Autistic or Non-Autistic – Is it worth Differentiating? Just Check out the facts!

Healthcare Pharmaceuticals

Ahead of World Autism Day (April 2, 2022), findings at University of Bath have revealed that autistic people bear fundamental similarities with non-autistic people with regards to mental processing.

It is a known fact that human brain does process information by making use of two systems – System 1 for faster intuitive judgements and System 2 for a bit slower rational thinking. However, as far as autistic people are concerned, these systems seem to work in a different manner.

Not Different, but Same?

At the same time, the University of Bath, Cardiff, Mancehster, along with King’s College London, has concluded that the above-mentioned fundamental psychological systems aren’t that different as thought to be. More than 1K people were involved in this study, wherein it was found that the thinking of autistic people is as quick and rational as that of non-autistic people.

It has also been recommended that re-designing the clinical, educational, and workplace support for those falling in the category of autistic people is vital now. This support needs to be following the “targeted approach”, instead of merely assuming that the autistic people are prone to mental difficulties.

The line of argument followed by research team is that “reason-based adjustments” in commercial and educational organizations, as reinforced by Equality Act, like extending deadlines for submission of assignments/journals and allowing additional time in exams are certainly not a fair and square way of supporting these neurodivergent people.

They state that, on the contrary, certain changes need to be incorporated at the fundamental level – like altering sensory and social environments and making them all the more equitable for these people to be in sync with non-autistic ones.

From the Horse’s Mouth

According to Dr. Punit Shah (Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Bath and the GW4 Neurodevelopmental Neurodiversity Network), conventionally, investigations in mental difficulties in autism have been going on. He further stated that even though this could be mandatory to develop clinical interventions, there is an utmost need of understanding psychological similarities amongst various groups.

The University of Bath is into neurodiversity research. Several organizations and employers are under the impression that neurodiversity simply implies celebration of differences amongst people. However, comprehendible approach towards neurodiversity means understanding and celebrating silimarities between “neurotypical” and “neurodivergent” people. This research is expected to break the bias about the though process of autistic people, thereby getting near to evidence-based approach. This point was also put forth by Dr. Shah.

These statements were seconded by Charlotte Valuer, Chair of the Institute of Neurodiversity (ION).

Looking at the dimensions of the research findings mentioned above, the world out here should get ready to welcome the similar planks that autistic and non-autistic people stand on. As it is rightly said, “United we Stand, Divided we Fall”, the world would certainly be aa netter place to live in. With acceptance getting widened throughout, researchers in the other parts of the world would also get compelled to throw at better light on these similarities.

Let’s look towards joining the dots herein!

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