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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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6.10 1990s onwards: the neurodiversity movement

Once people like Temple Grandin had found a voice and an audience, other challenges to the image of autism as a disabling medical condition started to occur. Neurodiversity refers to the idea that a neurological condition such as autism is simply one form of variation between individuals, not a fundamentally different or pathological category (Blume, 1998). This goes hand in hand with the idea that autism does not need treatment or a cure. Not everyone agrees with this view: many families where an individual is profoundly affected by autism do see autism as disabling, seek treatment, and argue that those advocating neurodiversity do not speak for everyone on the autism spectrum.