Dr James McGrath’s book Naming Adult Autism: Culture, Science, Identity is a literary critique of how autism is narrated both in culture and in science. Published by Rowman & Littlefield International in 2017, it is one of the first academic books on the topic to be authored by an adult diagnosed autistic. Naming Adult Autism experiments with the academic book as both a scholarly and literary form. The first chapter, ‘Outsider Science’, uncovers a series of oversights both in diagnostic questionnaires and in ongoing surveys of autistic traits among the general population. The fourth chapter, ‘Title’, experiments with minimalism as an academic tool, and consists of a three-line poem.
Based on his experiences as an adult diagnosed autistic and his research output on autism, McGrath’s impact has led to changes in:
- Professional awareness within the NHS of obstacles faced by autistic adults in accessing services (GP training films)
- How psychiatrists, nurses and GPs may better accommodate the needs of autistic patients (conference presentations; Q+A sessions)
- Public awareness that autistic people may succeed in Arts and Humanities, not just STEM subjects as previously stereotyped (BBC radio broadcasts; The Conversation)
- Updating content of certified online courses on autism awareness to represent autistic perspectives (High Speed Training UK)