"What broke the connection?"
It is our problem because, for one example here, the use of functioning labels by allistics (such as those in charge if large corporations, insurance agencies, school Boards, and so on) can and will use those labels in most cases to determine whether or not someone is “autistic enough” to receive benefits/assistance/accommodations.
For this example, it literally affects our lives.
There is one major and overriding reason they are bad. They have no definition.
In the case of “low functioning” - it can mean “low social skills”, “low communication skills”, and “low IQ”. Since it is not specified what meaning was intended, it causes confusion EVEN AMONG THE DOCTORS THAT USE IT.
I am “low functioning” because I do not talk and cannot understand speech.
I am “low functioning” because people scare the poop out of me if they get close, I do not understand body language or facial expressions well, and I take every thing literally.
I’m also a member of Mensa and a successful software engineer.
When doctors see “low functioning” they act as if I have no mind.
And on the other end, I’m frequently labeled as high functioning and this causes the people around me who know my diagnosis to overestimate my abilities in dealing with anxiety and social situations. Even my parents do this sometimes because since I’m “high functioning” they expect me to not be affected so much by issues I sometimes break down over or because of. Even though I can pass as allistic in certain situations I still have problems that give me a really hard time. I still have panic attacks in crowded areas and I still easily misunderstand what people are trying to say to me and I still have no idea what to do with abstract concepts like job and scholarship searching or social situations. Because of the functioning label I have, I tend to need to explain in depth why I need people to do certain things with/around me to try and justify the fact that I need help.
I have a great career in a corporate environment, I have two kids and a successful marriage and a house.
And I almost cried at ASDA today because people were in my way and I couldn’t predict how they were going to move because SUPERMARKETS MAKE PEOPLE COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL IF YOU WANTED THE CEREAL AISLE YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE BETTER CHOICES DAMN IT.
And as a child, I was labelled low-functioning and my parents were told I would never live independently.
A functioning label is meaningless. Observe and assess me in a shopping centre and I cannot function. Observe and assess me when I need to organise a major change in procedure affecting ~90 people and I function better than the vast majority. Shit, put me IN FRONT of 90 people and I will be great. Put me among them and I will crumble rapidly towards an inevitable meltdown.
And hey, labels are great. The autism label gives me a sense of belonging and community with my fellow autistic people; it helps give me access to spaces where I can find reassurance that it is okay to be who I am. The MOGII label does the same for me in bi-friendly MOGII spaces. The foreigner label reminds me of my roots and that it’s all right to feel displaced and baffled by the culture in which I live.
These are labels I am happy to impose on myself. They allow me to express my sense of self, outwardly and more importantly, inwardly.
But functioning labels are labels imposed on us in order to compartmentalise us into different types of oppression, and to turn us against each other (“I’m not one of those LF people”). As shown above, they serve no actual functional use and have no relevance or useable degree of accuracy.
There’s a thing I’ve encountered a couple of times recently, and I’m n ot sure how to react. Autistic people who use “high functioning” as a kind of pride thing. Or like it’s an achievement. And in one case because it’s on their diagnostic papers, so they think it’s a real medical thing.
And I’m frankly not sure how to react.
In the past, I used to use the term “high-functioning” a lot to describe myself, and it was with a sort of pride… this was before I was aware of the negative connotations of it.
But for me, I think the pride was in the fact that I “function” better than most non-autistic people I know, because of my capacity for logical thinking and my ability to see the world as objectively as an alien looking at it from outside. I looked down on neurotypicals for being so low-functioning in those respects.
Basically I thought of myself as “high-functioning” not in comparison to other autistics, but in comparison to other humans in general.
I still feel that I have skills that are uncommon among neurotypicals, and I feel proud of it to a degree, but I try to avoid using the term “high-functioning” to describe it these days.
ok, all you boys and girls who read comics, listen up.
if you read matt fraction’s hawkeye comics, you know that clint barton has been stabbed in the ears with arrows, and as a result, is now deaf. furthermore, if you read the comics, you know that today was the release of the asl issue.
in case you don’t know me, i’m hard of hearing. i grew up hearing, and my hearing wound up getting fucked up the older i got. now i’m 20 years old and wear hearing aids. my signing isn’t as good as it could be since i’m surrounded by hearing people who won’t learn asl to communicate with me, but i use it as often as i can.
when i read the asl issue, i found a superhero that i could actually relate to, an actual, real, human being, flawed superhero that d/Deaf/hoh people can relate to and understand, particularly those people who have lost their hearing as they’ve gotten older the way i have. this asl issue speaks more than anyone can understand.
admittedly, the issue didn’t quite use proper signs all the time, and the grammatical structure was more english than asl (asl has a very different grammar syntax), but for now, it was enough. it was representation. it was a step forward. (and why was clint talking on the phone if he’s deaf? honey, if you deaf, you deaf. i’m hard of hearing, and i can’t hear shit on the phone. like, i get he was letting jess know that it was him talking, but son, you are deaf and cannot hear her response. but that’s ok, it’s just details.)
so marvel, you don’t know how much your asl issue meant to me, but i’d like to thank you, matt fraction, and everyone else involved with this from the bottom of my heart. thank you for giving representation to a group of people who don’t really get very much representation at all. thank you for for showing me a superhero who gets it.
deaf clint barton is important.
disabled superheroes are important.
disabled superheroes getting back on their feet when their disability makes things rough for them is important.
disabled superheroes trying to figure out how they fit into the abled world around them is important.
deaf clint barton is important.
This. All of this.
Peter Capaldi to Steven Moffat:
Remember when Never Have I Ever games used to be like “never have I ever had sex *giggle*”
Now it’s like “never have I ever had a six person orgy in a broom closet” and people are all like “crap, I’m out.”
let’s play another tag meme thing! put each word into your tags and see what pops up:
Sadly most of the games I play are not available on Macs, so I will likely never get one again. Which is a shame, in a lot of ways - I really did love my macbook.
Have you considered dual booting? I mean, go PC if that’s what’s best for you obviously, but you seem regretful? so I thought I’d offer another option.
"Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it."
ideal hogwarts students:
- aromantic wizards being absolutely immune to amortentia, it only smelling like the ingredients put into it when they smell it, and teaching other students how to identify the stuff on any food or drink
- gender confused ravenclaw leafing through glossarys of pronouns and accidentally getting 80% of the class to stay up leafing through similar glossarys, screaming out pronouns in the common room when they think they found one that may fit
- slytherin students sometimes taking polyjuice potion to pose as one of their depressed members who was having a bad day and really couldn’t bring themselves to classes
- kids who read about the second great wizarding war and, when reading about Severus Snape’s brave acts, argue “well yeah ok but he was kind of an asshole still?”
—Wizard broomchairs instead of wheelchairs. No need to worry about stairs when you’re floating, right? Just say “up” to it like you would with a broomstick and it hovers a comfortable 7 inches from the ground, though it can be raised and lowered depending on the wizard’s preference/mood.
—No one giving Wizards with ADD/learning/organizational disabilities any guff about the rememberalls they carry on hand.
—Aspie and autistic Wizards with dazzling proficiency in more mysterious and complex branches of magic like Wandlore and wandmaking.
—The books in Hogwart’s library reacting to dyslexic students trying to read them and helping them: breaking up paragraphs, highlighting words, sometimes reading themselves aloud if the student is having a particularly difficult time or has eyesight problems.
—Professors enchanting gloves to use sign language next to them as they teach for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
—Neville Longbottom instigating a schoolwide program to foster better communication between students and teachers and better regulation of how house points are handed out, and the general effort toward a less stressful learning environment, referred to lovingly by students as ‘Deebass,” from the joking acronym, “Don’t Be A Snape”
Give me Slytherins in Dumbledore’s Army.
Give me Slytherins vouching for and adopting muggleborn first years during the reign of the Carrows. Walking the corridors a day or two after the start of term, spotting a cornered and terrified looking Ravenclaw first year and wading in like, “Ah, there you are! I tried to catch you at the feast, but you left for that tower of yours. How’s your Mum? She asked me to keep an eye out for you. Come on, don’t know about you, but lunch feels like forever ago. Shall we go raid the kitchens? You can tell me how the family’s doing, it’s been ages since I’ve seen my cousins.” “Who are- umm - do I know you?” “Just keep walking kiddo.”
Give me Slytherins running interference. Sitting in the thick of it in the Common Room, listening in on the discussions and idle plotting the older students under the guise of studying. Giving the odd absent minded smile in the appropriate place and laughing when expected, but making careful notes in their Herbology crib notes. Later relaying the intended and potential threats to the rest of the DA.
Give me Slytherins raiding the dungeon store rooms. With the Carrows’ idea of discipline bleeding Madame Pomfrey’s resources dry, alternative sources of items like raw murtlap, salamander blood and doxy eggs need to be found. Not all Slytherins take potions past OWLs, but there are a number who don’t who leave the dungeons with full book bags and later leave the Room of Requirement or the Hospital Wing with them considerably lighter. Later, the empty bags will be lined with takings from the Green House 8, where Longbottom and Sprout are growing in secret what they can’t steal from anywhere else.
Give me Slytherins insisting on hand to hand fighting being included in the DA’s training schedule. Because it doesn’t matter how good you are in a duel, if they get your wand away from you, you are going to have to find another way to defend yourself. They throw in a few hand held weapons as well because, well, come on, have you seen the corridors around here? There are suits of armour, like, every four feet! There are swords and morning stars everywhere people. Plus, it will scare the shit out of them. And a few halfbloods introduce the concept of homemade weapons and explosives and then the battle plans just get downright dirty.
Give me Slytherins hitting other students with spells in the corridors. Imagine, you’ve just stumbled out of Defence Agai- wait, no, can’t really call it that anymore – Dark Arts. You’re shaking, trembling from head to foot. They had you demonstrating the Imperious this afternoon. On Luke, you’d always had a bit of a thing for Luke. And you couldn’t do it. You’re not sure what they hit you with but you can barely keep your feet under you. It doesn’t take much for the Slytherin girl to shove you into the wall. You hit the floor as she walks away, her head thrown back in a cackle. You vision blurs with tears from pain, humiliation and just being sick of being so damn scared all the time. Some lion you are. You don’t see the Slytherin boy coming the other way until it’s too late and his wand is already raised on you. You cry out as the first of the tears start to fall and brace yourself. There’s no pain though, despite the continued malicious laughter in the air. You feel warm instead, like someone’s just wrapped you in a much needed hug. You feel warm and safe and, as impossible as it seems, you feel happy and oh so hopeful. You drag yourself to your feet as the cheering charm settles like a warmed cloak and you lock eyes with the Slytherin boy just as he rounds the corridor corner. He winks at you and places a finger over gently smiling lips.
Give me Slytherin girls laying into boys during DA combat sessions. Gryffindor boys unwilling to raise their wands on a younger, smaller girl. “Oh come on! Seriously?! Dude, do you honestly think that Bellatrix Lestrange is going to smile and curtsy and thank you for being a gentleman?!” *curse flies* “Do you really think that Dolohov is going to extend the same courtesies to me?!” *another curse flies* “Because I telling you now Galahad, he ain’t! Now fight back you damn pussy cat!” “She’s right Davies, now fight back!” “Thanks Longbottom!”
Give me Slytherins convening with other members of staff. Requesting to be put into detention. They can be there for support for the younger students, the non-purebloods when the Carrows get into their stride. The moon touched girl from Ravenclaw, all blonde hair and pale eyes, she came up with this spell. Allows the effect of a curse to be split multiple ways, takes the edge of the Cruciatus is cast at the right moment. But they need more people in there, if anyone else passes out like the first time Lovegood did it will raise suspicion.
Give me Slytherins raiding the laundry baskets for spare ties. Yes, ok, so it’s not going to fool anyone with half a brain for very long, but the number of the Carrows underlings who just clock what colour is dangling around your neck and keep walking is laughable. The other staff members have cottoned on to it, seeing ties being swapped out at the classroom door and say nothing.
Give me Slytherins contributing their own photos and stories to the Memorial Wall in the Room of Requirement as the War drags on. Friends and family, alumni who refused to join Voldemort’s forces and paid the price for their defiance.
Give me Slytherin quidditch players who suggest aerial support squad to patrol the Forbidden Forrest in secret when the Carrow detentions warrant a little field trip. Waiting in the air in case anyone is in need of a quick retrieval. Give me beaters from different houses practicing with the bludgers, improving their aim and trying to see it they can weaponise them, or charm them to attack certain targets. Give me chasers practising flight with a second rider and keepers doing weights training in case they ever need to snatch someone out of danger. Give me seekers testing their reflexes and developing communication short hand for when they will be scouts on the battle field.
And give me Slytherins in the face of bigotry. Because that shit is a two way street. How many time has it been said, “Why don’t they just chuck all the Slytherins out?!” over the years. “Who’d even want to be a Slytherin?” Truth is, the sorting hat gets a rhyming couplet to give an overview of each house and that is it. Not all Ravenclaws are free thinkers, not all Gryffindors are fearless, not all Hufflepuffs are good people. Give me Zachariah Smith after a bad clash, looking around at the red, blue and yellow lined room and those students bleeding and bruised and staring in on the few wisps of green set solidly among the others. Give me harsh words, unfounded accusations and a comment of ‘snakes in the lions’ den’. Give me Neville and Ginny yelling back, shouting him down, but he’s built up a head of steam and some of the younger members start to look torn and begin to edge way from the Slytherins in their midst. Give me a small slight Slytherin girl, finishing up bandaging a spained wrist of a small Gryffindor boy and rise to her feet prettily dusting off her hands. Give me her crossing the room quickly and quietly to within striking distance and then lamping Smith in the jaw. “Any means to achieve our ends you say? And what happens when our goals are your goals? When our home and friends and lives are the same one threatened as yours? The houses are there to give a sense of family in a new environment and to give us the distraction of inter-house quidditch matches. It was not designed to segregate us, we get enough that out there! We are one side here, and unless certain heads are removed from certain arseholes, it is going to be the side that comes of worse! Now, if anyone else requires essence of murtlap, I’m over by the second window.”
Give me Slytherins in the DA.
Manueluv and I are convinced Agent K is Coulson’s father. Hell, MIB is even owned by Marvel.
Welp. Never gonna unsee this.
HEADCANON ACCEPTED SO FAST I THINK I BROKE SOMETHING
Guys - who do you think told Phil all those stories about Cap?
THIS POST IS OVER 2 YEARS OLD AND IT JUST. GOT. BETTER.