Annual Research Review: Shifting from 'normal science' to neurodiversity in autism science, (2021), Pellicano E., den Houting J.
Open access article: (https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.13534 )
Since its initial description, the concept of autism has been firmly rooted within the conventional medical paradigm of child psychiatry. Increasingly, there have been calls from the autistic community and, more recently, nonautistic researchers, to rethink the way in which autism science is framed and conducted. Neurodiversity, where autism is seen as one form of variation within a diversity of minds, has been proposed as a potential alternative paradigm. In this review, we concentrate on three major challenges to the conventional medical paradigm – an overfocus on deficits, an emphasis on the individual as opposed to their broader context and a narrowness of perspective – each of which necessarily constrains what we can know about autism and how we are able to know it. We then outline the ways in which fundamental elements of the neurodiversity paradigm can potentially help researchers respond to the medical model’s limitations. We conclude by considering the implications of a shift towards the neurodiversity paradigm for autism science.
Citation: Pellicano E., den Houting J., (2021). Annual Research Review: Shifting from 'normal science' to neurodiversity in autism science. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 63(4):381-396. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13534.