Avonte's Law: Autism, Wandering, and Racial Surveillance of Neurological Difference


This article situates recent policy proposals designed to expand the technological surveillance and policing of the "wandering" tendencies ascribed to autistic subjects in relationship to longer histories involving the surveillance of blackness and disability, and maintains that that such proposals are inadequate to sustaining the persistence and flourishing of autistic and other neurologically divergent forms-of-life. Drawing from discussions of the politics of bodily movement in black studies, performance theory, and the emerging discourses of neuro-diversity, the essay argues for the necessity of cultivating alternative approaches to conceptualizing, representing, and doing justice to the "problem" of autistic wandering.