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Old 22 January 2019, 05:22 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,277

I haven't either. I also don't think that was the original claim.

I think the complaint was that autistic is now being used the way the r-word used to be used. As in, something like, "What are you, autistic, or something?" Perhaps especially where the questioner does not actually think the person being asked is autistic.

I can't say that I've heard that either, but I don't really doubt it. I think the r-word has become solidly out of bounds for most people, and of course something else is moving into that space. Ugh.
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Old 22 January 2019, 06:02 PM
Blatherskite's Avatar
Blatherskite Blatherskite is offline
Join Date: 06 February 2006
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 4,051

I have, unfortunately, heard people using the word autistic that way. It's depressingly common on reddit.

It's not used in entirely the same way the word 'retard' is used, but the result is the same.

Originally Posted by erwins View Post
It used to mean the same thing as "delayed" in the phrase developmentally delayed. There's nothing inherently offensive about the word.
Another reason it might have fallen out of favour in the medical community is that it paints an inaccurate picture. It implies that somebody with learning disabilities is just mentally aged-down rather than having disorder-specific differences in some areas and typical development in others.

I could see it being offensive in that sense even without the contribution from terrible people.
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