Autism vs. Autistic…There’s a Difference August 27, 2008Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Health.
Tags: Autism, Autistic, Children, Family, Health, Labels, Parenting
I have a son with autism. I do not have an autistic son.
Time to air one of my pet peeves. I hate the word “autistic”–not that I love “autism”, mind you–but there really is a difference between the two terms…
One is a label. The other is a trait.
To say you have an “autistic daughter” implies that that is all she is–autistic. That she is defined only by her autism. But, isn’t she really much more than that? Of course she is.
However, if you say you have a “son with autism”, you don’t allow the disability to define the child. Autism becomes a trait, like hair or eye color. Just one of the many traits that make up the whole child. The whole wonderful, challenging, beautiful, challenging, loving, challenging child. (Did I mention challenging?)
Seriously though, how people will respond to your child may be influenced by the words you use to describe his place on the spectrum. So, choose carefully.
I have a son with autism, twinkling green eyes, long brown hair, the cutest smile, an infectious laugh, and an apparent lifelong obsession for the freakin Wiggles. Not an autistic son.
See the difference?