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Saturday, June 24, 2023

French Autistic Adults

  In The Politics of Autism, I discuss international perspectives.

Raven Bureau and Céline Clément have an article at Autism titled “`Survival classes for a neurotypical world': What French autistic adults want and need after receiving an autism diagnosis." Lay abstract:

Adults receiving an autism diagnosis might not react the same depending on their countries or cultures. We also know that autistic people are rarely asked what they think would be best for them following this diagnosis. In this study, we asked 12 French autistic adults about their experiences of receiving an autism diagnosis as well as what they thought might be useful afterwards. Overall, we found that some experiences were similar to experiences related by English or American participants, but some were specific to the French culture, suggesting that such research should expand into new territories and cultures, especially non-European ones. Our participants also had quite a few ideas as to what would be useful for people in the same situation. Some of the suggestions can be put into action by peers and professionals alike, while others are wishes relating to how our participants would like society to behave toward them and people like them, for example. This article allows for a better comprehension of how cultural differences can impact the experience of receiving an autism diagnosis as an adult and provides some insight into what these adults want and desire following such a diagnosis.

From the article:

 Some experiences related by our participants reflected the way autism is understood and conceptualized in France which, while the presence of stigma is similar to what autistic people can experience in other countries (Cage et al., 2019), seems to have a particular flavor due to psychoanalysis and its wide-reaching influence (Bishop & Swendsen, 2021; Briggs, 2020). As this approach is stillvery present in the public discourse, it seems unavoidable that it influences the social representations of autism inFrance. Research on the subject is scarce, and more research on representations of autism in France is needed. Indeed, these representations can have an impact on the mental health of adults receiving an autism diagnosis, as identified by our participants and supported by research using the minority-stress model and how it applies to autism (Botha & Frost, 2020).