Monday, September 28, 2015

An Autistic Person or a Person With Autism?

Stephen and Amanda Bedard
As I became more involved in autism awareness, I quickly noticed that there was some sensitivity toward phrasing. While many will talk about autistic people, the preferred wording is a person with autism. It is more politically correct.

I am not super-worried about being politically correct. If you communicate in any way, you will offend someone. Still, I tried to keep to the preferred phrase out of respect for people with autism. But I'm sure if you dig deep into my blogs, you will find references to my 'autistic children' rather than my 'children with autism.' Sometimes it just gets wordy.

Then I was diagnosed with autism.

I would hate to be introduced by my wife as her 'autistic husband' or to be described as an 'autistic author.' I am not embarrassed to have autism, but autism does not define me. Autism is just one part of who I am.

Having the diagnosis, I must confess that I now see the importance of the the right phrase. It is not about being politically correct. It is about respect.

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