Presentation on theme: "Autism: Exploding the Myths and Introducing a Positive Perspective"— Presentation transcript:
1 Autism: Exploding the Myths and Introducing a Positive Perspective Luke BeardonThe Autism CentreSheffield Hallam University
2 The Escape Clause My opinion only Meant to challenge, not upset Intention is to encourage deeper thinkingI am not dismissing the myriad of very real problems associated with autismGeneralisations are unfair and invalid
3 Myth 1: Autism is a Spectrum Autism is not a spectrumAS is not a mild form of autismit is not possible to 'grade' autismpeople make assumptions based on behaviour and presentation - mostly, those assumptions are wrongautism can not be changed
4 Myth 2: Everyone is a bit Autistic Autistic traits/tendencies/etc. are useless concepts and only demonstrate the inadequacies of current thinking as well as demeaning the entire autistic population
5 Myth 3: Autism consists of a 'Triad of Impairments' We are led to believe that individuals with autism are 'impaired' in certain areasIs this accurate – or is it a 'majority rules' judgement?Is the skill set of the PNT really so wonderful?Could an autistic manner of behaving be far more sensible and rewarding?
6 Myth 4: People with Autism are unsociable People with autism are not unsociableThe PNT make very little logical senseUnwritten rules are unwritten!Social niceties could be seen as banal, utterly incomprehensible and a waste of energy – really, what is the point and get to the point!Many people with autism can socialise with one another perfectly well - much of the PNT cannot!
7 Myth 5: People with Autism are Impaired in Verbal Communication Literal interpretation is simply accuracyBeing pedantic is being linguistically honestTautological discourse - a waste of breath?If we actually said what we mean (and meant what we said) then life would improve considerably
8 Myth 6: Non Verbal Communication is Useful and Effective Actually...it leads to misinformation, confusion, and lack of clarity – for all of usWould you prefer everything to be clear expressively and receptively – or prefer doubt, uncertainty, and stress?The dreaded first date...snog or no snog?
9 Myth 7: People with Autism lack a Theory of Mind People with autism do not lack a Theory of MindOr, the PNT lack a Theory of MindIt is cross neurological boundaries where the problems arise – not because of any deficit in people with autismIs lying really such a great thing?Do you like being able to trust?
10 Myth 8: Dysexecutive Functioning leads to Disorganisation Allows for detailed planningOrder over chaosKnowing what happens when, for how long and in what order is logical and sensibleReduction in wasted timeUnpredictability is scary
11 Myth 9: Weak Central Coherence is Bad Meticulous attention to areas of interestDetail is importantAbility to remain focussedProvision of a wonderful balance with the gestalt led PNT
12 Myth 10: Sensory Processing is Dysfunctional (Almost) unbelievable sensesSheer joy in processingPerceptual beauty – not a bad thing
13 Myth 11: People with Autism have Obsessions Intense passionsVocationsHaving an 'obsession' can be a wonderful thingInterests are motivational and can be extremely useful
14 Myth 12: People with Autism are 'Inappropriate' Judgement decision based on PNT conceptsIt's inappropriate to use the term inappropriate without qualifying itAutistic behaviour (invariably?) makes logical sense - based on individual logical parameters
15 Key to Autism: Learning Processes Indirect learning is non specificPeople with autism can make excellent direct learnersThe necessity of intellectually constantly 'working things out' can lead to appearance of disability
16 Other Aspects Sense of fairness Burning desire for justice and rightnessSense of humourAbility not to lose childlike funIntensity of feelingsLoyalty
17 Issues to Consider Autism is not inherently problematic Yet people with autism face many problems in societyPeople with autism seem to have huge pressures to change and adaptSocietal adaptation and changes in the PNT is far more sensible
18 Contact:Luke BeardonSenior Lecturer in AutismThe Autism CentreSheffield Hallam University