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Autistic Person or Person With Autism?

Updated: Aug 9, 2019


Do you say autistic person or do you say person with autism?

First of all let's look at the differences.

What is “Person-first Language”?

These are terms such as “person with autism".

This language is used by people who don’t consider autism to be part of an individual’s identity. They believe “Person-first Language,” emphasises that someone is a person before they’re autistic.

What is “Identity-first Language”?

These are terms such as “autistic” or “autistic person”.

This language is used by people who consider autism to be an inherent

part of an individual’s identity - similar to how someone might refer to

themselves as “Gay,” “Muslim,” or “African-American”.


What should you use?


The journal Autism asked three and a half thousand people what they preferred. It

asked parents, carers, professionals and autistic people themselves and it found

of autistic people the majority preferred terms such as autistic and it found that more professionals preferred person with autism.


Sources: Autism Journal Study On Language Preferences


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