why do some people consider low functioning inferior ?

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jenisautistic
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10 Dec 2013, 9:10 pm

What I believe Is that if we're going to stand up against originations like autism speaks we have to stick together and love each other high functioning or low functioning aspie or autistic.


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10 Dec 2013, 11:39 pm

What exactly do the terms high and low functioning mean?

I've been reluctant to use the terms at all.



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11 Dec 2013, 4:55 am

the word autism never bothered me. sometimes i say autism, sometimes i say ASD. it never occurred to me that it was anything pejorative, or that i should be reluctant or ashamed to apply it to myself. it just a word describing a constellation of things about a particular group of people. the stigma exists outside the terminology. i also don't have any desire to disassociate myself from people who are either more, or less, affected.

but maybe some of it comes from the fact that a subset of people have spent their entire lives suppressing certain traits because they've been conditioned to be ashamed of them and don a shield of faux normality in order to survive. and when they see those traits augmented in other individuals (viewed as more impaired or affected), it evokes a negative/visceral response where they don't want to connect with it because they'd have to acknowledge some hidden part of themselves. perhaps. that's just a wild guess, though.



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12 Dec 2013, 3:17 pm

jenisautistic wrote:
What I believe Is that if we're going to stand up against originations like autism speaks we have to stick together and love each other high functioning or low functioning aspie or autistic.

Your message is to me very disheartening, though I know it probably sounds great to you. You think the people at Autism Speaks do not feel they love all kinds of people (but especially their own kind:-) as much as you feel you do?

Moreover, as several people who responded to your thread have pointed out, some people are inferior depending on the contextual situation.This does not mean they do have have the same inherent human worth as others who are superior in various particular contexts. I suggest for people to work on their own feelings of low self esteem and inferiority instead of looking outward and making a big dramatic and imo, generally speaking, futile fight against someone or something, After a person develops his own thinking capacity along with the mind of great compassion, then he will know what to do and how to do it because he will have mental clarity and vision interconnected with the hand which can transform what it touches.. The aim, as I see it, is to work to develop oneself, and this will also encourage other people to work to develop themselves, which will make for a strong community that can actually affect what is happening in the outside world.

You asked a question about why some people consider low functioning inferior? It has already been explained. Because it IS inferior. I have all kinds of problems functioning, compounded with some kind of brain damage, and I have to face that and accept it, which is admittedly very difficult, especially regarding the brain damage.. I do not like to face it at all, but I have to face it in order to be me, and most interestingly, when I do face it, instead of blaming other people and fighting them, than my brain works much better. Then I AM and I can begin to DO rather than react.

This is not to say that there is not this or that battle to fight, but many people use this mechanism as a convenient escape for not facing their own sorrow regarding the fact of who and what they are and whatever life actually is.

I do not like to see a group of potentially smart people bonding around such a mechanism. It is disingenuous, and also, teaching it to other people, especially young people who are deeply troubled and suffering and have come here to get help is verging on corrupt, even if the motivation is altruistic. Many people have good intentions and look at the condition of the world. .



Segolia
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12 Dec 2013, 4:02 pm

Personally I think the whole "functioning levels" thing is kind of gross. Mostly because it focuses on how well we can hide our neurology, it says absolutely nothing about our inner workings beyond that.

I'm considered "high functioning" because I pass for neurotypical, because I am verbal (95% of the time), because I don't stim in public (often), because I can look people in the eye. But I get easily overstimulated, which is worsened because I get overestimated a lot (because of my "high functioning"). Which brings me to my explanation.

Basically, the functioning levels thing brings about a lot of s**t for all of us.

For the "high functioning" it often becomes "oh you don't NEED help! You're HIGH FUNCTIONING! Not like my child who will never be able to go potty by themself!" When you're "low functioning", well, why do you need help, I mean, it's not like you notice it, right? Or they can't do x anyway, because they're "low functioning", so why should we give them the opportunity to do x? (Sarcasm)

Also, the functioning labels often indicate that "high functioning" is better, that being less autistic is better, which is absolutely linked with "being autistic is bad" (it's not).

And of course, there's the fact that it splits our community, the autistic community, in two. We're all autistic, we have similar issues, and we should be fighting for the same causes (in my opinion), but by seeing the "low functioning" part of our community as lesser, we get divided.

After all, why should we fight for the rights of the low functioning, we're not like THEM! We can pass! (More sarcasm.)

We shouldn't have to hide who we are, we shouldn't divide our community by using the labels the neurotypical gave us to distinguish between "less autistic" and "more autistic", we are all autistic human beings, different, yes, but we share a common trait, and splitting that up in functioning levels is pretty gross.


As for Asperger's v. Autism, I use it interchangeably. I have the diagnosis Asperger's Syndrome, which is part of the Autism Spectrum. Generally speaking, especially around friends, or online, I just use autistic, after all, with DSM-V it's all autism, isn't it? And I have friends all over the spectrum, my parter has PDD-NOS diagnosis, one of my closest friends has Classic Autism diagnosis, some of my friends are HFA, some Asperger's.



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12 Dec 2013, 4:25 pm

Yup.

Functioning levels are bunk, but people still use them.

You can't rank people by ability, but people still try.

If all of us work together, we might be able to change that.


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12 Dec 2013, 4:47 pm

.

Segolia wrote:
Personally I think the whole "functioning levels" thing is kind of gross. Mostly because it focuses on how well we can hide our neurology, it says absolutely nothing about our inner workings beyond that.
Agreed with the latter point. However, you are not the same as a person who is kind of mentally retarded, cannot speak or function in may different ways. What is the practical value of calling yourself autistic anyway? Why not just drop that label along with the various degrees of functioning????

I'm considered "high functioning" because I pass for neurotypical,...

Why think in terms of yourself not being neurotypical? You're the ones who's doing it.


... because I am verbal (95% of the time), because I don't stim in public (often), because I can look people in the eye. But I get easily overstimulated, which is worsened because I get overestimated a lot (because of my "high functioning"). Which brings me to my explanation.....

To me this is just a lot of random thinking with no real functional value....


Basically, the functioning levels thing brings about a lot of sh** for all of us.

You seem to be doing the same kind of labeling in your message but using different ways of categorizing. Why not just try to function better? Each person is so unique, anyway. However, certain kinds of ideas can only be gotten across by making certain kind of divisions in order to process data and orient in terms of the next action.


For the "high functioning" it often becomes "oh you don't NEED help! You're HIGH FUNCTIONING! Not like my child who will never be able to go potty by themself!" When you're "low functioning", well, why do you need help, I mean, it's not like you notice it, right? Or they can't do x anyway, because they're "low functioning", so why should we give them the opportunity to do x? (Sarcasm)

You might actually need help less than someone else. Ever think of that? Imo I can understand the gripe, but I do not think you are going to sort out your own life problems by thinking in such a way.

Also, the functioning labels often indicate that "high functioning" is better, that being less autistic is better, which is absolutely linked with "being autistic is bad" (it's not).

Well, the point has already been made by some here and on many threads that being high functioning in various contexts to which it applies IS better..

And of course, there's the fact that it splits our community, the autistic community, in two. We're all autistic, we have similar issues, and we should be fighting for the same causes (in my opinion), but by seeing the "low functioning" part of our community as lesser, we get divided.

You seem to be talking about feelings rather than function. Each person is equally precious, but functioning is something else. To me what you are saying is a form of wrongly categorizing but also enabling. In order to think and sort things out it is necessary to grade and sort. That is a part of thinking.

After all, why should we fight for the rights of the low functioning, we're not like THEM! We can pass! (More sarcasm.)

Why should you is a good question? You should fight for any group of people you have an interest in helping and maybe the capacity to help. Fight for any group that catches you fancy or for all people. Fight for so called neurotypicals:-)

We shouldn't have to hide who we are, we shouldn't divide our community by using the labels the neurotypical gave us to distinguish between "less autistic" and "more autistic", we are all autistic human beings, different, yes, but we share a common trait, and splitting that up in functioning levels is pretty gross.

You just think of autistic because someone, probably a so called neurotypical gave you this label, and imo people eat it like a cattle being led to slaughter eating fodder..


As for Asperger's v. Autism, I use it interchangeably. I have the diagnosis Asperger's Syndrome, which is part of the Autism Spectrum. Generally speaking, especially around friends, or online, I just use autistic, after all, with DSM-V it's all autism, isn't it? And I have friends all over the spectrum, my parter has PDD-NOS diagnosis, one of my closest friends has Classic Autism diagnosis, some of my friends are HFA, some Asperger's

Imo you're thinking too much about psychiatric labels and labels in general. I do not know if this applies in your case, but as I wrote to the op in my previous message, it could be way to avoid facing the fact about oneself, which is always individual and unique, facing life and Working to function better.

Why think of yourself as autistic at all?All humans really do have quite similar struggles. To me the rational you are using is not clear thinking and is kind of hypocritical, in that it involves making categories yet telling other people not to make them because they do not agree with the way you like to do it. That is fine if you can give real evidence, I do not see any functional value in looking at a person who cannot take care of himself the same as a person I might want to marry, You are mixing apples and oranges, though, yes, they are both a kind of fruit. In some instances it might be helpful to think of them both as just fruit, but in others instance definitely not.
..



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12 Dec 2013, 5:26 pm

littlebee wrote:
jenisautistic wrote:
What I believe Is that if we're going to stand up against originations like autism speaks we have to stick together and love each other high functioning or low functioning aspie or autistic.

Your message is to me very disheartening, though I know it probably sounds great to you. You think the people at Autism Speaks do not feel they love all kinds of people (but especially their own kind:-) as much as you feel you do?

Moreover, as several people who responded to your thread have pointed out, some people are inferior depending on the contextual situation.This does not mean they do have have the same inherent human worth as others who are superior in various particular contexts. I suggest for people to work on their own feelings of low self esteem and inferiority instead of looking outward and making a big dramatic and imo, generally speaking, futile fight against someone or something, After a person develops his own thinking capacity along with the mind of great compassion, then he will know what to do and how to do it because he will have mental clarity and vision interconnected with the hand which can transform what it touches.. The aim, as I see it, is to work to develop oneself, and this will also encourage other people to work to develop themselves, which will make for a strong community that can actually affect what is happening in the outside world.

You asked a question about why some people consider low functioning inferior? It has already been explained. Because it IS inferior. I have all kinds of problems functioning, compounded with some kind of brain damage, and I have to face that and accept it, which is admittedly very difficult, especially regarding the brain damage.. I do not like to face it at all, but I have to face it in order to be me, and most interestingly, when I do face it, instead of blaming other people and fighting them, than my brain works much better. Then I AM and I can begin to DO rather than react.

This is not to say that there is not this or that battle to fight, but many people use this mechanism as a convenient escape for not facing their own sorrow regarding the fact of who and what they are and whatever life actually is.

I do not like to see a group of potentially smart people bonding around such a mechanism. It is disingenuous, and also, teaching it to other people, especially young people who are deeply troubled and suffering and have come here to get help is verging on corrupt, even if the motivation is altruistic. Many people have good intentions and look at the condition of the world. .


ok maybe I was not clear here let me help you understand

Quote:
Your message is to me very disheartening, though I know it probably sounds great to you. You think the people at Autism Speaks do not feel they love all kinds of people (but especially their own kind:-) as much as you feel you do?

im not saying they don't I just want them to understand that although autistic people are impaired in some way they are not sick or diseased. We shouldn't berade them but we to educate them .

Quote:
Moreover, as several people who responded to your thread have pointed out, some people are inferior depending on the contextual situation. This does not mean they do have have the same inherent human worth as others who are superior in various particular contexts.

as I said before everyone has different strengths and weaknesses no one is better or worse then anyone else overall just in certain circumstances. yes lower functioning is inferior but only in one or a few areas and not overall. a good example of this is people from different countries who have a different language culture and accent who immigrates to America in a predominantly English speaking area with American culture. many unkind people may consider him/ inferior just because he has a different way of speaking living and understanding culture then you.
Autistics/aspies see the world in a different way we are not born with social skills and some like me have physical and developmental problems however we have perceptive senses unlike nts and we know how to appreciate the little things in life, and get intently focused on what interests us and some of us are more compassionate to others like us.

As the title of one of temples famous books state we are different not less.


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Segolia
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12 Dec 2013, 5:37 pm

littlebee wrote:
.
Segolia wrote:
Personally I think the whole "functioning levels" thing is kind of gross. Mostly because it focuses on how well we can hide our neurology, it says absolutely nothing about our inner workings beyond that.
Agreed with the latter point. However, you are not the same as a person who is kind of mentally retarded, cannot speak or function in may different ways. What is the practical value of calling yourself autistic anyway? Why not just drop that label along with the various degrees of functioning????
[snip]


I'm not going to say you're wrong, but you're wrong. (Basically I stopped reading when you used "mentally retarded".)

You know nothing about how I function at all, apart from what I said. Do I go outside? Do I live on my own? Do I work/study? Do I have daily counseling, do I need help with simple tasks like grocery shopping, managing my finances, anything? Am I, by any chance, intellectually/learning disabled? (Seriously though, "mentally retarded? Seriously?) You don't know.

And why I don't think about myself as neurotypical? For one very simple reason. I am not neurotypical. If you were to look at my brain (and know what the hell you're looking at) you'd see that my NEUROLOGY is not TYPICAL. (So basically, I'm neurodivergent, not neurotypical. I've got the brain scans to prove it.)

Also "Why not just try to function better?". Again. You have no idea who I am, and what I do. But, for the record, I live in a guided living facility, where I get counseling every day of the week. I also go to a training for autistic young adults once a week, to, indeed, function better.

And why the hell would I fight for the neurotypical? They have privilege over us. They don't need help. And why the hell be all "oh you just think you're autistic because somebody gave you the label" when your own profile says you're a self-diagnosed autistic? Just like self-diagnosis with good reasons is no less than an official diagnosis, the reverse it true too.

I identify as autistic because it is part of who I am, and because it allows me to find people who have similar experiences.

I personally don't see value in a person who thinks they know a person's life from one text post, and who come up with a bunch of platitudes about how "you should just work to be better". But what do I know, right?



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12 Dec 2013, 9:30 pm

cyberdad wrote:
autisticyoungadult wrote:
People who are on the higher end of the autism spectrum mostly want to distance themselves from the stereotypical low-functioning autistic individual. There is ignorance in the general public surrounding autism, the image that popped up in most neurotypical minds of the autistic population is the toe-touching, hand-flipping, non-verbal mentally handicappdd adult who have an obession in one area. Unfortunately, we've seen some harsh critism from even regarding a spies people on the lower end of the autism spectrum. I've argued before on this forum to have more lower-functioning auties particplating on Wrong Planet in order to erase the stigma that low-functioning indiviauals can't be intelligent or they have no feelings.


Since contributing to WP I've noticed many Aspies do claim to have solidarity with their fellow Auties lower down on the DSM spectrum. I can't comment on how real is that solidarity? do they actually spend time with Auties? do they make friends with Auties?

The honest reality for LFA people is that there's probably little difference in engaging an Aspie or NTs. If anything NTs are going to feel less self-conscious than an Aspie as they won't have the hangup over the disability tag or drawing attention to their own social shortcomings/deficits.



There's solidarity between the HFA/Aspergers community and the low-functioning autistic community, though not as prevalent in comparison with the higher functioning members trying to distinguish self against those who they see as inferior.

Neurotypicals would be more self-concious to a low-functioning member of the autism spectrum due to feeling terrible that someone has to live like that, while aspies would have difficulty trying be around someone who is less intellectual and thou less-intriguing.



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12 Dec 2013, 11:19 pm

littlebee wrote:
jenisautistic wrote:
What I believe Is that if we're going to stand up against originations like autism speaks we have to stick together and love each other high functioning or low functioning aspie or autistic.

Your message is to me very disheartening, though I know it probably sounds great to you. You think the people at Autism Speaks do not feel they love all kinds of people (but especially their own kind:-) as much as you feel you do?

Moreover, as several people who responded to your thread have pointed out, some people are inferior depending on the contextual situation.This does not mean they do have have the same inherent human worth as others who are superior in various particular contexts. I suggest for people to work on their own feelings of low self esteem and inferiority instead of looking outward and making a big dramatic and imo, generally speaking, futile fight against someone or something, After a person develops his own thinking capacity along with the mind of great compassion, then he will know what to do and how to do it because he will have mental clarity and vision interconnected with the hand which can transform what it touches.. The aim, as I see it, is to work to develop oneself, and this will also encourage other people to work to develop themselves, which will make for a strong community that can actually affect what is happening in the outside world.

You asked a question about why some people consider low functioning inferior? It has already been explained. Because it IS inferior. I have all kinds of problems functioning, compounded with some kind of brain damage, and I have to face that and accept it, which is admittedly very difficult, especially regarding the brain damage.. I do not like to face it at all, but I have to face it in order to be me, and most interestingly, when I do face it, instead of blaming other people and fighting them, than my brain works much better. Then I AM and I can begin to DO rather than react.

This is not to say that there is not this or that battle to fight, but many people use this mechanism as a convenient escape for not facing their own sorrow regarding the fact of who and what they are and whatever life actually is.

I do not like to see a group of potentially smart people bonding around such a mechanism. It is disingenuous, and also, teaching it to other people, especially young people who are deeply troubled and suffering and have come here to get help is verging on corrupt, even if the motivation is altruistic. Many people have good intentions and look at the condition of the world. .

You cannot possibly know what goes on inside to minds of low functioning autistics. You can only make assumptions based on your own limited perceptions. Inferiority is in the eyes of the beholder.



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13 Dec 2013, 3:09 am

Marybird wrote:

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You cannot possibly know what goes on inside to minds of low functioning autistics. You can only make assumptions based on your own limited perceptions. Inferiority is in the eyes of the beholder.

Besides the fact that t i did not say I know what goes on in the minds of such people, what you write does not seem on topic. You do not know what goes on my mind, either, though people can to some degree extrapolate from people's behavior.. But how does what you write have anything to do with the topic? I do not get it. Of course inferiority is in the eyes of the beholder, but this is a moot point, as anything is in the eyes of the beholder. Each person has his own subjective contextual perception of the value of an individual human being in a particular situation. I have already covered this completely. Each human being is precious in terms of inherent human value, but this does not mean I would invite a lice infested homeless person to my party. I do not even necessarily HAVE to know or even extrapolate what is going on in certain people's minds to know if and how they fits into a certain context..And I am a person many troubled people come and talk to, but when a customer comes theprobably have to leave. Today a homeless person I always used to talk to who finally kind of turned his situation around came to my booth and gave ME a dollar. How happy that made him and me, too.

What are you trying to say here, Marybird? I am thinking what you have written is a way to take the focus off self development and also development from a group perspective by pinning it on someone else that they are not as sensitive and compassionate as so and so, namely yourself and some other members writing on this thread,perhaps? .It seem like a ploy.

am here to enquiire and speak my own truth. If you can help me discover something new, I am open, but are you open?[b]



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13 Dec 2013, 3:20 am

littlebee wrote:
You asked a question about why some people consider low functioning inferior? It has already been explained. Because it IS inferior. I have all kinds of problems functioning, compounded with some kind of brain damage, and I have to face that and accept it, which is admittedly very difficult, especially regarding the brain damage.. I do not like to face it at all, but I have to face it in order to be me, and most interestingly, when I do face it, instead of blaming other people and fighting them, than my brain works much better. Then I AM and I can begin to DO rather than react.


Saying people are inferior causes human suffering.



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13 Dec 2013, 3:52 am

cyberdad wrote:
The honest reality for LFA people is that there's probably little difference in engaging an Aspie or NTs. If anything NTs are going to feel less self-conscious than an Aspie as they won't have the hangup over the disability tag or drawing attention to their own social shortcomings/deficits.


This is kind of an odd assertion to make. It seems to me that NTs basically treat developmentally disabled people (including all autistic people) in a condescending way, they often treat us like children. Or at least do not give us credit for being us.

You really can't make a blanket statement like this about autistic people. either. Not all "Aspies" have hangups about "disability tags" or worry about drawing attention to their own social shortcomings (I don't have these).

Comments like that though is one of the reasons I am not around as much as I used to be and that I am not exactly in a good mood when I do check in.

I have actually interacted with a nonverbal autistic child. His parents loved that he got along with me and that I was basically the only person who could watch him without risk of a meltdown. I was around them and him over a two year period.

Nowadays I don't really have any access to transportation to go anywhere beyond what I need for necessities (food shopping, buying other things I need every month) so I hang out with essentially no one, autistic or otherwise.



Last edited by Verdandi on 13 Dec 2013, 4:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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13 Dec 2013, 4:42 am

littlebee wrote:
Moreover, as several people who responded to your thread have pointed out, some people are inferior depending on the contextual situation.This does not mean they do have have the same inherent human worth as others who are superior in various particular contexts. I suggest for people to work on their own feelings of low self esteem and inferiority instead of looking outward and making a big dramatic and imo, generally speaking, futile fight against someone or something, After a person develops his own thinking capacity along with the mind of great compassion, then he will know what to do and how to do it because he will have mental clarity and vision interconnected with the hand which can transform what it touches.. The aim, as I see it, is to work to develop oneself, and this will also encourage other people to work to develop themselves, which will make for a strong community that can actually affect what is happening in the outside world.


That bolded bit is so condescending and so abuse-enabling I am surprised anyone here would sign off on it. Telling people to "work on their own feelings" rather than deal with the probable actual cause of their problems, describing such dealing as "futile" and "dramatic". I kind of wonder where the US would be if the various civil rights movements decided to - instead of facing their actual problems head-on and try to do something about them - chose instead to work on their "own feelings of low self-esteem and inferiority." Would anyone but white men have the vote? Would married women be allowed to own property? Have their own bank accounts or lines of credit? Would homosexuality still be classified as a mental illness? Would there even be an Americans with Disabilities Act (although you have made it abundantly clear actually relying on the protections provided by the ADA is something you disagree with)? Would there be any same sex marriage anywhere? Heck, would there be a United States in the first place, or would Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, etc. have simply brooded privately over their feelings of low self-esteem and inferiority in relation to the British crown?

What I mean by abuse enabling is that I have been in an abusive relationship and I had an abusive parent. And one of the ways they both deflected any effort on their part to not be an abuser was to turn me into the problem, to try to convince me that they were only reacting to how terrible I was and that I had to fix myself, work on myself. But what they really meant was to appease them. Feelings of low self-esteem and inferiority do not just happen. They happen because of the environment people are in, because of the other people around them, because of how they are treated, because of how people like them are represented (if they are represented at all) vs how others are represented. This does not mean that no one has any reason to work on themselves, but that strictly working on themselves will not fix the problems that put them there.

You also seem to be gating the idea of compassion behind jumping through the specific hoops you mention. This is also not accurate. I have met many people, and the majority of them have been capable of compassion. The people I have encountered who are incapable of compassion are those who cannot or will not see beyond their own perspectives, and understand that there is more to the world than what they perceive and believe. I do think it helps to be able to love one's self (this is not narcissism) to be able to extend compassion, but this does not mean that one should simply brick themselves up behind a wall and focus on their own feelings before taking a step outside. That is simply a way to extreme passivitiy. It is probably acceptable to a society like this one, but a culture of passivity is toxic for many.

Quote:
You asked a question about why some people consider low functioning inferior? It has already been explained. Because it IS inferior. I have all kinds of problems functioning, compounded with some kind of brain damage, and I have to face that and accept it, which is admittedly very difficult, especially regarding the brain damage.. I do not like to face it at all, but I have to face it in order to be me, and most interestingly, when I do face it, instead of blaming other people and fighting them, than my brain works much better. Then I AM and I can begin to DO rather than react.


You're creating a false dichotomy here, as if there is no DOing when you are REACTing.

I have a lot of impairments, a lot of difficulties other people do not share. I have had a lot of problems with work and school, to the point that I basically can't do them now. I'm not inferior, though. I don't believe that makes me inferior. I can see that I am in a culture that devalues people like me across multiple axes, that when I try to get a job I face attitudes that needing accommodations is unfair and wrong, I face prejudices about my behavior that make it hard for me to even get past an interview. I find it difficult to stay at a job for very long if I do get one. I mean eye contact, stimming, etc. Autistic stuff that I can't perfectly control. But again, this does not make me inferior. I can see that I am capable of many things, even if I am not capable of many things that our capitalist culture values. But other people do value these skills. One of those skills happens to be the way I address and react to injustice. That seems to be a skill you don't see much value in (calling it dramatic and futile, although you are so wrong).

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This is not to say that there is not this or that battle to fight, but many people use this mechanism as a convenient escape for not facing their own sorrow regarding the fact of who and what they are and whatever life actually is.


I think this is basically not for you to impose on anyone. This is a really bizarre interpretation of these actions. It looks like a way to devalue these actions, to reframe them into something selfish and wrong, and it is completely at odds with what I have seen.

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I do not like to see a group of potentially smart people bonding around such a mechanism. It is disingenuous, and also, teaching it to other people, especially young people who are deeply troubled and suffering and have come here to get help is verging on corrupt, even if the motivation is altruistic. Many people have good intentions and look at the condition of the world. .


This is extremely manipulative. Your words suggest there is shame and self- and outward harm in self-advocacy and activism. That says a lot more about you than it says about those whom you address. And that you can actually do this with your bare face hanging out after stating that so-called "low-functioning" autistic people are inferior shows that you do find some harms acceptable, while holding forth against others that are not actually demonstrated to exist. Teaching people to advocate for themselves is not a bad thing. What is a bad thing is arguing strenuously against it by appealing to vague and ephemeral notions of "corruption" and "suffering".

If you understood perspectives outside yourself, you might - for example - have the compassion to understand why people in this thread and other threads have objected to Autism Speaks, and have been objecting to Autism Speaks for years. Why people have observed their actions, discussed their actions with others, read others' perspectives on their actions and came to their own conclusions. That people are not just impetuously lashing out at Autism Speaks. That people have good, valid, substantial reasons for disliking how Autism Speaks functions and speaking out against it. You try to carry this into rarefied, tenuous extrapolations of intent and feelings, and push back against any discussion of what Autism Speaks - as an organization does whatever the constituent members may feel and believe deep down in their hearts. For example, the lack of autistic people on the board of directors or basically anywhere else. Their token autistic guy quit because he realized he was a token and not accomplishing what he had set out to accomplish. These are real things that people have legitimate reasons to oppose. There's no reason to twist this around into commentary on assumptions about other people's supposed sense of inferiority or lack of self-esteem. That's just manipulative and it completely derails the discussion away from the topic at hand (which in that case seems to again be Autism Speaks).

A lot of people would simply argue - a shallow argument lacking in nuance or understanding - that so-called "low-functioning" autistic people are inferior. I say this is shallow because it is based on surface appearances and assumptions. I say it is lacking in nuance because the argument relies on creating a set of autistic people that are "low-functioning" and are characterized as basically the same, or at least very similar. I say assumptions because there are many assumptions about what it is like to be a so-called "low-functioning" autistic. That all of these assumptions appear to be completely at odds with what actual autistic people who are described as "low-functioning" say about themselves - because many of them are able to speak for themselves. That such a statement - that they are "are inferior" is based on these things. That the statement is not based on interacting with actual autistic people or reading their words and respecting them. Such a statement is downright callous and utterly lacking in compassion. At best, it might draw on that nasty stand-in for compassion, pity but pity is not about compassion, nor understanding, nor anything meaningful. It is about positioning one's self as superior. Which is exactly what you did.

Here is the reality as I see it: There aren't any superior autistic people, there aren't any inferior autistic people. Some people have more challenges than others and everyone has different challenges. Many deemed high functioning lack or have a lot of difficulty with skills that we are assumed to have. Many deemed low functioning have many skills and abilities that people fail or refuse to notice because they wrongly believe that such autistic people are inferior because they cannot communicate like other people, cannot interact like other people,. Because they don't have the skills that NTs and many verbal autistics deem to indicate "intelligence," "maturity," etc. This is not about any kind of objective inferiority because there is no objective inferiority. This is about failing to respect people's differences, treating them as less than you because they can't do the things you think are most important.

Anyone who can truly label humans to be inferior and lesser on the basis of arbitrary and false criteria is not someone who sounds remotely compassionate. So, if that's not what you want, might be worth working on it.



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13 Dec 2013, 4:57 am

Verdandi wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
The honest reality for LFA people is that there's probably little difference in engaging an Aspie or NTs. If anything NTs are going to feel less self-conscious than an Aspie as they won't have the hangup over the disability tag or drawing attention to their own social shortcomings/deficits.


This is kind of an odd assertion to make. It seems to me that NTs basically treat developmentally disabled people (including all autistic people) in a condescending way, they often treat us like children. Or at least do not give us credit for being us.

You really can't make a blanket statement like this about autistic people. either. Not all "Aspies" have hangups about "disability tags" or worry about drawing attention to their own social shortcomings (I don't have these).

Comments like that though is one of the reasons I am not around as much as I used to be and that I am not exactly in a good mood when I do check in.


I agree in regard to blanket statements about Aspies. Many of us, myself included have no such hang-ups about disability. As someone with multiple disabilities who is very active in the disability rights movement I find this assertion very strange and not at all relatable. Seeing the commonality between the areas I face challenges and the challenges of others is actually interesting, usually helpful and constructive and is sometimes even really comforting. Actually I would be quite hurt to think that the lovely LF Autistics in my life, who mean so much to me, would see me as no different to a neurotypical person. That would dismiss a large part of the reason we bonded. Fortunately my life experience shows that they do not view me that way at all.

I'm not 'almost NT' nor am I 'a bit Autistic' which seem to be the contradictory implications behind a lot of people's dismissal of Aspies. I am Autistic. The fact that I am linguistically proficient does not negate the other facets of my Autism. To be honest I find the whole HF/LF binary to be silly, especially when talking about a spectrum - The two ideas do not make sense together. There are not two firmly divided types of Autism and never the twain shall meet, no, there is a spectrum. I don't even know where I fit in that way of thinking. As someone labeled with severe Asperger's, while Asperger's is labeled 'mild Autism' where does that leave me? At the 'bad' end of the 'good' Autism? Thats just ridiculous! To look down on others at different points on the spectrum in that way involves drawing a 'line in the sand' at some arbitrary point that rather conveniently appears between the two of you, which doesn't fit with the idea of a spectrum. It somewhat fits with the idea of intellectual elitism but that's not an inherent trait of people with Asperger's, despite the misconceptions a few NTs seem to have regarding the way some of us express ourselves.