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Hi there, thanks for taking the time to post this thread. It is a complicated matter because as you know there are such terms used such as condition, disability, illness, impairment etc.
In my view, I think differences would be a much fair but realistic interpretation. I can understand why the word 'just' can be a bit of a problem. Because, then the message comes out a bit sour almost like your undermining that the complexity and severity has no impact at all. Mainstream society is never as straightforward as some people think.
Nevertheless, mainstream society for those with autism will be likely to find things difficult due to the nature that not everything is so clear or easy to interpret. Specifically, in education it is probably one of the most challenging times for someone in the mainstream environment as the individual is expected to learn such things throughout the duration there.
Illness, is a word I find that is easily misinterpreted to the point where you are more than likely to get stereotyped and so on. Generally speaking, people's attitude is somewhat improving to spread awareness but still got a way to go to reflect in a positive light. If you don't mind me asking what do you mean by NT family?