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On the ontological status of autism: the ‘double empathy problem’

Milton, Damian (2012) On the ontological status of autism: the ‘double empathy problem’. Disability & Society, 27 (6). pp. 883-887. ISSN 0968-7599. (doi:10.1080/09687599.2012.710008) (KAR id:62639)


In recent decades there has been much debate over the ontological status of autism and other neurological ‘disorders’, diagnosed by behavioural indicators, and theorised primarily within the field of cognitive neuroscience and psychological paradigms. Such cognitive-behavioural discourses abstain from acknowledging the universal issue of relationality and interaction in the formation of a contested and constantly reconstructed social reality, produced through the agency of its ‘actors’. The nature of these contested interactions will be explored in this current issues piece through the use of the term the ‘double empathy problem’, and how such a rendition produces a critique of autism being defined as a deficit in ‘theory of mind’, re-framing such issues as a question of reciprocity and mutuality. In keeping with other autistic self-advocates, this piece will refer to ‘autistic people’, and ‘those who identify as on the autism spectrum’, rather than ‘people with autism’.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/09687599.2012.710008
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, empathy, reciprocity, inter-subjectivity, phenomenology, disablement
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC553.A88 Autism. Asperger's syndrome
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 05:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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