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Title: Narrating experience : the advantage of using mixed expressive media to bring autistic voices to the fore in discourse around their support requirements
Author: Ridout, Susan Joan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 9340
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This study explores methods of shifting the power imbalance within autism research by acknowledging the autistic voice as the expert ‘insider’. This is critical, since statistics relating to access to services demonstrate social barriers to inclusion and a negative impact on wellbeing. With communication as a central challenge between autistic and non-autistic individuals, I explore methods to access the views of autistic adults regarding their experiences, support requirements and provision of appropriate services. In order to do this, my main research question concerns the deeper exploration of data informing an evaluation of a support service to understand how some autistic individuals conceptualise their experiences. My research design, informed by autistic people, focused on context and power issues through method flexibility. I used collage and narrative diary methods to gather written and visual data, which is presented and analysed as three individual case studies and also as a meta analysis providing a broad picture of themes. My key contribution to autism research blends IPA, narrative analysis and discourse with distinct sites of analysis (narrative process, images of autism, audiencing, turning points and discourse). In addition, I employ a flexible methodology to embrace diverse communication preferences of autistic individuals. My findings demonstrate the importance of contextualisation in making sense of autistic individuals’ experiences and understanding how the ‘outsider’ location of power can negatively impact on the autistic agenda. To address this, autistic people need to be seen as the expert of their lives, and this study demonstrates how autistic and non-autistic individuals can work together.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education