I hear a lot of people talking about crypto-sensitivity syndrome these days. Almost out of the blue. Just about everywhere. A rumor has been started that it’s going to replace autism, Asperger syndrome, etc, in the next DSM. I am surprised how few people were around the first time this term was going around, and how few people know or remember its origins. So consider this post an attempt to debunk this rumor.
Once upon a time, there was a Usenet troll (at least, back then he was considered a troll — lately many have been wishing for one as straightforward as this guy) who also happened to be (or claimed to be) the father of an autistic man. He used to stir up heated debates by accusing parents of abusing their children for not following his peculiar theory of the origin of autism. He was thrown off many autism lists for his nasty behavior.
He (or his son) also invented the term crypto-sensitivity syndrome and all the associated characteristics (“crypto-sensitivity” meaning something like “hidden sensory sensitivities”), which he claimed would replace “high-functioning autism,” “PDD-NOS,” and “Asperger’s”. And then he spammed just about everywhere with that and with his barely-sensical nasty rants towards anyone and everyone. He specialized in calling everyone “twits” if they disagreed with him and saying that they were bad parents and/or just all-around bad people.
If you didn’t know this guy, you should probably be glad. But if you run across people who don’t know that this — and not some serious plan to revamp the DSM, or anything else like that — is behind that extremely long symptom list with the strange name, then you might want to point them at this blog entry.