Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference

Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference

by Joyce Davidson
     
 

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Since first being identified as a distinct psychiatric disorder in 1943, autism has been steeped in contestation and controversy. Present-day skirmishes over the potential causes of autism, how or even if it should be treated, and the place of Asperger’s syndrome on the autism spectrum are the subjects of intense debate in the research community, in the media

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Overview

Since first being identified as a distinct psychiatric disorder in 1943, autism has been steeped in contestation and controversy. Present-day skirmishes over the potential causes of autism, how or even if it should be treated, and the place of Asperger’s syndrome on the autism spectrum are the subjects of intense debate in the research community, in the media, and among those with autism and their families. Bringing together innovative work on autism by international scholars in the social sciences and humanities, Worlds of Autism boldly challenges the deficit narrative prevalent in both popular and scientific accounts of autism spectrum disorders, instead situating autism within an abilities framework that respects the complex personhood of individuals with autism.

A major contribution to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of critical autism studies, this book is methodologically and conceptually broad. Its authors explore the philosophical questions raised by autism, such as how it complicates neurotypical understandings of personhood; grapple with the politics that inform autism research, treatment, and care; investigate the diagnosis of autism and the recognition of difference; and assess representations of autism and stories told by and about those with autism.

From empathy, social circles, and Internet communities to biopolitics, genetics, and diagnoses, Worlds of Autism features a range of perspectives on autistic subjectivities and the politics of cognitive difference, confronting society’s assumptions about those with autism and the characterization of autism as a disability.

Contributors: Dana Lee Baker, Washington State U; Beatrice Bonniau, Paris Descartes U; Charlotte Brownlow, U of Southern Queensland, Australia; Kristin Bumiller, Amherst College; Brigitte Chamak, Paris Descartes U; Kristina Chew, Saint Peter’s U, New Jersey; Patrick McDonagh, Concordia U, Montreal; Stuart Murray, U of Leeds; Majia Holmer Nadesan, Arizona State U; Christina Nicolaidis, Portland State U; Lindsay O'Dell, Open U, London; Francisco Ortega, State U of Rio de Janeiro; Mark Osteen, Loyola U, Maryland; Dawn Eddings Prince; Dora Raymaker; Sara Ryan, U of Oxford; Lila Walsh.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
01/01/2014
As the number of autism diagnoses rise, the field of related research is exploding. With the topics of study as varied as the spectrum itself, it is impossible to keep abreast of every theory; an efficient way of staying informed is becoming a necessity. This volume collects, on a wide variety of topics—with a vast array of viewpoints—current papers by social science and humanities scholars alongside published work by similarly qualified autistic individuals. Covering issues such as biopolitics, genetics, pharmaceutical and other interventions and treatments, neurodiversity, and more, this broad text encourages further investigation and asks the reader to assess their own opinions of the subject. VERDICT Too much of what we know about autism is colored by politics and often diametrically opposed opinions. While this title is geared largely to academics and professionals in the field, it is worthy of attention from parents and educators who are willing to take the time to formulate their own viewpoints.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816688890
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
11/14/2013
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Joyce Davidson is associate professor in the Department of Geography at Queen’s University, Canada. She is founding editor of Emotion, Space, and Society, and the author or coeditor of several books, including Emotion, Place, and Culture and Phobic Geographies.

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