Autism Online Magazine

Autism: Social Disability?

Every day more people refer to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as social disabilities, and it indeed has a lot of social components. We are not talking about a matter of physical health, but about a social health one. One of the most significant problems that the person with ASD faces is the social exclusion at all levels, which in many cases also affects the family.

This exclusion generates a series of problems. The society in which the person with ASD must develop is usually not prepared for the social inclusion of such a “novel” concept of diversity.

Is autism a social disability?

Initially, the term “social disability” was attributed to people who were at risk of social exclusion because of poverty or race. In the case of people with autism, it’s the difficulty to establish channels of social interaction according to the accepted cultural norm of the environment in which the person lives.

The person with autism is ruled, it’s not understood that it should be accepted in the group, because of its difficulty for this interaction. The social group is simply inaccessible to those who present a minimum degree of difficulty. Therefore, the “disability” of the person isn’t something attributable to it, but rather a social imposition.

This social exclusion can affect not only the person with ASD but also their family members. Most people with ASD don’t have problems of mobility or health, but they do have deficiencies in the communication aspects of social management. Gaps that can be improved if the person has access to the media and to society, which generates an interaction that could help them integrate with their peers.

Although there’s much talk about inclusive education, the reality is that it doesn’t exist. It’s not the education the one that should be inclusive, but the society. Technicians, specialists, relatives, and affected people see with despair how the future of these people is obscured by the lack of consideration and inclusion.

Autism spectrum disorders aren’t known, they aren’t understood; thus they aren’t contemplated. This situation entails the elimination of the identity of the person with ASD.

More inclusion, less rejection!

Autism itself can’t define a person, the use of the attribute as a social conditioner entails the impulse of exclusion, and of the social rarity.

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