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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Greta Thunberg and Asperger Awareness

In The Politics of Autism, I write:  "Support from the general public will be an important political asset for autistic people. Another will be their sheer numbers, since a larger population of identified autistic adults will mean more autistic voters and activists."  Perhaps the most prominent is climate activist Rachel Thunberg.

At The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Micah Hartwell, Ashley Keener, Sara Coffey, Tessa Chesher, Trevor Torgerson & Matt Vassar have a brief report titled "Public Awareness of Asperger Syndrome Following Greta Thunberg Appearances." 
Results from our study suggest that Thunberg’s increased media attention during the climate summit and subsequently being named Time’s person of the year was strongly associated with increased public awareness for AS. More than 1.3 million searches for AS occurred in September in concordance with the UN summit, nearly double the volume from the previous month. The search trend for AS remained well above the forecasted values through the end of the year. In turn, the executive director of the Asperger/Autism Network stated the organization sees increased call volumes, specifically related to acquiring a diagnosis, when prominent figures such as Thunberg receive heightened media attention and reveal their diagnosis (Ortiz 2019). Additional evidence of increased help-seeking behavior during this period may be supported by the increased internet traffic for the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) and Autism Speaks websites.
Trump insulted her.