It is not uncommon for people who do not understand psychological disorders to say that they are not real. You have probably been told everything from “he’s just a boy” to “if he were my kid, he would never act that way” to “she is just spoiled.” This can be very frustrating and insulting and make you question your perceptions about your child—and maybe even your doctor’s diagnosis.
Some argue that Asperger’s Disorder is not a “disorder” but just an extreme form of normal traits that exist in all of us. Individuals with Asperger’s Disorder may simply be on the more introverted and socially incapable end of the spectrum. Another theory is that Asperger’s Disorder is an extreme version of the male brain. Males tend to be more systematic and females more empathic, just the pattern seen in Asperger’s Disorder.
Others call Asperger’s Disorder a neurodivergent disorder, meaning those who have it are neurologically different from the average person, whom they call neurotypical. The fact that numerous studies using brainimaging techniques have found noticeable differences in the brains of individuals with Asperger’s Disorder when compared to nondisordered individuals argues strongly in favor of Asperger’s Disorder being a “real” disorder.