Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Critical Autism Studies

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102297-2




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...

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Authors and Affiliations

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