In September of 2015, an interdisciplinary team of scholars came together in Rio de Janeiro to build an understanding of autism spectrum conditions informed by the intellectual traditions of psychological anthropology and Collective Health. In our four days in Rio, we talked together, ate together, and danced together through unfamiliar territories both geographic and theoretical. In the process, we faced challenges in communication, connection, and representation which were strikingly evocative of the very phenomenon we were there to discuss: the creative work of living with autism. In this introduction, the co-organizers of this conference describe the process through which this event came to be, discuss our experiences together in Rio, and give an overview of the major themes and contributions of the volume.
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