Advocacy, Self Advocacy and Autism Ranking: Unable to rate

Risks and Safety


There are no hazards in providing advocacy to people on the autism spectrum but there are some significant difficulties and barriers. For example,

According to Saeki and Powell (2008) many people on the autism spectrum "have communication difficulties, and may - unintentionally - misrepresent their support needs".

People on the autism spectrum may also find social interaction difficult, particularly with people that they do not know. This may make advocacy particularly stressful for individuals on the spectrum.

According to Boshoff et al (2016), parents reported “... barriers to advocating for their children (such as being from a lower socioeconomic background, as well as from a different cultural background as the service provider, and being less articulate)”. 

According to Waltz et al (2015), it is important to understand that there are tensions between the advocacy provided by some organisations and the wishes of some autistic self-advocates. They note, for example, that some organisations may use advocacy as a way of achieving their own objectives, as opposed to meeting the needs of the people they are supposed to be advocating for.

“The form and language of autism self-advocacy may also be adopted by service providers and  governments, at the same time as these constrain what can be said, who can say it and, most importantly, whether and when self-advocates can exert power. Self-advocacy can also be co-opted as a way to further institutional objectives”.


There are no known contraindications (something which makes a particular treatment or procedure potentially inadvisable) for advocacy and self-advocacy. 

31 Oct 2017
Last Review
01 Aug 2017
Next Review
01 Aug 2020