Autism as a condition has received much focused attention recently, but less attention has been paid to its politics. It is a condition that...

Autism as a condition has received much focused attention recently, but less attention has been paid to its politics. It is a condition that necessitates significant accommodations and interventions, which can be difficult for people with autism and their loved ones to obtain, depending on the state of autism public policy. Sociologist John J. Pitney argues that political science needs to more rigorously study autism policy and politics, as he outlines in his book The Politics of Autism: Navigating the Contested Spectrum (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). In our interview, we explore the evolution of our understanding of autism, how public policy impacts the lives of autistic individuals, and suggestions for future research. For anyone with autism or their loves ones, this interview offers suggestions for meeting important needs and hope for a better future.

John J. Pitney Jr., Ph.D. is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of The Art of Political Warfare and the coauthor of several books, including Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics as well as After Hope and Change: The 2012 Election and American Politics. In addition to his scholarly work, he has held staff positions in the U.S. Congress and the New York State Legislature. He maintains several blogs, including Autism Policy and Politics.


Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City and Miami. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in gender and sexuality, eating and body image, and relationship issues. He is a graduate of the psychoanalytic training program at William Alanson White Institute, where he also chairs their monthly LGBTQ Study Group. He is also a contributing author to the book Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Defining Terms and Building Bridges (Routledge, 2018).

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