I’m Autistic. Personhood is implied whether explicitly stated or not. Although professionals who work with us would do well to add “person” after “Autistic” since there’s so much dehumanization and pathologizing of us by their group. I twitch when they omit it.
I prefer autistic person, and while “on the spectrum” is lovely and twee, it’s not a very good metaphor for autism, which isn’t a spectrum from functional to non-functional, but rather a multi-dimensional spread of varying aspects. “Person with autism” is right out.
I put Autistic Person because that’s how I refer to myself, but I really don’t mind how other people refer to me. My wife asked what she should call me when I was diagnosed yesterday and I just said “Whatever you like!”
I use both autistic person and on the spectrum. I think it’s contextual- who I’m talking to and what aspects of autism/being autistic I’m taking about. Possibly an artifact of my dual role in the community as well.
I refer to it as a spectrum with most people I explain it to as their attitudes aren’t so “oh I know about that already.” Like they do with autism. It also allows them for a richer understanding. But I say autistic around others on the spectrum, since it is the most preferred.