This is a REALLY, REALLY good read on why I tend to lash out at people who insist on using the “spectrum” as a linear way to classify autistic people. Nope. Doesn’t work that way. And this does a pretty solid job explaining why.
“If I tell people that I have two autistic brothers, I often get asked some variation of the same question: ‘Where are they on the spectrum?’ There are better and worse ways that people ask. ‘How bad are they?’ is a worse way. So is any form of asking whether they’re ‘high-functioning or low-functioning.’
‘How much support do they need?’ is much better. But no matter how the question is asked, it is always really hard to answer. My brothers’ behaviors have changed drastically over time. I don’t feel like I know enough other autistic people to compare them on a line. And I don’t even know what that line would measure.”