Details for the next DRF seminar are below. All welcome. And if you’d like to present at an upcoming seminar, please do let us know – available slots can be seen here.
Wednesday 10th December, 10am-12pm, Room 100009 (Arundel Building, Sheffield Hallam University)
Slot 1: Joanna Baker-Rogers: Asperger Syndrome – experiencing the phenomenon of friendship (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
Abstract: As the mother of a son with the label of Asperger Syndrome (AS), I have observed my son enjoying friendships with peers both on the autism spectrum and non-disabled. These observations would appear to challenge the diagnostic view that persons with AS do not enjoy friendship. Instead they prefer solitary activities and being alone. This conceptualisation of the autism spectrum embodies the medical model of disability and in-particular the Triad of Impairments (Wing 1995). The literature is dominated by understandings of friendship of non-disabled people (O’Dell, Bertildotter Rosqvist and Brownlow (2013). There is little consideration of potential autistic friendships from a social model of disability perspective. Instead the focus is on the failure of persons with AS to aspire to and maintain friendships with the aim of improving themselves to experience friendship from a non-disabled perspective. I have come to question whether concepts of friendship are being imposed upon persons with AS that have little meaning for them, are disabling and embody the concepts of normalcy (Abberley 1991) and ableism (Campbell 2012).
The medical model of disability view of persons with AS not being interested in friendship needs to be problematised. This presentation of my research critiques these misconceptions that have emerged as a result of social barriers in society. My research aims to capture the different and valid lived experience of friendship for persons with AS that challenges the conceptualisation of the autism spectrum as a tragedy for the individual and their family.
Slot 2: Chris Hill: Special School Sporting Experiences: Listening to Student Researchers Labelled with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)