Cerebral Hemispheres 2


This text was written as an addendum to my 2-Minute Neuroscience video on autism.

While this video uses terminology that is common in the scientific and medical community, it's important to note that many who are part of (or connected to) the autism community prefer to describe autism in a non-pejorative manner that does not imply that autism is a pathology. This has led to the avoidance of terms like disorder and disability when describing autism. An alternative is to describe autistic individuals as neurodiverse, and non-autistic individuals as neurotypical.
The neurodiversity movement points out that variation in neurological development is common, and the resultant differences in functioning are not necessarily pathological. Indeed, in some cases, the differences in brain function that occur in autism can offer advantages over typical brain function, especially in certain environments.
Many clinicians and autism researchers are thus adjusting their perspectives on autism to at least incorporate a neurodiversity perspective into the traditional medical model of autism. Doing so has the potential to improve how autistic individuals are treated, both in medical and societal settings.
Additionally, I have learned since posting this video that many find the puzzle piece symbolism to be objectionable for various reasons (e.g., due to its association with Autism Speaks, due to the implication that autistic individuals are "missing something"). I was unaware of these issues with the puzzle piece symbol, and I chose it simply because I thought it meant autism was a puzzle we are still trying to figure out (the same could be said for almost any aspect of brain function). I apologize if anyone finds my use of this symbol offensive; if I knew it had a negative connotation I would not have used it.