Every good parent approaches their child from a position of love and acceptance. And among parents, there are many similarities that we can all appreciate and laugh about over coffee.

But here are 22 things only a parent of an autistic child can appreciate. And there better be a lot more coffee.

There is a debate in many disability communities over the proper way to refer to members of that community. It’s called the “person-first/identity-first” argument. In the autism community in particular, some people say that referring to a member as “autistic” is right, while other people say that referring to a member as “person with autism” is right.

For the purposes of this article, I used the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) preferred usage, which is autistic. My personal take on the issue applies the following hierarchy to my decision:

  1. how my daughter wishes to be identified
  2. how people and groups, like the ASAN, prefer my daughter be identified
  3. my own opinion
  4. the opinions of other caregivers of people like my daughter

Ultimately, it’s my belief that there is no “correct” usage if the rationale for choosing it is well-considered, researched, and comes from a place of love and respect. And I hope you’re not offended by my use of “autistic” in the article. It comes from a place of love and respect for my daughter and for people like my daughter. It’s well-considered, well-researched, and supported by the ASAN.