The field of Critical Autism Studies (CAS) has evolved significantly since its inception, with scholars continually redefining its key tenets and objectives. CAS emerged as a response to conventional medical and social deficit-based models of autism and seeks to challenge the prevailing norm that considers neurotypicality as the unquestioned standard. This article, written by an autistic scholar, aims to contribute to the ongoing discussions in CAS. The article introduces novel perspectives by suggesting connections between CAS, Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), and postcolonial feminism. It advocates for the incorporation of concepts and tools from these traditions to enrich CAS’s approach. Furthermore, the article explores autism through the lens of colonisation, conceptualising autistic people, their identities, spaces, and cultures as colonised by neurotypical counterparts. It suggests that CAS can be viewed as a form of counter-discourse creation and resistant knowledge production. As a part of this discussion Lorde’s (2003) ideas on emancipation and Medina’s (2012) concepts of “epistemic resistance” are introduced, emphasising the need to challenge and deconstruct the tools and discourses used to oppress autistic individuals. In conclusion, the article calls for an emancipatory practice within CAS, urging scholars and the autistic community to collaborate, define their own paths to liberation, and critically examine their own perspectives. It emphasises the importance of centring autistic voices in CAS while inviting non-autistic scholars to be sensitive allies. This holistic approach aims to create a more inclusive and emancipatory space within Critical Autism Studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License