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Having autism or being autistic?



I'll be honest right away, personally it doesn't matter much to me whether someone is talking about someone with autism or an autistic person. However, I wanted to go a little deeper into it. Because although people will often mean the same thing, you can define both quite differently.


On my blog you will notice that I will mainly talk about autistic people and not about someone with autism. This is a conscious decision. I believe that autism is an essential part of who someone is. You could see it as a feature. Without that quality, you are not the same person. You would experience the world differently, react to it differently and think differently. In short, you would be someone else.


Furthermore, I think that the moment one speaks of someone “with autism”, that suggests (even if subconsciously) that that same person could also be “without autism”. In my experience, that makes it sound like something you can get rid of or like a disease that needs/can be cured. This is not the case. Autism is something you are born with and something you will keep with you for the rest of your life. As I said before, it's a part of someone. Someone who is left-handed can learn to write with their right hand, but that person is still left-handed. Likewise, someone who is autistic can learn to cope in a world set up for neurotypical people but will always be autistic.


Likewise, someone who is autistic can learn to cope in a world set up for neurotypical people but will always be autistic.

Another reason for choosing to speak about an autistic person rather than a person with autism is that research has shown that using IFL (identity first language) can contribute to self-acceptance. Even if you look at the rest of the English language, this feels more natural. You speak of a creative person rather than a person with creativity. (Wevers, 2020)


You speak of a creative person rather than a person with creativity.

That was it for today. Do let me know how you think about all this. Would you rather speak about an autistic person of a person with autism, and why? For now, goodluck with the next steps on your bridge and I wish you all the happiness and an amazing rest of your day.

❤ Eva


Bronnen

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