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Autism Should Not Be Viewed as a Disability Research Paper

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Updated: May 21st, 2021


People treat patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) negatively in many societies across the world. This form of intolerance has continued to affect the experiences and economic outcomes of such individuals. When a specific population or society views a specific group as lesser or abnormal, chances are high that it will fail to support its objectives and goals. Such victims will also face numerous challenges, such as disempowerment, abuse, and oppression.

This kind of prejudice is what has made it hard for many people with autism to achieve their goals in life. The argumentative paper presented describes why there is a need for people to start viewing autism as a form of difference instead of a disability. Although many psychologists, physicians, and citizens still believe that autistic people should be treated as patients suffering from neurological disorders, a redefinition of this condition can make a significant difference and ensure that adequate support and resources are to be available to them.

Reasons Why Autism is Not a Disorder or Disability

Mainstream theory for classifying medical conditions presents autism as a serious mental disorder. This means that many scholars and psychotherapists focus on this assertion to provide the most appropriate support to the affected individuals (Hahler and Elsabbagh 60). Unfortunately, the targeted beneficiaries become unmotivated since the models put in place to meet their needs remain ineffective. The final result is that the wider society has continued to treat these individuals in a negative manner (Taylor par. 4). Redefining autism as a human difference will overcome this form of prejudice and ensure that adequate resources are available to more patients.

The current understanding of autism amounts to discrimination. The reason why this should stop is that all forms of prejudice have resulted in negative outcomes in the United States and across the globe. Viewing autism as a disorder is malpractice that can discourage many professionals and community members from providing adequate support to the targeted patients (Mnookin par. 3). The decision to make autism a difference among human beings can result in superior strategies and approaches to empower the affected people. Such an approach will ensure that more patients with autism are in a position to achieve their potential.

The current understanding of autism has catalyzed numerous problems and issues that continue to disorient the experiences of many people. A good example is that the treatment of autism as a mental disorder makes it possible for pharmaceutical companies and clinics to invent new health systems or procedures that will meet the needs of the affected persons (Stevenson par. 4). The outcome is that those with autism are required to take drugs to record positive results.

The outstanding challenge with this issue is that autism has become a human characteristic associated with diverse symptoms. Unless a new case is established, more people with this condition will never succeed in life.

Another unique misconception about the nature of autism is that of intellectual disability. Over the years, physicians and psychologists have identified this condition as a mental disorder. Consequently, those required to meet these individuals’ needs have designed inappropriate methods or support strategies. Lord et al. indicate that many great thinkers across the world have been observed to possess autistic attributes (512). When clinicians embrace this misunderstanding, chances are high that more people with autism will only be supported using healthcare procedures. Malpractice results in a situation whereby the intellectual potential or abilities of such individuals are never realized.

Autistic people possess numerous abilities and strengths that can make them successful in a wide range of situations. However, existing resources and programs should address their needs and eventually make it easier for them to succeed in life. Such an appreciation can encourage learning institutions and organizations to support the communication and educational needs of this population (Stevenson par. 7). This approach will ensure that society is no longer insensitive (Stevenson par. 7). This achievement will ensure that individuals with this condition are integrated into the wider society and empowered to pursue their goals. The practice will also protect them from any form of discrimination or abuse.

Opposing Views

Many people still believe that autism is a serious mental condition that can affect a person’s cognitive, speech, learning, and emotional abilities. Those who are opposed to the above arguments indicate that professionals and community members should not ignore the unique challenges these patients might face in their respective societies (Belcher and Maich 103). Acknowledging such obstacles is seen as the first step towards ensuring that the needs of autistic people are met and supported.

Another group has provided several case studies or examples to support the idea that many people with autism are usually unable to achieve their potential. They believe that their mental inabilities make it hard for them to record positive social and educational outcomes. Such individuals use this viewpoint to explain why holistic medical procedures focusing on these patients’ mental, psychological, and physical needs are necessary (Hahler and Elsabbagh 61).

The majority of them indicate that the decision to accept autism as a mental condition will empower more researchers, psychotherapists, and healthcare professionals to present evidence-based ideas that can support the needs of more people (Stevenson par. 8). According to those who view autism as a disorder, medical professionals record positive achievements or results when they approach it as a mental illness. They also use this idea to explain why there is no need for psychological societies to redefine this human condition.


The current situation has created a scenario whereby people with autism continue to struggle with the mental disability tag or label. This malpractice has encouraged different members of society to ignore the needs or expectations of this underserved population. The reason why they do so is that they assume that such people require medical support and not economic empowerment. These forms of injustice have affected the lives, experiences, and outcomes of members of this population (Hahler and Elsabbagh 62). Different governments have also failed to implement superior policies and programs to meet their unique needs. Such initiatives will empower these individuals and make it easier for them to succeed in life and present important contributions in their respective communities.


With many psychologists, physicians, and citizens still believing that autism should be treated as a neurological disorder, it has remained impossible for these individuals to achieve their potential. All community members should, therefore, be ready to redefine this condition as a difference among human beings. This approach will eventually ensure that positive support and resources are available to the greatest number of autistic individuals in different parts of the world, thereby empowering them to achieve their potential and lead high-quality lives.

Works Cited

Belcher, Christina, and Kimberley Maich. “Autism Spectrum Disorder in Popular Media: Storied Reflections of Societal Views.” Brock Education, vol. 23, no. 2, 2014, pp. 97-115.

Hahler, Eva-Maria, and Mayada Elsabbagh. “Autism: A Global Perspective.” Current Developmental Disorders Reports, vol. 2, no. 1, 2015, pp. 58-64.

Lord, Catherine, et al. “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Lancet, vol. 392, no. 10146, 2018, pp. 508-520.

Mnookin, Seth. “ The New York Times, 2018. Web.

Stevenson, Nikki. “ The Guardian, 2015. Web.

Taylor, Kate. “ The New York Times, 2017. Web.

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"Autism Should Not Be Viewed as a Disability." IvyPanda, 21 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/autism-should-not-be-viewed-as-a-disability/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Autism Should Not Be Viewed as a Disability." May 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/autism-should-not-be-viewed-as-a-disability/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Autism Should Not Be Viewed as a Disability'. 21 May.

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