Introducing critical autism studies (CAS) from the Anglophone research

Journal article


Lefebvre, M-E., Chown, N. and Martin, N. (2023). Introducing critical autism studies (CAS) from the Anglophone research. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. 12 (1).
AuthorsLefebvre, M-E., Chown, N. and Martin, N.
Abstract

Within the historic context of a distinct lack of autistic people’s representation in research, a body of emancipatory research is emerging under the banner of critical autism studies (CAS). The focus of CAS is the co-creation of scientific knowledge to produce research by and for the autistic community. Most CAS research emanates from the United Kingdom and Australia (e.g., Chown et al., 2017; Pellicano et al., 2014), with little present within Francophone academia in French as emancipatory design in disability research has only emerged since the 2010s. This paper aims to introduce CAS from the Anglophone academia.

We begin by stating the fundamental principles of the neurodiversity movement in which CAS has taken root (Chamak, 2010; et al.; Nicolaidis, 2012). Next, we contrast the predominant medical model with the social model of disability (Chamak, 2010, Rosqvist et al., 2020). We then discuss CAS principles such as acknowledgement of power imbalances, recognition of autistic people’s meaningful input to research, and inclusiveness through adapting the research environment (Waltz 2009; Fletcher-Watson et al. 2019; Pickard et al., 2021; Rosqvist et al., 2019). We consider potential obstacles to CAS within the academic culture, such as lack of trusting relationships, practical and systemic barriers, and limited investment to support collaborative research (Pickard et al., 2021; Rosqvist et al., 2019).

This paper concludes by discussing the need for a change in the language used to refer to autism (Fletcher-Watson et al., 2019; Woods, 2017) and environmental modifications to facilitate fair and socially just inclusion of neurodivergent people (Fletcher-Watson et al., 2019), within research and wider society.

Year2023
JournalCanadian Journal of Disability Studies
Journal citation12 (1)
PublisherCanadian Disability Studies Association
ISSN1929-9192
Publication dates
Print21 Apr 2023
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Deposited24 May 2023
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