Thursday, May 26, 2011

Autism and Function: An Autistic Boy's Perspective

"I think that people who can talk really well and don't flap and don't have a lot of things like that but still have autism are being very 'low autism.'""'Low autism?'" I echoed (the irony). "What do you mean by that?"He explained that he meant just what he said, that they are showing a low level of autism. Continuing, he elaborated his own linear version of the spectrum, in which there is a medium autism and a high autism, and the features of each. High, to him, meant difficulty with talking and a lot of flapping and grimacing and noises. These are his terms, by the way, not mine.I was struck at the way he didn't place autism in the context of "typical" function. He wasn't talking about "high-functioning autism" and "low-functioning autism." He was talking about how much autism was there, front and center, present and accounted for, disregarding function completely. And then he surprised me even more.

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