Edited: 2022. I’ve done an about face on person-first language when it comes to autism. Almost all autistic adults I’ve encountered prefer being termed autistic.
Look on the bright side!
Why fight it if you’re not going to win?
Why, indeed? I just picked a fight with an Autistic dude. If you’re in the know on Person First Language, you might chastise me. Dude with Autism you’d say. My way assigns a label, takes away his identity. My way, he’s simply Autistic. We’re supposed to recognize the person first.
The dude, he took issue with Person First Language. He’s the one who called himself Autistic. He says “Person with Autism” makes it sound like a disease. He says Autism is what makes him Him. Without Autism, he’s just another schlub.
He’s got mild case. He thinks it makes him quirky, gives him an excuse to be a little odd. License to wear colorful Converse sneakers and read comic books. He thinks Autism is a gift, something to celebrate. He says if that’s a disease, I want that sickness!
Jesus Jeff, fight your own battles. You don’t even have Autism.
I compared his perspective to my Tourette Syndrome. I’m sure there are people, afflicted, who think T.S. is great, just fun and games. When I disclose, people tell me Own it. Look on the bright side. You can say whatever you want.
Tourette Syndrome is what makes me Me. Part of me anyway. The part I loathe.
The Autistic dude calls himself an advocate. But he’s only advocating for himself. He chooses not to see the people living in pain.
Somehow, this seems like my battle to fight.