Thursday, April 12, 2007

You want lies with that?

The assignment for research class this week is to critique a journal article reporting on a qualitative study. My pick is a real winner titled "First Hand Accounts of Emotional Experiences in Autism" by Jones, Zahl and Huws in Disability and Society, Vol. 16, No.3.
It's not cutting edge stuff, having been published six years ago, but 2001 wasn't exactly the dark ages. Lots of good writing on the topic was available, which I won't cite here (feel free to request my Powerpoint on this if you don't know of any!)
Here's a quote from the article on the results of the study:
"Not only does it imply that emotional issues are relevant and important to people with autism, but there is an implication that the predominant experienced emotions are negative ones."
Specifically, depression, fear, alienation and frustration. That was all the investigators found in their survey of internet sites maintained by autistic adults in the year 2001. I'll admit I wasn't very aware of autism at the time. But checking the dates on sites I frequent reveals that there were indeed people writing and posting positive views of autism all the way back in 1998.
Anyway, here's the cover for my fact sheet. The inside includes information on the agenda of Autism Speaks, as well as directions to good, valid information on the web. Nothing makes me happier than getting a chance to do advocacy while fulfilling course requirements and playing with graphics, too.


  1. I've got to say that of the autobiographies of aspies that I've read, most are heavy on describing the negatives, and description of the positive experiences and emotions are often either scant, or characterized in a negative way ("My stimming was an escape from reality etc") or the autistic writer is emphasizing the sameness of their emotional experiences to NTs' experiences.

    I personally suspect that I experience positive emotional experiences that are different to typical positive NT experiences. I'd write my own bio, but I bet no one would publish it!

  2. My positive emotional experiences are sometimes characterized by neurotypicals as "too intense" for the occasion. If I didn't have to worry about NT folks watching in a judgemental manner I would skip more often, instead of walk, when I'm happy; I would exclaim with joy more often, instead of pretending to be "reserved", I would sing more often, but I know not to do it in public, and so on. When I'm alone, I feel free. I can sing by myself in the car when I'm driving, skip in the woods. It's just like my form of positive expression is not received well by neurotypical audiences. Ah, the tyranny of the neurotypicals!!


Squawk at me.
Need to add an image?
Use this code [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]