“A Future of My Own, A Future Amongst My Own”: Families, Institutional Care Homes, and the Aspirations of Neurodivergent Adults in Delhi, India


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




Neurodivergent individuals face immense interpersonal, cultural, and institutional resistance in claiming a future of their own since cognitive disabilities continue to be imagined, recognized, and rehabilitated as infantile disorders. In India, such imaginaries of a perpetual dependency, alongside the precarious realities of care scarcity, have motivated many familial caregivers to establish assisted living institutions that can provide lifelong care to neurodivergent adults away from their familial homes. Facing custodial and curative futures, how do neurodivergent adults in India harbor, articulate, and enact claims to a future of their own? And how do such claims usher in new ways of being, becoming, caring, and relating? Through a multimodal ethnography with neurodivergent adults at the precipice of familial and institutional homes in Delhi, this project attends to the agentive ways in which neurodiversity remakes relations of care and kin through aspirations of, and toward, futurity.