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

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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Language and Interaction, Online and Offline

Something I've noticed different between online and offline is reactions when I say things.
Especially about language.

I say offline/online rather than online/real world because the internet is a subset of the real world. "Digital" doesn't mean "not real" any more than "socially constructed" means "not real"- that is, it's real, it exists, but there's a certain limit on where you'll run into it.


Online, I hear a lot of "not like my child." I hear a lot of "so high functioning." I hear a lot of "You mean a person with autism."

Offline... at least in the offline places where I am, not so much. It might be more about the types of spaces I'm in offline versus online, in that offline, disability services is about the most disability-centric place I wind up on even a semi-regular basis.

I get a lot more "Oh, I'd love it if you could talk to my kid, he doesn't know any adults with autism," and I semi-joke "Oh, he still won't, I'm an Autistic adult. Very different, you understand." And they maybe ask why, maybe don't, but they don't insist I'm calling myself the wrong thing usually. At least, they haven't done it at me yet.

I do get a lot of "I couldn't tell," still, but it's always followed by "huh, you're right" when I point out that the descriptions they'd see in media are mostly little white boys rocking and screaming in the corner, not, well, adults.

I get a lot more "I never thought about that" when I say... often times the same words about disliking the word "differently abled" or "assistive tech" (though in assistive tech's case I'm not sure what to replace it with, for differently abled I just don't use it because it was already a euphemism for disabled.)

What got me thinking about this was the comments section on X Years of Experience (actually a nice short discussion) and how that seems to be unusual. Whereas that kind of discussion isn't all that unusual when I get disability related topics going offline in places that weren't disability-themed before.  I'm  not sure what that means (other than that I'm pretty lucky to be surrounded mostly by not-terrible offline.)

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