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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Damore and Self-Diagnosis

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss evaluation and diagnosis.  Prominent people sometimes publicly engage in casual self-diagnosis.  Jerry Seinfeld did so three years ago, and got a great deal of negative reaction, causing him to walk back his remarks.  

At The Daily Caller: Eric Lieberman reports on  James Damore, the Google engineer who lost his job after questioning diversity policies.  On a Reddit "“ask me anything” (AMA) session, he speculated that he might be on the spectrum.
“Hello James. I have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and I recognised a lot of myself in your interviews,” Reddit user “TheKingsRaven” said. “I was curious if you’ve ever been diagnosed with ASD/Autism/Aspbergers [sic]yourself? Sorry if this is too personal.”
Damore appeared to have no qualms with the question, answering in a straightforward, apparently honest way.

“I am likely on the spectrum,” Damore said, “because my thinking is very pattern oriented and I didn’t start talking until much later than normal.”
Another Redditer then asked if people with ASD innately have problems with leadership, drive for success, or ideas in general.
“I’m not sure, I haven’t read enough [on] autism and those on the spectrum can be very different than the most extreme,” Damore responded. “I personally have problems with leadership and don’t have as high a drive for success as others.”