Tag Archives: identity first language

Functioning Labels and the Language We Have Used Creates Stigma Even Today

(I know it’s been a while since my last post)

Reasons Why Functioning Labels Do NOT make any Sense:

1) Everyone at some point during a day functions at a high or low level.
2) Just because someone is not speaking, does not mean they don’t have anything to say. Let everyone’s voice flourish!
3) Functioning labels does not allow a person to grow with self-determination instead the person becomes stagnate and ridiculed their whole life instead of growing.
4) Functioning labels make no sense since everyone grows and learns to function more over time.
5) Functioning labels make no sense because when you see someone who may seem ‘High Functioning’ or ‘Low Functioning’ does not mean they are that way every day. People who say others are ‘Higher Functioning’ don’t understand that those people were able to compensate to cope better because they were given the chance from society to do so.
6) Functioning labels in society says one person is more defective or defeated than others, by using them, you are creating levels of functioning that can happen to everyone everyday.
7) Levels of Functioning exist from all of us every day, so why stigmatize some people by saying what they can’t do, when every one CAN do anything they put their heart and mind to.
8) Using functioning labels to describe people is not being a supportive inclusive community in the world.
9) Functioning labels and Person-first Language does not allow others to make the choices for themselves and taking responsibility necessary as the person they are.

People who may seem not to be doing well in their life need to find new coping mechanisms, adapting to society, and finding more supports in order for anyone to improve with their own self-determination. Just because someone may seem ‘Higher Functioning’ does not mean they have overcome or defeated their neurology. Our Neurology is our neurology of who we are! Let’s help and support each other by allowing everyone to find their voice however they know their voice can be heard and listened to.

We need to allow everyone to IDENTIFY with EVERYTHING that IDENTIFIES them because ANY ONE has that right as a HUMAN BEING. We need to support IDENTITY First Language because everything is a part of what makes you the person you are including our disability because disability is a part of the human experience.

No one should be ashamed to say “I’m Autistic” or “I’m Aspie” or “I’m a Disabled person” or whatever or however you may describe yourself. The society we live in needs to remember that by saying everything that makes you who you are to contribute constructively and make a difference, you are becoming your own person with self-determination. People have their own way of what makes them a person. No one should be influenced from the world to describe themselves they way others want them to. We live in the world to strive for our own success and our own way of doing things for ourselves. That is why it’s not right to label people with levels of functioning and separating different parts of a person with person-first language. We all are a person once we have been given the chance to describe how we want to identify ourselves without functioning levels.

Think before you tell any person they are either ‘High Functioning’ or ‘Low Functioning’ and Do NOT tell people to separate anything that makes them the person they are today. Everything you are today is what you either experienced in your life and/or made you who you are right now. No one should be ashamed of who they are or their experiences. We live to experience who we are and sometimes people know right away while other times people need to learn through experience. Learning what your mission is and what you are here to do is vital to move forward every day. Everyone needs to learn to accept themselves, the past, and what they want to build their future moving forward while always learning from their past. That’s self-determination!

“There is no such thing as ‘IMPOSSIBLE’, the very word itself says ‘I’m POSSIBLE’!”



The Story of a Boy I knew Sixteen years ago…

(In my next post, I will let everyone know who this Boy was Sixteen years ago)

Sixteen years ago or so there lived a boy in a home in the countryside. He was very quirky, thoughtful, positive, stubborn, and very smart. It was 1997. The boy was first graduating from High School. He had many multi-sensory issues and loved being alone in his room with his own thoughts. He loved creating scenes of different ideas he came up with. He had a beautifully intelligent and creative mind. No one really understood him. The professionals did not really know what made him different from the rest of the world. Whatever professionals he saw, thought he seemed different, but they could not figure exactly what was different about him.

After this boy graduated from High School, he wanted to go away for college, and so he did. He went to a college off from a beach and loved the amazing views. He thought he wanted one major in college, not realizing it was not the major for him. However, he declared his major and struggled studying within that major. He always had a love for helping and a love for expressing his creativity. There are two directions you can choose; the road most suitable for you or the road less traveled, however he chose the road less traveled to begin his life.

The boy was always creative throughout his childhood. He spent most of his time in the basement of the family house, creating and expressing himself by visualizing scenes in his mind either writing it down or sketching on pads. He wrote many stories and painted. Though he never really kept these creative activities from his childhood once he became an adult. He only wanted to help people. He had a passion to be helpful in any way he can. He grew to be very humble and in a lot of ways too humble for society. This pushed people to take advantage of his humility.

Finally, his difference was addressed by a professional who told him he was on the Autistic spectrum in which he labeled him with Asperger’s syndrome. Later, this person would identify himself as Autistic to show that it does not matter what label a professional gives you, that you can converse with anyone. He started expressing how Autistic culture exists and how we have many ways to identify ourselves as, that identity first language makes better sense and should be accepted. People in this world need to converse to help anyone. He became an activist with a passion to not let anyone with a disability be treated like any less of a person. Instead of following in others’ lead, he decided to lead himself toward his goals toward acceptance and leading people to understand why interdependence is so important for everyone. He cries for the people who are totally dependent on their circumstances in life and only wants them to get to a point where they, too, can follow their dreams to be interdependent. When he hears people say I want my independence, he listens to them as he speaks louder by saying how all Human beings need both independence and support from others because we all need to support each other at some point. He stresses to Neurotypical people this very fact that no matter who you are everyone needs to be apart and comforted at the same time.

He follows his own lead and tries not to think about what others care about what he is doing. However, he gets criticized by others anyway. He tells himself all the time, ‘I don’t care what you have to say, I am being the leader I want to be to follow my heart’. While looking for a job that will pay him well, he starts to may be consider opening up his own business where he can help people to start living their life without other people’s influence and always be self-determined to live a life of their choosing to build a positive society. Though it would take careful planning to do that.

He always was told to fuel himself so that no one takes advantage of his good nature so he can live the dream he always wanted. This boy who is now a man, sixteen years later, is always trying to remember this. Though it is hard and that is why people have gotten away with it in the past. He met a friend a few years back who is very similar, was once told by one of his family members to always stay strong. When either of these two friends see each other they converse to each other to stay strong after they meet. In the meantime, the boy who was a boy sixteen years ago created a motto from his life to always move forward without looking back. He created his own action heroes too. As of now, the boy who is now a man, has many more goals he wants to accomplish in his life. Although he is still considered to be young with many goals, he has a lot of drive to change the world and be successful!