Friday, October 1, 2010

Square 8: I am Joe's Functioning Label

Many years ago there was a magazine called Readers' Digest. It once ran a series of articles about Joe--- or, more accurately, about parts of Joe. There was 'I am Joe's Heart', 'I am Joe's Kidney', 'I am Joe's Alcohol-Damaged Liver', 'I am Joe's Left Testicle'.....  Actually I might have made up the last one.

Bev, over at the blog Square 8, has done a take-off on this series called 'I am Joe's Functioning Label'. It describes how an autistic person's 'high functioning' label affects how he is perceived.

'Autism Spectrum Disorder' describes a number of neurological conditions which might include a person with 'low-functioning' autism who perhaps does not communicate with others and bangs his head against the wall even when President Obama is NOT making a speech, and also a person with 'high-functioning' autism and/or Asperger Syndrome who can (sometimes) 'pass' as a neurotypical ('normal') person.

The functioning label can be somewhat arbitrary--- for example, Asperger Syndrome is considered 'high-functioning', yet 80% of people with Asperger Syndrome are unemployed. And a person who seems to be 'low-functioning' may understand quite well what people are saying about him when they talk about how disabled/defective he is.

Anyway, I thought that was a great piece of writing and thought I would share it.

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