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The term "Aspie" --is it offensive? What do you call yourself?

"Aspie" - is it an acceptable term? (Up to 2 responses)

  • Yes it's fine

  • I don't mind it but it's out of date

  • I wouldn't use it but I don't mind it if others do

  • I find it a bit in poor taste

  • I find it personally offensive

  • I find it offensive to all autistic people

Results are only viewable after voting.


He's just this guy, you know?
V.I.P Member
Recently some aggro has erupted on social media because a well known ASD creator known as "The Aspie World" produced a video about the "differences between Asperger's and Autism". It's not terribly well informed as is often the case, but it's got people up in arms at the suggestion that being an Aspie is somehow superior to being an Autistic as opposed to being part of the same spectrum.
I understand those feelings, but this has suddenly turned into almost a crusade against the terms "Aspie" and "Asperger's" by some people (admittedly those who like to make a noise) suggesting it's not only outdated but highly offensive to use the term.
How do you guys feel?
Personally I don't mind being considered an Aspie, Autie, Autistic, or an Autistic person/man, but I'm not keen on Person with Autism.
I like 'aspie', it's cute and easy to say. I'm fine with aspie or autistic, but I would generally describe myself as aspie. Autie grates on my nerves for no apparent reason, and person with autism makes it sounds like a disease.
I don't find the word offensive in general but I'd get a slightly uncomfortable knee jerk reaction if someone called me that as I don't have aspergers so I if anything, prefer to be called autistic or autie.
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I was told I had Asperger's Syndrome when I was first diagnosed and confirmed again later. The term Aspie has been in use for around 20yrs or so. I can understand the idea of it being outdated to some degree, but some people identify with it due to their diagnosis. I don't call myself an Aspie anymore, but I do miss the word occasionally because I run out of words for autism and don't like repeating myself.
I don't like the idea that some may use it to make a distinction though, which is where this fracas started.
A few years back I can recall a handful of forum members who seemed to have a bit of animosity at being considered "autistic" based on the DSM-V, given their original diagnosis was for Asperger's Syndrome.

Most seemed to have adjusted accordingly. Aspie, ASD, autistic, high-functioning....whatever. Makes little difference to me what we call ourselves as long as we know and mostly agree to what it means and that it isn't used in a derogatory manner.
I have no issues with the term and though I don’t use the term for myself very often I don’t see a problem with others who don’t mind using it.
Immediately before reading this part of your post:

but I'm not keen on Person with Autism.

I thought, "I prefer just 'person with Autism'". :p

I have no idea why or why I don't like "Aspie" or "an Autistic" or any others. It could just be a matter of what I'm used to. I've always thought of all my diagnoses in the same boat and all something I have, and I didn't see other terms used often until I came here.

I feel like they're too encompassing, like I'm identifying my entire being with Autism, rather than it being a part of me.

I don't know, it's probably just an aversion to change. Who knows. :)

First I disagreed with Pats and now you! Maybe I should check my temperature. :eek:
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The term "Aspie" itself is not offensive in my opinion, but what isn't fine, within the context which you presented is separation between Aspergers and Autism. I describe myself to have/be both and recognise it's a wide spectrum, I just happen to be on the end which requires no outside assistance to live my life.

For someone from the Autistic community to point out differences is problematic, it could be interpreted as one being somehow superior to the other. I haven't seen the video, but I know of the YouTuber, I have followed him, but his videos are very simple and repetitive, so I stopped watching.

Having said that, the word Aspie doesn't bear the same heaviness as 'Autistic', at least that's my perception of how the general population would look at those labels.
Compared with most I’m new to the world of Autism.

Initially; because I hadn’t yet looked at ASD1, 2 & 3,
the term Aspergers is still around in UK
and trying to learn and understand the new lingo quickly on joining a new site,
The term Aspie gave me context when reading posts.

Until I’m educated on the ‘why’ it’s offensive (To date I haven’t ventured beyond this site) I’m still likely to use it.
Perhaps because I don’t yet know what’s PC, trendy or accurate when discussing myself and others on the autism spectrum ?

Having said that, the word Aspie doesn't bear the same heaviness as 'Autistic', at least that's my perception of how the general population would look at those labels.

That's my perception as well, I believe the original idea of Asperger's being different and distinct was the severity of symptoms, and as you said even how much assistance a person needs, I basically need very little if any...

I do think that to the general population Autism is a much heavier word to use and probably carries more baggage with it
Now that I think about it, the DSM grouped Asperger's Syndrome along with classic Autism, so should we even use the term Aspie? It is a good descriptive noun, but does not fit with the current diagnosis. Some people think that they should not have grouped the two diagnosis together. I'm not sure what I think about that. Because Autism is a spectrum... Aspie refers to someone who is quite high-functioning, but even though I am "high-functioning", I can't even handle a part-time job! So go figure.
Nonsensical drivel.

Wasn't there a thread just like this a couple weeks ago?

Not "non-sensical drivel" at all, there are surely people who believe Aspie is an odd or offensive term to describe someone with Aspergers; and honestly, if you have nothing to contribute to the main post or you dislike a post someone's made, simply go past it/ignore it rather than make a fuss about it. It won't do any good in hindsight.

And to answer your question, I don't remember seeing one at all. It may have been about something similar or entirely different.
I don't find the term offending at all, and I don't exactly see why some would in the first place. Though, people in general are strange creatures. I'm sure some find something trivial like "wood" to be offensive and mainly associate it w/ a guys bits and pieces rather than a object from a tree :confused:
I remember the topic being briefly discussed within another topic, when someone said they like the term, and I said, "Really? Why? Cause I don't" and then there were a couple more comments, but I don't recall an entire thread dedicated to it.

And sorry to be pedantic, but "nonsensical drivel" is redundant. :eek:
I think another reason why people might not like is for the same reason people have given for why they do like it: it's cute! It sounds like a fun nickname, which might seem out of place for something that has so affected someone.

Maybe, I don't know, just throwing it out there.

It's cute...

TOO cute...

I think it's fine though I personally don't relate to it.
I do mind that people seem to think autism means low IQ if it isn't Aspergers, though I probably was one of those people once and it's not like I go around informing people otherwise.
Its the opposite of offensive; Aspie is meant to be an endearing term, and has nothing to do with any other parts of the spectrum. If someone is offended by the term Aspie, either it was blatantly misused or they completely misunderstand the term itself.

And as an aside, I find there to be just as many gifts as deficits on the spectrum. I'm kind of tired of all the negativity around it. Its a difference, not a disorder. In fact, I find "Autism Spectrum Disorder" to be slightly more offensive (the "disorder" part) than an endearing nickname ("Aspie") from a certain part of the spectrum.
I was dx'd with classical autism [not jazzy autism, not bluesy autism...] as I had a significant language delay. Other people were dx'd with Asperger's.
All Aspies are Auties but not all Auties are Aspies.
The USA has gotten rid of Aspergers [in the DSM] but other countries haven't.

How people identify is how they identify. Why should I argue with that?

Hans Asperger has been disparaged of late as possibly having Nazi connections. Herwig Czech's research shows that he did indeed refer 'severely disabled' children to another clinic which did experiments on them and many of them died. He also did manage to protect his group of 'little professors.'

I do not know what it was like to be alive back then. I suppose that opposition would have meant death for Hans Asperger and the children in the clinic that he was able to save.

He didn't name Aspergers after himself. Lorna Wing sort of did that.

I am sorry that Hans Asperger was involved indirectly in eugenics. I do not find that a reason to discard the word Aspie or the diagnosis of Aspergers.

Although as adults, Auties who talk with their mouths and Aspies are indistinguishable, as children we present differently.

My disability is not Autism. My disability is living in a society that is threatened by anything that is not the status quo or some sort of elusive norm.

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