High/Low Functioning: to label or not to label

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Yes or Now
Yes 39%  39%  [ 9 ]
No 61%  61%  [ 14 ]
Total votes : 23

rick42
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30 Apr 2020, 11:54 am

There is major difference between someone on the Autism spectrum who need little to no support at all,who can live independently and have relatively normal life,and someone who needs lots of support with no prospect of ever getting to live independently. However I really don't like the High/Low Functioning labels since seem the the difference is usually based on Intelligence,and not the actual severity of the condition. The Mild,Moderate,and Severe labels might be more appropriate to use,and even then,I not sure.



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30 Apr 2020, 12:41 pm

There's living independently with no support, living independently with a little support, living independently with quite a lot of support , and at the far end those who will,as you say, never be able to live independently .

I had little help for many years because the most help goes to the acutely,seriously mentally ill who have both higher and lower peaks than those of us who are non acute seriously mentally ill .

It never crossed my mind I was self neglecting ,only coping on a superficial level . I only registered that when my depot nurse said, in so many words, that I was functioning better here with support than I had been in Essex.

I'm neither at the very high nor at the very low level .


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30 Apr 2020, 5:19 pm

I don't think I like labels, except as a way to get to the point using fewer words.
I've was trying to tell some of my family I thought I was autistic. One dismissed me altogether, one agreed after I blurted out a bunch of crap I always kept secret (not sure if he believed me or was trying to make me feel better), my sister said she wasn't sure but wouldn't dismiss the idea. I masked so well I can't get anyone to believe me! Even though I haven't had a friend that wasn't a "co-worker I know" in over 30 years. I've been single for over 15 years, and my work prospects lately have been crash and burn. But I worked and own a house, have most of my anxieties under control, can function normally as long as I have enough down time to reset. Nobody gets close enough to realize how out of touch I am (unless they have a long conversation with me). I'm afraid as I age I won't have as much control and I'll slide backwards to how I was where my brain was on constant high alert and my inner self in constant tension. I feel it slowly creeping back because I have been trying to rejoin society. Am I high functioning? I'm realizing I could use some professional help that I can't afford. Or do I just need a messy distraction and to play at being ignorant again. Ignorance is bliss.



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01 May 2020, 2:31 pm

Quote:

After being a carer for a high needs autistic guy, I'm less concerned about those who only want their condition validated and more concerned that his needs are met.
I do understand where you are coming from and I understand your perspective and why you are saying this. I also respect your opinion very much. But I have to say that I felt extremely hurt to the core when I read this.


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01 May 2020, 2:34 pm

carlos55 wrote:

Removing Asperger’s has probably scared off many potential employers, as when someone says they have autism on an application form the employer doesnt have a rough idea where they are on the spectrum and what their needs and capabilities are.

The same is true on medical notes for first time referrals.
Then it is the duty of the employer to ask the individual what his strengths are and what accommodations he might need.


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01 May 2020, 2:38 pm

warrier120 wrote:
To be honest, I don't really get why people get so triggered by functioning labels. I think they're perfectly acceptable.
If you don't get why people are triggered by functioning levels, you must not be experiencing the trauma that many of us have to face and deal with every single day because of them.


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01 May 2020, 2:40 pm

graceksjp wrote:
the biggest problem i have with the "high functioning" label, is that it tends to set a certain standard in NTs minds.
they tend to believe that by being "high functioning" or appearing outwardly normal in a conversation or general setting, that you are therefor not much different than an NT and can be expected to act the same and react the same to situations as an NT without any problems or need of support.
They throw all these things at you that they're "sure you can handle" bc you're "high functioning" (or mask well) and then are shocked and appalled when they see you engaging in anything that seems autistic to them because "i thought you were more normal"
because of this, i feel like a lot of 'high functioning' autistic children don't get the level of support and care they need--especially when it comes to school and such--because the label makes it seem like they dont struggle or need as much help as a 'low functioning' child. when in fact, some "high functioning" children have areas that are very low, and they need that extra support
YES!!


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01 May 2020, 2:42 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Raymond Babbitt is considered an example of a person with “savant syndrome.” He was considered “high functioning” in 1988. Any autism expert would not consider him “low-functioning,” even today.

He would be considered a person with mixed high and low-functioning features, and would, overall, be considered “medium functioning,” in my opinion. He spoke. He took care of his personal needs. He read and retained information, though he didnt have strong critical thinking skills. He was a slave to routine.

There is no question that Forrest Gump would be considered “intellectually disabled” in some aspects, but not in others. There is no autism in him. If he were autistic, I believe he would be considered “high-functioning.”

He had considerable “common sense” which enabled him to save all those folks in Vietnam. He was able to manage money. He was able to be a good father to his son. There is very little which is “low-functioning” about him.

A good example of a “low-functioning” autistic person is found in the YouTube channel “Fathering Autism.”
And even Abbie has areas in which she is a lot more high functioning than I am. That is kind of the point of all this.


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01 May 2020, 2:44 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Studies show "higher functioning" = higher stress, in most cases.

These people are often masking at full capacity, and there is the added pressure of people disbelieving / discrediting their challenge. People who might be deemed as "lower functioning" often have social understanding or support, and they are less concerned with masking to fit in because that hasn't been expected of them.

I don't believe in labels because we all fluctuate depending on what element of society is disabling us.

Support levels might be recommended in our assessments, but even those should be anecdotal and individualised for each person, because our needs vary even when we are considered the same level as someone else. Comorbid conditions such as mutism, ADHD, PTSD etc., can play a huge part in how we function, as well as our sensory tolerance.
I agree!!


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04 May 2020, 4:17 pm

skibum wrote:
Quote:

After being a carer for a high needs autistic guy, I'm less concerned about those who only want their condition validated and more concerned that his needs are met.
I do understand where you are coming from and I understand your perspective and why you are saying this. I also respect your opinion very much. But I have to say that I felt extremely hurt to the core when I read this.
I am having a very difficult time coming to terms with what you said here and I am wondering if you can explain to me what you mean by it. Thank you.


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TheOther
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05 May 2020, 10:13 am

I think that we all realize that in reality, abilities and challenges vary across multiple traits and fluctuate with time and other environmental variables.

I do think that, in the name of greater public recognition and accommodation, there needs to be a simple to convey way of putting things for the lay person. It is not realistic or even helpful to expect everyone to be super-well versed in autism. I don't know more than the surface details about all sorts of disabilities and diseases, as there are too many of them out there in the world to focus too much on the ones that don't directly impact my life (i.e. that affect me or people I interact with frequently). I don't think that is a bad thing as long as I am willing to listen to people and provide reasonable accommodations for them if needed.

In some ways I think this inevitably means that an oversimplification for public consumption is necessary, but the benefit could be that people have an easier time getting the support (or even just tolerance) that they need. I think that a high\low functioning label, while not totally accurate, is digestible enough to help people who need a lot of help get it, and people who just need a little tolerance get it.



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05 May 2020, 10:33 am

How well a person can function be deceptive . A person on another forum recently said that being able to post on a forum meant you weren't that cognitively impaired .

My replies :

Quote:
I’m not going to pretend I have severe cognitive problems , but neither am I going to deny that I have any at all . It’s far easier for me to post on a forum like this than to cope with the practicalities of day to day living . I get a fair amount of support to maintain a reasonable, though not particularly high functioning, level of independence .



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I’m a member of several high IQ societies based on verbal ability , but without support for practical , day to day , tasks would be, as my wife would have said, “Up s**t creek without a paddle”


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08 May 2020, 8:00 pm

I have mixed feelings on the subject. For many reasons

Every person with autism / autistic is very complex them selves individually

I don’t think they should label people high functioning or low functioning however they should have some kind Of support needslabel that states where they are in conjunction with life well what I mean is how much support they need not only to be content with her life but to be happy and flourishing in anyway that makes them I think every autistic person to have an assessment sort of like an IEP something like that developed to further out there Support need to make sure they’re met where nobody gets left behind either way In my state services and things called life plans are they plan on someone’s life based on their likes dislikes relationships goals and other things based on the support they already have


Getting a state services in my area is very very difficult especially because they use testing to put you on a level and see how you’re functioning is this is why I think lables should be thrown out the window so to speakIf you’re considered high functioning you may not get any services or if you do you’re lucky If you have very muchsupport needs and cannot communicate using words you’re often victimized or people are very hard time figure out what is good what do you like and what do you want to be even with services it can make your life miserable if that happens


If you are autistic AND/ ORintellectually disabled AND / OR have a genetic condition similar you are developmentally disabled. End of story pretty much and you should be qualified for the appropriate amount of support and benefits One problem with (note this is very subjective )mental illness some people call autism or even as if that is still being diagnosed anywhere mental illness

Although it could have many comorbidities autism is not a mental illness or disease in general

A lot of people with mental health issues have someone some advantages over someone who is autistic however this is debatable and I do not want to sound prejudiced

But its like apples and oranges some people with mental illness without autism or any other developmental disorder or can be fairly smart and more able in some ways especially academics at least for me they often could take advantage of people that are DD or intellectual disability etc.

I’m not saying it’s anybody’s fault but the majority of don’t understand it is not necessarily always a seed and it’s not always that you’re born with or at birth it’s usually by environmental factors in my opinion, all children are born not knowing that how react to stress or uncertain situations or upsetting situations and when we try to teach them to cope life can make and develop things like mental illness and that requires different treatment then someone who is born with different wireing for lack of a better term


They have their programs and we have ours. Like for example in regular hospitals they have different words for different Types of patients I know this is a bad example but I’m about to lay down to try to sleep so it’s the best one I can come up with right now

If I can I want elaborate more on this later in another post if I sound unclear

So should we l categorize autism ?in conclusion yes as long as the person in question has not seen as inferior to anyone else and treated with respect


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strings
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09 May 2020, 2:11 pm

It depends what the alternative is, which wasn't explicitly specified in the poll.

If it was asking "Use HFA/LFA as an alternative to just calling everything autism," then I would say that making the HFA vs LFA distinction is useful. I answered "yes" in the poll on that basis.

But if the alternative would be a more nuanced subdivision into spectrum characteristics, including, for example, Asperger's as one of the sub-types, then I would definitely vote in favour of that rather than the single HFA/LFA choice mentioned in the poll. I would therefore have answered "no" if that had been the question.

On balance I felt because the sub-text of the thread title was "To Label or Not to Label," the OP intended the former rather than the latter interpretation, which is why I opted for "yes."



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09 May 2020, 2:22 pm

Perhaps something like this but geared towards areas of functioning is needed .


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09 May 2020, 2:49 pm

firemonkey wrote:
Perhaps something like this but geared towards areas of functioning is needed .


Indeed, that looks like a potentially useful kind of classification. I assume they mean that each of the "key areas" would be assigned a score between 1 to 5. At least as a way of encapsulating where a person's difficulties in life lie, it could serve a useful purpose, I think. As you say, gearing towards the areas most relevant for autism.