Autistic Self-Advocacy and Activism on the World Wide Web: Frontiers of Digito-Neural Subject Formation

Scott D. Folsom

Abstract


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized in both the psychological discourse and the popular media as being, at least in part, disorders of spoken word communication. One result of this characterization is the perception by neurotypical society that autistic neural subjects are inherently non-communicative, or somehow “less” communicative. The discursive and ideological consequences of this perception are well documented. One countercurrent in ASD research motivated by a social understanding of disability is an exploration of the interactions between autistic subjects in digital spaces, often through media that do not require spoken word communication. The present paper explores and documents instances of autistic subjects’ use of the World Wide Web to communicate about ASD and autistic subject formation, and considers both academic responses to this phenomenon, as well as texts from within the ASD community.

Keywords


Autism; neurodiversity; tumblr; internet; communities

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