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 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 it is easier to find verbal autistics in support of neurodiversity, 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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