February 7, 2017
Goodness! It’s been 5 years since I updated my update. The world has evolved since then, and language and acceptance have progressed.
When I started (and named) this blog, the Asperger’s label was all the rage, and I proudly used it. I am still proud to be Aspergerian, since it was Hans Asperger who first wrote of autism as we now think of it. But I don’t use that label much anymore; I prefer to call myself autistic.
I have long thought of myself as autistic, but 10 years ago, when I was new to my understanding, I realized that saying “Asperger syndrome” was much less stigmatizing than saying “I am autistic.” In fact, when I would mention in talks that I am proud to be autistic, that statement would generate murmurs and sometimes laughter. One person confided that she thought I was saying that for the dramatic effect, just to shock people. That was not true; I really wanted people to see that Asperger’s and autism are one and the same thing.
Today, most autistic adults call themselves that, although the old person-first language still persists in the neurotypical vocabulary, especially among those who have been involved in the autism community for a long time. They shudder when I say “autistic people” just as much as I cringe when I hear “people with autism.”
I’ve written a lot about “The Language of Autism” and have influenced some of the organizations I’m involved with to adopt suggestions to avoid medical concepts of autism, such a avoiding the use of the word “disorder” in connection with autism.
I’ve not yet shared this writing here on my blog because I’m aware that it is a huge topic, and I’ve only scratched the surface, but I am coming to the conclusion that I should share my thoughts, incomplete as they might be, so that I can get some feedback.
And thanks to everyone who has left comments here, on my Facebook page, or shared via email.
Update as of January 20, 2012 (the comment below was posted December 1, 2010):
Well, I’ve made some progress. At least I have a few posts out there! Not as much as I’d like, and I have trouble keeping up with the constantly changing landscape here at WordPress. Things that used to work no longer do, and new features are added. I’ll keep at it, and maybe this will be the year I fulfill my promise!
For a somewhat dated, though still accurate bio, see this post.
I’m quite new at this WordPress thing, so am just trying out options. Bear with me till I figure stuff out, then I will be a posting/blogging maniac.