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to be or to have - that it the question


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I am wondering how people describe themselves.

Do we have Aspergers? or
Are we Aspergers?

For me the diffference is in the implication.
- To have Aspergers sounds like it is something from which you can get cured/healed
- To be Aspergers (to have it as a trait) suggests that it something that you have had all your life, it is just something you live with.

How do other people do this and why?
"are we aspergers" immediately my brain went to "we are the borg"
I use “I am autistic” and “I have autism” interchangeably.

I know that each choice can be infused with different connotations but when I say them they are (on my side of the interaction - like as far as my intended meaning) stripped of those connotations and mean exactly the same thing.

(I would not say “I have/am Aspergers” because I was not diagnosed with Aspergers, I was diagnosed with Autistic Disorder.... I almost never say “I have Autistic Disorder” because it’s awkward and long and there is generally no reason to when I can just say I have autism or that I am autistic....I would never say “I am Autistic Disorder” because it doesn’t make sense.)
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I am an Aspie and I have Aspergers. It’s interchangeable for me. My Aspergers is a trait, just like my brown hair. I am a brunette and I have brown hair.
What counts is that this is a neurological condition that we are born with. That how it manifests itself in terms of traits and behaviors varies with time and amplitude. A condition that develops in a highly individualized and non-linear fashion.

Beyond that, what to call it is just a matter of what medical protocols were employed to diagnose you. Where the ICD-10 likely refers to it as "Aspergers Syndrome" while the DSM-5 (as of 5-13) refers to it as "Autism Spectrum Disorder". With the proposed ICD-11 evolving to something closer to that of the DSM-5.
I agree with what you are saying. I think for those of us on the spectrum we see either being or meaning the same thing. Like @Bolletje put it, I am and I have. But to others that don't understand what autism/aspergers is, it could possibly imply differently. I have sounds like a disease where I am sounds like a description. I use both because I don't think about it. If I did think about it I'd probably say I am autistic.
I find that same line of questioning about church. I am part of the church (it's not the place), but how do I explain to someone where I am going on Sunday morning if I don't say I'm going to church? That's my conundrum.
ASD isn't all you are.
'To be Aspergers' may imply a limit?

Each one of us is so much more than a single label or description.
I just say that "I am on the autistic spectrum". Very rarely, because people don't usually understand what that means anyways.
Since technically it isn't called Asperger's anymore, I say I am on the autiistic spectrum.
Used to say I have Asperger's syndrome since that is what they called it when I was diagnosed.
But, I usually don't say either except to doctors and here on the forum.
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