Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Dev Psychol. 2013 Jan;49(1):59-71. doi: 10.1037/a0028353. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Deficit, difference, or both? Autism and neurodiversity.

Author information

  • 1Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. kapp@ucla.edu

Abstract

The neurodiversity movement challenges the medical model's interest in causation and cure, celebrating autism as an inseparable aspect of identity. Using an online survey, we examined the perceived opposition between the medical model and the neurodiversity movement by assessing conceptions of autism and neurodiversity among people with different relations to autism. Participants (N = 657) included autistic people, relatives and friends of autistic people, and people with no specified relation to autism. Self-identification as autistic and neurodiversity awareness were associated with viewing autism as a positive identity that needs no cure, suggesting core differences between the medical model and the neurodiversity movement. Nevertheless, results suggested substantial overlap between these approaches to autism. Recognition of the negative aspects of autism and endorsement of parenting practices that celebrate and ameliorate but do not eliminate autism did not differ based on relation to autism or awareness of neurodiversity. These findings suggest a deficit-as-difference conception of autism wherein neurological conditions may represent equally valid pathways within human diversity. Potential areas of common ground in research and practice regarding autism are discussed.

PMID:
22545843
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk