Quietly Creeping

8 notes



I have been really struggling with whether to continue using “person with autism” or switch back to “autistic” when speaking and writing. I have been adamant about person-first language for a long time, but I don’t think that this is my decision to make — as I do not have autism. Adults with autism, for the most part, are extremely certain that they would like to be referred to as autistic. They say that this is not an illness or am extra limb that is to be removed, but an intricate aspect of who they are. It is neurodiversity, and it is not to be eliminated or cured. I agree. Our world is better off WITH people with autism. Yet, I do not want to disrespect or appear ignorant to those who do not know necessarily that this is a conscious choice to use the words that individuals themselves have asked me to use. What would you do?

I would suggest that it’s more important to be respectful to autistic people’s thoughts on how we want to identify than it is to have people think you might be wrong. You can always explain if someone questions it.

Although it’s important never to refer to someone as autistic if they do prefer person first language, if someone says they are a person with autism then they are a person with autism.