Constructing an autistic identity: AS voices online

Brownlow, Charlotte and O'Dell, Lindsay (2006). Constructing an autistic identity: AS voices online. Mental Retardation, 44(5) pp. 315–321.

URL: http://www.aaidd.org/Reading_Room/pdf/ASVoicesOnli...

Abstract

Excerpts from current research with people who have autism using online discussion groups are provided. Two major themes emerged that focus on ‘‘expert’’ knowledge of autism and identity. In contrast to the image of people with autism being unable to speak for themselves, our research on chat rooms has demonstrated that these individuals are finding a voice in an online environment, and the Internet may be a powerful tool in enabling this voice to be heard. The challenge that experiential knowledge poses to scientific knowledge is discussed in light of diagnosis, and the positive nature of an autism spectrum (AS) identity is highlighted as a common thread in discussions.

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