A Survey of Descriptive Language surrounding Autistic Persons

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Kobeck, Elizabeth
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
An online survey was distributed to Middle Tennessee State University students who were or are affiliated with someone who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This was done as a measure to know the campus population’s preference between the preexisting person-first (person with Autism) and the new trend of identity-first (Autistic person) language within the demographic. Following the distribution of the survey through willing professors to participants, the data was analyzed using a two-tailed t-test. The calculated t0.05(1.138) = 0.47 was not greater than the tc = t0.05(1) = 0.712, therefore the test failed to reject the null hypothesis. The group of Autistic respondents (m= 0.545, n=2, sd= 0.257) did not significantly differ from the group of non-Autistic respondents (m= 0.634, n= 9, sd= 0.141) in their preference for self-identifying language.
autism, prescriptive language, person-first, identity-first, disability, college life