It's 'Boy With Autism,' Not 'Autistic Boy' : Memmos Standards & 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.
NPR logo It's 'Boy With Autism,' Not 'Autistic Boy'

It's 'Boy With Autism,' Not 'Autistic Boy'

Jeremy Mardis, the boy killed in Louisiana, had autism.

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]."