“High functioning autism” is a term that gets thrown around a lot. This informal term is often used as a way to distinguish some of those on the autism spectrum from others. However, it isn’t a medical term and shouldn’t be used as a diagnosis. Due to its frequent use, it is still important to understand what high functioning autism means and how it impacts the lives of people with it.
When somebody is said to have high functioning autism, it is generally meant that they have a more “mild” case of autism. That means that the person with high functioning autism can live an independent life and have the ability to speak, read, and write among other life skills.There is no need for a caretaker as they can dress themselves and prepare meals without an issue. Most people that fall under this label wouldn’t be seen as autistic without a diagnosis and largely live the same day-to-day life as those without it.
While that high level of functioning is often seen to be a blessing, it comes with its own set of negative side effects as well. Much like anyone on the autism spectrum, people with high functioning autism also find it difficult to communicate with others and struggle in social situations. However, since they aren’t viewed as others as being autistic, they are seen by others as having poor manners rather than suffering from an ailment. This leads to awkward and negative situations in social activities as they struggle with small talk, keeping eye contact and fail to make friends upon initial meetings.
Those that have what is considered to be high functioning autism generally prefer to live in a routine as well, similar to those with more severe cases. This can hamper their ability to meet others as going outside their routines causes them to become stressed and to deal with anxiety. After all, having a healthy social life often requires to be flexible and to deal with chaotic moments, which those with autism struggle to deal with.
Another struggle that those with high functioning autism have is when it comes to school and work. While they are able to do their work and hold a job like somebody without autism could, they often don’t have the same concentration ability. This will make it seem as if they are poor employees or a slacking student that isn’t trying hard enough if they don’t have a proper diagnosis performed. That’s why getting diagnosed is so important as they can then receive different type of work and expectations can be adjusted to appropriate levels.
While there isn’t a cure for high functioning autism, the impact it has can be managed through therapy and self-regulation and monitoring. For those that need greater care and treatment, it can become a strain for the family. Thankfully, Lizard Centre has experts that know how to provide support to families that have a child with autism. Not only does it help them, but it will make sure that the person with autism will get the full quality of life they deserve. Get in touch today by calling us at 1300 752 617.