‘Neurodivergent literacies’: exploring autistic adults' ‘ruling passions’ and embracing neurodiversity through classroom literacies

BAILEY, Chris J (2023). ‘Neurodivergent literacies’: exploring autistic adults' ‘ruling passions’ and embracing neurodiversity through classroom literacies. Literacy.

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lit.12...
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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12320


The concept of neurodiversity has fuelled a social justice movement advocating for the rights of those whose lives diverge from a socially‐constructed default. However, deficit understandings of disability persist in educational settings and neurodivergent people continue to face disadvantage and discrimination in organisations constructed on normative understandings of the world. Although New Literacy Studies is concerned with ideas of power, dominance and worth, there is a notable lack of work that connects NLS with issues of neurodiversity. In this paper, I introduce the term ‘neurodivergent literacies’ to propose a field of study that links the ideological model of literacy with the neurodiversity paradigm. From this starting point, I outline a project that examined literacies around what are often referred to as the ‘special interests’ of autistic people. Presenting data from interviews with 13 neurodivergent adults, related to school experiences and the literacies they engage with around their self‐defined ‘ruling passions’, I make recommendations for literacies practitioners, arguing that schools need to do more to take account of difference and disability. By describing how ‘neurodivergent literacies’ can help teachers harness their own critical literacy skills to challenge deficit models of difference in the classroom, this paper illuminates how an understanding of neurodiversity is essential for anyone teaching and researching literacies with a commitment to social justice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Wiley via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for VoR version of this article: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: issn 1741-4350; issn 1741-4369 **Article IDs: publisher-id: lit12320; society-id: lit-sia-2022-038.r2 **History: published_online 17-04-2023; accepted 06-04-2023; rev-recd 23-03-2023; submitted 12-08-2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: Special Issue Article, Special Issue Articles, autism, disability, literacies, neurodiversity, neurodivergence, reading, social justice
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12320
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2023 15:15
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 15:47
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31778

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