‘Though the earth gives way’: An autoethnographic account of autistic grief

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Edward Ceney


Through an autoethnographic account of my mother’s death, I reveal how grief and the desolation it brings the autistic person is vastly different to neurotypical models of grief (such as the Kübler-Ross model) determining when, where and how I was permitted to feel my emotions. Grief takes those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a greater amount of time to work through, often resulting in periods of meltdown and shutdown (heightened anger and fear) as well as an unawareness of the emotion they are feeling. However, I will also show how parental death can also be transformative, providing a powerful reason to persevere.

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