Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Community


Department of Educational Leadership, Learning, and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Pamela Clark

Committee Member

Ann Berry

Committee Member

Kathleen Norris


Neurodiversity, the idea that people experience the world differently based on their neurological attributes, is emerging as an understanding of autism and other disabilities as well as the basis of a social movement. This is an idea not without controversy. Using disability studies as the conceptual anchor, this dissertation looks closely at an online dialog between two key stakeholders in the neurodiversity debate: parents of children with autism and autistic adult self-advocates. Using frame analysis as an analytic tool, it explores social movement frames and framing practices utilized in the dialog. Both the particular dimensions of autism/disability representations that emerged and the practices used by dialog participants to construct them have implications for educators, which are discussed.