ISDs – know the signs

Ed note: The following is a spoof based on the DSM’s diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) 1 provides standardized criteria to help diagnose ISDs (Ignorance Spectrum Disorders).

Diagnostic Criteria for 608.00 Ignorance Spectrum Disorder as related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, among others:

Six or more items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3):

Qualitative impairment in perception of others who present with differences as sentient, intelligent, capable human beings as manifested by at least two of the following:

  • marked impairment in ability to overcome belief that nonverbal people (or people who struggle to communicate verbally) have nothing to say and / or no understanding of spoken language
  • failure to get past assuming that verbal language is the only language with meaning and purpose
  • a lack of spontaneous seeking to discern how others might prefer to interact
  • a lack of ability to see that interaction and communication happen in many different ways

Qualitative impairments in integration of knowledge as manifested by at least one of the following:

  • delay in, or total lack of, understanding of basic concepts such as the inherent value of human life in all of its various and wondrous manifestations, respect, dignity
  • in individuals with adequate experience with those on the autism spectrum, a marked impairment in evolution of understanding of the disorder as a vast and varied spectrum as subject to the forces of individuality as any other human condition
  • stereotyped and repetitive failures to act on the presumption of competence and the universal ability to contribute to society
  • lack of varied, spontaneous displays of respect for others

Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior as manifested by at least one of the following:

  • consistently speaking about an autistic person in front of him or her assuming s/he can’t hear or understand (or writing about autistic people as if they can’t now or won’t ever have the capacity to read)
  • failing to consider the impact of one’s words or actions on the self-esteem, self-image, safety, credibility, mental health and / or well-being of autistic people in favor of one’s own agenda
  • apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals such as silencing autistic voices by methodically excluding them (or contributing to their systemic exclusion) from conversations about autism

* Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 103 years: (1) respect, (2) accommodation and flexibility as used in social communication, or (3) imaginative and compassionate interaction with others

* The disturbance is not better accounted for by Pervasive Dipshitius Disorder or Generalized Asshat Disorder.

Ed note: This was inadvertantly very similar to this posting from the Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical from 1998. I hope you’ll check it out. They even have a handy test to see if you might be suffering from Neurotypical Disorder. 🙂

29 thoughts on “ISDs – know the signs

  1. Love it!!!

    Should have a quip in there about the fact that ISD-er’s will never have careers as an athlete, astronaut, or president ><

  2. As a teacher, I read your blog to help me understand students who have or may yet come my way and I soooo very appreciate your tone and passion. This piece is a gem of sarcasm that deftly points to important failings in schools. A great read.

    I will keep reading, keep learning, keep trying to do better. Thanks for the humor through this hard work.

  3. This. Is. Awesome.

    Only early diagnosis can lead to early interventions. Thank you for providing this necessary diagnostic tool. Diagnosis should include functional testing in behaviour-as-communication interpretation, imaginative accomodation creation, and patience and tolerance threshold testing.

    40 or more hours per week of behavioural therapy may lead to ISDers being indistinguishable from their empathy-typical peers. (One can hope).

  4. OMG, it’s a good thing I had finished my coffee before I read this, or my computer screen would’ve gotten sprayed! I really hope I get to meet you in person someday. Or grow up and be you 😉

  5. Pervasive Dipshitius Disorder or Generalized Asshat Disorder? OW, I think I hurt myself laughing!

  6. I’m with Laura on this one, this is great! I’m an Intern in School Psychology and the nanny of an awesome autistic boy, and I’ve been reading your blog throughout my grad school adventure. The schools, as well as the mental health professions desperately NEED to understand this. As a culture we have a problem if we can not see all of the wonderful things that people on the spectrum (and with other disabilities) have to contribute to society. Thank you for helping me to see this daily, and for introducing me to the pages of others who help me see it too. I will keep working and trying so that ALL of our kids have an opportunity to participate in school and beyond in their very own way.

    • *standing up and clapping* – thank you! Especially for clicking over to read when the autistic adults have to say. There is so, so much we can all learn together. xo

      • *doing a dance because Jess read my comment AND responded* You probably get this a lot, but it because of you and others who are sharing their experiences that the next generation of service providers will suffer from much less ISD (with any luck). Thank you. I truly think that reading your blog, among a few others has been one of the most informative parts of my graduate education. xo

  7. This is terrific!! I often write about how my son’s autism can be looked at from a positive perspective. Yes, me son is different than the ‘typical’ child, but whoever said that was a bad thing? More people need to understand and be less critical of those who are unlike them. A few months ago I wrote two posts from my son’s point of view if you’d care to read them. I think it is important to share their side. After all, it is about them, not us. Part 1/2

  8. Wonderful! But how about adding a part addressing the symptom of friends and family who conclude the ASD is contagious?

  9. Fantastic! Can we get buttons and small flyers to hand out to people we believe to be at risk? 🙂

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