Autism in the spotlight

A CONFERENCE at Sheffield Hallam University examined the media's new interest in autism - and what this means for people labelled with the condition.

Delegates heard that autism was becoming much more high profile with several films, books and TV shows featuring the condition.

The event brought together disabled people, activists and academics to present research with a focus on different ways of thinking about autism.

The keynote speaker, presenting via the internet, was Anne McGuire from the University of Toronto. Her research analyses cultural representations of autism and she discussed society's 'war on autism', suggesting that society is increasingly presenting the condition as an enemy to be eradicated.

The event was co-hosted with Manchester Metropolitan University and the Disability Research Forum.

Nick Hodge from Sheffield Hallam said the event explored new ways of thinking about autism and disability.

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