As part of Love Arts Leeds Festival 2012, Leeds Salon has invited author and academic Stuart Murray to discuss ‘autism and human variation’.
Autism is one of the most discussed medical conditions in contemporary society. It is also one of the most misunderstood. For many, it is a disability that poses serious difficulties in engaging with the world. For others, it is a welcome indication of the wide variation inherent in the human condition. Biomedical research that aims to discover the genetic and neurological basis of autism may lead to new forms of treatment, but is treating autism appropriate? Vast sums of money are being invested to find a 'cure' for autism, but some autistic people believe that the results of such research could be tantamount to genocide. In an era of genetic advances and prenatal screening, but also of disability rights and the acceptance of difference, what do we think we know about autism? Do we see it as part of our collective future, or as a condition we would rather be without?
Stuart will also face question from our expert panel.
Stuart Murray is Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film in the School of English, and Director of the interdisciplinary Leeds Medical Humanities Centre Director, at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Autism (Routledge, 2011) and Representing Autism: Culture, Narrative, Fascination (Liverpool University Press, 2008).
Richard Exley has worked in the autism field for 30 years, and currently works as a practitioner providing advice and support to people with autism. He set up and developed the world’s first social consultancy service for people affected by autism, and is a founding member of the World Autism Organisation, and an honorary member of Autism Europe.
Alison Stansfield is the associate medical director for learning disabilities and the clinical lead for the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service (LADS). She also provides expert reports regarding issues of capacity for the Court of Protection/Official Solicitor.
For more information and readings, visit the Leeds Salon website at www.leedssalon.org.uk
Love Arts Leeds is organised by Arts and Minds and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and takes place between Tuesday 2nd and Monday 29th October 2012. For more information, visit there website at www.loveartsleeds.co.uk