The real origin of “crypto-sensitivity syndrome”.

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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.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Physically and cognitively disabled. Anything you hear in the media or gossip is likely to be oversimplified at best and wildly inaccurate at worst, the only way to get to know me is to actually know me. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died a couple years ago and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

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