Diagnosing Aspies who lived before DSM-IV (1994)

How do we draw diagnostic conclusions about people who are no longer alive?

By John Counsel

We do it in much the same way as we do with people who are alive NOW! By considering WHAT they say and do, HOW they say and do them — and making an educated assessment as to WHY they said and did them, including their writings.

Except that we need to assess what they said and did WHILE THEY WERE STILL ALIVE.

Fortunately, the people listed here were all FAMOUS, so their achievements and ideas, etc — and the observations and opinions of others who lived at the same time — tend to create a reasonable record upon which we can draw still.

There is plenty of evidence from the Apostle Paul’s life and writings to suggest he was an Aspie. I’ve referred many people to clinical psychologists (my own qualifications are in educational psychology) based on less evidence than Paul has left us, all of them positively diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

As for the others on the list, many are in fact diagnosed, and several have publicly acknowledged their conditions. Others have been assessed based on their work, writings and lives — much like living Aspies.

There are few assessment tests available, even in 2019, that do not require an educated professional OPINION to conclude a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. (I underwent a series of assessments over a number of years, from 1995, ALL of which resulted in misdiagnoses. The diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome in December 2002 finally got it right.

In a field where specialist, professional OPINION is often needed to establish the veracity or credibility of FACTS, keeping to the facts, as some suggest, might be preferable — but effectively impossible to do, even with the LIVING.

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