Merging psychological theory with a neurodiversity framework for better autism interventions

Sue Fletcher Watson
Patrick Wild Centre, University of Edinburgh

The neurodiversity movement emphasises natural variability in the way that different people’s brains work. It is associated with the disability rights and autistic rights movement, which calls for greater understanding of autism (and other neurodevelopment conditions) in terms of differences rather than deficits.

Taken at face value, the neurodiversity principle seems to be hard to reconcile with the high levels of need often encountered in clinical and education settings. Can we adopt a neurodiversity framework while also providing evidence-based supports where they are needed? In this talk Sue Fletcher-Watson will describe how a progressive model of autism can be combined with psychological theory and participatory methods to deliver evidence based interventions without compromising respect or scientific integrity.


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