Let’s Talk About Labels and Terms

And why I disapprove of the puzzle piece.

This particular post will be fluid. Most of my entries will be remain largely unchanged, this post is one that I will likely find the need to update periodically as terms get updated, changed, or lose significance.

On why the puzzle piece is offensive. I am not missing any parts. I am an entire person, not a puzzle to be completed. Autistic folks are all real people, whether you understand them or not. I don’t want you to try and “figure me out”, I want you to accept me as I am. Can we not insinuate how much autistic folks don’t “fit in” by forcing a missing piece stereotype on all of us?

Also, the vast majority of autistic people either grow up to be adults, or already are adults. We prefer not to be infantilized by the comparison to a child’s toy. I am tired of being treated like an adult only until my diagnoses comes to light, then being treated like a child. I think many autistic folks will agree with me.

Functioning labels

I will try to keep this short. I feel that “levels” of autism is detrimental for all autistic people. This sets the idea that lower levels should function better in all situations, and higher levels should never be expected to function ‘well’.

Time for a Vocabulary Lesson!

Let’s get down to terms commonly used when talking about all things autism! This is most definitely an incomplete list, I am just going to keep adding here as I see fit.

  • A is for Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • In DSM-IV, symptoms of autism were divided into three areas, social reciprocity, communicative intent, restricted and repetitive behavior. (ASD)
  • Anxiety
    • a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease.
  • Echolalia
    • Repetitive speech behaviors
  • Neurodiverse
    • The idea that behaviors that represent the person may suffer from mental defect or deficit such as ADHD, ASD, mental illness such as schizophrenia and more.
  • Neurotypical
    • Someone who does not have autism or other type of atypical behaviors.
  • Special Interest
    • A special passion an autistic person has for something that can be confused with obsession. (One of my special interests is Iron Man)
  • Self Stimulating Behaviors or Stimming
    • Repetitive actions, movements, vocalizations or etc.


  1. Excellent post. I have an 8 year old son on the autism spectrum and you’re so right, misunderstanding and categorising is so common. And intolerance. It can be a difficult world if you’re not either so-called ‘neurotypical’ or if you’re a parent of a child with autism. Thank you for writing this. P.S. I’m studying for a degree in history, so we have something else in common.

    Liked by 2 people

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