Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Functioning Labels (Again!)

Trigger Warning: Cure talk, silencing

The first time I talked about functioning labels is available in both English and Chinese.


I have thought more about functioning labels, and what they are supposed to be useful for (but basically fail at) and how they are problematic. One of the things that keeps sticking out for me is that if you're considered high functioning, all the assorted other issues you might have, correlated with being autistic or not, are considered separate from your autism unless they are actively being dismissed as just autism to avoid figuring them out properly (things like abdominal pain, for example. Doesn't always mean constipation, not even for Autistic folks.) if you're considered low functioning, though, it's all autism, or it's all part of it.
Have celiac? If you're considered high functioning, it's not part of your autism, but it's considered autism, maybe even the root cause of your autism depending on how into quack cures your parents are, if you're low functioning. Epilepsy? That's really, really common in Autistic people. We're something like eight times more likely than the general population to have it, if I did my math right. People do consider it a part of their kids autism on a fairly regular basis. News flash: if you want your kid to stop having seizures, it's epilepsy you want to cure, not autism. And all the Autistic people who also have epilepsy? They're not really arguing with the whole "cure epilepsy" thing. Because seizures are bad. We know they are bad, even if it's just from watching our friends have them. If you were to somehow cure autism, though, the autistic person who has epilepsy still has epilepsy and will still have seizures. The autistic person with celiac will still have celiac. They might not melt down from the discomfort anymore, but they still have celiac and still can't have gluten. 
Or low muscle tone. Or hypermobility. Whatever. I'd still be just as clumsy (read: still be dyspraxic) if you knocked out the autism. Well, whoever was left in my head would still be dyspraxic. I'm not convinced it would still be me, pretty sure it wouldn't be, but whatever is there would still be dyspraxic. Because dyspraxia, while related to autism, is not autism. None of the assorted things that often come with autism are autism, they are just excuses to call the autism worse than it is and the person low functioning in order to silence both them and the autistic people who are just autistic, or who do well enough with their assorted other stuff that they are considered high functioning and the other stuff therefore considered separate from their autism. 
Mine gets considered separate. But yes, I have my list of things. I have the high pain tolerance people talk about too. Runs in the family, I think, since I'm not even the first one in the family to walk around on broken bones... (I did so on a focally fractured shin and on a fractured foot, not at the same time. The other person did so on a broken ankle, I think it was on multiple occasions.) I'm hypermobile in a few joints. I'm a w-sitter. I have sensory processing issues. I'm dyspraxic, hyperlexic, dysgraphic, and hypergraphic. Oh, and I have gastrointestinal weird of I'm not quite sure what. It involves way my breakfast coming back up undigested two hours later if I go too short on sleep and hiccups, lots of hiccups. It's all considered a separate for me, though, because I'm seen as high functioning/not like my child/ not really autistic depending on which words for not counting people want to use today. They all mean "autistic person I don't want to listen to" anyways, just like low functioning and the equivalents mean "autistic person who I don't believe capable of holding and expressing opinions." 


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