2 pages/≈550 words
Literature & Language
Asperger's: The Meaning of Autism (Article Sample)
Write a one page analysis for each article (The Meaning of Autism by Sara O'Neil and Chapter 15 on the Promise of Disability (which is on pages 15-16). What are the author's main arguments. Inclusion—we include and, without question, this seems good. We include disability, and this seems especially good. Insofar as inclusion is taken as a self-evident good, the next question is, what does it mean to include? Consider the shape that disability-inclusion takes in the language of everyday educational practice. It is said that we include students with “special needs,” students with “exceptionalities,” students with “challenges,” and students with Individual Educational Plans (IEPs). It is also said that we include students with “disAbilities,” “different abilities,” and even students with “disabilities.” Note that including disability today entails including students “with…” At the same time there is an ongoing search for more positive terms to refer to disability. While no one has settled on a single positive term for disability, there is nonetheless a consistent and almost universally shared approach regarding how to refer to disabilities within the global educational milieu. This singular approach entails an intense use of the concept with. We include students who come “with” conditions. Although people hope to express these conditions in non-derogatory ways, disability is primarily imagined as a negative condition that accompanies a student in a distant way; a student comes with something, almost like an add-on to the generic version of person. While neither collapsing nor enhancing the relation between the person and their impairment, the use of the term student with a disability within contemporary education refers to students who happen to come with such conditions, but these conditions are understood as potentially negative. Equipped with the concept of with, we include: we educate students with—and occasionally hire faculty and staff with—disabilities. Some of us even work “with” our own impairment conditions, and people hope we will make use of our abilities and, in doing so, overcome that which may “dis” us. While acronyms and euphemisims continue to proliferate, disabled students, teachers, faculty, and staff are consistently included as people with conditions, and others hope that such difficulties, if not cured, can at least be worked and lived with. Yet, all people come with conditions. In fact, to be a person is to be a bodied being; we live as embodied beings. To be embodied means to be conditioned by societal interpretations of bodily existence. As philosophical as this may sound, embodiment is a reality from which we cannot escape, except in death. While we all come with conditions, only some conditions are interpreted as the expected ones, and this has consequences for all people. One noticeable consequence is that the structures of everyday life, including education, have built-in expected bodily conditions. The building in of expected bodily conditions is so common that it seems as if the humanmade world was built by nature. Thus, some bodily conditions are made very easy to work with. Students, for example, come with the conditions of eyesight and hearing—conditions dependent upon light (reading texts) and sound (speaking)—for their engagement and inclusion in educational practice. With the assumed presence of conditions such as vision and hearing, it can seem as if there are no inclusive practices being undertaken by anyone, and it can even seem as though these conditions never influence educational experiences in unwanted ways. Included as taken-for-granted expectations, some conditions, such as sight and hearing, lose their status as conditions, and we cease to recognize their part in conditioning experience. With some bodily conditions welcomed as valuable and expected, and thus not understood as conditions at all, the promise of education is thought to thrive. The Promise of Disability Tanya Titchkosky “Limits and possibilities are intimately intertwined, and it is this intertwining that grounds all human-made promises. Simply put, this means that just as vision and hearing do not always fulfill the promise of education, disability need not always be conceived as a barrier to education.” 16 Inqui r y into Pract ice: Reaching Ever y Student Through Inclusive Cur r iculum Other conditions, however, seem to trouble the promise of education even before the student enters the classroom. Some conditions are neither expected nor welcomed and, if they show up, these conditions are expected to assume special spaces, or be engaged by special practices. This means that some students are included as those with unanticipated conditions that are not necessarily welcomed, but are certainly worrisome. What does it mean to be included as a student with unexpected, special, or unanticipated conditions? Some of us are included, but we are included as people with problem conditions, conditions that are taken for granted as barriers to the educational experience, and conditions that are not built in as an expected feature of the educational milieu. Thus, students with disabilities, for example, possess conditions that may seem not to come along with nor enhance the promise of education. This means that education today includes at least two different versions of conditions that students come with when they enter an educational milieu. Some come with the expected bodily conditions and are often included as promises—such conditions are anticipated, welcomed, relied upon, and addressed through various pedagogic modalities. Others come with conditions and are included, but their inclusion is qualified in terms of special conditions, those that are not necessarily relied upon, or even anticipated, by various pedagogic modalities. In the face of these two differing conceptions of human conditions we sometimes act as if certain conditions can only be a barrier to education. But, let us return to an inescapable reality: All of us come with conditions, and there is no such thing as conditions with promising possibilities without their accompanying limits, nor can there be a limit that does not have its promising possibilities. As dyslexic, for example, I have difficulties reading; yet these difficulties give rise to a variety of classroom practices, such as reading aloud or reading more than once and with differing intonations. This leads to more collective forms of reading. The experience of dyslexia brings the possibility of reading differently to the classroom, contemplating word order and significance, and potentially experiencing in new ways not only words but also our collective relations with them. Moreover, even my reading miscues, mix-ups, and mistakes never fail to demonstrate the complex social character of reading as a complex communicative intersubjective act. Limits and possibilities are intimately intertwined, and it is this intertwining that grounds all human-made promises. Simply put, this means that just as vision and hearing do not always fulfill the promise of education, disability need not always be conceived as a barrier to education. Given the reality of embodiment and the reality that every embodied condition contains both limits and possibilities, new promises for inclusive education arise. Now there can be an ongoing invitation to find less dichotomous and more interrelated ways to engage diverse bodily conditions and even blur the dividing line between possibility and limit. A direct way to do this is to find promise in disability, not despite it. Finding promise in disability can take many different forms. Anticipating the inclusion of disability as possibility promises to change what classrooms “look like” for all embodied participants. Or, representing disability in diverse ways, as something other than a condition that comes with particular students, promises to include disability as a social, political, and historical subject. The emerging field of disability studies, moreover, entails the study of how disability is already included in educational and other environments and represents disability as a field of inquiry. Disability studies examines how disability is culturally organized as a rare or special condition even though it is truly impossible to live a life without some connection to disability; we are all embodied beings knotted together through intimate ties between limits and possibilities. Inclusive educational practices today signal a time when people can become wary of a singular version of disability in our classrooms, a version that sees disability as always a problem and never a promise. Insofar as it is possible to treat current inclusive practices as a starting place for inquiry and not an end point, we can question who and what hav source..
The Meaning of Autism
The meaning of autism is a comprehensive article, where Sara O’ Neil weighs people’s perspectives and definition of autism. The cases based on autism spectrum disorders are believed to increase dramatically for more than the last two decades. Regardless of that fact, the disorders are not well comprehended, since they have been previously portrayed as debilitating conditions (O'Neil, 2008). This had been the viewpoint of the people with autism as well as scientific literature evidence. However, some views have changed into the possibilities of strengths in the disorders, as focus is shifted to areas of communication, intelligence, social skills, among others. O’Neil calls to the attention of carefully reconsidering the meaning of autism, shunning the perspective that it could be a traditional disorder.
Agreeably, many children are turning positive when the autistic spectrum disorders tests are conducted, with the number of the cases increasing because six to seven children out of one thousand are diagnosed with the disorder. Some scientists characterize this disorder as an illness while some people and especially the autistics, argue that it could be something different from an illness. There is truth in the fact of some people describing autism as a gift, whereas this may be a wrong notion of the situation. This is because the view has encountered different opinions in autism presentation, from cure foundations like the Cure Autism Now, define it as a compound neurobiological disorder and other unfitting terms. The American Psychiatric Association 2000 defines autism as a disorder being characterized by social skills impairments, communication impairments, and existence of stereotyped behaviors. However, it is agreeable that the people most affected by autism should b...
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