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RiRi

What's the difference between a higher functioning ASD person and someone on the lower functioning end?

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RiRi

What's the difference between a person with HFA/Asperger's/moderate/mild ASD and someone with severe autism? Like how would you describe someone on the lower end? Does someone know? 
 

Edited by RiRi

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RiRi

Would this person be considered more of a severe autism case? 

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Miss Chief

Please don't think I am being difficult or obtuse but the difference is kind of in the question... it's functionality.

The higher functioning you are ... literally the more you can function (by NT standards). 

The lower functioning you are... the less you are able to function.

This means that you can adapt more and learn more at the higher functioning end of the spectrum, it isn't just that you are better able to 'fit in' but also that you are better able to grasp things, learn things, adapt to new situations and generally cope better with the challenges of modern life/living.

P.S. Welcome back :) 

Edited by Miss Chief
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Nesf

How well you function also depends on how far people are prepared to accommodate you., and how well they treat you. The person in the video, Sam, appears to have quite a few difficulties in functioning, but because his boss is prepared to accommodate him, he is able to work. Unfortunately, people usually aren't so accommodating...

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HalfFull
On ‎08‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 10:06 PM, RiRi said:

Would this person be considered more of a severe autism case? 

Having met well over 100 people on the Autism Spectrum, I can say that Sam is certainly a severe case. I have never met anyone with Aspergers who is so severe. I've certainly met some who appear like they have learning difficulties (and some have them too), although they still appear to function better than Sam does. So Sam will not have an Aspergers diagnosis, though may have a Classical Autism diagnosis. Its often surprising what some of the more severely Autistic people are able to do. There are of course the non-verbal ones. I don't know if anyone can say for sure that anyone with Autism is entirely unaware of the world. For instance, Carly Fleischmann can't speak at all, but communicates via an electronic device and is very articulate and even shows a sense of humour.

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RiRi

Thank you for the responses! 

I consider myself in the less severe cases, I think I'm able to hide it better, but functioning wise, I think I'm in the lower end. For instance, I wouldn't stim like he is, especially if I'm with someone I trust as he is, but I wouldn't be able to hold on to a job like he can. Although if the boss was accommodating, maybe.

An observation I made with Sam is that he would stop stimming when he would talk so it made me wonder if he was capable of controlling the stim because he was able to stop it. Maybe he just is comfortable to stim like that, but if asked to do so could stop stimming? What do you guys think? It definitely seems like he stopped stimming when he was focused on what he wanted to say. 

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Dr-David-Banner

"The higher functioning you are ... literally the more you can function (by NT standards)."

I suspect HFA means you can function highly at the cognitive level but you are bereft of social intelligence. And sadly, social intelligence is rated higher by NTs. When I taught English in Spain I knew that technically I had the best knowledge of linguistics and had worked hard to be qualified. Yet the students didn't take to my classes normally and many cowboy EFL teachers were considered "better". The students based their evaluation on social norms, reputation and so on. Sadly that is how life is. You can be high-functioning but lack the usually inbred ability to connect.
You can be on the spectrum and successfully employed but if your social intelligence is very poor, poor employment history is a sad reality.

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Nesf
8 hours ago, RiRi said:

Thank you for the responses! 

I consider myself in the less severe cases, I think I'm able to hide it better, but functioning wise, I think I'm in the lower end. For instance, I wouldn't stim like he is, especially if I'm with someone I trust as he is, but I wouldn't be able to hold on to a job like he can. Although if the boss was accommodating, maybe.

An observation I made with Sam is that he would stop stimming when he would talk so it made me wonder if he was capable of controlling the stim because he was able to stop it. Maybe he just is comfortable to stim like that, but if asked to do so could stop stimming? What do you guys think? It definitely seems like he stopped stimming when he was focused on what he wanted to say. 

I think that he stopped stimming because he was so focused on getting his speech out. That needed a lot of energy and concentration. The area of his brain that controls the stimming kind of turns off when he wants to speak. I do the same thing, when I'm hyperfocused on something, I don't stim. I also suddenly freeze and stop moving. My brain can't multi-task easily. Also, speaking creates a surge of emotion, or stimulation, and consequently the need to stim again.

I once met a person who was lower functioning than Sam. She was mostly non-verbal, but had echolalia and would repeat back sentences she heard, but without seeming to understand what they meant. The only thing I ever heard her say that was coming from her and not something echoed back was "I'm hungry". I have no idea how aware she was of what was going on around her - actually, I think that she was aware, but didn't know what to do with it, or whether she understood what was being said to her, and if she did, she was unable to respond. She was very anxious and stimmed non-stop. I think that she was able to understand some things, if they were spoken slowly and clearly enough. She seemed to like or want to be around people and followed them around, could be left alone in the house for short periods only, could do some things on her own, but got confused over her timing - for example, brushing her teeth or taking a shower in the middle of the day, I think she had no or little sense of time.

Edited by Nesf
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Miss Chief
13 hours ago, RiRi said:

An observation I made with Sam is that he would stop stimming when he would talk so it made me wonder if he was capable of controlling the stim because he was able to stop it. Maybe he just is comfortable to stim like that, but if asked to do so could stop stimming? What do you guys think? It definitely seems like he stopped stimming when he was focused on what he wanted to say. 

I agree with @Nesf here:

4 hours ago, Nesf said:

I think that he stopped stimming because he was so focused on getting his speech out. That needed a lot of energy and concentration. The area of his brain that controls the stimming kind of turns off when he wants to speak. I do the same thing, when I'm hyperfocused on something, I don't stim. I also suddenly freeze and stop moving. My brain can't multi-task easily. Also, speaking creates a surge of emotion, or stimulation, and consequently the need to stim again.

I think he isn't really conscious of the stimming and it just stops when he has to direct his attention or focus on something else.

I also do this like @Nesf I also will stop talking suddenly if something requires my full attention... this tends to happen when I'm driving and it used to really amuse my driving instructor back when I was learning... we would be chatting and I would just stop mid sentence because something was happening up ahead and once it had passed or resolved itself I would start up again where I left off. Personally I think this is a good thing, it meant I was paying attention to what was going on around the car but he thought it was quite funny that I would just stop, pause, then start again. I'm the same with stims if something requires my full attention then I go still while I deal with that, then when I relax it comes back.

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Nesf
18 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

I think he isn't really conscious of the stimming and it just stops when he has to direct his attention or focus on something else.

I agree. When I'm stimming, I'm not consciously aware that I'm doing it, and only know that I'm doing it because at some point I become aware of what I'm doing.

18 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

I also do this like @Nesf I also will stop talking suddenly if something requires my full attention... this tends to happen when I'm driving and it used to really amuse my driving instructor back when I was learning... we would be chatting and I would just stop mid sentence because something was happening up ahead and once it had passed or resolved itself I would start up again where I left off. Personally I think this is a good thing, it meant I was paying attention to what was going on around the car but he thought it was quite funny that I would just stop, pause, then start again. I'm the same with stims if something requires my full attention then I go still while I deal with that, then when I relax it comes back

I do this, too.

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