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Difference versus Damage

December 11, 2007

IMO, objectively, the spectrum of autisms reflects brain difference. Whether that difference is defined as brain damage vs. neurological variation is a value judgement.

As a child, I certainly felt damaged. However, I don’t think I would have framed it specifically as “brain damage.”

Now, I just see it as difference, but I can understand why others might have their own views of the subject.

I suppose the reason I don’t take much issue with the words used by others is because I do not attach an over-riding importance to labels. To me, “brain damage” is merely a social construction of neurological difference.

I prefer to say we are all neurodiverse. That is also a social construction, but it is, I think, a more neutral one than “brain damage.”

Does that make my view correct and the other one incorrect? No, but I also do think that the term “brain damage” is particularly helpful

If some people are “brain damaged,” that would imply that others are “not brain damaged.” A dualism has been established. On the other hand, the term, neurodiversity, does not establish, in advance, any fixed number of categories.

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