In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between justice system and autistic people.
"Stereotypes about neurodiversity that are grounded in the old 'deficit' view of the brain work against the individual," Thomas M. O'Toole, Ph.D., the president of and consultant at Sound Jury Consulting, LLC, told Salon by email. "We live in a post-truth world where our beliefs and experiences serve as powerful filters for what we accept as true, and unfortunately, this means those stereotypes could work against a neurodiverse party in a lawsuit if the stereotypes give jurors a shortcut to doing the hard work of sorting through the case details."
[Haley] Moss elaborated on the challenges facing neurodivergent individuals when they interact with our legal system.
"Think about how your average person or reasonable person hears narratives about neurodiversity," Moss explained. "They see what they see in the media and how media sometimes gets it wrong. They might hear somebody testify and they think that this person isn't acting in the way that they should." Whether they don't get their words straight, they fidget and get nervous, they swim (engage in self-stimulating behaviors) on the stand or have a flat affect, "a juror might think, 'I think they're lying,' even though they're just trying to regulate their attention."