In the autism community, there are often considered to be two “sections.” The high functioning and their parents and the low functioning and their parents. What I think we often forget is those of us in the middle, too high functioning to be labeled as needing and accommodations in schools but too low to function well in a normal school setting. This is often an issue for me as I struggle severely with large crowds, with noises, etc. Right now as I sit here in class I can hear four conversations two people typing from across the room at least five talking and someone banging on the desk. I can also hear the air coming in from the AC and every time someone shifts. And it is loud. This is a struggle for me in a high school setting because as everyone knows, teenagers are loud. VERY loud usually. There is a person whistling behind me right now and I can’t work because it is gnawing into my brain. We have the labels in autism, high functioning vs low functioning, which is supposed.
There is a quote that I’ve read before by someone named Laura Tisonick. She said that, “The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low- functioning means your assets are ignored.” Personally I really like this quote because I feel like it really is a good representation of the community. I’m focusing mostly on the first half of this, because that part is what affects me. She is right. When you can look someone in the eyes and speak to them its assumed you are perfect. They don’t see after 7.5 hours of that how just plain tired I end up, to the point where I sometimes just shut down half way through. They think anyone who doesn’t have some severe behavioral deficits are just fine. They don’t see the sensory deficits and the social struggles because they say oh, you’re just antisocial/introvert/weird. They don’t see what it takes every day to walk into that building, put my head down, and force myself to function better than I should be able to. But I do, and I do it knowing the cost because I’m supposed to be the normal one.