I have been an independent researcher since 1999, an independent scholar since 2011, and I was diagnosed Autistic in 2021.
Autism is a collection of behaviours and preferences. These can be identified, described, and grouped, yet they manifest differently in each Autistic person. Several of my Autistic traits are enormously helpful to me in my work, though others make it very challenging to run my own business. If you want to know more about autism, the UK’s National Autistic Society is a good place to start.
Of course I have been Autistic all my life, but I only learned that I might be Autistic in 2019, and have only known for sure since 2021. So I am not an expert in autism. I also live with asthma (since 1993) and fibromyalgia (since 2013), but I am not an expert in disability or chronic illness.
I have done some research in the disability arena. I am proud to have co-authored, with Dr Aimee Grant, a popular open access journal article on the Autistic advantage in qualitative research. I would not rule out doing more work in disability or neurodiversity, though it is not one of my main interests; those are research methods, particularly creative methods, and research ethics.