so I’m a little confused with my diagnosis. I though I was diagnosed with autism and aspergers, is this possible or is it just aspergers lol
I detest the term 'High Functioning Autism' too, but on other grounds. On the one hand, by association it makes you ask, "well, what about these 'low functioning' autistics?" There seems to be some sort of inherent value judgement in the term. And by that, there's almost a subtle hint (when Neurotypicals say it at least) that we should be grateful that we're "high functioning". Well, as long as I'm psycho-socially crippled in life to be miserable AND high functioning enough to be excruciatingly self-aware of it, well that's all fine then!
I suppose this is a good point to take a little poll, and ask the good folks what their preferred term is?...
I agree. The number of people who say 'Well, at least you're lucky to be high-functioning.' Right! I work with 'low-functioning' autistics. In many cases, they're some of the happiest individuals I've ever met. Completely wrapped up in their own worlds, doing exactly what they want to do, and having others look after their basic needs.
Luck just doesn't come into it!
I voted for ASC - but straight 'autism' would serve just as well for me.
I used to like the term Asperger's but I now realise it's a trap to deny any support because "you're high-functioning so you're doing ok, right?"
While accepting that it is up to the individual to decide how they would like to be 'described' (for want of a better word), myself I think terms other than autism or autistic are just pussyfooting around the issue and terms made to make neurotypicals think the condition is not very serious and not worthy of help.
I have been 'corrected' by neurotypicals who seem to think that I am not Autistic and I should describe myself as having Aspergers (as if somehow that is a less 'severe' form) or that I should say I am 'on the autistic spectrum' which somehow means something less than being autistic. Or that I should say I 'have autism' as if I take it around with me like a pet dog and can leave it at home if I want to, or as if it is something that a couple of tablets or a good talking to will somehow eventually rid me of it.
Perhaps for the benefit of 'newer viewers' to this forum I should put the following link in:
(caution: contains strong language)
I have been asked if I am 'taking medication' for it, or told I cannot be autistic because I manage to get out of the house on my own, or that everyone has days that they feel like I do so I should just pull myself together.
There is a long way to go!
Well said, Evan. Interestingly, on one of the other autism forums that I use, I have met people who are deemed to be less well functioning (i.e. needing intensive support for basic needs) who say that even they sometimes think that "Aspies" have it worse than them because of the unrealistic expectations we are expected to meet and our almost total exclusion from support.
When people have brought this up, I like to use a little thought experiment. I ask what their reaction would be to seeing a non-verbal, chronically stimming autistic person. Predictably enough, they will nearly always say that they pity that person. Then I ask them why they pity that person. The answer is usually amounts to this; the neurotypical person is trying to imagine themself taking on those behaviours that they find so shocking. I then explain my experience of "letting myself go"; hyper-focusing on an interest, uncensored stimming, maybe going as far as dissociating from the external world entirely. I point out that this is one of the most blissful, anxiety-free, and contented states of mind that I can achieve (I wonder sometimes how it relates to meditation.)
This clearly demonstrates how the NT person is not trying to imagine the inner world of the autistic person, they are only projecting the perceived "impairments" onto their own existing desires, expectations and relationships.. The autistic person does not necessarily share any of those goals in life, so there is no reason to assume that they perceive their "impairments" in the same way at all; on the contrary, interventions to improve their "quality of life" may in fact cause them distress, and achieve little because they see no need to make such efforts.
I should make clear that I'm not trying to down-play the difficulties faced by autistic people with intellectual or language impairments; I can't truly empathise with their state of mind, either. The point is to highlight the assumptions that people make, and how non-autistics inability to empathise with autistics is at the root of those assumptions.
A major problem with being "high-functioning" is not just that society expects the same levels of achievement from us as a non-autistic person, but that it is assumed that we ought to have the same desires and self-expectations as a non-autistic person, too. It is assumed that being (or behaving) as much like a non-autistic person as possible is a self-selected goal, when it may be that society's expectations have merely brain-washed us into accepting that our real desires and expectations are perversions or the result of mental illness. It is no wonder that so many of us have self-esteem problems.
Regarding the poll. I personally prefer "autistic" or "autistic person", but I don't take umbrage at any term which is being used respectfully. I will, however, argue for the principle of self-identification with those people who presume to impose political/linguistic "correctness" on communities to which they do not belong.
I voted Neurotypical-bulls*it-truth-seer because it’s funny lol