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“My autistic brain”: How neurobiological narratives shape the identity of autistic adults

Autism affects about 1 in 100 people. It influences how individuals communicate, interact and experience the world. When diagnosed, autistic people may become interested in the causes of autism. Different theories exist about what those are. Some influential theories focus on how the brains of autistic people differ from those of non-autistic people, that is, on neurobiological differences. This project will investigate what autistic people understand about their neurobiology and how this affects their sense of self, or identity. 

This project aims to improve understanding of whether and how autistic individuals develop and deploy neuro-narratives. To achieve this, we will hold a public involvement event with autistic adults to find out their understanding of the neurobiology of autism, and how this relates to their identity. We will record what they say and identify key themes. The main outcome will be an infographic, co-designed with autistic people, that represents their understanding of neurobiology and its relationship to autism/autistic identity. 

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter