Why We All Need to Stop Referring to People With Autism as 'High Functioning' Mike McRae My son explained to me this morning why the ground gets frosty in winter. He did a good job, too. Once, he might have been described as being on the 'high functioning' end of the autism spectrum. Our language has changed since his diagnosis at age three, and I have no doubt it will continue to do so into the future. Now, a new study shows why it's important we all stop using the term 'high functioning autism'. Read more about Why We All Need to Stop Referring to People With Autism as 'High Functioning'