A Rose by Any Other Name: An Analysis of the Language Used in Recent Academic Literature about Autism
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Autism is being diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 100 children in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011). The diagnostic process is an area of much debate as well as ideas about causes, cures and conceptualizations of the autistic experience. This thesis is a discourse analysis of the language used in peer reviewed academic journal articles about autism published by the American and Canadian Psychological Associations over the past two years. The focus is on how researchers say what they say about their specific study areas around autism from the viewpoint of a counsellor, who may not know much about autism, working with a family given the label. The analysis finds several examples of ambiguous definitions, blaming and pathologizing, as well as positive, language, circular reasoning and the expressed need for more research in many areas of the field.