To Parents of HFA (High-Functioning Autistic) Kids

Please stop signing your posts and emails:

"Name, parent of Name (age, HFA)"

That acronym, and the use of the term "High-Functioning Autistic" outside of a clinical or symptoms discussion and as a signature to emails inside a parenting forum is insulting and offensive to those of us whose autistic children don't get to use that H.

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  1. People actually do that? Not only is it enormously insensitive, it's also kind of weird. Isn't it?

  2. Amen!
    Jennyalice parent of Jake (7.5 CACK*)and Lucy (nearly 2, LALAT**)
    *that's Crazy Ass Cool Kid
    **that's Lately Acts Like A Turtle


  3. Yeah. I don't get that. But not just the HFA, the everything else, too.

    (Although, one email group is having quite an animated discussion about the use of the label HFA in of itself - how randomly that label is applied. According to many in the group, Leelo WOULD get that "H")

    One (active) lady on a "special kids" email group signs her emails with all the different pharms her kid is on AND all the different diagnoses SHE and HER HUSBAND has, plus all their meds.

    I understand wanting to be open about diagnoses/etc., but unless it is in the context of whatever is being discussed, I see NO reason to include all that info in the signature. Hell, even the lists of kids and their ages makes my eyes roll.

    -Kari (5'2 and three quarters, weighs too much for her height, and currently on margaritas and Musinex, mother to TheCat, age 7 and sixty-one two-hundred and fourteenths and Spliggle, age 3 and "but I wanna be seven, too!")

  4. Shoot - "PBN" is me.


  5. wow, i hadn't run across that yet - my, how offensive.

    i just can't compete with the clever signatures suggested by the previous commenters, will just say i found them quite funny. :)


  6. Anonymous10:37 PM

    I think the parent who uses that cannot handle and/or deal with the fact THEIR child has autism.
    They want to make their child sound "better" than most autistic kids.
    So whether you are high or low functioning, guess what they are still autistic.
    Perhaps, the parent who puts that needs to come terms with that?
    Mother of Zach 13 and Chris 12 and both autistic and my lovely sons.

  7. Anonymous5:24 AM

    Oh I hear you! I used to belong to groups like that. It became a contest between some of who had the 'most recovered child' and then others of the 'most diagnosed child'. One chicks sig was longer than her posts! I couldn't handle it anymore.

    Up until 2 weeks ago I headed a large Autism support group. I quit cause I couldn't deal with those sort of people, the ones that said 'well at least my kid isn't like that Rainman or that Mercury Rising kid, that is so fake' and I am seething and thinking shut the freak up my kid is like that...

    Sorry, bad day, big blog brain dump and just waiting for Boo to fall asleep so I can self medicate with a little whine, I mean wine.

  8. Anonymous12:15 PM

    What Melissa P. said. Autism is Autism, plain and simple. Julia is an Aspie...yes, that's "on the spectrum," but it's still Autism, regardless of her level of functioning, and anyone who HAS tried to tell ME otherwise (yes really) is not dealing with the reality of the situation. Purposely making the distinction between HFA vs MFA or LFA is just arrogant posturing. Their children should be pitied and the parents should be slapped.

  9. Anonymous11:22 PM

    You go creth95!!

  10. Boy I wonder what kind of sig I could whomp up.

    And for crying out loud -- can we please talk about respecting the kids' privacy?

    I quit reading that 2ce woman because the amount she revealed about her infant, then toddler squicked me out.

    And since you asked, yes I AM recovering from that 2nd pint of beer.

  11. I've always been confused by people who sign emails with their children's names. Maybe they think no one will remember who they are; everyone remembers kids and dogs, right? So maybe I'll start signing mine "parent of Hannah, aka: smart, overly dramatic, whiny, perpetually grounded 5-yo and Charlotte, apraxic 3-yo, fluent in sass-by-sign."

    Should I also comment on spouses who share an email address, or just let that one go? ;)

  12. I'm with everyone else, plus with added barfing from the pweciousness.

    There used to be a forum with no-arguing policy about sig file sizes, and that was that they be SMALL. That sure spoiled me for when I went into other forums where the rule seemed to be "she who dies with the most sparkly thermometer countdown glitter fairy babypicture WINS and MORE THAN YOU!"

    Fucking hate sparkly graphics of filched artwork. Hate hate hate. Especially when someone responds to ten posts and their fucking sparkly fairy baby thermometers scroll by oer and over again.

    DAMMIT, when I am queen, there will be sig file restrictions for ALL!

    I have not self-medicated. But it seems I need to.

  13. Anonymous1:12 AM

    It does sound offensive/annoying! My comments at coffee were just from my forums where there really is a point in people signing "dx MS 1986, dx (long-ass rare syndrome thing that totally isn't MS) 2002". It tells you something of their experience and perspective. and for me it really exposes how uncertain neurological diagnoses are. and I have about 1 million more things to say about that, but I know it's not your point.

    Just a bit of an ornery defense of the times when the DX sig is good and works.

    Your mailing list jerks though, I am with you in the collective eyeroll and smackdown of them!

  14. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Actual signature from email sent today:

    Shai, MOM
    Evan (11) - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum, Bipolar, ADHD, Autistic Tendencies
    Attends Special Day School, attends full year (including extended year)
    MEDS: Seroquel, Clonidine, Depakote
    Loren, DH - perm disabled & currently in rehab facility after life threatening illness and emergency surgery

  15. @ anonymous: gee (yes, I said "gee") and I thought that my blog address in my sig file might fall under TMI for some. seems like a huge violation of the kid's privacy to include all of that info.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.