This handbook provides an authoritative and up-to-date overview of Critical Autism Studies and explores the different kinds of knowledges and their articulations, similarities, and differences across cultural contexts and key tensions within this subdiscipline.
Critical Autism Studies is a developing area occupying an exciting space of development within learning and teaching in higher education. It has a strong trajectory within the autistic academic and advocate community in resistance and response to the persistence of autism retaining an identity as a genetic disorder of the brain.
Divided into four parts
• Conceptualising autism
• Autistic identity
• Community and culture
• Practice
and comprising 24 newly commissioned chapters written by academics and activists, it explores areas of education, Critical Race Theory, domestic violence and abuse, sexuality, biopolitics, health, and social care practices.
It will be of interest to all scholars and students of disability studies, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, education, health, social care, and political science.

chapter 1|10 pages

Critical autism studies

An introduction
BySara Ryan, Damian Milton

part 1|84 pages

Conceptualising autism

chapter 3|14 pages

Critically contextualising ‘normal' development and the construction of the autistic individual

ByCharlotte Brownlow, Lindsay O'Dell, Ding Abawi

chapter 4|8 pages

Dimensions of difference

ByDinah Murray

chapter 5|14 pages

Heterogeneity and clustering in autism

An introduction for critical scholars
ByPatrick Dwyer

chapter 6|20 pages

Rational (Pathological) Demand Avoidance

As a mental disorder and an evolving social construct
ByRichard Woods

part 2|62 pages

Autistic identity

chapter 8|9 pages

Through the lens of (Black) Critical Race Theory

ByMelissa Simmonds

chapter 9|16 pages

Postponing humanity

Pathologising autism, childhood and motherhood
ByFrancesca Bernardi

chapter 10|8 pages

‘It sort of like gets squared'

Health professionals' understanding of the intersection of autism and gender diversity in young people
ByMagdalena Mikulak

chapter 11|20 pages

Autistic young people's sense of self and the social world

A challenge to deficit-focused characterisations
ByEmma Rice-Adams

chapter 12|7 pages

A personal account of neurodiversity, academia and activism

ByDamian Milton

part 3|70 pages

Community and culture

chapter 13|6 pages


A vision for autistic acceptance and belonging
ByLuke Beardon

chapter 14|17 pages

The Moulin Rouge and the Rouge Moulin

Language, Cartesianism, republicanism and the construct of autism in France
ByPeter Crosbie

chapter 15|12 pages

Support on whose terms?

Competing meanings of support aimed at autistic people
ByHanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, Damian Milton, Lindsay O'Dell

chapter 16|9 pages

Critical autism parenting

ByMitzi Waltz

chapter 17|15 pages

“Even though I'm on the spectrum, I'm still capable of falling in love”

A Bourdieusian analysis of representations of autism and sexuality on Love on the Spectrum
ByAllison Moore

chapter 18|9 pages

Seeking sunflowers

The biopolitics of autism at the airport
ByKatherine Runswick-Cole, Dan Goodley

part 4|76 pages


chapter 19|13 pages

Autistic identity, culture, community, and space for well-being

ByChloe Farahar

chapter 20|13 pages

Contemplating teacher talk through a critical autism studies lens

ByNick Hodge, Patty Douglas, Madeleine Kruth, Stephen Connolly, Nicola Martin, Kendra Gowler, Cheryl Smith

chapter 21|15 pages

Models of helping and coping with autism

BySteven K. Kapp

chapter 22|7 pages

Critical approaches to autism support practice

Engaging situated reflection and research
ByJoseph Long

chapter 23|11 pages

From disempowerment to well-being and flow

Enabling autistic communication in schools
ByRebecca Wood

chapter 24|15 pages

Autistic voices in Autistic research

Towards active citizenship in Autism research
ByKrysia Emily Waldock, Nathan Keates