Who am i meant to be? In search of a psychological account of autism, from the viewpoint of an ‘insider’
The legacy of psychological theories (3)
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Psychological theories and ownership
The legacy of psychological theories (
‘An explicit disavowal of the psychoanalytic formulation of autism as rooted in the mother-child relationship motivated the project of defining autism strictly as an organic disorder.’ (Nadesan,
victory spared the mother
, yet lay the blame at the autistic person themselves.
theories and ownership
These psychological accounts actively socially construct what it is to be ‘autistic’.
This has a massive impact on the social
lives of autistic people
, in terms of how they are regarded by both professionals and the general public (in a diluted and distorted form).
A lack of ‘theory of mind’ has often been cited as an essential difference between
humans and other animals
, potentially constructing the autistic person as somewhat ‘less than human’ (Lawson,
Increasing danger from theories that suggest a ‘lack of empathy’ can be linked to violence and criminality (Baron-Cohen,
The dominant psychological models have reduced the power of autistic
people to speak for themselves
, and thus ‘owning’ their own self-determination.
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