Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kimberly Drake

Reader 2

Glenn Simshaw

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© 2017 Bridgette Ramirez


This thesis disrupts the popular narrative of high-functioning autistic individuals as the ideal and capable special needs people who are worthy of our attention. It characterizes the author’s nonverbal autistic sister as a charming, cunning, even diabolical figure who cannot be pinned to a single interpretation - a figure beyond understanding. Defying convention both stylistically and thematically, this thesis provides a nuanced, in-depth view of a family with special needs as each member copes in different and contradictory ways.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.