Friday, May 7, 2021

Autism Language: Person-first or Identity-first?

Perhaps this is the point of the debate… we should ask individuals on the spectrum what they want. When it comes to children, parents are often in the best position to find out about their language preferences—when they reach the necessary understanding concerning person- and identity-first language. In this regard, parents can help children (who are interested and able to understand the debate) see the reasoning behind both language choices.

Because, believe it or not, the reasoning behind person-first language was not to offend anyone, it was actually intended to show respect and build self-esteem. So how did the use of person-first language become so contentious?

The good intentions behind people-first (or person-first) terminology merit investigation, and so does the reasoning behind a shift in preference to identity-first language by many in the autism, blind and Deaf communities.

Read more here.