or injury,” “to experience something unpleasant, such as defeat, loss, or damage,” or “to become worse because of being badly affected by something.” Suffering would better fit conditions such as cancer or severe multiple sclerosis.
If those of us merely affected by Asperger's just had someone willing to hear us out, then maybe, just maybe, we would not be characterized in such a negative tone. Every person who has ever lived on this planet knows what it is like to experience pain, illness, injury, something unpleasant, or been badly affected by unforeseen circumstances in life. I don't see the entire rest of the world being described as sufferers, where observers place this target upon them.
You can see traits associated with Asperger's everyday without realizing it. For example, the way you might feel as a neurotypical when we talk about what we are interested in is the way we feel when you and your ilk talk about tabloid news or reality TV that does not capture our attention the way our hobbies do.
The only suffering here is from misinformation.
Also, having done open mic comedy in my hometown of Atlanta for a couple years now, I see many people being inappropriate and repeating themselves on stage, which is also commonly associated with Aspergers. I suggest going to an open mic comedy show in your area and witnessing for yourself how comics wish they had Asperger's. There is simply no conceivable way my friends and I have worse social skills than anyone I just described.
Speaking of defeat and loss, I also want to remind you of British soccer hooligans who incite in and participate in riots over a kid's game, as well as chanting and yelling racial slurs before, during, and after games.
The only conceivable way someone can suffer with Asperger's is when other people presume to know the entire story about it instead of stepping back and listening to personal accounts of Asperger's. We just might have more in common than you and everyone else assumes.