functioning labels used below
I spend a lot of time crossing my fingers that my words won’t be misunderstood so that the truth behind them can be actualised within the lives of those who resonate with them.
‘Functioning at our best’ and ‘a brain that can function at its best’ however are phrases I use that require more than crossed fingers.
These need a proper explanation.
Because to confuse these words with functioning labels would be dire.
Functioning labels are misleading, discriminatory, a reflection of outdated practice and lead to support needs either being wrongly pathologised or unsupported and ignored.
This will not do.
Functioning labels must not be used.
When we describe someone by the way we perceive them to function we perpetuate the mistruth that capacity can be defined.
Describing non-speaking people with complex support needs as ‘low functioning’ denotes their competence, intelligence, ability to thrive and the validity that they are whole, and enough.
And identifying those of us with academic inclinations and so-called acceptable social interests as high functioning denotes our pain, disability and trauma, not to mention the existence of masking and fawning.
Functioning labels are harmful and must be removed from the diagnostic standards and social rhetoric.
The word ‘function’, however, has a place.
In its literal context, it’s ‘an activity that is natural to, or the purpose of, a person or thing’.
And our brain does function!
Right now my hand is functioning as I scribble these words onto my notebook, my lungs are functioning as I take deep breaths in between each sentence and my brain is functioning in a state of flow as these words pour from me with an urgent need to be written and seen.
When I speak of a brain that can function at its best’ I refer to exactly *literally* that.
A brain functioning at IT’S best! Whatever that best is, for that person, in that moment in time.
I aim to support myself and those who seek my work to experience their own sense of flow, of regulation, of creativity, of joy – and this functionality is equally as valid and achievable for every single person – no matter their neurotype, complexity of support needs or co-occurring conditions.
I boldly stand for braincare. For supporting our brain to function at its (ever-changing) best, in however that looks, feels or fluctuates.
And I categorically oppose these use of functioning labels.
To seek self-actualisation is a beautiful thing. To judge, compare limit and invalidate is discrimination.
We deserve better than that, and so do our children.
The next Round of Brains = Behaviours will start in March 2021, find out more or register your interest here https://www.allisondavies.com.au/behaviours/