Words and How I Use Them

Before you read some of my writing, you might want to know some of the terminology I’ll use. Please read this before trying to correct me on some terms, but if you do see that I’m still using something incorrectly, let me know 🙂

Neurodiversity: an approach to learning and disability that suggests that diverse neurological conditions appear as a result of normal variations in the human genome. […] Neurological differences should be recognized and respected as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability status (from the wikipedia page on neurodiversity).

Neurotypical: People whose brains work in basically the same way as most other people, or whose ways of thinking and processing information are considered more or less “normal” by the standards of their society. (Autistic Hoya’s definitions)

Neurodivergent: Someone who isn’t neurotypical. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others. (from What is Neurodiversity)

In my writing, I use Autistic instead of Person with Autism intentionally. This is called Identity First Language (opposed to person-first). It’s my preference, and largely the preference of the autistic community I follow. You can read more about the politics behind this on the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s blog.

Aspergers vs Autism Spectrum Disorder… is a little bit of a tangent. Prior to the DSM V, the only difference between Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and Autism was related to speaking age. Diagnostically, AS doesn’t exist anymore – it was wrapped back into the one “Autism Spectrum Disorder” label. The particular office I went to for my diagnosis previously specialized in Aspergers adults, so I got both labels.

I use queer to refer to my sexuality because I feel it’s a good umbrella term and I just generally like the ambiguity it gives me. A more specific term would be bisexual – which means “potential to be attracted to more than one gender”.