Functioning labels and support needs

This book doesn’t use “functioning labels”.
Functioning labels are words that try and show different “types” of autism.
Here are some examples of functioning labels:

  • “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.
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”.
Someone might say 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. Some people need less support.
Some people might have more support needs sometimes. They might have less support needs other times.
The words “support needs” mean we need help. They don’t judge us for needing help.

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