This is the internet weblog of Bix Frankonis.

No. It’s not at all a sign of progress for someone to misidentify their weirdness as autism.

Grinker applauds the reconception of neuropsychiatric conditions as continuums or spectrums, as depicted in the current edition of the DSM. To Grinker, it is a sign of progress and shrinking stigma when neatniks refer to themselves as “a little OCD,” in reference to obsessive-compulsive disorder, or nerdy types say that they are “on the spectrum.” Such phrases demonstrate how the stigma attached to these conditions has ebbed, and they bring us closer to Freud’s vision of mental illness as something we are all prone to, one way or another.

I get many autistic people’s opposition to pathologizing autism, but it actually is important to distinguish between autistic people and people who are merely somehow weird or eccentric. Both the autistic and the nerd might need acceptance but the autistic requires supports.