Different words mean different things to different people.
We all come from different backgrounds and we all have different experiences. I want to share some of the things about language that I am personally very aware of and that I keep in mind.
I like to refer to my children as having unique or different needs. Keep in mind that I am not judging anyone else for the language they use that makes sense to them.
I don’t like to describe my children as being “autistic” because that’s not who they are. To me, they are strong individuals who possess many different and unique talents and at times, challenges.
It’s like when the term “disabled” is used. In my view, it has a negative connotation, although perhaps that’s not what is intended. Perhaps it is in some cases. I prefer to look at is as a person has different abilities. All of our abilities are not the same whether we face physical or intellectual challenges. But we all have something to offer and a person can always learn for as we know our brains neuroplasticity can change and we can learn throughout our entire lives.
Neurodiverse is the correct PC term now to use in case you were wondering. I don’t think it is helpful to define any person on what they can and cannot do and describe them this way.
This is my opinion, but as I live with two children on the spectrum, I am extremely sensitive as to how much words can hurt and how they can strip a person of their self-confidence and make them feel like they are not good enough.
So my tip for you today is to think about reframing your language, be sensitive to others and above all be kind and loving. Because don’t we all need more of this right now?