One problem with the Autism Spectrum Disorder term

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madbutnotmad
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13 Feb 2019, 10:24 pm

Was thinking about one of the major problems with the newer umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorder which covers various similar conditions is that....

When it comes to support services, such as in the area that I live.
The health care professionals who work in such services are only used to working with people who are low functioning so when they encounter someone with ASD who has Asperger Syndrome, who is high functioning or very high functioning, they treat them like the other people who are low functioning.

Now, no offence to people with low functioning autism, as we all are what we are and all people deserve to be treated with equal respect.

However, some people with high or very high functioning autism have high IQs, often higher than the people who are employed to support them.

However, it is my experience that some of the people who work in the support services
treat people with high IQs as the same as people with low IQs, which is patronising, as IQ isn't the problem with people with Asperger Syndrome.

Its the other areas that cause the problems and make the person with Asperger syndrome disabled.

I don't know how things could change, or if they ever will change.
It feels a fairly hopeless situation where having Asperger syndrome in this day and age is
like having low functioning autism but without the support, while people treat you as if you are low functioning when you are not.



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14 Feb 2019, 3:56 am

These issues are not about the term itself but poor priorities.


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14 Feb 2019, 5:06 am

madbutnotmad wrote:
Was thinking about one of the major problems with the newer umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorder which covers various similar conditions is that....

When it comes to support services, such as in the area that I live.
The health care professionals who work in such services are only used to working with people who are low functioning so when they encounter someone with ASD who has Asperger Syndrome, who is high functioning or very high functioning, they treat them like the other people who are low functioning.

Now, no offence to people with low functioning autism, as we all are what we are and all people deserve to be treated with equal respect.

However, some people with high or very high functioning autism have high IQs, often higher than the people who are employed to support them.

However, it is my experience that some of the people who work in the support services
treat people with high IQs as the same as people with low IQs, which is patronising, as IQ isn't the problem with people with Asperger Syndrome.

Its the other areas that cause the problems and make the person with Asperger syndrome disabled.

I don't know how things could change, or if they ever will change.
It feels a fairly hopeless situation where having Asperger syndrome in this day and age is
like having low functioning autism but without the support, while people treat you as if you are low functioning when you are not.


Do you communicate to them what your needs and differences are, so they can understand you better?


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AceofPens
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14 Feb 2019, 9:13 am

I have an above average IQ, but I still need to be spoken to the way you would speak to someone with a "low IQ" sometimes, depending on the purpose of communication. Instructions? Don't assume that I can fill in the gaps - break it down into small parts and feed it to me slowly. An abstract concept? Good luck to you.

Everyone with autism is different, and looking and sounding intelligent doesn't mean that a person doesn't have significant weaknesses. It makes more sense for a staff that caters to autistics to never assume that a person is as competent as they appear, because appearances don't mean anything when it comes to HFA. When people realize my weaknesses and actually dumb some communication down, it makes life so much easier for me. I'd much rather they dumb down everything and patronize me than assume that I can handle everything and leave me confused and anxious about my ability to perform a task or understand their meaning.


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14 Feb 2019, 9:26 am

They shouldn't talk down to lower functioning people either, it is disrespectful.


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14 Feb 2019, 10:19 am

Patronising is defined as "treating someone in a way that is apparently kind but that betrays a feeling of superiority". So that would mean that if the person does not have a feeling of superiority, then the act is not patronising, even if the action is identical to another person's actions who does have a feeling of superiority. It also would not matter if the action's recipient infers a feeling of superiority if it is not there, or has a feeling of inferiority themself due to the action. That is, it does not matter in terms of whether the action qualifies as patronising.

But if it is rude to do that to someone with higher IQ than oneself (because one should not have a feeling of superiority if one is not actually superior), then it is also rude to do that to someone with lower IQ than oneself. Because a higher IQ does not actually make you superior to other people.

The only important question is if the action is actually helpful or not. If not, ask them to do something else that you would find helpful.


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kraftiekortie
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14 Feb 2019, 10:30 am

I believe staff should speak to autistic people like they would speak to any human being. I've had the condescending, patronizing attitude laid upon me....even by my own parents.

They should take steps, though, if the autistic person is engaging in behaviors which are detrimental to other people around him. Steps which also involves speaking to them like a person---but in letting the autistic person know that this sort of behavior is disrespectful to other people.



livingwithautism
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14 Feb 2019, 12:05 pm

madbutnotmad wrote:
Was thinking about one of the major problems with the newer umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorder which covers various similar conditions is that....

When it comes to support services, such as in the area that I live.
The health care professionals who work in such services are only used to working with people who are low functioning so when they encounter someone with ASD who has Asperger Syndrome, who is high functioning or very high functioning, they treat them like the other people who are low functioning.

Now, no offence to people with low functioning autism, as we all are what we are and all people deserve to be treated with equal respect.

However, some people with high or very high functioning autism have high IQs, often higher than the people who are employed to support them.

However, it is my experience that some of the people who work in the support services
treat people with high IQs as the same as people with low IQs, which is patronising, as IQ isn't the problem with people with Asperger Syndrome.

Its the other areas that cause the problems and make the person with Asperger syndrome disabled.

I don't know how things could change, or if they ever will change.
It feels a fairly hopeless situation where having Asperger syndrome in this day and age is
like having low functioning autism but without the support, while people treat you as if you are low functioning when you are not.


I’m not high functioning, but IQ is not a problem for me either.



KingExplosionMurder
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15 Feb 2019, 11:18 am

Arganger wrote:
They shouldn't talk down to lower functioning people either, it is disrespectful.



Agreed. Just treat people with decency, no matter who they are or how they communicate.



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15 Feb 2019, 12:54 pm

KingExplosionMurder wrote:
Arganger wrote:
They shouldn't talk down to lower functioning people either, it is disrespectful.



Agreed. Just treat people with decency, no matter who they are or how they communicate.


Agreed.



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16 Feb 2019, 3:14 am

AceofPens wrote:
I have an above average IQ, but I still need to be spoken to the way you would speak to someone with a "low IQ" sometimes, depending on the purpose of communication. Instructions? Don't assume that I can fill in the gaps - break it down into small parts and feed it to me slowly. An abstract concept? Good luck to you.

Everyone with autism is different, and looking and sounding intelligent doesn't mean that a person doesn't have significant weaknesses. It makes more sense for a staff that caters to autistics to never assume that a person is as competent as they appear, because appearances don't mean anything when it comes to HFA. When people realize my weaknesses and actually dumb some communication down, it makes life so much easier for me. I'd much rather they dumb down everything and patronize me than assume that I can handle everything and leave me confused and anxious about my ability to perform a task or understand their meaning.


This. I have a full-scale IQ of 120, verbal IQ of 141. I can craft the most eloquent sentences you've ever heard, and consistently got the highest grades in class on my college psych essays. At the same time, I've been reprimanded my entire life for "not following directions" or "not listening" at school or work because I struggle to understand verbal directions, especially when I receive more than one at a time. It's much easier for me if people slow down, tell me only one thing at a time, provide immediate feedback on how I did and what needs correcting, and write things out in steps. This doesn't mean I'm stupid, it just means I need to have things simplified if my weak cognitive processing is going to understand them.


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madbutnotmad
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16 Feb 2019, 7:08 pm

Knofskia wrote:
Patronising is defined as "treating someone in a way that is apparently kind but that betrays a feeling of superiority". So that would mean that if the person does not have a feeling of superiority, then the act is not patronising, even if the action is identical to another person's actions who does have a feeling of superiority. It also would not matter if the action's recipient infers a feeling of superiority if it is not there, or has a feeling of inferiority themself due to the action. That is, it does not matter in terms of whether the action qualifies as patronising.

But if it is rude to do that to someone with higher IQ than oneself (because one should not have a feeling of superiority if one is not actually superior), then it is also rude to do that to someone with lower IQ than oneself. Because a higher IQ does not actually make you superior to other people.

The only important question is if the action is actually helpful or not. If not, ask them to do something else that you would find helpful.


Yes I agree with you. I don't talk to anyone as if they are stupid. I talk to everyone as if they are human beings.
Actually, I babysat for a good 10 years for my niece and her friends as they grew up from the age of 3.
I also taught kids and adults Judo for 4 years, as a Judo Coach. I accept all, no matter what they look like, age, etc.

And I talked to them as if I would talk to anyone. Explaining things if asked to. But trying to never talk down to anyone, take their freedom of choice or dignity away from them.

The way I have always seen life is that we were all born equal, on this planet floating in the middle of space.
We all deserve respect and compassion.

I personally find it offensive if anyone talks down to me, but it is ironic that some talk down to me simply because they have a job in health care.

I think that the same people talk down to everyone, regardless as to how high the persons IQ or how bad their communication problems are.

I do think that some may not be conscious of how patronising they are being treated.
I do think that the root of the cause is because the people who do act in this way are used to talking down to people who have no idea of that they are doing it or, if they do become aware, how to stop it (such as the case of small children).

So, please do not misunderstand me. I hold nothing against any one in terms of their IQ
IQ, very much like physical appearance and other biological attributes that we have as individuals, are simply
what we are born with, or what God has given us (for those who believe in God).

Anyone has a problem with someone's looks / IQ / disability etc. is thus not only a bigot, but doesn't have a problem
with us so much, as having a problem with God (for those who believe in God)...

Hope that explains my opinion on the mater. My intention was not to cause offence.
Thanks



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17 Feb 2019, 6:48 pm

madbutnotmad wrote:
Hope that explains my opinion on the mater. My intention was not to cause offence.
Thanks

No offense taken. It has been a nice and interesting discussion. I hope that I did not sound too harsh either. I have had a harder time not sounding so harsh recently for some unknown reason.

I do not know if it is helpful to think of it as talking to someone "as if they are stupid"; someone with different needs may need you to talk to them like that, but not because they are stupid. For example, some people with hearing loss in less than optional noise levels may need to settle with one word utterances just to catch anything. Another example, people learning a new language may need to settle with basic words and phrases until they learn the vocabulary they want to use. Obviously, neither group is stupid; the second group is learning a second or more language! Again, I think it is more important to question if it is needed or helpful; if the same person with hearing loss no longer needs it in another, more quiet, well lit environment, you can stop using it.


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