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Autism = Death: The social and medical impact of a catastrophic medical model of autistic spectrum disorders

Waltz, Mitzi (2008) Autism = Death: The social and medical impact of a catastrophic medical model of autistic spectrum disorders. Popular Narrative Media, 1 (1). pp. 13-24. ISSN 1754-3819

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This discussion interrogates the continuing impact of the pervasive and persistent usage of debilitating metaphors perpetuating ‘historical’ superstitions, myths and beliefs surrounding disability. This article examines the real-life consequences of the power exercised through the deployment of derogatory metaphors and their very real effects on care and treatment decisions.
The article illuminates how diagnostic categories and their associative metaphors work to situate boundaries of normality with pathologising difference. It concludes by demonstrating the catastrophic effect of the metaphoric dehumanisation of autistics that has recently culminated
in murder being euphemistically referred to and condoned as ‘mercy killing’.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2008 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER)
Keywords:autism, disability, cultural studies, stigma
Subjects:LC Special aspects of education
HM Sociology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Mitzi Waltz, Popular Narrative Media
ID Code:245
Refereed:YES
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