Presenting the self: negotiating a label of autism

Brownlow, Charlotte (2010). Presenting the self: negotiating a label of autism. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 35(1) pp. 14–21.



Background. An important element in the experiences of people with autism is the key role played by therapeutic interventions. This paper examines the role of therapeutic intervention and the construction of individuals with autism in the therapeutic relationship.

Method. The contributions to four online asynchronous discussion lists were analysed using discourse analysis over a 3-month period.

Findings. Two key themes identified in the data are presented. These comprise issues concerning therapeutic intervention and issues related to the employment opportunities of adults with autism.

Conclusions. In this paper the notion that people with autism must change in order to accommodate the non-autistic world is discussed. The author seeks to present an alternative construction of autism as a difference rather than a deficit or deviance and to examine the negotiation of a place for a person with autism within a neurologically typical dominated society.

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