Such a wonderful post. Extremely well-thought-out. Touches on so many important points. I hope that the right people actually read it.
To the father who writes on his blog “my son is affected by autism.”
To the professional who tweets “ . . . families affected by autism.”
To the mother who declares at a social gathering her child is “not defined by Aspergers.”
By now, you are likely well aware of person-first terminology, such as “person with autism” or “person with Aspergers, “ and identity-first terminology, such as “autistic person.” The terms are used interchangeably in the autism community, dependent upon personal preference. Sometimes the terminology is altered when addressing a wider audience, as you will note in this post.
What you might not be aware of is that autistics have been discriminated against historically, first institutionalized for being perceived as feeble-minded and out-of-the-norm, and later stereotyped by the mainstream media as individuals that are incapable of empathy, imagination, relationships, compassion, and the like. We have been told what we are…
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