• November 27, 2021

Why We Should Get Rid Of Autism Labels

I think it’s time to get rid of labels for autistics like high functioning,  low functioning, etc. I think this is damaging to autistics and can affect how they get support and how they are seen.

When I went through that job program, the counselor I was given saw I was high-functioning autistic, look at one strength that I had. And said I wasn’t autistic. This tells me people are under the impression that if you are high functioning, have some skills, that you are not autistic. People just judge what they see and don’t dig deeper. As a result of having my autism ignored, I didn’t get the help I needed during the program and it was really hard. With the coach constantly on my back for not sending out enough applications. Had my autism not been ignored the job coach would have been aware that my need for a job is more difficult than the other people in the program. Or I would have been told they could not help me. It seems like the place helps physical disabilities.

These labels give people the wrong idea about autism. They think high functioning=you have it easy
low functioning=you have it hard. This has nothing to do with how autistic you are. People seem to think that.

I think that could be why some of us get denied so many times when trying to get disability because SSI just looks at the label and the impression they get rather than the struggles you have.
SSI can see high functioning autistic, focus on only a small % of those with autism who work rather than the large % who are unemployed.

I think we would have a better experience if these labels are removed. I feel that folks are given the impression that the label speaks for how you experience autism. Just because someone has a skill doesn’t mean they are not autistic. Autism does NOT affect your IQ, it just affects how you learn. As long as the person is getting the help they need, they will be alright. If they don’t get the help that is needed of course it will be hard. Some things are easy for the person, some things are hard. There is no need to invalidate or question their autism because of a few strengths.

I think these labels cause our needs to get ignored when asking for help. I have mentioned how I end up getting help denied when I ask for it because I am seen as an adult.

We need to stop the stigma. That’s why we struggle. For example, there is more to autism than just talking to someone. Understanding social cues, nonverbal cues, understanding boundaries, etc are all aspects of communication that autistic may struggle with. I’ve pushed people away and made them hate me when I was in school due to my inability to understand social cues.
There are different types of diabetes right? Everyone can experience the illness differently. How is autism any different? We don’t go invalidating someone because their diabetes is different so why do that to us just because one may experience autism differently?

We need to stop grouping everyone together. ‘There are people with autism who work so what’s your excuse?’ How do you know that they are not fighting to the death every day to keep their job? It’s hard trying to function in a world for NTs. NTs don’t have the issues that we face. I am for just saying someone has autism. No more medium functioning, low functioning.

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November 2021
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