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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 12-October-2007, Vol 120 No 1263

[full text] [PDF]

Did Janet Frame have high-functioning autism?
Sarah Abrahamson


Janet Frame (1924–2004) was one of New Zealand’s most well-known authors and unusual personalities. Her formal psychiatric diagnosis, however, has not been clear. Some have suggested that she was simply “different”. This paper proposes that there is a name for her difference: high-functioning autism. The features of this condition apparent on analysis of her autobiographies are examined.

Janet Frame was an interesting example of what may be achieved by those with strong autistic features. It is to be hoped that current and future generations of New Zealanders with autism spectrum disorders are recognised early and given appropriate advice.

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