Understanding autism
Understanding autism

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Understanding autism

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.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus