Getting from 'you can’t speak for my child' to 'nothing about us without us': A brief history of diagnostic denial, misuse and misunderstanding in autism

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

During the modern history of autism, a common thread throughout has been the use of diagnosis, lack of diagnosis, or diagnosis-based stereotypes or misunderstandings to bar, discredit or promote individuals with particular views on autism. In cases like that of researcher Michelle Dawson, the presence of a diagnosis has often been used to discredit the bearer of unwelcome truths. In cases like that of self-advocacy pioneer Ari Ne’Emen, it has been used to accuse the bearer of a privileged state that makes him or her unable to represent the needs of ‘less able’ individuals. In many cases, diagnostic information has been weaponized: used to discredit or demean, or conversely, to claim (sometimes questionably) lived expertise. And when an individual lacks a formal diagnosis but self-identifies as autistic or neurodiverse, what then? In this presentation I will discuss the history of diagnostic denial, misuse and misunderstanding, and suggest some ways that researchers, rights campaigners and self-advocates can manage the risks and pitfalls.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2018
EventLancaster Centre for Disability Studies (CeDR) Conference, UK - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Sep 201813 Sep 2018
http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/disabilityconference2018/

Conference

ConferenceLancaster Centre for Disability Studies (CeDR) Conference, UK
Abbreviated titleCeDR
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLancaster
Period11/09/1813/09/18
Internet address

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Keywords

  • autism
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • diagnosis
  • stigma
  • self-advocacy

Cite this

Waltz, M. M. (2018). Getting from 'you can’t speak for my child' to 'nothing about us without us': A brief history of diagnostic denial, misuse and misunderstanding in autism. Abstract from Lancaster Centre for Disability Studies (CeDR) Conference, UK, Lancaster, United Kingdom.