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Does Vladimir Putin have Asperger’s?

Caricature of SteveIn terms of U.S.-Russia relations, there is much to dislike about Russian President Vladimir Putin. One study suggests why.

This research is an interesting attempt to apply Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA) to the Russian leader then extrapolate from those movements to suggest how Putin thinks and how to negotiate with him.

However, I’m bothered by the researchers reference to possible Asperger’s Syndrome—a high-functioning form of autism–as an explanation for Putin’s behavior based on MPA . Such an association, unfortunately, portrays persons with Asperger’s in a negative light.

To link Putin, Asperger’s and its sufferers denigrates persons with the disorder.

This article would have been better had it suggested that Vladimir Putin displays symptoms of a possible neurological basis that may affect his thinking and actions in a predictable manner. The  underlying cause could be a wide range of afflictions yet a definitive diagnosis is impossible.

But to suggest Asperger’s specifically is pure speculation. One that stigmatizes those with Asperger’s; suggesting they are incapable of making good decisions.

Poor judgment is true of many persons—but not exclusive to Asperger’s sufferers.

I’ve seen no effort yet to apply MPA to any U.S. presidential candidate but that may happen soon.

When it does, let’s refrain from ascribing political behavior to Asperger’s or any other possible neurological abnormality.

It’s insulting and has no foundation.


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