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Joe90
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13 Mar 2021, 7:06 am

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If I'm looking at a piece of paper about a student who is going to be in my class and it says autism, I'm going to need to have some general idea of what level of support this kid is going to need in the classroom. That's exactly what the DSM V functioning labels are all about: level of support needed.


This.
Everybody with autism is different so there needs to be some clarification on what each individual is like.
It's not just autism, most things have a spectrum. When I worked at a care home for people with dementia, every resident had a personal care plan, stating their needs and behaviour. It was no good just saying "this person has dementia" and walk away. Obviously they all needed support of some kind but some needed more support than others. Some people with dementia were more "high-functioning" than others, and could take themselves to the bathroom for example, while others needed incontinence pads because they were no longer able to know when (or even why) they needed the bathroom. Some couldn't have a conversation with anybody and were locked inside their heads, while others still had the social skills they used to have and could hold a conversation or express their feelings. Some could no longer do simple things like play Snakes And Ladders, while others could still engage in activities like that.


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13 Mar 2021, 8:47 am

To me, they are different presentations of similar issues. I don't have a diagnosis because I was the "smart weird kid" in the 80s (who was a little bit too much of both.) I'm not pursuing one now because there is both no money for it and nothing to be gained by it. All the same, I say I'm a self-diagnosed Aspie rather than "self-diagnosed on the autistic spectrum with no speech delay or other learning disability in childhood and few issues that are apparent from the outside most of the time." It says that with much less typing.
That being said, with stress, it becomes quite a bit more apparent from the outside. In any interaction that goes beyond a few seconds, it also becomes apparent. But I think those things are true for most of us.



Joe90
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13 Mar 2021, 1:00 pm

I can still function when under stress. Last spring I thought I was going crazy with all the new lockdown restrictions and had meltdown-like panic attacks, but I still went to work. Going to work doesn't emotionally exhaust me even when I'm under stress or depression. The only time I can't do things I normally do is when I've lost a loved one, but that's normal for NTs too. In fact some NTs have time off work with depression or stress.


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SharonB
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13 Mar 2021, 4:26 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I can still function when under stress. Last spring I thought I was going crazy with all the new lockdown restrictions and had meltdown-like panic attacks, but I still went to work. Going to work doesn't emotionally exhaust me even when I'm under stress or depression. The only time I can't do things I normally do is when I've lost a loved one, but that's normal for NTs too. In fact some NTs have time off work with depression or stress.


That is how I manage stress: I work. Work is a relief. The trick would be to manage the stress by feeling it and processing it, not working. Two examples: During my childhood house fire? I did my homework. Immediately after my miscarriage (incl. severe vomiting and diarrhea)? I went to work. True, I functioned, but I sure have a lot of unprocessed feelings.

Joe, can you recall or talk about your panic attacks and previous stresses and not disassociate from them, or feel them strongly? If so, fantastic! If not, that's where I am. And of course there is everything in between. I still feel strongly (or disassociate from) mine so know that I remain in burn out or didn't process them. It's much easier to work. Work is my friend.



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15 Mar 2021, 2:21 pm

From my own personal experiences, I most often apply the term High Functioning Autism (HFA) - that is (HFA) can be that third description in describing the Autism Spectrum.

Why split hairs in defining Autism or Aspergers?



dragonsanddemons
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15 Mar 2021, 4:45 pm

My official diagnosis is Asperger’s syndrome, but I tell people I’m on the autism spectrum rather than specifying because I’m not as high-functioning as people assume when they think Asperger’s (by present criteria, most likely ASD level 2 rather than level 1). There seems to be a huge difference between me and people who actually are overall “high-functioning.” But I don’t know enough to claim to know exactly where any separation(s) should be made.


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Mona Pereth
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16 Mar 2021, 7:36 am

Joe90 wrote:
But these days most people on the spectrum refuse to accept or believe that there are different severities of autism and believe autism should just be 1 thing.

Really? I don't recall anyone around here denying that "there are different severities of autism."

What a lot of us do object to is a binary classification of "high-functioning" vs. "low-functioning," ignoring the many people in the middle, and ignoring the many people who are "high-functioning" in some ways but "low-functioning" in other ways.

I also don't recall anyone claiming that "autism should just be 1 thing." It's widely recognized that there are many "autisms." The problem is that there isn't, currently, a good way of classifying them, beyond what the DSM 5 currently does (3 severity levels, plus the separate dimensions of "With or without accompanying intellectual impairment" and "With or without accompanying language impairment" and "Associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder").

Joe90 wrote:
The dictionary definition of "spectrum" has 2 different meanings.

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1. a band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.
2. used to classify something in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme points.

Autism is not like the colour spectrum, it's more like the latter.

Actually it's a multi-dimensional spectrum with many extreme points, not just two.

Joe90 wrote:
It has extremes, but I'm not saying everyone on the spectrum either has one extreme or the other. But some of us do.

Yes, and who is denying this?


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16 Mar 2021, 7:47 am

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
Going by social attitudes there is a difference between Aspergers and Autism.

Personally I am more like Temple Grandin personality wise but have to take the label of Aspergers because I did not have delayed speech.

Aspergers has a different public image to autism...different stereotypes and all that.

It pisses me off as people expect me to be logical and serious all the time when actually I can be quite playful. If I am playful then they expect me to be stupid which is annoying.

I like playful, but I liked being smart too (lost some of my iq when i got smacked on the head by a car in a hit and run accident).

Which catagory do you feel you fall in to and should autism be split into categories at all?

My dad was autistic, he reminded me of rainman, but not so much on steroids.

I love my dad, be kind.
Aspergers label no longre exists atleast where im from nad as someone who was never diagnosed with aspergers in the first place i choose autism and as a level 2. I was diagnosed with pdd-nos. Honestly 3 level ASD is vastly superior to the DSM-iv autism spectrum disorders.


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Mona Pereth
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16 Mar 2021, 7:59 am

Earthbound_Alien wrote:
Going by social attitudes there is a difference between Aspergers and Autism.

[...]

Aspergers has a different public image to autism...different stereotypes and all that.

[...]

Which catagory do you feel you fall in to and should autism be split into categories at all?

I probably fit more the "Aspergers" stereotype than the "autism" stereotype -- but I had a speech delay as a child.

The DSM IV defined "Asperger's disorder" in a way that was meaningful in childhood, but not so meaningful in adulthood. Once you have fully learned to speak, it doesn't really matter all that much when you learned to speak.


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IkeSiCwan
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16 Mar 2021, 3:46 pm

Neither. It is a autistic neurology spectrum with some kind of disorder compared to what neurotypcals defined as normal.

So, I see myself as a normal human with autistic neurology, very close to often appearing not being autistic. Slightly out of socialy phase.

In order to not being treated different suddenly, I am not telling my job team about me having a autistic neurology. Many of my team seem to have it like me. We all are IT specialists.


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ImeldaJace
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17 Mar 2021, 12:29 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:

[...]

The DSM IV defined "Asperger's disorder" in a way that was meaningful in childhood, but not so meaningful in adulthood. Once you have fully learned to speak, it doesn't really matter all that much when you learned to speak.


This is so true!! ! Like I said in my post earlier, two autistic adults may look similar now but very different as children. When you label things off of just what a person looks like as a child, things get very confusing


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Joe90
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17 Mar 2021, 4:35 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
But these days most people on the spectrum refuse to accept or believe that there are different severities of autism and believe autism should just be 1 thing.

Really? I don't recall anyone around here denying that "there are different severities of autism."

What a lot of us do object to is a binary classification of "high-functioning" vs. "low-functioning," ignoring the many people in the middle, and ignoring the many people who are "high-functioning" in some ways but "low-functioning" in other ways.

I also don't recall anyone claiming that "autism should just be 1 thing." It's widely recognized that there are many "autisms." The problem is that there isn't, currently, a good way of classifying them, beyond what the DSM 5 currently does (3 severity levels, plus the separate dimensions of "With or without accompanying intellectual impairment" and "With or without accompanying language impairment" and "Associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder").

Joe90 wrote:
The dictionary definition of "spectrum" has 2 different meanings.

Quote:
1. a band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength.
2. used to classify something in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme points.

Autism is not like the colour spectrum, it's more like the latter.

Actually it's a multi-dimensional spectrum with many extreme points, not just two.

Joe90 wrote:
It has extremes, but I'm not saying everyone on the spectrum either has one extreme or the other. But some of us do.

Yes, and who is denying this?


The way Asperger's was taken out of the latest diagnostic criteria thing might answer your question. It's as if to say that functioning levels should not exist.


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Wonderboy in Monsterland
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17 Mar 2021, 4:56 pm

I stopped describing myself as an aspie after researching the origins of the different diagnoses within our spectrum.

This is a good read on the subject:
https://theautisticadvocate.com/2020/01 ... in-a-name/



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17 Mar 2021, 5:22 pm

I say that I have autism level 1, since that's what my diagnosis says.
If people don't know what it means, I add "that's what was previously called aspergers, or a bit misleading high functioning autism".
Why misleading? Well, I am lower functioning in some areas and higher functioning in other.
If anything, having the three levels of autism and the added descriptives Mona mentions, points out that there ARE functioning levels of autism.

/Mats


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19 Mar 2021, 12:25 pm

I sometimes question whether Low Latent Inhibition may have something to do with autism levels. Given that when someone has LLI and a high enough IQ, they are gifted by the experience and notice detail, but when they have a low IQ, it practically seems to be using them instead of the other way round, making all their experience a mess and making them not very operative.

It's kind of like having a program but not enough ram to run it. Then the solution for LLI caused issues is through increasing IQ, mind improvement games and tasks, meditation\relaxation, diet, reading.

People on the spectrum have a lower than average latent inhibition.

https://www.lowlatentinhibition.org/what-is-lli/


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