Representations of autism: implications for community healthcare practice

Brownlow, Charlotte and O'Dell, Lindsay (2009) Representations of autism: implications for community healthcare practice. Community Practitioner, 82 (7). pp. 18-21. ISSN 1462-2815


The work presented in this paper is part of a larger
project in which online asynchronous discussion
groups were employed to examine how a range of
contributors – including people with autism, parents of
people with autism, and professionals working within
the field of autism – view and understand autism.
In this paper, we focus on the voices of people with
autism. The terminology used in the paper takes its
lead from the writings of people with autism, who
frequently use the term ;AS' to refer to autistic
spectrum and Asperger syndrome and 'NT', which
refers to neurologically typical people without autism.
We examine a key theme identified in the online
discussion groups – the representation of individuals
with autism as occupying a separate world of autism.
In doing so, we question an apparent goal of therapeutic
interventions – to bring people with autism out of their 'separate world' and integrate them into a more typically 'social world'. We present an alternative
understanding of autism that argues for valuing diversity and viewing autism as a difference rather than a deficit. We will discuss some of the implications that this may have for working with people with autism in health and social care practice.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2010 09:02
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2014 06:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: autism
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified

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