AutisM or AutistIC

Does the term “AUTISTIC” bug you? Should we say a child has “autisM” versus a child is “autistIC”? I was corrected when I used the term “autistic” and told I should instead say my son has “autism” or just say autism. Huh? Oh just great! Another ISM!
Perhaps “autistic” make some feel as if “autism” is contagious. “AutisIC makes autISM a thing with the ability to metastasize. That’s what “they” think…I think. I don’t think I appreciated being “corrected”.

If we say “autistic” in our conversations, do we not know we’re talking about “autism“? Maybe I missed something.
“Autism” specifies the diagnosis, while “autisic” implies characteristics of autism. I’m not aware of any empirical research that examines the effects of using autism versus autistic…and don’t care to look for any. I took two years of medical terminology and aced every course. Not that two years certifies expertship if you will, but it’s certainly the precursor to specialized know-how. I’m aware of how a suffix can alter the meaning of a procedure or function. I did well in English too…unless my instructors just pushed me through. I know autisic “pertains to” autism. Well, unless you’re a doctor or news reporter (and even they say “autistic” when covering a story/person diagnosed with “autism“)…who must absolutely get it right, lest they suffer backlash on semantics…all bets are on those of us dealing directly with the ISM of being autistic, know that semantics doesn’t draw a distinguished line between having autism or having the characteristics of being autistic. Even if you’re not dealing with autism, you know too, that the two are related. We know we are dealing with autism by any suffix. Enlighten me or um, “correct” me. Is it really that serious?

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2 Responses

  1. I say to be true to you. Say what you want to say. What feels right to you. People are going to think something is contagious no matter how it’s said. AND if those people don’t know what autism is by now then they are probably pretty ignorant to the whole thing anyway.

    This is right up there with the puzzle piece debate. If you don’t like something don’t do it but don’t push your opinions on everyone else. Ya know. We all have enough to deal with with our kids. I’d rather save my energy for that…lol.

  2. This is not worth getting upset over! My son has Aspergers and by god I will say what ever I want. You should to! You are clearly right in what you have wrote. If you say my child is Autistic ( which I hear everyday ) or my child has Autism ( which again I hear everyday ) It means the samething. It sounds to me that who ever corrected you needs a little educating and needs to think before they speak as like yourself as a parent to a child with autism I to would of gotton upset even though It is not worth stressing over.
    Good luck in everything and keep up the great blog.

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