Whats the difference between low functioning and high functi

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Morph500
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24 Nov 2010, 12:47 am

ctioning.


I dont know if im low or high.

IF you are high functioning are you still disabled by NT standards?

Im thinking of giving up on a career if I am, no point to put yourself through a sort of hell then you die in the end.



missykrissy
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24 Nov 2010, 1:41 am

don't give up on yourself before you even get started!! i'm not an expert but i have two kids on the spectrum and am coming to realize i may be in there too somewhere. just the fact that you are able to understand and ask this question probably means you are not low functioning. besides, even in the 'nt world' there are smart people and not so functional people so don't base your goals on having AS. base them on what you want to do and what you are capable of doing. for some people things come easy, some have to work a bit harder at it. you still have to set goals and work towards them. AS is becoming more common and much more accepted and if you don't tell people you have it they won't even know. they will just think you are shy or quirky depending on your symptoms. your diagnosis doesn't have to be a road-block if you don't let it. besides, from what i have seen, some people who have aspergers can be better workers because some of the 'symptoms' can really work out to be benefits. for example, being able to focus in on something very intensely and tune out other stuff, the way that aspies can just go in and do what they gotta do without getting tied up in unneccessary stuff, some have an easier time learning and recalling information. there's more i'm sure but i am tired right now. not all nts have the same standards btw. some are much more open-minded than others and the ones that aren't are mostly older and will retire soon and who will be there to take their jobs?



Callista
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24 Nov 2010, 1:46 am

"High functioning" is a term that people use when they want to say "This person seems less disabled than my mental stereotype of this diagnosis." It has no real meaning in and of itself.

Functioning labels are not used for non-disabled people, so if you are being labeled "high-functioning", you can probably draw the conclusion that the person who calls you that perceives you as disabled, but less disabled than his mental "autism" stereotype. Of course, since that stereotype can be "person who sits in the corner all day and is unable to do anything for himself", that probably doesn't mean much at all. I don't think I've even heard of an autistic person who even fits the "complete disconnect, unable to do anything" description. :roll:

Similarly, "low functioning" is a term that people use when they want to say, "This person looks really disabled to me." When it comes to autism, "looking really disabled" is about as nonsensical a standard as you could use. Let me put it this way: NTs judge people by the non-verbal signals they send, which works quite fine with other NTs because NTs mostly send the signals they want to send. Autistic people are really bad at sending non-verbal signals, and half the time what we send is just random stuff that gets completely misunderstood. So the "looks really disabled" can be a result of an NT misinterpreting an autistic person's random body language. I mean... wow. Seriously. (Being labeled "low functioning" because you sit on the floor and rock, for example, is just plain ridiculous. And yet they do that. Sometimes they do it to people who sit on the floor and rock while working out calculus problems in their heads.)


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Last edited by Callista on 24 Nov 2010, 1:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

Psychpi
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24 Nov 2010, 1:46 am

Typically, the main differences between high funtioning and low functioning are: high functioning can talk and have at least an average IQ. Low functioning is typically non-verbal with some degree of mental retardation. Of course, there are some non-verbal people with autism who were previously thought to be mentally retarded who (once given a communication device) were proven to have a genius level IQ.
I don't consider high functioning autism to be a disability. I call it gifted. :) Don't let the world destroy your dreams.



missykrissy
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24 Nov 2010, 1:55 am

Psychpi wrote:
Typically, the main differences between high funtioning and low functioning are: high functioning can talk and have at least an average IQ. Low functioning is typically non-verbal with some degree of mental retardation. Of course, there are some non-verbal people with autism who were previously thought to be mentally retarded who (once given a communication device) were proven to have a genius level IQ.
I don't consider high functioning autism to be a disability. I call it gifted. :) Don't let the world destroy your dreams.


i have to agree this goes along more with my understanding of the terms. i get the understanding that low-functional means more of can't look after themselves type thing though.



tangomike
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24 Nov 2010, 1:59 am

heres my take on it.

If you are high functioning that means your symptoms arnt as severe and obvious and can learn to disguise them to some extent.
I am high functioning meaning non verbal cues and facial expressions are hard for me but I learned over the years from just observing. I also trained myself not to 'stim' around others, only in the comfort of my own home, even then my stimming can come off as as a severe ADD fidgeting. It feels like I understand the NT world in the same way a student can understand chemistry....since you don't understand it innately you learned it through practice....so when I apply what I learn it is rigid and structured like I'm reading it out of a manual. the more i practice, the more fluid I get- but dont get me wrong its still all acting. For example, I understand humor and sarcasm most of the time but its really really really hard for me to crack jokes in the moment. sometimes i work out a joke in my head spending a minuete or two on it but by the time I figuired out that it would be funny the moments way past. its like having to solve an social equation everytime. i'm sensitive to light and noise and I have a very weird hearing mechanism- like I focus in on ppls voices and I also have a feeling Like I am hearing what ppl say but not understanding it if that makes any sense. it takes time for me to process it and actually understand what they are saying. basically socializing for me uses all my brain power to keep up and in the conversation- i have to block everything else out and focus just on the convo otherwise id just be lost.

With practice I get more fluid but only when conversations tend to go in the same direction - and example being meeting people at college parties- its always drunkely saying hey, nice to meet you and then you go on to talk about where you are from, what year you are then whatever pops up in the conversation. I might have been awkward in those situations but everyone including myself is drunk so it comes off as me just being wasted rather than AS....but I got a LOT of practice with people my own age and wasnt seen as a retard, just a friendly drunk guy so I wasnt anxious...thats what i think high functioning is - being able to learn and blend in to some extent altough internally and mentally they are still AS.

Low functioning is when you just cannot understand facial expressions, non verbal communication, nuance, sarcasm, humor at all and have a hard time learning it ...or at least thats what I would think it means, somebody correct me if I am wrong.

"High" functioning and "Low" functioning are only labels to slap on us so that NT's can identify where we are on the spectrum. its not a clear cut high or low, you can be anywhere in between....its just a matter of how well you can disguse and blend in society.



Morph500
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24 Nov 2010, 2:15 am

tangomike wrote:
heres my take on it.

If you are high functioning that means your symptoms arnt as severe and obvious and can learn to disguise them to some extent.
I am high functioning meaning non verbal cues and facial expressions are hard for me but I learned over the years from just observing. I also trained myself not to 'stim' around others, only in the comfort of my own home, even then my stimming can come off as as a severe ADD fidgeting. It feels like I understand the NT world in the same way a student can understand chemistry....since you don't understand it innately you learned it through practice....so when I apply what I learn it is rigid and structured like I'm reading it out of a manual. the more i practice, the more fluid I get- but dont get me wrong its still all acting. For example, I understand humor and sarcasm most of the time but its really really really hard for me to crack jokes in the moment. sometimes i work out a joke in my head spending a minuete or two on it but by the time I figuired out that it would be funny the moments way past. its like having to solve an social equation everytime. i'm sensitive to light and noise and I have a very weird hearing mechanism- like I focus in on ppls voices and I also have a feeling Like I am hearing what ppl say but not understanding it if that makes any sense. it takes time for me to process it and actually understand what they are saying. basically socializing for me uses all my brain power to keep up and in the conversation- i have to block everything else out and focus just on the convo otherwise id just be lost.

With practice I get more fluid but only when conversations tend to go in the same direction - and example being meeting people at college parties- its always drunkely saying hey, nice to meet you and then you go on to talk about where you are from, what year you are then whatever pops up in the conversation. I might have been awkward in those situations but everyone including myself is drunk so it comes off as me just being wasted rather than AS....but I got a LOT of practice with people my own age and wasnt seen as a retard, just a friendly drunk guy so I wasnt anxious...thats what i think high functioning is - being able to learn and blend in to some extent altough internally and mentally they are still AS.

Low functioning is when you just cannot understand facial expressions, non verbal communication, nuance, sarcasm, humor at all and have a hard time learning it ...or at least thats what I would think it means, somebody correct me if I am wrong.

"High" functioning and "Low" functioning are only labels to slap on us so that NT's can identify where we are on the spectrum. its not a clear cut high or low, you can be anywhere in between....its just a matter of how well you can disguse and blend in society.



So you get really drunk and go out to bars and talk to people?

I cannot train myself like that the feeling of looking like a moron is 2 great. How do you go about this?



tangomike
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24 Nov 2010, 2:30 am

Morph500 wrote:

So you get really drunk and go out to bars and talk to people?

I cannot train myself like that the feeling of looking like a moron is 2 great. How do you go about this?


Well I used to completly isolate myself because the feeling of looking like a moron was intense, just like it is for you...So I slowly started inserting myself into social situations starting in grade 8 when I took a risk and joined the wrestling team. I was still terrible socially but wrestling wasnt about social skills, it was about the sport, which in time allowed me to socialize with my teammates at prac and at meets. I only did that for one year. In 10th grade I tried out and made the JV football team which similarly allowed me to be a little social w/ my teammates before, during and after prac/games. I continued playing football, making the varsity 11-12th grades and it allowed me to actually become friends with some of my teammates-some of who are still great friends of mine - and I am still friendly with the rest of the former teammates today... I started getting invited to parties and to hang out with some teammates and I got my first tastes of high school life from a NT point of view. I admit, I had a false sense of confidence because I was using my status as a football player to boost my ego- but it did allow me to be more social and take more social risks like talking to girls and random guys which was valuable practice from which i learned.

Getting drunk and meeting ppl works for me but its by no means the best way to gain confidence and social skills. It helps with the anxiety part and being drunk excuses your social mistakes to some degree which is why I do it but it mainly has to come from within you. IN my two years of college from age 18-20, I improved socially more than I did from ages 12-18 because i took more risks and was open about everything- the more mature ppl are the more they value honesty and being assertive. I am still awkward but I found that more people in college were willing to overlook my social deficits because they were more mature than ppl in middle and high school. How old are you by the way?
Taking risks is what its all about...JUMP AND A NET WILL APPEAR!



Morph500
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24 Nov 2010, 2:36 am

tangomike wrote:
Morph500 wrote:

So you get really drunk and go out to bars and talk to people?

I cannot train myself like that the feeling of looking like a moron is 2 great. How do you go about this?


Well I used to completly isolate myself because the feeling of looking like a moron was intense, just like it is for you...So I slowly started inserting myself into social situations starting in grade 8 when I took a risk and joined the wrestling team. I was still terrible socially but wrestling wasnt about social skills, it was about the sport, which in time allowed me to socialize with my teammates at prac and at meets. I only did that for one year. In 10th grade I tried out and made the JV football team which similarly allowed me to be a little social w/ my teammates before, during and after prac/games. I continued playing football, making the varsity 11-12th grades and it allowed me to actually become friends with some of my teammates-some of who are still great friends of mine - and I am still friendly with the rest of the former teammates today... I started getting invited to parties and to hang out with some teammates and I got my first tastes of high school life from a NT point of view. I admit, I had a false sense of confidence because I was using my status as a football player to boost my ego- but it did allow me to be more social and take more social risks like talking to girls and random guys which was valuable practice from which i learned.

Getting drunk and meeting ppl works for me but its by no means the best way to gain confidence and social skills. It helps with the anxiety part and being drunk excuses your social mistakes to some degree which is why I do it but it mainly has to come from within you. IN my two years of college from age 18-20, I improved socially more than I did from ages 12-18 because i took more risks and was open about everything- the more mature ppl are the more they value honesty and being assertive. I am still awkward but I found that more people in college were willing to overlook my social deficits because they were more mature than ppl in middle and high school. How old are you by the way?
Taking risks is what its all about...JUMP AND A NET WILL APPEAR!


damn dude, awsome you had some balls to try out for all of those sports. What do you mean by risk taking? saying hi? to strangers?



River
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24 Nov 2010, 2:40 am

this is a tumblr.com site where anyone can submit ways they have heard the term "high-functioning" used:
http://whatishighfunctioning.tumblr.com/

it's really interesting and enlightening



Morph500
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24 Nov 2010, 2:44 am

River wrote:
this is a tumblr.com site where anyone can submit ways they have heard the term "high-functioning" used:
http://whatishighfunctioning.tumblr.com/

it's really interesting and enlightening


yea where did u find this blog?



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24 Nov 2010, 3:12 am

Risk taking means saying hi and giving a little smile and nod to strangers passing by (obviously dont just start talking to them, that is weird but acknowledge them if you make eye contact or if they acknowledge you), starting a conversation with a classmate you sit next to (assuming you are a younger guy/gal) , joining a club or sport, or inviting a girl to get coffee sometime- depending on where you are in terms of self esteem. In 7th grade I wasnt really able to talk to a girl beyond asking her about homework or to borrow something so doing the wrestling thing was the biggest risk i could take without being overwhelmed. Had I just gone ahead and said "f*ck it" and asked a girl out she would have refused because i woulda been too unconfident and nervous and just weird- and i understood that which is why I took baby steps. With every passing year of doing sports and taking the social opportunities it offered me I gradually built up some confidence and it culminated in college where I actually fit in well for a time (before depression hit me) by having solid groups of friends who would call/text me daily to do things/party as well as having dates and a short relationship- i felt like a normal person for once in my life....but then I realized that I didnt enjoy being THAT social and regressed into being comfortable being a introverted aspie again. its like once I realized that I could in fact have the life of a stereotypical college guy I no longer wanted it because it was just not me (I had emotional and anger issues that destroyed those friendships though). I just had wanted it so bad until that point that I was obsessed with being 'normal'- and when i finally achieved it I was satisfied with just being myself. I think you and I are similar w/ the self esteem thing- you just need to find your comfort zone with the risks and take them in baby steps. everytime you take a risk and succeed it builds inside of you- think of it as building one more rung on a rungless ladder everytime you do well. Everytime you suceed another rung appears and eventually you will reach the top and have a solid identity and self esteem. I myself am only a lil over half way up that ladder but a few years ago I wasn't even off the ground yet.



Morph500
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24 Nov 2010, 3:24 am

tangomike wrote:
Risk taking means saying hi and giving a little smile and nod to strangers passing by (obviously dont just start talking to them, that is weird but acknowledge them if you make eye contact or if they acknowledge you), starting a conversation with a classmate you sit next to (assuming you are a younger guy/gal) , joining a club or sport, or inviting a girl to get coffee sometime- depending on where you are in terms of self esteem. In 7th grade I wasnt really able to talk to a girl beyond asking her about homework or to borrow something so doing the wrestling thing was the biggest risk i could take without being overwhelmed. Had I just gone ahead and said "f*ck it" and asked a girl out she would have refused because i woulda been too unconfident and nervous and just weird- and i understood that which is why I took baby steps. With every passing year of doing sports and taking the social opportunities it offered me I gradually built up some confidence and it culminated in college where I actually fit in well for a time (before depression hit me) by having solid groups of friends who would call/text me daily to do things/party as well as having dates and a short relationship- i felt like a normal person for once in my life....but then I realized that I didnt enjoy being THAT social and regressed into being comfortable being a introverted aspie again. its like once I realized that I could in fact have the life of a stereotypical college guy I no longer wanted it because it was just not me (I had emotional and anger issues that destroyed those friendships though). I just had wanted it so bad until that point that I was obsessed with being 'normal'- and when i finally achieved it I was satisfied with just being myself. I think you and I are similar w/ the self esteem thing- you just need to find your comfort zone with the risks and take them in baby steps. everytime you take a risk and succeed it builds inside of you- think of it as building one more rung on a rungless ladder everytime you do well. Everytime you suceed another rung appears and eventually you will reach the top and have a solid identity and self esteem. I myself am only a lil over half way up that ladder but a few years ago I wasn't even off the ground yet.


damn, cool.

You see, I had friends as a young blood but I started using drugs and haging with degenerates and junkies and then that lead me straight to prison where i have a mental flip out. THen I had a mental flip out for like 4-5 years and i still am i guess now. Everything is confusing I really dont know what to do anymore. WHen I was in in 8th grade and s**t all i did was skateboard with friends - you were trying to be social, a conecept that i barley even knew about or acknowledged, you are awsome for noticing it i guess.



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24 Nov 2010, 3:37 am

Wait, you had friends in the 8th grade? You're precocious. I was 20 when I first made friends.


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