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FireyInspiration
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11 Sep 2014, 4:44 pm

Is this a thing? We all keep saying its a 'spectrum', but only ever hear of two levels of functioning (high and low). Is the divide between the two based solely on who can pass for an NT, or is medium functioning autism actually an 'official term'?



btbnnyr
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11 Sep 2014, 4:56 pm

The division between HFA and LFA is based on IQ cutoff = 70, not on who can pass for NT or other vague factors.


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11 Sep 2014, 4:56 pm

MFA definition is not official. For example, I am moderate functioning and too severe to fake. I may not ever live without assistance...


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KingdomOfRats
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11 Sep 2014, 5:47 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
The division between HFA and LFA is based on IQ cutoff = 70, not on who can pass for NT or other vague factors.

seconding btbnnyr,
medicaly speaking autistic functioning is based on being either side of the 70 point [and how this makes the autism present] and to be diagnosed with aspergers can only be high functioning,that doesnt mean aspies cant have difficulties with specific parts of functioning though such as independant living.

for the benefit of others;functioning in the autistic sense means overall global abilities;those of us who are low functioning have an iq under seventy which impacts on every aspect of our lives whether its communication and interaction, it causes severe challenging behavior due to frustration and inability to express self, incontinence due to lack of toileting ability, needing round the clock high support with all needs including bathing,cooking [inability to do it for self completely] etc,all of us who live in the community require two support staff to ourselves [some have three staff!] due to the impact it has on our behavior and the level of complex needs it causes,low functioning automaticaly causes autism to appear severe or profound because intelectual disability itself causes highly rigid thinking,severe challenging behavior a limited mental capacity which affects ability to learn coping skills and aquire new skills and improve behavior as much as the hf autist might do over the years,quick frustration,difficulty expressing,difficulty with understanding basic concepts and language etc.


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11 Sep 2014, 6:04 pm

Lumi wrote:
MFA definition is not official. For example, I am moderate functioning and too severe to fake. I may not ever live without assistance...


This is me right here. I'm like a little child trapped in the body of an adult. I can't function on an adult level at all, and I struggle greatly with doing most adult-related living skills as well. Like, I can dress myself, use the bathroom and do those sort of things. I can do my own laundry, which it took me years to actually learn how to comprehend that idea. I have a distinct feeling that I'm between high functioning and low-functioning, but then again... my autism varies depending on my mood as well. One day could be a perfectly good, normal day... while another could be totally off balance for me.

I have extremely severe anxiety as well. It's hard for me to even go to hospital without severely spazzing out over needles and IVs and not knowing what's going to happen next either. Hospitals don't seem to realize that I'm on the spectrum, and it makes it harder for me to get treatment, even if I'm so freaked out that I'm sobbing so much I can't breathe. It's happened to me before where I've actually had a nurse threaten to have to security guards come in to hold me down while she drugs me for an IV.

The problem with my ASD is that I border between classic autism and AS. I have the communication skills for AS, but all my other traits end up falling under classic autism. Like how I flap my arms, squeal like a banshee and get all wound up or when I'm screaming bloody murder in tears because something didn't go the way I had originally planned. People don't normally see the autism until they see me on the floor, having one of my episodes... even then they don't quite understand it very well at all.

I don't really know where I am on the spectrum, but I know I have a lot of issues with certain things. I also have an IQ between 70 and 85 as well, so it's really hard to say where I stand too.


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11 Sep 2014, 6:31 pm

FireyInspiration wrote:
Is this a thing? We all keep saying its a 'spectrum', but only ever hear of two levels of functioning (high and low). Is the divide between the two based solely on who can pass for an NT, or is medium functioning autism actually an 'official term'?


I think lots of people on the spectrum fall more in the middle than leaning more towards low or high functioning, but I do not think the term medium functioning is really used too much to describe people with autism, but I'd think it would make sense for it to be. I'd say based on my observations of my life and the criteria for autism I would describe myself as more medium functioning than high functioning, of course I have other issues which interfere with functioning to....so its kind of hard to determine where exactly my autism severity lies with those other issues since some of them can also make some of the autism difficulties harder. Like I have excutive functioning issues, and having depression makes those worse so without the depression my executive functioning difficulties might not be as severe, but I've had clinical depression since I was like 10.

Maybe I'd be 'high functioning' autistic without those other problems, maybe I'd still see mid functioning as a better fit....hard to say exactly.


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Last edited by Sweetleaf on 11 Sep 2014, 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lumi
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11 Sep 2014, 6:33 pm

LokiofSassgard wrote:
This is me right here. I'm like a little child trapped in the body of an adult. I can't function on an adult level at all, and I struggle greatly with doing most adult-related living skills as well. Like, I can dress myself, use the bathroom and do those sort of things. I can do my own laundry, which it took me years to actually learn how to comprehend that idea. I have a distinct feeling that I'm between high functioning and low-functioning, but then again... my autism varies depending on my mood as well. One day could be a perfectly good, normal day... while another could be totally off balance for me.

I have extremely severe anxiety as well. It's hard for me to even go to hospital without severely spazzing out over needles and IVs and not knowing what's going to happen next either. Hospitals don't seem to realize that I'm on the spectrum, and it makes it harder for me to get treatment, even if I'm so freaked out that I'm sobbing so much I can't breathe. It's happened to me before where I've actually had a nurse threaten to have to security guards come in to hold me down while she drugs me for an IV.

The problem with my ASD is that I border between classic autism and AS. I have the communication skills for AS, but all my other traits end up falling under classic autism. Like how I flap my arms, squeal like a banshee and get all wound up or when I'm screaming bloody murder in tears because something didn't go the way I had originally planned. People don't normally see the autism until they see me on the floor, having one of my episodes... even then they don't quite understand it very well at all.

I don't really know where I am on the spectrum, but I know I have a lot of issues with certain things. I also have an IQ between 70 and 85 as well, so it's really hard to say where I stand too.

My IQ tests scores as low average. Verbal understanding is good. When people meet me, it is soon seen that I have some kind of special needs. I clearly relate to not knowing how severe my autism is and my behavior is at times challenging too. To most people I barely communicate.


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Last edited by Lumi on 11 Sep 2014, 6:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Sweetleaf
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11 Sep 2014, 6:40 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
The division between HFA and LFA is based on IQ cutoff = 70, not on who can pass for NT or other vague factors.


While some may disagree I see that as part of the issue......because it fails to take into account that IQ tests have actually been proven to not always reflect actual intelligence levels and are at best a tool in a set of multiple others that can be used to assess someones mental capacity or whatever.

Also it ignores that even if your IQ is above that, you can still have enough trouble functioning to where it doesn't make much sense calling it High Functioning Autism. Perhaps they should redo how they determine functioning level and actually base it on the functioning level of that person rather than IQ which doesn't have much to do with that. If anything that seems vague since IQ isn't an accurate measure of ones functioning abilities.

Also based on my own reading and learning in psychology class intellectual disability and autism is not the same thing, however people with autism can have intellectual disabilities as well and its pretty common with low functioning individuals...though there are some that are mistaken to have an intellectual disability who really don't.


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starkid
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11 Sep 2014, 6:48 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
IQ tests have actually been proven to not always reflect actual intelligence levels and are at best a tool in a set of multiple others that can be used to assess someones mental capacity or whatever.


What determines "actual intelligence levels" if not an IQ test? I thought the only official tool was an IQ test.


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Sweetleaf
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11 Sep 2014, 6:50 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
The division between HFA and LFA is based on IQ cutoff = 70, not on who can pass for NT or other vague factors.

seconding btbnnyr,
medicaly speaking autistic functioning is based on being either side of the 70 point [and how this makes the autism present] and to be diagnosed with aspergers can only be high functioning,that doesnt mean aspies cant have difficulties with specific parts of functioning though such as independant living.

for the benefit of others;functioning in the autistic sense means overall global abilities;those of us who are low functioning have an iq under seventy which impacts on every aspect of our lives whether its communication and interaction, it causes severe challenging behavior due to frustration and inability to express self, incontinence due to lack of toileting ability, needing round the clock high support with all needs including bathing,cooking [inability to do it for self completely] etc,all of us who live in the community require two support staff to ourselves [some have three staff!] due to the impact it has on our behavior and the level of complex needs it causes,low functioning automaticaly causes autism to appear severe or profound because intelectual disability itself causes highly rigid thinking,severe challenging behavior a limited mental capacity which affects ability to learn coping skills and aquire new skills and improve behavior as much as the hf autist might do over the years,quick frustration,difficulty expressing,difficulty with understanding basic concepts and language etc.


I suppose I don't see how this really explains why Medium Functioning is not a catagory as of yet....I understand that is how they determine it currently and don't think having medium functioning would interfere with that, people with the IQ under 70 would still be in the LFA catagory. However 'High functioning Autism' is not an accurate term for all autistics currently in that catagory....and sometimes has people expecting too much out of an individual with autism due to being labeled as 'high functioning' actual problems they have or difficulties can easily get dismissed as not trying hard enough since they should be 'smart' enough to have found a solution, or overcame it.


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Lumi
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11 Sep 2014, 6:54 pm

Functional assessments also should be done for more accurate information. This is how self is able to get much needed disability benefits and special support.


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Sweetleaf
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11 Sep 2014, 6:57 pm

starkid wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
IQ tests have actually been proven to not always reflect actual intelligence levels and are at best a tool in a set of multiple others that can be used to assess someones mental capacity or whatever.


What determines "actual intelligence levels" if not an IQ test? I thought the only official tool was an IQ test.


It's actually not something that can be measured precisely and there are different kinds of intelligence...also sometimes things like distractions, or having an 'off' day while taking one can effect results. But that is why I don't think its a very good way to determine where someones functioning level falls when it comes to autism since it has little to do with 'Autism' and how it effects the persons functioning.

I say functioning levels should be based on how much the autism interferes with ability to function not simply their IQ since it simplifies too much just like only having the labels high or low functioning autism seems to it is a spectrum after all. Also what is to say ones initial functioning level would remain the same?


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andrethemoogle
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11 Sep 2014, 7:17 pm

LokiofSassgard wrote:
Lumi wrote:
MFA definition is not official. For example, I am moderate functioning and too severe to fake. I may not ever live without assistance...


This is me right here. I'm like a little child trapped in the body of an adult. I can't function on an adult level at all, and I struggle greatly with doing most adult-related living skills as well. Like, I can dress myself, use the bathroom and do those sort of things. I can do my own laundry, which it took me years to actually learn how to comprehend that idea. I have a distinct feeling that I'm between high functioning and low-functioning, but then again... my autism varies depending on my mood as well. One day could be a perfectly good, normal day... while another could be totally off balance for me.

I have extremely severe anxiety as well. It's hard for me to even go to hospital without severely spazzing out over needles and IVs and not knowing what's going to happen next either. Hospitals don't seem to realize that I'm on the spectrum, and it makes it harder for me to get treatment, even if I'm so freaked out that I'm sobbing so much I can't breathe. It's happened to me before where I've actually had a nurse threaten to have to security guards come in to hold me down while she drugs me for an IV.

The problem with my ASD is that I border between classic autism and AS. I have the communication skills for AS, but all my other traits end up falling under classic autism. Like how I flap my arms, squeal like a banshee and get all wound up or when I'm screaming bloody murder in tears because something didn't go the way I had originally planned. People don't normally see the autism until they see me on the floor, having one of my episodes... even then they don't quite understand it very well at all.

I don't really know where I am on the spectrum, but I know I have a lot of issues with certain things. I also have an IQ between 70 and 85 as well, so it's really hard to say where I stand too.


I am basically the same except I think my IQ is in the 130s-140s or something (I'm not trying to brag or anything, I really am not, just pointing out the small difference)



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11 Sep 2014, 7:23 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
It's actually not something that can be measured precisely and there are different kinds of intelligence...also sometimes things like distractions, or having an 'off' day while taking one can effect results.


Well, if it cannot be measured precisely, then how can you determine that IQ tests aren't measuring it correctly? You would have nothing with which to compare the IQ test results.


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Last edited by starkid on 11 Sep 2014, 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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11 Sep 2014, 9:09 pm

I still think it should be a thing, except between Aspergers and HFA, and far too many of us have been there.


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