Thursday, September 19, 2019

Autistic History: Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity. We always talk about it but never explored the history of this wonderful phenomenon. It is a neologism that was made popular in the 1990's. Judy Singer, an Australian sociologist, and Harvey Blume, an American journalist, coined the term. Neurodiversity is the variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other neurological and brain functions in a non pathological way. The term takes the suffix "Neuro" meaning brain and the word "diversity" to create the term. This starts the social model of disability.

There was been some controversy with "autism advocates" not autistic advocates. They say that neurodiversity conceptualizes the autism spectrum and does not reflect realities of people with high support needs. They would say "low functioning people with autism."

Judy Singer created the word neurodiversity. She used the term in her sociology honors thesis in the late 1990's. This was a way to move away from the theories that blamed mothers for not loving their children enough. It was first believed that children who were not loved by their mothers were destined to be autistic. She had been corresponding with Harvey Blume. The term first printed in his article in The Atlantic on September 30, 1998.

On June 30, 1997, there was a previous article in the New York Times by Blume. He did not use the word Neurodiversity but he did explain the idea of "neurological pluralism." Blume was an early advocate for how neurodiversity is represented on the internet.

There are some authors say that earlier work of an advocate by the name of Jim Sinclair advanced the concept of neurodiversity. He was the main organizer of the international online autistic community. He had a speech named "Don't Morn for Us." This emphasized that being autistic was a way of being. He started the concept that you cannot separate the person from autism.

Since the introduction of the term Neurodiversity, it has been introduced to the Developmental Adult Neurodiversity Association (DANDA) in the United Kingdom.

The neurodiversity paradigm had been first accepted by the autistic community. Since then, it has been embraced by the ADHD, speech delay, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, intellectual disabiity, and Torrette's syndrome. Some mental health conditions are also included. They are Bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder  and obsessive personality disorder. Autistic advocates emphasize that autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other neurodevelopment disabilities do not need a cure. Support systems are advocated for instead.  The purpose of this is that it honors authentic human diversity, self expression and dignity. This does not force people to become the typical people that they are not.

There was a study in 2009. In this study 27 students who were on different areas of the neurodiversity spectrum (autism, dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder [now known as apraxia], ADHD and stroke) were separated into two groups. These groups were a "difference" view and a weakness group. The difference view was the neurodiversity view. They were seen as different and incorporated strengths. The weakness view was where being neurodiverse was considered a weakness. The findings were in the difference view were indicated higher academic self -esteem and confidence in their abilities. 73% of this group expressed career ambitions with positive and clear goals. These students were reporting that they were gaining this view of themselves through the contact of neurodiversity advocates in online support groups

There was an online survey in 2013. This survey measured the conceptions of autism and neurodiversity. The results was that it found the deficit as a difference view of autism suggested the importance of harnessing autistic traits in developmentally beneficial ways, transcending a false dichotomy between celebrating differeneces and ameliorating deficit.

Without change there is never the absence of controversy. The dominant paradigm pathologizes the human brain. From the medical model, these brains have medical conditions that need to be treated

The common critique is that neurodiversity excludes those with high support needs. The autistic advocate Nick Walker had said that neurodivergencies refer to specifical"pervasive neurocognitive differences are intimately related to the formation and constitution of the self. "
Sources:

  1.  Armstrong, Thomas (2011). The power of neurodiversity : unleashing the advantages of your differently wired brain (1st Da Capo Press paperback ed.). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong. ISBN 9780738215242OCLC 760085215.
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  3. Jump up to:a b c d Chapman, Robert (2019-01-10). "Neurodiversity Theory and Its Discontents: Autism, Schizophrenia, and the Social Model of Disability". In Tekin, Serife; Bluhm, Robyn (eds.). The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 371–387. ISBN 9781350024069.
  4. ^ Opar, Alisa (May 6, 2019). "A medical condition or just a difference? The question roils autism community". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
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  6. ^ Singer, Judy (1999-02-01). "'Why can't you be normal for once in your life?' From a 'problem with no name' to the emergence of a new category of difference". In Corker, Mairian; French, Sally (eds.). Disability Discourse. McGraw-Hill Education (UK). pp. 59–67. ISBN 9780335202225For me, the key significance of the 'autism spectrum' lies in its call for and anticipation of a politics of neurological diversity, or neurodiversity.
  7. ^ "Meet Judy Singer Neurodiversity Pioneer"My Spectrum Suite. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  8. ^ Bumiller, Kristen. "The Geneticization of Autism: From New Reproductive Technologies to the Conception of Genetic Normalcy." Signs 34.4 (2009): 875-99. Chicago Journals. University of Chicago Press.
  9. ^ Blume, Harvey (September 30, 1998). "Neurodiversity"The Atlantic. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2007Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general. Who can say what form of wiring will prove best at any given moment? Cybernetics and computer culture, for example, may favor a somewhat autistic cast of mind.
  10. ^ Blume, Harvey (1997-06-30). "Autistics, freed from face-to-face encounters, are communicating in cyberspace"The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-08Yet, in trying to come to terms with [a neurotypical-dominated] world, autistics are neither willing nor able to give up their own customs. Instead, they are proposing a new social compact, one emphasizing neurological pluralism. [...] The consensus emerging from the Internet forums and Web sites where autistics congregate [...] is that NT is only one of many neurological configurations -- the dominant one certainly, but not necessarily the best.
  11. ^ Blume, Harvey (1997-07-01). ""Autism & The Internet" or "It's The Wiring, Stupid""Media In Transition. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2007-11-08A project called CyberSpace 2000 is devoted to getting as many people as possible in the autistic spectrum hooked up by the year 2000, reason being that "the Internet is an essential means for autistic people to improve their lives, because it is often the only way they can communicate effectively."
  12. ^ Solomon, Andrew (2008-05-25). "The autism rights movement"New YorkArchived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  13. Jump up to:a b Fenton, Andrew, and Tim Krahn. "Autism, Neurodiversity and Equality Beyond the Normal" (PDF). Journal of Ethics in Mental Health 2.2 (2007): 1-6. 10 November 2009.
  14. ^ Sinclair, Jim. Don't Mourn For Us. Autism Network International, n.d.. Retrieved on 2013-05-07.
  15. ^ danda.org.uk DANDA website. Retrieved on 6 January 2015
  16. Jump up to:a b c Jaarsma P, Welin S (February 2011). "Autism as a Natural Human Variation: Reflections on the Claims of the Neurodiversity Movement" (PDF)Health Care Anal20 (1): 20–30. doi:10.1007/s10728-011-0169-9PMID 21311979. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-01.
  17. Jump up to:a b Woodford, Gillian. 'We Don't Need to be Cured' Autistics SayArchived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine. National Review of Medicine. Volume 3. No. 8. April 30, 2006. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  18. ^ Mackenzie, Robin; John Watts (2011-01-31). "Is our legal, health care and social support infrastructure neurodiverse enough? How far are the aims of the neurodiversity movement fulfilled for those diagnosed with cognitive disability and learning disability?". Tizard Learning Disability Review16 (1): 30–37. doi:10.5042/tldr.2011.0005We recommend, therefore, that the term neurodiverse include the conditions ASD, ADHD, OCD, language disorders, developmental coordination disorder, dyslexia and Tourette's syndrome.
  19. ^ "On Neurodiversity". Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  20. ^ "An Exploration Of The Neurodiversity Movement"radicalpsychology.org. Archived from the original on 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-08-11Conducting a poll of what she calls her 'online tribe', other bipolar people participating in specialized listservs and chatrooms, Antonetta discovered that, like her, most responders like their minds and the gifts their bipolarity brings them. One man she quotes says: "I choose not to look at bipolarity as an illness at all. In fact, I couldn't imagine myself as not being bipolar, nor would I want to be. The bipolar is a strong component of who I am, and I do not wish to be anyone else but me" (p. 89). Another respondent wrote, "I feel, and cause others to feel ... Touched, the life of the imagination is the real life" (Antonetta, 2005, p.90).
  21. ^ Morrice, Polly (January 29, 2006) "Otherwise Minded" The New York Times, review of A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World
  22. ^ "The Virtue of Sociopaths: how to appreciate the neurodiversity of sociopathy without becoming a victim". Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  23. ^ "The Myth of the Normal Brain: Embracing Neurodiversity, Apr 15 - AMA Journal of Ethics (formerly Virtual Mentor)"journalofethics.ama-assn.org. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  24. ^ "Position Statements". Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  25. ^ "What is Neurodiversity?". National Symposium on Neurodiversity at Syracuse University. 2011. Retrieved October 2,2012.
  26. Jump up to:a b c Griffin, Edward; Pollak, David (January 2009). "Student experiences of neurodiversity in higher education: Insights from the BRAINHE project". Dyslexia15 (1): 23–41. doi:10.1002/dys.383PMID 19140120.
  27. ^ Kapp, Steven K.; Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Sherman, Lauren E.; Hutman, Ted (January 2013). "Deficit, difference, or both? Autism and neurodiversity". Developmental Psychology49 (1): 59–71. doi:10.1037/a0028353PMID 22545843.
  28. ^ Feinstein, Adam (Dec 11, 2017). "Neurodiversity: The cases for and against" (PDF).
  29. ^ Frith, Uta (2008-10-23). Autism: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191578656.

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