Functioning labels and support needs

This book doesn’t use “functioning labels”. Functioning labels are words that try and show different “types” of autism, such as:

  • “High functioning”
  • “Low functioning”
  • “Mild autism”
  • “Moderate autism”
  • “Severe autism”
  • “Classic Autism”
  • “Asperger’s Syndrome”

Functioning labels don’t help autistic people get what we need, because they don’t show how autistic people need help with different things. Functioning labels hurt us. Someone might say we shouldn’t get help if we are “low-functioning”, or that we don’t need help if we are “high-functioning”.

This book uses the words “support needs” instead. Support needs are things autistic people need help with. Different autistic people need help with different things. Some people need more support, and some people need less support. Some people might have more support needs sometimes, and less support needs other times. The words “support needs” mean we need help, and don’t judge us for needing help

This book does talk about groups of autistic people, like non-speaking autistic people and autistic people with intellectual disabilities. These words make more sense than functioning labels, and are also more respectful.