England and Autism
The history of Autism is a discourse (Waltz 2013), a journey through a disputed landscape, whose territories are alternatively staked by Politics, Education, Society, and Culture. It is diachronic in nature, as the knowledge of the present is built upon the past, but a diachronic that has progressed differently in different states, at different rates as each impact upon each other. Essentially its origins are lost in myth (Frith 1992) but its presence has always been felt in one way or another, even before the concept of autism was framed in the Western psychiatric narrative.
It is important for the continued understanding of the position that autism occupies as a “phenomenon” in England to restore the emphasis of the narrative to the cultural landscape as this is the day-to-day experience of people living and working with this contested construct and category of humanity. Although the discourse of autism has been framed by professionals and academics, it is in reality only one side of...
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