New research from UC Santa Cruz shows significant improvements in the representation of adult autistic people in film, television, books, photography, and the consulting team’s website. The study, published in the journal Autism a Balagafollow a 2011 paper“Infantilizing Autism,” in Complete Disability Study, which found that the popular images of autism were more focused on children.
The previous paper raised alarms about the lack of adult representation with autismwhich can limit public awareness about the special needs of others autistic alcohol, such as employment and accommodation. At the time, 2011 paper authors — Jennifer L. Stevenson, Bev Harp, and Morton Ann Gernsbacher — considered that discrimination in children’s representation may be due to factors such as parent-led counseling groups and physicians and focus on importance. diagnosis and treatment of autism.
However, since then, the movement of neurodiversity has continued to grow, especially as autistic counselors have worked to shift focus on how to use them. autistic people they can improve their longevity. And a new team of researchers, led by UC Santa Cruz Psychology Professor Nameera Akhtar, wonders whether these efforts, and other potential influences, could affect the representation of Autism over the past decade. So, they set out to repeat the 2011 study.
“This is an important issue to follow up on, because adults with autism often say that it annoys them so much that autism is almost always seen as related to children, and that it makes them less self-conscious. invisible, “said Akhtar. “They’re talking about how they fall off a cliff when they turn 18, because there are so many resources available after that. But, of course, you won’t stop being autistic and need accommodation when you grow up. ”
To see how representation has changed, one place the research team looked at was the websites of some well-known autism groups and charities. In a study of online materials from 49 states and regions of the American Autism Society, the team found that 20% of images showing people with autism were older, compared to 5% of images only at the time and a 2011 survey reviewed these pages. While children are still gaining high priority, this is a big improvement in statistics. And 80% of websites are mentioned as autistic adults and are related to related resources. A search of the Autism 16 charity website further found similar results.
The study also looked at developments in the entertainment industry. The researchers reviewed 124 films as well television programs released between 2010 and 2019 who have autistic behaviors. They found that 58% of these characters were children, while 68% of children with autistic behaviors were in a 2011 paper-based study. increasingly bringing in counselors to advise on autism-based interventions — perhaps because of calls for more effective representation from autistic counselors.
However, the levels of representation vary greatly in the printing industry. The research team reviewed 484 English fiction books published between 2010 and 2017 that included references to autistic behavior in the book description. 81% of these characters are children, compared to 91% at the time of the 2011 paper study. The new paper conducts additional research showing that representation is better among books designed for adult audiences, with 67% of children having autistic behaviors.
The research team also analyzed 90 news stories from print, television, and radio stations in the United States that produced one person with a mental illness and were published between April and May 2020. 58% of these reports indicate illness. childrencompared with 79% of the stories in such a study for the first study.
But a new paper notes that although autistic adults are increasingly represented in the media, they can be portrayed as children. For example, research shows that one-third of news stories which includes autistic adults also mentioning their parents. Same to you before research found that researchers, parents, and patient physicians were more likely to be presented as experts on autism than adults autistic themselves.
Overall, the authors of the new study say, while their study shows a shift to more representative numbers for adults in autism spectrum, there is still plenty of room for improvement, including the strength of these representations to reflect real-life experiences. autistic alcohol. UCSC Assistant Professor of Philosophy Janette Dinishak, author of the new paper, said she hopes progress in future representation could include more attention to the transcendence of Autism with gender, race, ethnicity, and other social factors or relevant factors.
“We need to see a steady increase in the proportion of autistic seniors, along with improving the nature of this representation to differentiate how autism manifests throughout a person’s lifetime,” she said. “People with autism should be in discussions about how to improve this representation, and they need to be given more space to represent themselves.”
Nameera Akhtar et al, Still Born Autism? Updates and Proceedings of Stevenson et al. (2011), Autism a Balaga (2022). DOI: 10.1089 / aut.2022.0014
University of California – Santa Cruz
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