So there’s been this long-standing debate in the autism community about whether to refer to people who have been diagnosed with autism as “having autism” or “being autistic”, that’s nothing new.
Of course, it’s up to the individual to decide what terminology works best for them. It’s also expected that this choice be respected by other people.
With all that in mind, I’ve taken to referring, both in relation to myself and in general conversation about autism, as being “on the spectrum”.
- Gets the point across that autism is multi-faceted immediately and effectively
- Leaves room for the individual to decide how much their autism defines them and how much of a presence it has in their lives
- Opens the way for further discussion and makes the listener more inclined to view you as a unique person with a personal relationship with autism
- Experience-neutral, doesn’t assume anything about the inherent good or badness of autism.
- Sounds nice
I don’t know if this is particularly new, but this is just some of my thoughts. If anyone gets some use out of this, hooray!