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Voices from the spectrum

Autistic intelligence, autistic perception and autistic patterns of thought that we all share in different degrees - an update



This paper presents a possibility to imagine how autistic people feel and think in ways we all share in different degrees. I believe that understanding starts with our similarities and not with our differences. To define autistic people as a priori different from non-autistic people inevitably reduces our ability for reciprocal understanding. This paper argues that according to Murray et al. (2005), Mottron et al. (2006), Markram et al. (2007) and O’Conner et al. (2008), atypical social behaviours of autistic people results from different information processing of autistic people in general and not from a social disorder of autistic people. The paper further argues that difficulties with sensory and motor issues are among the core features of the autistic condition which should be included in the next revision of the diagnostic criteria for autism. Moreover, the article describes autistic perception and thinking as an extreme version of the ways non-autistic people perceive and think about the world. The article concludes with what kind of practices and which goals of future autism research are helpful for the advancement of the quality of life for autistic people, their families and the services provided by autism professionals. The article summarizes my personal attempts in understanding the autism debate for the past five years.

Author: Sebastian Dern
Email: sebastian.dern@gmx.de
Website: www.autismandcomputing.org.uk

Sebastian Dern
Berlin, Germany

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Sebastian Dern