Pathologizing Autism? Let’s Discuss.

This is a very important discussion, and I am reposting it here, albeit belatedly. (Brain meltdown – I have been battling with my humanity, neurology and pathology – hit by the cough-cold viral bug, which has in turn triggered a nasty autoimmune flare.) Please read the follow up post (here) too.

So much in Emma’s Hope Book resonates with my own raison d’être. I began Bunnyhopscotch because I wanted an agency through which to present personal and intimate perspectives from lived-autism, aspects of my humanity, rather than pathology, and empathic ‘space’ wherein we can all, regardless of neurological cultures, share commonality. The current attitude prevalent in the research and practice of neuroscience is geared towards ‘disease finding’ – pathology – and it is now becoming more and more obvious that this approach is unsuitable for neurological cultural study, which should be focused on the human experience rather than being associated with pernicious diseases.

Emma's Hope Book

People argue that we have to pathologize autism because if we do not, families and Autistic people cannot obtain much needed services.  People say that it is one of those unfortunate things, but given the confines of our system, it’s the way it works.  People say that those who argue against the medical model for autism are not considering those who are more profoundly affected by their autism, those who require 24 hour care and assistance, people whose bodies cannot and do not do what their brains tell them, so much so that they cannot live without daily support.

I would love feedback and links from those who are Autistic favoring a shift away from pathologizing language and your reasons why.  I am particularly interested in hearing from those who are themselves, or who discuss people who are, in need of round the clock care.  If you have written about this, or have…

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