The Movement Perspective: Taking Neuroscientific Research Into Practice on the Autism Spectrum

Neuroscience research is undermining the long-standing  master narrative which viewed autism as a “top-down” or brain-based disability involving puzzling, asocial behavior.   To correct this picture, we must explore movement and perception as adaptations to challenges in the peripheral nervous system.   This session engages in knowledge translation, using the examples and words of self-advocates to create a more powerful, inclusive narrative that can “be the future.”  As a result of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Explore the new narratives about autism presented by self-advocates and their families, noting their common themes and descriptions of movement differences 2. Examine the multiple sources of evidence for autism as a movement difference, from neuroscience to pediatrics and child development to parent narratives to self-advocacy 3. Appreciate the importance of the “dance of relationships” in creating our emotional and social worlds, and how movement differences may impact it 4. Consider how to build bridges over a challenged nervous system to support reliable, coherent experiences and development 5. Discuss 10 suggestions for practice that align with the neuroscience, including the importance of relationships and reciprocity, the need for real-life experiences and self-direction, the value of exploration over replication in skill-building, and the need to presume competence.

Pat Amos