Decoding the High Functioning Label


Musings of an Aspie

Aspies are often labeled high functioning by default. Some people even seem to think it’s a compliment.

“You must be very high functioning. You don’t seem autistic.”

“Why, thank you. And you’re not especially ugly.”

Because, yeah . . . being told you’re “not that autistic” like it’s a good thing is hard to swallow.

Functioning Labels in Practice

Applying functioning labels to autistic people is problematic. Maybe an example will help illustrate why.

I’ll describe two autistic women, Mary and Joan. See if you can tell which one is high functioning and which one is low functioning:

Mary is a wife and mother. She’s been steadily employed since age 16, has a BA degree and runs her own small business. She exercises regularly and is health conscious. When her daughter was younger, she volunteered for parent committees, hosted sleepovers, coached softball and drove carpool. As the more detail-oriented spouse…

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Disability consumer and activist. Pissed off since 1995... Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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Pissed off since 1995. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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We are raising money to cover the boys medical and disability expenses. ALL funds raised go into their own account, to pay for these expenses. Things such as speech therapy, occuptational therapy, psychology, chaperoned sport and social activities, and special equipment etc. I hate having to do this, but hey, if you don't like it, then give me a job ;-). Please click on the photo to go to their GoFundMe page, and thank you for your time (and I do hope, your generous donation *cheeky grin*)!!!

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When you’re needing the bed to work, but your dying cat is using it, and you don’t want to interrupt her... 😽🐾 Today was the fifth day of our little heatwave, with temperatures reaching the mid thirties again!  The heat makes me very unwell, especially as we don’t have appropriate cooling at home, but Thursday’s are my big day out, with volunteering in the morning, then going out with my support worker in the afternoon (all of which involves being in places with decent air conditioning). Today, we decided to go for a swim in the late afternoon - this was taken as we arrived at the beach.  It was surprisingly calm, considering the storms brewing all around. #HadAGreatDay #NoFilter 🏖 ❤️ Reading with my little man ❤️ #Reading #SoCute #Snuggles
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