Title

An analysis of Twitter discourse regarding identifying language for people on the autism spectrum

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Shakes, P & Cashin, A 2019, 'An analysis of Twitter discourse regarding identifying language for people on the autism spectrum', Issues in Mental Health Nursing.

Published version available from

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2019.1648617

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Person-first language, to refer to a person with autism, has been dominant within peer-reviewed literature; however, there are autistic people who prefer identity-first language. This is a shift from the language championed within mental health nursing; therefore it is important to understand the meaning and actions within identifying language. This analysis of 29,606 words of Twitter discourse explored the political struggle between the modes of language. Differences within the conceptualisation of autism and disability underpinned varied subject positions and the rearticulation of autism and expertise was identified. Contextually driven adoption of identifying language requires awareness of the potential benefits and consequences.

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