LDT – Neurodiversity divisions


Learning Disability Today –
Neurodiversity divisions

Darren Devine
23 April 2018

“Nothing about us without us” — it’s the mantra of the movement that has moved from the fringes of the autism community to centre stage. Here we look at the growing influence of the neurodiversity movement that insists autism is not an illness to be cured, but simply a difference that demands acceptance. Darren Devine reports.

In October 2016 the world’s biggest autism advocacy group dropped the use of the word “cure” from its mission statement.

The volte-face by US non-profit Autism Speaks was testimony to the growing influence of a movement that started life in the 1990s as a fringe group trying to challenge the accepted notion of autism as an illness.
“Critics argue the neurodiversity movement is heavily skewed towards the needs of those with high-functioning autism.”
Now the influence of the neurodiversity movement is everywhere. From tech firms going out of their way to recruit people with autism and adapting their working environments to enable them to flourish, to supermarkets and cinemas introducing quiet hours.
 

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