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Title: Autism itself actually isn't a disability": The ideological dilemmas of negotiating a 'normal' versus 'abnormal' autistic identity
Authors: O'Reilly, Michelle J.
Karim, Khalid
Lester, J. N.
First Published: 2014
Publisher: De Gruyter, Germany or Equinox Publishing, United Kingdom
Citation: Communication and Medicine 2014,11(2),139-52.
Abstract: The opposing positions of the social model of disability and the biomedical framework of impairment have created tensions regarding what constitutes ‘normality’. In this article, we drew upon focus group data of parents, professionals, and people with autism, to explore how the dilemmatic tensions of normality and abnormality and of disability and ability were managed. Our findings illustrated how the boundaries of normality in relation to autism are blurred, as well as how the autistic identity is fluid. The members of the focus group invoked their epistemic rights to assert their positions and delicately considered the limitations of the rhetoric of cure. Our findings have implications for professionals working with families of children with autism, specifically as they aim to maintain a balance between providing sufficient support and not being intrusive, and we show how a medical sociology can facilitate an understanding of autism as a social category.
DOI Link: 10.1558/cam.v11i2.20371
ISSN: 1612-1783
eISSN: 1613-3625
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Depends on publisher.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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