High functioning is an oft used phrased when it comes to describing Aspergers.
It seems to indicate some sort of mystical powers, a godlike persona, genius, savant, someone greater or better than the norm.
A being of a higher intellectual level.
To myself, as an Aspie, it also sounds faintly ridiculous.
Autism is a spectrum. It is either a straight line or a curve or..well you decide how you would describe it..
So, it we say that at one “end” we have high functioning, does that mean that the other “end” is low functioning ?. And what does that mean ?. Subnormal ?. An IQ lower than the average (I am not a fan of IQ tests. I believe if you have the sort of brain that thrives at IQ type questions it only proves you are good at IQ tests) ?.
The trouble is that using such phraseology is both hurtful and harmful. It’s sticking labels on people when in reality they are just people who deserve respect.
This isn’t a competition.
Yet some people seem to think it is. “I’m high functioning” they say. And they say it proudly.
Note to them : it doesn’t make you a better person!
It’s a horrid label and I, who am supposed to be “high functioning” don’t actually feel like it.
I function. These days barely function. I am no different from anyone else on the Autistic spectrum. I’m not on a pedestal. I’m not superior. I’m not better.
There’s this tendency, occasionally almost militant in nature, where people on the spectrum look down on neurotypicals with a sneer and crow about their superiority. If they do that to others they consider to be less “able” then isn’t there a danger that they will treat those they see as “low” functioning, in the same way ?.
We are Autistic. We are a community. We should be together.
I’m not high. I’m not low.
I’m just me.