Statement on language and participatory research
We recognise that there are differing perspectives and preferences of individuals in the autism community when it comes to autism identity language.
Our research shows that many people with lived experience of autism prefer the use of identity-first rather than person-first language (Bury et al., 2020; Kenny et al., 2016). We do also acknowledge that some people with a diagnosis of autism prefer person-first language. Where it is practical, we use each individual’s preferred language.
For more detail on OTARC research into language preferences, see Dr Simon Bury’s 2020 paper summary.
In communications intended for a general audience, OTARC will avoid:
- the use of ‘disorder’ and ‘condition’
- using ‘deficits’ when describing characteristics and traits associated with autism.
As of June 2022, OTARC is planning its participatory research processes and policies. The planning will include:
- consultation with autistic people/people on the autism spectrum who are involved with OTARC in a formal capacity
- consultation with the families of autistic people/people on the autism spectrum who have engaged with OTARC’s research or events
- benchmarking with other autism organisations that have already developed position statements on this topic.
Examples of Language
- Autistic person
- Person with autism
- Person on the autism spectrum