The second of our teasers? This abstract is from Penny Andrews and Marika Soulsby-Kermode, Information seeking and challenging the concept of the unreliable narrator: finding autism, finding the true self.
Our submission will take the form of a multimedia narrative, incorporating audio, video, various textual forms, comic strips and illustration. As high-functioning individuals on the autistic spectrum, we are fluent verbal communicators, but these media better express our native languages (Spicer, 1998). The Internet provides environments which are better adapted to those languages, and it is through these virtual spaces we were able to seek out information which truly spoke to us and empowered us. To paraphrase Turkle (1997), our experiences in virtual space compelled us to pay greater attention to what we took for granted in the real, calling into question whether our own voices were as unreliable as we had been raised to believe.
The content of our narrative will cover our parallel diagnostic journeys. For adult women like ourselves, the process of obtaining a diagnosis is long and arduous, and the transactional costs of embarking on that journey are too much to take on without adequate support and access to highly-developed information literacy skills (which were in our cases honed by our involvement in the LIS profession). Our intent is to show how information seeking within a digital context allowed us to complete a journey towards improved well-being we could not have otherwise made.
Spicer, D (1998). Autistic and Undiagnosed: My Cautionary Tale. In: Asperger Syndrome Conference, March 12-13 1998, Västerås, Sweden.
Turkle, S (1997). Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. London: Phoenix. 180, 256, 318.