It's not exactly the same, and it seems some are split on the issue of whether to classify it as a disability(and others have debated over whether it should be "cured", but that's another topic entirely), but as I've stated here before, I have autism. Of course, I'd grown up knowing I was already, so I got some therapy early on, which I guess was good for me. However, I never really thought about what it meant until these last few years, when I started to frequent this one forum meant for others like me. I learned about all different kinds of issues others' dealt with that I didn't even realize I had myself. I'd thought I was just a nerd, but reading about how these things autism and aspergers can cause gives me more understanding as to why, despite desiring fulfilling friendships and relationships with other people, they may not quite be able to because of barriers in communication, and not just those that are at the forefront or the most obvious, either. Whenever I hear others talk about those like me are just cold-hearted or antisocial or actually want
to be isolated - and to see that kind of talk encouraged by a majority - it hurts me a lot, much like comments made about not trying hard enough.
It's hard for me not to underestimate the power of a diagnoses, having had one very early on myself, but I've heard from many others, and not just from other people with autism, how it has been near life changing for them to finally be able to know that what they have is real, to not be invalidated. I suppose there are some that it seems to affect negatively; I've seen some people pretty much give up on life once they've found something is inherently "wrong" with them. They wonder what the point is of trying to get around it if they will never truly be able to overcome it. While I can not blame them, I don't view things in life in such a way.
In the way that society is set up, terms like "stupid" are used for a large variety of reasons, and I think most are unnecessary, if not all. Chances are, going through life, you will never be able to know absolutely everything. Not to say that you shouldn't strive for what you want, but it is more about your own personal values than anything else. You should not have to be so hard on yourself for things only others find important. Some of the kindest, most respectful people I know, I did not consider terribly smart(not that I'm the best, either). Because it didn't matter to me how much a person new, I have been able to form great friendships with these people. In my opinion, a persons' value has little to do with such arbitrary things, let alone many other worldly things outside of the personality at their core. Sure, expression may be able to tell you some things, but to me, it never paints the whole picture. You don't really know someone until you've had an honest and open discussion with them.
I suppose one thing that has helped me has been this one book I read in my early teenage years, titled 'Flowers for Algernon'. Again, not the same disability, but I found I could relate to the main character for the fact he was disabled alone. Just that he felt different and isloated and by society's standards, stupid. I've recently watched the movie(and there's actually another that was made earlier on, titled 'Charlie', if you want to look that one up), and while I feel they've changed it too much and for the worse, I think it may still be worth a watch.Flowers for Algernon-part 1
In any case, I hope that whatever you decide to do, that you don't let something like this drag you down. I know I've already spent too much time letting myself feel upset over things I should not have cared so much about in the past, realizing that they were not as crucial to myself, so much as it was just about impressing people who I realized did not even care anyway. Life has been so much better that I now realize what I want out of life and who my true friends are that will help support me.