New name, new blog site, new article on misconceptions about autism

Welcome to my very new WordPress blog page. Along with my new blog I have a new name. Here is a link to a post which I wrote recently which explains my new name if you were wondering. Blog post: I am Yenn

This post is a revision of  post from some years ago looking at misconceptions about autism which are frequent and very annoying and unhelpful for autistic people. There are many more misconceptions out there than these. These are just a selection but hopefully you will find some use from the post.

🙂 Yenn

“You don’t seem very autistic to me. My [insert relative here] is autistic, and s/he/they can’t even get the bus. You have a job…”

While autistic people often share a number of general characteristics, we are all individuals. Two autistic people can be vastly different from one another. Autism is not a determinant of character or a person’s path through life. It is  different wiring of the brain but autistic people are still individuals. Comping ‘degrees’ of autism is really unhelpful.

 “Are you high-functioning?”

Labels of “high” or “low” functioning autism are fraught and unhelpful. These labels are in fact not even part of the diagnostic criteria but they are used as a shorthand by many clinicians.  These labels simply don’t work. An autistic person who works full-time might have a meltdown. So while they are working they might appear “high” functioning, but in the meltdown their level of functioning is different. So the functioning label fails to describe the frequent changes in ability to cope that can occur in an autistic person’s life. The functioning label can also become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially  for autistic kids and young people. A person described as “low” functioning may be given negative messaging and low expectations for their life. Their “high” functioning peers often have unrealistically high expectations put on them and their issues may be ignored because they are articulate and seem to be coping well.  I never  use functioning labels around autism as they are so misleading and counter-productive.

7 thoughts on “New name, new blog site, new article on misconceptions about autism

  1. That last one gets me especially. I have worked with autistic kids for years, and they bring me great joy. They have an incredible way of looking at the world, and I love them so much! And my son just recently got his official diagnosis. I would not change him for the world. The world can change for him, though. I’d be okay with that!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hate the labels “high functioning” and “low functioning”. We should quit using them to describe autistic folks or start using them on everybody. I am “low functioning” quite often and I’m NT.
    I also agree that autism is not a tradjety. My ten year old grandson is perfect the way he is. Us parents are carers are often asked the hypothetical “would you cure the autism if you could”. I always answer NO!! It’s not a disease. It doesn’t need a cure. There is nothing wrong with him (other than being a ten year old child😜😂)

    Thank you Yenn, for all the work you do! People like you are helping to make a more accepting, understanding world for my grandson to enter in his adulthood.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Yenn! Ironically, one of the least supportive and most critical co-workers of mine is most definitely an Aspie (his wording). It absolutely kills me that he has the view that I am milking my autism diagnosis and that if he can be a decent worker, I have no excuse.

    I have to, again, be the high road taker and let him be in his judgemental ways. It is so hard. It is his journey, but I am struggling to be what everyone wants me to be. Having this fellow be the most critical and least supportive makes my job twice as hard as it needs to be.

    I read your last few blog posts and I think I need to divert my attention to my very low self image and self esteem. I simply cannot let my next 45 yrs be as anxiety riddled, confusing and self loathing as the last. You have spurred me on to think about why I STILL hide, what I can do about self love and self acceptance and how I can better use my energies to be a better mechanic.

    I feel heart broken for teen Yenn, present Kate, the older ones who never had a chance to shine and the pioneers who must have found the roller coaster ride to out themselves wrought with danger. I cannot cry enough tears to cover how I feel.


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