you say theres no severity levels with autism but

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Caz72
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01 Feb 2023, 7:42 am

i feel there is levels of severity across the autism spectrum because im 50 but still havent/cant learn new many social skills but many autistics half my age understand more social things than me

and im exposed to social interaction every day at work with the public but i still cant seem to learn social rules although i do mask but theres a lot of social things i still dont understand that other autistics half my age do

so is this proof that there is severity levels of autism like people who are on the mild end of the spectrum are more likely to learn social rules quicker and even be born with some until it becomes natural while others of us just cant get the hang of it even after a lot of experience in life?


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magz
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01 Feb 2023, 8:08 am

I'd say, autism severity is usually not level - pun intended.
That's the problem. Autism severity tends to vary even within one person, some aspects can be mild, other aspects not mild at all, it can depend on circumstances, etc.


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01 Feb 2023, 8:12 am

Caz72 wrote:
i feel there is levels of severity across the autism spectrum because im 50 but still havent/cant learn new many social skills but many autistics half my age understand more social things than me

and im exposed to social interaction every day at work with the public but i still cant seem to learn social rules although i do mask but theres a lot of social things i still dont understand that other autistics half my age do

so is this proof that there is severity levels of autism like people who are on the mild end of the spectrum are more likely to learn social rules quicker and even be born with some until it becomes natural while others of us just cant get the hang of it even after a lot of experience in life?


The main defining trait of autism is social communication problems. There's nothing wrong with struggling to learn social skills if you're autisitc, It's just part of the package. It hits all autisitcs differently but all have problems with it.



carlos55
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01 Feb 2023, 8:14 am

Of course there’s different disability severity levels in autism

Autism can be invisible and diagnosed late in life

And then it can be like this:-

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j4PTf7LgsIE


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SharonB
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01 Feb 2023, 8:18 am

Yes, there are levels. Across so many dimensions, internal experiences, external impacts... and the dynamics between them... Oooooooof!! !! !! !!

The person who can hold the spoon... or not... and the reasons for it...
The person who is hyperfocused on the spoon... or not... and the reasons for it...
Very different solutions and impacts...

HUGE



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01 Feb 2023, 8:22 am

Image

Image


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01 Feb 2023, 8:23 am

Autism is like spinal bifida.

One with spinal bifida can merely have a small discoloration on his/her back, and no other symptoms.

Another person could be severely affected with intellectual disability and being forced to be wheelchair-bound.

Both have spinal bifida.

Almost always, within autism, one does have SOME symptoms.



SharonB
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01 Feb 2023, 8:33 am

My BFF and I were talking about social skills this weekend. We are your age. My BFF and I were considering our childhoods in that my ASD-NT parents fought a lot, while her ASD-ASD parents avoided all conflict. Both were awful experiences. However, I seemed to have some basis for growth while she continued the total and utter avoidance her parents set as a precedence. I went on to study communications and psychology at school while she continued total and utter avoidance. I tended towards confrontation but learned to ease off. She tended towards avoidance which was easily maintained. For a person with ASD, I am relatively communicative, although still very obviously "eccentric" and good folks step in to translate or have plenty of patience, while my BFF is mostly avoidant and folks don't know to step in (or else my BFF is blurting out hard truths of buried resentment and gets set to a remedial company communication class). We have our whole lives to learn!! :wink: On the other hand, she is satisfied with her career, and I am suffering in that area.



kraftiekortie
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01 Feb 2023, 8:35 am

I'm really a quagmire....contradictory....I'm both "avoidant" and "blunt."



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01 Feb 2023, 9:31 am

I feel "less autistic". I don't believe severity levels are true for everyone but they do exist. Some people are "severe", as in being non-verbal and being unable to look after themselves independently, even if they are better than the rest of us at building a puzzle, they're still low-functioning.

I think it depends more on the social know-how and how able one generally is at taking part in NT society and how well you can communicate articulately to others, and how obvious your autism is or isn't, is what usually defines where abouts on the spectrum an individual lays. Some people with autism are just socially awkward, while others are socially clueless (although they are not the only two existing descriptions).

I suffer with anxiety and depression but this never affects my ability to communicate and function. If I have a panic attack I don't suddenly go into my own world or become unaware of my environment or become unable to speak.

I know the OP is a bus-driver and is clever with memorising routes and stuff like that, but she still seems more autistic than me. So I'd say she's HFA, or moderately functioning. Moderate (in an autism context) usually means high-functioning in some ways but low-functioning in other ways.

It's more complex than I can ever describe. I know autism isn't binary, but it is binary for some of us, as some of us are extremely mild and others are extremely severe.


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Last edited by Joe90 on 01 Feb 2023, 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

rse92
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01 Feb 2023, 9:32 am

Who is "You," given undoubtedly everyone on WP would agree that autistic persons experience autism with different levels of severity?



naturalplastic
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01 Feb 2023, 9:34 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I'm really a quagmire....contradictory....I'm both "avoidant" and "blunt."


A "quagmire" is like quicksand. Something you, and your horse, get stuck in.

Vietnam, and Afghanistan, were both "quagmires" that the US got "stuck in".

We get what you mean. But thats not the word youre looking for.



naturalplastic
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01 Feb 2023, 9:48 am

The OP is right. There are levels of severity.

The term "high functioning" was used by the psychiatric community long before they applied it to autism... to mean "a person with a serious condition, but who blends into society".

The first time I heard the term it was applied to schizophrenia. It was in my childhood when the grown ups in the room were talking about a grown up family friend who seemed to me to be a respectable person with a good job etc. but whom my parents and their friends were convinced was "certifiable". Dad explained to me that he was "what is called a 'high functioning schizophrenic'". So that was my introduction to the term "high functioning".

As applied to autistics the term is a rough sketch, and a piece of shorthand. But its better than nothing because the term became necessary in 1994 when they expanded the range of people who are classified as "autistic" to include folks (like me) who blend into society better than do classic Kanner type autistics who are often institutionalized for life.



IsabellaLinton
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01 Feb 2023, 10:55 am

Support levels are described and defined in the DSM, and identified in our diagnostic reports.
I don't understand why people say there are no levels, when there are.
The levels are used for insurance purposes to identify whether or not we're at risk alone.

Levels are based on our testing scores and how we compare to other autistic people.
We're ranked in all the areas that Recidivist showed in the circle graphs.
It's not considered linear because a diagnosis also considers our strengths / spiky profiles.

Moderate doesn't mean some HFA and some Low, mixed together.
It means the person has a need for significant support in most or all areas.
That support doesn't have to mean we have an aide.
It usually means we need assistive equipment like tinted glasses, headphones, etc.
Maybe we need a service dog or OT therapy to work on Alexithymia or Interoception.
It doesn't mean we can't survive without this support either, since many of us have none.

Levels do fluctuate for each person depending on their fatigue, their comorbids, etc.
They don't seem to fluctuate as much as people think though.


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Last edited by IsabellaLinton on 01 Feb 2023, 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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01 Feb 2023, 10:56 am

I feel, at times, that I’m in quicksand. Metaphorically, of course.



IsabellaLinton
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01 Feb 2023, 11:13 am

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Here's the current DSM chart.

Autistic people actually have two levels: one for Social Communication, and one for RRB.

I have Level 2 / Level 2.

Levels aren't determined subjectively, but by the collection of objective data and quantitative test scores.


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