Demystifying High-Functioning Autism: What Does It Really Mean?

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Celebrating Differences: Embracing the Unique Traits of High-Functioning Autism

Starting to become “Autistic Aware” ever since I first came in contact with the term “high-functioning autism”

The year was 2018 when the term “high-functioning autism” first entered my life, marking a pivotal moment that would reshape my life in unforeseen ways. But what exactly is high-functioning autism, and how does it impact both society and individuals like myself? Join me on a exploration through this fascinating and often misunderstood world.

High-functioning autism is a term used to describe individuals whose autism symptoms do not significantly impair their daily functioning, unlike those with more severe forms of autism. Also sometimes known as Asperger’s syndrome in older diagnostic terms, high-functioning autism manifests in individuals who often possess normal or above-average intelligence but still face challenges in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.

The daily struggle.A constant challange.

Individuals with high-functioning autism may struggle with social interactions, possess specific interests and rituals, and experience difficulties in communication, including understanding and using language. These challenges can be subtle and often overlooked by those unaware of their condition.

A crucial aspect of understanding high-functioning autism is recognizing that there is no such thing as a “normal” brain. We are all unique, and neurodiversity is a natural part of humanity. For me, high-functioning autism is an integral part of my identity, contributing to what makes me distinctly me.

But how has this affected society? Unfortunately, there have been numerous biases and misunderstandings surrounding autism over the years. I still recall with discomfort how preschool educators believed that a “fort” in the cloakroom would solve all my son’s issues. Instead of seeking to understand him and his needs, they chose to “contain” him. It serves as a reminder of the work needed to raise awareness about autism and improve support for individuals living with it.

autism awareness is growing in society

However, I also see positive developments. Awareness of autism is growing in society, with more coverage in the media. This increased awareness has led to greater understanding and a willingness to support and include individuals with high-functioning autism.

Someone with high-functioning autism may function similarly to someone without autism but may exhibit specific behaviors or preferences. They may be sensitive to noise or light, struggle to interpret non-verbal communication, or have a deep focus on particular interests. They may also find it challenging to adapt to changes in routines or schedules.

Living with high-functioning autism can present both challenges and discoveries. We encounter everyday obstacles that may be difficult for those outside our spectrum to comprehend. However, it’s also crucial to highlight our strengths. Many of us are meticulous, detail-oriented, and highly loyal and reliable. While I occasionally encounter difficulties in my daily life that I hadn’t previously considered, I strive to find solutions and adaptations on my own. However, it’s important to recognize that my own solutions and adaptations may not always work as intended, and in those instances, I too need assistance.

Stop, there is Help and support availeble.

For those newly diagnosed or for family members seeking to understand and support individuals with high-functioning autism, it’s important to know that help and support are available. This may include therapy, support groups, or strategies for managing the challenges we face in daily life. Seeking professional help can be a crucial step towards gaining a better understanding of oneself and one’s autism.

Regardless of your role in our world, whether you’re an individual with high-functioning autism, a parent seeking answers, or simply a curious soul eager to learn more, I hope you take away this message: We are all unique, and neurodiversity enriches our world in endless ways. It’s time to embrace and celebrate the diversity and community that high-functioning autism brings.

I hope this post was informative and inspiring for you all. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts in the comments. See you soon at for more exciting discussions about autism and other intriguing topics.


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