Tuesday, August 7, 2012

People First Disabilities Last

Ever hear of People First Language?

I do link to articles on occasion that refer to "autistic people".  But I try to abide with People First language in my own blog writing.

Bil is a person with autism.  He is not autistic.  Autism is just one aspect of who he is.  Granted, it is an important aspect.

But it is still one aspect of a man who loves to read horror novels, loves to follow his New York Mets, and worries about the weather where his brothers live.

A North Carolina website gives a nice explanation of People First language.

So why do I mention this?

I'm still finding a number of otherwise worthwhile articles who describe people with autism as "autistic".  Well, at one time people were also "confined to wheelchairs", were "mentally retarded" and were "blind as bats". The language was a symptom of beliefs that these individuals were not worth the time and trouble to provide them with services and supports that allowed them to flourish to the best of their ability.

Thankfully, state statutes, more and more, are shedding this "person is the disability" language.

But People First isn't always a good thing, as I will blog about in the near future.

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