It's something I've hidden from the world for several years since I first found out at age 14. A couple of years ago I decided to be bold and come out with it, and now I wear the label with a badge. I don't try to hide it, and in some ways I'm grateful for it. What is that thing, you ask? I'll tell you: it's Asperger Syndrome.
Yes folks, I'm an Aspie, and I don't really care who knows it. If you want to use it to somehow blackmail me, you are more than welcome to do so. If you want to write me off as a person you don't want to know or just a weirdo, you are free to do that also. Do what you want with me, knowing the label. However, I challenge you to think long and hard about what you're doing.
What if you'd written off some of history's most prominent and influential figures for having Aspergers? Who would you have written off? Let's see if you recognize some of the names on this list: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Emily Dickinson, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Isaac Newton, Hans Christian Anderson.
You can't deny the influence all of the above people had, and there are a lot of clinical psychologists that expect these people and so many more influential historical figures would have been labeled Aspergers (or at the very least somewhere on the spectrum of Pervasive Developmental Disorders). What if you wrote them off? How would the world be different today? Would we be as advanced in the sciences as we are? Would the arts have been pushed as far as they have? What about the great literary works of the authors mentioned? How would the world be without them?
Sure, I have Aspergers. I'm socially awkward and I'm just downright eccentric, and I know it. I might come off as abrasive or brash even. You might have better social skills than I do, but I can bet I can out-math your butt anyday. Asperger Syndrome is the cause of my brilliant mind in addition to my social inadequacies. It's both a curse and a blessing all at the same time, and I'm no less of a person than you are because of it.
It's time to wake up and embrace Neurodiversity. By the end of the day, I'm just as much of a person, and I'm every bit as good as a neurotypical.