A Different Point of View: The Neurodiversity Approach to Autism and Work

  • Lorenz T
  • Reznik N
  • Heinitz K
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Abstract

With this chapter, we want to open up the debate whether neurodiversity might be the next step of diversity. The term neurodiversity was first established in the online autism community in the 1990s and has since spread both off‐ and online. It describes the idea that, throughout the human population, different brain developments and structures exist. Neuronal variances such as Autism are therefore not to be seen as disorders but as variations different from the neurotypical brain. Instead of being considered ill and cure‐worthy, neurodiverse people should be included and integrated into society. In our current research, we follow the neurodiversity approach and focus on the subject of autism in the work context. We found that certain strengths and abilities are most prominent in autistic people (such as logical reasoning, visual perception) and that autistic people are able to find different effective solutions to overcome the barriers detaining them from entering the job market. Furthermore, while many autistic individuals are employed in regular competitive jobs, more focus on autism‐specific job environments is needed. These findings lead us to the conclusion that autistic individuals have potential that is beneficial for society.

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Lorenz, T., Reznik, N., & Heinitz, K. (2017). A Different Point of View: The Neurodiversity Approach to Autism and Work. In Autism - Paradigms, Recent Research and Clinical Applications. InTech. https://doi.org/10.5772/65409

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