Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Critical Autism Studies

  • Richard WoodsEmail author
  • Krysia Emily Waldock
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102297-1

Synonyms

Definition

Introduction

Critical Autism Studies (CAS) is the only autistic-led community of practice, within autism studies, and it has a few proposed definitions. A recent entry by notable autistic CAS scholars reviewed the main definitions and its ontology to propose a more inclusive approach between autistic and non-autistic academics; the preferred definition put forward is:

The ‘criticality’ comes from investigating power dynamics that operate in discourses around autism, questioning deficit-based definitions of autism, and being willing to consider the ways in which biology and culture intersect to produce ‘disability’. (Waltz 2014, p. 1337)

For a discussion on the other primary CAS definitions, see Woods et al. (2018). This essay outlines key concepts from disability studies and the nature of the neurodiversity movement before explaining how CAS is relevant to...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Reading

  1. All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism. (2019). The Autism Act, 10 years on: A report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism on understanding, services and support for autistic people and their families in England (Online report). Retrieved from: https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/media-centre/news/2019-09-09-not-enough-campaign.aspx. Accessed 12 Sept 2019.
  2. Alvares, G., Bebbeington, K., Cleary, D., Evans, K., Glassom, E., Evans, K., … Whitehouse, A. (2019). The misnomer of ‘high functioning autism’: Intelligence is an imprecise predictor of functional abilities at diagnosis. Autism.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319852831.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrews, T., Hodge, N., & Redmore, N. (2019). The potential of the fractions of lifeworld for inclusive qualitative inquiry in the third space. The International Journal of Inclusive Education., 1.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2019.1642398.
  4. Angell, A., & Solomon, O. (2017). “If I was a different ethnicity, would she treat me the same?”: Latino parents’ experiences obtaining autism services. Disability & Society, 32(8), 1142–1164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arnold, L. (2012). Introduction. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(1).Google Scholar
  6. Arnold, L. (2017). A brief history of “neurodiversity” as a concept and perhaps a movement. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(5).Google Scholar
  7. Barnes, C. (2008). Disability and the Academy: a British perspective (Conference paper). Retrieved from: https://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/library/Barnes-Whats-the-point.pdf. Accessed 18 Oct 2019.
  8. Berghs, M., Atkin, K., Hatton, C., & Thomas, C. (2019). Do disabled people need a stronger social model: A social model of human rights? Disability & Society, 34, 1034.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2019.1619239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bertilsdotter-Rosqvist, H. (2019). Doing things together: Exploring meanings of different forms of sociality among autistic people in an autistic work space. European Journal of Disability Research, 13(3), 168–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bertilsdotter-Rosqvist, H., Kourti, M., Jackson-Perry, D., Brownlow, C., Fletcher, K., Bendelman, D., & O’Dell, L. (2019). Doing it differently: Emancipatory autism studies within a neurodiverse academic space. Disability & Society, 34, 1082.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2019.1603102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bolton, J. (2018). With the silence of a thousand cries: Extremes of autistic advocacy. Disability & Society, 33(6), 980–984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campbell, F. (2008). Exploring internalized ableism using critical race theory. Disability & Society, 23(2), 151–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cassidy, S., Bradley, L., Shaw, R., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2018). Risk markers for suicidality in autistic adults. Molecular Autism, 9, 42.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-018-0226-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Chown, N. (2017). Understanding and evaluating autism theory. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Chown, N. (2019a). Neurodiversity. In F. Volkmar (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer Nature.Google Scholar
  16. Chown, N. (2019b). Who benefits from autism research? And to what extent is it participatory and/or emancipatory?: A brief follow-up to Pellicano, Dinsmore and Charman (2014). Autism Policy and Practice, 2(1), 93–95.Google Scholar
  17. Chown, N., Robinson, J., Beardon, L., Downing, J., Hughes, L., Leatherland, J., ... & MacGregor, D. (2017). Improving research about us, with us: A draft framework for inclusive autism research. Disability & Society, 32(5), 720–734.Google Scholar
  18. Davidson, J., & Orsini, M. (2013). Worlds of autism: Across the spectrum of neurological difference. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dawson, M. (2004). The misbehaviour of behaviourists: ethical challenges to the autism-ABA industry (Online blog). Retrieved from: http://www.sentex.net/~nexus23/naa_aba.html. Accessed 12 Aug 2019.
  20. Den Houting, J. (2019). Neurodiversity: An insider’s perspective. Autism, 23(2), 271–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Evans, J. (2013). Feminist theory today: An introduction to second wave feminism. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  22. Fletcher-Watson, S., & Happé, F. (2019). In 2nd (Ed.), Autism: A new introduction to psychological theory and current debate. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fletcher-Watson, S., Adams, J., Brook, K., Charman, T., Crane, L., Cusack, J., ... & Pellicano, E. (2019). Making the future together: Shaping autism research through meaningful participation. Autism, 23(4), 943–953.Google Scholar
  24. Goodley, D. (2011). Disability studies: An interdisciplinary introduction. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  25. Gould, J., & Ashton-Smith, J. (2011). Missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis? Girls and women on the autism spectrum. Good Autism Practice, 12(1), 34–41.Google Scholar
  26. Grinker, R. (2020). Autism, “stigma,” disability a shifting historical terrain. Current Anthropology, 61(21).  https://doi.org/10.1086/705748.
  27. Guest, E. (2019). Autism from different points of view: Two sides of the same coin. Disability & Society.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2019.1596199.
  28. Happé, F. (2011). Criteria, categories, and continua: Autism and related disorders in DSM-5. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(6), 540–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Harte, C. (2019). Reframing compliance: Exposing violence within applied behaviour analysis. Masters, City University of Seattle.Google Scholar
  30. Hassiotis, A., Poppe, M., Strydom, A., & Vickerstaff, V. (2018). Clinical outcomes of staff training in positive behaviour support to reduce challenging behaviour in adults with intellectual disability: Cluster randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 212(3), 161–168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kupferstein, H. (2018). Evidence of increased PTSD symptoms in autistics exposed to applied behaviour analysis. Advances in Autism, 4(1), 19–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Leatherland, J. (2018). Understanding how autistic pupils experience secondary school: Autism criteria, theory and FAMe™. Ph.D., Sheffield Hallam University.Google Scholar
  33. Macleod, K., Causton, J., Radel, M., & Radel, P. (2017). Rethinking the individualised education plan process: Voices from the other side of the table. Disability & Society, 32(3), 381–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Macloud, A. (2019). Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a tool for participatory research within critical autism studies: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 64.(2019, 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Maddox, B., Trubanova, A., & White, S. (2017). Untended wounds: Non-suicidal self-injury in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 21(4), 412–422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McGuire, A. (2015). “Life worth defending”: Biopolitical frames of terror in the war on autism. In S. Tremain (Ed.), Foucault and the government of disability: Enlarged and revised edition (pp. 350–371). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  37. McGuire, A. (2016). War on autism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Milton, D. (2013). Reversing the vicious circle of psycho-emotional disablism in the education of autistic people. In P. Banerjee, R. Barrie, & M. Hand (Eds.), Championing research, educating professionals: How compatible are elitism, inclusion and social justice? (pp. 127–134). Birmingham: University of Birmingham.Google Scholar
  39. Milton, D. (2017). A mismatch of salience: Explorations of the nature of autism from theory to practice. Hove: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd.Google Scholar
  40. Milton, D. (2018). Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) and alternative explanations: a critical overview (Conference paper). Retrieved from: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/67064/1/PDA%20and%20alternative%20explanations.pdf. Accessed 12 Aug 2019.
  41. Milton, D., & Lyte. (2012). The normalisation agenda and the psycho-emotional disablement of autistic people. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(1).Google Scholar
  42. Milton, D., & Moon, L. (2012). And that, Damian, is what I call life-changing’: Findings from an action research project involving autistic adults in an on-line sociology study group. Good Autism Practice, 13(2), 32–39.Google Scholar
  43. Milton, D., Kapp, S., Bovell, V., Timimi, S., & Russell, G. (2019). Deconstructing diagnosis: Multi-disciplinary perspectives on a diagnostic tool. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(6).Google Scholar
  44. Moore, A. (2019, June 04). Pathological demand avoidance: What and who are being pathologized and in whose interests? Paper presented at Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) critical autism studies conference 2019, PARC, LondonGoogle Scholar
  45. Nicolaidis, C., Raymaker, D., Kapp, S., Baggs, A., Ashkenazy, E., McDonald, K., … Joyce, A. (2019). The AASPIRE practice-based guidelines for the inclusion of autistic adults in research as co-researchers and study participants. Autism.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319830523.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Oliver, M. (2013). The social model of disability: Thirty years on. Disability & Society, 28(7), 1024–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pellicano, E., Dinsmore, A., & Charman, T. (2014). What should autism research focus upon? Community views and priorities from the United Kingdom. Autism, 18(7), 756–770.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pickles, A., Le Couteur, A., Leadbitter, K., Salomone, K., Cole-Fletcher, R., Tobin, H., Gammer, I., … Green, J. (2016). Parent-mediated social communication therapy for young children with autism (PACT): Long-term follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 388(2016), 2501–2509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pountney, O. (2018). Untangling the knots of neuroqueer intersectionality. A presentation at Autscape 2018. Retrieved from: http://www.autscape.org/2018/programme/handouts/Untangling%20the%20knots%20of%20neuroqueer%20intersectionality.pdf. Accessed 19 Aug 2019.
  50. Ridout, S. (2014). More than picture-making: Reflecting on collage as a narrative tool for opening discourse on the involvement of autistics in autism research. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(3).Google Scholar
  51. Ridout, S. (2016). Well-being and creative methodologies as a tool for communicating with health and social care practitioners. In D. Milton & N. Martin (Eds.), Autism and intellectual disability in adults (Vol. 1, pp. 45–47). Hove: Pavilion Publishing and Media Limited.Google Scholar
  52. Rosenblatt, A. (2018). Autism, advocacy organizations, and past injustice. Disability Studies Quarterly, 38(4).Google Scholar
  53. Runswick-Cole, K. (2014). ‘Us’ and ‘them’: The limits and possibilities of a ‘politics of neurodiversity’ in neoliberal times. Disability & Society, 29(7), 1117–1129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Runswick-Cole, K., Mallett, R., & Timimi, S. (2016). Re-thinking autism: Diagnosis identity and equality. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  55. Saxe, A. (2017). The theory of intersectionality: A new lens for understanding the barriers faced by autistic women. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 6(4), 153–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shakespeare, T. (2017). Disability: The basics. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sinclair, J. (2013[1999]). Why I dislike “person first” language. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(2).Google Scholar
  58. Stewart, C. (2012). Where can we be what we are?’: The experiences of girls with Asperger syndrome and their mothers. Good Autism Practice, 13(1), 40–48.Google Scholar
  59. Strand, L. (2017). Charting relations between intersectionality theory and the neurodiversity paradigm. Disability Studies Quarterly, 37(2).Google Scholar
  60. Thomas, C. (1999). Female forms: Experiencing and understanding disability (1st ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Waldock, K. E. (2019). Commentary on “thinking differently? Autism and quality of life”. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 24(2), 77–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Waltz, M. (2007). The relationship of ethics to quality: A particular case of research in autism. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 30(3), 353–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Waltz, M. (2008). Autism = Death: The social and medical impact of a catastrophic medical model of autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Popular Narrative Media, 1(1), 13–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Waltz, M. (2012). Images and narratives of autism within charity discourses. Disability & Society, 27(2), 219–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Waltz, M. (2014). Worlds of autism: Across the spectrum of neurological difference. Disability & Society, 29(8), 1337–1338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Williams, A. (2018). Autonomously autistic: Exposing the locus of autistic pathology. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 7(2), 60–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wood, R. (2019). Autism, intense interests and support in school: From wasted efforts to shared understandings. Educational Review., 1.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2019.1566213.
  68. Woods, R. (2017a). Pathological demand avoidance: My thoughts on looping effects and commodification of autism. Disability & Society, 32(5), 753–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Woods, R. (2017b). Exploring how the social model of disability can be reinvigorated for autism: In response to Jonathan Levitt. Disability & Society, 32(7), 1090–1095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Woods, R., & Waltz, M. (2019). The strength of autistic expertise and its implications for autism knowledge production: A response to Damian Milton. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(6).Google Scholar
  71. Woods, R., Milton, D., Arnold, L., & Graby, S. (2018). Redefining critical autism studies: A more inclusive interpretation. Disability & Society, 33(6), 974–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yergeau, M. (2010). Circle wars: Reshaping the typical autism essay. Disability Studies Qaurterly, 30(1).Google Scholar
  73. Yergeau, M. (2013). Clinically significant disturbance: On theorists who theorize theory of mind. Disability Studies Quarterly, 33(4).Google Scholar
  74. Yergeau, M. (2017). Authoring autism: On rhetoric and neurological queerness. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Tizard Centre, University of KentCanterburyUK