Access Minnesota

30 December 2015

Autism and Neurodiversity

For the week of January 3, 2016

Jigna Desai, Chair of the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota, discusses the social stigmas attached to autism and how we can better understand autism through the lens of neurodiversity.

  • Part 1

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    (1:07) The DSM definition of autism and the increase of diagnoses; (3:40) The autism spectrum and how we understand the condition; (6:32) Neurodiversity and how it relates to autism; (9:15) Major misconceptions of autism including “refrigerator mothers” and lack of empathy

  • Part 2

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    (:22) Why the fear of vaccines persists despite no scientific evidence there is a link to autism; (3:40) The gender divide in diagnosed cases of autism and the increased risks for African-American and Latino autistics; (7:10) How we can better understand autism and respect neurodiversity

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