Language Use in the Autism Community

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).

See here for a thoughtful response to Kenny’s study.

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.