Dr Damian Milton

A Mismatch of Salience


A Mismatch of Salience explores the communication challenges between people on the autism spectrum and neurotypical people and seeks to re-balance and celebrate this diversity.



A Mismatch of Salience brings together a range of Damian Milton’s writings that span more than a decade. The book explores the communication and understanding difficulties that can create barriers between people on the autism spectrum and neurotypical people. It celebrates diversity in communication styles and human experience by re framing the view that autistic people represent a ‘disordered other’ not as an impairment, but a two-way mismatch of salience. It also looks at how our current knowledge has been created by non-autistic people on the ‘outside’, looking in. A Mismatch of Salience attempts to redress this balance.


Academics, researchers, students, health and social care professionals and support staff.

The book is available for £15 for students. If you are eligible please email [email protected] to claim your student discount coupon code.


ISBN: 9781911028765
Publication: 06 November 2017

Contents include:
Part one: This thing called autism
So what exactly is autism?
‘Problems in living’ and the mental well-being of autistic people
Natures answer to over-conformity: a deconstruction of pathological demand avoidance
Impaired compared to what? Embodiment and diversity

Part two: A mismatch of salience
On the Ontological Status of Autism: the ‘Double Empathy Problem’
Embodied sociality and the conditioned relativism of dispositional diversity
Autistic expertise: a critical reflection on the production of knowledge in autism studies

Part three: From theory to practice
‘Filling in the gaps’, a micro-sociological analysis of autism
So what exactly are autism interventions intervening with?
Tracing the influence of Fernand Deligny on autism studies
7 concepts of sociological interest

Part four: Participation
Autistics speak but are they heard?
Moments in time
Aut-ethnography: working from the inside out
How is a sense of well-being and belonging constructed in the accounts of autistic adults?
Educational discourse and the autistic student: a study using Q-sort methodology (thesis summary)


Dr Damian Milton’s interest in autism began when his son was diagnosed in 2005 as autistic at the age of two. Damian was also diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2009 at the age of 36. Thanks to Damian’s ability to present his views and insights from ‘inside’ the autism spectrum so clearly, he is able to challenge many of the ideas held by society.

Damian works part-time for the National Autistic Society (NAS) as Head of Autism Knowledge and Expertise (Adults and Community) and sits on the scientific and advisory committee for Research Autism. Damian currently teaches on the MA Education (Autism) programme at London South Bank University and is a consultant for the Transform Autism Education (TAE) project. In 2017 Damian joined the Tizard Centre, University of Kent as a part-time Lecturer to coincide with his work for the NAS.


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