Preference of the terms "Autistic" or "Person with Autism"?

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Do you prefer the term "autistic" or "person with autism"?
I prefer "autistic" 64%  64%  [ 36 ]
I prefer "person with autism" 4%  4%  [ 2 ]
I prefer neither "autistic" nor "person with autism" 4%  4%  [ 2 ]
I am indifferent (Either/both is/are acceptable) 29%  29%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 56

Sciency_Owen
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07 May 2022, 9:45 am

I have recently been communicating with my father about what is the preferred terminology by the majority of the autism community, particularly from other autistic individuals, and whether the more preferred term is "autistic" or "person with autism". I was just hoping that I could use a forum topic to gather sufficient quantities of people's personal preferences so that we can come to a conclusion on what autistic people's personal preference for a term referring to an autistic person actually is. For reference I consider the term "autistic" to be the favoured term, as it is more efficient to say (1 word vs. 3 words), and helps describe who I am, as a specific subcategory of human (if one is categorising humans by neurotype), whilst my father is under the impression that the politically correct term (from a neurotypical mindset) is "person with autism". He himself has ADHD and possibly autism, whilst I have been diagnosed with autism, and so I am not assuming there is any one correct term to refer to autistic people, but just want to collect information on what is the predominantly favoured term, so that we can settle our dispute, as it is a recurring dispute.

Note: If you prefer neither term, I am also curious as to what other words exist for conveying the same information that you instead prefer?



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07 May 2022, 12:04 pm

This is a potentially complicated discussion. Besides personal preference I think things could vary due to personal backgrounds and severity of symptoms. (I'm guessing someone with mild symptoms might be more comfortable with casual terminology.)

And there are other choices, "Autistic Person", "Autie", and "Autist" come to mind. And for folk with mild symptoms, also "Aspie" and "High Functioning Autistic".

I suppose I think the correct answer varies based upon what the individual prefers.

But, really, first choice should maybe be their name. :wink:


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Sciency_Owen
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07 May 2022, 12:58 pm

Double Retired wrote:
This is a potentially complicated discussion. Besides personal preference I think things could vary due to personal backgrounds and severity of symptoms. (I'm guessing someone with mild symptoms might be more comfortable with casual terminology.)

And there are other choices, "Autistic Person", "Autie", and "Autist" come to mind. And for folk with mild symptoms, also "Aspie" and "High Functioning Autistic".

I suppose I think the correct answer varies based upon what the individual prefers.

But, really, first choice should maybe be their name. :wink:

"Autistic Person" is what I mean by the term "Autistic", as it is one option other than "Person with Autism", (but it should be noted that it can also be used as a word on its own as a noun).

I do agree with you that the choice may vary on personal perspective, which is why I made this poll forum page in the first place, so I can find out about other people's personal preferences.

Information on the other choices, such as "Autie" and "Autist" are helpful, as I thought these may have just been typos in previous literature/media that I have been exposed to.

Thank you for your input however.



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07 May 2022, 1:46 pm

I think "Autistic" and "Autistic Person" are both viable candidates.

I'll admit that when I think about it, I'm not too crazy about "Person with Autism". To me that sounds like Autism is some kind of viral infection. But, other folk might like the term.


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naturalplastic
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07 May 2022, 2:40 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I think "Autistic" and "Autistic Person" are both viable candidates.

I'll admit that when I think about it, I'm not too crazy about "Person with Autism". To me that sounds like Autism is some kind of viral infection. But, other folk might like the term.


Youre missing the point. What he is asking about is an issue known as "person first language". Some make a cause out advocating person first language in autism. Some on this site were passionate about it some years ago.

Some feel strongly that you should refer to the person as "a person with autism" and not as "an autistic" because the latter is labeling them by the diagnosis, and dehumanizes them and so forth. And that it makes a difference - and is better- to say it "person first" to show that they are "a person how happens to have the condition". That the condition is not their whole identity. Some on WP years strong advocated that.

So if you buy into that then "autistic person" is just the same thing as "an autistic". Has the same disadvantage, AND its longer to say on top of that.

I dont advocate person first myself. I think that its silly. I am an aspie. Or I am level one autistic, or whatver. Fine with me. Someone describing me as "a person with aspergers" ? Kinda like saying "I am a person with maleness", or "I am a person with Americanness". Silly. And like you said "a person with autism" sounds like youre supposed to avoid them because their autism might be contagious. Lol!



Sciency_Owen
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07 May 2022, 7:20 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I think "Autistic" and "Autistic Person" are both viable candidates.

I'll admit that when I think about it, I'm not too crazy about "Person with Autism". To me that sounds like Autism is some kind of viral infection. But, other folk might like the term.

I definitely agree there, that would be my main objection to the term itself as well.



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07 May 2022, 7:30 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Double Retired wrote:
I think "Autistic" and "Autistic Person" are both viable candidates.

I'll admit that when I think about it, I'm not too crazy about "Person with Autism". To me that sounds like Autism is some kind of viral infection. But, other folk might like the term.


Youre missing the point. What he is asking about is an issue known as "person first language". Some make a cause out advocating person first language in autism. Some on this site were passionate about it some years ago.

Some feel strongly that you should refer to the person as "a person with autism" and not as "an autistic" because the latter is labeling them by the diagnosis, and dehumanizes them and so forth. And that it makes a difference - and is better- to say it "person first" to show that they are "a person how happens to have the condition". That the condition is not their whole identity. Some on WP years strong advocated that.

So if you buy into that then "autistic person" is just the same thing as "an autistic". Has the same disadvantage, AND its longer to say on top of that.

I dont advocate person first myself. I think that its silly. I am an aspie. Or I am level one autistic, or whatver. Fine with me. Someone describing me as "a person with aspergers" ? Kinda like saying "I am a person with maleness", or "I am a person with Americanness". Silly. And like you said "a person with autism" sounds like youre supposed to avoid them because their autism might be contagious. Lol!

Can you elaborate on the dehumanisation that occurs when some iteration of the term "autistic" is used? I only ask, as to me, it seems to be a way of categorising people, in the same way you may categorise people by hair colour ie. that is a blond/blond person, that is a brunette/brunette person etc... So that means you could say "my friend X, is an autistic/autistic person" or "I am an autistic/autistic person. I can also say that I myself have not experienced dehumanisation by myself being referred to as autistic, and that the only dehumanisation that actually occurs comes from stigma around autism itself, not labels.



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07 May 2022, 7:32 pm

When speaking about myself I'll use autistic.
When I'm speaking about others on the spectrum whichever version happens to fall out of my brain at the time is the one which gets used.


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07 May 2022, 8:51 pm

I prefer "Autistic". As it says in my signature Autism is a part of who I am, unlike cancer which invaded me seven years ago. The few surveys I have seen of people on the spectrum have concluded that vast majority of us prefer autistic.

When I was first diagnosed and joined WP the media and autism professionals almost unanimously used "person with autism". Now use is interchangeable.


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07 May 2022, 9:29 pm

I'm autistic -- ​I disregard whatever functioning levels I currently have and is related to the core of who I'm as a person; how I feel, think, perceive and process differently.

I have autism -- my functioning level matters please be easy on me and it's about what I can and cannot do so be mindful about it.


I care not anymore.
The cause of inconsistency over my functioning, expression and processing isn't even related to autism, but autism reads that inconsistency in it's own lens.


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07 May 2022, 9:32 pm

Sciency_Owen wrote:
Can you elaborate on the dehumanisation that occurs when some iteration of the term "autistic" is used? I only ask, as to me, it seems to be a way of categorising people, in the same way you may categorise people by hair colour ie. that is a blond/blond person, that is a brunette/brunette person etc... So that means you could say "my friend X, is an autistic/autistic person" or "I am an autistic/autistic person. I can also say that I myself have not experienced dehumanisation by myself being referred to as autistic, and that the only dehumanisation that actually occurs comes from stigma around autism itself, not labels.
My brother is a Lefty. My sister is a blonde and her son is a red-head. Oops. Have I just dehumanized them?


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naturalplastic
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07 May 2022, 9:53 pm

Sciency_Owen wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Double Retired wrote:
I think "Autistic" and "Autistic Person" are both viable candidates.

I'll admit that when I think about it, I'm not too crazy about "Person with Autism". To me that sounds like Autism is some kind of viral infection. But, other folk might like the term.


Youre missing the point. What he is asking about is an issue known as "person first language". Some make a cause out advocating person first language in autism. Some on this site were passionate about it some years ago.

Some feel strongly that you should refer to the person as "a person with autism" and not as "an autistic" because the latter is labeling them by the diagnosis, and dehumanizes them and so forth. And that it makes a difference - and is better- to say it "person first" to show that they are "a person how happens to have the condition". That the condition is not their whole identity. Some on WP years strong advocated that.

So if you buy into that then "autistic person" is just the same thing as "an autistic". Has the same disadvantage, AND its longer to say on top of that.

I dont advocate person first myself. I think that its silly. I am an aspie. Or I am level one autistic, or whatver. Fine with me. Someone describing me as "a person with aspergers" ? Kinda like saying "I am a person with maleness", or "I am a person with Americanness". Silly. And like you said "a person with autism" sounds like youre supposed to avoid them because their autism might be contagious. Lol!

Can you elaborate on the dehumanisation that occurs when some iteration of the term "autistic" is used? I only ask, as to me, it seems to be a way of categorising people, in the same way you may categorise people by hair colour ie. that is a blond/blond person, that is a brunette/brunette person etc... So that means you could say "my friend X, is an autistic/autistic person" or "I am an autistic/autistic person. I can also say that I myself have not experienced dehumanisation by myself being referred to as autistic, and that the only dehumanisation that actually occurs comes from stigma around autism itself, not labels.


I thought that YOU were the one bringing that up! Lol! Because of the title of your thread. But apparantly youre not aware of the contraversy.

I am not one of the people who advocates "person first speech". You would have to ask someone who does advocate it. But as I understand it the thinking is that in school or at the work place you dont say "he is autistic" or "he is an autistic" because that makes the condition the person's whole identity, the first thing about them, and molds how you and the person youre speaking to thinks of the person. in contrast saying "he is a person with autism" is supposedly better because youre implying that ...this person is ....a whole person... who just happens to have autism as one of their many unique characteristics (as opposed to making autism their whole identity).

I think that its well meaning, but silly.

But years ago a young lady on WP was passionate about prefering "person first". And a certain high profile gentleman on the site, who claimed to hate "political correctness" and folks being "sensitive", ALSO was for person first speech (which is a form of PC, but he liked it because...he was sensitive about his autism. Lol!).



Last edited by naturalplastic on 07 May 2022, 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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07 May 2022, 10:05 pm

I have Autism
I have Schizophrenia
I have Trigeminal Neuralgia
and so on

I have things. They're things on top of me, my person. They're part of me, but they only explain things about me within the context of the signs and symptoms of each.



naturalplastic
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07 May 2022, 10:11 pm

Double Retired wrote:
Sciency_Owen wrote:
Can you elaborate on the dehumanisation that occurs when some iteration of the term "autistic" is used? I only ask, as to me, it seems to be a way of categorising people, in the same way you may categorise people by hair colour ie. that is a blond/blond person, that is a brunette/brunette person etc... So that means you could say "my friend X, is an autistic/autistic person" or "I am an autistic/autistic person. I can also say that I myself have not experienced dehumanisation by myself being referred to as autistic, and that the only dehumanisation that actually occurs comes from stigma around autism itself, not labels.
My brother is a Lefty. My sister is a blonde and her son is a red-head. Oops. Have I just dehumanized them?


GASP!

You just called your own nephew a "red head"?

At least you didnt use...the G-word!



naturalplastic
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07 May 2022, 10:13 pm

Dillogic wrote:
I have Autism
I have Schizophrenia
I have Trigeminal Neuralgia
and so on

I have things. They're things on top of me, my person. They're part of me, but they only explain things about me within the context of the signs and symptoms of each.


So are you saying that it makes a difference. And that you prefer "person first"?

Or, are you saying that it doesnt make a difference, and that person first speech doesnt matter?



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07 May 2022, 10:22 pm

Autistic. PWA is way too long winded and a bit silly.
I mean - I am also old, but don't describe myself as a PWO.

I've only told a couple of people in the last few years of my dx, and have used "autistic" both times.
And once it is established, I fall back to my preferred word which is "aspie"