Autism and Social Media: The Case of Brazil

Débora Antunes, Alexander Dhoest

Abstract


This paper presents an overview of how social media is used by Brazilian autism communities, aiming at including the perspectives of the Global South into discussions surrounding the topic, which are mostly focusing on English speaking groups. The results are based on a digital ethnography conducted in three Facebook groups about autism. We observed that groups composed by parents looking for information and social support are predominant in Brazilian social media. Autistic people also engage in information gathering and the exchange of personal experiences, mainly the ones with Asperger Syndrome. Additionally, we saw that Facebook offers enough affordances to allow the participation of people with different levels of digital literacy. However, there is still a lack of representation from autistic people who have more challenges, such as non-verbal individuals, which may be a consequence of the digital divide, not only in terms of economical means, but also education and inclusion.

Keywords


autism; social media; Brazil

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS12420181298

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/