|“||Aspergers is Nothing At All Like Autism. I have stated this Fact over and over again in my replies to messages from people who tell me otherwise. I feel very sick and tired of hearing that false rumor that the two are Anything to Full Similar.||”|
|The great Christian Weston Chandler, who obviously knows more about the relation between Asperger syndrome and autism than actual scientists and psychiatrists who study it.|
Asperger's syndrome is the mildest form of autism, characterized by typical (i.e. not mentally retarded) to gifted intellect and no major difficulties in using language for basic needs. First identified in 1944 by Dr Hans Asperger of Germany, it was unknown for decades in the English-speaking world, and was considered distinct from classical autism for years after that. It is now universally regarded by psychologists as identical with high-functioning autism, and the term has been depreciated.
According to Chris, however, having Asperger's is NOTHING LIKE AUTISM; GET IT THROUGH YOUR DANG, DIRTY SKULLS!!! His view of Asperger's syndrome is extremely warped and inconsistent: he is easily offended by the suggestion that Asperger's is even remotely similar to autism. He varies between outright denying that it is part of the autism spectrum, to idiotically confusing it with Alzheimer's Disease. He also believes Asperger's sufferers are "stealing the limelight from us autistics." Unlike his issues with other races and homosexuals, Chris has never attempted to ameliorate or otherwise compromise his statements about Asperger's (with the exception of one half-hearted attempt which mostly ignores the issue at hand) for the sake of good PR, suggesting that it is his most strongly held prejudice.
Chris happens to have made "high-functioning autism" a cornerstone of his identity because that's the diagnosis he received as a child in the late 1980s. If he'd been born two decades later, though, it is quite likely he'd have wound up diagnosed with the Asperger's label he so fiercely detests, and he would probably be ranting about the autistics trying to steal his aspie thunder.
Chris on Asperger's
For some time, Chris referred to Asperger's as a disorder that affects the memory: on IRC, in his online Autism Quiz, in the Sonichu #1 Official Videobook, and in his Mailbag on CWCipedia, among other places. It appeared as if Chris was confusing Asperger's with Alzheimer's disease, an easy enough mistake for someone of his level of competence.
Not long after Chris began answering the Mailbag, Asperger's became a recurring topic in the column. Numerous e-mails doggedly attempted to correct his misconceptions, while in his replies Chris became much more defensive and much less consistent in his arguments about why Asperger's is so different from autism. Eventually, he decided to settle the issue with a spectacularly butthurt essay, revealing the real reason Asperger's "grinds his gears." It's also worth mentioning that in Mailbag 17, Chris confirms that there will never be Sonichu or Rosechu with Asperger's, but there may be human characters with the ailment.
|“||And those with Aspergers DARE try to take the Shine and Limelight AWAY from us Autistic people, not only with their "Social Flaws" and such possibly similar traits to Autism. But to SHUN us Autistics by being BETTER Communicatively and Mentally than us.||”|
|Chris, claiming that people with Asperger's are out to steal his autistic thunder, because they definitely want to suffer through a life of crippling social ignorance just to piss off an overweight manbaby.|
In short, Chris doesn't understand there is no real difference between his condition and Asperger syndrome except the name, and more to the point, he doesn't care. He simply feels that people with Asperger's are receiving some measure of the attention and sympathy that he isn't receiving. Naturally, tard rage ensues. In Mailbag 19, he even admits that the first thing he thinks of when he hears the term Asperger's is "Competing Retards".
As per his adamance that high-functioning autism and Asperger's are completely unrelated, Chris also point-blank refuses to acknowledge scientific research that contradicts his statements of so-called fact; indeed, he eventually began totally ignoring any Mailbag entries that included references to such papers. In a private e-mail to Vivian Gee from January 2010, he delivered an interesting spin on his feelings regarding the validity of that research:
|“||I STILL disagree with the "Scientists", regardless of how long they may have studied those psychological topics. EVEN if I am living a lie, I'd rather live this lie than believe that truth ever. I AM RESISTANT TO THE CHANGE!||”|
|Chris, to Vivian, 15 January 2010.|
Chris's belief that he is somehow representing his fellow autistics in some sort of tribal conflict against people with Asperger's is entertaining on a couple of levels. For one thing, any such rivalry is nothing but a figment of his overactive imagination, not shared by most people on the autistic spectrum. For another, people on all ends of the spectrum who've been exposed to Chris universally regard him as a revolting embarrassment to other people with the same condition.
He's also just kind of bothered by the fact that it sounds kind of like "ass burgers":
|“||I refuse to let something that has a name that sounds like a bad cut of meat and is NOT as Special as us take our light away.||”|
|Chris, in an e-mail to Jackie.|
Chris has yet to realise that the burgers he usually shoves down his throat are often made of minced rump steak, or 'ass burgers', if you will.
Chris versus Autism Awareness Month
- Main article: Autism Awareness E-mails
In April 2010, Chris uploaded his own version of a web ad for Autism Awareness Month to the CWCipedia. It featured another short rant in which he once again stated his belief that Asperger's has nothing to do with autism, and thus shouldn't receive any extra awareness.
This led a well-meaning volunteer worker to write him and try to correct his misconceptions. She didn't succeed, but their conversation does reveal Chris making some bizarrely contradictory statements, even by his standards. Among other things, he says that the notion of a total disconnect between Asperger's and autism is entirely his own invention, and nobody else led him to that conclusion...but that doesn't stop it from being an indisputable fact.
|“||For your information, the Fact of Aspergers being different from Autism and of it trying to steal the light is of MY Own Idea. I will NEVER conform to such a blasphemous link of any kind between the two.||”|
|Chris, defining reality according to his whim as usual.|
Thus far, Chris has not commented on the recent developments in psychology joining Asperger's and high-functioning autism together once and for all, and it remains unknown whether his attitudes here have softened as they had for the SLGBTQ community.
- Aspergers (CWCipedia article)
- Autism Tutorial Extra
- Autism papers
- Chris and psychology
- Changes proposed in how psychiatrists diagnose.
- ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics (Version: 04/2019)
- Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome)
- Betsy J. Shiland, Medical Terminology & Anatomy for ICD-10, page 518. 2014.