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Why are we failing so many Autistic children?


I’m going to preface this post with NOT ALL PROFESSIONALS as there are some that go above and beyond in the pursuit of knowledge in order to better understand and support autistic people, however, we have a very long way to go when it comes to improving understanding of autistic experience in mainstream services and here’s part of the reason why.

The Pathology paradigm

Prof. Nick walker writes about it here

To break it down for you, the pathology paradigm is the medicalised, deficit-based model of autism aka the old model.

Think theory of mind, extreme male brain, weak central coherence etc….

How we identify and diagnose is based on these theories because at the time, that was all we had to go on and it takes a long time for all the information to be gathered and eventually be published which creates a lag…. A huge lag.

The problem is, these theories, that most of the training available to professionals is based on has been heavily criticized and if you read them, they don’t even really explain autistic experience at all…. They can maybe put a name to some of our experience at a stretch. Also, the lived experience of autistic people was never taken to be valuable, so it was based on outsiders observations of us rather than just asking… bonkers right?

There are newer more progressive theories in existence, ones that have been created by autistic academics and included the lived experience of autistic people that we are starting to see evidence for, but more people need to know about them and training needs to be updated.

See monotropism, the double empathy problem, Kieran Rose – conceptual analysis of masking.

This stuff is well known within the autistic community, of course it is… it’s about us and by us!

But it hasn’t made its way into the mainstream yet….

So the next time you mention Autistic burnout to a professional and they look at you perplexed … or even worse, parent blame or tell you that autistic people have no empathy this is why….

If you are interested in learning more about Autism theories vs new, Autistic theories I & Dr Chloe Farrahar did a live about it below.

Hope That Helps?

Much Love

Tanya <3

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