Recently I engaged in a study about language around Autistic experience and it made me feel so emotional.
When asked about words I really disliked, I replied:
These words are disgusting! They make us Autistic people out to be problematic, weird and unsupportable. And these words are consistently seen in research and services which are supposed to help us. They are based around neurotypical assumptions that the neuro-majority is right and therefore know more about our experiences and the way we should be more than do we.
The diagnosis procedure is based around things we are seen as being shit at, it’s demoralising and inhuman. When we do get a diagnosis we are only ever helped if we are ‘severe / level 3’ and even that comes after tons of hoop-jumping.
All this pathologising language does is create further social and medical barriers to us Autistic folk.
Autism and ADHD are often wrongly labelled as Mental Health issues. They’re not and this totally erases how many of us have co-occurring mental health issues because of how poorly the World treats us.