The label “autism” refers to a range of complex neurological aspects that lead to the autistic brain being wired differently. But just like the label on a jam pot might list the ingredients without revealing much about the taste or one’s experience in eating the jam, the label that a person likes to identify him/herself with tells little about the lived experiences. What does being autistic mean for an autistic person?
My personal experiences as a so-called “high-functioning” Aspergirl, in teaching the piano to autistic children and in researching autism, have ignited in me a wish to critique current views of autism as a condition that renders the autistic as being more or less than human.
Currently, I am working on pieces of autiethnography – works of and about the autistic self – academic and artistic reflections that combine neuropsychology (which I study at the University of Chicago) with lived experiences (as an autistic individual and as a teacher for children with autism).
To support autism awareness, I give talks and trainings both in- and outside academia. My autism plays an important role in my other scholarly writings as well.
Mussies, Martine. 2020. “Autiethnography.” In “Fan Studies Methodologies,” edited by Julia E. Largent, Milena Popova, and Elise Vist, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 33. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2020.1789. [Academia]