[CN: functioning labels]
Please don’t call me an Aspie.
I am Autistic.
If people want to refer to their own identity by using the word Aspie, then I can respect their choice to do so. Their identity is their own choice. My identity is my choice.
For me, the word has connotations that are very similar to functioning labels. Aspie has almost become synonymous with “high functioning,” when it shouldn’t be that way. Musings of an Aspie explains that better than I can:
“But there’s a danger of people hearing high functioning, with its “not that defective” undertones, and equating it with “doesn’t need supports or services or accommodations or even any sort of understanding or acceptance.”
If you’re high functioning, you must be fine, right? You don’t really need a little extra time to complete your work or to get instructions in writing or to sit in a quiet place so you can concentrate. You can just high function your way around all those little problems and get stuff done like a normal person.”
– Musings of an Aspie
More generally, people who regularly read my blog will know how I feel about functioning labels, but if you’re still not convinced that functioning labels do more harm than good, then here are some more links:
If you didn’t click on the links, one of the problems of functioning labels is that they make some autistic people seem as though they don’t need support and others seem as though they will never achieve anything.
[Please note: What I am about to say definitely does not apply to all people who identify as Aspie. I have no way of knowing if a person who identifies as Aspie subscribes to these beliefs. So, I would strongly caution anyone against making assumptions about a person who identifies as Aspie.]
For me, there is another worrying element attached to the label of Aspie. This element has different names: Aspie Supremacist and Shiny Aspie are the ones with which I am most familiar. Autistic Hoya explains why this is problematic for me better than I can.
Don’t separate me from my community. Please don’t call me an Aspie. Don’t mislabel my identity: I am Autistic.