There is a new paper out entitled, ‘‘People like me don’t get support’: Autistic adults’ experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality.’
A really interesting paper and I’m glad it included statements from the study’s participants as it certainly heightened awareness that I am not alone.
“A recent study on autism language-use from the perspective of the UK autism community, found the term ‘high-functioning’ can underestimate the problems an autistic person can face on a daily basis (Kenny et al., 2016). Bowker et al. (2011)”
I found the above statement particularly pertinent re: high functioning. Wonder if anyone here can think of another term?
Also that double empathy problem is very real and the lack of ability to express needs and feelings... to carry on and keep “coping”, until you can’t, or don’t.
I dislike the terms 'low-functioning' and 'high-functioning', and I guess most of us do. Most professionals and academics I've spoken to also dislike them. I suppose it's a convenient and easily-understood shorthand, though. A bit like 'meltdown' - another term I dislike.
'High-functioning' implies a relativity to something. Unfortunately, that something usually seems to be 'low-functioning' rather than 'neurotypicality'. It still misses the full picture, though. It's about difference, not dysfunction. Just as we don't lack theory of mind necessarily, but instead have a different conception of it.
When I tell people at work that I have more in common with our service users that with my colleagues, I'm sure it's dismissed as nonsensical. Look at the things I can do that they can't!
I wish I could think of better terminology. I ought to be able to. But I can't.
You can always invent new terms. The words are just symbols to express an idea. The difficulty comes in what the definition of the terms/idea should be.
A rose by any other name and all that...