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