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Is your child Autistic or do they have Autism?


Forum: Children with Developmental Delays and Disorders

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  #1  
January 3rd, 2008, 01:34 AM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I read an interesting piece tonight, written by an autistic, Jim Sinclair.

It starts: I am not a "person with autism." I am an autistic person. Why does this distinction matter to me?

The whole piece is here: http://web.syr.edu/%7Ejisincla/person_first.htm
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  #2  
January 3rd, 2008, 09:56 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,323
This caught my eye on the main message board site. I'm an SLP and in my profession (and most others), we refer to individuals as individuals or persons with autism. The theory behind that is that the person is a person first and is not defined by his/her disorder. We do the same thing with other disabilities (at least in our field). For example, I would say "a person who stutters" and not "a stutterer." It is interesting with autism spectrum disorders though. Individuals with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (e.g., Asperger's) are embracing the disorder and are stating that it cannot be separated from them and that it is part of their identity. Therefore, they refer to themselves as autistics, etc. It is an interesting issue given that many professionals have been taught specifically not to define a person by their disorder.
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  #3  
January 3rd, 2008, 12:07 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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I have seen/read different takes on this from people with autism/autistics themselves. I watched a show where a boy was stressing that he was a boy with autism, NOT just an autistic boy, that autism didn't define him - a completely different perspective form the piece that I posted above. I use both interchangeably, and I think I will continue to and just wait and see what my son feels about it when he is older. If he prefers one term to the other then that is what I will go with.
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Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

Looking for fun lunch ideas for kids? Check out my blog: BentOnBetterLunches!
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  #4  
January 3rd, 2008, 04:11 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,160
I tend to use both, from what I gather some people like one and some like the other. It's a bit like the chicken and the egg, my son's autism makes him who he is, take it away and he would be a different person. Does that make his autism a bad thing or is it just part of him?
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  #5  
January 3rd, 2008, 10:55 PM
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I guess maybe it depends on how you think they came about to be autistic... Many people say their child was normal until they got their vaccine, that their child changed at that point, and some believe that that the old child is still locked in there somewhere and with the right treatment they can get them back. I am not disagreeing with this view just saying that for some people, they might prefer to separate their child from the autism. In our case, Gus has always been different, I cannot recall a catalyst, nor him being any other way, so maybe it is easier for me to accept him as he is, since I can't separate him from the autism, that is who he is to me. If I had memories of him at 2 laughing and speaking and acting normal and then suddenly changing I might be singing a different song, kwim?
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Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

Looking for fun lunch ideas for kids? Check out my blog: BentOnBetterLunches!
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  #6  
January 4th, 2008, 12:23 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,160
I know what you mean. Our first son experienced severe birth trauma and was always a bit different however it wasn't until the immunisations at 18 months that he suddenly lost the ability to speak. It didn't click for me however until my second son who was developing totally normally also suddenly lost the ability to speak after the same shots. My third son is actually 18 months old today and has never received a single shot and is developing perfectly, no losses at all yet so I'm becoming quite confident that we made the right decision not to immunise this time round.
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