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Autism IS a Disability

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
"Disabled" is a contextual concept. If your existence is typing at a keyboard then not having legs is not a disability. It becomes a disability the instant you need to stand up and walk. It is also a statistical concept. If you are at the bottom end of a Bell curve of any trait that is necessary to prosper in society, then you are disabled regarding that trait. It is also a practical concept. If you need assistance from outside (like a wheelchair) to perform a function that most people do not need assistance with, you are disabled.

If an autistic person finds that niche where they can feel that life is good, then they are not disabled. Many autistic people do not find that place. Just because some have found it does not mean it exists for everyone. Most autistic people are just ordinary Janes and Joes and do not have savant skills, did not have any support at all growing up in an uncaring world, and aren't going to find it any time soon. Not everyone has skills to compensate in the workforce nor can everybody just write off their need to connect to other people.

Disability is also about drawing lines. The autism spectrum ranges from barely detectable to so severe that death would be imminent without intensive support. Where do we draw the line at?

I can find some comfort in philosophy and I can suggest this route to other people. I got there through several decades of exploring ideas. It may well be that it is something one can only find for oneself and it may be that LOTS of time is required. I'd happily shave 40 points off my IQ tonight if it meant I could fit in with this world. I cannot. The best I can do is roll with the punches and be a happy Martian where I can.

The "poor poor pitiful me" posts? Most of them are from young people, either in - or coming off - unhappy childhoods and their future feels pretty bleak. The disability they are dealing with may well be greater than mine and just maybe they really are surrounded by the ignorant and the uncaring. Not my place to judge. I cannot walk a mile in their moccasins.

Young people, in general, are more emotionally driven and lack the perspective that age brings. When I was a teenager, that's exactly the kind of "poor poor pitiful me" thing I would write in my private notes. I understand and have empathy for those people. I just don't think there's anything I can say to them, any more than there was any advice that might have helped me at that age.
 
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watersprite

inadvertent vagabond
V.I.P Member
I can say to them, any more than there was any advice that might have helped me at that age.


I think/feel that almost everyone can be helped maybe not so much with advice - but by being listened to, or here, by being read and acknowledged.
We write our stories as we go, and if they’re shared, they’ll collectively begin to form a wider and deeper ethos which helps & validates our individual experiences and our lives.
 

popcorn27

New Member
"Disabled" is a contextual concept. If your existence is typing at a keyboard then not having legs is not a disability. It becomes a disability the instant you need to stand up and walk. It is also a statistical concept. If you are at the bottom end of a Bell curve of any trait that is necessary to prosper in society, then you are disabled regarding that trait. It is also a practical concept. If you need assistance from outside (like a wheelchair) to perform a function that most people do not need assistance with, you are disabled.

If an autistic person finds that niche where they can feel that life is good, then they are not disabled. Many autistic people do not find that place. Just because some have found it does not mean it exists for everyone. Most autistic people are just ordinary Janes and Joes and do not have savant skills, did not have any support at all growing up in an uncaring world, and aren't going to find it any time soon. Not everyone has skills to compensate in the workforce nor can everybody just write off their need to connect to other people.

Disability is also about drawing lines. The autism spectrum ranges from barely detectable to so severe that death would be imminent without intensive support. Where do we draw the line at?

I can find some comfort in philosophy and I can suggest this route to other people. I got there through several decades of exploring ideas. It may well be that it is something one can only find for oneself and it may be that LOTS of time is required. I'd happily shave 40 points off my IQ tonight if it meant I could fit in with this world. I cannot. The best I can do is roll with the punches and be a happy Martian where I can.

The "poor poor pitiful me" posts? Most of them are from young people, either in - or coming off - unhappy childhoods and their future feels pretty bleak. The disability they are dealing with may well be greater than mine and just maybe they really are surrounded by the ignorant and the uncaring. Not my place to judge. I cannot walk a mile in their moccasins.

Young people, in general, are more emotionally driven and lack the perspective that age brings. When I was a teenager, that's exactly the kind of "poor poor pitiful me" thing I would write in my private notes. I understand and have empathy for those people. I just don't think there's anything I can say to them, any more than there was any advice that might have helped me at that age.

I get why you would propose the notion that disabilities is only a contextual concept. Because then you can argue the point that Autism is truly only a disability for high functioning Autistic people if they decide to partake in broader Society. Which leads down a rabbit hole. High functioning Autistic people thinking they are somehow better and above broader Society. I live on earth. I try to be a part of Society not because Society demands that of me but because I want to be.

I hope most people want to be a part of broader Society and not just out of necessity.
A disability doesn't care if you are happy or not. People should not be hunting for a niche just so they can proclaim to the world that they are not disabled and the world isn't uncaring. if it is uncaring it is up to us to do something about it. Simple things. Like saying hello to your neighbor.

If every person did that little thing the world would be a better place. We all have a responsibility to at least try.

I have accepted that I have a disability. The only thing I draw from my Autism today is that it has given me a perspective i otherwise wouldn't have. I wouldn't exchange it for the world. As an adult I can see that it has given me much more than it has taken from me. But reaching that conclusion wasn't easy. I dont pretend it was easy and I dont pretend it will ever be easy.
 

phantom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I met a new girl whom i have been talking to and i really like her, but i know that i can't keep the relationship up and im going to have to say goodbye to her after a while.
Kinda sad how my prediction of how this relationship would go was right. It often ends in me wishing I never met the person because most relationships end up being a net negative to my life.
 

velociraptor

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I was born with a serious heart defect. There's no getting around the fact that it's a disability. For the most part I'm living an okay life despite it, but I admit there's the occasional bit of heartache when I see someone healthy doing things I've never been able to do and never will be able to do (goddamn joggers). I can't learn my way around the cardiac limitations I have.

With being an Aspie, I had limited social skills. I couldn't read other people. My childhood sucked. However, you can learn these things and I did. Now I can interact with NTs and pass as one for extended periods when necessary. Asperger's has been more of a handicap for me - it is not disabling. In fact, my ability to laser focus on details without getting bored makes me ideal for certain industries where I have been able to outperform NTs for raises and promotions.

I know that some people find the high-functioning designation distasteful, but that's me. I'm grateful that I'm able to work around most of the problems that accompany being neurodiverse.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
I get why you would propose the notion that disabilities is only a contextual concept. Because then you can argue the point that Autism is truly only a disability for high functioning Autistic people if they decide to partake in broader Society. Which leads down a rabbit hole. High functioning Autistic people thinking they are somehow better and above broader Society. I live on earth. I try to be a part of Society not because Society demands that of me but because I want to be.

I hope most people want to be a part of broader Society and not just out of necessity.
A disability doesn't care if you are happy or not. People should not be hunting for a niche just so they can proclaim to the world that they are not disabled and the world isn't uncaring. if it is uncaring it is up to us to do something about it. Simple things. Like saying hello to your neighbor.

If every person did that little thing the world would be a better place. We all have a responsibility to at least try.

I have accepted that I have a disability. The only thing I draw from my Autism today is that it has given me a perspective i otherwise wouldn't have. I wouldn't exchange it for the world. As an adult I can see that it has given me much more than it has taken from me. But reaching that conclusion wasn't easy. I dont pretend it was easy and I dont pretend it will ever be easy.
As I noted, I'd happily toss away the autism. I'd chop 40 points off my IQ to be someone who was socially competent and truly fit into the world he lived in. Autism has given me nothing of value but caused a lot of pain.

But that isn't how it works. You do the best you can with what you got and hopefully don't fret over that which is beyond your control.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Life is all about making do with what nature gave you, looks intelligence personality, you do not get to pick your parents.
 

Zirk

Stay humble, have fun, joke around & laugh
Autism is rather a disability spectrum that changes over time. I needed 24/7 help when I was a teenager and a crisis management team. Sometimes autistic people can come across as really stable and social while other times they can retreat and function poorly.
Autism is a gateway disorder to either psychosis or complete normalcy.
It's a poorly understood diagnosis. The uneven amount of time and attention the media and politics give autistic people (compared to other demographic groups), can mark it surely as a disability or at least a hindrance.
Hope this helps. At my time the psychologist also said there are clear positives and negatives surrounding autism and giving help cannot be standardized, it is on an individual basis.
I can compensate my autism with intelligence, but I generally experience it as a disability.
 

phantom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I can compensate my autism with intelligence, but I generally experience it as a disability.
Being at least one standard deviation above the mean in terms of intelligence can help you function better, much more than that and it starts to make your life worse. People with high functioning autism who have very high intelligence (more than 2 standard deviations) commit suicide at much higher rates than those with normal intelligence.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Three or more really helps probably why it is not seen as a disability at this level more of a correlation.
 

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Crossbreed

Neur-D Missionary ☝️
V.I.P Member
People with high functioning autism who have very high intelligence (more than 2 standard deviations) commit suicide at much higher rates than those with normal intelligence.
Hey, I resemble that remark!
I am at between 2-3σ and I just learned to roll with it.
3Legged Race
full
 
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Au Naturel

Au Naturel
Being at least one standard deviation above the mean in terms of intelligence can help you function better, much more than that and it starts to make your life worse. People with high functioning autism who have very high intelligence (more than 2 standard deviations) commit suicide at much higher rates than those with normal intelligence.
That explains that! I have often said I'd happily trim 20 points off my IQ if it would make me happier. Or 30. Or 40.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
Autism is rather a disability spectrum that changes over time. I needed 24/7 help when I was a teenager and a crisis management team. Sometimes autistic people can come across as really stable and social while other times they can retreat and function poorly.
Autism is a gateway disorder to either psychosis or complete normalcy.
It's a poorly understood diagnosis. The uneven amount of time and attention the media and politics give autistic people (compared to other demographic groups), can mark it surely as a disability or at least a hindrance.
Hope this helps. At my time the psychologist also said there are clear positives and negatives surrounding autism and giving help cannot be standardized, it is on an individual basis.
I can compensate my autism with intelligence, but I generally experience it as a disability.
I don't know about "gateway disorder." My autism has stayed pretty constant over my entire life. It is only with painful experience and introspection that I came to accept myself as what I am and to accept other people as what they are instead of not demanding they change.

Therapy was never an option. I did not live in an era where high function atuism was a "thing."

It also helped a lot that I lucked into an engineering environment for a while where autistic traits weren't so uncommon. That allowed for the possibility of family and children. I'm able to use algorithms to behave socially, but that's not as good as having the instinct and the desire. It isn't my "fault" that I am how I am, but that also means the world isn't "at fault" for being what it is.

It is what it is.
 

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