Naming Adult Autism

Culture, Science, Identity

By (author) Dr. James McGrath

Publication date:

15 August 2017

Length of book:

272 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781783480401

Naming Adult Autism is one of the first critiques of cultural and medical narratives of Autism to be authored by an adult diagnosed with this condition.

Autism is a ‘social disorder’, defined by interactions and lifestyle. Yet, the expectations of normalcy against which Autism is defined have too rarely been questioned. This book demonstrates the value of the Humanities towards developing fuller understandings of Autistic adulthood, adapting theory from Adorno, Foucault and Butler.

The chapters expose serious scientific limitations of medical assumptions that Autistic people are gifted at maths but indifferent to fiction. After interrogating such clichés in literature, cinema and television, James McGrath also explores more radical depictions of Autism via novels by Douglas Coupland, Margaret Atwood, Clare Morrall and Meg Wolitzer, plus poems by Les Murray and Joanne Limburg.

Follow this link to see
James McGrath in conversation with Kelly-Anne Watson at Leeds Beckett University:

Follow this link to view a content breakdown of the above interview:

Follow this link to read a 'Seeking Sara' blog interview with James:
James McGrath demonstrates how pejorative narrative, including diagnostic labels, has defined how society regards Autism. We learn how ‘experts’ have constructed Autism discourse with little reference to those experiencing it and how this leads to their lack of agency. This excellent book rephrases autism as an impairment to a lifelong identity, providing a deeper understanding of it.