Open Inclusion or Shameful Secret: a Comparison of Characters with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (fasd) and Characters with Autism Spectrum Disorders (asd) in a North American Sample of Books for Children and Young Adults

Abstract

Using a framework of critical literacy, and acknowledging the characteristics of Radical Change, the authors explore 75 North American youth fiction novels which depict characters with disabilities. Books were identified from a variety of sources (i.e., awards lists, book reviews, other research, and word-of-mouth), to represent a random sample that would work within the research timeframe. From the sample, characters who were described as having Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) (n=2) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (n=14) were analyzed to determine trends and patterns in the character descriptions, settings, and plot lines. There appears to be an underrepresentation of characters with FASD in North American youth fiction in comparison to the representation of characters with ASD, a similar group in society in terms of incidence. An annotated bibliography includes the 15 titles portraying characters with FASD or ASD within the larger sample.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Barker2011OpenIO, title={Open Inclusion or Shameful Secret: a Comparison of Characters with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (fasd) and Characters with Autism Spectrum Disorders (asd) in a North American Sample of Books for Children and Young Adults}, author={Conor Barker and Juli Kulyk and Lyndsay Knorr and Beverley Brenna}, year={2011} }