The number of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses has grown to an average of one in 110 children today, a number that has sharply increased since the 1980s. In a segment for HuffPost Live, host Nancy Redd discussed whether we are overusing this serious diagnosis, and how that affects actual adults and children with ASD and Asperger's.
Author Benjamin Nugent's psychologist mother falsely diagnosed him with Asperger's when he was a teenager. He joined Redd to share the impact this had on his life.
“I was lucky that it didn’t shape my life very much because I was seventeen,” he said. “If I had been born five years younger, it’s much more of a question of how it would have affected my life because I wouldn’t have had the sense of self when I was twelve, to say no, I don't have Asperger’s. I’m just shy or unpopular in school, or there are other factors that make it seem like I have a neurologically hardwired issue.”
Also contributing to the discussion were Dr. Paul Steinberg, a psychiatrist and writer, Roberta Shirff, mother of an autistic child and creator of MeMoves, and Michael John Carley, author of ‘Asperger’s From the Inside Out’ and Executive Director of the Global and Regional Asperger’s Syndrome Partnership.