It's 'Boy With Autism,' Not 'Autistic Boy' : MemmosStandards & Practices Editor Mark Memmott writes occasional notes about the issues journalists encounter and the way NPR handles them. They often expand on topics covered in the Ethics Handbook.
We should say and write that he was "a boy with autism," not an "autistic boy."
As we've said before about individuals with medical conditions, please avoid labels and use action words. We hear from many who say, "I'm not just a [insert condition]. I am a son/daughter/father/mother with [insert medical condition]."