What is a “Spectrum”?

The Autism Spectrum.  A linear thing, to be sure, if you listen to “experts”.  This six year old child can not speak or go to the toilet, so they are low functioning.  This six year old child can speak and go to the toilet, so they are high functioning.

I guess my six year old child who can do one but not the other is somewhere in the middle???

So, on a colour spectrum, someone with low functioning Autism would be blue, and someone with high functioning Autism would be red, and someone like my son would be green…

Except that this is not how Autism (or humanity for that matter) works.  Humans of all kinds are far more complex than any linear projection we could possibly come up with.  We have to think outside the line.  The six year old child with problems now may grow up to not only speak and go to the toilet, but they may go on to run their own Fortune 500 company.  The high functioning six year old who can speak and go to the toilet may grow up to have crippling anxiety issues and be unemployed and homeless most of his life.

Not only is our childhood no indication of how we will turn out as adults, but our “functioning” in one area is not indicative of how we might function in other areas.

Autism Spectrum 417x480

And by the way???  People with Autism are not “less than” “normal” (or neurotypical) people on some spectrum either.  They are just completely different.  We don’t “all have a bit of Autism” in us.  We either have Autism, or we don’t.


Disability consumer and activist since 2010. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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Posted in Autism, Disability

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

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