Autism A-Z: P is for Person First

So Much Stranger, So Much Darker, So Much Madder, So Much Better

This post is part of a series for Autism Acceptance Month in which I will be exploring various ideas and subjects relating to autism and being autistic.

Most people, when first learning about autism, are taught that you must always use person-first language, i.e. Sabrina is a person with autism. However, while this language is frequently touted as the most respectful way of talking about autism, most autistic people actually prefer identity-first language, i.e. Sabrina is autistic. Today we are going to explore why identity-first language is the best way to refer to autistic people.

The main argument for using person-first language is that you need to put the person first to emphasize that autistic people are people first and autistic second. However, much of the autistic community finds this logic troubling. People should not need to manipulate language to remember that we are people. The verbal gymnastics people go…

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