Any High Functioning Autistic people here?

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cyberdad
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03 Aug 2016, 3:29 am

animalcrackers wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
animalcrackers wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
It's been 5 years since I posted on this thread!

I still feel the label "high functioning" is a little cringeworthy reflecting some type of hierarchical judgment from an NT perspective

Why not call it functional autism simply saying the person is able to function in mainstram society?


Why not just call it "autism" and give up on functioning labels entirely?

And then, when you want to talk about what an autistic person can and can't do, just actually talk about what they can and can't do or the supports they need in as much or as little detail as you want.

"Functional/non-functional" seems no less ambiguous than any other set of functioning labels, and I think it would come to reflect similar types of judgements.

My diagnosis was DSM-IV 299.00 ("Autistic Disorder" aka "classic autism") so I'm a non-aspie type of HFASDer.


I think functional/nonfunctional is reasonable to know if the person is entering the school system or workforce


I think it is much more helpful to actually talk about the specific things a person needs, for school or workplace accomodations. I don't think one or two word functioning levels are really useful because they are too broad and non-specific -- they encompass too many things.

it's a simple system that tells organisation (education or employer) whether the person needs funded assistance, further information can of course be added....



animalcrackers
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03 Aug 2016, 3:50 am

cyberdad wrote:
animalcrackers wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
animalcrackers wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
It's been 5 years since I posted on this thread!

I still feel the label "high functioning" is a little cringeworthy reflecting some type of hierarchical judgment from an NT perspective

Why not call it functional autism simply saying the person is able to function in mainstram society?


Why not just call it "autism" and give up on functioning labels entirely?

And then, when you want to talk about what an autistic person can and can't do, just actually talk about what they can and can't do or the supports they need in as much or as little detail as you want.

"Functional/non-functional" seems no less ambiguous than any other set of functioning labels, and I think it would come to reflect similar types of judgements.

My diagnosis was DSM-IV 299.00 ("Autistic Disorder" aka "classic autism") so I'm a non-aspie type of HFASDer.


I think functional/nonfunctional is reasonable to know if the person is entering the school system or workforce


I think it is much more helpful to actually talk about the specific things a person needs, for school or workplace accomodations. I don't think one or two word functioning levels are really useful because they are too broad and non-specific -- they encompass too many things.

it's a simple system that tells organisation (education or employer) whether the person needs funded assistance, further information can of course be added....


I still don't really see the benefit to having functioning labels -- because if the autistic person didn't need assistance or accomodations, then wouldn't they just not tell the institution or organization about their/their child's diagnosis.....or just not request any assistance or accomodations, if for some reason they wanted to share the diagnosis despite not needing any help?

I still don't see how the functioning label makes anything easier for anyone, but maybe that's just because I'm not understanding what you're talking about. Is "funded assistance" a specific thing -- like a government funding source/program only available to autistic people (or developmentally disabled people generally, or disabled people generally) with a specific range of IQ scores and/or specific adaptive functioning deficits or some other specific impairment(s)?


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animalcrackers
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03 Aug 2016, 11:58 am

If "funded assistance" is something specific, couldn't/wouldn't they just ask a question during an intake or interview or on application/enrollment forms that is something like, "Do you/your child receive funded assistance?" Or couldn't a person just say that they/their child was eligible for/required/received funded assistance?

Or if there has to be some assessment to determine eligibility for funded assistance based on looking for/proving need based on specific abilities and impairments, then how does adding a hugely generic and broad functioning label onto the autism diagnosis change that process?

I just don't get how it's more useful than just saying "autism" and then adding whatever person-specific qualifiers or details are necessary or desired based on the context.


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cyberdad
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03 Aug 2016, 8:35 pm

animalcrackers wrote:
If "funded assistance" is something specific, couldn't/wouldn't they just ask a question during an intake or interview or on application/enrollment forms that is something like, "Do you/your child receive funded assistance?" Or couldn't a person just say that they/their child was eligible for/required/received funded assistance?

Or if there has to be some assessment to determine eligibility for funded assistance based on looking for/proving need based on specific abilities and impairments, then how does adding a hugely generic and broad functioning label onto the autism diagnosis change that process?

I just don't get how it's more useful than just saying "autism" and then adding whatever person-specific qualifiers or details are necessary or desired based on the context.


In Australia children in the education system can be referred for assessment to receive financial support for integration aides, this requires a basic criteria which is "can the child function satisfactorily in the clasrooom"? Y/N

If no then then they are assessed further to ascertain how much support they need?



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03 Aug 2016, 11:12 pm

i honestly and personally dont feel there should be a real relationship between IQ and what end of the autism spectrum you are on. However i do note that IQ is a pretty important diagnosing tool.



animalcrackers
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16 Aug 2016, 10:52 pm

cyberdad wrote:
animalcrackers wrote:
If "funded assistance" is something specific, couldn't/wouldn't they just ask a question during an intake or interview or on application/enrollment forms that is something like, "Do you/your child receive funded assistance?" Or couldn't a person just say that they/their child was eligible for/required/received funded assistance?

Or if there has to be some assessment to determine eligibility for funded assistance based on looking for/proving need based on specific abilities and impairments, then how does adding a hugely generic and broad functioning label onto the autism diagnosis change that process?

I just don't get how it's more useful than just saying "autism" and then adding whatever person-specific qualifiers or details are necessary or desired based on the context.


In Australia children in the education system can be referred for assessment to receive financial support for integration aides, this requires a basic criteria which is "can the child function satisfactorily in the clasrooom"? Y/N

If no then then they are assessed further to ascertain how much support they need?


Oh, okay. I suppose that "functional/non-functional" would make sense as an administrative sort of grouping in that context (although then wouldn't you also say, "functional/non-functional bi-polar/learning disability/ADHD/etc"?).

Or as shorthand for parents of autistic kids wanting to say, "my kid [gets/doesn't get] support at school", because they would hopefully know the context and where the "function/non-functional" labels come from ....

But I think "functional/non-functional" would still end up taking on a lot of alternative, specific meanings and that problematic stereotypes would develop around them the same way as has happened with all the existing functioning labels.

I think it would be hard to use "functional/non-functional" more generally (support needs can vary with context, and different institutions/organizations almost invariably have different standards in terms of who qualifies for support -- at least in Canada) or to give a picture of a person's abilities....there's just too much variety.


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cyberdad
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17 Aug 2016, 2:04 am

animalcrackers wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
animalcrackers wrote:
If "funded assistance" is something specific, couldn't/wouldn't they just ask a question during an intake or interview or on application/enrollment forms that is something like, "Do you/your child receive funded assistance?" Or couldn't a person just say that they/their child was eligible for/required/received funded assistance?

Or if there has to be some assessment to determine eligibility for funded assistance based on looking for/proving need based on specific abilities and impairments, then how does adding a hugely generic and broad functioning label onto the autism diagnosis change that process?

I just don't get how it's more useful than just saying "autism" and then adding whatever person-specific qualifiers or details are necessary or desired based on the context.


In Australia children in the education system can be referred for assessment to receive financial support for integration aides, this requires a basic criteria which is "can the child function satisfactorily in the clasrooom"? Y/N

If no then then they are assessed further to ascertain how much support they need?


Oh, okay. I suppose that "functional/non-functional" would make sense as an administrative sort of grouping in that context (although then wouldn't you also say, "functional/non-functional bi-polar/learning disability/ADHD/etc"?).

Or as shorthand for parents of autistic kids wanting to say, "my kid [gets/doesn't get] support at school", because they would hopefully know the context and where the "function/non-functional" labels come from ....

But I think "functional/non-functional" would still end up taking on a lot of alternative, specific meanings and that problematic stereotypes would develop around them the same way as has happened with all the existing functioning labels.

I think it would be hard to use "functional/non-functional" more generally (support needs can vary with context, and different institutions/organizations almost invariably have different standards in terms of who qualifies for support -- at least in Canada) or to give a picture of a person's abilities....there's just too much variety.

Outside of administrative and treatment reasons labeling opens up the diagnosed person to stigma. Not surprisingly nearly all people who were diagnosed as Aspergers (pre-DSMV) are quick to give themselves the new title of "high functioning"



animalcrackers
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18 Aug 2016, 2:59 am

cyberdad wrote:
Outside of administrative and treatment reasons labeling opens up the diagnosed person to stigma. Not surprisingly nearly all people who were diagnosed as Aspergers (pre-DSMV) are quick to give themselves the new title of "high functioning"


Yeah. Even in therapeutic contexts it opens up the diagnosed person to stigma.

When I see people use functioning labels to distance from others it makes me quite irked and sad....but I think a lot of people diagnosed as Asperger's who now just say they are "HFA" probably don't mean to distance themselves from those they might call MFA or LFA and are doing it for reasons other than avoiding stigma. (I don't know this, of course, it's just my guess.)

I just think functioning labels are kind of useless in ordinary discussions, and probably very limited even if you're talking about treatment... Every time I've ever seen a post on WP where someone lays out their ideas about what behaviors/abilities/difficulties/achievements/whatever-else-in-life go along with which functioning label, I've fit into none of the categories -- instead, there are parts that fit me from all of them. (Maybe I'm in a minority with that, but I know I'm not the only one.)


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18 Aug 2016, 3:23 am

I have High Functioning Autism, but that hasn't stopped me from graduating with a Bachelors degree in history, being a volunteer firefighter or working my way towards an Honours degree in history.



cyberdad
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18 Aug 2016, 5:52 am

animalcrackers wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Outside of administrative and treatment reasons labeling opens up the diagnosed person to stigma. Not surprisingly nearly all people who were diagnosed as Aspergers (pre-DSMV) are quick to give themselves the new title of "high functioning"


Yeah. Even in therapeutic contexts it opens up the diagnosed person to stigma.

When I see people use functioning labels to distance from others it makes me quite irked and sad....but I think a lot of people diagnosed as Asperger's who now just say they are "HFA" probably don't mean to distance themselves from those they might call MFA or LFA and are doing it for reasons other than avoiding stigma. (I don't know this, of course, it's just my guess.)

I just think functioning labels are kind of useless in ordinary discussions, and probably very limited even if you're talking about treatment... Every time I've ever seen a post on WP where someone lays out their ideas about what behaviors/abilities/difficulties/achievements/whatever-else-in-life go along with which functioning label, I've fit into none of the categories -- instead, there are parts that fit me from all of them. (Maybe I'm in a minority with that, but I know I'm not the only one.)


The label is really only relevant to others who have the diagnosis, health professionals or family or friends. The general public just see it as a handicap. There are only two categories of autism - those that blend in (pass off as normal like the way light skinned" black people used to pass as white) and those who can't blend in because of social, intellectual or behavioral deficits. The second group require support.



animalcrackers
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18 Aug 2016, 3:54 pm

cyberdad wrote:
The label is really only relevant to others who have the diagnosis, health professionals or family or friends. The general public just see it as a handicap.


The functioning label or the label "autism"? I think you mean autism....in which case I agree except that I would add what you've already talked about and say it can also be relevent to school or employers or ohers if it would help them to understand, communicate, and work with a person.

cyberdad wrote:
There are only two categories of autism - those that blend in (pass off as normal like the way light skinned" black people used to pass as white) and those who can't blend in because of social, intellectual or behavioral deficits. The second group require support.


I see that way of categorizing autistic people as problematic, for these reasons:

(1) Some people (myself included) blend in sometimes -- or in some contexts -- but not others, due to uneven abilities and/or the demands of the context.

(2) Some people can blend in (whether sometimes or always) only if they have support. (I fall into this category, too, for some things.)

(3) Blending in isn't totally dependent on the autistic person's abilities, but also on who is deciding whether or not they blend in.....I'm much more likely to blend in okay with other weird/different people on the fringes of society (even then I'm usually seen as the weird one and my difficulties are noted, but it's not made an issue and I'm accepted and integrated so I count that as blending in) than I am to blend in with mainstream people.

(4) Unlike the color of your skin, people's support needs can change over time. Autism may be lifelong, but people can learn and grow, develop new skills and improve existing ones -- possibly changing how much support they need, or if they even need support at all. People can also go through rough patches in life where things that take a lot of energy and time are simply too much, because that energy and time is no longer available -- and suddenly an autistic person who was managing okay without support can't manage anymore.

The way I think about it, there are either multiple categories of autism (an unknown number of them based on different subtypes -- different etiologies/developmental courses/distinct symptom groupings; or a variable number of them, created on an ad hoc basis to meet some need....to suit the context or discussion) or there are no categories at all.


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20 Aug 2016, 12:01 am

animalcrackers wrote:
The functioning label or the label "autism"? I think you mean autism....

Yes

animalcrackers wrote:
Unlike the color of your skin, people's support needs can change over time. Autism may be lifelong, but people can learn and grow, develop new skills and improve existing ones -- possibly changing how much support they need, or if they even need support at all. People can also go through rough patches in life where things that take a lot of energy and time are simply too much, because that energy and time is no longer available -- and suddenly an autistic person who was managing okay without support can't manage anymore.


Excellent points, yes I agree



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20 Aug 2016, 8:36 am

cyberdad wrote:
I'm new here and notice everyone here is an "Aspie" (or claims to have been diagnosed with Aspergers).
Just wondering how many of you are high functioning autistics? - i.e. you had a speech delay early in life.

A fair number of you (not all) seem to assoicate Aspergers with high function and genius in contrast to ASD and classical Kanners autism which you associate (rightly or wrongly?) with severe impairment.

Our local chapter of the Aspergers Society in Melbourne invited a prominent speaker on autism to give a talk in Melbourne Australia. The talk was on High Functioning Autism (HFA) and Aspergers and surviving school. The ticket was $90 (Aust) but members of the Asperger society recieved a 50% discount. To be a member you or your child must be diagnosed with Aspergers.

I emailed a rather irate letter to the organiser asking why parents of ASD children were not eligible for the discount - surely they should aslo be encouraged to attend given half the talk was on HFAs?. The rather terse response I recieved indicated that since the Aspergers society organised the talk only their members were eligible for the discount (end of matter). So why are HFA's not really considered Aspies? Isn't Temple Grandin an HFA?

Given in 2012 the DSM V will amalgamate Aspergers and HFA in the upper end of the autism spectrum (ASD) and Aspergers may vanish as a label are these societies and their members hanging on to this label as it bestows some sort of vestigal prestige?

I'd like to hear some views for any HFA's on this forum (if there are actually any on this forum)



I'm not diagnosed with Asperger syndrome or HFA officially, just 'level 2 ASD' with 'no intellectual impairment' and 'speech delay historical'. But during my assessment one of the doctors referred to me as "high functioning".

Functioning labels are a bit nonsensical at times, imo.



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20 Aug 2016, 8:43 am

cyberdad wrote:
It's been 5 years since I posted on this thread!

I still feel the label "high functioning" is a little cringeworthy reflecting some type of hierarchical judgment from an NT perspective

Why not call it functional autism simply saying the person is able to function in mainstram society?


So youre saying "instead of calling it 'high functioning autism' lets just call it 'high functioning autism'".

Lol!

Well Gee whiz. Why didnt everyone think of THAT!?



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20 Aug 2016, 8:50 am

He probably wants to create a euphemism which takes away the impact the term "high-functioning autism" has upon someone hearing the phrase.

The DSM V might have addressed this somewhat---creating Level One, Level Two, Level Three.