The future I’d like to see

The National Autism Project has recently published a series of short essays entitled ‘The future I’d like to see‘.

SWAN Chair, Dr Catriona Stewart, who is also a member of the National Autism Project Advisory panel offered her own vision for the future.

Catriona-StewartDr Stewart identified four themes to consider in setting out a vision for the future for autistic girls and women – identity, self-esteem, agency, autonomy

To talk about a ‘Future I’d like to see’ requires the existing context from which that future would have to be built. I don’t want to miss out the non-verbal, the learning disabled, the girls and women who have chronic illnesses or who have disabilities of other kinds, the menopausal, the elderly. I don’t want to exclude those who don’t identify as women or who don’t want to or can’t have children. I wouldn’t want ever to suggest that femaleness is only exemplified through motherhood.

She goes on to identify several areas such as resourcing an appropriate educational strategy, identifying and accommodating needs of autistic girls and women, and where they can fulfil their potential. She concluded,

Finally, I’d like to see a society where the stigma of  autism is gone, where autism is understood as an aspect of the diversity of humanity where every being has value, just for being. And where it is understood that over half of that diversity is female.

Go and read her contribution and see contributions by other authors in the field.

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