History in Waiting: Receiving a Diagnosis of Asperger in Midlife



The Asperger syndrome as a separate nosological entity made its way into the most important diagnostic manual in Western psychiatry (the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) only in 1994. In 2013, i.e. less than 20 years later, it was removed from the new edition of the manual (the DSM-5) and reabsorbed into the autistic spectrum (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The intervening two decades have seen a number of dramatic changes in the meaning attached to the labels of Asperger and autism.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Asperger Syndrome Autism Research Diagnostic Label Military History 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Asperger, H. (1944/1991) ‘Autistic psychopathy in childhood’ Translation and annotation by U. Frith, U. (1991) in Frith, U. (ed.) Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 36–92.Google Scholar
  3. Autistic Advocacy Network. (2014) #StopCombatingMe. Available at:
  4. Bagatell, N. (2010) From Cure to Community: Transforming Notions of Autism. Ethos, 38, 1, 33–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bailey, A. J. (2012) Autism in Adults. Autism Research, 5, 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berger, P. L. and Luckmann, T. (1967) The Social Construction of Reality. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  7. Bishop, D. (2008) Forty Years On: Uta Frith’s Contribution to Research on Autism and Dyslexia, 1966–2006. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(1), 16–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brockmeier, J. and Fasulo, A. (2004) Spazio, tempo e ricordo. La spazializzazione della memoria nei Ricordi d’infanzia di Tomasi di Lampedusa. Rassegna di Psicologia, XXI, 1, 35–61.Google Scholar
  9. Bruner, J. (1986) Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bruner, J. (2002) Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
  11. Eakin, J. (1999) How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves. Ithaca, NY & London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Eakin, P. J. (1985) Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Foucault, M. (1988) Technologies of the Self: A Seminar With Michel Foucault. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  14. Grinker, R. R. (2010) In Retrospect: The Five Lives of the Psychiatry Manual. Nature, 468(7321), 168–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hacking, I. (1995) Rewriting the Soul. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hacking, I. (April 2007) Kinds of people: Moving targets. In Proceedings-British Academy. Princeton, NJ: Oxford University Press Inc., 151, p. 285.Google Scholar
  17. Kanner, L. (1943) Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.Google Scholar
  18. Lopez, B. and Keenan, L. (2014) Barriers to Employment in Autism: Future Challenges to Implementing the Adult Autism Strategy. Submitted to Autism,
  19. van Niekerk, M. E., Groen, W., Vissers, C. T. W., van Driel-de Jong, D., Kan, C. C. and Oude Voshaar, R. C. (2011). Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders in Elderly People. International Psychogeriatrics, 23(05), 700–710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Oatley, K. (1999) Why Fiction May Be Twice as True as Fact: Fiction as Cognitive and Emotional Simulation. Review of General Psychology, 3, 101–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Piven, J. and Rabins, P. and on behalf of the Autism-in-Older Adults Working Group (2011) Autism Spectrum Disorders in Older Adults: Toward Defining a Research Agenda. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(11), 2151–2155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tribble, E. and B. Sutton, J. (2012) Minds in and out of Time: Memory, Embodied Skill, Anachronism, and Performance. Textual Practice, 26(4), 587–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wing, L. (1981) Asperger Syndrome: A Clinical Account. Psychological Medicine, 11, 115–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Alessandra Fasulo, Philip Adrian Hunt and Perry Isadore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations