Re: Decoding the High Functioning Label

There is this nice blog from musingsofanaspie who details how very well functioning labels work for autistic people:

Decoding the High Functioning Label.

My personal favourite excerpt is this:

“You must be very high functioning. You don’t seem autistic.”

“Why, thank you. And you’re not especially ugly.”

In the spirit of this blog post I thought I’d compile my own list the two extremes of me.

my high functioning me:

– got A-levels with highest marks on elite private school
– enrolled in a prestigious study subject
– represented students interests on campus, trusted and liked by professors and students alike
– made a study trip to a country on another continent
– participated as an actress in both local and national movies to rave reviews by whoever i worked with audiences including consistent scene applause
– in a relationship of 2 years
– a number of healthy friendships
– develops highly successful ideas for animal training
– scientific opinions highly regarded by professors
– an IQ above thousands if not millions of people
– lives on their own without any assistance
– self taught a second language which i speak fluently and pretty accent free
– good looking
– high level of empathy
– has a number of hobbies which always yield above average skills (yoyoing, poetry, rubics cube, even more languages)
– very good memory
– reliable
– well read
– polite

the low functioning me:

– does not speak
– stimms/rocks back and forth
– odd body posture
– no eye contact
– suicidal thoughts at age 12 or earlier
– visit to psychiatry age 17
– another stint in the neurology part of a clinic age 23
– does not shower, change clothes, do laundry or dishes, vacuum
– often unable to move or in psychosomatic pain
– forgets to eat
– a string of unhealthy intimate relationships including narcissists and alcoholics
– no contact with family
– bullied in school and university
– no steady job
– unable to get along with flatmates
– never not depressed
– immature obsession with stuffed animals
– sleep pattern largely nonexistent
– numerous food sensitivities

I’m ALL of these things and everything inbetween. I’m afraid I will just not fit into any neat little box labeled “this level of functioning” and stay there. You might want to label another box “complicated” and place me in there. That would be much more realistic. In the mean time if I will not answer to the box I was placed in, I’m afraid I’m not here to bow to your wishes, expectations and conceptualisations but to live the best life I can.


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