Language is a powerful tool by which an individual can express themselves. Many people with disabilities prefer 'identity-first' language, highlighting the person's embrace of their identity. "I am an autistic person and proud of who I am" is an example of identity-first language because the identifying word 'autistic' comes before the word 'person.' For these individuals, their disability is a defining aspect of who they are.
For people who prefer person-first language, the decision acknowledges that they are a person first and foremost. Although many have a disorder, it doesn't define who they are. "I am a person with autism and proud of who I am" is an example of person-first language because the word 'person' comes before the word 'autistic.'
People have different preferences for using identity-first or person-first language. Occupational therapists must respect each client or patient with the language they use about themselves. When in doubt, ask the person what language they prefer.