Imagining the Ecologies of Autism

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Trimingham, Melissa ; Shaughnessy, Nicola
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Imagine a child who does not communicate verbally, does not engage in eye contact, meaningful interaction with their physical environment, families or peer group, and who apparently displays no imagination. Imagine a child engaging in repetitive actions such as rocking, hand flapping or spinning, seeking sensory stimulation through head banging and tasting non-edible items (pica). Imagine a child locked in their own world. This is classic autism, an enigma which continues to frustrate, frighten yet fascinate. Yet this condition is not ‘beyond remediation’ (Baron-Cohen et alia: 2009). This article is the story of a cross-cultural exchange, perhaps better described as a mutual imbrication, between the ‘neurodiverse’ community of autists and the ‘neurotypical’ communities most of us inhabit.
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