With reference to the Twitter storm over Chris Packham's comments
here My assessment report said there have to be impairments in social communication, social imagination and social interaction
for an appropriate diagnosis to be made. Is impairment synonymous with disability though?
In the eyes of general society autism is classed as a disability. For example, if you're a HE student simply being autistic makes you eligible to apply for the disabled students' allowances.
I take the view that I am not disabled by having the autistic neurotype as there isn't anything I'm unable to do. The predominant neurotype (neurotypicals) do disable me though in the way they design society and their lack of inclusive practice. For example, I was unable to work with my team as they're in a huge open-plan office of around 40 staff and this caused me sensory overload, therefore, I had to have the RA of my own office. I would have been able to work in a smaller officer if the team's environment had been designed with diversity in mind.
Society's view that all autistic people are disabled does sadden me but having worked in disability support for many years I do understand that hardly anyone knows exactly what it means to be autistic.
I think it's down to personal perception/experience - some may identify with having a disability, whereas others won't. I think the most respectful thing to do is to let individuals self-identify.
However, for the purpose of being protected by the Equality Act 2010, Citizens Advice gives the following guidance:
The Equality Act 2010 sets out when someone is considered to be disabled and protected from discrimination. The definition is quite wide - so check it even if you don’t think you’re disabled. For example, you might be covered if you have a learning difficulty, dyslexia or autism.
The definition is set out in section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. It says you’re disabled if:
A thing that puzzles me. The criteria for diagnosis says there has to be impairments in 3 areas ,as I've previously posted ;yet there's people with the diagnosis who make out they have no problems .
Why do such people seek an assessment then? If they're given a diagnosis that suggests they have some degree of impairment , but such people don't think they're impaired in any way.
Maybe they are of opinion that the impairment is from the NT viewpoint. So it's only seen as an impairment from people who are NT. You could make the comparison the other way, and say various traits of NT behaviour are an impairment of the ND viewpoint (hypersensitivity to senses for example) but the majority of people are NT, so it's ND that are compared to NT, not the other way around.
So basically some people go for an assessment , that includes impairment as a criteria for a diagnosis, already denying they are impaired in any way ?!
Which comes back to the point of- If you don't see yourself as impaired why seek out an assessment in the first place?
I sought a diagnosis as I wanted to be able to say authoritatively that I was autistic.
The world has been created by NTs and sometimes, even if you don't agree with their terminology or view, you have to play their game to get what you want.
I understand what you're saying. I think there's a lot of reasons why people go for diagnosis. I can only speak for myself and that I am not seeking a professional diagnosis.
As impairment is required for a diagnosis,and a thorough assessment is done to decide that, I'd venture that some people are in denial/can't see they're impaired.
Autism and anosognosia
My report states one of my 'impairments' is around my need for routine in regards to food, as I have five meals that I eat in rotation. These meals are nutritionally balanced e.g black bean chilli , lentil and chickpea curry, plus cashew nut stir fry. I'm currently pregnant so am having my blood checked regularly and every time they come back that I'm perfectly healthy and do not need any extra support, such as iron tablets. I know many neurotypicals whose eating habits aren't classed as impaired as they fit the general populations yet they were prescribed extra vitamins during pregnancy as they weren't getting the nutrients they need.
If my diet is providing me with all of the vitamins and minerals I need to live a healthy life I don't see it as an impairment and am instead saddened by NT society as I believe they cause the ND community a lot of harm by trying to wrongly state that the way many of us live is wrong simply because it differs from their preferences.
I'm interested in your view Firemonkey as whether you'd agree with the diagnostic criteria and feel that I am impaired in regards to this and why?