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“It Defines Who I Am” or “It’s Something I Have”: What Language Do [Autistic] Australian Adults [on the Autism Spectrum] Prefer?

journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2020, 08:43 by Simon Bury, Rachel Jellett, Jennifer Spoor, Darren Hedley
There has been a recent shift from person-first to identity-first language to describe autism. In this study, Australian adults who reported having a diagnosis of autism (N = 198) rated and ranked autism-terms for preference and offensiveness, and explained their choice in free-text. 'Autistic', 'Person on the Autism Spectrum', and 'Autistic Person' were rated most preferred and least offensive overall. Ranked-means showed 'person on the autism spectrum' was the most preferred term overall. Six qualitative themes reflected (1) autism as core to, or (2) part of one's identity, (3) 'spectrum' reflecting diversity, (4) the rejection of stigmatising and (5) medicalised language, and (6) pragmatics. These findings highlight the importance of inclusive dialogue regarding individual language preference.

History

School

  • School of Psychology and Public Health

Publication Date

28/02/2020

Journal

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Pagination

11

Publisher

Springer Nature

ISSN

0162-3257

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The Authors reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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