Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Responding to Person-First Crusaders

I have no issue with person-first language for people who want to be described using it. I have lots of issues, however, with anyone who thinks that it's acceptable to tell me what to call myself or to presume to know what someone else really wants to be called after they have stated otherwise.
That's what a person-first crusader is. A person-first crusader tells me that I am a person with autism after I call myself an Autistic person, or possibly simply an Autistic. I do use Autistic as a noun, sometimes.
And so I, like many other people who prefer to be called Autistic, have a few comebacks up our sleeves for when we run into a person-first crusader. Before I gave my presentation and paper on Autism in China, I prepared a few, just in case. Here they are, meant to be served with a healthy heaping of sarcasm.

  • "If y'all devoted half the energy to helping me that you do to telling me what to call myself, we'd not be in anywhere near the dire straits we're in as a community."- Neurodivergent K
  • "You seem like a person with rudeness when you tell me what to call myself."-Landon Bryce in I Love Being My Own Autistic Self
  • Basically the entirety of "A Person With."
  • Especially "You are a person with neurotypicality."
  • "I am an Autistic who happens to be experiencing life with personhood!" (Laughing)
  • Can I cure your neurotypical?
  • Why do you care what I call me?
  • Just like I'm a person with femaleness, right?
  • What else could I be if I'm Autistic? Are there Autistic cats now?
  • No, I think I'm an Autistic Martian. Nice try, though.
  • You mean we can detach my brain and I'm still me? I didn't know that!
  • Yes, and tomorrow I think I'll be a person without autism. No, wait, it doesn't work that way, does it?
  • Only sometimes. Sometimes my autism goes and shaves the dog while I'm still sitting here, and I don't have autism when that happens. It keeps coming back, though.


  1. Person-first crusaders irritate me but your posts made me laugh. I liked those comebacks, sarcastic answers sounds like a good way to deal with those person-first comments. :)

  2. HA HA love these responses!! Some people are unbelievable. As you said if someone wants to say "with autism" whatever but DO NOT CORRECT ME or tell me I am wrong for saying autistic. Aggravates me to no end. So love, love these sarcastic responses!!

  3. Delightful! I love your jolly collection. You brought me much cheer on a crumby day! :)

  4. Hi Alyssa
    I found you through Ariane's blog 'Emma's Hope Book' - I cannot believe you posted this on 12/29! Can I share my site with you? It's
    If you get a chance, look at my 12/15 post: "To Be or Not To Be (Autistic)"
    Best to you -- I'll be checking your site now that I've found it!

  5. "What else could I be if I'm Autistic? Are there Autistic cats now?"

    No, but there are autistic chimpanzees.

    I think *all* cats are autistic, personally. Which might explain why I get along so well with them.

  6. I think person with allism (allistic) would be better, since not all allistics are neurotypical.

    1. That's legit. (Though most of the crusaders I've dealt with have also been neurotypical, at which point either works.)


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