Should we ditch Hans Asperger's label?

I've never liked the whole "Asperger" label, because it lends itself to a series of horrible puns (and is unfair to children in that way).

I presume this has been discussed on here, but Dr Hans Asperger is not the kind of man we should be celebrating. This is off Wikipedia - I apologise for using that source, but it is the quickest to cut and paste


Edith Scheffer, a modern European history scholar, wrote in 2018 that Asperger cooperated with the Nazi regime, including sending children to the Spiegelgrund clinic which participated in the euthanasia program.[26] Scheffer wrote a book further elaborating on her research called Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna (2018).[27][28]

Another scholar and historian from the Medical University of Vienna, Herwig Czech concluded in a 2017 article in the journal Molecular Autism, which was published in April 2018:

Asperger managed to accommodate himself to the Nazi regime and was rewarded for his affirmations of loyalty with career opportunities. He joined several organizations affiliated with the NSDAP (although not the Nazi party itself), publicly legitimized race hygiene policies including forced sterilizations and, on several occasions, actively cooperated with the child ‘euthanasia' program.[29]

Dean Falk, American anthropologist from Florida State University, questioned Herwig Czech's allegations against Hans Asperger in two papers in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.[30][31] Czech's reply was published in the same journal.[32]

In May 2019, Ketil Slagstad, a Norwegian doctor and historical scholar, added his interpretation of both Scheffer's and Czech's work, in his article "Asperger, the [National Socialists] and the children - the history of the birth of a diagnosis",[33] in which he describes the nuances of the situation. He offers an alternative explanation of Asperger's involvement, citing the challenges of war, desire to protect his career and protect the children for which he cared, Slagstad concludes:

The story of Hans Asperger, Nazism, murdered children, post-war oblivion, the birth of the diagnosis in the 1980s, the gradual expansion of the diagnostic criteria and the huge recent interest in autism spectrum disorders exemplify the historical and volatile nature of diagnoses: they are historic constructs that reflect the times and societies where they exert their effect.

Critically, though, Slagstad noted "Historical research has now shown that he [Asperger] was...a well-adapted cog in the machine of a deadly regime. He deliberately referred disabled children to the clinic Am Spiegelgrund, where he knew that they were at risk of being killed. The eponym Asperger’s syndrome ought to be used with awareness of its historical origin."[34]