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I might do something on AuTalkz about this, though it'd be difficult not to make it a satire like the old ones.

Anyway, I've been seeing a lot of celebs and other "famous" people suddenly announcing to the public that they have Asperger's Syndrome.
I've seen about three of these in the past week alone; not even going to try and count the number I saw in the past month.

I actually get annoyed when I see those stories.  You know why?

Because Asperger's is the new ADD, so it's apparently "cool" to have it.

It's NOT cool.  I make light of it as much as I can in AuTalkz, but there are a LOT of frustrating things that come with it.  Also, if they're just being diagnosed for the social aspect, it's not Asperger's.  I really can't stand when shy/introverted people are presumed to have Asperger's; there's a lot that comes with it besides that.

But it's like these celebs are "coming out of the closet" or something.  Now that it's "cool", and everyone seems to be getting diagnosed, they feel no shame in saying that they have been or were just diagnosed with Asperger's.  It's something to make them more "interesting" to others.

Well, guess what?  One of my favorite stand up comedians has absolutely no diagnosis of anything; he's completely "normal", and he doesn't need a diagnosis to be interesting or generate publicity.

That's what I feel some of these lesser known celebs (cause they aren't very well known, most of them) are doing.  They're just crying for attention.
"Look at me!  I have an interesting back-story now because I have Asperger's!"

I was declaring that I had Asperger's in my profiles and to people I met since I was diagnosed with it.  I'd tell people I have Anxiety and panic attacks...cause otherwise, misunderstandings occur and I come off as "really weird".  When people know that I'm twirling my hair or playing with my shirt because it's a form of stimming, or that I'm shifting around and practically running out of the room because I'm having a panic attack...welp, they know WHY I'm doing those things.

And also, because I don't care if it's cool or not.  It might not even be appropriate for me to say "I have Asperger's", but I say it anyway.  I still miss social cues, after all.

I have Asperger's, and I'm even making a comic about it.  Not for popularity or to get famous, but because (especially with the increase in diagnosis) I want people to understand about it.  I want parents of autistic kids to get some insight into why their child does something; I want people who have family members or friends with autism to understand them a little better; and, I want people who also have autism to be able to smile and laugh, and know they're not alone (and that, even though it's called a "disability" for a reason, trying to find a positive side to it can help with overall happiness).

It's really, really annoying to see these people suddenly "come out" and talk about something that most of us were picked on for having now that there won't be any laughter.

It was well known years ago that Satoshi Tajiri (the creator of Pokemon) has Asperger's.  He didn't wait until it was "popular" to suddenly come out and say he has it. 

I really think that the majority of these celebs are doing it for attention, and some of them might not even legit have it.  If it was something that was interesting about them that they wanted people to know, they should have said so when they first got famous (and-or even before they got famous!), not after they got famous and when the most common diagnosis is Asperger's.

So what I'm getting is...back then, it would damage their reputation.  Today, it suddenly makes them a "strong" and "brave" person, and helps their reputation.

Celebs with autism?  The only one I'd actually look to, and she's not really even a "celebrity", is Temple Grandin. 
I mean, besides the fact that most of these people have suddenly "come out" about having Asperger's when people are being diagnosed left and right with it, they're still celebrities.

Now, this could be my opinion, but I wouldn't want to listen to a celebrity about their "struggles with Asperger's".  Celebs are in a completely different WORLD from me, and other day-to-day common folk.  I don't want to hear someone who's famous talking about autism, or how they understand it (even if they have it), unless they got famous as a direct result of having Asperger's.

I never hear of any articles where Satoshi Tajiri makes a big deal over having it, and most likely, it was that Asperger's-fueled imagination which could have led to the world of pokemon (as most of us with it know, we spend a lot of time in our imaginations, and there are other worlds there; it wouldn't be surprising for one of those worlds to become the world of Pokemon).
It's not like these celebs now coming out and talking about it.  That doesn't make me feel any more connected to them than when I didn't know they had it.  They're still in another world, Asperger's or not.  And I really can't associate with that.  If I knew them personally, that'd be a different matter. 

Even though someone is famous, they're still just another person, like the rest of the human race; that's how I always see it.  But the truth is that celebs really are in another world from the rest of us.  For some stranger to start saying that they have Asperger's...
Welp, it's like being a cat person, and hearing some stranger say that they like cats.  Sure, it introduces a common topic of interest, but I'm still just as far away from that stranger as I was before knowing that we have something in common.

I got a little off topic here, but my point is that it just annoys me to suddenly see celebs (some of which claim to have had the diagnosis since they were a child; or a similar diagnosis since Asperger's Syndrome itself wasn't well known or around when they were first diagnosed) speak up and announce they have it now that it seems to be more "popular" than if they think that'll either make them more interesting, or get more fans from the folks who are autistic by appealing to them that "I have something you have, too".

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AuTalkz; Let's Talk!  An observational comic about finding the humor in living with autism, OCD, and Anxiety!  Updated Wednesdays.

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  • Listening to: \"Chiisaki Mono\"
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Judy-H Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014
I've just found your comic (through NaNoWriMo), so I know I'm commenting here quite late, but may I suggest a different point of view?  I suspect the current trend of celebrities 'coming out' about their disabilities, whether Asperger's or something else, is part of an awareness movement, an attempt to erase some of the stigma.  As in, "See, this celeb is cool, AND he/she has Asperger's."  Similar to the people who spoke out about depression after Robin William's death.

And, I really appreciate your commentary about what it feels like to be an Aspie.  My nephew is autistic -- I believe he would have Asperger's, except I thought that specific diagnosis had been eliminated again?  I have real communication problems with his parents, so I want to learn how to interact well with him (no pushing hugs on him, etc.) from other sources, rather than getting it from them.
mdchan Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Sorry for the late reply!  >.<;;

Anyways, I'm glad the comics have helped!  ^^
strange-matter000 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
I've never actually been diagnosed with anything, but I wouldn't be surprised. I'm not entirely sure I would want to know it could make me self-conscious... It seems to me, though, that an individual's view of autism depends might depend on their symptoms and its severity.
mdchan Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
For me, it was a relief, cause I had been called a lot of nasty things (as well as "lazy" and "coward" due to my meltdowns), so I was really relieved to find out that I wasn't a lazy coward.
BreakNeckViolet Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013   Traditional Artist
I can't stand people like that, who would just blatantly lie about having a disability to gain popularity. I've never done that, but on behalf of all the idiots that choose to, I'd like to apologize. It's not cool, especially when people are actually suffering.
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm a bit autistic myself.
lopsidelibby Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
it's a disability for a reason, folks! 'its not cool!
Kirby-Girl99 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I Have PDD-NOS and I already knew it wasn't cool :/
HallowpointPaws Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm autistic. I didn't speak until I was four or five so I don't know if I truely have Asperger's or HFA. I personaly always enjoyed being autistic and would consider it cool. I never "suffered" from autism, but from the ignorance and cruelty of other people. I have heard of autism being descibed as a blessing and a curse, but for me I just do not see anything that could be considered a curse.
mdchan Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I call it a blessing and a curse.  I've had really bad days with it, where I'll get frustrated over a miscommunication or inability to properly describe something I'm going through, or getting agitated when my father makes motions or barks at me to "hurry up already" when I'm trying to tell him something (since I have weird pauses in my speech at times), or have complete meltdowns where I shut off from the world (usually due to the frustrations), or panic attacks from over or understimulation.

On the other hand, I'd never have even known I could draw like I do now if it wasn't for having Asperger's.  I used to draw as a way of stimming, which helped calm me down and prevented or got me out of panic attacks.
HallowpointPaws Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I always found it was other people that caused my problems. Your dad snapping at you to go faster is his problem not yours. The dude needs to learn the concepts of compassion and paitence.
cursedironfist7 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
i heard that there once was a fundraiser for curing autism.
LiverofReanhay Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
thats bad it also diverts money from peopke who have autism/aspergers,
or more serious aspects of autism.
mdchan Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Autism Speaks does a lot of things like that; I'm against stuff like that, of course.  In fact, I don't like a lot of things they specifically do (and have done).  The money could be better put to helping kids with autism get therapy, and helping adults with autism with life skills rather than some silly "cure". 
OnagaKoopa Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Autism is not cool, i would advise people to take this more seriously.
landonbay Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
well, it is Uncool when it is announced all the sudden, especially if they didnt show signs before
mdchan Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Not knowing them personally, I'd have no idea if their stories are true or not, and if they've shown signs in the past.  So, I can't really say anything about that (though I do question some of the recent diagnosis of Asperger's; it's too similar to the ADD craze when I was a child.  In that, most kids wound up "outgrowing it" because they were diagnosed with something they just didn't have).

But I do agree that it's not cool for them to just up and announce it with the increase of diagnosis going on.  If their diagnosis is true, it means they were ashamed of it before, or felt that it would damage their reputation by saying something previously. 
landonbay Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
well, I was ashamed once, but then I learned to live with it, and I see myself in a higher state of thought with it.
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Submitted on
December 29, 2013


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