How individuals and institutions can learn to make room for human cognitivediversity: a personal perspective from my life in neuroscience

Belmonte, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-4633-9400, 2020. How individuals and institutions can learn to make room for human cognitivediversity: a personal perspective from my life in neuroscience. In: A. Stenning, N. Chown and H. Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, eds., Neurodiversity studies: a new critical paradigm. Routledge advances in sociology . London: Routledge, pp. 172-190. ISBN 9780429322297

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That aspect of the autism spectrum within which the impacts on cognitive, perceptual and motor control are more subtle and more compensated tends either to be unrecognised and ignored, or else celebrated as a set of beneficial traits that produce computer programmers, engineers and the like. This approach neglects the very real problems faced by people so impacted. In a certain, very narrow way, such individuals face the worst of societal challenges because their genuine social cognitive differences both are not a match for the way most social institutions work and also are not identified and recognised and therefore do not become targets for accommodation and flexibility within such institutions. Without confusing such less visible difficulties with the severe hardships faced by many people with autism who cannot speak, cannot use speech communicatively, or cannot flexibly and reliably link thoughts to actions, one also can recognise a large class of people not included in the categorical diagnosis who are both enabled and limited by high degrees of dimensional autistic traits, gifted with analytical skills whose realisation may be hampered by social and political ineptitude, lack of allocentric perspective, and lack of management and multitasking abilities all exacerbated by high stress and anxiety. Recommendations are made as to how such individuals and the institutions within which they work can learn to accommodate each other, to the benefit of all.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Belmonte, M.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: London
Date: 2 June 2020
ISBN: 9780429322297
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 Jun 2020 14:42
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2021 03:00

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