Recently, we posted the above tweet on Twitter. Here is that thread in context:
Many people assume that autistics on the internet are “high functioning” and tend to minimise their struggles. They believe if someone is able to type and navigate the internet, they aren’t “like their child” or they are not actually disabled.
But functioning labels are a myth. They harm the person being deemed “high functioning” or “mild” by neglecting to acknowledge their struggles. They harm the person being deemed “low functioning” or “severe” by neglecting to acknowledge their ability and humanity.
What follows are the replies to this tweet, and we hope it will challenge your views on functioning labels.
Day to Day Life
Many autistics manage to hold down jobs, although it is well known that there is a huge issue with the unemployment or under-employment of autistics worldwide. Still, for those who are able to work, there are significant barriers.
Health and Wellbeing
For so called “high functioning” autistics, there can be significant struggles surrounding their health and wellbeing.
Alongside health and wellbeing is a darker side to the same coin. Many autistics struggle with self-harming behaviour.
Last but not least is a staple of any discussion surrounding autism. Socialising can be a nightmarish experience for many of us.
I think it’s clear that autism is not as clear cut as “high” and “low” functioning, and I want to thank these twitter members above for illustrating this so well.
Next time you want to refer to someone using a functioning label, or minimise someone’s challenges because they are able to use social media, I want you to think about the contents of this article.
- Neuroqueering the future: an Interview with Dr. Nick Walker- author of Neuroqueer Heresies - January 26, 2022
- Autistic people and the fear of death - November 25, 2021
- Integrating autistic culture into the world: The cultural model of autism - June 1, 2021