By Soph Myers-Kelley Referencing Autism Connections, the prevalence of autism in the United States is estimated at 1 in 44 births (CDC, 2021). More than 5.4 million Adults in the U.S., or 2.2 percent of the U.S. population, are on the autism spectrum (CDC and Disability Scoop, 2020), and about 1 percent of the world population has autism (CDC, 2014). These numbers are likely on the lower side, as many autistic people don’t have access to diagnosis due to a lack of insurance or aren’t evaluated appropriately for autism due to inappropriate stereotypes about their gender, race, or age. The stigma… Read More
Review by Soph Myers-Kelley Something Different About Dad by Kirsti Evans (illustrated by John Swogger) is a book meant to help educate children between 7 to 15 years of age who might be confused or frustrated with the differences they notice in an adult they know or live with who is autistic. I was especially interested in reading it as a late diagnosed autistic and ADHD person. This kind of content is important- especially when it covers aspects of the relationship that a child might find negative AND the parts that are positive. Often autism is portrayed as an… Read More
Guest Review by Maren Kyle How to be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual by Rebecca Burgess is a charmingly illustrated coming-of-age story about being asexual and learning about what that meant for the author as they grew up and began to navigate platonic and romantic relationships. Each chapter tells part of the author’s story, from high school through young adulthood, and then ends with an infographic or vignette that covers terminology, pride flags, pop culture representation, and microaggressions. For example, early on Burgess defines asexuality (Ace for short) as “having a lack of sexual attraction.” There is… Read More
Atrium is the report of the Northwestern Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program Graphic, Issue 10, Spring 2012 was guest co-edited by Catherine Belling and MK Czerwiec, full PDF of issue available here. Table of contents: The View from the Spectrum: The Challenges of Picturing Autism in Comics Form by Courrney Angermeier and Jeff Benham Aggression Management Manga: An Interview with Rinko Endo by MK Czerwiec Monsters and the Ghosts of PubMed by Alice Dreger Picture This: Illustrating the Future of HIPAA Docukents by Leah Eisenberg and Rose Anderon Saving Grace: Teaching about Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Using Comic Form (in… Read More
No Life Lessons Here: Comics, Autism, and Empathetic Scholarship Sara Birge, Pennsylvania State University Disability Studies Quarterly Abstract: Comics, a relatively understudied medium for representations of disability, have enormous potential for providing important critical perspectives in disability studies. This article examines two recent comics that portray individuals with autism: The Ride Together by Paul and Judy Karasik and Circling Normal, a compilation of the comic strip Clear Blue Water by Karen Montague-Reyes. I argue that these comics’ unique narrative geometries make them ideally suited for depicting cognitive disabilities in the nuanced context of embodied life. Through their reworking of stereotypes and their unique portrayals of autism, Circling… Read More
Our intrepid cartoonist and ex mental health worker uncovers the facts behind the scandalous meeja frenzy surrounding Andrew Wakefield’s spurious claims of autism and crohn’s disease caused by the MMR jab. You can view the web comic at Darryl Cunningham’s site here.