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Featured Do you have an issue with being labeled?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimplyWandering, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    I have a real issue with being labeled high functioning... I can keep a job fairly well, but why should that be a major indicator of whether someone is high functioning or not. I need help with pretty much everything else. I often get labeled as being lazy, when I just struggle to pay bills on time or remember to make it to scheduled appointments, organization is non existent (I would say I am medium functioning lols). What is your take on labels?
     
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  2. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't like any label.

    Like back when I was first diagnosed Aspie, the world found out online because some idiot on a forum I used to go on Googled me and found out I was seeking Aspie info on various sites, and posted my info without my permission, consequently I had the whole world calling me "retarded" and saying I "live in a Bubble".
     
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  3. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    The way I see it all descriptive words are labels. If we fail to label something at all we are completely ignorant of that thing, which is neutral. If we label it somewhat accurately then we're becoming familiar with it and can act appropriately given sufficient motivation, this is positive. If we label something inaccurately then even if motivated to do good we may easily do something bad, and this is negative.

    When somebody first sees us we are labelled, we are labelled as human and there are usually a great many assumptions that come with that label. Chances are that the person seeing us is insufficiently familiar with autism to even allow for the possibility that we're not like NTs in many ways that we are not, so we are incorrectly labelled from the beginning. It's a problem we can only solve by being relabelled; we should not complain about being labelled but about being labelled incorrectly. We may get help in this but ultimately it's up to the person doing the labelling to change it (whether they're doing it publicly or in their own minds), and up to us to convince them that this is what ought to be done for mutual benefit.
     
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  4. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    People are going to label me whether I like it or not. There’s no use fighting that. All I can do is to try and educate them about the labels that do and do not apply to me. Or, if people are incorrigibly ignorant, I just try to shrug it off and focus my energy on what I can change.
     
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  5. I love roses

    I love roses Well-Known Member

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    Did you use your real name?
     
  6. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    A label is a shortcut in thinking. Instead of getting to know someone, it's easier to label them as autistic, NT, democrat, republican, christian, atheist, black, white, Harry Potter fan, etc. Once you label someone, you have mentally freed yourself from the responsibility of actually getting to know them and understanding them.

    Labeling is the reason I don't have any tattoos or bumper stickers. I don't want to be known as a one-dimensional personality. If I put a bumper sticker on my car of my favorite sci-fi show, then I'll be forever known only as the "guy who likes that show." If I get a tattoo with cool math equations on it, then I'll just be the math guy.

    I don't want to be known just for my love of math, or my love of any particular show, or that I write poetry, or that I'm a programmer, or how many patents I have, or the fact that I'm autistic, or my frequent bad puns, or anything else. I want to be known for all those things and much more.

    So, yeah, I have an issue with labels. If I get labeled too much, I'll just be known as the label-rant guy.
     
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  7. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Labels are like categories, and we all fit into many categories. Labels don't have to be negative, but I can see where being labeled "autistic" puts a spotlight on a condition that, for as real as it may be, you feel uncomfortable with. You have the right to be uncomfortable. The problem with labels is that they force a stamp on people that becomes the first thought in everyone's head when they think of you. That's not good if you are meeting people for the first time and "they" feel uncomfortable because they feel they need to behave differently toward you. Hence, the danger of labels.

    Of all the labels that exist, nobody wants them to be the unique characteristic of their identity. People will often use a label because it distinguishes you from others if the label signifies a distinct behavior or physical characteristic. For the most part, these labels are purely innocent. When you are talking about someone, but you don't know their name, you will use some kind of feature to explain who it is that you are referring to. That's how labels begin.

    In marketing, people are put into categories. Categories need labels. Society uses labels everywhere because we need a name that denotes anything about someone that signifies distinction - usually relevant to a conversation. The word "millennial" is a label.

    I have become accustomed to using the word "Asperger's" to categorize my condition. I'm still not sure if I "have" Asperger's or "am" Asperger's. I'd appreciate a retort on this one. And, must it always be spelled with an "apostrophe"?

    If a lot of people are aware that I have/am Asperger's, I might be referred to as "the guy with Asperger's". That label would only work if everyone thought of me that way. Or, it becomes a nickname among friends. There will always be names for people who bear a unique characteristic. I'm comfortable with ASD because Asperger's is a form of autism. For accuracy, I prefer Asperger's, or the other term "high functioning autistic".
     
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  8. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Labels are too easy, no-one is simply one or two things. Most people are far too complex for that. You aren't only your job or your ethnicity or where you live or were born. Labeling a person as a certain type, means that you don't have to think about them anymore, it's rather simplistic. People who discuss politics often do this, to categorize an individual as left or right or centrist. It's much like a dismissal, rather than an understanding. It's also a function of age.
     
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  9. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I'm not fond of it. I admit to having challenges but I've gotten the feeling sometimes that because I'm Autistic, people think a little less of my abilities.
     
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  10. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    If I was considered as high functioning, to me it would mean that someone has given it some thought and decided I’ve ‘got it together’
    I’m functioning.
    It would seem like a bit of an achievement.
    In reality I haven’t ‘got it together’ yet but I do try :)
     
  11. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Labels are bound by many things. If you were alive with Autism in the past, the label would be as different as it will be in the future. Right now, regarding my "autism", I have had many. PDD-NOS, Autism NOS, and then, when I got Karyotyped, it changed to Chromosome 6 Aberration...Unknown Significance. Still have "Sensory Processing Disorder" on there.

    Further, the same symptoms in people in different places or of different socio-economic means will get different diagnoses for the exact same symptoms. Researchers proved that in private hospitals people are more likely to get the dx of bioplar with psychotic features- in remission upon discharge while in public- schizophrenia diagnosis.

    Further, a very smart PhD may give you a different label than a social worker fresh out of a bad university. Or maybe a Dr had a bad experience with someone who presents like you and he cannot get past it.

    Even if we had blood tests for certain things, that would not help. Breast cancers are not considered one disease anymore. There are many different kinds. Same with blood cancers and brain tumours. Even an evident mass can be interpreted to mean different things. A friend was told he had cancer and went through chemo and never had cancer at all!

    In the end, I don't think labels matter unless you either need them, are trying to escape one, know you do NOT have what they said you do , or KNOW that you have what they said you do not have.

    I fear the horrors of the Nazi's and their labels of "Useless Eaters" etc. the most. I hope we are ALL beyond that. Those were terrible times for people with troubles.

    So it's REALLY complication. I could go on and on about other nuances involved in both mental and bodily health issues........

    I guess we need labels as a frame? What if we refused them? Could we function? A lot of people need a diagnosis for insurance, etc......

    Oh, it is a HEADACHE being human! :)
     
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  12. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's possible to have deep understanding of things without having any words for those things.

    It's also possible to mislabel things without being confused about what they are...it depends on how well you understand the applicable words, not necessarily on how well you understand whatever it is you are trying to talk about.
     
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  13. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My feelings about labels depend on why and how they are used.
     
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  14. ConqueringZero44

    ConqueringZero44 Keep Going and Be Strong

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    The amount of times i have had the "Retard" label thrown at me for example drives me insane... People in the workplace are extremely judgmental. Not all of them there's a select few who are usually pretty chill. I'm the same, i forget to organize things or get thrown the lazy card aswell, sometimes i just freakin' get too into something and i forget all together. Labels are labels i guess, best to ignore it and move on, i suppose. It's not that simple to do that though haha.

    Ignorance is my biggest enemy.
     
  15. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    Okay, then I would say that you don't necessarily have to have words as part of your labels, there are physical labels out there that are just pictures. It seems to me that many people in this thread have attached meaning to the word label that is not to be found in the dictionary, and they don't have problems with labels as such but rather have problems with the extra baggage that they've added to the definition.

    It's possible to have miscommunication between two people, yes. Again, if you insist on using words and having two different people using two different definitions for those words there will of course be a problem. Again, your problem is not with people labelling, it's with people labelling incorrectly.

    A person need not shut off their brains after labelling something, that is an option which is not part of the meaning of 'label'. A person can screw up just about any activity, that does not make that activity inherently evil. If you choose to add those things to the definition of label, then of course it's bad to label things. Add those things to the definition of being nice, and that's bad too. "I'm going to be nice to you, then never think about you again, and what's more I'm going to even screw up being nice to you." It's a not nice definition of nice.

    I can understand it if someone wants to have a definition that includes evil as part of it, but given that a thread asks if we have a problem with labels in the title it seems weird to take that definition to the thread, since the thread title reads "Do you have an issue with evil being done to you?" Well duh. Nice discussion.
     
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  16. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No but at the time I was running an Xbox fan site called Xboxsource.co.uk, and my personal details were readily available on WHOIS, and I was posting on other forums as Rich-Xboxsource, same username as I had on the US based wrestling site, so the idiot looked me up and found out I'm Aspie, and told the world without my permission, hence the insults and most of my disdain for Americans.
     
  17. pamelaperejil

    pamelaperejil Non-player character

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    Just that I think it's slightly funny that those labeled as 'high functioning' and those who are not so often both seem to have a problem with the label.

    This.

    This.

    This.

    My take on other people assigning me an intractable identity in their own minds is normally this: that they are entitled to their own opinion just as I am entitled to disregard their opinion and go my own way, if I happen to think differently.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  18. Gummi27

    Gummi27 Active Member V.I.P Member

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    I hope its alright I give my take, even though I'm awaiting diagnosis.

    A couple of things come to mind. My roommate's mom throws the Asperger's label around when she wants to assign blame, "Sorry about that. He's got Asperger's." and to complete strangers sometimes. :( I think when labels are used this way, they can erase our individuality, and in this case- make it seem like some kind of sickness that controls the brain.

    In the same way, use of the label "high functioning" can erase your experience as an autistic person. It describes you from the outside, not the inside. It must be so frustrating.

    Labels are a tough one. Thank you for bringing up this topic.
     
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  19. pamelaperejil

    pamelaperejil Non-player character

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    Don't know. I would have guessed it's I "have Asperger's" (___Syndrome, so yes on the apostrophe), but I "am Aspie" or "am an Aspie".
     
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  20. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    It's unfortunate that some people use it as a hinderance when it suits them as you stated in the first paragraph, but I think that might also have to do with sparing the person's feelings. Parents will instinctively blame something that caused it ( not intentionally, but to quell the issue), unfortunately it sets a bad precedence for the child to either be left emotionally embarrassed or to have found a scapegoat reason to act the way they had. " Oh, it's because I am autistic."

    We know there is something different with us, but at the same time we don't want to be labeled, but we also do want to be labeled, just not that label or only sometimes when it conveniently suits us... It's very confusing to a kid growing up in a confused world. Looking back on this, i find that I thought this very same way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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