Friday, June 29, 2007

Neurodiversity in Israel

The weekend's Haaretz magazine has an article [read in Hebrew or English] about adult autistics who say autism should not be cured. It should be recognized as a "neurological minority". The term neurodiversity was not used in the article (though the term neurotypical was). I don't know if there is a Hebrew term for neurodiversity. If there isn't, I'd suggest מגוון נוירולוגי or גיוון נוירולוגי. I believe this is the first time this aspect of autism is addressed in a major Israeli newspaper.

Some of the adults in the article understood they were autistic after their children received an autistic spectrum diagnosis. They are high functioning autistics and think that autistic behavior should not be stopped, but rather there should be intervention to allow autistic people to function well in society. Communication is the means, not the ends, they say.

They are absolutely right when it comes to autistic people. In the effort to make children normal a lot of times the children get abused, sometimes physically (like aggressive chelation therapy) or mentally (like my sister's obsession with breaking some of my nephew's harmless repetitive habits).

That doesn't mean there shouldn't be research into the causes of autism.

And just a note: Blogger's spellchecker doesn't recognize the term neurodiversity, and suggests the word "narratives" instead. It's a bit ironic, since neurodiversity is indeed a different narrative regarding the autistic spectrum.

1 comment:

  1. Hi E-Man, we usually use "שונות עצבית" as the Hebrew term for Neurodiversity, but I think your own suggestions are better than ours and we will probably adapt one of them. Thank you for suggesting them.

    Chen (from the ACI - Autistic community of Israel)