A few mainly unconnected thoughts, broken up by paragraph breaks:
I was diagnosed with aspergers-like tendencies as a child. They never gave me the full label, but they were serious enough about it to get me evaluated and all that fun stuff.
Personally I disagree with aspergers being out of the DSM, unfortunate history (involving Nazi scientists, joy!) of the name aside. While putting autism on a spectrum better defines how wide a range of symptoms there are, aspergers gave me a specific label for some of my more off-putting traits. And for whenever I feel like thinking logically, having that list helps me check myself. It’s always nice to see in writing some of the things that pop up in my life as a handicap.
I have my “on” and “off” days so to speak. Some days I have random bouts of TMI when I’m trying to bond with people. Other days I’m suddenly an uncomfortably quiet presence in a room. Still others, I’m less off-putting and even well-liked. But I think that has more to do with mood than social aptitude.
Some people in the autistic community aren’t into the hierarchy involved in labeling people as high vs. low functioning, and I understand why, but honestly? For the moment being I think it helps Joe Schmoe know that every person’s experience on the spectrum is different.
I’ve warmed to Sheldon Cooper as a representation of the spectrum. His quirks aren’t always shown as flaws and htey do come in handy for him at times. Plus, it’s hard to show nuance with any mental condition in popular culture – whether it be difference, mental illness, etc. It’s easier to make it the defining trait, hard to make an incidental part of character. He doesn’t represent me, but I hope someone out there who’s on the spectrum positively identifies with him as a piece of themselves widely visible on TV.