The July session of the Autism Ideas café welcomed attendees from the UK and beyond and was based around three discussion topics.

International Perspectives on Autism and Autism Research –

The discussion was informed by a description of the situation regarding diagnosis, support and public attitudes towards autism in Hong Kong led by an autism researcher living in Hong Kong. She explained that in Chinese, the word for autism means to “self-isolate or self-enclose”, and that much of the focus of support for autistic children tends to be around encouraging them to present as being “less autistic”, and advised that there is very little focus on adults with autism. Autistic children may be referred to as “children of the stars”, which can perpetuate the view that autism is something which is only experienced by children. The discussion was further supplemented by a group member from New Zealand who shared their experiences of receiving a diagnosis of autism as an adult.

Employability Support for Neurodivergent Women – an innovative approach

Darkside Rising , a community interest company based in Lincolnshire gave a presentation on their innovative programme of support for neurodivergent women which includes weights-based strength training and mindfulness. More information on their programme can be found here.

Diagnosis or Self-Identification – Implications for Research

The discussion focussed on the issue of formal diagnosis and self-identification of autism, and how these differ in relation to their implication on autism research. General consensus of the group was that for general autism research, self-identification is perfectly valid, but that depending on the research question being explored, then specifying diagnosis as an inclusion criterion is acceptable, particularly where research focusses on experiences relating to the diagnostic process.

Save the Dates –

The next Bishop Grosseteste Participatory Autism Research Symposium has been scheduled for the 13th October, with further details of the agenda to be shared nearer to the date. Register Here.

The next Autism Ideas Café event will be held online on Wednesday 8th September. Register Here.

23rd July 2021