I have just read this & realised there is no better way of expressing this important message.
What you call us matters. Please choose your words mindfully.
There seems to be a persistent tendency for people to use “person-first” references to autistic people.
That’s unfortunate. I’m sure the intention is to affirm the humanity of the person (separate from the disorder/condition), which I suppose is noble in its own way.
But what it really does is make us autistic folks out to be “suffering” from something that — if only it were eradicated and removed from us — would restore us to wholeness. Make us just like everyone else.
I’ll spare you my rant about that. Let me use another means to illustrate how person-first autism language makes me feel, as someone who considers autism my default mode, and who would be made less-whole, not more, if “it” were removed from my self.
Identity is a tricky business. We all have our perceptions of ourselves, our understandings…
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