Okay I thought of something. The person I work with has a very rare condition, but her parents know of many other people with her condition through conferences and the Internet. When talking about her specific condition, her parents have sometimes referred to her as “high/higher functioning” because she can do things that many people with her condition can’t do.
But when she goes to activities for people with developmental disabilities, they are often not set up for her because the assumption is that all people with developmental disabilities will be able to do things that she can’t do. Sometimes in these situations, it feels tense, like people are going to assume that she shouldn’t be there because she can’t do all of those things.
Clearly, she goes from being “high functioning” to…the other thing…based on the group she is in.
Also, some of the people at her activities might not be considered so “high functioning” in a different place. Some people might think a disabled person is “high functioning” if they can play a board game, other people might think they’re “high functioning” if they can read. The temptation is to say that one definition of “high functioning” is real and everything else is relative, but this is impossible.
It’s been a year since anyone has posted anything. I thought I might be the person to start it back up again?
I started watching Sherlock, and he called himself a “high-functioning sociopath”. This led me on a 2 hour journey on what exactly sociopaths are and what exactly high-functioning means. Which led me here. And I love it. So start posting again! :)
that’s a noble purpose but this isn’t a submission. what can I do if people don’t submit things?
well actually I do have an idea for something but it’s only one idea.
Here’s a positive one that was completely unexpected but so wonderful:
“But if she suffers all of these consequences for pushing herself to do all of these things, to the point where she can’t eat, can’t get out of bed, can’t take care of herself, how is that high-functioning?”
-My father, attending an autism awareness session with my psychologist. Amazing, and exactly the opposite of what I had braced myself for. (My psychologist’s answer was simply, “it’s not.” Also amazing, but I expect that from her.)
“She has autism, but she’s very high-functioning.”
Not just high-functioning, but very high-functioning! I’m really moving up in the world! This was shortly after she had read something I had written about having been hospitalized repeatedly throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, sent to an institution because it was clear that I could not live on my own (later released to my parents care for a couple of months until they told me to move out), and having never been able to make it through college despite having a high IQ.
Meanwhile, I come home in the evenings and cry or have meltdowns; I’m only eating two oranges and a bowl of oatmeal a day because anything else would be too complicated; I’m in trouble with all kinds of agencies for forgetting to pay things; and my Internet search history is filled with things like “supported living for adults with autism” because I have never been able to be independent successfully, and this time isn’t any different.
My sister’s explanation: ”I forget you have it! You’re not weird. I don’t FORGET other people have it.”
Several times, I’ve seen and heard statements that “low-functioning” people wear diapers. However, most presumed “low-functioning” people whom I’ve known did not wear diapers. I am incontinent.
[you’re awesome, thank you for submitting so much—ed.]
“You are probably the most high-funct- “
This from people who once said I would always be mentally retarded and could never function. Why say the opposite? Because I was saying I qualify for disability benefits.
I’ll tell you what your functioning level is
New facebook friend-request: Hi! It’s always nice to meet other aspies!
Me: I’m not an aspie.
Her: Oh, well there’s nothing wrong with that [seriously? SERIOUSLY?] Can I ask what your functioning level is?
Me: Um, cycling between high-functioning and low-functioning, I guess? Because I can’t sustain “high-functioning”?
Her: What you’re describing is definitely high-functioning.
Can buy coffee
I met someone for coffee and he said “You’re the highest-functioning out of all the high-functioning autistics I’ve met.”
All he had seen me do at that point was buy coffee.