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Do not call me high functioning

Do not call me high functioning.

Many times, in various Facebook groups I’m in, I have been called a high functioning autistic. This is not only demeaning to me, but it is demeaning to other autistics.

Functioning levels just mean that someone is or isn’t good at an IQ test. That’s it. They’re a crappy way to determine worth.

When you insist on calling me high functioning, you are diminishing my struggles. When you insist on calling me high functioning, you are demeaning other autistics. You are saying that I am better than them, which is simply not true!

Functioning levels are not helpful for me. They make things more difficult. They’re used to deny me help I need. “You’re so smart, Nora. You shouldn’t need help with this.” “I have confidence in you, Nora, you can do the thing.”

They’re literally saying that I should be capable of doing things that are impossible. Or that because I can’t do these things, my life lacks worth. I’m not more intelligent than others – my IQ is actually crap because I am incapable of testing well despite being a good student in high school. Give me an essay? I’ll overachieve and write the hell out of it. Give me a test? Meltdown.

When I tell you that inspiration porn bothers me, and you tell me that because I’m high functioning I should celebrate the achievements of other autistics, you are now demeaning to both of us.

So knock it off with functioning labels. Knock it off with “mild” or “severe” autism.  Stop using functioning labels, because they are of no help to me.

Image is of a female with multicolored balloons. Text reads "Stop using functioning labels."

Image is of a female with multicolored balloons. Text reads “Stop using functioning labels.”

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