Recently I have received feedback from a number of sources suggesting that I need to be careful when listening to autistic people, and integrating their perspectives into my research agenda. The implication is often that I would be better off if I didn’t talk to autistic people quite as much as I do.
This has been pretty challenging for me. I obviously don’t always (often? ever?) get it right, but working alongside autistic people, trying to ensure that the research I do aligns with their priorities, is absolutely a matter of principle for me. You can see examples of that in the Shaping Autism Research seminar series, in which I was proud to take part, and my personal mentoring relationship with Kabie Brook.
At the same time, I deeply respect, and am personally fond of, many of the people who are telling me I need to watch my step in relation to asking autistic people what they think. These people are all doing high quality research and are super brainy. More than that, I have no doubt that they care greatly about making a difference in the lives of people on the autism spectrum, and their families. So why the reluctance to ask #actuallyautistic folks what they think?
Read the rest of this great piece at: Autistic voices, and the problem of the “vocal minority” | DART