Language Use

We are aware that, within the autism community, there are different views about what language should be used to describe autism. For example, some people prefer person-first language (e.g., child with autism), while identity-first language (e.g., autistic child) is preferred by others.

An even wider variety of preferences is reported in this study by Kenny and colleagues (2015). A thoughtful response to Kenny’s study can be found here.

Since there is no universally accepted way of describing autism, we will use both person-first and identity-first language on this website. In our published work, our terms might be different again, reflecting the editorial demands of a particular journal. We welcome feedback – positive and negative – on our language use in whatever domain.