Thursday, April 26, 2012

Autism and the Hypothetical Child

From Huffingtonn Post's Todd Drezner.

Given how many autistic people there are in the world, it's odd how much of the conversation about autism revolves around children who don't exist. The most common such child is the one who is "indistinguishable from his peers." This is the child who will supposedly emerge after successful therapies or treatments for autism leave the child essentially "normal."
This hypothetical normal child is closely related to another, younger one--the 1- or 2-year-old who was typically developing before the signs of autism became apparent. These two types of hypothetical children are linked by the assumption that their autism obscures their "real" selves. The hope for parents is that if the autism can somehow be removed, the real child will re-emerge.

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