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Redefining Autism as a Disability (Essay Sample)

Raising Cubby by John Elder Robinson 1.4 2.Include page numbers for all citations. 3. Essay Question: How does Raising Cubby relate to the following readings? ->The Meaning of Autism: Beyond Disorder by Sara O'Neil ->Inquiry into Practice: Reaching Every Student Through Inclusive Curriculum Edited by Carol Rolheiser, Mark Evans, and Mira GambhirThe Promise of Disability -ONLY READ CHAPTER 15 You may not use any other sources. Do not use long quotes; do not string quotes; do paraphrase with citation. source..

Redefining Autism as a Disability

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has been on the rise with autism amongst infants topping the list leaving many puzzling mysteries. The causes, effects, signs, symptoms, and treatment for autism have left many unresolved questions in the medical world. By bearing in mind viewpoints of autistics themselves, together with evidence from medical journals, it becomes apparent that autism spectrum disorders are not always the debilitating conditions as portrayed. Recent studies consider Autism a broad spectrum condition implying the degree on how it affects different individuals varies from mild to severe. In fact, autism indeed associates with a number of abilities with precise focus on intelligence, communication, and social skills (Wall, 2010, p.49). This article calls into question the idea autism is indeed a traditional disability and argues a new comprehensive understanding of autism ought to be taken into account.
From the medical perspective, autism can be defined as complex development regression characterized by difficulties in social interaction, impaired verbal and non-verbal abilities, and acute responses to sensory stimulations such as sound (Schopler, 1994, p.82). Autistic individuals show less interest in the environment surrounding them, and have a lifelong disability on how they communicate, and interact to others. In addition, such individuals usually find it a daunting task in school-related activities. Their short attention span for most lessons and difficulty in transitioning from one action to another in school exemplifies the above sentiment. Contrary to the alluded medicinal views, autistic individuals’ poses excellent high skills in some areas. In his memoir raising cubby, John Elder Robinson narrates of an unconventional father’s relationship with his equally autistic son. Despite of his inability to read nonverbal cues and lack of empathy, John still learns to be a father. His ability to recognize the same symptoms in his child in spite of his ‘disability’ is what stands out in the book.
Autism diagnosis finds its basis on behavior rather than cause or mechanism. Defined as, exhibiting symptoms that have impairment in social interaction, impairment in communication and restricted and repetitive behavioral pattern. However, social impairment must be considered of as relative rather than absolute as there is no absolutely healthy social individual against which to relate it. A key difference between impairment and disability is whereas disability is indeed a social relationship characterized by unequal definition and oppressive impairment on the other hand tends to be a biological fact and a social relationship. This makes consideration for autism in the social model in a way that real forms of disabilities such as physical disabilities are not classified.
Autistic individuals should ...
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