Reclaiming the word "autistic."
May 12, 2021
A great beginning point when becoming a friend and ally to the autistic community is to use the term "autistic" rather than ASD.
I see the abbreviation ASD and my skin crawls.
Autism Spectrum Disorder.
"My ASD kiddo" equates to "My autism spectrum disorder kid".
"I am ASD" equates to "I am autism spectrum disorder".
Folks, I am autistic. I am not a medical disorder.
We need to do away with the disorder tag; along with "condition" or "syndrome".
Yep, medical terminology says so, so do the textbooks.
And let's do away with it.
It pathologises a human being and others them.
It tells me I'm not okay.
I'm just an everyday, garden variety autistic person.
I'm not severely autistic or mildly autistic, I'm just autistic.
I'm not on a spectrum. This is also reductive.
I'm autistic. I have autistic neurobiology.
I think, do and be, differently.
Autism is my identity and culture.
I have cultivated a lifestyle that is aligned with my needs so I am able to thrive.
I am disabled when expected to live in alignment with non-autistic, neuronormative ways.
Please be mindful of this when writing and speaking about autism, not just in autistic led spaces such as this one; but everywhere, with everyone.
"Autistic" while used as a slur, is what I am.
I reclaim the word "autistic" with a positive autistic identity.
We are reframing neurodivergence.