Parenting OC: “Autism and Fanfiction” (Rebecca Black quoted)

April 25, 2019

A study led by UC Irvine researchers and published in January in the Journal of Literacy Research found that those with autism—along with family members, teachers and advocates—use “Harry Potter” fanfiction to cast autistic characters in their stories that can help challenge stereotypes.

“We expected to find that fanfiction authors with autism, or friends, family members and close advocates of autistic individuals, would write about autism in ways that challenged pervasive stereotypes about neurological difference that are often found in popular media,” said Rebecca W. Black, UCI associate professor of informatics and lead author of “Representations of Autism in Online ‘Harry Potter’ Fanfiction.” “While we found that this was often the case—and that fanfiction authors did use their stories to present nuanced representations of autistic characters—we also found that they also drew on stereotypes and included negative reactions to autism as a rhetorical device.”

Read the full story at Parenting OC.