Autism has been defined by experts as a developmental disorder affecting social and communication skills as well as verbal and nonverbal communication. It is said to occur in as many as 2 to 6 in 1,000 individuals. This book challenges the prevailing, tragic narrative of impairment that so often characterizes discussions about autism.
Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone seriously engages the perspectives of people with autism, including those who have been considered as the most severely disabled within the autism spectrum. The heart of the book consists of chapters by people with autism themselves, either in an interview format with the author or written by themselves. Each author communicates either by typing or by a combination of speech and typing. These chapters are framed by a substantive introduction and conclusion that contextualize the book, the methodology, and the analysis, and situate it within a critical disability studies framework. The volume allows a look into the rich and insightful perspectives of people who have heretofore been thought of as uninterested in the world.
“The writings of Rubin, Mukhopadhyay, and all of the contributors are testament to the need to embrace a ‘disability consciousness’ in seeking educational and therapeutic options for autistic persons so that they can achieve their full potential. While Biklen refrains from extensive analysis of his contributors' words, his book is truly valuable in its straightforward presentation of the voices of autistic persons speaking not only for but as themselves.”
—Disability Studies Quarterly
“Disagrees with the common picture of autism, presenting chapters written by those with autism themselves—including those considered most severely disabled within the world of autism—to present a personalized view of how autism is experienced by those diagnosed. . . . A ‘must’ for any who understand the autistic experience.”
“Biklen’s tenacity is to be admired.”
“The prevailing view of autism and disability is redefined in this beautifully written book. Can you ask for more than to inform, inspire, challenge, and help to create new ways of understanding? Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone forces us to confront misunderstanding, misperceptions, and lack of knowledge, and to rethink disability and autism. It demands that we embrace people who act, communicate, and socialize differently. I love this book!”
—Jan Nisbet, Director, Institute on Disability
“Austism and the Myth of the Person Alone is one of those rare professional books that causes one to pause and consider what it tells us about our literature, our field, and, perhaps, ourselves...Biklen has given us a fascinating, thoughtful and, most important, essential book by including insights, experiences, and perspectives of individuals with autism to add to the canon.”
—American Association on Mental Retardation
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