I know a lady who has a son who appears to have a case of Asperger’s. She refuses to even consider the idea. She just thinks that he is annoying and needs to be told to be quiet. She and his stepfather have noticed that all of his friends are younger than he is, and he has a hard time fitting in. He will talk endlessly about his own interests and not know how to interact with other people in a meaningful way. He acts a lot younger than he is and it is very difficult to be around him. They think they are doing him a favor by letting him be around their adult friends. They don’t get that it isn’t a favor to their friends.
I’ve spoken with her often about him. She believes that to take him to get assessed or get treatment is to say that there is something wrong with him. She doesn’t want the stigma of a developmental disorder attached to him. She’d rather him suffer, and for everyone around him to suffer, than for him to get help.
Think of it this way. What if he had vision problems? Rather than admitting that he has low vision, she’d rather let him bump into everything and get hurt. When he got older, he’d try to drive and cause accidents because he can’t see properly. Asperger’s is like social blindness. He bumps into people. He bumps into social rules. Getting treatment for him would be the same as getting glasses.
In fact it would be better than getting glasses because people see you wearing glasses. There is a stigma there. It is obvious. Getting treatment for Asperger’s is even better than wearing glasses. If he has counseling to learn how to interact with other people in a healthy way, then the only thing people will notice is that he’s not bumping into people anymore.