Autism and the Neurodiversity Paradigm
This unique course offers an alternative view of autism based on the neurodiversity paradigm. It defines and explains the neurodiversity approach to autism and offers a critique of the mainstream ...
This unique course offers an alternative view of autism based on the neurodiversity paradigm. It defines and explains the neurodiversity approach to autism and offers a critique of the mainstream professional and academic discourse on autism, which views autism as a set of deficits, framing many aspects of autism as pathological.
In contrast to the prevalent pathology paradigm of autism, the neurodiversity paradigm frames neurological diversity as a form of human diversity that is subject to the same sorts of social dynamics that occur in diversity of race, culture, gender, or sexual orientation. Seen through the lens of the neurodiversity paradigm, the pathologizing of autistic people is viewed as a manifestation of the similar patterns of social power and prejudice that once led to the pathologizing of gay and lesbian people.
This intermediate-level course, including audios, videos and articles, was developed by a leading autistic scholar and educator. It begins with an explanation of autism, which is different than the pathologizing or DSM approach to Autism. The second section of the course introduces the neurodiversity paradigm with two articles, a video and an audio interview (transcripts available).This section includes definitions of terms, such as neurodivergence and neurominority. The third section is composed of three articles that critique the framework behind autistic stereotypes and present a new view of autism. The fourth section, containing a video (transcript available) and two articles, discusses important issues that therapists and other professionals need to be aware of when working with neurodivergent clients. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.
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