Is ASD a Disability?

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I have been wondering about this question for some time now but I wanted to know what you guys think.

Is Autism a disability?

I have been told that it is NOT a disability but a disorder, but I cannot find a good definition of a disorder.

But if Autism is only a disorder then that would mean that it would be classed under the same umbrella as eating disorders and post traumatic stress disorder? But both of these can be cured can’t they? So are they implying that Autism can be cured and that it is not a disability because of this?

So then what is a disability and what is a difference between a disability and a disorder?

I have come to learn that the NHS are trying to cut budget savings by lessening the amount of support they offer to Autistics by using the excuse that it is not a disability so it doesn’t hardly need any funding.

I have seen many of my services cut that I used to use and now I am fending for myself because of the NHS. I have seen children with Autism talk about how they can no longer get support due to the cuts. It’s really horrible.

I want to hear everyone’s thought on this.



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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I know it is a pervasive developmental disorder under its definition. I do know that it is also a disability as someone who has it would qualify for disability services. Sadly the world is behind in wanting to fund or even understand a disability of the mind. I have the most amazing 8 year old daughter with Autism and they are currently trying to cut her vital services too. What a shame. Fight! That is all I can say..fight. I do know with the diagnosis you would qualify for disability services which may open more funding doors. I know years ago that I used to feel the need to tell strangers my daughter had Autism. Then I though that it is none of their business and I never will apologize for my daughter being her. Now I just say, she is still learning. She is learning everyday and we have been lucky enough to have a great therapy team. F you don’t mind me asking, how old are you and where do you live. I have dedicated my life to Autism so if I can help you get what you need I will point you in the right direction.
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    • Posted


      I’m 23 years old and I live in the UK. I went to my GP to ask if I could get any therapy as I am suicidal and I struggle in trying to cope with life in general.

      My GP turned around and said there were no services for autistic adults anymore and said that I should go to a charity called Mind (who help neurotypical people with depression) and try group therapy....

      I hate group therapy and told him this as I prefer one to one support due to my struggles with group interactions but he shrugged his shoulders and showed me the door.

      I claim PIP so I get some funding but that is all i’m getting.

      If I needed support from someone who specialises with autism and depression, each appointment would cost over £100. I can’t afford to part with that amount of money each time I visit.

      I have a history of self harm in the past where I was called an ambulance at one point after taking a drugs overdose of sleeping pills. Again they just sent me home and I have never been sectioned at all....

      I have told my GP about my plans to harm myself but they have told me just to find something that I enjoy in life, or try the gym.

      Are there services out there that i’m unaware of? I could really do with them as i’m desperate now and know that i’m at risk of self harm again.

      Sorry for my long post,


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  • Posted

    I can Imagine that group therapy is your worst nightmare. I will say that I just started working as a caretaker 6 months ago for an adult with Autism in the US. To say I was disgusted with his level of care is an understatement. It was terrible. I have been moved up to his behavior assistant and am trying to bring some positivity into his life. He has some learning difficulties.

    my daughter who is 8, is smart as can be, but has severe Autism. She has had self injury her whole life. I dread the day her services run out. 

    My best advice at this point is to get to someone who specializes in Autism and then bring up the depression once you are in. I know your brain will be very sensitive and react different to any medications and everything you have really falls under what Autism is. I can’t imagine how hard it has been. You must reach out for help. Does the UK offer you medical care? I would also look for clinical trials to see if you may be able to get help that way. I will try to see what I can find that is available in the UK. There is something so do not give up. My best suggestion is to find an Autism specialist and go from there. They will understand the self harm in a different way and not label it as the bullshit it seems like you are getting now. Look for clinical trial and don’t give up. You are probably so smart. What I notice with my little one is that she sees and intakes so much of the world that she simply overloads. That is what is happening with you and the self harm is the only answer you have. People suck and there is still much prejudice with Autism. I am in Gainesville, Florida. I am going to reach out to my support network and will keep you posted.

    I GET IT.

    my daughter is my heart and soul and I dread the day that she does not have me to protect her from the viscous world. Try to stay as positive as you can. 

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  • Posted

    That's an interesting question.

    Autism is associated with a range of characteristics which differ among those with the condition. A lot of these can be an advantage in certain situations but a disadvantage in others. This makes it difficult to class it as a disability.

    For example, I am a perfectionist and take great pride in my work. This means that I work hard not to make mistakes, but also means that I can get into a cycle of checking my work over and over again, or end up never completing it as I am frightened it will never live up to my standards.

    However, some common characteristics of those with autism can certainly be disabling. Not being able to understand/feel comfortable in social events is a real disadvantage in interviews or a work environment. The anxiety/mental health conditions that can accompany autism can be disabling.

    In my opinion, it is the characteristics that restrict you in your life that you need help with. Autism in itself is not a disability, but some of its characteristics can disable us.

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  • Posted

    If it's not classed as one, it should be, as a lot of the problems even a mildly autistic person encounters can be a hindrance to leading a productive life. Take me for instance. I was diagnosed with ASD as an adult, and I spent my whole childhood just feeling like a complete loser. The only thing I could do were academic-related things, but I was too afraid of people to really pursue it seriously. I learned at a very early age to be afraid of my peers and got rejected by many of my classmates. Even a few of my teachers thought it was okay to make fun of me! That led to me mistrusting most of the people I wasn't familiar with, and that lasted into adulthood. 

    To this day, I find it hard to trust people and assume that they will be untrustworthy or will find my behavior weird or off-puting.Even though I did well in college, my problems with people have made it difficult to find and keep a job. I'm overly cautious, and I guess people mistake it for something else--maybe disinterest? I'm not sure, but I know that the people who try to train me very quickly get frustrated, accuse me of not listening to them, and generally act like they don't really want to help me... 

    Autism is a serious struggle.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Sammy.

    I was finally diagnosed with ASD (Aspergers's) on the 4th of October this year!

    I am 52 years old and I suspected 17 years ago when my son was diagnosed with it at age 4.

    Through observing his behaviors I realized that I had exhibited the same behaviors as a child.

    And much of these behaviors continued in to adulthood right to the present day!

    This left me with the long battle to access the right services to get a proper diagnosis.

    And I had to wait a very long time as various GP's were reluctant for a very long time to offer a referral to the right services for adult diagnosis.

    All that being said, sadly I have realized that Asperger's has played a dominant role and has affected every relationship that I have ever had even one's with work colleagues.

    Even though I knew I have had it for a very long time, I still have the shock of coming to terms with it and all that it means, including what it might mean for the future? Which is quite scary.

    For you and for other people who are close to or care for someone with Asperger's , I can say for sure that Asperger's is so difficult to live with as so many people still don't recognize it nor understand it, as it is primarily a social disorder and affects how we interact with other people and the world, often we feel very isolated and shut off from the rest of society and how others cope with the world and their social interactions, we simply don't feel part of it often which can be very lonely.

    We seem to live by other rules that don't conform to society's norms!

    This can be very challenging indeed to live with for other people.

    My true thoughts are that Asperger's is definitely a disabling disorder as far as functioning in the main stream of society.

    It seems as though most of the health services are attempting to play down or close their eyes and ears to the plea's of people with ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder,

    Disorder I feel is an acceptable description for Asperger's and other behavioral disorders on the Autistic Spectrum. As our thought patterns and behavioral responses are exactly that, disordered!

    interestingly the professional who diagnosed me said that the powers that be are attempting to change the name of ASD to ASC, Autistic Spectrum Condition???

    If you think for a moment, Dry eye's is a "condition", flaky nails is a "condition", tennis elbow is a "condition", bad breath is a "condition", brittle hair is a "condition", eczema, a common skin "condition" and they are not something that affects the functioning of the brain and asperger's is not the same as a common skin condition. How can they demote Asperger's to that level???

    Easy! So then they do not have to treat it or support it and they do not have to get funding to support it which in reality translates to them ignoring it and saving money.

    I hope they can understand that although we may have asperger's and may exhibit strange behaviors deep down within we have feelings, simply they may not be in the right order as most of society, however we are a human beings with great potential and should be included and accepted in life.

    We also have the human right to be heard and included in society.

    So my advice to you is contact as many support groups that you can and even write to your local MP with your concerns. And fight your corner for anything you can get, everyone else is!

    With kind regards, Kyle.

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