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?...
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.
Trogluddite said: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
Is "Neurotypifying" a legit word / phenomenon?! ;-)
Or, should it be "Neurotypecasting"?!