Talking about Autism: The Top 5 Language Mistakes You’re Making
Without meaning to, parents, family, and teachers can contribute to an autistic child’s poor self-image by the language choices they use when talking about autism. Most autism language paints a scary semantic picture. Consider the following phrases/sentences commonly used when talking about autism:
- A child trapped inside an autistic body
- Autism stole my child
- Autism took my child hostage
- Autistic people are puzzles
- We have to break through autism’s barriers
- We need to fight autism
Many people on the spectrum (especially those less affected*), condemn talking about autism in this way and assert that this language can contribute to lower self-confidence and self-esteem. On the other hand, promoting autism advocacy and acceptance can positively influence an autistic child’s perception of self-worth. Fortunately, there are some very simple language changes to help ensure you have a positive foundational vocabulary to use when talking about autism with or around your child. Adopting some very specific language changes can make a big difference in how your child views autism.
“The Top 5 Language Mistakes You (Or Your Friends and Family) are Making When Talking about Autism” teaches more inclusive ways of talking about autism. In this free article download, you will receive:
- 5 damaging (but incredibly common) expressions family and friends use when talking about autism.
- Alternative, positive ways to discuss each of these 5 sentiments.
- Ideas for how to respectfully respond to someone else using one of these expressions when talking about autism and your child.
*It is important to note that although the autism self-advocacy movement is primarily fueled by verbal autistics with the ability to self-advocate, there are other nonverbal autistics who are more severely affected and also advocate for autism acceptance and condemn the negative language used by many people when talking about autism.
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