On September 12, Autism-Europe’s member Confederation Autismo España presented its Style Guide on “How to address Autism Spectrum Condition in the media”. The publication contains a series of recommendations and advice to help communication professionals when it comes to disseminating information in Spanish about autism and people on the autism spectrum.
To help communication professionals to adequately report news about autism, Autismo España has published a pioneer guide that contains recommendations regarding the use of:
- language (avoiding terms or expressions that are technically incorrect or that may hurt the general sensitivity);
- images (avoiding a charitable, compassionate or stereotyped approach);
- contents (adjusting them to the reality of autistic people (always respecting and promoting their abilities) and highlighting the importance of sharing accurate information (based on scientific evidence).
The Spanish Secretary of State for Press and former journalist Miguel Ángel Oliver, who hosted the presentation of the Guide in Madrid, alluded in his speech to the great power of the media. “They are feeders of social conversation and, therefore, can help citizens to know reality”. Oliver thus asked to end the stereotypes about autism in order to communicate better and in turn make society evolve.
Professionals who attended the presentation of the guide stressed that this initiative is “very practical and informative” and agreed that there is still a lack of knowledge about autism and that certain myths and preconceived ideas persist. For this reason, they have asked autism organisations to share their experience and knowledge, in order to help them communicate better on the topic.