High functioning or low functioning? Judy Endow nails it

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ominous
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01 Mar 2015, 6:05 pm

I adore Judy Endow's work. In this blog she nails exactly why I don't subscribe to functional labels and believe they are detrimental to us as a community of autistics. Have a read (full text at link) and share your thoughts?

Quote:
In this life I am missing the ability to go out into the world and just be accepted for my natural autistic self. I must inhibit so many of my natural responses just to fit in enough for others to allow me a place in the world. I have discovered that to have a place in this world I need to fit into it in a way that makes sense to the majority. For me, this isn’t a good or a bad thing – just merely the way it is. Fitting into the world is something I need to balance with the essence of my being so as to come out in the most positive manner possible.

A few years ago I took a pottery class for adults – not disabled adults – just plain ordinary adults. I explained my obvious-at-the-time movement differences in terms of my autism. Several weeks later out of the blue, a fellow potter asked, “So Judy, are you high-functioning?”

In the context of working on my hand built sculpture, surrounded by others using potter’s wheels I replied, “Some days. And you?”

My question was never answered. Only silence followed. It wasn’t until I was on my way home that I figured out the question was meant to be in reference to my autism – not to my sculpture building abilities!

Many times when I disclose my autism the first question I am asked is whether I am high-functioning or low-functioning. People are not at all meaning to be rude, but rather, just trying to understand what they think is important about me.

In reality high-functioning and low-functioning are not real labels, having no definition, no skill set lists, and no diagnostic criteria. Yet these words are often used to determine opportunities that will be denied or extended to an autistic and in assigning the correct amount of personal responsibility and blame to an autistic for the way his autism plays out in everyday life.


read more here...
http://www.judyendow.com/advocacy/high- ... nctioning/



btbnnyr
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01 Mar 2015, 6:51 pm

This article doesn't make much sense to me.
What is she talking about, her low-functioning ways when she says that high-functioning and low-functioning have no meaning, then why did she label what she calls her natural self low-functioning ways?
HF and LF do have a definition in terms of autism without vs. with intellectual disability, which is usually defined as IQ below 70 or 80.


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jwfess
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01 Mar 2015, 7:00 pm

I think it is important to distinguish between autistic people who need early interventions and services that enable them to become as autonomous and self-sufficient as they possibly can, and autistic people who can maintain jobs and relationships (maybe not the same kinds as NT's) without much additional support (familial or otherwise).

The high/low functioning label is useful in determining the potential of an autistic person to function as an independent adult. The needs of a person who will never be able to maintain a job, friendships, and romantic relationships are much different than one who can.

I don't think there can really ever be a fully-inclusive community of autistics because the most severe or low-function autistics can't be a part of it, their ability to transmit/receive communication to/from others is too impaired.



ominous
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01 Mar 2015, 7:04 pm

I guess you guys don't read much about autistics except through WP?

Are you aware of the 'low functioning' people who communicate and participate in society? Are you familiar with Amy Sequenzia or other non-verbal autistics who are an integral part of the neurodiversity and autistic rights movement?

I'm often perplexed by the responses here on WP and wonder how much folks 'get out' amongst other autistics outside of WP.

http://nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com.au/



btbnnyr
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01 Mar 2015, 7:15 pm

What do you mean, I didn't say that I don't know about autism outside of wp.


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ominous
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01 Mar 2015, 7:26 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
What do you mean, I didn't say that I don't know about autism outside of wp.


I mean exactly what I typed. Perhaps read it a couple of times before asking what I mean, because you don't seem to have read it. I didn't say what you think I said, probably because you didn't read it and/or are in a hurry to defend yourself from a perceived attack that didn't happen.



jwfess
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01 Mar 2015, 7:28 pm

ominous wrote:
I guess you guys don't read much about autistics except through WP?

Are you aware of the 'low functioning' people who communicate and participate in society? Are you familiar with Amy Sequenzia or other non-verbal autistics who are an integral part of the neurodiversity and autistic rights movement?

I'm often perplexed by the responses here on WP and wonder how much folks 'get out' amongst other autistics outside of WP.

http://nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com.au/


Yes I'm aware. I worked briefly at a facility for adults with developmental disabilities that included many "low-functioning" autistics. They did not look at computers and they did not give a damn about neurodiversity and politics, in fact they did not communicate with anyone at all.

Among low-functioning autistics, Amy Sequenzia is the exception, not the rule. Maybe you should "get out" and interact with autistics who cannot control their bodily movements and bowels rather than lecture people about things they already know.



ominous
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01 Mar 2015, 7:30 pm

jwfess wrote:
ominous wrote:
I guess you guys don't read much about autistics except through WP?

Are you aware of the 'low functioning' people who communicate and participate in society? Are you familiar with Amy Sequenzia or other non-verbal autistics who are an integral part of the neurodiversity and autistic rights movement?

I'm often perplexed by the responses here on WP and wonder how much folks 'get out' amongst other autistics outside of WP.

http://nonspeakingautisticspeaking.blogspot.com.au/


Yes I'm aware. I worked briefly at a facility for adults with developmental disabilities that included many "low-functioning" autistics. They did not look at computers and they did not give a damn about neurodiversity and politics, in fact they did not communicate with anyone at all.

Among low-functioning autistics, Amy Sequenzia is the exception, not the rule. Maybe you should "get out" and interact with autistics who cannot control their bodily movements and bowels rather than lecture people about things they already know.


Why so mean? I think I'll ask mods to lock this topic and avoid posting them further. I do better with folks outside of here. And, for the record, I know quite a few autistics who can't control their body functions. I just think you're being mean and rude for no reason, and I don't deserve that.



btbnnyr
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01 Mar 2015, 7:37 pm

ominous wrote:
btbnnyr wrote:
What do you mean, I didn't say that I don't know about autism outside of wp.


I mean exactly what I typed. Perhaps read it a couple of times before asking what I mean, because you don't seem to have read it. I didn't say what you think I said, probably because you didn't read it and/or are in a hurry to defend yourself from a perceived attack that didn't happen.


I don't know what you are talking about. What does my post have to do with what you said?


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ominous
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01 Mar 2015, 7:39 pm

I've requested mods lock this topic and will be moving on back to the work I do in autistic rights locally instead of spending so much time on WP. I find it too difficult to communicate with a number of people here. Best of luck.



btbnnyr
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01 Mar 2015, 7:39 pm

I said that the article didn't make much sense to me, because she says there's no meaning to HF or LF, then uses LF to describe herself, even herself as no more than LF ways, and this is what confused me, because if there is no meaning to HF or LF, then what does LF mean when applied as adjective to ways that she says is her natural self?


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btbnnyr
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01 Mar 2015, 7:43 pm

I also didn't understand what you said about perceived attack, I didn't say that anyone attacked me, I just said what do you mean, where did you get your guess, since you said you guessed something about not reading about autistic outside wp?


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Kiprobalhato
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01 Mar 2015, 8:50 pm

ominous wrote:
I've requested mods lock this topic and will be moving on back to the work I do in autistic rights locally instead of spending so much time on WP. I find it too difficult to communicate with a number of people here. Best of luck.


And best of luck to you, too. 8)

Topic locked on OP's (your) request.


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