I happened to stumble upon your entry on a Yahoo Search for Asperger's and I'm glad I did. As a teen with Asperger's, I strongly suggest you tell your son as soon as possible. The fact is he is different. What's more, this is not a bad thing. Any individual who accomplishes anything is different. It's his right and his requirement to know who he is, and what makes him different from those around him. Furthermore,Asperger's Syndrome is hardly what one would think of as a disability. I recommend you take a look at Norm Ledgin's "Diagnosing Jefferson", a wonderful book that suggests that one of the founders of our nation had Asperger's. As I and the book can attest, it is not in spite of but because of the characteristics that set us apart from others that "Aspies", as the popular nickname goes, have the ability to do great things.
The day will come when Asperger's will be recognized for what it truly is: a difference, not a disability, and in many ways an advantage. I think you owe it to your son to talk to him about who he is and help him succeed as that person, not pretend (or worse yet, force him to pretend) to be someone else. I'm somewhat notably successful for my age and as a result I've occasionally been asked to speak to newly diagnosed "Aspies" and at a few conferences about Asperger's and special education in general. One of the things I've always tried to stress is the vital importance of recognizing the advantages of difference and not falling into the trap so many do that different is defective.
It is possible that one of the reasons that Ne'eman was appointed to this position by the Obama administration was his claim that he himself is a stakeholder as a disabled person as per his 'nothing about us without us' mantra. But Ne'eman has stated that he has Asperger's. In this statement which I have printed out and the link that I have provided, we see evidence that Ne'eman (at least at one time) did not even believe that Asperger's was a disability ergo not believing that he himself is a disabled person serving on the disabilities council, so why wouldn't it be deceptive advertising if he has presented himself as a disabled person before the U.S. Senate, claiming he deserves to be a stakeholder alongside nondisabled person on the council?
One interesting sidenote is that Ne'eman trivializes the angst of autism spectrum disorders by claiming that Thomas Jefferson was one of us. I believe I have debunked that notion elsewhere.
I have written both of my U.S. Senators urging them not to confirm Ne'eman to the post, but there is nothing else more that I can do. I suspect Ne'eman will be appointed and there is nothing I can do about it. It is very clear that Ne'eman has stated that he believes autism and Asperger's are not disabilities in the past. I think it is less likely he will be able to go into this post and edit it though as he was able to edit his essay after I called him out on it. He will now state that he believes autism is a disability for political reasons. What is more significant though is that Ne'eman will perpetuate the myth that autism is no great tragedy as he did in that PSA soundbite ironically titled 'No myths'. He will give quick fix simplistic solutions such as claiming that autistics can be fully employed if social pleasantry is eliminated as a criteria for hiring.
As some of my readers know I have been trying to get on SSDI for nearly 3 years. If anyone at all takes Ne'eman (or anyone else from the warped ND movement for that matter) seriously. People in goverment won't see autism as a problem. This means we won't get the help we need. There are some persons who have never worked such as friends Roger Kulp and Stephanie Keil who receive SSI. What if someone had listened to Ne'eman or another like-minded member of the NDC. Is it possible these two individuals would have been denied their benefits and would have to live in even more extreme poverty than they do now? Will the NDC be able to influence the direction scientific research goes in? This means that genetic research in autism will not be funded if Ne'eman has his way, something that could help future generations of autistics. Does this mean we will lose a diminished capacity defense if someone commits what would be a crime for a typical person due to having autistic symptomatology. If Ne'eman preaches what he did in his equality means responsibility essay, then the answer is yes. Will our prisons and institutions be packed with even more ASD persons whose behavior they might not be able to help due to their disability. Of course, Ne'eman will say that Zackery (sp??) Price should get a free pass for some reason in spite of what he wrote in his essay.
Though Ne'eman usually tries to be polite, does this mean that certain neurodiversity members such as the very nasty Harry Williams (AKA Socrates) and the nasty Marc Rosen who enjoys insulting my mother and trying to bring back the Bettelheim era as Clay Adams, Phil Gluyas and some of the more extreme vicious members of club ND have tried to do will be given a license to insult and abuse others.
Will Ne'eman only try to maintain the failed status quo as he has in the past by supporting full federal funding of the IDEA? Does this mean same old, same old from NDC and other government bodies? Does this mean the end of medicaid waivers for those with autism if it is no longer considered a disability and Ne'eman's equality means responsibility mantra extends for people providing for their own medical care as well as not being given a free pass for criminal behavior?
Only time will tell after Ne'eman's appointment is inevitably confirmed by the entire body of the U.S. Senate.