Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Neurodiversity is the next frontier. But we’re failing autistic people’

Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Neurodiversity is the next frontier. But we’re failing autistic people’

Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Neurodiversity is the next frontier. But we’re failing autistic people’ 150 150 icnagency

By: Saba Salman | Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Neurodiversity is the next frontier. But we’re failing autistic people’ | Neuroscience | The Guardian

All different types of brains are normal, but greater understanding has not led to more money for autism, says world-leading expert

As a graduate in the 1980s, Simon Baron‑Cohen taught autistic children at a special school in London. Little was known about autism then, and people often misheard him, assuming he taught “artistic children”.

“People would be ashamed if they had an autistic child, or ashamed of saying, ‘I am autistic’, whereas now it’s treated as more ordinary and there’s less judgment,” he says. “In the 1980s, autism was seen as categorical, so ‘you either have it or you don’t’ … nowadays, we talk about a spectrum.”

Maybe because I had a sister with a disability I was already sensitised to and fascinated by people who think or develop differently

Related: Women ‘better than men at disguising autism symptoms’

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