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The loss of this movement's popularity has further continued with the increase of voices from those with autism spectrum disorder (or ASD), including nonverbal people with autism and those with more severe impairments— who are now able to challenge the long-held beliefs and misconceptions that neurotypical people who have discounted their viewpoints had previously held.
The idea of Aspie supremacy has also taken a major blow due to recent revelations regarding the history of both conditions which have shown that people like Hans Asperger, the namesake of Asperger's, had links with Nazism, although many Aspies still use the term.
Having gained popularity during the early 2000s, Aspie supremacists had gained a platform a la online chatrooms and later a few websites of their own, such as Aspergia. Members of Aspergia often referred to themselves as "Aspergians", after their manufactured story of some long-lost land known as "Aspergia". In addition to promoting the idea that autistic people are evolutionarily superior to neurotypicals, the website also claimed that individuals with Asperger's, or Aspergians, are not affected by impairment(s) , but could instead develop special powers as a result of the advantageous quirks and thinking style of people with autistic conditions, in the absence of impairments often associated with classic autism/ASD, possibly with the misconception that no other people with autism share these advantages, or that intelligence is completely linear on account of both prejudice and the limitations of knowledge- and intelligence-measuring tests (like IQ tests).
Some (but not all) Aspie supremacists believe that many of the perceived impairments associated with so-called "high functioning" autism and Asperger's syndrome are merely the result of prejudice towards a different way of thinking, or a decreased amount of societal influence.
Despite the changes to the DSM-5 that merged Asperger's syndrome with ASD, aspie supremacists have always made an effort to distance themselves from autism, often claiming that those who have it are sub-human, or at least a burden on society.
While commonly associated with others who have Asperger's syndrome, some neurotypicals also seem to agree with certain aspects of Aspie supremacism, regarding people with Asperger's as savants or accomplished athletes- often while still remaining critical of those who have other forms of autism.
The evolutionary superiority asserted by Aspie supremacists is based on a serious (and possibly purposeful) misinterpretation of evolution. The idea that Aspies are the "next step" in human evolution is assuming that the condition is a new occurrence, despite evidence suggesting that the condition may have existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The existence of autistic people is nothing new. The idea that one population is superior to another also assumes that evolution is on a linear line from inferior to superior, rather than a natural process that helps a species adapt to a particular environment. A writer from the University of California Museum of Paleontology explained:
“”It is tempting to see evolution as a grand progressive ladder with Homo sapiens emerging at the top. But evolution produces a tree, not a ladder — and we are just one of many twigs on the tree.
Such gross misunderstandings of how evolution works and about what ASD is is not only shared by a group of Aspies but also by some psychologists, parents of autistic kids, anti-vaxxers,[note 1] and even a Predator movie.[WTF?!]
It is also not explained exactly how, given that a far higher than average percentage of Asperger's syndrome patients have either a lack of inclination towards, or a difficult time with, forming and maintaining a long-term romantic partner, this would represent a higher phase of evolution. This clearly has a deleterious effect on reproduction, which would generally be a hindrance to passing along one's genes.
While the vast majority of autistic rights advocates do not believe in the notion of Aspie supremacy, there are at least some who have expressed ideas similar to those of Aspie supremacists.
Temple Grandin, for instance, who has Autistic Disorder but is frequently misinterpreted as having Asperger's Syndrome on account of her ideology and achievements, has claimed that a "little bit of autism" is advantageous, but that people with more serious impairments should be "cured". Grandin has also shown a heavily-implied disdain for people with autism who are unable to work, or who are struggling to find work— demanding that they "get off their butts", along with making critical comments about parents "babying" their children.
- You'd think, then, that they'd stop acting like autism was a fate worse than death. And how could something supposedly caused by vaccines be part of evolution?
- Ballastexistenz: Aspie Supremacy can kill.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080917180250/http://www.aspergia.com/index.htm We ask: Is it possible that the Aspergian Mutation actually has a role to play in the greater scheme of human evolution? Is it possible that rather than a fluke, AS is a positive mutation gaining more gene real estate?
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080917180250/http://www.aspergia.com/index.htm Well, at least in that Asperger's is no illness, so it does not require a cure. BUT WAIT, there's more! Perhaps Asperger's is in itself a cure? This is a short letter explaining what Aspergia.com aims to achieve.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20080917180255/http://www.aspergia.com/lead.htm AM children often develop some “special powers” too.
- Neurodivergent Rebel: A Serious Discussion About Aspie Supremacists
- So I got in a fight with an Aspie supremacist...
- https://www.sapiens.org/evolution/autism-human-evolution/ What Role Did Autism Play in Human Evolution?
- https://news.yale.edu/2017/02/27/genetic-risk-autism-spectrum-disorder-linked-evolutionary-brain-benefit Genetic risk of autism spectrum disorder linked to evolutionary brain benefit
- Not as evolved as we think
- Misconceptions about evolution
- Could Asperger’s and Autism Be the Next Step in Evolution? (Note the heavy gender stereotypes)
- Asperger's syndrome: How 'Aspie' diagnosis slipped past world expert Tony Attwood
- The latest autism theory: it may be the "next step in human evolution".
- Autism – A Leap in the Evolution of Consciousness?
- the predator Science Behind the Fiction: Predator Suggests Autism is Human Evolution - Is That True?
- Temple Grandin devalues us again, in print this time.
- Temple Grandin To Autistic Adults: Get Your Butts Out Of The House And Get A Job