Does It Matter If Your Child Has High Or Low Functioning Autism?

Does It Matter If Your Child Has High Or Low Functioning Autism?

What’s the difference between high and low functioning autism – and why does it matter? Like many of you, I am a member of several different Facebook groups which relate to my role as a carer – in my case, groups related to autism. I saw a post the other day, written by a distressed mother of an autistic child. She wanted to know why we kept referring to our children as ‘high’ or ‘low’ functioning – she felt that the way it was used meant that if your child wasn’t classified as ‘high’ it made them not as good somehow… What followed were over 200 comments of what ‘high’ and ‘low’ functioning meant to everyone – and the range of responses was astoundingly varied. So, what is the difference? A quick Google search revealed the following top response: “People with autism are often described as being ‘high functioning’ or ‘low functioning’. But there are no such diagnoses in the diagnostic manual. This means that the difference between high and low functioning autism can, in many cases, be based on the personal perspectives of a practitioner or teacher”. Source: https://verywell.com Not exactly helpful, is it?! Let’s consider children on the Autism spectrum The general consensus from my research, is that children who are able to communicate well, are more aware of social conventions, can manage well in academic settings, and quite often appear ‘normal’ are considered ‘high functioning’; whereas children who have limited or no spoken language, look and sound different to their peers, and are less likely to be included in typical classes or activities in an academic...
Mama You Are Not Alone!

Mama You Are Not Alone!

You are not alone. Being a carer as well as a parent has got to be one of the loneliest jobs in the World. I lost it this week. Completely. Totally. I’m talking crazy-person, screaming type of losing it. I’d finally hit rock bottom and knew with certainty that I’d failed as a mother. I couldn’t do it anymore. I have tried so hard, fought so hard for my kids, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had completely and utterly failed. I’ve never felt so alone. How could I reach out for help and admit that at this very moment, I hated being a mother? I could barely believe that I had thought it – let alone admit it to anyone. The fear of judgement and the hatred of myself was tearing me apart. I crawled into bed and didn’t move for hours. How had it gotten to this point? Sure, my kids have special needs and require a lot of patience, help and support… but others seem to handle it with aplomb. Why is it that I can’t handle it? Why do my kids manage to trigger my anxiety and send me into a depressive state, in just a single moment? Why was I the only mother who couldn’t cope with what I’d been dealt? Why was I such a failure? I finally got the answer to my question the next morning. In a heartfelt conversation with my ex-husband, I admitted how I felt. I let it all out – and braced myself for the judgement that was sure to follow. Instead, he admitted that he...