Sunday, February 25, 2007

Low-Functioning and High-Functioning

"The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means that your deficits are ignored and low-functioning means your assets are ignored... Either way, you get ignored."

This sentence, said by a high-functioning autistic woman named Laura interviewed by a low-functioning autistic woman named Amanda Baggs, rings absolutely true. The less autistic my nephew seems the less help the social services and education departments want to give him. Luckily, my sister knows how to get the most out of them, but it isn't easy.

Here's the post in Amanda's blog that introduced me to these video interviews (titled Interview with Laura about Autism Recovery), and here are the videos: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

The interview is a response to two interviews with "recovered" autistic kids, which is an odd way to describe them. There's a six year-old with what I call "autistic eyes", that don't seem to be focused. He's a cute kid who underwent chelation therapy, but he reminds me of my nephew who is like that with just ABA. The 14-year old is even more clearly still autistic. He speaks in monotone and still has trouble with abstractions. So why call them recovered? Call them what they are - high-functioning autistics.

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