*Chew and Raymaker, 10 Autism Controversies
*Autism blogs (Disability in an Ableist World, The Obsessive Joy of Autism, The Significance of Semantics: Person-First Language: Why it Matters)
How is disability different than illness? Reflect on how narratives or depictions of disability compare to illness narratives. OR Write about examples of Ableist language and the implications of using Ableist language.
This week, we entered into the world of disability studies to learn more about neurodiversity and autism in particular. After the writing prompt “On Being Different,” inspired by the Pulse- Voices from the Heath of Medicine 2023 Writing Contest, we viewed the video “In My Language” by Amanda Baggs. After briefly defining neurodiversity, we did a Disability Rounds activity with 7 minutes per station.
We analyzed several videos about autism:
I stim, therefore I am [Loud Hands Blogaround], Rethinking Autism: Autism Support Group, and “Fixing” Autism
We reflected on several children’s books about autism:
–Little Rainman: Autism — through the eyes of a child by Karen L. Simmons
–I am Utterly Unique! Celebrating the Strengths of Children with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism by Elaine Marie Larson
–The Kaleidoscope Kid: Focusing on the Strengths of Children with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism by Elaine Marie Larson.
And lastly, we unpacked the following figure from a recent study published in May 2022 by Weir et al. showing that “Autistic adults have poorer quality healthcare and worse health based on self-report data.”
We had interesting conversations demonstrating a range of reactions and thoughts about these different autism narratives. Many people were in particular surprised to hear about the idea of using identity first language for Autism, since this is very different from the person-first language we most often try to use for illness. We talked about what differentiates disability from illness, what it means to be on medication for a disability, and how we decide when to use medications for disabilities. It was a great introduction to the idea of disability studies with so much more to talk about!