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Autism Policy and Advocacy in Brazil and the USA

  • Rossano Cabral Lima
  • Clara Feldman
  • Cassandra Evans
  • Pamela Block
Chapter
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)

Abstract

This chapter addresses the policy shifts on autism in Brazil and USA in the last decades, stressing the common points and differences between both countries in the fields of public mental health, disability rights movements, and education. The chapter starts with a historical overview of institutionalization and deinstitutionalization processes in these countries, and then describes the tensions among different mental health, educational, and disability studies approaches to autism in both places. In Brazil, this tension involves family associations and the disability sector, in conflict with mental health professionals, psychoanalysis, and Basaglian psychiatry. In the USA, alongside family advocacy and disability rights associations, there are emerging autistic self-advocacy and peer-support groups that often find themselves in conflict with a biomedical mainstream focused on prevention and cure. Each country has something to learn from the other, as both continue to face the challenge of building a more inclusive approach for autistic people.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rossano Cabral Lima
    • 1
  • Clara Feldman
    • 1
  • Cassandra Evans
    • 2
  • Pamela Block
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social MedicineState University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Health and Rehabilitation ScienceStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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