Language – Person with autism vs. autistic person

March 22, 2017

It can sometimes be confusing to know how to refer to someone with autism.

Generally speaking, disability advocacy organizations (like Autism New Jersey) prefer the use of “person-first” language since it puts the focus on the person and not his or her disability. Many self-advocates and their allies, however, prefer “autistic” or “autistic person,” since they see autism as an essential part of their identity.

A great rule of thumb is to always speak to and about someone respectfully. Here’s a great post that gets to the root of the issue.

Identity-First Language
ASAN – Autistic Self Advocacy Network
By Lydia Brown

(The post was originally posted on the blog “Autistic Hoya” under the title “The Significance of Semantics: Person-First Language: Why It Matters”)