Changing the Language
In a recent blog I got a reply from concerned advocate of autism. It stated that we need to “change the language ” of how we talk about autism. This really made me think of how I was using or stating specific terms. I used the word (debilitating) and after reviewing the definition, I felt the word was used out of context and changed my statement. Debilitate means (verb) to make weak or feeble; enfeeble: In no way would I ever state that a child with autism is weak or feeble. I have a son with autism and he does not represent any of the latter. I will change my language in efforts to promote that our kids are “unique achievers” and “forward thinkers.” These are two of the words that I feel needs to be apart of changing the language. This platform needs a voice and I will do my part to promote the awareness of the language we use. There are many of us still learning about autism, so I feel that semantics may promote the wrong use of a particular word or phrase. The next few lines is from the person that inspired this blog post:
You write, :… debilitating disability (autismspeaks.org). …”
May I suggest alternative insight about just what autism is — though it’s different for everyone who is autistic, isn’t it?
Hence the image of a “spectrum”, though I think of the spectrum as multi dimensional, and only half of it is “disability” compared to “normal”, with the other half being super-ability compared to “normal”.
This came in my email yesterday:
[ From Grief To Relief: Change The Autism Lexicon ]
“… Susan Walton, author of Coloring Outside Autism’s Lines, was told she should mourn her son’s autism diagnosis — to “grieve for the loss of the child [she] dreamed of having.”
While a diagnosis can come with unique challenges, there’s no reason to imply a parent has “lost” a child.
Children with autism possess extraordinary talents, aspirations and potential — they should be celebrated.
Children with autism aren’t a loss — negative, hurtful descriptions like this demean who they are as human beings.
Help change the way we talk about autism and pledge to be conscious of the language you use today. …” Peter Blaise.
I really appreciate the concern from Peter and I hope we can work together to inspire the world to change their language. It is important to read and do research before we speak about autism or any other disorder. Thanks to Peter I have changed my language and hope we all do the same. Till next time, #learningforlife
Sincerely, Eric T. Wright
Eric T Wright Foundation