What labels would you prefer to see for autism, rather than high- & low-functioning autism?
I would prefer myself to be referred to as the king of autism, my autistic friends as the autistic nobles, and all other people can be referred to as disciples of autism of varying classes. Are there any autistic nobles around?
Pathologizing language and predominant focus aside, I would love to see this in the DSM-VI:
Diagnostic criteria for King of Autism Disorder (KAD):
- Persistent difficulties in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts.
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
- Named Martin Silvertant.
- Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).
Ultimately, I think these royal autism labels can serve their purpose as a way of categorizing, referring, identifying, and relating. Removing labels removes structure. Sometimes that is a good thing, as the labels we use may misrepresent reality rather than—in some way—accurately represent it.
But ‘king of autism’? Completely accurate. You may or may not find these labels to be useful. But at least it has nothing to do with functioning labels or even support levels. Instead, we would have a beautiful class system, which is entirely in support of me, your autism majesty. What objections could you possibly have?