In this exploratory case study based on qualitative research, we explore the perspectives and experiences of autistic self-advocates in the Netherlands regarding autism, (self-)advocacy, and consumer-run organizations. The focus of our study is a consumer-run organization by and for adult Persons on the Autism Spectrum in the Netherlands: PAS-Nederland or PAS for short. Our analysis reveals four themes relevant to the acceptance and integration of adults with autism into society and work: (1) invisibility of autistic adults; (2) diversity of the autism spectrum; (3) autistic leadership; and (4) collaboration between people with and without autism. We discuss the practical implications of our findings for the inclusion of people with autism in work and society. Our study underscores the importance of putting autistic people at the center of decision-making processes and solutions aimed at improving their outcomes in society, in general, and in the workplace specifically.
Karin van den Bosch, Anna Krzeminska, Eun Young Song, Lineke van Hal, Mitzi Waltz, Hannah Ebben en Alice Schippers