Autism and Neurodiversity: Current Approaches

Introduction

Autism is one of the most severe developmental disorders due to causing difficulties in communication and social interaction. Traditional views on autism are based on the premise that there is no viable cure for this disease. Sometimes, symptoms may be relieved to a small extent, but no treatment has been found so far. Lately, a neurodiversity approach has been introduced, according to which autism should not seek therapy since it is not a disease.

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Brief Summary of the Articles

The first article under consideration was published on the National Autistic Society’s website, and it focuses on the concept of cure in relation to autism. According to this source, there is “no known ‘cure’ for autism” (“What are the causes,” 2018, para. 2). Still, it is noted that over the past eight decades, the understanding of autism has increased to a great extent. Thus, even though no universal treatment for autism has been suggested, a number of interventions having the potential to relieve some symptoms of the disorder have been offered. However, scholars emphasize that autism is a spectrum problem which “affects different people in different ways” (“What are the causes,” 2018, para. 3). Thus, it is necessary to evaluate each separate case very thoroughly in order to find an appropriate intervention.

Another article is dedicated to the neurodiversity approach, which presupposes that people with autism are not ill, so there is no need for treatment. As Collier (2019) remarks, neurodiversity refuses to view autism as a disorder and sees the problem as a “neurological difference: one with a unique way of thinking and experiencing the world” (para. 4). This approach is aimed at making society accommodate individuals with autism rather than having them fit into society (Colllier, 2019). Overall, the neurodiversity position is rejecting the opinion that autism is a disorder and considering it as a neurological peculiarity.

Reflection on the Two Approaches

It is true that people rarely accept others “as they are” and tend to accommodate everyone to some norms and regulations. In such a case, the neurodiversity approach seems legit since it aims at giving more options and freedom to individuals with autism. Viewing autism not as a healthcare problem but as a different type of neurological development allows accepting autistic people in society easier.

However, at the same time, the neurodiversity approach deprives people with autism of a possibility to improve their health condition. When it is not acknowledged as an illness, no treatment is being developed for it. Meanwhile, it is obvious that individuals suffering from autism have numerous issues that require appropriate care. Therefore, it seems that the neurodiversity approach is not so positive after all.

Even if autism cannot be cured completely, interventions can alleviate some symptoms. Thus, the development of new treatment approaches can be useful for many individuals who have autism. In my opinion, it is crucial to focus funding on research that might lead to discovering some valuable approaches to eliminating the illness’s symptoms even if getting rid of autism altogether is not possible.

Conclusion

Both the cure and neurodiversity approaches to autism have their strengths and limitations. However, the first one seems more reasonable since evidence indicates that individuals with autism suffer from numerous issues. Although the disease cannot be treated entirely, relieving at least some of its symptoms can have a profound effect on people’s lives. Meanwhile, rejecting the idea that autism is a disorder may lead to detrimental outcomes for patients.

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References

Collier, E. (2019). What is neurodiversity & how does it relate to autism? High Speed Training. Web.

What are the causes and is there a ‘cure’? (2018). Web.

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