Gold letter A with a rainbow over it

Autism‐Related Language Preferences of English‐Speaking Individuals Across the Globe

This brand new open access research confirms broad autistic community preference for identity-first language and the words “autism”, “autistic”, and “neurodivergent”.

…autistic people’s language preferences often result from deep reflection on discrimination, ableism, and their identity.

…the term that was endorsed by the highest proportion of the participants was ‘Autistic person’ 79.5%, followed by ‘Neurodivergent person’ 70.0% and ‘Autistic’ 67.4%

…‘Is autistic’ was endorsed by the highest percentage of participants 85.0%, followed by ‘Is neurodivergent’ 68.8%

A multitude of participants critiqued person-first language, noting that autism is not ‘an accessory’, ‘possession’, or ‘add-on’. Instead, participants supported the use of identity-first language which reflected the elemental and indelible role that autism played in their identity.

Participants further disliked person-first language as it tapped into eliminationist and ableist positions on autism.

Autism‐related language preferences of English‐speaking individuals across the globe: A mixed methods investigation – Keating – Autism Research – Wiley Online Library


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