Neurodiversity and Autism Advocacy: Who Fits Under the Autism Tent?

American Journal of Bioethics 20 (4):33-34 (2020)
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McCoy, Liu, Lutz, and Sisti (2020) raise concerns about “partial representation,” in which nonelected advocates or advocacy organizations fail to engage and hold themselves accountable to the full range of people they purport to represent. They are right to point out that the autism community is vulnerable to partial representation. This open peer commentary notes some elements among those engaged with autism that may not fit under the type of “federated model” of representation McCoy, et al recommend. Advocates should tread carefully to avoid some types of harm that do not arise when forming federations on other topics. The influence of antivaxxers and other questionable or harmful movements might even lead us to think, despite the value of open debate and engagement, that there is benefit to partial representation if it prevents potential harms that could arise from legitimizing dangerous practices.



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Kenneth A. Richman
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Citations of this work

Like Autism, Representation Falls on a Spectrum.Nanette Elster & Kayhan Parsi - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (4):4-5.

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