I asked Emma what she thought of the functioning labels applied to Autistic people: mild, moderate, severe, or high functioning and low functioning. What follows is her response.
“Functioning labels are insulting to me. And people like me do not like to have others label us as though we were meat at the market.
“I do not think Autistics should be given stamps of disapproval. How would you like to be graded all the time?
“Money makes people (*not autistic) have a higher functioning label, but it is not a great way to measure the worth of a person or their intellect.
“I am more than any one thing.
“Most people do not behave well under the kind of pressure Autistic people must endure all the time. A label belongs on a piece of merchandise, not on a human being.
“Do you think you function at a higher level than other people?
“Maybe others would not agree with you.
“Let us all do the best that we can and stop othering everyone we decide is less capable.”
*I asked Emma whether she meant all people or a particular group of people, she wrote “not autistic”.