Pseudoscientific diagnosis most often made of people by their narcissistic parents, in conjunction with airheaded social workers, so that the parents don't have to accept personal responsibility for ten to twenty years of filling the kid's head full of dysfunctional bullshit. Also useful, in our age of postmodernist relativism where science is seen as at once useful and deeply suspect, for purposes of claiming financial aid. The kids could probably do with the aid, but society doesn't need the quackery. Those who make a mint out of selling the notion of this condition often rope in a few undeniable autistic savants to their argument so as to confer a thin veneer of respectability on the whole enterprise.
Incidentally, the very use of the word syndrome is pseudoscientific when used in the field of psychiatry. In medicine or any real science, a syndrome is defined as a wide range of symptoms, not all of which may be present in any one patient, which can be proven to link back to a common cause. To take two examples: Down's Syndrome results from a doubling of the sex-linked X chromosome in a person's genotype. It manifests in a range of symptoms including a flattened facial structure, a slant to the eyes, above average muscular development and below average intelligence, not all of which will necessarily manifest in any one person with the syndrome. Likewise, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, manifests in any of a large number of otherwise usually rare opportunistic infections once the body's immune system has been disabled by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Again, not all of these show up in any one case; again, there is a common underlying cause.
After decades of research, psychiatrists remain divided on how the human mind works. There are various conflicting schools of thought (Freudians, Jungians, Adlerians, gestalt therapists, a plethora of others); beyond some empirical research on brain chemistry, neural functioning and other areas related to hard science, the teaching on the workings of the mind get rather hazy rather fast. In other words, we don't really know for certain how the mind works in the sort of detail that would enable us to talk about "common origins" for the extremely wide range of symptoms allegedly linked to this so-called syndrome. The word "syndrome" is simply used in this case because the naive and misguided think it sounds impressively scientific. The very fact that the parameters of Asperger's are so broad and vague pretty much tells you what this whole racket is really about; selling people a bill of goods. However, in the majority of cases, given the plasticity of the human mind in early development and the lack of any explanation of how this "syndrome" is supposed to arise, the above definition is, I would offer, likely to be at least as good as any.
Johnny and Mary Stewart could never get their asses out of bed in the morning and Mary filled little Billy's head with nonsense about how the world is full of people out to get him. When he was bullied in school she told him to ignore it. Now she's gadding about telling everyone he has Asperger's Syndrome. Surprise surprise.
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