Healthy Living

Respected Autism Pioneer Is Actually a Monster

Sheffer wants to clear up haziness around the name and classification

In light of her findings, Sheffer is calling on individuals to stop using the terms “Asperger’s” and “Aspie”. “It’s one way to honor the children killed in his name as well as those still labelled with it,” she said. She notes that while the term and diagnosis “Aspergers syndrome” has been officially dropped by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and replaced with “Autism Spectrum Disorder”, it is still included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

The ICD is a standard diagnostic tool made up by the World Health Organization and used around the globe for health management and medical purposes. In addition, Sheffer states that Asperger’s syndrome remains a casual part of conversations as a way to describe general social awkwardness and it takes away from one’s individuality. “Asperger’s is an archetype in popular culture, a term we apply to loved ones and an identity many people with autism adopt for themselves. Most of us never think about the man behind the name. But we should,” she wrote.