Questions and answers
How and why do you draw the line between LFA and HFA?
Since there are so many ways it’s done, I wonder how exactly you draw the line between LFA and HFA, and why you see a need for boundary drawing to begin with?
A: The reason we say that we are targeting relatively high-functioning individuals is that we want to be able to do this without the involvement of people without diagnoses.
We talk about “high functioning” as a relative term referring to the ability to act independently with other autistic people, instead of just letting family and staff fix everything. That is what OA is all about.
Whether you are high-functioning or low-functioning according to our way of using the terms, you can tell for yourself whether you are able to participate in our activities.
Why don't you welcome members with a companion or equivalent?
Assuming you trust the judgement of your members, why not welcome users of this tool as well?
A: The reason we want people to be able to attend our meetings without an escort is because we don’t want to risk them getting a say in what we do.
This does not mean that we exclude individuals who use escorts or the like. We have members who are driven to and from our meetings by parents and who live in group homes, but they attend our meetings themselves.
Can "normala%people sympathetic to NT issues or friends participate in OA activities?
Can “normal” people who sympathize with neuropsychiatric issues or friends of autistic/asperic people participate in OA activities?
Answer: The OA statutes state that you can only be a member if you have a diagnosis. However, you can become a sympathiser/supporting member.
We want the OA to be an association governed by and representing us autistic people.
Therefore, people who do not themselves have a diagnosis are not allowed to become members of the OA.
However, the OA may sometimes organise special activities, in which the NT is also welcome to participate.
Do you have an age limit downwards? Do you have a youth association?
Answer: We do not have an age limit, but our starting point is that members should be able to cope with themselves together with us. Our association is growing slowly but surely and although we do not have any specific youth activities yet, it is on the future agenda.
Why do you use terms like "autistics" and "aspergers" and not the less generalising "people with autism or AS"?
A: Of course, each person is a unique individual, but this also includes the fact that each person is, according to common Swedish usage, a lot of different things without being the same as everyone else who is also one of these things.
Being a “university student” does not mean that you are the same as any other university student, nor does it mean that you are your occupation.
Being a “man” does not mean that you are the same as all other men, nor that you are your gender.
Being an “apartment holder” does not mean that you are the same as all other apartment holders and does not mean that you are your accommodation.
So we don’t understand why you have to complicate the language by saying “person with Asperger’s syndrome” and not be allowed to use the much more convenient “Asperger”, “Aspie” or “AS person”. You don’t have to say “person with apartment”.
In OA, we don’t see our diagnoses as unpleasant impositions on our personalities. We see them as part of our personalities and identities, as much as other qualities individuals happen to have.
Can we say “parents” and not “persons with parental responsibilities”? One is not one’s kinship, but has a kinship? Or wouldn’t all these parents be unique individuals?
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