A Strengths-Based Approach to Autism: Neurodiversity and Partnering With the Autism Community The autism community represents a broad spectrum of individuals, including those experiencing autism, their parents and/or caregivers, friends and family members, professionals serving these individuals, and other allies and advocates. Beliefs, experiences, and values across the community can be quite varied. As such, it is important for the professionals serving ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2017
A Strengths-Based Approach to Autism: Neurodiversity and Partnering With the Autism Community
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amy L. Donaldson
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Portland State University, Portland, OR
  • Karen Krejcha
    Executive Director and Co-Founder, Autism Empowerment, Vancouver, WA
  • Andy McMillin
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Portland State University, Portland, OR
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Amy L. Donaldson has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Karen Krejcha has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Andy McMillin has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Amy L. Donaldson has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Karen Krejcha has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Andy McMillin has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Amy L. Donaldson has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Karen Krejcha has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Andy McMillin has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Amy L. Donaldson has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Karen Krejcha has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Andy McMillin has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Part 1
Article   |   February 01, 2017
A Strengths-Based Approach to Autism: Neurodiversity and Partnering With the Autism Community
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, February 2017, Vol. 2, 56-68. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.56
History: Received August 15, 2016 , Revised October 14, 2016 , Accepted November 13, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, February 2017, Vol. 2, 56-68. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.56
History: Received August 15, 2016; Revised October 14, 2016; Accepted November 13, 2016

The autism community represents a broad spectrum of individuals, including those experiencing autism, their parents and/or caregivers, friends and family members, professionals serving these individuals, and other allies and advocates. Beliefs, experiences, and values across the community can be quite varied. As such, it is important for the professionals serving the autism community to be well-informed about current discussions occurring within the community related to neurodiversity, a strengths-based approach to partnering with autism community, identity-first language, and concepts such as presumed competence. Given the frequency with which speech-language pathologists (SLPs) serve the autism community, the aim of this article is to introduce and briefly discuss these topics.

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