Sunday, August 23, 2015

Matthew and His Hair-Brained Diagnosis: I Am a Stupid Version of Sheldon

My brother believes I'm a less intelligent version of Sheldon. Matthew is  actually wrong on two counts. I'm considerably less than a standard deviation from Sheldon's reported IQ (although Sheldon also says his intelligence cannot be accurately gauged by standard assessments), in addition to the fact that I lack the obvious quirks shown by this fictional character.


My brother thinks he might possibly choose child psychiatry as a specialty. I personally think it's a poor fit, but he'll need to discover that for himself unless he reads my blog and enlightens himself the easy way.

Anyway, Matthew has been reading up on various topics related to child and adolescent psychiatry and has decided that I am on the autism spectrum. He believes I am closest to what was formerly diagnosed as Asperger Syndrome except that, for various reasons, it's not classified as such in the currently-in-use DSM. It's simply classified as an Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

The reasons for this change in terminology are , or at least I've been told, that A) an "Asperger Syndrome" diagnosis ultimately qualified children for fewer services than does the more inclusive "Autism Spectrum Disorder" and B) parents of children anywhere on the autism spectrum tended to seek out the daignosis of "Asperger" for their affected children despite the possibility of fewer services being provided because it was slightly less stigmatizing than "autism" by itself and a higher-prestige diagnosis (akin almost to being voted the most cool kid at band camp). 

Regardless of the disappearance of the term from the current DSM, professionals know an Aspie when they see one from a distance of a mile or more whether or not they were giving out the diagnosis too liberally to appease parents. (It's really tough for a professional to inform a parent that his or her child has a disability, and when parents have asked for a milder form of the diagnosis in writing, many practitioners have acceded to the parents' wishes, ultimately rendering the diagnosis on paper difficult to take at face value.) Also regardless is that  my brother is in no position to be making such diagnoses on me or anyone else, and he got it wrong where I'm concerned. I'm maybe a little OCD, as is roughly half the population in the U.S. according to a recent estimate, but I'm not on the autism spectrum.

Furthermore, Matthew is the boy who, as a child of four years, was afraid that if anyone flushed a toilet when he was sitting on it or standing too near, he would be sucked into the municipal sewer system. He also obsessed on water towers (he called them "thity water thupplierth" with his lisp), as well as on home and business alarm system companies, school boundary lines, whether residential areas were incorporated or unincorporayed, and on college and professional sports uniforms, in addition to various other obsessions I won't even bother to list.  Should he really be the sole arbiter of my level of neurotypicality? I think not.

It's a great show even if my brother is totally in left field in terms of my supposed resemblance to the character of Sheldon. I do enjoy watching Sheldon's solutions to the equations on the white board unfold from episode to episode. I actually more fully identify with the character of Leslie Winkle, who had only limited appearances on the program. She's much more of a cutthroat bitch than Sheldon is; I embrace the whole "cutthroat bitch" identity, though I don't know if it will follow me to my second year of med    school.                                                                             

10 comments:

  1. You are hilarious... though the way you write about your brother's intelligence level, I worry a bit for the patients in his future.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In case you want source information one is;
    http://www.teachthought.com/interest/the-10-youngest-college-students-of-all-time/

    and another is:
    http://autismmythbusters.com/general-public/famous-autistic-people/

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I entered a link to this blog on my new article, The Worst Thing for Health That You Consume. It says that I am not a medical doctor so that I cannot give medical advice. I am a friend of a 20-year-old woman that is going to medical school to be a medical doctor. She is a genius, a great writer and has had a blog for 5 years. Check her out at The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis.
    http://hub.me/ajKiK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. merci beaucoup for the plug, Chuck!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  6. Your welcome Alexis! I took AP French in 12th grade. We read classics in French.

    ReplyDelete