Thursday, September 17, 2015
Am I High or Low Functioning?
Against my better judgement and personal anxiety about being so damned out about all this (close to crying, actually). I posted this in response to people calling autism an epidemic on the page for an autism organization I respect but I'm not naming because it might increase the chance of a flame war on said page:
[content warning: suicidality mention (I'm fine), mention of self-injurious behaviors, bad eating habits due to executive dysfunction, ableism, restraint and seclusion, school, others not specified because it's hard to pinpoint here]
"I've got a question for you all.
I use self-injurious stim to calm down every hour of every day. I stim every second of every day. I have felt suicidal on and off for around two years. I forgot to eat today until 6:00pm--this is a common occurrence. I can't go to a store for more than 5 minutes when I am not the one making decisions about what to buy without having serious sensory issues. I can't go to a store alone because I will have an anxiety attack and a meltdown. I just narrowly avoided a meltdown just 40 minutes ago.
While sometimes very verbal, I can't talk for more than two hours so I mostly communicate on the internet. I can only talk when prompted most of the time. I regularly experience gastro-intestinal issues. Every day at 5:00 in the afternoon or earlier I need to go into a perfectly quite room that is almost completely dark or I will have a meltdown. Until I was 10 years old I wore diapers to bed. Until recently I have made very few friends and almost none of them are 'neurotypical.' Most days I struggle to get out of bed because of a headache caused by serious sensory issues.
I was regularly restrained as a youth and was last restrained when I was 13 years old. I was in special education for all of K-12. I was in a contained special education classroom entirely 2nd and 3rd grade and in at least one class 4-9th in that program. I stopped using a resource room towards the end of 10th grade. I have failed classes because I did not believe I would get necessary and respectful supports/accommodations for my executive dysfunction. I was in the in-patient psychiatric unit when I was seven and a half because my parents "[sic] did not know what to do with me" (their words) and wanted me evaluated. When I was nine years old, I kicked down a seclusion room door.
I am now 18 years old. I am a self-advocate. I have prepared written testimony regularly for school board meetings, state house committees, and state senate committees. I have written proposed policy for my school district. I have met with Governor Inslee at the bill signing for SHB 1240. I founded the Disabled Abled Coalition at my school and was president of the Gay Straight Alliance last year.
So with that in mind, am I high or low functioning?"